Provocative Coincidences - An Ontology of the Question as Style: Writing Beyond the Aporias of the Subject (Woman, Style, Ethics)

Dr Maria O'Connor
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Jacques Derrida’s text, Spurs: The Styles of Nietzsche is an interrogation of aspects of Nietzsche’s writings in reference to the question of “Woman.” And, we should not forget the complexity of engagements with quotation marks, and issues of citation that form a central tenet of the text. Equally the title could have been translated: Spurs: The Styles of Nietzsche, where Nietzsche is referencing not a German philosopher of the late 19th century but a text by the philosopher Heidegger, titled Nietzsche.

Prefigured here, within a Derridian framework, is a question of style’s capacity for spillage, performance and, perhaps, ethics (Derrida/Levinas) via an essence of provocation. That is, this kind of provocation or questioning essentially exists as style’s attestation for undoing truth as correctness. Within this coincidence of style with provocation we find resonances between literature and philosophy. Ultimately, this paper is engaged with these disciplines and the slippages and questions they have to offer each other via style’s performative agency — that is, when style operates at the limits of itself. In doing so, this paper explores via its performative engagement the provocative coincidences across Joan Copjec’s writing in Imagine There’s No Woman, and Derrida’s ‘At this Very Moment in This Work Here I Am’ never straying too far from its original Spur. An arrangement chosen as these texts activate philosophically a literary motif (Antigone) for ungrounding questions of woman and death in relation to ethics and style. Copjec is centrally concerned with how to deal with a Lacanian concept of woman and Derrida, more directly concerned with Levinas’s secondary dealing of woman as concept. This paper attempts through its performative clotural reading to evoke the coincidence of woman and style as “existence” within a world of immanence — writing beyond the aporias of the subject — beyond proposition.

Keywords: Deconstruction (Writing and Reading), Gender, Ethics, Language, Philosophy and Literature, Phallogocentricsm, Psychoanalysis
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies, Language, Linguistics, Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness, Sexuality, Gender, Families
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Provocative Coincidences - The Question as Style's Dissimulating Face

Dr Maria O'Connor

Research Lecturer, The School of Art & Design, AUT University (Auckland University of Technology)
Auckland, n/a, New Zealand

Maria O'Connor is a research lecturer in Art & Design. Her research interests span cross-disciplinary (in particular the disciplines of literature, philosophy, visual arts and design) relations between post-structuralism, gender, language and ethics. Currently undertaking PhD research, the question of relations between literature and philosophy is deliberately coincidental to the laws of genre and gender. These coincidences are activated through a deconstructive framework. Further, the project seeks to interrogate metaphysical thought via a deconstructive approach to language. That is, through an interrogation of phallologentricism, relations between the borders of ethics, language and sexual difference seek to activate differences that go beyond the aporias of the subject (and its laws for knowing). The work relies heavily on such thinkers as Giorgio Agamben, Maurice Blanchot, Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Lacan and Emmanuel Levinas.

Ref: H06P0497