By Bonnie Honig

ISBN-10: 1107036976

ISBN-13: 9781107036970

Sophocles' Antigone is a touchstone in democratic, feminist and criminal concept, and doubtless the main commented upon play within the background of philosophy and political conception. Bonnie Honig's rereading of it accordingly consists of intervening in a number of literatures and unsettling a lot of their governing assumptions. Exploring the facility of Antigone in quite a few political, cultural, and theoretical settings, Honig identifies the 'Antigone-effect' – which strikes those that enlist Antigone for his or her politics from activism into lamentation. She argues that Antigone's personal lamentations could be noticeable not only as indicators of dissidence yet fairly as markers of a rival international view with its personal sovereignty and energy. Honig argues that the play doesn't supply easily a version for resistance politics or 'equal dignity in death', yet a extra optimistic politics of counter-sovereignty and cohesion which emphasizes equality in existence.

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Can sorority displace maternalism? Should it? Here we must be cautious. The historic alliance of mothering with mourning does not just maternalize lamentation, it also naturalizes motherhood and invests it with 16 Interruption ideological power. ), not an idealized, extrapolitical relationship but an always already politicized construct or artifice. Still, a focus on sorority, licensed by the play and hinted at in Germany in Autumn, may help to undo maternalism’s extra-political spell by decentering maternalism and pluralizing kinship.

But, as Lacan’s observation suggests, and as our contemporary political culture’s ubiquitous 36 “Antigone versus Oedipus,” I 37 classicization of mourning mothers also shows, abandoning Antigone is not something we are simply free to do. This classical heroine is everywhere. The idea that we could leave her behind and think politically in ways untouched by her is as improbable as Oedipus’ hope that he could leave Corinth behind and live out his life elsewhere untouched by his fate.

Hunger, dir. Steve McQueen1 “Even if you are not aware of it, the latent fundamental image of Antigone forms part of your morality,” says Jacques Lacan and so, Lacan suggests, working through the trope (if not the play) of Antigone is necessary to establish a critical relationship to morality (1992: 284). Sophocles’ heroine forms latently part of our politics as well. ” What is meant by Oedipal and Antigonean varies, however, so much so that it sometimes seems as if these terms might be empty signifiers.

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