Unspeakable Subjects: The Genealogy of the Event in Early Modern Europe
In groundbreaking readings linking works of Descartes, Shakespeare, and Cervantes with contemporary revisions of Freud and Nietzsche, Unspeakable Subjects argues that the concepts and discourses that have come to define European modernity the subject s extension and responsibility, genealogies of intention and of freedom, the literary, legal, and medical construction of the body, among others arise as strategies for evading a profound redefinition of the nature of events in early modern Europe.
Negotiating the often competing claims of rhetorical reading and cultural analysis, Lezra reassesses the grounds of literary and philosophical history as a materialist practice of eventful reading. His original accounts of Don Quixote, Descartes s Second Meditation and Regulae, and Measure for Measure tack between linguistic, psychoanalytic, and cultural materialist approaches to define and discuss the double aspect of the event in early modern literature and philosophy, and in Freudian and Heideggerian critical discourse: the event is at once an accident, the unpredictable, deontic intrusion of the empirical in idealizing schemes, and the disclosing and recollecting of a subject s relation to discursive and cultural morphologies in which empirical events are said properly to take place.
The advent of modernity, Unspeakable Subjects argues, arises as the novel account of the permanently interrupted negotiation between the event s deontic and its morphological aspects. If Unspeakable Subjects considers on this level the singularities of textual events, it also seeks to show their complex relation to the singularities of the forms given material history.
Drawing upon such varied sources as the proclamations of James I, the law of entail, Renaissance treatises on typography, and documents on Jacobean and Elizabethan privateering, as well as accounts of the events of May 1968 and of Lacan s treatment of the fort-da game, and of the cultural uses of the figure of Don Quixote in Spanish proto-Falangist thought, the author shows that the institutional setting and conditions for literary and philosophical speech-acts, and the graphic constraints upon the bodies that such acts support, also take shape according to patterns set in response to the instability of the event.
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The Ontology of the Letter in Descartess
The Matter of Naming in Don Quixote
The Appearance of History in Measure for Measure
aesthetic allegorical analogy Antonomasia appearance argument Barnardine Barnardine's becomes body cage Cartesian catachresis Cervantes concept contingency critical critique cultural Descartes Descartes's desire Discourse distinction Don Quixote double Duke Duke's episode epistemological event example extent figure formal Foucault Freud function genealogy Genealogy of Morals hand head ideology instance Interpretation of Dreams interruption intuition Jacobean Knight La Mancha Lacan language letras letter linguistic literal literary Lucio Lucretius Lucretius's madre mano mark material matter means Measure for Measure Meditations metaphor metonymic Michel Foucault narrative narrator Nietzsche notion novel object ontological organization passage phenomenology philosophical pirate play plot poetic posed position possibility precisely Prologue psychoanalysis question Quixote's Ragozine's reader reading relation repetition representation resistance rhetorical Sancho's scene seems sense soul story structure substitution suggests syllepsis synecdoche tell temporal term thought tion trope turn understanding words writing
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