IRIGARAY SPECULUM OF THE OTHER WOMAN PDF

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When the weekly series The Canon began in April , the question was posed: is there a "baggy monster" of a book that has opened up new ways of thinking and come to count as a classic in your research field? The phrase "baggy monster" couldn't be a more appropriate epithet for Luce Irigaray's Speculum of the Other Woman: a still controversial and poorly understood but much quoted and referenced work, of particular importance for some varieties of feminist philosophy and a broad range of cultural theory.

First published in French in , but not translated into English until after other, less challenging works by Irigaray had been translated , Speculum sets out to show how the traditions of philosophy and psychoanalysis portray women as monstrous.

In particular, it calls attention to the lack of an adequate framework to think birth and, more specifically, the human subject who gives birth. Hegel dealt with in the middle section ; through an extended meditation on Plato's myth of the cave and the womb imagery it employs the focus of the final part , Irigaray's "baggy" musings - for she can't really be said to argue - open up a way of looking at the history of philosophy and theories of the self that offer an important paradigm shift.

Although philosophers have endlessly written about death, there were very few philosophers prior to the recent feminist ones who took birth into account in the analyses that they offered of freedom, self-identity, virtue or the good life. While Irigaray would not have described herself as a feminist then, she provided new ways for thinking female embodiment and natality as central to the fully human self.

From the start, Speculum was notorious: it led to the loss of Irigaray's teaching position at the University of Vincennes and her expulsion from the Ecole freudienne de Paris, the school of psychoanalysis that Jacques Lacan directed in Paris from to In English, Speculum has suffered mixed fortunes. Extraordinarily influential in a broad range of subjects - including literature, architecture, theology, law, film and art - its loose and flowing style has made it easy for critics such as Alan Sokal and, most recently, Richard Dawkins to portray Irigaray as some kind of "fake".

In Speculum, Irigaray presents her case through parodic quotation, together with allusions, homophones and puns. The inadequacies of the English translation - which not only lacks decent footnotes, but also omits portions of the passages from the philosophers that Irigaray quotes and then mimics - have increased the sense that this is simply "mysticism". But it's not. Although I often disagree with Irigaray's account of the history of Western philosophy and science, and certainly do not wish to follow the direction of her most recent writings, Speculum is a brave and original book that does indeed deserve its place among the "baggy monsters" of "the canon".

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary. Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:. Already registered or a current subscriber? Sign in now. Skip to main content. The Canon: Speculum of the Other Woman. By Luce Irigaray. September 10, Share on twitter Share on facebook Share on linkedin Share on whatsapp Share on mail 1. Please login or register to read this article.

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Reader's comments 1 1 Submitted by Marcia Lenglet on July 22, - pm. Irigaray is not an easy read. I would have preferred something that gave some insight into content of her work, rather than a summary for a jacket cover.

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Access options available:. The book makes a case for recognizing identity as something not nationalistic or gender-based. Elshtain 's is a feminist position, arguing for the "chastened patriot," a citizen who enters political discourse with a sense of play, a lack of fear for the Other, and a sense of the vitality of individual responsibility. Hers is a plea, both humble and idealistic, that is worth considering. Her book disconcerts; it enters a growing discourse of women, educated in feminist thinking, who refuse to remain in the small area earned for feminist topics and step instead into a larger territory in an attempt to make a difference.

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The Canon: Speculum of the Other Woman. By Luce Irigaray

Speculum of the other woman. Luce Irigaray. Speculum of the Other Woman by Luce Irigaray is incontestably one of the most important works in feminist theory to have been published in this generation. For the profession of psychoanalysis, Irigaray believes, female sexuality has remained a "dark continent," unfathomable and unapproachable; its nature can only be misunderstood by those who continue to regard women in masculine terms.

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Luce Irigaray

Luce Irigaray is a prominent author in contemporary French feminism and Continental philosophy. She is an interdisciplinary thinker who works between philosophy, psychoanalysis, and linguistics. Her subsequent texts provide a comprehensive analysis and critique of the exclusion of women from the history of philosophy, psychoanalytic theory and structural linguistics. Irigaray alleges that women have been traditionally associated with matter and nature to the expense of a female subject position. While women can become subjects if they assimilate to male subjectivity, a separate subject position for women does not exist. In addition to establishing this critique, Irigaray offers suggestions for altering the situation of women in Western culture.

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Luce Irigaray (1932?—)

When the weekly series The Canon began in April , the question was posed: is there a "baggy monster" of a book that has opened up new ways of thinking and come to count as a classic in your research field? The phrase "baggy monster" couldn't be a more appropriate epithet for Luce Irigaray's Speculum of the Other Woman: a still controversial and poorly understood but much quoted and referenced work, of particular importance for some varieties of feminist philosophy and a broad range of cultural theory. First published in French in , but not translated into English until after other, less challenging works by Irigaray had been translated , Speculum sets out to show how the traditions of philosophy and psychoanalysis portray women as monstrous. In particular, it calls attention to the lack of an adequate framework to think birth and, more specifically, the human subject who gives birth. Hegel dealt with in the middle section ; through an extended meditation on Plato's myth of the cave and the womb imagery it employs the focus of the final part , Irigaray's "baggy" musings - for she can't really be said to argue - open up a way of looking at the history of philosophy and theories of the self that offer an important paradigm shift.

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