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Access options available:. Discarding an antiquated, concept-bound language ill-equipped to represent the speed at which change occurs, Metamorphoses deploys instead a figurative language that resists linear conceptions of history and teleological assumptions of the subject—a language, in other words, that is more suitable for theorizing change and transformation.
A fundamental impulse informing Braidotti's thought is a desire "not to know who we are," but "what, at last, we want to become" 2 , and it is this desire that incites her to interrogate the shortage of figurations that would otherwise allow her to map "structural transformations of subjectivity" in postindustrial postmodernity.
In this first division, Braidotti elucidates her notions of "enfleshed materialism" and sexual difference that she maintains are crucial to a philosophy of becoming. In the second division, comprised by the third, fourth, and fifth chapters, as well as the epilogue, Braidotti explores modern figurations as she seeks to think difference and transformation in nonnegative, nonpejorative terms.
The animal, insect, cyborg, and machine are several of the key representations Braidotti examines [End Page ] with the intent of discovering their efficacy for mapping change and tracing lines of becoming.
Braidotti borrows from Irigaray's notion of the "sensible transcendental" to argue that the body is a "complex interplay of highly constructed social and symbolic forces. Accordingly, it is essential to see "female corporeal reality" not as that which already "is," and not as something that merely reinscribes its polarized opposition to the masculine, "but as virtual.
It is this view of "woman," one that emphasizes the "multi-centered, internally differentiated female feminist subjectivity," that, for Braidotti, stands as a powerful critique of phallogocentrism. Braidotti links this notion of the virtual feminine to Deleuze's notion of the "empirical transcendental," with its focus on the embodied subject that flows rhizomatically "as a multiplicity and along multiple axes" While the Irigaray-Deleuze matrix is vital to Braidotti's analysis, her commitment to Irigaray's notion of sexual difference as something that is given as a condition of the body instead of discursively constituted creates some inconsistencies in the text.
These inconsistencies arise, not because she wants to maintain a materialist theory of sexual difference per se, but because sexual difference, which she describes as "always already there" persists when the notion of persistence itself, as a symptom of binaristic thinking, is something that her entire analysis attempts to undo. In other words, Braidotti is quite right to suggest that "becoming-woman" is a process that can only be mapped along sexually differentiated lines—something, she claims, Deleuze and Guattari fail to consider—but this sexual [End Page ] differentiation can only be understood as part of what she calls a "politics of location," that is, a critique of the specific context in which a nomadic subject is situated.
The ways men and women negotiate their becomings necessarily differ as a Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.
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Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming
Cross-referring in a creative way to Deleuze's and Irigaray's respective philosophies of difference, the book addresses key notions such as embodiment, immanence, sexual difference, nomadism and the materiality of the subject. Metamorphoses also focuses on the implications of these theories for cultural criticism and a redefinition of politics. It provides a vivid overview of contemporary culture, with special emphasis on technology, the monstrous imaginary and the recurrent obsession with 'the flesh' in the age of techno-bodies. This highly original contribution to current debates is written for those who find changes and transformations challenging and necessary.
Rosi Braidotti, Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming
The latest work from Rosi Braidotti is both provocative and difficult. The provocation is built into her embrace of nornadism and sexual difference as central to any feminist politics and the difficulty lies with the presentation of her arguments in a quite deliberate non-linear style. As Braidotti remarks, her "attack on linearity and binary thinking" is based on her perception of the need for a "renewal of the language and the textual apparatus of academic writing" and "also of public discussion" 8. At one point she asks the reader "Do you recognize yourselves in the cartography I am drawing here? Does this tune speak to your ears?
You are currently using the site but have requested a page in the site. Would you like to change to the site? Rosi Braidotti. Cross-referring in a creative way to Deleuze's and Irigaray's respective philosophies of difference, the book addresses key notions such as embodiment, immanence, sexual difference, nomadism and the materiality of the subject. Metamorphoses also focuses on the implications of these theories for cultural criticism and a redefinition of politics.