File spoon-archives/french-feminism.archive/french-feminism_2000/french-feminism.0007, message 17

Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 16:20:37 -0500
Subject: Re: talking about Irigaray

Michael and all,

Hi.  irigaray has several books that deal with elements in the works of
other philosophers: Elemental Passions (earth) and The Marine Lover of
Friedrich Nietzsche (water), and some argue that Speculum can also be
placed in this category (fire).

her emphasis on the elements: air, earth, fire, water, is part and
parcel of her development of a sensible transcendental, and the elements
operate on both literal and metaphorical levels (thus sensible
transcendental), as well as part of her own return to pre-Socratic
thinking.  usually, the elements are those that are ignored or devalued
in other works, and she excavates them deconstructively as 'symbols' for
the covering over of the feminine in metaphysics (the connection between
the abyss and the womb in her Heidegger book and others, for instance). 
it's complicated.

my advice is never to get your irigaray second hand, no matter how
honest or good the source.  each of her books is part of a fairly well
unified (though i admit unified by the logic of metaphor and symbol more
than by linearity) project, and her parole is so uniquely her own that
one, i think, really should get immersed for themselves.  she a very
poetic writer, and no two people read quite the same Irigaray for that

best to all,

michael david pennamacoor wrote:
> thankyou Noelle
> two or three initial questions:
> 1) are the "elements" earth & air meant literally or (in what way)
> metaphorically?
> 2) is not earth also abundant and the 'soil and root'  for all that
> be-comes and stirs (into life)? Heidegger also privileges light and the
> clearing afforded by lighting... what does Irigaray say about this
> privilege? Is it on a par with earth and oblivious in the same way of air?
> best wishes
> michael
> >Irigaray's main point in _The Forgetting of Air in Martin Heidegger_ is
> >that Heidegger privileges the element earth and is oblivious to the
> >element air, which is abundant and is where "everything comes to pass
> >and everything stirs" (13).
> >
> >--Noelle McAfee
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Woe to the writer who fails to cultivate
[her] megalomania, who sees it diminished
without taking action. [She] will soon 
discover that one does not become *normal*
with impunity.
		-- E.M. Cioran
		"On the Verge of Existence"

Simone Roberts
Ph.D. Candidate, Studies in Lit.
19 and 20 Century Euro-American Poetics, 
	Feminist Philosophy
The University of Texas-Dallas
School of Arts and Humanities
primary email:
secondary email:

Instructor, Art Institute of Dallas

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