quarta-feira, 29 de julho de 2015

The master’s wife, children and animals – the order of carnophallogocentrism.

by Anette Kristensson

When the Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek, in her novel Lust, describes the husband of the small family in terms of being a master of pets she really pinpoints the structural powers of domestication.
The child is here conceived of, used and in the end killed as a pet because he can not fulfil the role of being a substitute for his mothers lover.
The brutal misogynic violence in the story is described trough metaphors of animal abuse – like, e.g., dogs pulled on the leash, mastered horses, or as the fragmentation of slaughtered bodies. In using these metaphors the connection between animal- woman- child-abuse becomes obvious. There is structure in the violence.
And it is not just on a metaphorical level. The reason why these metaphors work so well is because this kind of violence is worst when it comes to the animal. There is no limit to the violence here. As the French philosopher Jacques Derrida explained there is no “though shall not kill” when it comes to the animal. Derrida give a name to this cultural phenomenon -carnophallogocentrism. The oppressive structures of power, signified by Derrida’s neologism, goes to the very core of the western civilisation and its archaic roots needs to be analyzed. In Jelinek’s novel the connections between carnocentrism, phallocentrism and logocentrism is shown trough the oppressive structure in the family.

Anette Kristensson (born 1977) have studied mostly continental philosophy and aesthetics and wrote my master thesis about Jacques Derrida’s concept of carnophallogocentrism. Now, I am going to develop this topic in my PhD in Child and Youth studies at Stockholm University.

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