All entries for Thursday 11 May 2006

May 11, 2006

Research Seminar with Luce Irigaray

Place: H503, Humanities Building, Univerity of Warwick.
Date: 10th May 2006 Time: 5pm
Chairperson: Sherah Welles

Interestingly, at this seminar, I was able to ask Irigaray about her relation to poetry. She said in reply a number of interesting things.

*That 'poetry is closer to truth than abstract logic'.

*That poetry represents 'the whole being'.

*That poetry is 'not repressive'.

*That poetry represents 'the present moment'.

*That she was also interested in poiesis i.e. doing, making, creation.

She specified that it is poetic language rather than poetry itself which could create a dialogue between one and an other. She said also that as in Eastern philosophies, she sees poetry, philosophy, religion as being the same

Going on from the topic of poetry, we began to think about feminine language and the fact that Irigaray asserts that men cannot speak in a feminine language. To illustrate what she meant, she gave some examples of working with very young children and the senetnce structures that they used in exercises. Irigaray suggested that boys always coupled "I" with an object or with plural others. The relation "in two" was not used by the boys. Irigaray thought that the boys were preoccupied with a relation to sameness.

When Irigaray asked children to put together sentences with "I" and "you", girls created sentences such as 'You and I share the same taste', where as boys created sentences such as 'I hate you'. For Irigaray, male language must always be preoccupied with objects. Girls created sentences like 'I will always go with you to the cinema' and boys would write 'I went to the meeting with my bicycle'. Irigaray suggested that boys need to become more intersubjective in relation to difference and that the girl needs to construct mediation.

Irigaray disagrees with Chomsky about the idea of a universal syntax. For Irigaray, this universal syntax is a masculine syntax of subject–object relation.

When asked about stillness, Irigaray explained that it is 'a way of gathering with one's own touch and letting the touch of another be'. It is 'going outside Western culture which is a culture of talking'. She describes one and an other as 'being both relational and constrained to be in solitude'.


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