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Logics of Separation

Exile and Transcendence in Aesthetic Modernity


Michael Stone-Richards

This book is made up of a set of innovative close readings and meditations on the significance of the modes and logics of separation in the thinking of aesthetic modernity. Separation is defined in Hegelian and psychoanalytic terms as psychic processes in the formation of identity that necessarily entail self-division and estrangement in the emergence of subjectivity and social identity. This phenomenon, called subjection, has been at the core of psychoanalytic readings since the work of Melanie Klein.
The works under consideration in the volume include material by W.E.B. Du Bois, Frantz Fanon, C.L.R. James, Ralph Ellison, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Paul Celan, as well as the sorrow songs/Negro Spirituals. In each case the moment of passivity and modes of separation are approached as sites of inescapable conflict. The varying psychic, ethical, and political tensions underwriting this experience are examined in detail for each case study.


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List of Illustrations -xvii


Illustrations Fig. 1 Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, frontispiece, Dictée (1982) 46 Fig. 2 Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Tongue Tied (1976), typewritten text on white cloth. University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; gift of the Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Memorial Foundation 48 Fig. 3 Guy Debord, scenario from Critique de la separation (1961) 62 Fig. 4 Opening still (Vampire) from Commentaire (1980) 69 Fig. 5 Closing still (Allan Gray) from Commentaire (1980) 70 Fig. 6 Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, cover, Dictée 84 Fig. 7 Detail, “Polymnia Sacred Poetry,” Dictée 85 Fig. 8 Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Mouth to Mouth (1975), single-channel video tape with sound of Korean vowels. University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; gift of the Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Memorial Foundation 85 Fig. 9 The framing of Dictée: the wide angle (cinemascope) ef fect of perspective 86 Fig. 10 Chinese nationals being buried alive by the Japanese, c. 1936–1937 132 Fig. 11 “Clio History,” Dictée (1982) 133 Fig. 12 “Elitere Lyric Poetry,” Dictée 169 Fig. 13 Yu-Guan Soon with class of girls from Ewha Christian School 170 Fig. 14 Detail from back cover, Dictée 170 Fig. 15 “Clio History,” Dictée 171 Fig. 16 The closing photography of “Calliope Epic Poetry”, Dictée 187 xviii Illustrations Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyright material. The publisher apologizes for any errors or...

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