A Multilateral Perspective
17 INTRODUCTION Susan Yi Sencindiver, Marie Lauritzen and Maria Beville ‘Nobody – that’s my name’ – Homer, The Odyssey, IX Self and other: indelibly divided, irrevocably united The Delphic injunction to know thyself, to understand oneself as self, paradoxi- cally entails alienating self-reflection and the awareness that the limits of any entity, hence its individuation, are determined by what lies outside these limits – otherness. As the necessary limit against which the self can be defined, otherness has been inseparable from human identity and affairs from time immemorial – the birth of subjectivity ineluctably implicates the birth of its concomitant and allegedly dark twin. But where is this schism between the I and other located? In what ways are their complex relations constructed and discerned? In spite of the explanatory chasm between, as well as our age-old concern with, these wrinkled interdependent twins, the longevity of their pertinence does not diminish nor has the critical attention it acutely demanded in recent years abated. In undertaking to debate otherness from new angles and agendas, this collection has been con- sciously compiled as work written in and to a contemporary world continuously struggling with the issue of otherness. It supposes a space for dialogue in which new considerations of otherness across interdisciplinary boundaries can be opened and remain active. Traversing scholarly and cultural boundaries, delving into diverse media and genres, it is both diverging and converging, both theoreti- cal and practical, both interdisciplinary but also quite focused on its pertinent subject matter. Existing since ancient times,...
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