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Otherness

A Multilateral Perspective

Edited By Susan Yi Sencindiver, Maria Beville and Marie Lauritzen

In recent decades, theoretical and critical studies have oscillated between, on the one hand, wrestling otherness from a condition in which it is dependent on and defined relative to the notion of the same and, on the other hand, pursuing an approach to sameness and universality uncontaminated by otherness. Yet these concepts continuously prove mutually dependent. Together, they constitute a dynamic and productive tension which this book addresses. Inquiring into the representations and nature of self-other relationships in art, literature and culture, the chapters are written in and to a contemporary world struggling with the critical question of otherness and its present-day status. Given the complexity and multidimensional nature of otherness, a multilateral focus is called for and so this collection of selected essays brings together a range of scholarly disciplines and inquiries to engage in a multilateral discussion of otherness.

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PART II HOSTING OR OUSTING THE OTHER

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PART II HOSTIG OR OUSTIG THE OTHER 107 4 HOW CAN WE MEET THE OTHER? Luce Irigaray The other. Have you already encountered the other? If so, what does this other look like? Godot? A barbarian? God? The snark? Perhaps a terrorist? Or a poor person dying of hunger in a country very far from mine? How can we recognise the other? People talk a great deal about the other today. But do they have any idea of what or who the other is? What is the content of the word when you say: the other? What place might this other have for you? A space of waiting for other things or other people? A space of fear about what could happen to you? Of hope or anxiety that you feel about something which could occur or someone who could arrive, altering your habits? Of need or refusing to take something or someone into your care, of investing in some way feelings that for the moment are lacking an object? Perhaps this other could be someone who is able to gather us together, or an occasion for meeting or reuniting thanks to a common hatred for the enemy or a common pity for the poor creature whom we have to integrate into our economically and culturally more advanced country? Might not the other, about which or about whom people so often speak in our time, correspond to a need for our survival? A necessary object for our invest- ments? An...

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