Apophasis and Transgression in Contemporary Theoretical Discourse
Part Two: Language and Beyond: Apophatic Transgression
Transgression deranges the promise of a beyond or the promise of an otherwise: it is an act, always active and for that reason unassignable, ungraspable otherwise than by that which it opposes. Making the immoveable squeak and upsetting the state of things, transgression never rests. That is why it needs to maintain that which it annuls, and why it aims not at annihilation of its limit, but at rerouting it in other forms to another place. Transgressing is always exceeding but never achieving. It is bending without breaking, biting without consuming.
Georges Bataille, 1958 interview
We are accustomed to viewing transgression as simply a going against established law or order. However, in this traditional sense, which implies a clear opposition between those who obey and those who oppose authority, it turns out that transgression inevitably recognizes or even seems to reassert the order it strives to undermine. For it may be argued that while being publicly punished in the name of the law, transgressors in fact confirm and reinforce it. While following the main line of investigation of the whole work, this Part intends to take up the challenge of rethinking the notion of transgression through reading apophatic mystical writing while at the same time taking cues from the remarkable insights provided by contemporary French theorists, eminently Maurice Blanchot and Georges Bataille. It will be demonstrated that within the postmodern reconceptualisation, transgression becomes reconceived as not oppositional at all. This type of transgression belongs...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.