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2. The Violence of Rhetoric: Considerations on Representation and Gender

Teresa de Lauretis Indiana University Press ePub

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Older women are more skeptical in their heart of hearts than any man; they believe in the superficiality of existence as in its essence, and all virtue and profundity is to them merely a way to cover up this “truth,” a very welcome veil over a pudendum—in other words, a matter of decency and shame, and nothing more!

—FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, The Gay Science

Even the healthiest woman runs a zigzag course between sexual and individual life, stunting herself now as a person, now as a woman.

—Lou ANDREAS-SALOMÉ, Zur Psychologie der Frau

Woman’s skepticism, Nietzsche suggests, comes from her disregard for truth. Truth does not concern her. Therefore, paradoxically, woman becomes the symbol of Truth, of that which constantly eludes man and must be won, which lures and resists, mocks and seduces, and will not be captured. This skepticism, this truth of nontruth, is the “affirmative woman” Nietzsche loved and was, Derrida suggests. It is the philosophical position Nietzsche himself occupies and speaks from—a position which Derrida locates in the terms of a rhetoric, “between the ‘enigma of this solution’ and the ‘solution of this enigma’” (1976b, p. 51).1 The place from where he speaks, the locus of his enunciation, is a constantly shifting place within discourse (philosophy), a rhetorical function and construct; and a construct which—call it différance, displacement, negativity, internal exclusion, or marginality—has become perhaps the foremost rhetorical trope of recent philosophical speculation. However, in speaking from that place, from the position of woman, Nietzsche need not “stunt” himself “now as a person, now as a woman,” as his contemporary and sometime friend Lou Andreas-Salomé admittedly did.2 The difference between them, if I may put it bluntly, is not différance but gender.

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11. Ian Bogost: Anxieties, Procedures, and Game Studies

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

IN LATE 2012, IAN BOGOST PRESENTED A PUBLIC LECTURE AND exhibited some of his work at the University of North Florida’s Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum’s director, Marcelle Polednik, in a press release advertising the event, described Bogost as “one of the foremost scholars and designers of games and game theory. . . . [His work is used to] both reflect on and deploy the media of today to highlight timely topics and issues to a wider audience.” Most who have had occasion to read Bogost’s writing or listen to him speak would probably recognize that, in Polednik’s description, there is a lot of truth. Bogost’s work is widely read and cited both inside and outside academic circles, he is a coeditor of an influential series in game studies (MIT Press’s Platform Studies series), and he has produced thought-provoking video games that model how we might think about design itself as a kind of critical practice.

Bogost often discusses the subjects he critiques – games, academia, business, and so on – with a pervasive cynicism and a seemingly entrenched skepticism. His work tends to favor clarity and directness over hyperbole and obfuscation, a characteristic that makes it hard to believe he would be comfortable accepting the kinds of accolades that Polednik’s statement ascribes to him. In the interview in this chapter, for example, he is somewhat blasé about the success he has had in a relatively short period of time, suggesting that “someone would have made similar observations at that time if it hadn’t been me.”

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Medium 9780253016966

1932

Colin Crisp Indiana University Press ePub

Blood of a Poet

France, 1932, 65 min, b&w

Dir and Scr Jean Cocteau; Asst dir Michel Arnaud and Louis Page; Prod Vicomte de Noailles; Cinematog Georges Périnal; Music Georges Auric; Art dir Jean d’Eaubonne; Sound Henri Labrély; Act Enrique Rivero (the poet), Lee Miller (the statue), Pauline Carton, Féral Benga (black angel), Jean Desbordes, and Odette Talazac.

In 1929, the Vicomte de Noailles provided Jean Cocteau, Luis Buñuel, and Man Ray with a million francs each to produce whatever films they wanted to in total liberty. Buñuel produced L’Âge d’or (#3); Cocteau produced Le Sang d’un poète. Initially an animated film had been proposed, but Cocteau rapidly came to see that the necessary techniques were complex and would take much of the control out of his hands. He decided to make a film exploring visually and dynamically the same themes that he had been exploring in his literary works and sketches. His desire for total personal control made him one of the first and most outspoken advocates of what was later to be called auteurism: “A work written by one man and brought to the screen by another is merely a translation. . . . A writer must not let someone else interpret a work written with his left hand, but rather plunge both hands into the work and construct an object in a style equivalent to his writing style.”56

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Syria

Roy Armes Indiana University Press ePub

Contemporary Lebanese cinema in the 2000s, like Algerian filmmaking, is largely a cinema of exiles. Many of the new generation, born since 1960, have close links with Paris, among them Philippe Aractingi, Michel Kammoun, Chadi Zeneddine, and more recently, Georges Hachem.

Philippe Aractingi, who was born in 1964 in Beirut, studied at the CLCF in Paris. He began his television career in Lebanon, before moving back to Paris, where he worked for twenty years in French television, many of his documentaries dealing with Arab issues. He has subsequently made two feature films in Lebanon.

The Bus / L’autobus / Bosta (2005), described by its author as a musical road movie and a huge popular success in Lebanon, was a very conscious effort on Aractingi’s part to get beyond the constant chronicling of deaths and disasters which characterized his documentary output for French television. On the death of his father, Kamal, a composer and choreographer, returns from fifteen years of exile in France to reunite some of his dance-school classmates to present his new “techno” version of the traditional Lebanese dance, the dabke. When this is rejected out-of-hand by the authorities overseeing the national festival at Anjar, the group decide to renovate the old school bus and take their dance production on a tour around Lebanon. They are supported by a national television company which broadcasts daily accounts of their progress (but only, as Kamal finally discovers, for sordid commercial reasons).

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4. Coming Home to the Colonies

Ruth Ben-Ghiat Indiana University Press PDF

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Coming Home to the Colonies

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specter haunted Italian nation building and the imperial histo  ries entwined with it: the emigrant, emblem of a poor country’s inability to provide for its citizens. Other European powers, too, had unprecedented levels of mobility in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries due to migrations and colonial expansions, but the Italian state saw mass defections on an unparalleled scale. Thirteen million Italians left between 1880 and 1915, with two to four hundred thousand more emigrating every year until the end of the 1920s, a global dispersion that has led scholars such as Donna Gabaccia to label Italy a “diasporic nation.”

The immensity of this loss shaped Italian imperial ideologies, from their emphasis on the colonies as sites of demographic development to their inclusion of Italian communities abroad along with Italy’s actual territorial possessions in visions of Italy’s global reach. Although a number of emigrants returned to Italy during the dictatorship, the existence of this “nation outside the Nation,” as one Fascist official called it in 1935, allowed the regime to reinvent the Italian nation as a potentially transnational entity, with communities of “Italians abroad” held together by affective ties and modern communications technologies. Thus did Mussolini appeal to “Italians all over the world” in his Oc­to­ber 2, 1935, speech as “transmigrants”—a term that captures the sense of living among and between more than one country. The Ethiopian War consolidated this imaginary, with East and North Africa posited as homelands outside Italy

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