In an interview published in
1984, Foucault gives a surprising account of what helped him escape
the intellectual horizon of the 1950s – a horizon which was
so under the influence of Marxism, phenomenology, and existentialism
that, Foucault says, it left him feeling suffocated. ‘I was
like every philosophy student at the time and, for me, the rupture
may not be coincidental (Lamont, 1993: 10). Thompson uses the term
‘ritualized phenomenology’ to describe the Tibetan Buddhist account
of death, saying that the dissolution meditation provides ‘a script for
enacting certain states of consciousness as one dies’ and is ‘more performative and prescriptive than descriptive’. He suggests that it ‘doesn’t
so much present a phenomenological description of death as rehearse
and enact a phenomenology of death as a ritual performance’ (2014:
291). Exit the King operates in a similar manner. Marguerite guides
Paris-born, Jesuit-trained, Lacan (1901–81) –
for a short time a young member of the royalist Action française
– studied as a medic, taking a doctorate in psychiatry on
‘Paranoid Psychosis and Its Relation to Personality’ in
1932. He began psychoanalysis with Rudolph Loewenstein; in 1933, he
began attending lectures on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit
(1807) given by Alexandre Kojève (1902–68), which
theorists such as Jane Bennett, whose concept
of ‘thing-power’ in Vibrant Matter (2010) seeks to ‘acknowledge
that which refuses to dissolve completely into the milieu of human
knowledge’ while aiming to ‘attend to the it as actant’.10 Even more
recently, Ian Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology (2012) situates things
at the centre of being and advocates the use of metaphor in philosophy as a means of glimpsing things as they exist outside of
human consciousness.11 The work of Levi Bryant (2011) puts entities at all levels of scale on equal ontological footing and Timothy
is useful to look at the play through what Stiegler defines as ‘spirit’. This, as
mentioned before, is a combination of belief and desire, inherited partly
from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, and which Stiegler elaborates in
States of Shock:
This phenomenology of spirit is a processuality, wherein it is a matter of
abandoning the individual as point of departure (as Cartesian subject, the
transcendental subjectivity of the I think.) […] For Hegel, in other words, it
is a matter of overcoming the opposition between the psychic and the collective
ourselves’, and yet also insist that ‘reading Beowulf , even after all these years is not like talking to an old friend’.
And yet, even though the poem offers itself up to questions of old friends very naturally, intimacy is rarely articulated openly as a guiding critical framework.
Many times when intimacy is invoked in places where we would expect to see it – in queer theory, affect studies, and theories of sensation or phenomenology – it functions metaphorically as a descriptor of a certain kind
Foregrounding the body and performance in plays by Gina Moxley, Emma Donoghue and Marina Carr
Spaces: Phenomenology and Performance in
Contemporary Drama (Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University
Press), 1994, pp. 186–7.
Elaine Aston, An Introduction to Feminism and Theatre (London and
New York: Routledge, 1995), pp. 51–2.
Lib Taylor, ‘Shape-shifting and Role-splitting: Theatre, Body and Identity’,
in Naomi Segal, Lib Taylor and Roger Cook (eds), Indeterminate Bodies
(London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pp. 164–5.
Judith Butler, ‘Performative Acts and Gender Constitution’ in Julie Rivkin
and Michael Ryan (eds), Literary Theory: An Anthology, second edition
‘Transformational objects’ and the Gothic fiction of Richard Marsh
to this edition
and are given in the text.
20 B. O. States, Great Reckonings in Little Rooms: On The Phenomenology of
Theatre (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press,
1985), p. 35.
21 R. Marsh, The Joss: A Reversion (1901; Chicago: Valancourt, 2007), p. 26.
All subsequent references are to this edition and are given in the text.
22 E. Jentsch, ‘On the psychology of the uncanny’ (1906), Angelaki: Journal of
the Theoretical Humanities, 2:1 (1997), 7–16 (p. 13).
‘Transformational objects’ and the Gothic fiction of Marsh
, ‘Fantasizing Infanticide: Lady Macbeth and the Murdering Mother in Early Modern England’, College Literature , 32 (2005), pp. 72–91; and Joanna Levin, ‘Lady Macbeth and the Daemonologie of Hysteria’. ELH , 69 (2002), pp. 21–55.
21 Julia Reinhard Lupton, ‘ Macbeth 's Martlets: Shakespearean Phenomenologies of Hospitality’, Criticism , 54 (2012), pp. 365–76 (p. 372).
22 Alvin Kernan, Shakespeare, the King’s Playwright: Theater in the Stuart Court, 1603–1613 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995), p. 77
The Digby Mary Magdalen and Lewis Wager’s Life and Repentaunce of Marie Magdalene
to religious representation. In
short, throughout history orthodox defences of images have coincided with questions about their validity. In its ‘frequent insistence on the power of “shewing” and corporeal apprehension of
sacred truths’, the Digby Mary Magdalen seems to celebrate ‘the
very phenomenology of theater, the embodying of narrative’.39
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Sanctity as literature
But as Coletti has suggested, in places it seems to challenge this
materially determined, on the one hand offering up a