2008 | 56 | 2 | 201-228
Article title

"Ženské psaní" jako inscenace limit textu

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This article examines the nature of the relationship between the kind of textual politics, here referred to as ‘women’s writing’, and the dominant discursive practice of Czech culture, whose logic and functioning is best encapsulated in the Derridean term ‘phallogocentrism’. Women’s writing is defined here as the kind of writing which locates itself outside the domain and logic of a phallogocentric discourse, trying to challenge and undermine its hegemonic status. In this respect, women’s writing is not delimited by the sex of an author, but by his/her gendered subjectivity, his/her position within the discursive formation, and his/her attitude to hegemonic language practices. Women’s writing, as understood in this thesis, critically reflects upon the role of language as a decisive medium for our thinking, and questions the notion of subjectivity, which is usually equated with the Cartesian Ego and conceived as an autonomous entity. Through its textual strategies, women’s writing reflects upon the fact that we all are inevitably ‘inserted’ into language. Consequently, rather than striving to free itself of – inevitable – discursive formation and constraints, it highlights the formative role of language by means of an ironic, palimpsest-like re-writing of conventional literary narratives, as well as by means of textual politics defined by the continuous displacement of meaning. The criticism of the phallogocentric concept of subjectivity is on the one hand informed by the decentring of the identity of the narrating subject, and on the other by one’s awareness of one’s epistemic situatedness within a particular discursive space. The logic and economy of women’s writing is determined by the tension between its drive towards non-phallogocentric discourse, and its paradoxical, yet inevitable dependence on symbolic codes and hegemonic discursive practices. The subversive potential of women’s writing, as understood here, is thus not situated within a space seen as a radical ‘beyond’, but is directed inwards, into the fissures of the phallogocentric discourse itself. In order to exemplify the features of women’s writing, the article discusses a novel Slabikář otcovského jazyka (A Primer of the Father Tongue) by Sylvie Richterová (who is, apart from Součková, Linhartová, Hodrová, and Hrabal, one of the authors discussed in a monograph of which the present article is an excerpt). Richterová’s novel, which may be read as a radical reassessment of the genre of autobiography, is considered in the article a fragmented space of memory, which provides an ambiguous ground for an attempt to integrate a discontinuous identity, an integration that can never be fully accomplished. The paper then argues that one’s identity can never be grasped as a full and unmediated presence due to both the nature of language based on the mechanism of constant deferral (Derrida) and the nature of always already split subjectivity based on an essential and constitutive lack (Lacan).
Physical description
  • Česká literatura, redakce, Ústav pro českou literaturu AV ČR, v.v.i., Na Florenci 3, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
Document Type
Publication order reference
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