viernes, noviembre 11, 2011

only in the face of a "was it you", says butler

Nietzsche did well to understand that I begin my story of myself only in the face of a "you” who asks me to give an account. Only in the face of such a query of attribution from an other—“Was it you?”—do any of us start to narrate ourselves, or find that, for urgent reasons, we must become self-narrating beings. Of course, it is always possible to remain silent in the face of such a question, where the silence articulates a resistence to the question: “you have no right to ask such a question,” or “I will not dignify this allegation with a response,…
Silence in these instances either calls into question the legitimacy of the authority invoked by the question and the questioner or attempts to circumscribe a domain of autonomy that cannot or should not be intruded upon by the questioner. The refusal to narrate remains a relation to narrative and to the scene of address. As a narrative withheld, it either refuses the relation that the inquirer presupposes or changes that relation so that the one queried refuses the one who queries.


I exist in an important sense for you, and by virtue of you. If I have lost the conditions of address, if I have no “you” to address, then I have lost “myself.”

Giving an account of oneself,  de Judith Butler

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