Obscene Supplements, or, What We Write About When We Write About Death
PostModern Productions, 2001
7 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2016
Date Written: July 14, 2001
How do we speak of death? How do we speak of women's death? All speech, writes Derrida, requires a supplement; all speech is no more than supplement. But women's death, in refugee camps, in wars, in homes, is so often uniquely, obscenely supplemented with rape and mutilation. Women may die as "people," even as "humans." As a mass grave, a release of smoke, a tangle of bones, as the compound womenandchildren. Women may not die, singularly, as women, without being supplemented. Ingeborg Bachmann's novel Malina offers a fantastical reprieve: its narrator speaks the murder of a woman, a murder that belongs to no one, to which no one belongs, that answers for itself, that answers no one.
Keywords: Ingeborg Bachmann, Malina, Derrida, Rousseau, Emile, rape, differance, Of Grammatology
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