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Cut of the Real: Subjectivity in Poststructuralist Philosophy (Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture) [Hardcover]

Katerina Kolozova

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Book Description

14 Feb 2014 Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture
Following Francois Laruelle's nonstandard philosophy and the work of Judith Butler, Drucilla Cornell, Luce Irigaray, and Rosi Braidotti, Katerina Kolozova reclaims the relevance of categories traditionally rendered "unthinkable" by postmodern feminist philosophies, such as "the real," "the one," "the limit," and "finality," thus critically repositioning poststructuralist feminist philosophy and gender/queer studies. Poststructuralist (feminist) theory sees the subject as a purely linguistic category, as always already multiple, as always already nonfixed and fluctuating, as limitless discursivity, and as constitutively detached from the instance of the real. This reconceptualization is based on the exclusion of and dichotomous opposition to notions of the real, the one (unity and continuity), and the stable. The non-philosophical reading of postructuralist philosophy engenders new forms of universalisms for global debate and action, expressed in a language the world can understand. It also liberates theory from ideological paralysis, recasting the real as an immediately experienced human condition determined by gender, race, and social and economic circumstance.

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Cut of the Real is an important and original contribution to the complex discussions relating to subjectivity and identity. Through her nuanced reading of Lacan and Laruelle, Katerina Kolozova creates a powerful argument for a notion of democratic love that allows us to break through some of the ambiguities that have attended discussions of subjectivity, human nature, and the possibility of meaningful or radical social change. Her book will be a must-read in fields as diverse as philosophy, anthropology, and law. -- Drucilla Cornell, Rutgers University Kolozova's important new book is a fascinating disruption of the assumptions of post-structuralist feminism. Her creative extension of the 'non-philosophy' of Laruelle radicalizes feminist philosophy as it expands possibilities for theorizing the real as experienced. This is a major contribution to the new materialism. -- Jodi Dean, Hobart and William Smith Colleges Cut of the Real is destined to be an important contribution to ongoing debates in feminist, queer, gender, and race theory, as well as the newly emerging philosophical trend of speculative realism. It is my belief that Kolozova's book is the best introduction to Laruelle's thought to date and that it does an exceptional job discussing why it is valuable and what it can do. -- Levi R. Bryant, Collin College

About the Author

Katerina Kolozova is professor of philosophy and gender studies at the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities Research in Skopje, Macedonia, and has been a member of the International Organization of Non-philosophy since its founding. She is the author of The Lived Revolution: Solidarity with the Body in Pain as the New Political Universal, coeditor of Gender and Identity: Theories from and/or on Southeastern Europe, and editor of Conversations with Judith Butler: Crisis of the Subject.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 17 Feb 2014
By Jeremy Smith - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Within the first few pages of this book, I realized that this was NOT a speculative realist text, contrary to Bryant's commentary on the back of the book. This was a very emotional text that deals with the duality between a transcendental subject and an immanent "illegitimate" nonsymbolic Real, a synthesis between nonphilosophy (or non-standard philosophy) with Butler's work on mattering and affirming bodies. The reason why I say that this is not a speculative realist text is because non-philosophy is not always-already for-philosophy, but philosophy is affected by non-philosophy; realism, and in its current phase of speculation, is as every bit reactionary as idealism is by anthropomorphizing and legitimating the real, by purifying it, and so on...whatever your cup of tea towards this review, Kolozova describes these acts within the first few pages.

What I found so beautiful and emotionally striking is actually the post-script to the second chapter, "On the Real and the Imagined," which attempts to synthesize the AND-philosophy of Deleuze with non-philosophy (on Laruelle's terms); in the post-script, Katerina includes Butler's philosophy of liveability and the "derealization" of (transcendental) bodies that occurs with realist thought, especially Badiou. I found this a very compelling and worthwhile contribution to understanding the duality between materialism and the real (not realism).

Furthermore, the emphasis on the Stranger is very important to Kolozova's critique of poststructuralism and feminism. We have here a product of intense emotional mediation between the real (which is deemed "unliveable") and materialism/idealism. Laruelle's introduction adds to this intensity, and I recommend readers for this book to look for Laruelle's and Anne-Francois Schmid's "L'identite sexuee." Highly recommended.
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