Performativitiy and mimicry At the beginning of this

Performativitiy and mimicry  At the beginning of this

Performativitiy and mimicry At the beginning of this century, a Pole and a Jew were sitting in a train, facing each other. The Pole was shifting nervously, watching the Jew all the time, something was irritating him; finally, unable to restrain himself any longer, he exploded: Tell me, how do you Jews succeed in extracting from people the last small coin and in this way accumulate all your wealth? The Jew replied: Ok, I will tell you, but not for nothing; first, you give me five zloty. After receiving the required amount, the Jew began: First, you take a dead fish; you cut off her head and put her entrails in a glass of water. Then around

midnight, when the moon is full, you must bury this glass in a churchyard . And, the Pole interrupted him greedily, if I do all this, will I also become rich? Not too quickly, replied the Jew; This is not all you must do; but if you want to hear the rest, you must pay me another five zloty! After receiving the money again, the Jew continued his story; soon afterwards, he again demanded more money, and so on, until finally the Pole exploded in fury: You dirty rascal, do you really think I did not notice what you were aiming at? There is no secret at all, you simply want to extract the last small coin from me! The Jew answered him calmly and with resignation: Well, now you see how we, the Jews ... (Zizek, Sublime Object

Performativity in language Constative performative (J. L. Austin) speech acts locution, illocution, perlocution It is raining Performative utterances (explicit performatives) no content apart from performing a verbal act - bringing about some change in the

state of things inaugurations: I declare this meeting/ factory open court sentences baptism insult Successful use of performative Constative: true/false Performative: successful/unsuccessful,

felicitous/infelicitous Failure of the performative (1) misfire - false priest; actor on stage J. L. Austin: A performative utterance will, for example, be in a peculiar way hollow or void if said by an actor on the stage, or if introduced in a poem. ... Language in such circumstances is used not seriously, but in ways parasitic upon its normal use ... etiolations of language. (How To Do

Things with Words) (2) abuse - false intentions the act itself remains valid and binding Making promises Don Juan/Don Giovanni: verbal game of seduction abuse: Don Juans promises

DJ. azonnal hzassgra lpek veled Aminta: Csak ne csapj be! DJ: Vtkeznk, ha becsapnlak. Aminta: Eskdj meg, hogy teljested greted, s hogy nem lttsz.

DJ: Asszonyom, fehr kezedre, Poklok frissen hullt havra Eskszm: szavam megtartom! Aminta: Istenre eskdj, hogy tka Sjtson rd, ha megcsalsz engem. DJ: J, ha meg nem tartanm a Szt, mit adtam, Istent krem, Ne mltasson irgalmra, S ljn meg egy (flre) ... halott (fennh.) ...ember. (Flre) S vjon g, ha l tmad.

Aminta: Eskdnek hiszek, tekints h Ndnek ht. (Tirso de Molina: Don Juan) Don Juans abuses

DJ: I shall marry you immediately. Aminta: But dont deceive me, please! DJ: Deceiving you would be a crime. Aminta: Swear to me that you will be as good as your promise, amd that you are not having me on!

DJ: Seorita, I swear on your white hands, on the freshly fallen snows of hell, that I shall keep my word. Aminta: Swear on God, so that His curse may strike you if you deceive me. DJ: All right. If I fail to be as good as my given word, I ask God to exclude me from His grace, and to have me killed by (aside) a dead (aloud) man. (Aside) And may Heaven protect me if I am assaulted by anybody that is alive. Aminta: I believe your oath, consoder me your faithful wife.

(Tirso de Molina: Don Juan) paradox of the performative grammatical(?) markers of the performative: first person singular (or plural), present tense changing any of these parameters: performative constative I promise = I describe my act of making a promise

A lovers vow, they say, is no vow at all (Plato) Csak nyelvem eskdtt, eszem nem volt vele (Euripides: Hyppolitos) The vow was made by my tongue only, my mind was not in/with it non-performative speech acts may have strong performative effects: warning, threat, flattery, provocation (agent provocateur)

seduction felicity= happiness It is extremely sweet to seduce a young beautys heart to submission, through a hundred flatteries ... But once you are master, there is no more to say, nor anything left to wish for; the best part of the passion is spent. (Molire: Don Juan) Shall I compare thee to a summers day?

he inquired politely. No thanks! I said. (Robert Nye: Mrs Shakespeare: The Complete Works)

Shall I compare thee to a summers day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summers lease hath all too short a date. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or natures changing course, untrimmed; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou owst, Nor shall death brag thou wandrest in his shade, When in eternal lines to Time thou growst. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. (Sonnet 18) The distinction between performative and constative is weakened also culturally: Reading The Waning of the Crescent Moon STRONG PERFORMATIVES Word magic, incantation, spell: real effect

Let there be light; Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters; Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness (Gen. 1: 3, 6, 26). The magic spell lodged in Rincewinds mind in Terry Pratchetts The Light Fantastic Strong performative In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (John 1: 1).

man lives from every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord (Deut. 8:3). Adam: the result of performative Jesus: performative itself All other things may be expressed in some way; He alone is ineffable, Who spoke and all things were made. He spoke and we were made; but we are unable to speak of him. His Word, by Whom we

were spoken, is His Son. He was made weak, so that He might be spoken by us, despite our weakness. (St. Augustine: De Magistro) Strong performative Old Testament: felicity (vows, pledges) New Testament: (historical) truth (accuracy of the gospels) Bible: shift from performative to constative

Performativity in culture Hermia: My good Lysander, I swear to thee by Cupids strongest bow, By his best arrow with the golden head, By the simplicity of Venuss doves, By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves, And by the fire which burned the Carthage queen When the false Trojan on the sail was seen, By all the vows that ever men have broke In number more than ever women spoke, In that same place thou hast appointed me

Tomorrow truly I will meet with thee. (Midsummer I.1.168-78) Performativity in culture Authority: not with the speaker DECLARATIONS John Searle: Declarations bring about some alteration in the status or condition of the... object or objects solely by virtue of the fact the declaration has been successfully performed.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection

between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. (Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence) Sandy Petrey: It was through speaking in the name of the American people that the delegates

produced a people to name; it was by invoking an authority that they established an authority to invoke. Derrida: the signers do not exist as an entity, the entity does not exist before this declaration, not as such. If it gives birth to itself, as free and independent subject, as possible signer, this can hold only in the act of signature. The signature invents the signer. Performativity and power

Whose is the authority? the judge cites the law The subject repeats, reiterates, cites, mimes gestures and phrases of power discourse precedes and enables the I the I only comes into being through being called, named Performativity in culture US Army Pentagon Policy instituted in 1993 (the Dont ask, dont tell policy)

Sexual orientation will not be a bar to service unless manifested by homosexual conduct. The military will discharge members who engage in homosexual conduct, defined as a homosexual act, a statement that the member is homosexual or bisexual, or a marriage or attempted marriage to someone of the same gender. Until 1993: Homosexuality is incompatible with military service Judith Butler and the performativity

of gender Judith Butler: Gender Trouble, Bodies That Matter one is not born, but rather becomes a woman (Simone de Beauvoir) woman is something we do rather than something we are performance vs performativity Performance: theatrical aspect (script and actor); there is already a subject who then

performs Performativity: the performer does not preexist the performance Its a girl! Its a boy! the term or, rather, its symbolic power, governs the formation of a corporeally enacted femininity that never fully approximates the norm. This is a girl, however, who is compelled to cite the norm in order to qualify and remain a viable subject. Femininity is thus not the product of a choice, but the forcible citation of a norm, one

whose complex historicity is indissociable from relations of discipline, regulation, punishment. (Judith Butler: Bodies That Matter 232) It is a girl: not a constative utterance, but an interpellation that initiates the process of girling, a process based on perceived and imposed differences between men and woman, differences that are cultural a subject is a subject-in-process that is

constructed in discourse(s) by the acts it performs a series of acts, little performances Butler: gender is the repeated stylization of the body, a set of repeated acts within a highly rigid regulatory frame that congeal over time to produce the appearance of substance, of a natural sort of being. (Gender Trouble) There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender; that identity is

performatively constructed by the very expressions that are said to be its results. (Gender Trouble 25) Performance as subversion putting on gender Performance as accomplishment, completion of a task Performance as show, spectacle: showing that the second sense of performance is always there in the first

Performance as subversion Joan Rivire: womanliness as masquerade performativity, parody, drag as ways of subverting gender: overdoing things in order to show forth their constructedness if all gender is a form of enactment, miming of a kind of unreachable ideal, then all gender is parody

drag In imitating gender, drag implicitly reveals the imitative nature of gender itself as well as its contingency (GT 137) Cindy Sherman: Untitled Film Stills

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