Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Tina Chanter on Antigone's universal uncanniness.
For Heidegger, Antigone’s dying is a “becoming homely” that is unhomely in the proper way, that is, “out of a belonging to being” rather than a being unhomely in the improper way, by being “driven about amid beings without any way out”. By taking on, enduring suffering Antigone becomes supremely uncanny, she makes the uncanny fitting, that is, she is at home with “being unhomely”. As such, for Heidegger, she embodies the truly human, which is to make herself at home in that in which one is not at home, the not-human in the sense of that which is of “no avail”. In championing Antigone’s uncanniness, her way of abiding in the uncanny, Heidegger recognizes her extraordinariness, yet is too quick to convert this into an exemplary trait of humanity. For Heidegger to elide the difference between the way in which Antigone is not at home in the polis, and the ways others are not at home, short-circuits the question of sexual difference and ignores Antigone’s radical exclusion from the polis, ignores that she is not at home in the way that free men are, since they are citizens. Heidegger eclipses this difference, and with it sexual/racial difference, by making Antigone’s uncanniness representative of human’s uncanniness in general.
Pp. 446-7
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