Enduring the Love-Distance Relationship

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Enduring the Love-Distance Relationship a Discourse of Otherness in Barthes and Bartkowski
Wilson, Andrew D
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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Master's ( M.A.)
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University of Florida
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Leavey, John P
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Sanchez, Raul
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Alienation ( jstor )
Connectivity ( jstor )
Discourse ( jstor )
Femininity ( jstor )
Kinship ( jstor )
Kissing ( jstor )
Love ( jstor )
Love relationships ( jstor )
Mothers ( jstor )
Otherness ( jstor )
English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
barthes -- deconstruction -- kinship -- love -- otherness
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theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
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Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
English thesis, M.A.


The concept of “otherness” is familiar tocountless discourses. As the nominal figure of “the outside” or “outsider,” “the other” is continually at the center of critical concepts of community ranging from the global politics of nationality to the interpersonal sphere of “the family.”  But regardless of the particular discourse, discourses typically address the figure of “the other” as a problem that needs to be solved—a figure that must be accounted for as something or someone other than “the other.” My essay is essentially a critique of this task, not of the task of addressing the vicissitudes of “otherness,” but of our discursive capacity to erase the figure of “the other” from concepts of community and formulas of intersubjectivity.  Turning to Rolland Barthes’s Lover’s Discourse, my essay will argue the necessary role “the other” plays in any theory of “relatedness.” Looking specifically at care theory, as addressed in Frances Bartkowski’s Kissing Cousins: A New Kinship Bestiary, I will address the structural impasse we face in attempting to connive of relatedness, even a most expansive or “open” way, without at some point marking an outside or outsider. In this sense, Barthes offers a context for understanding the vicissitudes of otherness while, at the same time, appreciating their necessity. ( en )
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Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2012.
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by Andrew D Wilson.

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2 2012 Andrew Wilson


3 To Mom


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I want to thank John P. Leavey, Ral Snchez English Department for their incredible support. I especial ly thank John P Leav e y for his generosity and patience. And as always, I t hank my mom for her u nwavering encouragement


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 6 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 8 2 BARTHES AND THE FRAGMENTED SELF ................................ .......................... 13 3 CARE THEORY AND THE FAMILIAL OTHER ................................ ....................... 22 4 T HE FAMILIARITY OF THE FAMILIAL AND ITS LIMIT CONNECTIVITY .............. 31 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 40 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 41


6 ABSTRACT OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE RE QUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS ENDURING THE LOVE DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP: A DISCOURSE OF OTHE RNESS IN BARTHES AND BART K OWSKI By ANDREW WILSON December 2012 Chair: John P Leavey Major: English s continually at the center of critical concepts of community ranging from the global politics of nationality to the interpersonal s a problem that needs to be solved a figure that must be accounted for as something or someone other than essentially a critique of this task, not of the task of addressing the vicissitudes of pacity to erase ically at care theory, as addressed in Frances Kissing Cousins: A New Kinship Bestiary I will address the structural impasse we face in attempting to connive of relatedness even a most expansive or marking a n outside or outsider. In this sense, Barthes


7 offers a context for understanding the vicissitudes of otherness while, at the same time, appreciating their necessity.


8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION with int entions akin to Despair: The Semiology of Lonely (Crane and Ino, 227), Crane and Ino read and question the modern phenomenon of lonely hearts ads as sympt omatic of both the contemporary state of human alienation and the human desire imposed through human relations (perhaps not by design) or foisted upon the species from some external source, it is clear that the species has long raged and continues to rage against the conditions of its existence. In common bond with this essay is twofold: First, on a general level, I turn towar to address the problem of conceiving of love exclusively in the other Second, my essay is itself an attempt to complicate a discursive desire to solve the problem of alienation. Unlike Crane and Ino, my inquiry is not a response to Marx or Marxism, but a response Kissing Cousins: A New Kinship Bestiary and the dynamics of feminist care theory. 1 But despite these differing contexts, our appeals t o 1 A Different Voice (Donovan, 305). Donovan and Carol Adams expand this concept in relation to animal studies, namely in their co edited collection The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics (2007). This essay, however, wi ll


9 Discourse share a vein: In response to a discourse that hopes to ameliorate the social the other (in the context of romantic love) and the discursive dynamics of selfhood this separation seems already imbedded in the question of connectivity. I will begin Discourse in the context of certain of his meditations on selfhood and su bjectivity. In the second, I will Kissing Cousins and its role in the discourse of care theory, with an emphasis on its stake in the problem of subjectivity. Lastly, in the third, I will address the politics of recognition and famili arity in and Kissing Cousins as implicated in the conceptual problem of otherness and alienation. In their study of lonely hearts ads, Crane and Ino make the striking observation simulacrum When the authors of personal ads describe themselves, this simulacrum becomes a point of departure, as their self descriptions, geared toward positing their unique or individual (individuating) qualities, are designed to dist ance them from an abstract (nameless, featureless) other But these deviations ultimately return each author to the that, far from differentiating qualities, are selected on the bases of their inclusionary individuation, the necessary initial ploy, is quickly subordinated to the common rubric of


10 ad communicates a painful sense of loneliness. Their turn to Barthes, then, is an attempt at articulating through Barthes the type of subject this longing creates, the subj ect determined by longing. In a section compassionately for an Other. Distance and unity, f ulfillment and desire: This is the type of subject determined by longing is predicated by the prese nce of an absent other. It is an other present in theory as the possibility for connection, but does not manifest beyond the simulacrum of absence a feeling imbedded in each lonely hearts ad. Discourse ostensible lack of treatment of sexuality (queerness) and g ender. On the issue of sexuality, Pierre Saint offers a compelling rebuke to critical responses to Discourse that interpret the text as an disinterest in corporal (sexual) eroticism. Saint Amand focuses his criticism on D. A. Bringing Out Roland Barthes (with regards to gay eroticism) on trial (Saint Am and 154). Saint Amand specifically


11 acknowledging the absence of this particular brand Discourse (and in the totality of his works), Saint Amand argues that Discourse is necessary to recall that, for Barthes, fragmentary w riting [in Discourse ] refuses form by a counter Discourse Di scourse, political a problem now to admit of an imaginary abstraction. In a real sense, the risk Barthes as ignoring the question of gender difference, but as deconstructing the masculinist tendency to want persona who is described as being sexually indifferent and inscribed in a constellation of figures that simulate the amorous subject as a feminized being, one who is gender (858). What we see in both these conversations (on sexuality and gender in Discourse ) ding of the subject in relation to a discourse of


12 difference other conceived as either the feminine larger question of how Barthes handles difference in terms of what that difference distances from a perceived subject. It is this same issue of difference as distance that human practice of creating the necessary conditions for an Other ache to take place, the conditions required even to anticipate an Other void that fulfills the possibility of discursive connectivity, is a way to implicate conversations about familial care in the context of romantic love to show that both discourses (care and love) meditations on longing addresses the conceptual nuances of how and where the other is situated in relation to the self without losing the affective sentiments that make (the pain of) alienation and longing a matter of critical concern C iterations thereof indeed address a pressing emotional need placement among others, as well as a need to adapt our comprehensions (of the self) to a more nuanced or less alienating discourse of connectiv ity. My reading of Bartkowski will amplify realm of the familial. In other words, without dismissing the affective sentiments that spur these inquiries, my focus is on the struct ural limitations of care in its attempt to ameliorate the condition of alienation, distance and separation of the self and other.


13 CHAPTER 2 BARTHES AND THE FRAGMENTED SELF In a 1982 SubStance A Discourse as] one of simulation: Fragments simulates the lover subject in discourse dis persed in the spray of figures in which he or she consists, comes together in love: a single being but a host of figures. On this closeness of simulation no metalanguage, no second order system of explanation (only, and with the lover, the action of a prim ary language) depends the effect of the book as a series of little scenes, tableaux an tension in Discourse Discourse indeed unites a series of fragmented voices, anecdotes and textual citations under the unified banner of a discourse on love these fragments do not constitute pieces of a whole; they cannot be assembled, nor do they work toward assembling, a singular figure of love. Each fragment is instead its own figure of love, of the lover, no more or less complete than the other fragments that Barthes constructs his Discourse in an attempt to pose certain of these figures in a kind of definitive stasis, claiming that the word figure


14 4). As such, the figures of this discourse do not refer to love, but pose love in a continual act of referencing What Discourse seems to oppose, then, is the concept of (there being) love as such a love as such exists, in this sense, only as a simulacrum determined by proxy of its innumerable figures. Barthes therefore does not use discourse as a way to discover, found or nominate a transcendent or opposition as such love apart from its gestures, affects and outbursts. series of is also in this context that Barthes faces the greatest task of his project: that of a priori signifi as such In other words, is the trial of putting into words a series of figures that refer to love without being already referred order system of explanati ex post facto recognition. take shape insofar as we can recognize, in passing discourse, something that has been read, heard, felt. The figure is outlined (like a sign) and memorable (like an image or a


15 (4). Barthes does not dismiss the tendency for a singular formation of love to emerge for the reader by dint of recognition. Indeed, it is necessary for each figure to invoke a sense of familiarity, a return to a pre established concept of love. Without such a return, reco gnition could not take place. Resisting an a priori concept of love is therefore not the same as denying its spectral function in the formation of discourse, especially if that discourse is based on the possibility of recognizing an er, resisting means positing the mutable properties of love (as such) as the substratum of its ostensibly singular discourse. Simply put, recognizing an a priori signification of love, but ultimately that recognition can onl y affirm the simulacra of love, as every return to the signifier is also a While Heath is certainly correct in identifying opposition to a order s singular form of Discourse nonetheless requires the ostensible singularity of love (as Discourse as captures the sense in which Discourse is about the ostensible character of love as a referent. By ostensible, I mean promiscuous the sense in which love is never faithful to one context, referent or idea. And yet, the referent (love) must appear to be fa ithful, or at least simulate faithfulness it must return, in some sense, to a familiar origin. The referent (love) must pretend to derive from an a priori context, even if that context is a simulacrum, a faithfulness that never existed. To understand the Discourse it may be helpful to see how Barthes ventures this basic task in Empire of Signs (published in 1970, seven years before Discourse ). Just


16 as Discourse explores love without attempting to posit it in terms of a singular co ncept, Empire of Signs Empire ostensibly centers on certain cultural elements of that particular nation. At the same time, however, Barthes' Japan is imagina in quotes for in Empire of features whose manipulation whose invented interplay allows [him] the idea of an unheard ( Empire 3). Moreover, while in Discourse Barthes explores love in a series of Empire ion of Empire person occurs, a subversion of earlier readings, a shock of meaning lacerated, asing to be Empire 4). In Empire Japan is a conceptual locus, the basis for simulation. But this locus does not exist be yond the real and fictive Japan (in short, simulacrum): It is real to the extent that it offers a recognizable fictive describes. In addition to the rhetorical similarities of Empire and Discourse much of what conception of language throughout urse for in both texts language is as


17 much the moment of contact between two (or more) bodies as it is the anatomy (the figure, form or pose) of the body itself. In other words, Barthes is insisting, in both texts, that the body is inseparable from langua ge and that language is inseparable from the interaction (communication) between bodies. The dynamics of this premise are more concrete in Empire where Barthes unfamiliar with the Japanese language confronts what we might call a language barrier: The un known language, of which I nonetheless grasp the respiration, the emotive aeration, in a word the pure significance, forms around me, as I move, a faint vertigo, sweeping me into its artificial emptiness, which is consummated only for me: I live in the int erstice, delivered from any fulfilled meaning. How did you deal with the language? Subtext: How did you satisfy that vital need of communication? Or more precisely, an ideological assertion masked by the practical interrogation: There is no communication e xcept in speech ( Empire 9) If not dismissing, Barthes is at least skeptical of the notion that a language barrier red from any fulfilled meaning he divines from its language is, at a certain point, imaginary a language cosigned to an intuitive hunch that defies any meaningful trans lation, as there is no means by which to gauge the intent or accuracy of any communication. Bodies in Japan the body exists, acts, shows itself, gives itself, without hysteria, without na rcissism, but according to a pure though subtly discontinuous person) which communicates (communicates what? our necessarily beautiful soul? our sincerity? our prestige?), but the whole body (eyes, smile, hair, gestures, clothing) which sustains with you a sort of babble that the perfect domination of the codes strips of all regressive, infantile character. (10)


18 what Barthes describes in this passage is a fictive body. As such, the Japanese body represents a meaning of signs. Barthes is instead absorbed in a kind of commu nication without signs, (communication) and signifier (meaning), in which every sign is itself a signifier. The fictive body is therefore irreducible to its expressions. T he body is already an expression ; its presence or lack of presence is a communication before it attempts to communicate. Beyond the distinction between sign and signifier, what must also dissolve in the e of self that would place Barthes as of symbolic yet heard of it, does not yet understand it. This is to say that Barthes ca nnot place himself outside the symbolic system as the objective recipient any distinction between inner and outer or real and fictive. This necessary deconstruction of the objectified self in the face of c ommunication presents itself in S/Z wherein Barthes critiques the idea that a reader is somehow outside the text: codes which are infinite or, more precisely, lost (whose origin is lost). Objectivity and subjectivity are of course forces which can take over the text, but they are forces which have no affinity with it. Subjectivity is a plenary image, with which I may be thought to encumber the text, but whose deceptive plen titude is merely the wake of all the codes which constitute me, so that my subjectivity has ultimately the generality of stereotypes. Objectivity is the same kind of replenishment: it is an imaginary system like the rest an image that serves to name me advantageously,


19 of objectivity or subjectivity (both are imaginary) only insofar as we define the text as an expressive object (present for our own expression), sublimated under a morality of truth[.] ( S/Z 10) Communication is always in this sense an interaction between texts, between bodies that are themselves objects of communication (as opposed to objects for communication). Indeed, the conceptual makeup of subjective and objecti ve positioning object is already an expression. Any distinction (between object and expression) can only exist as an expression a priori as for this morality depends on an a priori distinction be tween a subjective agency (reader) arrange such distinctions that is not already implicated in the codes it represents. At a certain point, all codes are simulacra, copi es of other codes. The simulacra of codes and of codification pose each figure (or fragment of writing) in On the one hand, recognition depends on a certain a priori codification, a system of familiarities (stereotypes) through whic h one is able to identify each figure. On the other hand, the a priori codification that enables one to recognize each figure is itself a figure. That is to say, recognition is always between Discourse 7 ) with which to direct and organize the communication between figures. As Barthes stresses: figures cannot be classified : organized, hierarchized, ar ranged with a view to an end (a Discourse 7


20 subjective agency words, Barthes is stealing love from the closed sphere of the personal, from the extreme solitude Discourse 1) of its private, subjective contemplations. In a most Discourse between the subject (the lover) and the expressive an intense reevaluation of su bjective agency intense, because it takes place in a inherently cosign the singularity of both an expressive self and a desired other Indeed, istinction between two separate and singularly unique in a kind of address, and every address accords to a codified determination of self (addressor) and other: opia, the characteristic which causes it to escape all dissertations, would be that ultimately it is possible to talk about love only according to a strict allocutive determination; whether philosophical, gnomic, lyric, or novelistic, there is always, in t he discourse upon love, a person whom one addresses, though this person may have shifted to the condition of a phantom or a creature still to come. No one wants to speak of love unless it is for someone. ( Discourse 74) In this context, the question seems t o be whether or not the other (the beloved) appears before or after the discourse upon love. If the other need be only a spectral possibility, then it seems as though love is always codified by a discourse involving an


21 other and in this sense produces the beloved. That is, the beloved does not come before discourse. The discourse of love invents the figure to which it responds. Love is a discourse that produces the void of a spectral other. Without this vacancy, the beloved could not exist. But also, in thi s case, the discourse upon love must also produce the addressor the one who speaks of love for someone else. Both the self and other of this discourse are the simulacra of difference, the performed identities of a grammatical code. The discourse does not i nsert itself between a loving self and beloved other as a response is implicated in those dynamics from the outset.


22 CHAPTER 3 CARE THEORY AND THE FAMILIAL OTHER Frances Bartko Kissing Cousins: A New Kinship Bestiary explores the mutable and permeable structures of family and kinship in the advent of reproductive structural conflicts betwee n sociological and biological formulations of kinship on the one hand, and, on the other, the tendency for familial notions of nurture and care to defy, transcend and oppose these structures. In demonstrating this conflict, the text ves drawn from contemporary fables, fictions, films, and what the French call fait divers rather than si mply exhibit these anomalies as proof of the inherently diffuse nature of kinship formation, Bartkowski weaves these narratives through a central argument that kinship formations do not dictate our capacity to care for others. Rather, Bartkowski argues tha t kinship always defies a priori configurations of familiarity because these configurations respond to a seemingly innate tendency for humans (and animals in general) to nurture and care for one another. Simply put, kinship responds to care, and for this r eason familial structures will always be subject to alteration insofar as social, geographical and technological changes constantly transform the ways we relate to one another. To approach Kissing Cousins it is therefore crucial to dissect the distinction and lack of distinction between kinship and care for both concepts derive from and espouse structural implications that are at times dependent on and deeply at odds with a nalysis).


23 Kissing Cousins of patriarchy, fathers and sons, so as to be able to claim, stake, name, and thereby it would seem that history has outrun some of the thinking about family and kin and its cultural work, because if it is a crisis in kinship that we are witnessi ng, and I would submit that it is, then it is a crisis precipitated to a great degree by the unforeseen destabilization of maternity and motherhood that we are witnessing in the early years of the twenty first century. Consider surrogacy and egg donation a s the salient examples that rewrite the realm where we thought we knew with a kind of certainty what was indivisible the one whose body mediated between the self and the law. (12 13) Bartkowski is referring, in part, to her decision to conceive via reprod uctive technology and become the term, that different kind of father. Indeed, part of what supposedly distinguishes the so called by choice by choice not a role determined by proxy of lack ; there is no absent father because there was never a present father to begin with. What was once considered to be a necessary other riarchal concept no longer applies because the original presence of the patriarchal father is no longer necessary.


24 lation of care theory responds similarly to a discursive need to de distinguishes betwee Care as a feminine ethic is an ethic of social obligations and interpersonal relationships. Selflessness and self sacrifice is built into the very definition of care when caring is premised on an opposition between relationships and self development. A feminine ethic of care is an ethic of the relational world as that world appears within a patriarchal social order: that is, as a world apart, separated politically and sociologically from a re alm of individual autonomy and freedom which is the realm of justice and contractual obligation. A feminist ethic of care begins with connection, theorized as primary and seen as fundamental in human life. People live in connection with one another; huma n lives are interwoven in a myriad of subtle and not so subtle ways. A feminist ethic of care reveals the disconnections in a feminine ethic of care as problems of relationship. From this standpoint, the conception of a separate self appears intrinsically problematic, conjuring up the image of rational man, acting out of relationship with the inner and outer world. (122) existential conflict that care can impose on women. On th duty that, because they stem from a patriarchal and contractual mandate, alienate the woman from her role as a mother In se the woman as inherently lacking the assigned to the woman by her


25 patriarchal contract, refutes the disas sociating logic that attempts to distinguish the self (124) derived from the contractual (patriarchal) paradigm disconnection from women, which in women takes the form of a psychological dissociation: a process of inner division t hat makes it possible for a woman not to know Generally speaking, feminist care theory postulates, in this sense, that women possess an innate capacity to care, and that carin g is not at odds self identity caring comes from within not from without But most importantly, other : the otherness of motherhood, the oth erness imposed by the distinction between the self other the otherness of the mother derives solely from a paradigm of contractual obligation that excludes the woman from the mother in her duty to the family. ethics as a way of re aligning the locus of care. And in this context, t he politics of insisting that care does not derive from a familial order but rather from an inherent connectedness shared between humans forms the critical impetus behind Kissing


26 Cousins Certainly, Bartkow kinship finds her pondering the extent to which dynamics of care are ever wholly distinct from familial orders. Specifically, Kissing Cousins reveals that the ethics of care respond to a certain law of otherness removing the locus of care from a sense of contractual obligation to the family in turn the woman no longer being other to herself as a mother. But it seems as though, as a consequence of removing this otherness betwee other to the person caring for them. othering distinction betw een woman and mother, removes a sense of otherness between the mother and those in her care. That is, in the patriarchal logic of and those for whom she cares by proxy of caring, the mother is whom she cares for. between woman and mother (the patriarchal formation of motherhood is merely an extension of this original othering). Shifting the locus of care therefore means shifting the locus of the other feminist ethic of care as it is about the discursive consequences of the theory.


27 Because a certain other remains implicated in care, there in turn remains, in the feminist ethic, a dynamic of alienation (distance) and mediation (duty, contract, law, In troubling the waters of kinship based on an economy of blood, it becomes apparent that other bodily fluids and substances remain rich metaphors and metonyms; they enable us to cross borders, as well as identities. Permeability raises these questions of intimacy, and what passes across membrane s may result from the mixing or shedding of blood. While other mediums are available for the reckoning of kinship, blood still counts when we contemplate who deserves our care and whom we exclude from the familial, the familiar. These remain crucial sites of conflict and reconciliation in the making of social life. (121) Adoption and surrogacy are obvious examples of how familial structures are never calculated exclusively in terms of blood. But as Bartkowski points out, although blood is no longer (and per haps has never been) the sole factor in determining familial orders, not rem perhaps inextricably in an eco nomy of blood. While Bartkowski indeed turns to care as a way of troubling these e the stakes on how cultures always and everywhere choose to make flourish that which is deemed good in ourselves and others. Among kin is where we are called on to be our best. It is also the sphere where humans fail to answer the call as friend and where instead, kin may be transformed into foe necessarily distinguishes between the insider and outsider, between those in our care


28 and those outside it. The sphere of kinship cannot expand itself beyond the exclusionary caring risks being just as regimented as kinship; that is to say, caring may not be able to exceed the same principle. There is a sense then in which caring is constantly at odds with itsel f, for it consists of the very structure it seeks to transcend. What I want to insist upon in reading Bartkowski is the sense in which care is inherently bound to a familial paradigm, and that this par adigm both responds to and perpetuates a certain discourse of the other Ultimately, kinship and care are questions of otherness, and the problems and complications facing each seem to return to a basic (but in no way simple) problem of where we locate and how we relate to the other. In the following passage from Kissing Cousins Bartkowski offers an example of the seeming irreparability of this problem of otherness in terms of maternity and the politics and metaphor of breast feeding: We humans do take ou r arbitrations of kinship to the law and we anguish in hope and fear that the law will produce the justice of love. The mother who is weaning her infant must relinquish her love to the laws of separation and autonomy. Her law and her love are constituted i n those very laws, and In this crucial passage, the question of otherness poses a severe complication waters of kin given but derives


29 a woman who is not alien to her role as mother. In th e patriarchal paradigm, this would not be the case. The mother and child, in other words, would not be autonomous in relation to one another, but would exist, rather, as two points of a singular identity, an identity derived from a contractual obligation t in the context of the above passage, from a feminist ethic. Even though the feminist not as passage illustrates how autonomy, and its subsequent terms of relatedness, must appeal to a separate order, a law that dictates the terms of connectivity. These laws need not stem from a patriarchal mandate (a legal force dictating terms of neglect, child endangerment, incest, etc.). Rather, these laws stem from the very conditions of feminist members of the group that count for each other? And what are their caring obligations? Who decides, for example, when the infant we hold must be let go so that she or he may learn to walk? And what is the affective and cognitive medium of this question of what e of questioning continues, the question of who or what determines the other the terms of autonomy that allow for connectedness is still questionable. These are, in other words, questions about the discourse of caring; as a discourse, its terms and process es must be external, autonomous or other to the woman whose capacity to


30 care is an innate part of her being, as well as to the relationship and connectivity that caring espouses.


31 CHAPTER 4 THE FAMILIARITY OF THE FAMILIAL AND ITS LIMIT CONNECTIVITY I pa ir with Kissing Cousins in part, to posit that l ove and care are familial concepts familial to each other as concepts and as concepts that shore our affective understanding of familial connectivity. I pair them to contend that what is or is not familiar is always a discursive arrangement the familial is not a priori to discourse. The consequences and implications of an always discursive familiarity and sense of the romantic love and, on the other political dynamics of familial care. Stated otherwise, for Barthes, discourse is a question of what constitutes the romantic lover whereas for Bartkowski it is a question of what constitutes the famili al loved one The lover and loved one pose both texts as discursive analyses of love But my stake in posing these analyses alongside one another is to frame this discourse of love as a discourse of familialarity a term I hazard both as shorthand and argum ent. On the one are not necessarily conceptually interchangeable makes this term familialarity a point to defend. Simply put, familialarity is a discourse of the other of otherness ; it is a question of what structures the discursive space bet ween self and other and the dynamics of recognition that constitute both. Familialarity is also the way in which recognition is always predetermined by what is recognizable, how every kind of recognition works through familiarity the familial sense of an a lways predefined


32 relatedness. 1 Lastly, familialarity is a bridge between and Kissing Cousins I pose these texts as questions of otherness, as inquiries consumed by the problematic givenness of the other of an other that is always taken for granted. To be clear, familialarity does not articulate a solution or compromise. Rather, it consolidates a dilemma shared by Barthes and Bartkowski in their analyses of loving or caring for the other I turn first to Barthes to illuminate the perhap s obvious fact that the other is always a discourse of absence and separation. But there is a twofold dynamic to this premise. First, the other never articulates its own separation ; rather, the other is articulated by separation he or she or it comes into being by proxy of its distance from a supposed self or non other discursive space of separation holds in suspense both pillars of self and other : [A]bsence can exist only as a consequence of t he other: it is the other who leaves, it is I who remain. The other is in a condition of perpetual departure, of journeying; the other is, by vocation, migrant, fugitive; I I who love, by converse vocation, am sedentary, motionless, at hand, in expectation nailed to the spot, in suspense like a package in some forgotten corner of a railway station. Amorous absence functions in a single direction, expressed by the one who stays, never by the one who leaves: an always present I is constituted only by confron tation with an always absent you To 1 familialarity concept of the pure performative Though such a thing, the pure singular eventness of what arrives and arrives to me (whi ch is what I call the arrivant ), it would suppose an irruption that punctuates the horizon, interrupting any performative organization, any convention, or any context that can be dominated by a conventionality. Which is to say that this event takes place o as such Without Alibi 234). In the n other that is not already accounted for by the discourse that creates it. One cannot be familiar with an other as such Such an other would either be unrecognizable to the familial structure that anticipates it, or it would completely rupture that system Familialarity, in this sense, articulates the discursive limit for any notion of connectivity to imagine an outside


33 There are two ostensible (simulated) realities imbedded in this portrayal of separation: First, th e condition of otherness is not a symmetrical difference, but begins rather, from the position of a fixed reason the other always represents migrancy is the fact that the condition of otherness fo contaminate. And yet, this particular depiction of longing, captured through a sentiment self that is not entirely present either. In this notably strange image of a package left in a railway station, there is, on the one hand, the idea that the self is the package. And yet, on the other hand, there is Barthes seeing himself (or identifying with the lover) as the packa ge, as well as the package seeing itself as the forgotten corner of the station. In other words, there are several degrees of embodiment already implicated in this supposedly fixed subject, and therefore there are several others already at play within the identity true because the other is there already with the self, as the self in the suspense of "perpetual departure." To conceive therefore the one present That is, if syntax follow a certain counter intuitive logic. The intuitive logic, if I may risk calling it other is always a response to a predefined sense of self, a condition determined chiefly by its supposed consistency


34 and capacity to self identify (no matter where I go, there I am). What Barthes reconsiders, then, is the sense th at this one presence projecting absence self, we must also conce absence as a kind of presence Presence and absence (self and other) must cross contaminate before discursive question of connectivity of bridging the space between self and other The ostensible reading of this second aspect would be that of a second phase : the matter of connectivity and relatedness responds to separation. Such a re ading, however, would identify the other, even in his or her or its absence, implies some form of connectivity, a kind of presence tha t predetermines the space of that recognition (one is bound to the other by proxy of being bound to the self). discourse on love. The question of relating to the other is, in Discourse a question of language; and the problems of this linguistic connectivity are perhaps at their most there of reasonable (i.e., lexical) affection. Anyone can feel how much such a decomposition, though conforming to linguistic theory, would disfigure what is flung out in a single impulse. To love does not exist in the infinitive (except by a metalinguistic artifice): the subject and the object come to the word even as it is uttered, and I love you must be understood in the Hungarian fashion [as] a single word[.] The clump is shattered by the


35 slightest syntactical alteration; it is, so to speak, beyond syntax and yields itself to no structural transformation. It has no equivalent among its substitutes, whose combination might nonetheless produce the same meaning; I can say I love you for d ays on end without perhaps ever being I love her syntax, a predication, a language (the sole Assumption of I love you is to apostrophize it, to give it the expansion of a first name: Ariadne, I love you Dionysus says). (147 48) posing it a single (hyphenated) expression is t he insistence that love does not depend on the fixity of or space between self and other. In other words, love does not Assumption of I love en its address is never a response to presence, then, is not one of proximity to the I or self. In this case, presence is the obliteration of difference between self and other that is also the difference between fixity decomposition of a certain simulation, the embodiment of the grammatical simulacrum simultaneous turning away from the prese nce of the self the presence that makes the absent other, just as there can be n o such thing as a present self, insofar as there is no


36 concrete locus with which to circumscribe either identity. Any such circumscribed identification or personification can only derive from a grammatical simulation. We can see both Gilligan and Bartkow a similar kind of grammatical simulation: namely, the lexical identity of the mother within ated identity within the patriarchal grammar of the disentangles the grammar of difference between woman and mother as deriving from an exclusively familial identity the woman as outside the family and the mother within internal locus of difference within the woman that opposes her self identity to her role as mother. To this extent, Gilligan is resisting the same politics of the fixed identity (of the self) as Barthes, insofar as every fixed identity produces a kind of necessary distance, an identity that cannot permute with self (woman), but rather than allow the two identities to permute Gilligan collapses the two identities into a different kind of fixed selfhood This selfhood, as determined by its innate capacity to care embodies a new kind of fixity and therefore, a new kind of distance by pro xy of caring for others The woman embodies herself through care but care in this sense seems to return to the ostensibly one d irectional longing described by directional longing is both its dismissal described by Crane and Ino. In other words, care risks another embodiment of the presence of the


37 s absence. As such, care theory risks engendering another alienation with affective realities perhaps not different in kind from those of the original, patriarchal distinction between woman and mother. saw in the above passage from Kissing Cousins nonetheless transform the connectedness with her child through care from her principle alienation from nomy in relation to that of her feels different her role as mother (according to the patriarchal concept), alienation is nonetheless still undermining her desire to nuance our understanding of familial connectivity. Indeed, the autonomy responds to a sense in which care cannot be trusted to police itself to accept its limitations. There is a possible, insidious implication here: The woman, embodied through her instinctual c apacity to care, cannot be trusted with her or her she cannot be trusted to accept the alienation of her condition. Which is to say, the woman is always at the mercy requires an arbitrator to police her ju dgment (her temptation to not relinquish her child into its autonomy). To be clear, I am not accusing Gilligan or care theory of being


38 inherently sexist. What I am emphasizing, rather, is how subjectivity and otherness, when conceived in terms of distance and autonomy, not only engender the affective realities of alienation, but also risk imposing another patriarchal order based on insult, debasement and subjugation of the supposedly autonomous selfhoods it creates. In erely the general pain or anxiety of alienation, but initial desire to reject the patriarchal terms of the familial. This is why it is significant to stress that Bart kowski, while using care escape the sense in which care nonetheless reinscribes familial relatedness as of rel atedness is only less closed and therefore only different in degree from the paternalistic structure she (and Gilligan) aim to critique. Tying and Kissing Cousins back to my notion of familialarity, I want to stress that both texts r espond to the principle this term means to connote. Familialarity is the predefined limit of the familiar; it is the dreaded fate of every newly open dynamic of recognition that it returns to the closed regime of the familial. Posed analogically, familiala rity is the relation to the openness of the other. It is the point what it sees and hopes is beyond it.


39 Both texts are addressing the dynamics and conceptual p olitics of recognition as being based, ultimately, on an always predetermined discourse. These texts respond, in other words, to the same limit. Connectivity, in both texts, attempts a mode of transcending this limit, insofar as both texts are interested i distance barrier between self and other as the basis for love. But aside from simply bridging these texts by proxy of a general concept, I am also inclined to offer Discourse ds to the familial. In limit that makes connectivity possible On the one hand, there are always the dynamics of separation at play in any formulation of relatedness. And, on the other hand, there are the dynamics of recognition and familiarity that always determine in advance a limit degree of degree of relatedness. Together, these dynamics introduce the problem of insurmountable separation, an ideal distance and division that ne ither love nor care can Discourse apostrophe offers a way out of the othering dynamics of care theory, not by ejecting the other from its relation to the self or by erasing its difference from the subject, but by offering the self room to embrace it a way to resist locating an ideal distance, and difference in turn, as up the one way dynamics of longing by multiplying its directions, and therefore creates a space where the other is not simply an insult


40 LIST OF REFERENCES Barthes, Roland. Empire of Signs Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Hill and Wang, 1983. Barthes, Roland. A Lover's Discourse: Fragmen ts Trans. Richard Howard, and Wayne Koestenbaum. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 2010. Barthes, Roland. S/Z Trans. Richard Miller and Richard Howard. New York: Hill and Wang, 1974 Bartkowski, Frances. Kissing Cousins: A New Kinship Bestiary New York: C olumbia UP, 2008. Print. Crane, Jeffery L., and Joy Michie Ino. "A Discourse of Despair: The Semiology of Lonely Hearts Language." Sociological Perspectives 30.3 (1987): 227 44. JSTOR Web. Derrida, Jacques Without Alibi Trans. Peggy Kamuf. Stanford, CA : Stanford UP, 2002. Print. Donovan, Josephine. "Feminism and the Treatment of Animals: From Care to Dialogue." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 31.2 (2006): 305 29. JSTOR Web. Gilligan, Carol. "Hearing the Difference: Theorizing Connection ." Hypatia 10.2 (1995): 120 27. JSTOR Web. Heath, Stephen. "Barthes on Love." SubStance 11/12.37 38 (1982/1983): 100 06. JSTOR Web. MLN 103.4 (1988): 848 864. J STOR Web. Saint Yale French Studies 90 (1996): 153 171. JSTOR Web.


41 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Andrew Wilson received his b State College in Olympia, WA in 2008. He received his Master of Arts in December of 2012 from the University of Florida where he is currently English d octoral candidate