The Formalization of Impasse
In this response to Alenka Zupančič’s What is Sex? I consider the logic and topology of the author’s central argument, which specifies that sex is an attempt to invent a logic at the point of ontological impasse (the breakdown of signifying consistency). Zupančič’s analysis posits that sex is the inherent contradiction of our reality, and makes the case that to understand our impasses of politics, the love relation, and social interactions (on the ontic level), we should take our place within this contradiction of reality (at the ontological level), which would in turn offer us an opening to emancipate ourselves from the very logic dictated by this contradiction. I trace the primary ways that Zupančič’s intricate analysis suggests we might do this, and then offer my thoughts on what I take as the declining dimension of the unconscious in our contemporary world and how this relates to Zupancic’s articulation of the unconscious as “out there” built into speech and the discursive order that structures our reality.
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