By Tina Chanter, Pleshette Dearmitt
This groundbreaking assortment sketches a portrait of Sarah Kofman (1934–1994), the bright French feminist thinker and writer of greater than dozen books on a magnificent variety of themes and figures in philosophy, literature, psychoanalysis, aesthetics, and feminism. major feminist philosophers study the teachings that Kofman’s wealthy physique of labor teaches us, between them that the paintings and lifetime of a philosopher are inextricably sure jointly. every one essay navigates the complicated connections among paintings and existence, proposal and hope, the publication and the physique to discover the imperative subject matters that hyperlink jointly Kofman’s interdisciplinary oeuvre—art, confirmation, laughter, the insupportable, Jewishness, and femininity.
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Extra info for Sarah Kofman’s Corpus
Oh, that’s not for us, the strong and dignified people said; so Jehovah approached another, almost as solid-and-respectable-looking people with the same proposition, that they be his chosen people and bearers of his law. Again they inquired what would be 40 Ann Smock involved. And he answered, this time, thou shalt not, for example, commit adultery. Ah well, then, they replied, that would not be suitable for us. Finally, after several more tries, among less and less likely-looking candidates, Jehovah approached a very small and seedy people, the Hebrews, and proposed that they be his elect, and bear his law.
The act he puts on night after night gets more laughs than any other clown act, and in it he receives more beatings than anyone can keep track of. “Performance inégalable,” Kofman writes. She stayed up all night once, I gather, writing “Le battu imbattable” after she happened to see a silent movie from the 1920s on television—He Who Gets Slapped. It is the story of a brilliant young man on the verge of a great scientific discovery who is robbed, by the man he considered his benefactor, of his name, his reputation, his research, and his lover.
And it is not everyone who can afford to recognize the frivolity in the profoundest matters, or acknowledge that science, say, and fiction are not strictly opposites. Not everyone can do without belief in a Truth that, once laid bare, presents itself en propre, just as it is. It takes unusual vitality, Kofman says, in her Nietzsche voice, to love illusion for life’s sake and consent to be duped; only a few are deep enough to rejoice in masks and delight in surfaces, or beautiful enough to go naked like Dionysos, showing sheer appearance unveiled, dismissing the opposition between truth and illusion and saying that life is neither surface nor depth, concealed nor unconcealed.