Using Roland Barthes’s concept of “writing degree zero,” my response focuses on the crucial capacity to distinguish, amidst the freedom of infinite movement between various psychic states, between dead and vital formations. The dead zones in Raphael’s gender performance are not related to the refusal to be “drafted” or dragged into either gender or the experience of continuous identity, but rather to a type of negation that operates within and upon him or her. This negation, whose colorful performance might be thought of as a kind of confounding photographic negative, is a radical negation of any sign of vitality whatsoever. Pointing at the pathological nature of this negation is by no means linked to its detachment from the oedipal formation. It touches on the fact that for Raphael negation has become the alternative for any type of being. This a priori negation, which was internalized throughout her/his life, works today from within.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies