In the Presence of the Living Cockroach: The Moment of Aliveness and the Gendered Body in Agamben and Lispector



In this paper, I consider Giorgio Agamben's critique of Heidegger's understanding of animality, using Clarice Lispector's novel The Passion According to G.H. as an illustration. I argue that the present (living) moment itself separates the human from the animal for Heidegger, because, as Agamben notes, Heidegger subsumes this moment under the notion of "animal captivation" and thus fails to think the spontaneity of "bare life." But while Agamben goes on to argue that the creation of the human/animal binary is the primary move of the "anthropological machine," I argue that the man/woman dichotomy is equally basic and equally destructive.


Continental Philosophy; Gender; Ontology; Animals; sexual difference; Heidegger; Lispector; Agamben

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