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The Scandal of the Speaking Body: Don Juan with J. L. Austin, or Seduction in Two Languages (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics) Hardcover – December 19, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0804744522 ISBN-10: 0804744521 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Scandal of the Speaking Body—one of the most brilliant and daring and disturbing works of its period, which appeared in English translation in 1984 [under the title The Literary Speech Act] ... has never found the full radius of readers it assumes and deserves." —From the Forewordby Stanley Cavell

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
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Product Details

  • Series: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (December 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804744521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804744522
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,779,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luca Graziuso and Marina Ross on January 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Shoshana Felman originally published this venture under the title "The Literary Speech Act" in 1984. Because it had made little impression Stanford University Press repackaged this intriguing Lacanian-bent reading of language and its seductive intentions under a new title, and, as if it were not enough, with a foreword by Stanley Cavell and an afterword by Judith Butler. The latter is exceptional as always, while the former delights in providing some of the history to set the stage as a foreword well should.
Eros and language have often been seen as consorts but through the intermediary of speech act theory and a close reading of Moliere's Don Juan this work hinges on overlooked crevices to open a discourse yet needing further applications.
The premise is executed with imaginative sensibilities, however there is a deeper statement being made by the author, which corresponds with Nietzsche's corrective of Aristotle, claiming that man is not so much a political animal as much as he is a promising one. This semiotic distinction is laced in a brave exploration of J.L. Austin's speech act theory as well as through a deconstructive rendition of the Don Juan myth as it reads in Moliere.
"The Scandal of the Speaking Body" announced an essential theme in contemporary philosophy (and theology) which has not assumed the voice its role demands. There has been much talk about the notion of the gift and the place of speech in the political, but the element of promise has been left to its own devices, seduced but not consummated, called upon but not interrogated.
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The Scandal of the Speaking Body: Don Juan with J. L. Austin, or Seduction in Two Languages (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics)
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