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Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism$
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S. E. Wilmer and Audrone Zukauskaite

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199559213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559213.001.0001

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Autochthonous Antigone: Breaking Ground

Autochthonous Antigone: Breaking Ground

(p.229) 13 Autochthonous Antigone: Breaking Ground
Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism

Liz Appel

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses the trope of autochthony in order to consider Antigone as the figure for a radical kind of self‐authorization. Following Judith Butler, this chapter considers Antigone as the occupant of an unnamable and unrecognizable subject position. As such an impossible, even erased inhabitant (as simultaneous daughter‐sister to Oedipus), Antigone threatens the integrity of the symbolic system in which she is nonetheless enmeshed. As one who defies socially sanctioned forms of genealogy, Antigone exists both within and without known social structures; she seems to generate her own, unique genealogy. Finally, this chapter asserts that Antigone represents a problematic surplus, which the play struggles to contain; Antigone is considered as disruptive not only in familial, social, and political terms, but in representational terms as well. The trope of burial can thus be understood as a way for the play to manage the disruptive force that is Antigone.

Keywords:   Antigone, authority, autochthony, burial, performance, performativity, poetics, surplus

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