Afterword

  • Christopher Cannon
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

Something happens, and there is an aftermath. That act, as it is constituted by the discourses that comprise this volume, is rape, and the aftermath is that set of adjudications and readings which name this act and give it meaning. But the retrospection employed in such a practice has its aftermath too. The happening may then be the adjudications and readings of a volume such as this, whose aftermath is the name and meaning given to what was done here in the name of representing rape. There are, broadly speaking, only two possibilities. Our readings may, as we have hoped, be accepted and confirmed, extended and repeated in relation to other happenings. Or the very procedures we have employed will be explicitly or implicitly reversed, and precisely what we have read as rape will be read (again) as not-rape. It is difficult to say which result would count as the greater failure. If our readings are either reversible or repeatable, it may be wondered, why are they needed? If what comes after the study of the representation of rape in Medieval and Early Modern Europe is either less or more of the same, why have we offered such a study at all?

Keywords

Europe Smoke Metaphor Omnes 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein, On Certainty, ed. G. E. M. Anscombe and G. H. von Wright, trans. Denis Paul and G. E. M. Anscombe (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1969), p. 2.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Evelyn Birge Vitz, “Rereading Rape in Medieval Literature,” Partisan Review 63 (1996): 280–91 (p. 291). The essay has also been reprinted in the Romanic Review 88 (1997): 1–26.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Catharine A. MacKinnon, Towards a Feminist Theory of the State (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), p. 183.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Judith Butler, “Contingent Foundations: Feminism and the Question of Postmodernism,” in Feminists Theorize the Political, ed. Judith Butler and Joan Scott (London: Routledge, 1992), pp. 3–21, esp. p. 19.Google Scholar
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    On the subversive potential for repetition in relation to signifying practices, see Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (London: Routledge, 1990), pp. 142–49.Google Scholar
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    This is precisely the proposal of Sharon Marcus, “Fighting Bodies, Fighting Words: A Theory and Politics of Rape Prevention,” in Feminists Theorize the Political, ed. Judith Butler and Joan Scott (London: Routledge, 1992), pp. 385–403, esp. p. 389.Google Scholar
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    Charles S. Pierce, “The Fixation of Belief,” pp. 120–37 in Charles S. Pierce: The Essential Writings, ed. Edward C. Moore (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), p. 126.Google Scholar
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    Friedrich Nietzsche, “On the Truth and Lies in the Nonmoral Sense,” pp. 77–97 in Philosophy and Truth: Selections from Nietzsche’s Notebooks of the Early 1870’s, ed. and trans. Daniel Breazeale (London: Humanities Press International, 1979), pp. 80–81.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Elizabeth Robertson and Christine M. Rose 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Cannon

There are no affiliations available

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