• Suzanne Verderber
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


This inquiry began with a question and a frustration. The question was why the individual emerged in the twelfth century, and the frustration was with studies that either took the existence of the individual for granted while simultaneously attempting to explain its genesis, that did not posit causes, or were hampered by the instability of the term “individual.” Initially, following the lead of John Benton, I shifted the focus from the “individual” to “interiority” or radical reflexivity, and posited an initial model of the subject derived from Nietzsche’s analysis of power in On the Genealogy of Morals. This model explains the genesis of interiority without being trapped by the presupposition of an already constituted individual characterized by a firm boundary between inside and outside. In Nietzsche’s model, interiority is called forth by reactive forces embodied in priests, which confront affirmative forces with reactive values and fictions, turning affirmative force into an accountable subject, a subject beset by a soul. The fiction of a “doer” behind the deed is produced, a subject that has now become regular, accountable, necessary, and able to make promises about his own future. In Deleuze’s careful explication of this parable, the crucial moment occurs when the subject internalizes and accepts priestly values and becomes responsible for himself. In this study, I call this the primary medieval “fold,” the fold produced by the subject’s internalization of reactive forces coming initially from the exterior.


Reactive Force Twelfth Century Sovereign Power Crucial Moment Oedipus Complex 
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© Suzanne Verderber 2013

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  • Suzanne Verderber

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