Abstract

Abstract:

This essay examines some of the multiple resonances of the word generation, with an emphasis on the relationship between intellectual and aesthetic production and the figure of maternity. Beginning with Jacques Derrida’s critique of generation as an origin that grounds self-presence, which he associates with forms of violence from matricide to genocide, it considers the possibility of a ventriloquial mode of generation, through which others—including the differential flow of survival—speak, and which we are compelled to bear. Claudia Rankine’s Plot, a poetic exploration of the relationship between aesthetic production and pregnancy, is read as an exemplary instance of such ventriloquial survival.

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