Het geluk van de niet-identiteit | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 115 Number 1
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244

Abstract

Abstract

This article focuses on Michel Foucault’s notion of a ‘happy limbo of non-identity’, formulated in his epilogue to the diary of the ‘hermaphrodite’ Barbin (1838-1868). From the eighteenth century onwards, the incitement to put sex and gender into discourse has limited this freedom to be indeterminate. Using and , Part I and IV of Foucault’s , this article describes five main features of modern and early Christian confessional practices. What similarities and differences are there? What is constituted and lost in these practices? Using Foucault’s suggestions in essays to enjoy sexual and other pleasures without confessing, it shows that he decouples ‘self-loss’ from negative Christian self-denial as well as from positive, modern self-constitution. Self-loss thus becomes the moment in which the self can transcend itself and explore new modes of subjectivation.

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