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Deconstruction on the move: from libidinal economy to liminal materialism

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  • M A Doel
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    Abstract

    In the wake of the M�bius spiralling of relativism and reflexivity, much of the theoretically inclined literature within human geography has turned to the motifs of difference and otherness as a possible basis for fostering a coining together and rapprochement of previously incommensurate theoretical-practices. Much of this effort has been undertaken in an explicit attempt to maintain political, moral, and ethical responsibility in the face of a dangerous slide into passive nihilism and indifference. In the first half of the paper I argue that the attempt to forge a universal currency which would enable difference to circulate freely within contemporary human geography is flawed for three interrelated reasons. First, by working through a libidinal economy of negation it forces difference to conform to the Same. Specifically, difference is captured as so-many standard deviations from the Norm. Second, this apparatus of capture is predestined to yield a state of confusion, imprecision, and indistinction which can only be contained within a quotation market. Third, by dwelling upon negation and appropriation, and through capturing difference within a normalized economy of the Same, the forging of a universal currency within a quotation market deprives itself of the ability to effectively affirm difference, othemess, alterity, and singularity in and of themselves. Such an affirmation would require an act of ex-appropriation, rather than one of appropriation. Consequently, by drawing upon the liminal materialism of a deconstructive experience, in the second half of the paper I explore four movements of ex-appropriation: radical passivity, destabilization on the move, telephony, and picnolepsy. The paper concludes with a discussion of the ethics of the event.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.

    Volume (Year): 26 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 7 (July)
    Pages: 1041-1059

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    Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:26:y:1994:i:7:p:1041-1059

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    Web page: http://www.pion.co.uk

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