Monday, March 20, 2017

A small room inside a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

Who Sings the Nation-State? (2010) by Judith Butler and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is a book that looks like it was made from a recording of an on-stage conversation or an email exchange. It begins with ten pages of Butler, before Spivak says, "You said we're reading Arendt." Another thirty pages of Butler before Spivak says, "Oh listen, I don't want to say anything more about Agamben because you've already said it but I'm tempted. But you have more, no?"

Early in Butler's opening she addresses the hyphen between "nation" and "state":

"So, already, the term state can be dissociated from the term 'nation' and can be cobbled together through a hyphen, but what work does the hyphen do? Does the hyphen finesse the relation that needs to be explained? Does it suggest a fallibility at the heart of the relation?"

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