"Mulier Sacra": Marie Chauvet, Marie Darrieussecq and the Sexual Metamorphoses of `Bare Life'
AbstractIn his recent work "Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life", the prolific Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben elaborates an idiosyncratic and highly provocative conception of sacredness. I want to explore the ethical and political implications of Agamben’s concept of "homo sacer" or sacred man, juxtaposing his philosophical insights into the brutal workings of modern ‘democratic’ power with comparable literary visions provided by two controversial women authors: the Haitian novelist Marie Chauvet (1916– 1973) and the French writer Marie Darrieussecq (b 1969). Chauvet and Darrieussecq’s disturbing, sexually violent narratives both illustrate and anticipate Agamben’s theory of the modern ‘camp-like’ State, but in doing so problematize Agamben’s apparent presentation of its deathly processes as essentially indifferent to the question of sex.
Asibong, Andrew (2003) "Mulier Sacra": Marie Chauvet, Marie Darrieussecq and the Sexual Metamorphoses of `Bare Life'. French Cultural Studies 14 (2), pp. 169-177. ISSN 0957-1558.