Jouissance: a Cixousian encounter of the song of songs; Jouissance: living-reading
Cameron Klangwisan, Yael
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This thesis, Jouissance, emerges at a distension of disciplinary borders, engaging the hermeneutics of the Hebrew Bible’s Song of Songs. In the milieu of exegetical readings, Jouissance asks “can she be read?” Jouissance asks whether it is possible that a poetic text characterized by star falls and shadows can be systematised; an object of exegesis. An-‘other’ kind of reading is proposed; a kind of reading that resists the exegetical economy as absolute by disclosing an open system. It would be a kind of textual encounter. It would orient itself as one of unlimited possible readings but it would be naked, unique and ‘true’. In the reading, the reader-author would inhabit the text, bringing her ‘whole being’ to it; allowing herself to be taken in its jaws, one time, and once only. If this could be called reading, it would be live-reading, or reciprocating-reading or corporeal reading. It is a reading of the Song of Songs that is birthed and dreamed; that joins breath with breath. The character of this exploration of the Song of Songs is ‘other’ and ‘outside’ of systematizing methodologies. The thesis works and desires, both succeeding and failing to maintain its internal integrity. The methodological concept is held in tension between poetics and ethics. The new text or ‘third body’ engendered is imaginative, reflective and multi-valent. It is inscripted with elements that are both continuous and discontinuous, as well as the dynamic, mythic and subversive. If read in the spirit of Cixousian literary theory, this thesis is a visceral-corporeal experience of the transgressive and creative act of reading the Song of Songs that merges the limits of language with the bliss and suffering of the beyond: jouissance.