Thursday, March 04, 2010

Rachel Levitsky's Neighbor (@ Harriet)


Something which attracts me to Levitsky’s book are the narrative qualities of the writing. How a sense of scene or episode is always erupting into philosophical/theological speculation and lyrical play. From the start of the book, there is an almost scholastic quality about Levitsky’s thinking, whereof she contemplates the “levels” in her head. Also from the start of the book, there is the sense that the voices of the book do not just belong to a singular person, but represent the person subjected in specific ways. That there is someone that calls itself “I” in Levitsky’s book is crucial. And that this “I” is self-conscious of itself in relation to neighbor(s) enables Levitsky to establish a continuous meditation on ethics, geopolitics, and sexual encounter/desire. The “I” of Levitsky’s book disjunctively narrates her (and our) own interpellation by local, national, and global functions of power. Neighbor as Other, but also as interstice of public/private, exterior/interior, becomes the site where person and subject cleave.

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