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Ranciere - The Politics of Aesthetics - The Distribution of the Sensible OCR

Ranciere - The Politics of Aesthetics - The Distribution of the Sensible OCR

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this regime. On the one hand, meaning is taken to be immanent in
things themselves and, thus, everything -from a building's facade
to a woman's face -takes on a voice of its own. On the other hand,
however, the mute things of the world only begin to speak if someone
deciphers their latent meaning and speaks for them (otherwise they
remain completely silent). This contradiction has given birth to at least
two major forms of silent speech: the latent meaning beneath the hiero­
glyphic surface of written signs and the brute presence or punctum that
remains a deaf and silent obstacle to all forms of signifcation.
DI 21-2; IE 42; PM.


see Political Subject

Subjectivization (La Subjectivation)

Alternately translated as 'subjectification' or 'subjectivation', fa subjec
is the process by which a political subject extracts itself from
the dominant categories of identifcation and classifcation. By treati ng
a wrong and attempting to implement equality, political slIbjectivi
zation creates a common locus of dispute over those who have no part
in the established order. However, the very act of identifying these
political subjects necessarily has recourse to misnomers, i.e. names
that inadequately refer to the anonymous multitude that has no tirle
in the police order. The logic of subjectivization is therefore based
on the impossible identification of political subjects, that is to say
subjects who remain unidentifable in the given feld of experience
and necessitate 'inaudible' modes of enunciation such as: 'We arc all
German Jews!'.
D 35-42, 58-9, 126-7; DME 31-3; DW 115-16; PIS; TTP.

Writing (L'Ecriture)

Writing is not simply a sequence of typographic signs whose printed
form is distinct from oral communication. It is a specifc distribution
of the sensible
that replaces the representative regime's ideal of
living speech with a paradoxical form of expression that undermines
the legitimate order of discourse. In one respect, writing is the silent
of democratic literarity whose 'orphan letter' freely ci rcuiares

�1Id speaks t anyone and nTrYOIC prcClsclv beCusC it h:1s flO li\'in)
logos t direcr it. At the salll' tilllc, ho\\','\t'!, writing lcnd'; itself tn the
:lttclllpt to e.stablish ;tn 'cmhodied discollrse' as the' i!CHll.Hion ni the
truth of a cOllltllunity, \Xritln) is consequenth' c:llIght in :1 c()rHinll�11
conflict between democratic literarity :ld tile desire r(l estahlish :1 ,nil'
writing of the word m:ldc Ae.sh.
eM 115-%: IE Y1-I2: NH '()-C1O: Pi '2-()O: Pa;\ 2()'-': PM 1/1,
71-2, RI-IOO.

Wrong (Le Tort)

A wrong is a specific form of equality that establishes the 'onk
universal' of politics as a polemical point of ,tmgtIe by rehtillt­
the manifestation of political subjects t the police order. Unlike
juridical litigation, a wrong docs nor, therefore, occur hetween deter,
mined p:lries and cannot he resolved by juridical procedures. ;\ \\TOtlf
can only he tre:Hed by modes or political subjectivization that recon
fgure the feld of experience.

D 3-6, 13,21-42,61-.), 7i-RO, Ui--(): PIS.

Appendix II

Bibliography of Primary (md Secondary SourcesiO


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from February 1973, in Radical Philosophy 7 (Spring 1974): 2-15.
'On the theory of ideology' was reprinted in two works: Rrldiml
Philosophy Reader.
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with a 'Preface' by Jonathan Ree as 'Proletarian nights', Noel Parker.
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The Philosopher fmd His Poor.
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Le Maire ignorant: Cinq Let;ons sur I'emarcipation intellcctlcl/e, Paris:
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of i innesot:l Press, 19()4.
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AuX Bords dll po/itiqlll. Paris: La Fabrique Editions, 1998, This
revised and expanded cdition of the work that had originally heen
published in 1992 includcs a numbcr of additional essa)'s, ,nnw or
wh ieh arc aV:l i hhle i 11 Engl ish: 'Pol ities, identi featiol1, and slIhjcc
tiviz:ltion' and 'Disellssio'

n'. O(o/a 01 (Summer 1()()2): S8-()I,
78-82: rpt, in Tr !el1li�)' in Ql!tstion. Ed. John Ralehman.
New York and London: Routledge, 1()9'. ()1-72; 'The CHSC of
the other'. David Macey, trans, Przrd/flx 4:2 (April 1(98): 2S-.33:
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5:3 (2001).

arch ive.html #5.3>
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