Voices from the Depths: Reading "Love" in Luce Irigaray's "Marine Lover" Author(s): Joanne Faulkner Source: Diacritics

, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Spring, 2003), pp. 80-94 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3805825 Accessed: 22/08/2009 03:15
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In particular. as Bartheswrites. writing from the perspectiveof the readerwhom his philosophy 1.which combines the dedication and the text itself.VOICES FROM THE DEPTHS READING "LOVE"IN LUCE IRIGARAY'S MARINE LOVER JOANNEFAULKNER Yet. A numberof excellent accountsof MarineLoverhave alreadybeen publishedthat enumerateIrigaray'scriticisms of Nietzsche. reading her elemental addressto him in termsof his forgottenrelationto certainwomen (his mother. Suppose we were to readMarineLovernot only as a critique. thoughI writeyour name on my work. it is "by a fatalityof writingitself' that a text cannotbe amorous. among other things) seem to precludeactualwomen as readersof Nietzsche's work. it is for "them" that it has been written(the others. For interesting and detailed readings of Marine Lover in these terms. then Luce Irigaray's MarineLoverof FriedrichNietzsche-written for." slipper. whatfollows the dedication (i.Hence it is by afatality of writing itself that we cannot say of a text that it is "amorous.A Lover'sDiscourse: Fragments If. The object I give is no longer tautological (I give you what I give you).and with Nietzsche-can be read precisely as a revitalizationof writing. the readers). IrigaraypresentsMarine Lover as an address directly to Nietzsche. it is interpretable." In herinterpretation of his work.""shame.exceptfor the case of the Hymn. women are not the ones to whom Nietzsche dedicates his work:the philosopherof the futureto whom he beckons is presumedby him to share certainprejudices-philosophers' prejudices-about women. which serves to bring to life Nietzsche's dedication of his work to the of the future.""seduction. -Roland Barthes. Womanizing diacritics / spring 2003 diacritics 33.but never easy. see Oliver. at like a cake or an embroidered best.by exploring the effects of the affectiverelationthatIrigaraysets up betweenherselfandNietzsche in Marine Lover. even though his various stylizations of "woman" (as a trope for "truth.1: 81-94 81 .it has a meaning (meanings)greatly in excess of its address.' I would like to contributea new dimension to this conversation.his sister. that it has been created "amorously. What does this mean for his women readers?Feminism's encounter with Nietzsche has been interesting and productive.Although he writes "woman's" name continuallyover his texts."but only.Irigaray "philosophers poses to Nietzsche the possibility thathis "philosopherof the future"might be a woman. Nietzsche.""dissimulation.but as an encounterwith Nietzsche:an amorous encounter..and a postulated lover). the work itself) has little relation to this dedication. about.e." and slavish dependency. andOppel.I am interested in how her critique of Nietzsche's text quickens-or enlivens-his philosophy." "prudishness.

An homage to people and places I've known. .Bus Stop at the Edge of Town The moment one steps off the bus at a new place. all possibilities for good and bad experiences are present.and waiting.

the exterior."Anaphorismmeansnothing.. as a privileged relation to the other. 2. grounds his thought. A text withouta context. and thus informationcan flow in one directiononly: from inside to outside.the text stands alone. in which love is understoodas philosophy's origin and impetus. an aphorism is framed. Carolyn Burke discusses Irigaray's adoption of the name "l'amante" as opposed to "l'aimee" in relation to her reading of Emmanuel Levinas [233]. thathas no territoryof its own. to inhabithis thoughtalone. . woman lover ratherthan the passive-always feminine-beloved: l'aimee). See also Irigaray's "The Fecundityof the Caress" [Ethics 185-217]. you have the almost novel experience of not continuing on by way of an interiority.2Thus she addresseshim as an equaland active participant in the love relation. his writing. Like any handsome painting or drawing.the "bodylanguage" of philosophy sets the readerat a distance.I will argue that it is througha relationof love with Nietzsche thatIrigarayis able to initiate a conversation between them. "NomadThought." He welcomes others to partakein the generationof the text with him. then the interpretation takes its nourishmentfrom the primarysource. on an immediate relation with the outside. As Gilles Deleuze contendsin his shortpiece. believe in our star friendship.Argumentsare constructedin orderto demonstrateone way of thinkingthat excludes "rival"paths of thought. the aphorism shiftsfrominside to outside. showing the aphorismto be a form that drifts. or the inner essence or concept-that is.to new relationswith women. and this process always takes place within some given interiority. on the contrary. Moreover.the interpretation seen as a degradedformof writing. .before turningto Irigaray'sresponseto Nietzsche. I will first explore Nietzsche's understandingof friendship. The Gay Science Philosophy generally exhibits a curious "body language"to its reader.resistingthe images and ideals that Nietzsche projectsupon "woman. Nietzsche's "Friend": The Philosopher of the Future Let us . Nietzsche. by inviting them to frame the aphorism withtheirown meaning.If the philosophicaltext is internallycoherent.It is presumedthatshe is not essential to the is text itself because. -Nietzsche. 82 ." Opening one of Nietzsche's books at random. opening his text to new possibilities. whether this be called the inner soul of consciousness. andultimatelyto become persuadedby it. what has always served as the guiding principle ofphilosophy.."In this paper. because his writingalready opens itself out to its "exteriority.. In this manner.legible is a parasitic discourse. [. .] [Deleuze 144-45] Deleuze remarkshere upon Nietzsche's aphoristicstyle. even if we should be compelled to be earth enemies. It is characteristic of philosophical writing that relations with an exterior are always mediated and dissolved by an interior. The text is set up as a conduitthattransports the readerto the philosopher'spointof view.] Now to hang thought on the outside is what philosophers have literally never done. active. once written. which entirely within its own terms.buthas no essentialmeaning.The readeris invited to thinkalong the channelconstructed by the philosopher. The philosopher must be seen to control absolutely the meaning of the text. Nietzsche presents his interpreterwith a new and strange terrainin this regard. [.most excludes:she addresseshim as his marinelover (l'amantemarine:the fluid.

for attitude. he does not plead for fidelity to his original meaning. or as of existence whichtakespleasure in seizingtheproblem by thehorns).To "know"is andthusto neutralize the philosopher'sattempt to domesticate the strangeandunfamiliar. a doseof curiosity. unlike the conventionalphilosopher. unlike the conventionalphilosopher.incapable This readercan the future. whereNietzsche writes: ThenI askedmyself: heard oneof thecommon peoplesay.unlike more conventionalforms of philosophicalwriting.Hegel's master-slave the other of to The reduce otherness to mirror the self. such a reader would form part of his own unbounded community:a communityof "friends. According to Nietzsche."--I take this explanationfrom the street. a for (to affirm tendency negation the self) is. Nietzsche suggests some possible interpretations of his work. an Immoralist.. strength. whatmadeit interestingin the firstplace. in the the reader's makes Nietzsche's production part misappropriated.5Honoringfriendship. thanto protectitself againstmisinterpretation. or Ratherthan attemptto conceal points at which the text could be misinterpreted.signifies nothing. See The Gay Science. the original moment for Westernphilosophy.withan ironicresistance. as it necessarily avoids the master-slavedichotomy elaboratedby Hegel. for Nietzsche.or as theinventor pessimism.the esotericmeaningthatcalls for superior interpretive skills. 4.solicits his reader to interpretdifferently. on thecontrary. The "friend"thus becomes symbolic in Nietzsche's writing of the "good one who is able to use his philosophy to reflect their own truths. explicit writing of the text. is not encoded as internallycoherent.[July 29.ForNietzsche.and.[. me!I havewritten several naivethingshere-a littleprescription Forgive extractingoneself successfullyfrom an impossiblesituation. . For Nietzsche.a meredisciple.to interpret radically." Carl Fuchs. of independent Whilstthe latteris a subservient kindof reader.] I havenever (including bornof of a newkindof pessimism (a Dionysian poet). of a foreign in my favor.I diacritics / spring 2003 83 .Nietzsche thus attempts 3. reader": Friendshiphas a specific philosophicalsignificancefor Nietzsche. should Fuchs ever have time to write about him: oras a writer beencharacterized. Nietzsche does distinguishbetween those who are worthy of interpretation. In a letter to his "valued friend.. [.4He saw his texts as forming the basis of this community of friends.3His aphorismis constructedto maximizeits possibleinterpretations. 1888] [Nietzsche. Nietzsche's aphorism. To be a true friend.Nietzsche." do Whatis it thatthecommon What take for theywantwhenthey knowledge? people to is to be reduced want"knowledge"? Nothingmorethanthis:Something strange The origin of our concept of "knowledge. him and those simplistic readerswho "do not have the ears to hear"his philosophy. either as apsychologist. as in thepresence argue moreintelligent wouldseemto me an incomparably plant. 5. rather and that is why Deleuze contendsthat it has no meaningof its own.] It is not necessary at all-not even desirable-that you should Selected Letters 305]." former he of as "the thought-the designates philosopher hearthe hiddentenorof his writing.andis no more a signifierthana signified"[Deleuze 145]. one must appreciatethe other in their of philosophy's dialecticis symptomatic uniqueness. the relationof friendshipcannotbe hierarchical: we do not use the friendin orderto gain a consciousness of the self. Notwithstanding his apparent opennessto the distortingeffects of his reader's however.In Ecce Homo he wrote: "The time for me hasn't come yet: some are born posthumously"[259]." by time."heknewme rightaway. Nietzsche expectedthat manyof his "friends"would not read his philosophyfor perhaps another century. . The reader "understands" Nietzsche's philosophy if upon reading it his life experience is enhanced. as a space within which they could meet and converse.

All-too-long have a slave and a tyrantbeen concealed in woman."Society"is friendshipdomesticated: society in which As all thatis uniqueis renderedfamiliar. In Thus SpokeZarathustra.Nietzsche sets out his creed on friendship: If one wants to have a friend one must also want to wage warfor him: and to wage war. of that Is not the instinct fearthatbidsus to know? no disturbs it us? something longer Andis thejubilation of thosewhoattain notthejubilation overtherestoration knowledge of a senseof security? [?355.exhibitedby philosophers.300-01] 84 . one must be capable of being an enemy.women are excluded as friendsin this passage so that they can furnish an argument for Nietzsche's rather counterintuitive characterizationof friendship. somerulein whichwe arestuck. Thereforewoman is not yet capable offriendship. anything thisneedforthe whichwe feel athome. He intends next to surprisethe reader. a point throughwhich one's self is refracted. this relationinvolves a mutualrespectthatis performedlike a dance. Given Nietzsche's insistence thatfriendshipnecessarilyinvolves a mutualrespect for one another'sdifferences.but with "society. Whilst friendshipand society are different in kind. to deemphasizewhatever sets us apartfrom others.Look. In a friend one should still honor the enemy. he gains his reader'scomplicity by espousing a view of women with which he is sure to agree. For Nietzsche. "Can do not form a unity. which is precisely why friendshipis needed.Youshould be closest to him with your heart when you resist him. [168] This passage demonstratesthe irreducibilityof one to the other in friendship.and questionable strange. Yet. She knows only love.friendshipis an arrangement of multifarious you go close to your friend withoutgoing over to him?"The friendis a touchstonefor one's own life. Are you a slave? Then you cannot be a friend. unusual. And even in the knowinglove of a woman thereare still assault and lightningand night alongside light.isn'tourneedforknowledge precisely the will to uncoverundereverything familiar. an all too compliant levels such difference. rather.who expects little of women but far more of his own sex: familiar. Nietzsche uses the figure of "woman" rhetorically to shame men into a greater appreciationof friendship."For. social beings we are obliged relation.First. One cannot trust that the friend will always take one's point of view. "you shouldbe closest to him with your heartwhen you resist him":the friend can become an enemy at any time. Can you go close to your friend withoutgoing over to him? In one 'sfriendone should have one 'sbest enemy. Andwe philosophers -have we reallymeant morethanthiswhen something whatwe areusedto so thatwe we havespoken of knowledge? is familiar means What atallin nolonger marvel atit.if the friendsareto be trulyautonomous. the enemy is always a possible countenanceof the friend. Woman 'slove involvesinjusticeand blindnessagainst everythingthat she does not love. to breakfromtheexploitativerelation to otherness traditionally ForNietzsche friendshipis best contrastednot with enmity. it is salient that he explicitly excludes women from this role.The toFriends ing andfro-ingof the danceis essential. whilstfriendship andenmityarerelationsthatemphasizedifferencesbetweenindividuals. forces. Are you a tyrant? Thenyou cannot havefriends. Moreover. oureveryday.

ofrepulsion. provide interpretations the sceneryfor his philosophyandrenderit enticing for his readers.you men. she argues.andresentment.however.LifeandTruth ownbeing.and I shall not be any the poorerfor it. cows. dispute regard. in women.6 Slaves.To as a woman in Nietzsche's in thistextas well. whose gossip aboutwomen keeps their identity as such intact. Nietzsche's stipulationthat women cannot be friends allows him to use them for his own purposes. ought of his text Nor shouldhe be without in which it is written. Women to his see of work.affirmative (that woman). and the meanness of your souls! As muchas you give thefriend. "toargue Oliver usesKristeva hadnotadequately 'sconcept that Nietzsche Kelly of "abjection individuated his mother.hervalue beyond between men. thus representingto him his power. you men. for this reason. We can only conjecturethat Nietzschefeared women's difference.whores. and Madonnas:what. as well as how such differencewould interactwith his philosophy.unless they are willing from the outsetto erase theirsexual differenceby identifyingwith Nietzsche's (masculine)point of view.if "unauthorized" readings of his The a and thus reader-friend not to be philosophy. his writingbecomes inhospitableto women as readers. Nietzsche he wouldmarry whom as a woman. tyrants. In the passage above. towardhis mother.Yet itbethiswoman unless these"children I loveyou. In this one need make no effortfor the encounterwith her.But tell me.then they are exchangeable. for the mood meaning regard and thus Nietzsche was a if It seems that slavish. to acknowledge andautonomy. is the effect of this text for those of Nietzsche's readerswho happento be women? Nietzscheframeshis "philosopher as one who is willing to differentiate of the future" himself from him. and self-effacing (for instance.quantified. Thereis comradeship:let there befriendship! [TSZ 169] Lest he be thoughta woman. regarding fear.is notyet capable offriendship:womenare still cats and birds. ["Nietzsche's Abjection diacritics / spring 2003 85 ." aspectsof his own life or destiny:as metaphor from whom Zarathustra wanted children [TSZ 340-43].If women aretyrantsand slaves andarenot capable of friendship. ruthlessly distortthe tyrant.Or Woman at best."and"Eternity. Woman is not yet capable offriendship.The philosophicalcommunityof friendsis thus a society of men.the reader-presumably a man-is persuaded to reevaluate his preconceptions aboutfriendship. and thuswas caughtin the grip of ambivalent feelings himselffrom Hisambivalence as wellas loveandvulnerability.is the sourceof his ambivalence towardwomenin general "1994]."reading. we may wonder."Woman" between is she currency philosophers: alreadyunderstood.in the very mannerthathe found abhorrent in Hegel. 6. her.Yet. in order to produce interesting. frigid. women undertake unwilling. Furtheralong Zarathustra'spath the "worst" of the women he encounters may be describedas old.the old woman in "OnLittle Old and YoungWomen"[TSZ 177-79]). produce dead. behold your poverty. "woman"can be seen as an object of exchange between Nietzsche and his readers. areinfact hisownthoughts: areeach littletributes to-or versions of-Nietzsche. narrow-minded. then-to set themselves apart from women-men aspire to become Zarathustra's friends. "faithful. If women are considered to be all the same (all equally is thus a basic unit of incapableof friendship). I will give even my enemy.andthusas implicated represented theextent a reluctance that hedemonstrates becomes woman Nietzsche is.0 eternity " whom I love:for children. alterity. who among is you capable offriendship? Alas. "Woman" plays the "slave" to Nietzsche's "master"in his texts. andas theonlywoman represents Eternity and who couldbearhimchildren I wanted whom I woman have the ("Never from found yet "[340]. Othersare figures for the better the only woman for "life.

closelyrelated of myphilosophy.It thus protectshim from a more threateningdifference that would wrest his philosophy fromhis control. as disciple-cum-nursemaid. but not as an equal. . You searched and searchedfor me. in that quest. Wanting me still to be virgin materialfor the building of your world to come. the friend offers him the promise of difference. . her depths. your time. Nietzsche demands of the woman reader-for instance. it is only to bring about your perspective. benevolent love.. 86 .or a place of difference. a stranger in her own body.. your will. she speaks the "yes " dictated to her by your latest 7. But how could it ever be reached if.possessing the blindness and intensityof a lightningbolt. Ironically..] when finally you allow her to speak. Yet the love that Nietzsche demandsof his women is a soft.Women know only love.] Becoming speech in your mouth. [.] Louis uniquely part ready [. Nietzsche's Lover: Amante Marine And it was not that I was withholding myselffrom you. October 1882] Nietzsche most definitelysaw Salome as a mostpromisingstudent.Not surprisingly. Elemental Passions Women are ruled out by Nietzsche as friends.This is precisely why he denies "woman"his friendship.as a meeting place for lovers ratherthan friends. she has fulfilledall my expectations-it is not possiblefor two peopleto be more thanwe are. According to Irigaray. . Lou Salome-that she become his disciple. but that you did not know where to find me.if his philosophy were to maintainits openness to multiple interpretations."unlike the "friend. Irigaray introducesthe "marine lover"in orderto open Nietzsche's text to sexual difference.She brings his philosophyto its future.Salome was wary of the role. As motionless as you can wish. Nietzsche described Salome to his friend Franz Overbeckas "a real trouvaille. . but delivers a very limited alterity.is denied the alteritythat Nietzsche saw as so essential identity.women in Nietzsche's texts are merely distortedaspects of himself. The figure of "woman"is receptiveto his self-image in a self-representation mannerthat could not be asked of his readers. one that affirms him but cannot present itself as a challenge. once again you wanted yourself as you already are? -Luce Irigaray.] Selected Lettersl95.and theirfalling out is at least in part due to these expectations."Woman" to the "friend.whilst the "friend"providedNietzsche with an exemplarof difference. with as much to offer him as he could to thatNietzsche her. In this manner. The last pattern of your being that she must still reproduce or mimic.."serves a utility for Nietzsche's in the text. [.and destiny.."Beyond the "friend. and an unjust love at that. your art.this differenceis confinedto the one sex. in you.and as singularly capable of teaching his philosophy to others. as "life.if he were not to limit "woman" to meaningfor him "thesame."because "woman. as his eternal affirmation." "truth." He continues. And this takes away from her surfaces."and "destiny." "Woman"is an endless resource for Nietzsche's self-affirmation: as such she is denied her differencefrom him." whose masculinityguarantees Nietzsche a comfortablefamiliarity.7The women who populate his writings are mere automatons:figured as Nietzsche's fertile ground. had plannedfor her. undisclosed forthetillnowalmost [.

I yet wish to turnto Irigaray'sreadingof Diotima's speech in Plato's "Symposium"[Ethics 20-33].movement. would be women of difference Nietzsche and between preserved. then. is "neitherbeautiful nor good" [21]. And the mediator of all this is.and conception love. accordingto Nietzsche.the deliberate assumption of the feminine posture assigned to her within the realm of discourse in order to uncoverthe mechanismsby which (they) oppress her" [228].love's goal is never achieved.Thus.or completeness. when he relatesthe speech to the symposium. It is love that both leads the way and is the path.As CarolynBurkewrites. closest to self-transcendence. Irigaray employs Diotima's strategyof engaging with the philosopher. Irigaraycontends that by invoking the relation.or the tide of change. Diotima interrogatesSocrates's conventionalmethod of analysis and disruptshis neat. among other things. diacritics / spring 2003 87 . Everything is always in movement. in a very importantsense Irigaray's"discourseof love" abides by Nietzsche's prohibition.andfeared. Spoke thatwould shift him from his complacencywith regardto women. Ethics 21] [Irigaray.but ratherallows the other also to move and grow. with the lover's desiredgoal.using love as a means of tutoring Nietzsche. this is "whatIrigaraycalls 'mimicry' (mimetisme). as a relationthat cannotbe conflatedwith the beloved. becoming: It is love that leads to knowledge. For Irigaraylove is closest to the divine.in Thus She wishes to be for him the bolt of lightning. To this end. A mediator par excellence. Moreover.SocratesdistortsDiotima's accountof love so that it conformsto his own explanation. According to Irigaray. withoutrenderingthem into this "daemonic" some kindof third-term as with Hegeliansynthesis. Love exists as the possibility of movementand growth that does not impinge upon the identity of another.but as the lover.Diotima persistentlychallenges Plato's system: intermediary 8. love. be achieved. always becoming.through unity.and thatthe love-god. Irigaray's modus operandi throughouther oeuvre is to conform to the philosopher's plays in his expectations. in which she readsPlato'sdistortionof Diotima'steachingsaboutlove alongside women's exclusion from the symposium.but ratherof absoluteindeterminacy. The mediator is never abolished in infallible knowledge.Of course. subjecting his philosophy to the most rigorous "trialby water. love remains resolutely in between. in a state of becoming. Eros.In the first accountof Diotima's view.8 Yet Irigaray wishes to reawaken the transformative aspectof woman'slove thatNietzsche so derided.such that she is able to emphasizethe effect of the role that "woman" work. [21] By suggesting thatlove is in-between. Yet. the experience of loving. the basis for an encounter between them would also Briefly.or presence.since such "achievement" would annulthe love thatengenderedit. Her song accompanies and celebrates the latest work your music has paused at. your plastic necessity." Diotima's"love"blursboundaries between the two in love. this is the only relation of which she is capable. [Marine Lover 36] If Nietzsche explicitly rejects the possibility of having women friends-readers who MarineLoveris writtenas would imbue his writingwith new meaning-then Irigaray's a carefully craftedresponse to this interdictionon the woman reader. or exemplarily. Zarathustra.Diotima presents Socrates with an account of love that threatensto undo his own. She encountershim not as friend. Never fulfilled.Such divinity does not take the form of pure of a being-between. whether in art or more metaphysical learning. and. your latest will. teleological theory of forms. teleological understandingof what love is.

then. the child plays the role of intermediary in the place of love. Briefly in Plato's text. Thus. but warrantedby no one. Although it appearsthat a disruptionto the system had been resolved. A writingthattakes love as its motivation. Diotima challenges his every assertionaboutlove. Love ceases to be intermediate the cause of animal-love is procreation.. [Ethics 22] Diotima.andforcingthemto become morereflectiveabouttheirpreconceivedideas.disparaged.] for her wisdom" and whom he honors as havingbeen "his initiatorandteacherwhen it comes to love" [Ethics20]. initiating his growth in mattersof love and learning.or knowledge").'0 9. However. it is completely forsakenby the surrounding or deridedby them. Diotima is thus identifiedby Irigaray in "SorcererLover" as her worthyprecedent. Diotima can in this mannerbe seen to employSocrates'sown methodsagainst him. is also the one who most challenges his thoughtfrom within Plato's text.. Plato takes over. so that Irigaraycan also be seen to tutorPlato in love. arts). by thousands of subjects (who knows?). and admits no emotional bias. of the intervalbetween.Irigarayreadsthis momentin Plato's text in orderto mobilize againthe instabilitywithin the "Symposium. where Diotima says that silencing the insolent Diotima. Instead.ratherthanits object. and. Whereas it has been cast aside by many philosophersas a means of attainingknowledge.] the lover's discourseis of an extremesolitude.Plato rewrites her account so that it becomes assimilable to his own ontology. is almost unheard of in philosophy. Plato restores the integrity of the text that Diotima had previously renderedunstable. some of her strongestwork involves an amorousengagement. techniques. for Irigaraylove is the relationpar excellence: the first principle of movement and desire. He writes of the "lover's discourse" that it is a neglected. she teaches the renunciation of already established truths. language: [. and the origin of philosophy itself ("love of Thus. Love is mortalityand immortality. she whom Socrates "praises[. and in so doing. as an "intermediary thatwill never be abandonedas a means or a path"[Ethics 20]. accordingto Irigaray.continuallyinterrogating "itinerate people in the street. even disavowed.forcing them to be true to their own ideals regardingsexual differenceas well as the more "central"issues with which their writings deal.Roland Barthes also interrogatesthe mannerin whichphilosophy distances itselffrom the emotional life.Irigaray also uses philosophers' own methodsagainst them."so thatthe readercannotignore Diotima.and thus "she leads love into a split between [Ethics 27]. and here.and love loses its daimonic character" subordinated to procreationas. Once a discourse is thus drivenby its own momentuminto the backwaterof the 88 . Uncomfortablewith Diotima's truth. she brings him beyond himself. Irigaraywrites. she undoes his certainty. . already constituted truths. Diotima is seen to retreat from this position at one point. it was merely ignored."Diotima's method miscarries"[Ethics 27]. we can read Diotima as Socrates's lover and seductress. 1O.9Unlike many of Socrates's otherinterlocutors. according to Irigaray.which usuallypurports to base its considerations upon "fact"only.perhaps. interrogatingPlato's discoursejust as Diotima had.Diotima was allowed to speak only so that she might be silenced by Plato. Socratesis put to his own test by Diotima. .As the "philosopher.[Diotima] ceaselessly examines Socrates on his positions but without positing authoritative. not only fromauthority but also fromthe mechanismsof authority (science. this exemplifies the place that"woman"is conventionallyallottedwithin philosophicaldiscourse.severed languages:ignored. This discourseis spoken. however. ThroughtheirdialogueSocratesis broughtto a new appreciation of love. She does so with love as her guide. And each time Socrates thinks he can take something as certain.

But if I keep your images and you refuse to give me back mine. and if in you also I could find my reflection. or repressed. Irigaray offers Marine Lover to Nietzsche. who sometimes becomes confusedwith the mother)." with the philosophers.CarolynBurke also briefly assesses the relation betweenBarthes and Irigaray in "Romancing the Philosophers" [228]. If you were to gaze upon yourself in me. thus. in Bodies That Matter[35-39]. and use. an "outside"-or displaced-feminine is implicitlyposited as "thatwhich must be excludedfor that economy to thatwhichoperatesunproblematically operate"[36]. your self-same [ton meme] is but a prison. In Le corps-a-corps avec la mere she writes of Marine Lover: "Ce n'est pas un livre sur Nietzsche mais avec Nietzsche qui est pour moi un partenaire amoureux" [44].twomodesof the "feminine": diacritics / spring 2003 89 . "Woman" is already double in Nietzsche's texts: as the domesticated. See Walter 's in whichhe condemns introduction to The Nietzsche's Science. Butlerargues thatIrigaray identifies "thefeminine" that she draws upon in her work as phallogocentric discourse's "constitutive outside" [35].Barthes'sbookpresents the reverse side of the subject: its life as shaped byfear and loss. who is for me a partner in love. "She" is simultaneously the effect of men's constructions and the surface that holds their projections. See JudithButler's account of Irigaray'sunderstandingof thefeminine."1 or else pardon Nietzsche's sexism in order better to access his "philosophy in general.13It is a text to which each contributes and is responsible.Thereis thus a markeddifferencebetweenBarthes'sand Irigaray'sprojects. as if the book itself were the love between them. This means thatfor the binary pair masculine/feminine to be meaningful as a hierarchical distinction.[1] A Lover's Discourse is thus an attemptto elaborate this solitary language. and a third term between them to which each would attend. and as the site of a repressed relation to an other (the beloved. She imagines a love with Nietzsche that would allow each to grow and to give of themselves. Marine Lover is the site of the woman lover's emergence. and to award it some legitimacy. Thereare. which prepares the ground for a feminist interaction with Nietzsche's philosophy that would not simply reject it out of hand as misogynist.""2 Irigaray writes her response to Nietzsche on the back of his sexism.Yetin Barthes's text relations betweensubjectsand objects-lover and beloved-remain unaltered. love would be a resource for each participant in the relation. and as a remainder that he cannot acknowledge or own. Wecan see similaritiesbetweenBarthes and Irigaray. See also Allen and Figes. denied them within Nietzsche's own lifetime. since for Irigaray it is precisely the lover/beloveddichotomythat must be interrogated. 12. Love of you but a paralysis. of an affirmation. Nietzsche'scritique of the liberal subject." 14.discouragesfeminists from beingovercriticalofNietzsche's sexism.14 Thus the exiled from all gregarity. creating her persona as the woman-fluid-lover (amante marine) with the material that his philosophy fears most. up until now.as in A Lover's DiscourseBarthesrecapitulatestheforgotten. RosalynDiprose. however "unreal. Her persona as the marine lover enables her to enact the woman who is. authorized element. Kaufmann Gay comments on woman simply as characteristic of the misogyny of his day.for instance. 13. then those dreams would unlimit our spaces. "Itis not a book aboutNietzsche but with Nietzsche. without one being consumed or exhausted by the other. [Marine Lover 5-6] According to Irigaray's conception. warning that this is distractingif we want to learnfrom.it has no recoursebut to become the site.language of the lover. as the place between them with which they can both write their relation. 11." exiguous. ignored by Nietzsche.what Carolyn Burke calls a "flirtation.For Barthesthe lover-the subject-is ever-present.and the beloved's "absence" (or her refusaltofulfill the impossiblerequirements of the lover) constitutesthe subject as intrinsicallywounded.

in the philosopher's discourse. See also Oliver Nietzsche /Womanizing 83-84]. A perpetualrelay between your mouth and your ear" [3]. Yet the marinelover is not unjustor tyrannical.whereshe suggests thatIrigarayspeaks in the voices of Ariadne. and Persephone. That. and a potential site of disruptionto thatdiscourse. out of love. is arguedby CarolynBurke. Dionysus. with an other gaze.caught I was "Drum. for the sake of the love between them. but did not serve the woman who. was denied her own specificity. this reunionso thatthe lover of love for him.She simply asks to be loved in return.then Irigaraysituates their love materiallythrougha poetics of fluidity. became the incarnation yearnsin ThusSpokeZarathustra. Love is a capacity for movement and growth. 15. But. but to an other who refuses to listen-Irigaray demonstratesher need for separationfrom Nietzsche: thatthe confusion (illustratedso hysterically)between the philosopherand his beloved served Nietzsche well. To close off this mouth that always sought to flow free.as whateverdoes not operateaccordingto the termsof thatdiscourse. Amplifying your speech with an endless resonance.its intensity frightenshim. had I never held back. My body arousedonly by the sound of your bell" [3]. if we understand Irigaray'suse of "love"here as the intermediary it is clear never be abandonedas a means or a path" [Ethics 20].By stagingthe encounterwithin the ocean. throughsuch a convergence. sending back to itself its own truth.personais alreadyin Nietzsche's text.I ensurethe vocal medium. toward you.And. That your words reasoned all the better because within them a voice was captive. and thus he consumedher. but as whatit denies: as the "woman"who would say "no"to Nietzsche's philosophy. as the negative to masculinity'spositive. someone was calling out to return to the air. I had to be supple and stretched.speech andhearing-for Nietzsche:"Betweenyou and yourself.15 resonanceof voice: like Ariadne.tyrannical. And. Athena.remembering the womanloverto him.If love is for them a source of nourishment.Irigaraybegins MarineLoverby evoking a reunion withNietzsche. then why Irigaray requireslove to read Nietzsche.Irigaraystages can claim her partof love fromNietzsche. She thusbecomes demanding. merely the drumin morphologyof an ear to stand in for this labyrinth: do your own ear. never would you have remembered that something exists which has a language other than your own. in which they put themselves and each other-as they are presently-at risk: the watery path between them is the means to transformation. If Nietzsche were to love another-and not simply to bask in their love without loving in return-he would commit to beginning a process of inestimable change in himself. "each as 'a mask made to seduce' him" [231]. [3] within Nietzsche's philosophy as the Irigarayelaboratesthe woman lover's entrapment She uses the his within Theseus's labyrinth. aftershe has so long been ignored: And you had all to lose sight of me so I could come back. Irigaraysuggests a process of becomingbetween Nietzsche and his lover.but it is also the stopgapthatpreventsthe two from mergingwith one another. The woman lover stands in for both vocal cords and eardrum.The marine lover had alreadymade the mistakeof giving only the soft love for which Nietzsche so She adoredandnurtured him. TheconnectionbetweenIrigaray'smarineloverandAriadne. certainly. to that. from her prison.lover of Nietzsche'sfavored god. 90 . Thus. that"will Again. Love is the possibility of the two coming together. by expressing "woman's"soliloquy-addressed not so much to herself. I had to be intact. the most arduous thing has been to seal my lips.to fit the textureof your words.exhibitingthe kind of love that Nietzsche imagines as unjust.

as it engulfs and fills the swimmer so easily. In Marine Lover Irigarayargues that Nietzsche's text provides no habitatfor women readers:it is in fact hostile to women. Why this persistent wishfor legs. mirrors. It is always hot. And as companion you never choose a sea creature. J'ai choisi d'interroger Nietzsche du c6te de l'eau parce que c'est le lieu d'interpellation le plus fort. hermit. monkey and ass.Moreover. ThroughMarine Lover."an ambiguous element in his writings (but nevertheless its ground)is renderedgenuinely capricious. or wings? And never gills? [Marine Lover 13] Fluidityis the element thatrepresentsproximitymost lucidly for Irigaray. you detect hisfear of the Deluge.it is not to honor the ocean's or. Dans Zarathoustra.waterwas also absent. but a pole in a relation of otherness to the sun.flowing freely.if love has been the element missing fromNietzsche's philosophy. Irigarayclaims in an interview that Nietzsche fears water more than any otherelement.to expressoneself freely. it is not surprisingthat he does not reminisce aboutthe textureof their relation.keeping to mountainpeaks and valleys.].move most freely in water. accordingto Irigaray. . and [.. The love relation stands in starkcontrastto 16. and hard in your world. eagle. [see Gay deep.It is a pole.In Zarathustra. lion.. Perched on any mountain peak. c'est aussi ce quifloue les glaces. and thus is truly put at risk.responding to such "lively" women-rather than his own captive arrayof frozen Madonnas--will also free Nietzsche up for the becoming that he asked his friends in the futureto provide. Are you truly afraid offalling back into man? Or into the sea? [Marine Lover 13] Irigaray'smetaphoricsof fluidity replacesNietzsche's own preferencefor aridity. Camel. you never dwell in the great depths. on entend sa peur du Deluge. views them from a distance Science 123-24]. Fluidity is also the element that mediates the sexual relation:a nearnessthat Nietzsche does not come to terms with in his arid-frigid?writing. L'eau. andbeyond the philosopher's control.This new elemental setting emphasizesthe sensualityof habitat. Yes. "Woman. C'est un p6le. "Ichose to interrogateNietzschefrom theperspective of water because it's the strongest it is the elementwhichproducesin himthe mostfear. snake. tightrope walker or bird. But no to anything that moves in the water. [Corps-a-corps 43]16 Nietzsche resists the ocean's depths in his philosophy. And to excel for you always requires a bridge. Thus it becomes for her an instrumentfor her critiqueas his lover." diacritics / spring 2003 91 . c'est l'element qui lui fait le plus peur. Wateris also what obscuresfrozenforms: ice/glass. mais un pole autre par rapport au soleil. who. les miroirs.One must feel comfortable in one's surroundings-one must "bein one's own element". je ne dirais pas oppose.but her surfaces:upon which he sails his various watercraft. and doves. dry. I wouldn'tsay opposed to. According to Irigaray. pointfromwhichto interpret. To the extent that his writing does featurewater. For it is the lover's privilege to face Nietzsche with his fears and flaws: to exploit them such that he is broughtbeyond his own limits. standingankle depths. the condition for "Nietzsche's"ideal existence is wrest from his text. So if Nietzsche has forgotten his lover.

The marine lover casts Nietzsche into the sea. no skiff.how manifold are the occasions for misunderstanding. even among your closest acquaintances. If he let her carry him along without forcing her to follow his rhythm alone" [36].even the greatestof them. the place of his first becoming. How will "Nietzsche" survive this event? "A catastrophe that would have no place to be if he obeyed the music of that female other. Thus. according to Nietzsche. so that their relation to one another may cease to be frozen." 17. and realizes in additionthat all the opinions of one's fellow men. "almost always depend(s) upon the fact that two or three things are never said or even so much as touched upon.there are no friends!"thus said the dying sage. as in love one confronts fears and opens oneself to critique. environment-perhaps one will then get free of that bitternessof feeling with which the sage cried: "Friends. ouralliancesandfriendships rest. the end of an age of ice: "no sails. we restoreour properequilibriumwith others.""7The friend's trust is based upon a contract of mutual protection against knowledge of one's own flaws. however. for the sake of a better life together. how divided the how ever the same opinions are of a opinions. which. quite differentrankor intensityin the heads of your friendsthanthey are in yours. Nietzsche is thus "[c]arried away by the waves. "Foes. let us also endure other people. The marine lover bids Nietzsche to returnher affirmation of him.andregarding as a moving sphereof moods and opinions.for such humanrelationshipsalmost always depend upon the fact thattwo or threethings are never said or even so much as touchedupon: if these little bouldersdo startto roll.for hostility and rupture. Tragic castaway in unrestrained turmoil" [Marine Lover 36]. According to Irigaray. rather. For no one can build edifices upon the sea.-Only reflect to yourself how various are the feelings. Love for Irigaray is the mechanism through which they can provide one another with support and affirmation. andthus learningto despise ourself a little.if one comes to they are held.--And so. of whateverkind they are and with whateverintensity as theiractions. love is "how one becomes what one is. therearefriends.how close at handareicy downpours how isolated each man is! When one realizes this. there are no foes!" say I. the living fool. Lovers hardly appease one another in this manner.After reflectingon all this you must tell yourself:how uncertainis the groundupon which all or stormyweather. and perhapsto each of us there will come the more joyful hour when we exclaim: "Friends. since we can endureourself. Nietzsche's apparent fear of water thus attracts the marine lover to him. It is implied here that Nietzsche would find such a deluge-the deluge of his becoming-distressing.Are there not people who wouldbe mortallywoundedif they discoveredwhattheirdearestfriends ourown nature actuallyknow aboutthem?-Through knowingourselves. [Human. andthey must have learnedhow to keep silent in orderto remainyour friend. She is the one best suited to sharing a future with him that propels onward. yourself thatled them to you. to infuse Nietzsche's refrain in Ecce Homo with Irigaray's lesson to him.there are no friends!"One avow to oneself:yes. Thispassage reads infull: Offriends.butit is erroranddeceptionregarding will. Drowning in the flood.All Too Human148-49] 92 . but also criticism.friendshipfollows afterthem and shatters. rather than stagnating like rancid water. talent.but equally good reason to direct this feeling back on to ourself. such that he is returned to a materiality that resembles that intrauterine place of first movement. The marine lover returns by virtue of a great thaw. It is true we have good reason to think little of each of our acquaintances.friendship. no bridge remain in the breaking up and thawing of ice" [Marine Lover 36].occupation. arejust as necessaryand unaccountable understand this innernecessity of opinions originatingin the inextricableinterweaving of character.

Seductionand Theory: Burke. We can see. did it ever occur to him to say "yes" to her? Did he ever open himself to that other world?For himit doesn'teven exist. Hunter. long live Nietzsche.for Nietzsche to risk himself in affirminga woman might bring him to the transcendent statethathe so desired:Nietzsche is dead.J.The other has yet to enlighten him. The marinelover is just the beginning. Judith. ElementalPassions. Interpretation. affirmingthe other.Irigaray thusrevitalizesNietzsche's text for women. Nietzsche's relationof preference. "Nomad Thought. to the whole of himself. Barthes. Roland."Romancingthe Philosophers:Luce Irigaray. In MarineLover Irigarayputs to the test Nietzsche's claim to desire an encounter with anotherwith genuine alterity:precisely the one whom Nietzsche most resistswhom he most fears-would presenthim with his greatestphilosophical. WORKS CITED Christine.1970. Ed. Deleuze. Her readingis thus simultaneouslycriticismand a discourseof love. 1993."Radical Philosophy 52 (Summer 1989): 27-32. 1989. Trans.The impossibilityof overcomingher. A Lover's Discourse: Fragments. London:Athlone." D. New York:Dell. and Readings of Gender. PatriarchalAttitudes. Irigaraydoes not presentus with the last word on Nietzsche. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex. 1979. Diprose.by which all waters. To tell him something. Lange. Irigaraydemonstratesthat love.however. my emphasis] To say "yes"to the being of another: this would breakNietzsche's narcissism.Victoria: Penguin Books. to the other. Montreal:Plein Lune.Carolyn. 1992.love does for her reading what cannot be done by friendship.Irigaray bestowson Nietzsche challenge."the existence of one coming at the expense of the other). Gilles. 117-33. it is necessary to put oneself at risk:love. Allison. Trans. M. Ed. and women. And if.Representation.London:Faberand Faber. in thatshe opens it to new possibilities throughher doublededicationto Nietzsche and to herself.andpersonal. Still. G."The Sexism of Social and Allen. "Nietzsche's Ambivalence aboutWomen. 142-49. The trystbetween Nietzsche and feminism is far from over. 1981.RichardHoward. this in as it also involves movement is not itself Irigaray. Political Theory:Women and Reproduction from Plato to Nietzsche. the marinelover as this challenge. that love performs a number of functions for Irigarayin her encounterwith Nietzsche. Illinois P. Butler. Ethics and Sexual Difference. 1990. or criticismas a lover's discourse. In this manner. L." The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Ed. and is thus the more abiding relation.Even to appear to him in her irreducibility. 1977. Le corps-a-corps avec la mere.Urbana:U of Rhetoric. E.In love. David B. not friendship. are hardenedinto mirrors. Further. Irigaray. Figes." London: Routledge. taking negative.Luce. . Collie and J. and allowing for coexistence of two lovers (ratherthan "lover"and "beloved. Toronto:U of TorontoP. engendersphilosophy as a discourse of learning and growth. Friends may come and go-friendship being so contingentupon sharedinterestsand common goals-but love wants change and difference.without having even begun to say "yes"? [MarineLover 190. So who speaksof love. Rosalyn. account of the other. Clarkand L. diacritics / spring 2003 93 . In this way.. "Nietzsche. then. 226-40. as "anintermediary Accordingto par excellence"is a pathto transformation. he says "yes" and also asks her to say "yes" again.By presenting the possibility of his own becoming.

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