Precis: Sarah Knoth

Irigaray has an uncanny way of finding the opposite of everything that Plato says in the Allegory of the Cave, yet she somehow says exactly the same thing; a talent I should learn. She seems to have this internal yet external conflict with the fact that Plato called the edge of ignorance a cave instead of a womb. She believes that women have been taken out of the philosophical picture and that it’s all about the men (iep.com ---link below). Honestly, I believe she has just made another excellent metaphorical version of Plato’s allegory. She does bring up some interesting thoughts about the origin of knowledge or if there is an origin; I found her idea about the “forgotten path” intriguing and how there is “neither outside nor inside, that is between the way out and the way in” (246). She writes about the process of negotiation in the path to enlightenment and perhaps finding oneself out of the in-betweenness. In this whole essay, I think Irigaray is trying to get across the fact that there is truth in everything and that we need to pay more attention to “representation” “repetition” and “images” in our, what she likes to call, our womb—our chest of knowledge. She says quite articulately that the world is the cave and the cave is the world. Perception is key. Even though she has apparent, distinct opinions about her own theories she still questions the authenticity of things such as this: “what is behind, and what behind is. Invisible.” In this case, she is talking about the men who technically cannot see what is behind them, but, with this quote, she says that “behind” is a relative place. I hope this makes sense, but it might be just as confusing as Irigaray’s writing. 



1 comment:

Cardinal said...

Sarah, this is an excellent point. You might be interested to know that Simone de Beauvoir shared your opinion. Asked what she thought of Irigaray's work (in 1984), she replied "anyone who wants to work on women has to break completely from Freud."

The exchange is quoted in Margaret Whitford's Irigaray Reader (24). You can find this book on Google Books.