Sibling Logic; or, Antigone Again

Journal Article

A recent wave of commentary on Sophocles's Antigone by critics from Judith Butler to Bracha Ettinger to Simon Goldhill has begun to emerge from the shadow of two paradigmatic interpretations: Lacan's reading of the title character in splendid structural isolation and Hegel's dialectical opposition of familial and political spheres. Even the newer criticism, however, continues the critical elision of Antigone's siblings (particularly her sister, Ismene) and of her relationship to them. This oversight is emblematic of the problematic omission of the sibling from theoretical discourses in general. The neglected sibling is a model that allows us to move beyond both self-other dualisms and the mother-child dyad, which form the only grounds for intersubjectivity in contemporary debates. Sibling logic recognizes the subject as embedded in a transsubjective network of partial others, whose subjectivities are nonetheless partially, though differentially, shared. This article thereby provides a new approach to poststructuralist debates on subjectivity and the political.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Engelstein, S

Published Date

  • January 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 126 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 38 - 295

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0030-8129

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1632/pmla.2011.126.1.38


  • English