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  • The eternal return of the revenant
Abstract
This essay explores the proposition that the other/otherness/alterity is within us, and how we remain strangers to ourselves, as the title of the book by Julia Kristeva (1991) claims. The concept of multiple identity' is examined on the basis of Arthur Rimbaud's Je est un autre, its consequences and readings by Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva; and through various representations of the multiplicity that each subjectivity consists of. As Rimbaud illustrates, identity is inherent to alterity: the I' cannot be conceived of without the other, who is the condition of his existence. Otherness is something internal and originary, and constitutive for human identity. The second part of the essay reflects on the experience of living in diaspora, and specifically the experience of language, of the mother tongue, after a migration. The essay locates and discusses certain conditions of diasporic subjectivity inherently related to questions about subject formation and language. How does language (or the use of a mother-tongue) shape and form our understanding and sense of being in the world? How can speaking in another language present a form of estrangement from the self?
Keywords
Arthur Rimbaud, Armenian, diaspora, identity, Julia Kristeva, otherness

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Garabedian, Mekhitar. “I Am Merely the Place.” Ed. Kris Rutten, Ronald Soetaert, & An van Dienderen. CRITICAL ARTS-SOUTH-NORTH CULTURAL AND MEDIA STUDIES 27.5 (2013): 606–626. Print.
APA
Garabedian, M. (2013). I am merely the place. (Kris Rutten, R. Soetaert, & A. van Dienderen, Eds.)CRITICAL ARTS-SOUTH-NORTH CULTURAL AND MEDIA STUDIES, 27(5), 606–626.
Chicago author-date
Garabedian, Mekhitar. 2013. “I Am Merely the Place.” Ed. Kris Rutten, Ronald Soetaert, and An van Dienderen. Critical Arts-south-north Cultural and Media Studies 27 (5): 606–626.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Garabedian, Mekhitar. 2013. “I Am Merely the Place.” Ed. Kris Rutten, Ronald Soetaert, and An van Dienderen. Critical Arts-south-north Cultural and Media Studies 27 (5): 606–626.
Vancouver
1.
Garabedian M. I am merely the place. Rutten K, Soetaert R, van Dienderen A, editors. CRITICAL ARTS-SOUTH-NORTH CULTURAL AND MEDIA STUDIES. South-Africa: Routledge / Unisa; 2013;27(5):606–26.
IEEE
[1]
M. Garabedian, “I am merely the place,” CRITICAL ARTS-SOUTH-NORTH CULTURAL AND MEDIA STUDIES, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 606–626, 2013.
@article{4430871,
  abstract     = {This essay explores the proposition that the other/otherness/alterity is within us, and how we remain strangers to ourselves, as the title of the book by Julia Kristeva (1991) claims. The concept of multiple identity' is examined on the basis of Arthur Rimbaud's Je est un autre, its consequences and readings by Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva; and through various representations of the multiplicity that each subjectivity consists of. As Rimbaud illustrates, identity is inherent to alterity: the I' cannot be conceived of without the other, who is the condition of his existence. Otherness is something internal and originary, and constitutive for human identity. The second part of the essay reflects on the experience of living in diaspora, and specifically the experience of language, of the mother tongue, after a migration. The essay locates and discusses certain conditions of diasporic subjectivity inherently related to questions about subject formation and language. How does language (or the use of a mother-tongue) shape and form our understanding and sense of being in the world? How can speaking in another language present a form of estrangement from the self?},
  author       = {Garabedian, Mekhitar},
  editor       = {Rutten, Kris and Soetaert, Ronald and van Dienderen, An},
  issn         = {0256-0046},
  journal      = {CRITICAL ARTS-SOUTH-NORTH CULTURAL AND MEDIA STUDIES},
  keywords     = {Arthur Rimbaud,Armenian,diaspora,identity,Julia Kristeva,otherness},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {606--626},
  publisher    = {Routledge / Unisa},
  title        = {I am merely the place},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02560046.2013.855525},
  volume       = {27},
  year         = {2013},
}

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