Tragic Dislocations

Tina Chanter

in Styles of Piety

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225002
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237081 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Tragic Dislocations

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This chapter is dedicated to and ultimately about Sarah Kofman, a French Jewish Holocaust survivor who became a philosopher known for her critiques of Nietzsche and Freud, and who committed suicide in 1994 at the age of sixty. The chapter sets out by challenging the common view that Oedipus is the consummate tragic character, seeking knowledge only to learn of his own unintentional yet profound sins. The more tragic character in her view is Oedipus' daughter Antigone, who nobly stands by her convictions regarding her family's honor even at the risk of her own life. This brave nobility is compared to Kofman's life as a woman struggling to develop her career in a field dominated by men, while at the same time struggling to come to terms with the tragedy of her childhood, including the murder of her father. Kofman and Antigone are tragic heroines par excellence.

Keywords: Sarah Kofman; Kant; Lacoue-Labarthe; Holderlin; Greek tragedies; Oedipus; Antigone; women; feminism; Holocaust

Chapter.  8501 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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