Avonturen in de Stille Zuidzee by Willy van der Heide

By Willy van der Heide

Drie jongens mogen als beloning voor een goed rapport een zeereis maken op een nieuwe vrachtboot.

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Sample text

These phenomena are registered repeatedly in the texts with which we are concerned in this book, but we will begin by exploring how they are played out through the styles and strategies of one postfeminist icon, Madonna, and the generations of female artists who have been identified as the potential inheritors of her mantle. Madonna and child? On 13 February 2011 Lady Gaga arrived at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles encased in a giant egg. As the makeshift womb bobbed above the crowds lining the red carpet, carried aloft by four rubber-clad male models, her creative director explained that Lady Gaga was ‘incubating’ and would not be ‘born’ until her performance that evening.

If feminism is an ontology, a way of being, then it is also a hauntology in the Derridean sense – a way of being that is shaped by anxieties about the past, concern for the future and an overarching uncertainty about its own status and ability to effect change in a world where its necessity is perpetually cast into doubt. As a meditation on politics after the ‘death of communism’, or what Francis Fukuyama augurs as the ‘end of history’, Specters of Marx shows how the ghosts of communist revolution continue to haunt the living present as signs of what might have been, and what might yet still be; they are, in essence, ghosts of political possibility.

Even in Walby’s account of feminism’s rude health, its distorted appearance and decreased visibility imply a peculiar ghostliness: if it is not dead, it is not alive in the same way that once it was. As Walby’s reflections indicate, the repeated – if erroneous – sounding of feminism’s death knell has altered the movement’s appearance within the popular imaginary; suspended somewhere between life and death, it is marked by both presence and absence. What, then, are the implications of this position?

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