The Torsion of Politics and Friendship in Derrida, Foucault and Rancière
This paper intervenes in the contemporary re-evaluation of the work of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida and in queer theories and historiographies of friendship – particularly in the influential work of the late Alan Bray – by arguing that Jacques Rancière’s conceptualisation of politics as wrong (or ‘tort’) offers a crucial ‘twist’ to queer critical-deconstructive approaches to politics, friendship and democratic citizenship. By reading Derrida’s figure of ‘virile homosexuality’ in terms of a problematically exclusionary logic, this paper demonstrates that whilst Rancière’s political thinking is very close, even indebted to Derridean deconstruction, his polemical conception of politics aligns him more productively with Foucault’s later work on friendship as ‘a way of life.’ Re-read through Rancière, Foucault’s slogan for the inventiveness of queer cultures of friendship is given a political form as that which interrupts, or ‘twists,’ the ‘proper’ (police) ordering of classes and identities by inventing new and always particular sequences of relationality.
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© borderlands ejournal 2009