By Teresa de de Lauretis
"There is not often a web page during this number of hard-thought and brilliantly written essays that doesn't yield a few new insight." ―Hayden White
"... de Lauretis’s writing is brisk and refreshingly lucid." ―International movie Guide
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Extra info for Alice Doesn’t: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema
Part of the problem, as I have suggested, lies in their derivation from, and overwhelming dependence on, linguistics. It may well be, then, that part of the solution is to start elsewhere, which is not to say that we should ignore or discard a useful concept like signifying practice, but rather to propose that we rejoin it from another critical path. If feminists have been so insistently engaged in practices of cinema, as film makers, critics, and theorists, it is because there the stakes are especially high.
The woman cannot transform the codes; she can only transgress them, make trouble, provoke, pervert, turn the representation into a trap ("this ugly city, this trap"). For semiotics too, finally, the founding tale remains the same. Though now the place of the female subject in language, in discourse, and in the social may be understood another way, it is an equally impossible position. She now finds herself in the empty space between the signs, in a void of meaning, where no demand is possible and no code available; or, going back to the cinema, she finds herself in the place of the female spectator, between the look of the camera (the masculine representation) and the image on the screen (the specular fixity of the feminine representation), not one or the other but both and neither.
19 The double status of the Metzian signifier-as matter/form of expression and as subject-effect--covers but does not bridge a gap in which sits, temporarily eluded but not exorcised, the referent, the object, reality itself (the chair in the theatre "in the end" is a chair; Sarah Bernhardt "at any rate" is Sarah Bernhardt-not her photograph; the child sees in the mirror "its own body," a real object, thus, henceforth, known to be its own image as opposed to the "imaginary" images on the screen, and so on, pp.
Alice Doesn’t: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema by Teresa de de Lauretis