The Sacrament of Language: An Archaeology of the Oath (review)

The Sacrament of Language: An Archaeology of the Oath (review) 414 Book Notes intellectual flexibility, especially where this flexibility evinces the applicability of psychoanalytically informed theory. It is a pity, then, that the essays most explicitly about psychoanalysis seem the least limber and most esoteric. Sarah Alison Miller, Duquesne University Giorgio Agamben. The Sacrament of Language: An Archaeology of the Oath. Trans. Adam Kotsko. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2010. 104 pp. Australians can occasionally respond to another's assertion with the idiomatic, somewhat déclassé exclamation, "Bloody oath, mate!" This expression can be roughly translated as "of course!," "absolutely!," "I agree with you totally," and so on, with the proviso that it also implies one would have to be malicious or idiotic to think any differently. At the same time, the exclamation expresses a surprise that it dissembles: if it indeed gives assent as if that to which it gives assent were naturally binding upon all, its fervour betrays an uncertainty about that assertion's veracity. Moreover, "bloody oath!" is not for polite company: to utter it is to swear and swear at once. In ecumenical Australia, one swears not on this or that god, but with the sanguinary name of the oath itself. The reader will then presumably not be shocked http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke University of Nebraska Press

The Sacrament of Language: An Archaeology of the Oath (review)

symploke, Volume 19 (1) – Jan 7, 2011

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
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Copyright © symploke.
ISSN
1534-0627
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Abstract

414 Book Notes intellectual flexibility, especially where this flexibility evinces the applicability of psychoanalytically informed theory. It is a pity, then, that the essays most explicitly about psychoanalysis seem the least limber and most esoteric. Sarah Alison Miller, Duquesne University Giorgio Agamben. The Sacrament of Language: An Archaeology of the Oath. Trans. Adam Kotsko. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2010. 104 pp. Australians can occasionally respond to another's assertion with the idiomatic, somewhat déclassé exclamation, "Bloody oath, mate!" This expression can be roughly translated as "of course!," "absolutely!," "I agree with you totally," and so on, with the proviso that it also implies one would have to be malicious or idiotic to think any differently. At the same time, the exclamation expresses a surprise that it dissembles: if it indeed gives assent as if that to which it gives assent were naturally binding upon all, its fervour betrays an uncertainty about that assertion's veracity. Moreover, "bloody oath!" is not for polite company: to utter it is to swear and swear at once. In ecumenical Australia, one swears not on this or that god, but with the sanguinary name of the oath itself. The reader will then presumably not be shocked

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symplokeUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jan 7, 2011

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