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On waiting for something to happen

Bayly, S. and Baraitser, Lisa (2008) On waiting for something to happen. Subjectivity 24 (1), pp. 340-355. ISSN 1755-6341.


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This paper seeks to examine two particular and peculiar practices in which the mediation of apparently direct encounters is made explicit and is systematically theorized: that of the psychoanalytic dialogue with its inward focus and private secluded setting, and that of theatre and live performance, with its public focus. Both these practices are concerned with ways in which “live encounters” impact on their participants, and hence with the conditions under which, and the processes whereby, the coming-together of human subjects results in recognizable personal or social change. Through the rudimentary analysis of two anecdotes, we aim to think these encounters together in a way that explores what each borrows from the other, the psychoanalytic in the theatrical, the theatrical in the psychoanalytic, figuring each practice as differently committed to what we call the “publication of liveness”. We argue that these “redundant” forms of human contact continue to provide respite from group acceptance of narcissistic failure in the post-democratic era through their offer of a practice of waiting.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): psychoanalysis, performance, ethics, encounter, anecdote, waiting
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2010 09:39
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 15:27

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