so I kinda struggled to get through Antigone’s Claim by Judith Butler. it is a seemingly short book containing an exceedingly and unapologetically dense commentary on Sophocles’ Antigone.
to start off, I absolutely love Antigone; I’m not always sure where I stand on it, whether I support Antigone or Kreon or both, but I love it all the same. after reading Antigone’s Claim my adoration for Antigone is in serious jeopardy. to me, Sophocles is a genius – a master playwright, he was able to infuse amazing and perhaps unprecedented depth and meaning into a simultaneously dramatic and entertaining piece. and there is no doubt that modern dramatists, including and especially Shakespeare, were enormously influenced by his writings.
I am not a fan of Butler. never have been. I haven’t read any philosophical works of hers prior to Antigone’s Claim, only articles and interviews, and suffice it to say reading one of her actual books did not help me to glean any further understanding of her – at least in her favour. I liken her to the barnacle on a whale, a parasite, or maybe a mosquito would be a better example, feasting on the misery of others and gleaning any kind profit from the labors of others. this may seem a little hyperbolic but that’s what reading butler does to me – it really sends me over the edge. seriously – my brain – all over the wall right now.
you know how in English class there’s always that kid who can’t help but ponder the metaphorical resonance and glean the deepest meaning about every friggin thing, and the rest of us are like hey, maybe what the author wrote is exactly what he meant, when he said that the curtain was blue, that was all that he meant – there is no abundant metaphorical resonance in the color of the goddamned curtain!
well that kid’s name is Judith friggin butler.
Antigone’s claim is butler’s weak attempt to ponder the deepest kind of metaphorical resonance of the blue curtain – so deep that it is non-f%^*$# -existent. who does she think she is, riding Sophocles’ coattails. butler. I swear to god – it was some kind of divine intervention that spared us Plato and butler from living and writing in the same era and thus preventing their procreation and the continuation of our species.