Symbol and the Politics of Representation

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There is a surplus dimension to every symbol.1 This surplus need not be theorized as only the transcendent aspect of it. We can also think of this access as its aesthetic power in an immanent sense. Indeed, we have to consider it is an immanent beyond.  We might be able to walk this path through the notion of affect. There is an essential unrepresentable depth dimension to every symbol.2 This will help us to understand how a symbol is objectified and reduced to a representation. This forgetting of the irreducible dimension of the symbol lends us into an aesthetic blindness. Hence, we attempt to bring to light the disabling effect of the politics of representation on the aesthetic power of a symbol. Affects are hard to be theorized. They are said to be extra-discursive and extra-textual yet we cannot avoid a sort of texualization of them without falling into the politics of representation.3 Affects are moments of intensity affecting our bodily and social life. Effects occur on a different signifying register and cannot be reductively thought through the analogy of language.4 We might think that all signification itself has a complex affective function. That is, meaning can be viewed as an effect of affects. There is an unsayable as well as unreachable dimension to affects and yet they are effectively effective. We attempt to uncover this affective and affecting dimension of symbols and manifest how the politics of representation5 disempower it  and attempts to shut it down.

Affect as an Aesthetic Experience

In a sense a symbol is made of affects frozen in time and space. They are fields power packed with energy to embed an intensive quality that goes beneath, beyond and parallel to all signification processes. Following Deluze and Guattari, we might interpret a symbol as a bloc of sensation waiting to be reactivated or set loose by a participant.6 Indeed, we cannot articulate affects. We can only experience them. Thus, affect is ontologically temporal and hence passes over in time. Hence, what we are left with is an echo or a trace of that intense aesthetic experience. In this sense, there is the unsayable as well as the unreachable limit of an affect and as such is not entirely logocentric or representable.

The Immanent Synergy of an Affect

Affect is an event or a happening.7 This leads us to think that a symbol is an event rather than merely an event site. It is a place where we encounter the affect.8 As beings-in-the-world, we inhabit a certain spatio-temporal register. We experience everything in a mediated way. Hence, our prior disposition as well as a pre-understanding does come into play in the experience of the gripping effect of an affect on us. We are subjects of the realm of affect that is all around us and we are naturally oriented to it. Hence, symbol as an event as well as site of an event enables us to access an immanent beyond (the unsayable and the unreachable) in our everyday life. Within this realm the experience of an affect can be a interrupting, rupturing, disrupting and even corrupting. This unsettling affect opens a new horizon and summons us to a leap of consciousness. Thus, this surprising dimension of a symbol can become a challenge to deconstruct the pre-given modes of experiencing it.

The immanent affect generated by the symbol is spatio-temporal in its deepest sense. It is in the affect that the past and the future belong together in the present as it converts the past into an irrevocable or unforgettable experience which is inseparable from the present and the future. This means we cannot really capture and freeze the intense moment of an affective experience. All that we have is a trace of an intense affective pull lingering and hovering over our consciousness, the one that continues to give us the possibility of accessing the symbol without really reaching a closure. This means that there is an irreducible dimension of the symbol that opens us to the immanent beyond in and through it. The symbol assists us in pushing the boundaries of what can be experienced and gives us the actualizable possibilities for our being-in-the-world. That is, the hermeneutics and the semiosis of a symbol become a horizon that produces heuristics possibilities of being-in-the-world.

An Affect as an Event

To avoid the logocentric underpinnings in our understanding of affect, we might think of it as an event. We can take up what Alain Badiu calls ‘event site’ as a space of the happening of an affect. Badiu describes the ‘event site’ as a point of exile where it is possible that something may finally happen. Thus, a symbol is a site where one might encounter an affect. But to encounter this affect one has to be disposed and open to the affective power of the symbol. This means we as beings-in-the-world are caught in a complex register where we chiefly see/experience what we are interested to see/experience. This does not mean that the affective power of the symbol is non-invasive. Indeed, the symbol can disrupt and grip our attention and lead us to a new leap of consciousness. This means it can switch open spatial as well as temporal registers often in an unexpected fashion that can ignite profound insight in us as well as trigger a sense of awe and trembling.

Thus, affect as an event operates as a kind of play that transports us from the mundane consciousness and opens us to the performative function of a symbol. This means we are intimately involved with the symbol in the making of the affective experience. That is why we need to pay heed to Jean Francois Lyotard who calls for a practice of patient listening that can lead us to a meditative state that allows for and produces an opening for an experience of the event as an affect.9 This means we are to ever remain open to ‘it happens that’ and not reach an anticipatory foreclosure in ‘What happens’. Thus, we cannot allow the ‘what’ of the ‘it happens’ to colour, distort or even tame the affect generated by the symbol. Therefore, the aesthetic experience of an affect is a profound mystical experience that which is bordering on nothingness. That is, we somehow set the world of the symbol to become open to us as we respond to the summons or the call of the symbol. Thus, along with the symbol in the event of affecting, we bring us into an aesthetic experience of an affect that always escapes exact determination and totalization.

Attractive and Repulsive Power of Affect

Symbol switches our intensive register and connects us to the world, humans and God. It opens up a process of re-ordering of our relationship with our self, world, human community and God. It connects us to the world around us. It triggers our response and we either resonate or we echo a repulsive attitude to the call of the symbol. Among our other portals to the world, symbol is an important access point to it. It affects the way of our Being-in-the-world. It integrates our way of being-in-the-world and opens a new horizon for us ‘to look at’ and move towards it as it prefigures the world that is yet-to-come. Hence, the aesthetic impulse that we experience in the face of a symbol in some way opens to us the world and the sacred. This immanent aesthetic experience summons us to respond to the aesthetico-ethical imperative of the symbol. Thus, in some way aesthetics produces ethics. This means symbols with their affective and intensive qualities have a function of incarnating us as beings-in-the-world.

Wittgenstein held that ethics and aesthetic are one.10 This convergence is being attentively studied today. It appears that ethics and aesthetics belong together and in many ways co-constitute each other as we can trace common presuppositions in them.11 Thus, the quality of aesthetic appreciation in some way defines the quality of our ethical response. This means, within the aesthetic experience of attraction and repulsion the symbol invokes in us an ethical imperative. A positive aesthetic response is marked by enjoyment while the aesthetic repulsion is often marked by a sense of dejection though sometimes it might produce a sense of relief and thereof a sense of joy at least to some degree. The aesthetic experience that is triggered by a symbol has a necessary subjective dimension and may be blocked or disabled by some degree of responsive blind spots that we might have as individuals and communities. Yet we cannot reduce the aesthetic experience produced by a symbol to a mere effect of our subjective preference.

Immanent Beyond Dimension in a Symbol

Though symbols may be thought to belong to the representational practices, they operate as fissures in our attempt to represent the world. They have autonomy and otherness of their own that cannot be fully transmuted into the sameness of our categories. Hence, always remain unreachable as well as unsayable. That is why in a symbol, there is a promise that can never be kept and almost remains broken. Hence in some way a symbol remains non-figural and ever open while never reaching a final closure. This means in some way a symbol promises the world-to-come and therefore has a kind of messianic character. That is why while we attempt to articulate the inarticulacy of a symbol, we do not claim to make a positivist, essentialist and logocentric claim but remain within the realm of evocality. This means we wish to remain in ‘the saying’ rather than in the ‘said’.12 Thus, this act of writing about the symbol wishes to remain at the evocative level rather than wrestling with its ‘capturing force’

The Figural in the Symbol

The dynamism of the relation that we have with the symbol might be illumined with the help of figural a concept that is coined by Lyotard in his book, Discourse, Figure.13 He uses the term figural to indicate that which is always in a flux. It cannot be seen as a static concept but has to be viewed as a force that works through or works over the established codes of discourse.14 Hence, we might say that the operation of the symbol is figural as it never works in vacuum but shares a common rhythm with our culture and worldview. There is always the unreachable and the unsayable dimension of the symbol and as such cannot be fixed, coded, translated and pinned down. That is why a symbol moves both inside as well as outside the world of signification. Hence, the symbol opens us to the figural that is bound at the same time remains unbound within it.15 Hence, it is not entirely logocentric though it lends itself to language.

Figural is a process that can never be captured and cannot become totally figurative by our attempts to figure it out. Our attempt to reach a total figuration of the symbol always remains unfulfilled. There is always a non-figural dimension of a symbol. That is why the symbol embeds as well as offers us multiple possibilities of figuration. This means it always remains in the realm of the figural but at the same time becomes incarnate in diverse cultures with diverse possibilities of figuration. For instance, in our culture owl is a symbol of idiocy while for the people in England, it is a symbol of wisdom. Harold Bloom states that by a power hermeneutical act, Christians have turned the scriptures of Israel into their Old Testament without entirely taking away the scriptures from them.16 This is said to be one of the classical case of figural reading.

Symbol and the Process of Figuration

The epiphany of the symbol is figural but we cannot receive the figural and have to figure out only that dimension which has the common rhythm with our culture. Hence our figuration is a limited interpretation of the figural in the symbol. The symbol does not have uniform contours and fixed spacing and linear sense but remains fluid and open. It is through figuration that we in some way ‘textualize’ the symbol and render it understandable, articulable and discursive. But there is no emptying of the power of signification of the symbol. In fact it is a violence to the symbol.17 There always remains a surplus of meaning and the symbol remains beyond transparency and opacity. Hence, we cannot dissolve the meaning evoked by the symbol into the grind of language. In a way figuration erodes the symbol when it attempts to textualize and territorialize it. But symbol has the disarticulatory power that refuses to be tamed and mastered by the systems of signification, particularly language. This means there remains the intractable as well as the unsayable dimension of the symbol.

The figuration through linguistic appropriation is limited as there remains an inability that demonstrates that language cannot incorporate or interiorize as signification an exteriority embedded in the symbol. Hence, figuration also stays beyond the linguistic borders that cannot empty the power of signification of the symbol. That is, figuration has an extra-linguistic dimension which it-self cannot capture the figural in the symbol. The realm of evocality remains both inside and outside the realm of language. Hence, symbol might be thought to belong to the phenomenological realm of showing and not to the reductive linguistic realm and hence remains insignifiable. This means there are non-linguistic spaces that are opened by the evocality of the symbol. Symbol therefore, in a way tears apart our desire to render everything sayable. This asignifying mobility of the symbol opens an aesthetic world to us beyond logocentric arena. In no way we can entirely milk the complex imbrications of evocality in the symbol.

Symbol and Abjection

Julia Kristeva uses the concept of abject to conceptualize the intolerable and repulsive drive in the face of an object that is viewed and deemed as unworthy, negative and evil.18 Just like our body draws lines by rejecting wastes and fluids, we too draw boundaries in our quest for selfhood. She says human excrement, vomit, saliva, urine etc are repulsive because they test the notion of self/other split upon which we build our subjectivity.19 But in fact a close scrutiny demonstrates that the abject in our body violates its own boundaries so too the narcissistic tendencies in us want us to expel the other that is totalized as scum out of our society.20 This is an active figuration of the self and the other whereby the honour and dignity of the self is construed by the expulsion of the other. Such a figuration of the figural in the symbolic relation of the self and the other leads to the ultimate formation of ‘the skin of a community’.

Yet a symbol itself carries the potentiality to reconfigure aesthetics of abject into revolutionary practices of affirmation of the demonized other producing a transformative freedom.21 There are possibilities of transformation of the affective disgust in the symbol itself. Thus, abjection both as a politics of exclusion and aesthetic damage lends itself to transform the loss and violence into new possibilities of revolts that are restorative of freedom. Hence, abjection becomes a resource that can be converted from its disruptive aesthetics into aesthetics of potentiality and resilience. Thus, the symbol has the power to remake abjection into an ecstatic radiance that is both unpredictable and unforeseeable. Thus, the surplus in the symbol can become a restorative power that can alter the abjection into possibilities of new dignifying relations with the other. This means abjection that we can view as failed inclusion can be turned from its pathological effects to a healing, affirming and caring ethics that induces infinite responsibility to the other.

The Aesthetico-political Regime of the Symbol

There are visible, audible aspects that inhabit a symbol and are marked by aesthetico-political regime. Jacques Ranciere christens it as the distribution of the sensible (the sensible is more than the intelligible).22 The aesthetic experience emanating through a symbol creates new modes of sense perception and induce novel forms of political subjectivity. The distribution of the sensible at once discloses something common and assigns us a specific space within the same. It is not mere distribution of space but also of time and forms of activity. Indeed, it determines the very manner in which something in common lends itself for participation. Thus, the semiosis of the symbol brings about the distribution of the sensible. This means the symbol draws the boundaries of commonality in a society and effectively assigns space, time and forms of activity to the people under its regime. That is, it reveals who has the share in what is common to the community assigning and marking the space, time and the forms of activity without any force or coercion. The symbol enjoys a hegemony that largely remains unquestioned and contested.

Symbol and the Aesthetic Practices

Symbol has the power to tear our life from its ordinariness. Its singular presence radiates power and holds us subjected to it. It draws the line that defines the boundaries which enable or disable its subjects from taking charge of what is common to the community. There is aesthetics that is at the core of the symbol, renders it profoundly political. Thus, a symbol can interrupt, disrupt, corrupt and even irrupt (reinforce) the already given distribution of sensible in a society. Symbol generates aesthetic practices that intervene, transform and even conform to the modes of being in a community. Thus, a symbol can de-regulate as well as reinstate the reigning regime of the order of things in a society. Within this politics of the symbol, we can locate bodily practices that are inscribed by the aesthetic practices often triggered by the reigning aesthetic regime. This means the aesthetic regime prescribes23 bodily position, movements, dress codes, food habits etc. The aesthetic regime often constructs aesthetic bridges, distances and boundaries for our bodily life. The aesthetic regime re-ordains and predisposes bodily life and thus become a bodily regime.

The symbol reorders our world. It creates situations that can bring about a modification in attitude and bonding to our environment. It creates or rather recreate bonds between individuals that give rise to new modes of confrontation or affirmation in our society. The aesthetic practices unleashed by the reigning aesthetic regime bring about a dynamic reconfiguration of the common world in our society. These aesthetics practices are ways of occupying place where the relation between bodies, spaces, images and times are redistributed. Thus, a symbol has a profound revelatory function which is deeply political. It assigns everyone a space in the order of things under its sway. It somehow makes everything visible within its aesthetic regime. This is the primordial political dimension of the symbol that is vulnerable to be used and abused by dominant elites as well as subalterns in our society. Thus, politics in this context is not a struggle for power but it is a reconfiguration of space, time and forms of human activities in our society.

Symbol and the Politics of Dissensus

A symbol can drive humans to take a leap from the logic that ordinarily governs human condition. Symbol can generate a politics of dissesus and can indeed become the primary form of dissesus. This is effectively achieved through what Ranciere calls the redistribution of the sensible. Following Raceire, we can state that a symbol often interrupts, disrupts, corrupts and even tears bodies from their assigned spaces, free speech and expression from strangulated noises and forced silences and introduces new horizons into the field of perception. Such a disruption may at times bring about a realignment of the power equations in our society by reorienting our general perceptual space and forms of belonging to the world. This means what is counted as normal is disrupted and suspended from the order of things in the horizon of a symbol. This means symbol often deconstructs the reining order of consensus and springs forth the counter process of dissensus.24

Symbol and the Aesthetizing the (un)Aesthetic

Often a symbol can evoke a feeling of disgust. We have already seen that this uncanny aesthetic experience is theorized as abject by Julia Kristeva.25 The encounter with the abject disrupts personal as well as collective identity. It appears to threaten the borders of the subject and is accompanied by the feelings of loss and loneliness. It becomes a face up with the otherness that is perceived as dangerous and is viewed as scum, filth and excrement. The individual is compelled to reject this otherness to be able to define and defend the boundaries of identity. The object of abjection is clearly viewed as ‘not me’. Thus, this feeling of disgust can produce a body aesthetic that defines some groups as ugly, fearsome and evil and generate aversive feelings towards them and legitimize their marginalization. This means symbol can become or lead us to view others as abject that is deemed worthy of expulsion and may lead to anxieties and violent behavior. Thus, a symbol may aesthetize the (un)aesthetic or abject that is both unsettling and disgusting.

The symbol as usual interrupts, disrupts and in this case corrupts the order of things and brings about a redistribution of the sensible that produces disgust and nausea. It makes us feel that like is rotting from within and draws us into action as we perceive it as intensely disconcerting and disturbing. Thus, there is the symbolic construction of the people, cultures, religions and objects as disgusting and production of lines of taboos that may become visible through rendering of people and their ways of life as untouchable, unspeakable and unreadable. Thus, construed the other becomes repugnant, distasteful, transgressive, deviant and defiling and the self experiences absolute dread and begins to see its other viewed as unbearable, untolerable and unthinkable. But there are possibilities of allowing a semantic dynamization and unframing of the abject that can open up its subversive potentials. Reclaiming of the dalit identity and its pride is one example of unframing of the abject. Hence, we might have communities and people who might use the abject and produce counter-politics of emancipation.26 Such a subversive use of the abject can transform hegemony of the homo-normative social space into a dialogical and emancipative hetero-normative social space. Thus, there are transgressive potentialities with our encounter with the abject. Abject can be enabling and not merely disabling condition.

Symbol and Abject Criticism

An abject can exist as a deject that constantly interrogates and contests the solidity of the self. That is why Kristeva says that the abject is an effect of narcissism.27 It takes the ego back to its source in the non-ego from where it has to break in order to be. The narcissistic self preservative drive leads humans to render others that exhibit alterity to a position of being abject. Abjection distinguishes between individual and the social body. The abject draws us in the depths of our narcissistic self. In some sense every subject is an abjecting self. Kristeva links all abjections to the primarily separation from the maternal body/home at birth. Abjection therefore is always an echo of this primary separation from the mother.28 In order to be, we have to be abjecting. The loss of the mother (matricide) is the sine qua non of our existence. Hence, abjection becomes a return of the maternal. This means abjection is central to subject formation. It is only thorough the process of abjection that binaries between the subject and object occur and operates at the societal level via rituals of defilement and taboo. Kristeva teaches that abjection is a narcissistic crisis.29 Abject produces desire to replace abjection with more comforting and pleasing interpretive categories. Within this frame work, we have abject criticism that attempts to name the condition of being the outcast and downcast. Hence when we abject the surplus meaning dimension of a symbol, we reduce it into what Ricouer calls Idol. This abjecting process transmutes the symbol into a representation.

Anxiety, Insecurity, Dread and Fascination

Abject always exists outside our comfort zone. There is in oppositional nature to it. It irrupts, splits, nauseates and tears our core sameness of Identity (self) in the face of the drastic otherness. This triggers a narcissistic drive for self preservation. It terrifies, haunts and summons us in the face of the inassimilable, intolerable, unknowable, unmappable and figural to seek stability and balance of our self. Hence, it leads us to reject and expel the abject as it seemingly exists at the border between life and death. This challenges us very fundamentally and triggers a need for balance, meaning and structure to fill the void that we seem to experience in the face of the abject. We have already manifested how symbol interrupts, disrupts and even corrupts the order of things. It can lead us to experience our life as falling over the edge of the abyss and we are drawn into the dynamic process of abjection. We begin to expel, dispel and abject this affect that destabilizes the self and seek to territorialize it by following the imperative to separate as well as attach. The affect of disgust, anguish, dread as well as an ambivalent fascination settle downs by building the boundaries between the self and it’s other.

In the encounter of the symbol, the self experience itself as alien as its boundaries are perceived to be lost and as such is driven to reconstruct its territory. The self can only produce an experience of exteriority without really doing away with its interiority. The border is always in some way violated and crossed. The boundaries are called into question even in their very physicality by the affective intensity triggered by the abject. The affective urgency of the abject leads the individual to suppress the symbol that is experienced both as prohibitive and generative. The affective intensity leads the individual to reduce irreducible power of signification of the symbol and politically transform it into a representation. The self that is marked by the uncertainty of its borders is led by this undecidability to mark the line between the self and the other by the transformation of the symbol into a representation. Thus, the self preservatory narcissistic drive leads to the political reduction of the symbol into a sign or a representation.

The Affective Urgency and the Closure of (non)Meaning

The surplus meaning emanating from the symbol being figural slides and mutates from context to context. But the symbol does not merely operate on a logocentric plane but evokes the zone of (non)meaning. This means the symbol exceeds the logos of meaning and of presence of meaning and gravitates and slides towards (non)meaning. This continuous gliding into the realm of (non)meaning perhaps opens the possibilities of mutation of meanings and significations that are radiating from it. In some way a symbol gives itself to a limitless abandonment into the abyss of (non)meaning. This brings us to the unreachable, the unsayable and the figural dimension of the symbol. The logocentric instincts draw us to peg and close the slip of the symbol into the realm of non-meaning and we essentially attempt to fix a closure of the semantic and semiotic potentials of the symbol and we reduce it to the sign of the time. This politics of reduction leads to the transmutation of the symbol into a representation. Often, the social elite as well as the subaltern use this reductive mechanism to make political capital and reinforce or destabilize the power equations in our society.

The totalization of the symbol and rendering it to a mere representation or a sign of the time is always political in its origin and destiny. Such a totalization hides and puts out of sight the surplus meaning and the figural dimension of the symbol and attempts to seal it. But the symbol refuses to reach any closure and resists this attempt of annulling of it power to transport meaning and affect. Though in the final analysis, this attempt to disincarnate the symbol though a reductive totalization is a failed project, it has political potentials that can transform or reinforce the power equations for the elites or subalterns as the case may be. This closure of the plural semantic as well as the semiotic circuits of signification of a symbol though an impoverishment, yet is an effective tool in our hands to those who are in the context of affective surge animated by the symbol/symbols are led to a reductive reading/readings of the same or other symbols. This reductive readings of symbols is a substitution effected by the discomfort brought in by the affective intensity of the symbol and is driven by our narcissistic tendencies.

Symbol and the Narcissistic Substitution

Symbol can become a source of narcissistic supply.30 We all need and consume narcissistic supply. We need it to develop a positive self esteem. Inter-personal relation feed us with narcissistic supply like positive strokes, approval, affirmation, admiration and love. This fulfils our need for self esteem and security. Besides humans ego extends on things, wealth, positions as well as symbols. Humans even reach symbolic existence. Often most insecure persons put up a false self as a defense mechanism and exhibit unhealthy dependency on exaggerated narcissistic supply. The narcissistic individual demand approval, fear, respect applause in h/her inter-personal relations as well as use h/her position, power, caste, religion etc., as a symbolic capital to derive h/her sense of balance or wellbeing. Thus, symbols are often used or even abused by persons who exhibit unhealthy narcissism.

In the context of the malign self love often triggered by a sense of insecurity, a person derives h/her narcissistic supply through substitution. This is done either to elicit praise, respect, and fear or deflect criticism. Narcissistic parents, for instance are said to be seeking to achieve through their children what they have failed to achieve in their life. They seek compensation of their unmet goals by substitution. That is, by seeking to achieve their goal through their children they indulge into substitution. In the context of the intense affective surge experienced in relation to a symbol, we can be driven by discomfort and the encounter of the abject to replace the symbol by another symbol or transmute it into a representation. Thus, the process of abjection can become a process of substitution of discomforting and disconcerting symbols or transmutation of the symbols into representation by attempting to closure of its semantic and semiotic potentials through the power of pragmatics.31 Pragmatics studies how context and the goals of the speakers, writers, users (of symbols) as well the audience lend themselves to the construction of semiotic as well as semantic meanings. Hence, the possibilities that h/she has when faced with affective urgency or even emergency can lead a person to substitute or even transmute the symbol into a representation. All this pragmatics in the final analysis boils down to narcissism as pointed out by Kristeva.


Our study has attempted to scrutinize the flow of aesthetic affect that opens us to the unsayable and unreachable depth dimension as well as manifested how it discloses the common (The order of things) and that assigns us our place within it. This means the aesthetic affect that flows from a symbol is profoundly political and can interrupt, disrupt, and corrupt the order of things that is held in common by the society. It can sometimes produce a feeling of disgust and trigger a desire to abject the (un)aesthetic affect. This uncovering of the aesthetic affect of the symbol urges us to take a dip into the aesthetic tradition of our country. This brings us to the Rasa theory that essentially deals with the kinds of emotions that are produced by a work of art or a symbol.32 The genius (Pratibha) of the artist and the response (asvada) in the audience may be construed as an Indic version of affect aesthetics that we have analyzed in this study. But above all the rasa theory has great potentials for us as Indian Christian Philosophers to explore the affective power of the symbol through the prism of our tradition. The dhvani suggestive hermeneutics can open a window on the evocality of the symbol. The affect that produces disgust and abject also has its parallel in the bhibhitsa rasa of our aesthetic tradition. If studied attentively we might get an insight into the purity pollution dynamics that underpins the evil of casteism as well as religious discrimination. This will enable us to find ways of translating the affect of disgust and configure it into affirmative freedom for the subalterns in our society.


  1. Paul Ricoeur, The Symbolism of Evil, trans. by Emerson Buchanan (Boston: Beacon Press, 1967), p. 15.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Affects can be viewed as aesthetic arousals or intensive impressions generated by experience of art forms , rupturing events, rituals and symbols.
  4. Affects can be viewed as aesthetic arousals or intensive impressions generated by experience of art forms, rupturing events, rituals and symbols.
  5. Denial of the depth dimension or the polysemic nature of symbol is considered in this study as the reduction of the symbol into a mere representation. Symbol has poly-represtative power and by narrowing this power and rendering it into mono-representative form we indulge into what we can call in this context the politics of representation. This does not mean a symbol is apolitical. But is polysemicaly political.
  6. See Simon O’sullivan “ The Aesthetic of Affect : Thinking Art Beyond Representation” in Angelanki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, Vol. 6, No. 3, December 2001, p. 126.
  7. Alain Badiou calls speaks of an ‘Event Site’ a point of exile where it is possible that something, finally, happen. See Alain Badiou, Deluze: the Clamour of Being, trans. by Louise Bourchill (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Press, 1999), p. 84.
  8. Ibid, p. 127.
  9. Ibid, p. 128.
  10. Jerrold Levison, “Introduction‘’ in Jerrold Levison, (Ed.), Aesthetic and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 1.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Following Emanuel Levinas who exhort us to teaches that the ethical Saying of the text overrides ontological said. This study also wishes to remain in the realm of ’Saying’. See Simon Critchley, The Ethics of Deconstruction: Derrida and Levinas (Delhi: Motilal Banaridas Publishers, 2007), pp.44-48
  13. Jean-Francois Lyotard, Discourse, Figure trans. by Anthony Hudek and Mary Lyondon (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011).
  14. Lyodard taught that every form of discourse exhausts itself before exhausting the figural. Ibid, p. 7.
  15. Ibid.
  16. John David Dawson, Christian Figural Reading and the Fashioning of Identity ( Berkley: University of California Press, 2001), pp. 3-4.
  17. Lyodtard teaches that violence belongs to the depth of language. Violence is its starting point, since the object has to be constituted as lost for it to have to be signified. This violence transforms the object into a sign. See Ibid. p. 8-9. Based this study argues that when we deny the figural dimension of the sign we reduce it a representation. This means the plysemic and depth dimension is sacrificed on the altar of representation.
  18. See Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror: an Essay on Abjection, trans. by Leon S Roudiez ( New York; Columbia Press, 1982).
  19. Ibid, pp. 2-3.
  20. Ibid, pp. 4- 15.
  21. Tina Charter, Ewa Plonowska Ziarek, Eds., Revolt, Affect, Collectivity: The Unstable boundaries of Kristeva’s Polis (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005), pp 1-3.
  22. See Jacques Ranciere, Aesthetic and its Discontents, trans. by Steven Corcoran ( Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009), pp. 22-24
  23. Aesthetic is a regime of identifying the form of Art. See. Ibid. pp. 14-15.
  24. See Jacques Ranciere, Dissensus on Politics and Aesthetics, trans., and ed. by Steven Corcoran (London: Continuum international Publishing Group, 2010), p. 2.
  25. See Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror: an Essay on Abjection, pp. 1-31.
  26. See konstanze Kutzbach and Monica Mueller, Eds., The Abject of Desire: the Aestheticization of the Unaesthetic in Contemporary literature Culture ( New York : Rodopi B. V. 2007), p. 38.
  27. See Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror: an Essay on Abjection, pp. 13-14.
  28. Ibid, pp. 12-13.
  29. Ibid, p. 14.
  30. Freud describes among our investment libido in the self primary narcissism which is accepted as normal and essential for healthy human life. Primary narcissism is like to the instinct of self-preservation. See Sigmund Freud, on narcissism in accessed on 5th September 2014.
  31. For an introduction to English pragmatics See Patrick Griffiths, An Introduction to English Semantics and Pragmatics (Edinburg: Edinburg University Press, 2006).
  32. For a comparative study of the Rasa theory to Western literature see Priyadarshi Patnaik, Rasa in Aesthetics: an Application of Rasa Theory to Modern Western Literature ( Delhi: D K Print world, 20 13).

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