Brief notes from Ngai // Paranoia // Spahr

September 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

Many of us found Spahr’s use of the pronouns (“he or she”) draws attention to gendered struggle and labour relations.  One of us felt that it effaces those struggles and difference. Spahr’s text is both tedious and inharmonious, producing a sort of comic effect. Spahr’s usage of the paranoiac split of identity in “thrashing seems crazy” can be applied to LIVE‘s uncertain identification as a sort of paranoia. “Spahr’s generic-paranoid phrasing appears to neutralise the assignation of gender values to language even as the claim to gender specificity in language is being made” (Ngai).

Ngai mentions the notion of belatedness as relating to paranoia. There is an assumed temporality of knowledge production, which, if slightly skewed produces an unsettling effect.  There is a sort of recycling of concepts between media (music, literature, painting), producing a sort of deja vu effect.

Paranoia is traditionally gendered, as Ngai describes it as a sort of epistemological state.  Paranoia, related to conspiracy theory, is knowledge production, and thus masculine.  The feminized version of paranoia is traditionally “jealousy”.

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