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By Teresa de de Lauretis

"There is infrequently a web page during this number of hard-thought and brilliantly written essays that doesn't yield a few new insight." ―Hayden White

"... de Lauretis’s writing is brisk and refreshingly lucid." ―International movie Guide

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Extra info for Alice Doesn’t: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema

Sample text

Thus, for instance, while the novel, the cinema, and television are all "family machines," they cannot simply be equated with one another. As social technologies aimed at reproducing, among other things, the institution family, they do overlap to a certain degree, but the amount of overlap or redundancy involved is offset, precisely, by their material and semiotic specificity (modes of production, modalities of enunciation, of inscription of the spectator/interlocutor, of address). The family that watches together is really another institution; or better, the subject produced in the family that watches TV is not the same social subject produced in families that only read novels.

We can begin to use our self-consciousness strategically. [Pp. 27-28] Imaging 2 CINEMA HAS BEEN STUDIED AS AN APPARATUS OF representation, an image machine developed to construct images or visions of social reality and the spectators' place in it. But, insofar as cinema is directly implicated in the production and reproduction of meanings, values, and ideology in both sociality and subjectivity, it should be "better understood as a signifying practice, a work of semiosis: a work that produces effects of meaning_ and perception, self-images and subject positions for all those involved, makers and viewers; and thus a semiotic process in which the subject is continually engaged, represented, and inscribed in ideology.

Consider the sentence: "the same woman was seen ... " Barring a homogeneously homosexual society (from which Levi-Strauss could not have descended), the personal desire and the sexual and proprietorial instincts must be those of men, who are then the term of reference for desire, sexuality, property. And so that woman, seen as "the subject of the desire of others," is, lo and behold, the very same character running naked through the city's streets. But if we asked the semiologist about the dream woman, he would now say that she is just that-a dream, an imaginary fantasy, a fetish, a screen memory, a movie.

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