13 March 2013

Book: Jean-Paul Martinon, The End of Man

Jean-Paul Martinon teams up with Punctum Books for this eloquent and  personal (or "bio-graphical", as suggested by the author) offering, The End of Man, just published this month. Discursively probing at the black box of "masculinity", Martinon reinscribes the term with corporeal possibilities, refusing to wear the divides of man-woman, male-female, masculine-feminine, virile-effeminate.
With nods to Levinas, Derrida, Nancy, and a plenitude of current queer materialist scholars, Martinon weaves between discussions such as those of the mandates of language, the male body's eschatological existence, and contingent relations between gendered bodies. And all the while he choreographs an elegant dance over, between and around the threads of masculine failure.
"But hush, this male body is slowly stirring, turning over, progressively regaining consciousness ... the need for mastery steadily clenching ‘its’ grip. This slow turn reveals his many sides, angular, hairy, robust, smelly, warm, delicate, graceful. An abyss in every crevice, a mass at every turn, this male body can reach neither a plenitude of meaning nor a truly stable referent. His language, like his body, betrays him at every turn: never quite masculine, ever more virile/effeminate, never enough feminine."
The End of Man is available from Punctum Books as an open-access ebook downloadable for free or in print for a small fee. We are also fortunate to have Jean-Paul Martinon's response to Catherine Malabou at our recent BiM event archived on our site (available for streaming on the player to the right or from our recordings page).

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