Feminine endings: Dido’s telephonic body and the originary function of the hymen



Publication Details

Willis, I (2010). Feminine endings: Didos telephonic body and the originary function of the hymen. In M. Mcquillan and V. Willis (Eds.), The Origins of Deconstruction (pp. 67-82). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9780230581906


Read via a range of contemporary theorists, including Gayatri Spivak, Luce Irigaray, and Jacques Derrida, Dido's suicide in the fourth book of Vergil's Aeneid can be seen as an intervention into figures of national territory. Rather than using the stabbed female body to figure national territory as an organically unified whole, as Livy does, Vergil uses Dido's suicide and dying curse to configure a telephonic national territory, produced and reproduced linguistically (and therefore teletechnologically) across time and space.

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