Social Science Information 58 (3):430-453 (2019)

This article traces the interrelation of two forms of debt – financial debt and the symbolic debt to the past – in order to propose a rethinking of the discourse of debt through the ‘middle voice’, understood both as a grammatical category and, more generally, as an expressive modality that can take shape through different media. Can we revisit discourses of debt through ‘grammars’ that could restore a form of agency to the ‘indebted subject’ and disrupt the asymmetrical power relation between debtor and creditor? To explore this question, the article turns to literary and artistic responses to the discourse of debt against the backdrop of the Greek debt crisis. Through a close reading of the novella Close to the Belly by Sotiris Dimitriou and an untitled art installation by Stefania Strouza, it traces how these works cast the subject as produced by the discourse of debt and test alternative conceptions of the indebted subject through the modality of the middle voice. Dimitriou’s novella tries to transcend both the moral discourse of financial debt and the debt to the past by envisioning a disengagement from all debt, which eventually yields a society without past and future. By contrast, Strouza’s installation reconfigures the debtor-creditor relation without renouncing debt altogether. By staging an encounter between Sophocles’ Antigone and Marx’s Capital, it transforms the power relation of debtor and creditor into a deictic exchange that makes these positions malleable and reversible. Through these works, the article explores the conditions for reconsidering the notion of debt through the modality of the middle voice and the risks but also the politically promising possibilities the middle voice opens up for conceiving the indebted subject and the temporality of debt otherwise.
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DOI 10.1177/0539018419856776
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Nietzsche and Philosophy.Gilles Deleuze & Hugh Tomlinson - 1991 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 1:53-55.
On the Genealogy of Morality.Friedrich Nietzsche, Keith Ansell-Pearson & Carol Diethe - 1995 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 9:192-192.

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