ABSTRACT

This chapter returns to the ethical-political questions at stake in the configuration of child, image and nation that were posed. It draws on the philosophical discussions of Antigone to discuss models of development and the relationship between reason, ethics and desire, ending by revisiting the three key terms child, image, nation as explicated anew via the ways these arise within psychoanalysis. The chapter illustrates how unlikely themes, and even iconographies of childhood, can be used to generate fruitful interpretive resources that can perhaps even turn back on themselves to dismantle or at least unsettle their hegemony. Traditional readings of Sophocles’ play Antigone take it as the paradigm of the tragic triumph of the sovereign autonomous subject over the state. In particular, Antigone’s defiance of Creon’s order is taken as the key fable for discussions of ethics.