Performativity, Super-sanity, and the Mutability of Identity
Eric Garneau continues, in a way, the discussion Cook begins regarding the mutability of the Joker’s identity by comparing him to a similarly unstable media character, Lady Gaga. Tracing the Clown Prince’s development from Bob Kane to Heath Ledger, Garneau argues that both the Joker (particularly in contemporary interpretations) and Lady Gaga present a kind of model for living in postmodernity, a “blurry, relativistic morass where identity comes from assembling bits and pieces of refracted culture.” In Garneau’s Butlerian analysis, while the Joker’s lessons may be rather more violent in nature than the ones Gaga proffers her “little monsters,” “both the Joker and Lady Gaga lead us to a conscious recognition that identity is constructed and performed,” and that “one might argue that this recognition actually allows us to embrace humanity in a more meaningful sense.”
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