Eliza Steinbock
The Violence of the Cut: Transgender Homeopathy and Cinematic Aesthetics
– Violence and Agency: Queer and Feminist Perspectives
book chapter 2012


I return to [Lili] Elbe’s life story, rather than one of the many other trans memoirs, biographies, and accounts written since, to point to the tensions apparent from even the very emergence of Transsexual aesthetics between that of a curative violence wrought through surgical cuts and the accessing of agency by desiring and undergoing a reassemblage of embodiment. This is no happy return to the origin story; rather, working through the difficulties of Elbe’s self-narration of sex change will demonstrate an enabling refusal to be neither a coherently proper victim of her condition or cure, nor a sovereign subject created ex nihilo. Elbe’s engagement with the technologies of sex-change suggests a working-through more in line with the principles of homeopathy and a more entangled experience of subjectivity wrought through technologies that might be better phrased as Transsexual somatechnics.