Gendered spheres in Balzac'sLa cousine bette

  • Claudia Moscovici
Society And Popular Culture In Two Eras: Studies In The Novel And Film


In the play of Forces this law showed itself to be precisely this absolute transition and pure change; the self-same viz Force splits into an antithesis which at first appears to be an independent difference, but which in fact proves to be none; for it is the self-same which repels itself from itself, and therefore what is repelled is essentially self-attractive, for it is the same; the difference created since it is no difference ... is nothing else but the self-same that has repelled itself from itself, and therefore merely posits an antithesis which is none. (Hegel,The Phenomenology of Spirit, section 156, 96)

If there is not double desire, the positive and negative poles divide themselves between two sexes instead of establishing a chiasmus or a double loop in which each can go toward the other and come back to itself. If the positive and negative poles are not found in both, the same always attracts, while the other remains in motion but lacks a “proper” place. What is missing is the double pole of attraction and support, which excludes disintegration and rejection, attraction and decomposition, but which instead insures the separation that articulates every encounter, promises, alliances. (Luce Irigaray,An Ethics of Sexual Difference, 9)


Sexual Difference Social Psychology Negative Polis Double Pole Double Loop 
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© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1997

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  • Claudia Moscovici

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