Epilogue: Between Je me plaing and Iste ego sum

  • Nicholas Ealy
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


This concluding chapter examines the self wounded through narcissistic desire in a discussion of works by Thibaut de Champagne, Derrida, Barthes, Butler, and Kristeva. Tracing the implications of Narcissus’s lament “je me plaing” (I lament myself) from the Lay of Narcissus, a testimonial appeal etymologically related to the wound (plaga in Latin), I posit that this cry establishes the definition of selfhood echoed throughout the literary texts analyzed in this book. As the cry implies, to be a self is to be wounded by an other that destroys any concept of an integrated subjectivity. The literature analyzed here, I argue, points to the notion that to be wounded by the other is to love, to desire, and to be fully human.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Ealy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HartfordWest HartfordUSA

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