Abstract

This article reads together Baudelaire’s poem “Le Cygne” and sections from Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia in order to argue that a pathology of melancholic allegory and the norm of grievable object loss coexist in an endless and nondialectical struggle that is to be affirmed. The allegory of melancholia translates the loss of the object into the defective principle on which—because of our structural disanalogy, because of the conflict between institution and principle at the heart of the catastrophe of representative democracy today—subjects stand forth as distinctly grievable-ungrievable objects, and on this defective concept may found ephemeral, transparent, and formal administrative modes, agencies, and instances of association. These are called, in the article, globally weak republican institutions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-2978
Print ISSN
0084-3695
Pages
pp. 86-101
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-09
Open Access
No
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