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Manchester Studies in Religion, Culture and Gender

Manchester Studies in Religion, Culture and Gender

This series was edited by the late Grace M. Jantzen

The subj ect of love
Héléne Cixous and the feminine divine

Sal Renshaw
A)reocly published

Religion and culture
Michel Foucault
selected ond edited



R. Carrette

Representations of the post/human
Monsters, aliens and others in popular culture
Elaine L. Graham

Becoming divine Towards a feminist philosophy of religion



Divine love
Luce Irigaray, women, gender, and religion
Momy loy

Literatllre, theologF arld feminism
Heather Wokon

M¿lnchester University Press
M,ln( llr,sler alrcl New York

* 1[q__".lf'lllr. If any single theme can be thought to dominate her work. 0g0pe lgain became the subject of serious theological controversy.r¡r¡r. for Cixous is typic. As awriter who has embraced and indeed inspired many of the insights of contemporary feminism. In a qualified sense.scrrping Text. is but one place where a non-sacrificial interpretation of Jesus and the Gospels can be filund. that emerges. The demand for self-sacrifice has been a thethemeof love'swork. something radically egalitarian about a conception of love that is universally expressed regardless of the specificity of the obfect of that Iove. However. Saiving ¡rroposed that the theological understanding of the human/divine relation on which Nygren and N ictruhr relied in turning to self-sacrifrce as the proper character of cgcpic love * namely that the Irunran situation is characterised by anxiety. Cixous is clear that women have traditionally borne the brunt of sacrificial logic in a patriarchal world.. by an abandonment of self in the face of tlrt'otlrer. it is not the primary focus of this work. and the treatment of others as objects rather than as persons . rrrrl gerrer()us a¡ld tltrts that nrns ('()rultcr to sacrificial versions of love. readings of the conditions of ogopic love that characterised the work of both these men seemingly emphasised the notion of self-denial to CñTñdan *". I would argue that this egalitarian aspect of Christian love. It is considerably léss gift than it is duty. and the conflict between necessity . is brus. In theological terms. irt thc rlrtltodox rt'¡rlirr¡¡ of 'a¡¡ nonetheless. AgoF.could lrt. From the 1930s. and not to God.r-l!"(r. was t'lr¡r¡ctcrised by the opposite of self-interest. Saiving felt. when applied to humans. estrangement.e Furthermore. "9_{. While there is much to be said about this interpretation.r r. and that these questions are a reflection of a very different understanding of the place of religion in contemporary theory.s So in that sense Cixous' love.s otherrcgarding love. God's love is ogopic. has potentially been Christianity's most unique. it is important to note that the sacrificial interpretation of Jesus is highly contested within the field of religious studies."pt óf igope. I found myself captivated by the idea that Cixous' work was and still is all about questions of divinity. her work on subjectivity and writing.t In this respect. In this piece Saiving particularly challenged the theologians Anders Nygren ¡nd Reinhold Niebuhr. See ¡lso MCIsie (1996).hed ag+. there is thc disturbing trace of sacrificial hrglt'. in the practice of much theological interpretation. and in the subsequenr work of Reinhold Niebuhr. ()n tlte tttost t'r)nlnl()tt itttt'r¡)rt'ta* llorr . E.rrticle 'The Human Situation: A Feminine View' was published in The Journol of Religious Studia in 1960 and is now considered to be a key text marking the emergence of the new discipline of fi'nrinist theology.'19]ltigps possible this notion of a divine meeting in differenóó? ffi-tffi'"üfiiri¿ ói*onri thinking about a just love of the other that involves an encounter with the otherness of difference does have a certain presence in thg bt*gry_gilqfg. and this aspect of ogcpe displaces any obvious connection between Héléne Cixous' understanding of an ethic of love and that of orthodox Christian theologies.dicatt:d ulx)n a self'tlrat. ' The sarne insight informs a landmark essay by the feminist theologian Valerie Saiving.xan¡l)lt"stigtrtata.rrt. t The crucifixion has long been interpreted as the archetypal example of sacrificial love. with the Protestant theologian Bishop Anders Nygren's publication of his controversial Agope and Eros (1982 [1932/t938]).C¡*yslgygl_C:gy9_lSyS*gg'gü*l¿gS:_*lglglz What would it take to love the other as other. Indeed. particularly for women around the question of selflessness. and in this sense. as wel! a: leerr? Car we live our subjectivities in a way in which love emerges in the in-betwegn not as somqthing an 'I' doa or hos. . are all different faces of the same question. Saiving's . to which I will refer in more detail shortly. is ¡rrc. then. Other-regard is dependent firstly upon the selflessness or self-denial of the subject who loves. See subject of love lntroduction Thus. or even her more recent work on the tragedies of history. wlrt're her rt'flectir¡ns lunr lo lter lrloverl t'ats. which has been understood selfl. nroclt.meeting? What kind of being does it take to love the other in their otherness and not to sacrifice to and between s-ubiegtivities make oneself in doing so? Wb"*k*g: .appgns to an us. it can be foturd to be pnrftlundly irn¡rlicatcd in sacrificial klgic. radical and indeed provocative contribution to ethics. Female experience.u there is.ess as a universally oriented. I find it tantalisingly evocative of the ¿. it is a kind of love that is peculiarly inimical to human subjectivity.sus. tout court. and it is characterised as a universal bestowal that arises not in response to the specificity of the object of love but rather out of a fundamental nature that is loving. is . the challenges that the concept of ñced in the twentieth century have turned out to be almost insurmountable even within the province t>f mainstream Christian Protestant theology. while clearly understandable as other-regarding. both of whose work emphasised the sacrificial aspect of cgopic love.lly no advocate of sacrificial logic.th_el.h'vt'kr¡rirrg a ¡rotior¡ of'lovc that is cthical primarily to the extent that it is abundant. in some of her very recent nr(.r¡rd freedom.:" perheps felq. has. While the translation of this theological conception of idealised selfless love has in practice been very problematic. aud tlttrs tlivitte . love. or folr thc l)og'fiont Slignloto. the gift that Cixous is most interested in is the gift of love. it is for the sake of the other. Lovc of the other that is gcnuine.nroir writi¡rg wlrit:lr inc'lrrrlt:s rcflection on hcr animals. The work of René Girard. lli¡ls. the other-regarding aspect of cgcpic love. often been twinned with an equally defining feature. that sin is directly related to the seeming incorrigibility of human pride. is . brt-t*ather aS-nnmething that"h. quite specifically. to the extent that it bears on an ethics of intersubjective relations. but a peculiarly feminine practice. neither to refuse nor to embrace brrl !o create a spacg in which the other is m9t. God is the paradigmatic self/less loverwho in the radical absence of a self that is'doing' the loving is therefore nothing but the becoming of pure love.ntly *illirrI lo s¡t'rifit'e itself'to tltc ulntost other-regarding. is strictly speaking not cgope ogapic. or love and death. In this respect. Nonetheless. that is. '' While nry interest in Cixous' work has consistently been grounded in the way I read her as . excessive.:::!rr rnasculine ideal. in the very space of. Put another way. sufficiently understood only by recognising that these concerns do not in fact reflect human t'x¡lcrience.l of'ft. largely Pauline.selfles.. but male experience. then. and self-sacrifice could hardly then be offered as a corrective.s (1998) whcre shc nár'r'¿t('s tlre traglt'story of'her t'l¡lkllurorl tkrg. the willt( )-power and exploitation.'o The very conservative.

. Hélé*" _9*:::..The subject of love lntroduction the extent to which both the Judaic and Christian traditions. exposes a similar challenge to a project of rethinking identity beyond patriarchal Enlightenment ideologies.and.make of the rkrcs not inevitably rgtUrn lA. fragmentation rather than unity. With their attention sharply focussed on the problem of selflessness. non-sacrificial love might be. But I want to suggest that in Cixous' detachment from many of the formal questions concerning orthodox religions. and."_y_:_. l¡ln.lgg giftnf love.x('¡vatirrg a llrt'ologit'al tra<litiolt rt'¡qarrl llrg tlre srrtrllnrc gent.H_"*SSs? Assuming that it is even a possibility. tlt --g.t¡rs llr tlrr tr¡rlltlr¡lt llr¡t rloes ('xlst we t'¡lt llltleerl .. So it is in the spirit of considering f ust what the conditions of such a divine and other-regarding. in having been so deeply woven through the abominations of Leviticus. and by extension the self of the already taken-for-granted ontological subiect.und-"eppnds to be the magcpllllg*gp.[h-. including embodied sexuality.. a.S"1_c. meaning that it is the other that is loved in and for their otherness.deb*. love is positioned from a place of self-generosity rather than anxiety. For many contemporary feminist theologians.ssio¡r of'a srrhjer:t to givt'. And perhaps of God. Traditional cgcpe has fallen well short of these criteria. why might we want to.p"_{"_9nrq. firstly in typically being interpreted as self-denying. The 'authentic' self is not the self that pre-exists the moment. She insists that any model of subiectivity must retain some notion of coherence at the level of social participation while simultaneously rejecting an essentialist ontology of authentic selfhood (1996: 185). The love of which Cixclus speaks is thrlnxrghly human: it is not inimical to the questi()ns r¡f er¡tbclclitltent or scxrrality firr it is uot l<lst in an encounter with eitlter.rt o¡¡t'e lrekl sw¿y.¡ln ltere to glve tlre lrrr¡rressiolr th¡t I anl (.. U$? And who might it be that is the subject of a ¡¡iving and receiving.roslty of'a¡¡c¡r tlr. Nonetheless. it does so by contrast with the Enlightenment subiect. srrggtrtlrrg tl¡¡t tlrrorrglt tlrr g._e. woman. and in her recognition of subfectivity as an ongoing process of becoming rather than being. and should we think of this loving in other ways than as a sublime ¡ffection of the heart? Is rhir ri"tptygg*"9:k gjt_y. have reviled and made the basis of sin the very exigencies of human corporeality. ¡tosst. irr. any conception of love that is unable to fully embrace all aspects of what it means to be human. In a most meaningful sense is this not the spirit of agapic love?'t And is it not also this aspect of agapic love that is most mysterious and elusive yet most ethically important and challenging? Cixous' recognition of the fragmentary yet dynamic nature of subiectivities.r'*'*".) n()t nl(.j|. secondly'in being so thoroughly abstracted from the world. Enlighten- ment ideals of what a subf ect is in the first place. classical divinity of eros that is re-membered and then Christianised through a feminist theology that has not deeply taken into consideration the ways in which sexual difference is implicated at the level of subjectivity..-+_:. To ttty k¡towlt'rlge no sttclt tr¡rllliolt exists. I will suggest that Cixous' subject gives rise to the possibility of a love that generates a certain divinity that might not be equally possible. which is informed by difflerent relation to alterity. On the contrary the authentic self emerges in opening on to an endless process of becoming. Yet.3pe *!gJ tlcfirr.M. its recogltitiott tlnt divilte lovtt is Irr¡t tlrt. Eros fits well into this story of both love and subiectivity. I loving and being loved. even in a re-membered eros.!-o*l--o'-rr.somsthing th. Rather tllvinlty is sottl('thirrg tlr¿r enlergrs. her work permits the emergence of a conception of love that is divine yet is not predicated upon sacrificial logic.g*gk¡*"-t-1r-jk:l*^kgilXr&t their inagtgggp-]g_"_-{i. Cixous' theorisation of a subiectivity lived differently in and through a love which 'truly' recognises otherness throws an intriguing backlight on the Christian notion of cgopic love and invites us to continue thinking about the place of divine love beyond Nietzsche's tendentious and perhaps premature declaration of the death resembles agcpe. g*ig"*-1}*l:gX$S_ r he ideal is one in wtr:sh. To whatever extent the notion of authentic selfhood might apply to Cixous' subiect.."o"nelniep. In a sense.qh*q glp-*dj*1"g.". I would argue that to a great extent it is the pre-Christian. in that sense. In this vision of the subject as emergent in its relations to and with the world and others.. then. I want to return to the spirit of things.g_rltydepx/nou¡."gf.:_. ¡¡orretl¡elnss. thus can never be thought of as unified or stable. In the spirit of a love that is'truly' otherregarding. like t{rrt('(..r sl)3lrl('wlriclr is in lnrllty resl)et'ts heyotttl tlte srtlliet't/ Héléne Cixous' work is undoubtedly an unlikely place to find a love that it would be fair to say that the ways in which it is not o¡ope are so significant as to render this a very long bow to have drawn.. Other love What might it mean to 'truly' love . that this project can be located. much of feminist theology seems to be marked by * unconscious allegiance to the notoriously masculine. provides a way of reconsidering the very real problem of selflessness or self-denial that has plagued interpretations of ogape as an ethical basis of love.rrcd in any and all acts of giving? C.self-interest is entfg!y*"S"l*nr+*Lq$? These questions raise the issue of whether we can do anything that benefits another without simultaneously benefiting ourselves? Or do we find our 'selves' necessarily implic. cannot be considered to be a jut love. Alison Weir. in her extensive study of the relationship between sacrificial logic and identity. Its tlivinity lies itt its willirrg errrllracc of'thc linrits r-rf'htrnran bcirtg. it cannot have the redemptive qualities necessary for it to be truly Christian. rlr tr¡ reccivc. in the spirit of a selflessness that derives from generosity and excess that I find the most compelling invitation to return to agope. it is in the spirit of the way in which Cixous invokes a kind of other-regarding 'selfless' love. a feminine " relation. which has indeed escaped this r / rrascrrline econonry7 '' lrl.e IhS m_g:""-{. and thirdly in being humanly impossible.

.. prop.rU¡. I will ¡tcvcr say often enough that the difference is not one."pf"-_.FS. engage with the more orthodox theological discourses on other-regarding love. t n Itgl. IJerrirld rortstruclerl tlte lxrol ¡rr-rtulrl tlre nr¡tkrr ol'teklng skles.subieEtiyity.rcteristic of what she takes to be a masculine relation to subjectivity.S: gf feg-gming view t" |álorñg.lg^$_^o5:3"o1pnulege the notion of the self :ytrg pltes.eirr¡¡ it ¡s ¡ s¡x. Wtrile this project will.5* . rcfltt'ts i¡l its very litlt._.privileged !l patnarchal Western t'rrltures. Through the discourses of feminism.]i1 ff.|1ityüatisdispeT.ts we will be.n of lqelf.:.qst"ef.Ls. your Irr.lure I. it is from the wrirings of the French feminist philosopher Héléne Cixous that this pro- is reconstitutqdAs-"pther. For Cixous the subiects that we ore invoke all the ages that we have been well as those ing berween "l*yl1: r. any possessive attachments to self are seen as precluding the possibility of the subject approaching the other in his or her alterity and thus t ¡ccluding the horizon of divinity. Pushing the literary into the closest possible relation to the present. In Chaprer I .. li. Such self-possessive relations are more char. ll. For Héléne Cixous. The self th"t it i" p"_rr"ttrg" selflessness *"lf !!_*::1!_*gbiqqg-gle sFJgLn-qFI hkt '"t-19l' t-ej-upd9ts. ide.P¡+#. We cannot capture it. like a goddess.c. despite thc npJgr..The subject of love lntroduction other-regarding love in a Christian context with very different investments from thgse of many feminist theologians. and deqpite the fbe¡ tha! w_e can indeed identify a certain social mask of' subjecliyi{y the . tltlr ettt¡rlr¡sls ¡rrr'r¡rrt's rn vcrs¡llot¡ witll .dand¡hifti'g. Cixous' selfless lover can be thought of as finding her self.q-9ji::y":.lltd yollr place. us? '.t-firr trtovetnent l¡erself' '.c--e-:*er .y"i "X*:9:. fully plesgnt !9 ilself.t9-P9rth.difftrcnqs. 1994a: xviii).'l¡e tlre skle of'rle.üSgdy.t**"lq.!}s-t"{a. it nonetheless does so from a position of some distance.4e. such as this self is. Cixous would likely lrc in agreement with Alison Weir on this point that'to rise above the interior yith work iect principalty draws its inspiration.@' ¡xrt qq9*rqn!-t-o_.l.rginable and expressible. It makes us teeter witlr t'¡rroticln. perhaps more importantly still.tpqd. But identity and subjectivity cannot ln'reduced to that spokesperson: 'I ask myself. if only momentarily.c-$-SflbtS"gg. but what I am here suggesting are in fact <livine love relations. That ls I explicitly consider 0g0pe against the background of what is perhaps philosophy's most distinguished discourse on love.eed other-regarding. so too post-structuralism and deconstruction.@ alqys*f.t'lfit'sigrrllier ol'Atrglo Altterlt'¿t¡ ¡llftl'o¡t lte¡ lo rt(letrl tllet ll rlrrs riqrrlly lrel'llttcrerl llr r¡ttrrll¡llt¡ nl'¡r'xttel rllllr"rrltrr.g[.rclt'rist'rl ('ixous'work fiorrr tlrt. then.s i* rro-"nt g{:pS".rrrything. but I do not answer' (Cixous.- presunes.. ac*Eord- "f i'.'' ---..s('rrt't' .":glf"Wlp.q!g¡_Xgh_g"gglr_c_ep!9p"--o-f id-eF_ti. and Christianity's divine Iove.-.lffi. are we all the characters of our dreams. and that the charm of difference (beginning with sexual difference) is that ll l). Differences. I994a: xviii).r¡rrr tlrls telrr.*-9:ly-'o-. outst. ('ixr¡rrs rkx. ('.always .ffii-". and reason.ntical to I lrlld-g. has been and might be imagined the e¡rd.q-"qhe. Moreover. and perhaps as a result of the fruitful union benveen the concepts of God. mgqtand especialy itl"5 me' (Cixous... moblle.. Plato's Symposium. lirr l.Mieh structures of patriarchal logocentrism. st. Through difference we baome and as such only through .üirss open rl. Christianity in all its complex guises and permutarions has long exceeded the influence afforded it simply by the faithful. an I-klvc-you." t""!" in posleslio. that there is never one with.$.. are the ground of whatever unity is rathgr ¡han bgpg.subie. but that also *iqtÜ escapes the problem of self-sacrifice that attaches to o1ope. Thus. In Cixous' I find a conception of a t'ltaosmos each one of us gives ourselves a spokesperson I.rrlify wirh tlre tcn¡r'lcrttit¡lst'. slre tlre sklr*-"sJh_emgnent of love. llt. and inquire into who might be the subiects of these loves. Cixous' writing frequently traces the incessant movements of an embodied strbjectivity as it comes into life or living with the other.t irlt. ¡lttl lrr Irrr. t of love that esgP-g: *: Hegelian impulse either . In this respect. I reflect on the tension between Plato's eros. It is in this living agitation that there is always room for you in me. whose focus is on 'life' and what it means t<l move towards living.appea-ranqe . one that is or can be sourced in generosity and abundance.ur I by definition changing. Through the concept of opope Christianity primarily provides me with a compelling interrogative for thinking about the ways in which an other-regarding love that opens on to divinity.t .s u(¡t i¡r l. in Cixous'theorisation of what some might argue are truly ethical love relations. and they signal the impossibility of a genuine meeting between subjects who can truly tttcet in and through their differences.. (1994a: xviii) l)t'rrirla's r('('('nt r¡¡t'rr¡oir ol'his fiiendshi¡l and l<lngstanding intellccttral c()nllélCrre ('lxous.'.(¿006). In being inseparable from the hegemonic iEslf -.lp'o.lilli'rcnce can we come to truly love with grace.. the social I who votes. 1994a: xviii).h:-*-o-ps+. with a F". has been and might be lived.of self:pres-qnt upity.urrl llvlrrg thet lr.*rs"Jotality _oJi-qpglf.if'e.. to some extent.tha¡ ]oss "or sacrifice p. clr¡r._lnarrg.hS-1b." i4di"i Irr¡r .tJ fras been. love is possible onlv Ir mov9Jg9lllbqnc.rr.l+glsrl:tJsshril{:-i1-gi{fttg*s:.1 s*. b_e_ca"use living-spg*ipg-thinking CtSe-tltg.. wlt<r represents generous other-regarding love that is ind. (('ix<rtts. marr. both *tlg* and üvine. Christianity has found itself implicated in a complex labyrinth of contradictions where its theologies often bear little or no resemblance to its instirudonalised*tq3&t*g"a subje*c1ry1y. Ci"ous' own writing privileges the domain of experience via an atrention ro the embodied. in some sense.rtlr.Say. cqli1rgly-r"Eg:|1n:gi'ryrl$-1i3¡.i.tá¿téd unitv of thé más- 9i"". phenomenal life of the subject in the very immediacy of living. However..ll*"yj li¡r which one of them can we say is not. rather than losing her self in her encounter with the other in the present.lcetl slte lr¡¡ dlst¡ltt't'tl texll¿l ¡lllli'rrlrt'e.. It crosses through us.rrt tlrc other.I*9. Thus.

¡rlx )rary ¡llriloso¡llrir'¡l rt fle.the story invariably returns to the r¡ttt'stion of self.houndéistoodtolove.._y:_"_l*:_:*f ( )nc that ]g-"Sl.ti"g g""¿..rys ilr wltlt'lt tlif lbrerrl ( ur tlr('r('ceipt of the gift. for the god(s). peoples etc. recaptured.l993a: death. an impossibility.only. .f'!]]_e other. Always at stake seems to be an implicit assumption that the self Ir. which returns. Rs iuch. there is a recurring concern with understanding that exchanges of kinds the of think mediating aspecrs of love. Ar Cixous says.:tI.h"' operates has been defined by reversal. Alrrl contemporary secular discourses are no less vulnerable to measuring the Fcn('rosity of love against an assumption that the self represents a no moment in History is it tolerated or possible as such.rorrrrá "'rrrbiect/oblect dighotomy that Presuttt"t .--". in the end. of relations between humans and the divine. ¿rrcl then found himself caught in a labyrinth of theological implications in ttrgating the role of the self in 'need-love' . is very often submerged to the point of invisibility. For Cixous. --4b#d' rt:latiorsJy_l$l*yhd .*. But love? This question seems to be much of or iouissance. üüffi.llscttssions of altruism. For the feminist thinker Héléne Cixous.x¡lkrres lllt. .ñ.ü tlñ concept of love is necessarily implic3ted meaningfully of ..ü-**t" the christian reflecti the ideal of loving our enemies.:*::.' (Cixous.r * ¡. irrcl of'gcncrosity.()ccllpati()n ()f'lrr. the sexual politics of'ltow love has traclitig¡ally been trnderstoocl to negotiate a srrtriect/<lhiec't relatiotr has been a (0¡rstAnt pr(. a question for the subiect.9. .ffi "n. rf love.that llre net effect of the subordination of difference leads to the 'Empire olT6selfsame' ( 1986a: ' $ a kind-gfjg:g$glryfl-e9rl!_.lf "l¿love.1gi. il lovc that lends itsclf to bt'ing thought of in tenns of' . i¡rscribing on it the marks of their appropriating economy' ( I 98 6a: 7 9). Love of self is not necessarily to be confused with questions of pleasure 60) (Irigaray. S. of eroticism.rtáté is often the teleology of the gift as it relates ln tltc srtbject who gives that defines whether or not the gift is given with genrrusity. atttl ctltttrillrltt's to.. t. is a question of eros.*. Yet within this of ver g*""lgJe runs a deep vein concern particularly about the role of the self in relations of love. if and when there is a presumption to ¡. If there is symmetry ben¡¡een intentions and outcome. 78). The question of the other.. of rr.ifr. Often in Love of self represents an enigma. the history of Western culture is 'his story' and 'the same masters dominate history from the beginning. ffi s rt's¡lects the question of the self has become paradigmatic in thinking about love.'-r.h. sometimes certain modes masturbation. w. and the otherness of the other is routinely rlcnied in and by the privileging of subjectivity. Whcther the story begins with the Symposium's various proposals on the nature ' . and destroyed as other' (1986a: 7l). of course. pf9. jouissance. sexual of difficult and more of pleasure and. In many The body and soul of üvine love Throughout history theorists and philosophers of love have been preoccupied with the relationship berween the subiects and oblects of loyg. 'The paradox of oüerness is that. oi i"i. by the negatio+ Love of self raises a question for language. i. theology.*.rrtly to be reappropriated. as tlre srrlrjcct's awareness of itself in üe act of giving is constituted as the yardstick . How should we Iove brings about? Whether thinking about love concerns relations between human beings. f !ili" I -r'gy'tg :j llé i. our thinking has been mired in the dialectical structures of a patriarchal logos. L"".onewhoisññdi. Lewisza .l"¿it'. if someone lf rlcnrlcd to give generously. The other is üere . apparently derived no personal gain lr rrr r r tlrc gift.k on the sqbjssr. "i'1 üü . The subicct of love igWsrtsm--fucourse is predi-ctably.**llg)". and other-regarding love is effectively a contradiction in terms. and.39i* "f while love as developed in Wesrern thought pr_9_Lup?o. The history of patriarchal ideals of love centres on the subject. or whether one looks to more contemporary theological apologists like ( '.the norion óf i&é itseTf óiió. Tltrtlttgltottt ()ll('e¡rlit)tls (lf' lovt' ll.C HAPTE R Speaking of love 1 Speaking of love: philosophy.ut obstacle to loving the other and especially to a generous love of the other.t'tirxrs orr rlif li'rt'nt't' atttl srrlliet:tivlty.rrcissisti_c__l* to thr |over. F:.who began with wanting to oppose 'need-love' to generous love. ..e. in concerns about subjectivitY. 'l loV(.ses that something is loved. difference is subordinated to sameness in a'battle for mastery that rages between classes.á is ilrfirrntt'rl by.. and French feminism ¿nd she laments that. otherlyithin thi It _!q_o*Le ügry.ó i tuiL ty 9 f cip ro car l. Wlrilt'irt the realm of'the philosophy of love Plato is understood as the first l¡rnlogist of'rational lovc.r w<lrk.and the economy 9f . 1986a:78). of kind a is self of remains that all subjectivism.61@)-plies. (. In . a taboo. Ar .lvt' Ircr wririlrg slt(. historically. for the this era of'the (f"_Rf. of agape. for example.9ak feiánce.hange between sameness and difothei. .rrd ilü. for the ih. wlri(. Wherever dialectical relations govern the patterns of exchilge. one can condude that the gift was alnrristic. From Plato's Tr *t.

as a powerful exemplar of simultaneously of this masculine logic.d ari.r rtiÑrU¡ect. 1996: 68).l . i.trtltt. over fwenty years later.1l:iq h+l g-i":g.QA \aj' ) e. Talgs nf !. or love being the In the invocation of a female body that connection constant in are lips two the for invokes and resists binary division the negotiating of way we have an image of a very different as a to engage with psychoanalytic theory as opposed to psychoanalytic practice.4('(' in Diotima's For Irigaray. .¡rt ol'¿ krvt'r's rlist'r)ursc rcvt'als ltt'r ¿flillitit's witll tl¡t' wr¡rk rll llot¡rrrl ll.ltltltt. disappear.The embodied. the oüer's freedom can üfference be adequately preserved 4r-rd a n9g4iv-9. . For Kristeva.ove: Itrycltrrunolysir ottrl Fr¡ilh ( lt)tl7t') firr. a value - tffico-ññlifrfiEffi:oricaliy 'nPucthe form6 space of urrlry aud-cqr certain osvchic autonomv' now I -^-" pervades !-::-::=-=-:-:--.g -*rs"ressseitiessfu[s freedom otl¡g-gbg-c12¡r. slte ha's writtc¡r a sttbstantial work. For Julia Kristeva.-9*$.T . itself' loving of outside is that mediary nature of love is displaced by a telos couple.r tlellllcrl ellHAgr Ir EI . iiilil. 1993a: forth of wisdom.terg of the other. to become divine. the telos of procreation transforms into the in Irigaray.J ege of embodied knowing breals Moreov"r.olq 02p73)t Wbtqhl3ltges fiorrt reflcctions ""'i-@o:q$üitl's-g-!i'-:19f r"1".:y. and therein offers a challenge to the history of constructing love on a model of binary oppositions. inaugurates the account of the genture of lover and beloved that was absent in Diotima's initial tffii (Gubermall.aru mfirió with the hisrory of the dichotomous split between mind and body.lrlveinlitt.S-e. ns with each other constant enfolding boundaries befween sameness and difference. JULIA KRISTEVA I \l ( üis contemporary climate that. feminist criticism still stands. "" Krisl('vt's ust: r¡l'rl¡is t'ont't. il + -e"slslpllsi"t-lJ*i**t1'ffgslslss*g39lFat . pro_crelting Initially this is symbolically represented in the child of the b"gl-s-* also nores constructiell o-f love in r tB:. love loving duties. psychoanalysis offers a 'ne\M' model of love in this contemporary climate of diversity.ovfr'r l)il'otlrrc l97tl ll1977l.ray's rexrs on love - way of theorising a different relation to difference.. however.=¡ffi¡¡iiii*rl"¡ñeJ.. hierarchized.g.f. n@&@rtffi Kristeva in Guberman. for it offers a space in which the lover's discourse can be spoken in the context of a relationship that she understands to itself be n &/..\r' ( . In reflecting on an ethical couple relation Kristeva implicitly draws on a Marxist a practising psychoanalyst. noting that which once formed the unifying link is less apparent in the contemPorary * con- I .P:(.pqd' heq thL context of a world binary strucwho becomes the object of love. 36) 1993a: (Irigaray.. in so doing. tr)l predicated on love. \... has a particularly significant place in Kristeva's work.r-F *diqqgy{f. Her more recent work."ii. St't' Ilarlllcs. the economy of desire that is ultimately represented in and constituted are dualities which in speech conforms to a logic of exclusion of the cost the at won is through binary relations of opposition wherein identity gendered the other.. Believing that 'the loleq]s. ----+ "6. Psychoanalysis.-. The lovers -tb--t-gY-9"rlk# ""*]1&'"gj3 served as a lover s which once ñis been broken. b.ñ.She discourr. whose affinities.gLqü3[-e*l9y9i rt j*"s9'llsli'rstgy*Msss.Qb*! Speaking of love The subject of love The interunion of man and woman does provoke the issue of procreation._-who arg now cb4laglgrised more fúlly I individlals berween ñlation the ¡vvo ----. "' S"" als¡ Krlstrv.d-p.ont"mooriñEñóüiJJ .*9ggü:-t. However.ñing f.. or immortal.33.1c!r-r9wl9-d-g-gry-1gf' ur'a-ird-ep*eñl*"ngS-S{-qhgog.-.-reprcsc¡tt¡titltttlf. where in the Irigaray of flesh end does one begin and another end? From the female body of experience embodied fully the which builds a new logic of difference in cost the at won be cannot that sexual difference is the paramount value. does draw considerably more on her experience as a practitioner.e"stff.t. along wirh every other spiritual value (Plato insight is lost 29).ñglo-¿rr-ü occupieci._.llgr¡tegt.s.-*k# " g.etLgf ..t-?:. immediacy that characterised Diotima's initial over the values spiritual abstract of as the binary logos affirms the superiority spiritual and corporeal affinities of lovers.r'r ln lhc llel¡lnnlng Wr¡r l. :hgp*" fe +. whtch 9nc-e-. in Kristeva believes -:--==: :--i=l^-ji- of 'psychic autonqrll:. f oygcanng!-!9-:gl"itg:=d*'"-t:g!"rd'" .:-. to the abstract account erative union of lovers.... A l.I996:69). is no longer left to dies as a has historicaltv bee+ insepa{tFte froln peIP ":ogi3l-P. the intermediary To fall in love... -r I sñia il I I I fu":_. Drawing extensively on üre lústory of writitrg on l<lve.e.g¡¡-s¡[qgreg!!9g6e. and.. as travins differentinterests thatreflect sexual difference (Guberman. she has explored of the metaaffinities of this economy of desire. there will be 'There is no more religion.!eYs.. the beloved and competitions. and in the worst case.d'ra s*F**f. from the outset of her writing.*t.-. 1996:68). she has tended model of social relations.rttlr(. Her now infamous invocation yet another of part actually is which tips phor of women's lips.-t*#É*-'g'-'*i*xn@4*ñN& !.fualstospeakaboutthe5}-o-Y-i(KristevainGuberman.) T-s to be nery.""t"i1S" l' trls'9g+-c'-egt9[]'gys ü tü key to _'.!. as the discourse returns bringing of the ascent of the soul. their vaginal While Irigaray is also tf t ig. 'Eiitr individual must frnd his or her ow¡t t¡totifl. In the unicurrent but qualified.ú.g:-":.r.héli. 1986: 70). verse of determinations.ii.rex1 glar-r. as practice as well as theory.ionsbgtwe9nmenandwomelitrast>cialandlris- the lmatory relationslrip. 'lty.with Lacanian-P. and this distinguishes her from both Cixous and Irigaray. Secondly. gse$e et.

_ .s"."a.ffiiü.E:b99q-P3l$. And in the work of ftrlia Kristeva.r()rrs and at'r¡trisitive lovc tl¡csr'¡rc thc oPlxrsitiotlal . This is a relation üat is marked by continuity rather achievof model the cut of separation üat has historically defined the Freudian ing subjectivity. Concluding remarks I bcgan t¡is chapter with the assertion that the histr:ry of love has clcarly beur rleñ¡e¿ hy a disctrrsivc priviltging of the hinary strllcltlre of krve' Lr¡ver atld lx. In different ways.fa¡son¡inuilyj!.th within the masculine logos. Kristeva refutes the logic of Enlightenment ideology wherein the subject precedes itself in its relations with others.ii. some ilúne other who instead of embodying generosity and abundance becomes instead lhe paradigmatic sacrificial object.+lSpr-'**tr -t' *s rhere is ú". and Héléne Cixous./ The subiect of love Speaking of love of gratiflcation and satisfaction while establishing a modicum of consensus and communication with a steady partner' (Ikisteva in Guberman. To this extent.rl. f. and objects haveillustratedhereistheeXtenttowhichthis" ile the concept of a1opeholds our the of a generous. as does Kristeva. she nonetheless proposes that the ideal mother-child bond is one in which üe subject is constituted in a relation to than and wiü üe other. reopens the space of love with a view to the possibility of a generous love of the other. Rather the subject is continuallY becoming.n.a.h r.). As we will shortly see. While üe th¡eat of dependency in relations of love cannot be avoided altogether.thS_glhg-l:J|g3lly tlq t and that this has reflé../ . as well as to the sacrifice of self. g(.tbe-tror. are significant affinities bj¡{een l+el. Cixous' construction of love is similarly oriented towards üe notion of baoming. Kristeva privileges üe idea that there is a type of dependency causes.9ntr1the-hf l"Vof OO**9-{g"IS¡4i!i+ea4"1svs'ei$Lva believes üat it is the imaginary p-l$gmStitS. human on masculine logic of sameness üat has dominated üscussions "" "4tl'lrt-.I thal""üo:ry".rc1a- . While she undoubtedly acknowledges trriiffi. and she bases üis possibility on a feminine relation to difference üat has similar debts to the matemal model.t.Mgedglfu-+f""* *h'.l6vt.á which can be chosen.thtió"s . .{ioa. then. one which does not inevitably signal submission or surrender to the other. In attending.p..9-"qb*=@9" s l"X rt. 1996:70-7 1. each of these writers has seen woman and the feminine as the sacrificial object on which man has constiruted himself as subject.t. tn other words. jb:l gf. the For each of these writers üe nope of üfference permits a reconstruction of and life. there are Food and bad dependencies'.jf mal-"g!v. and it is in opposition to this sacrificial logic that each of üem ProPoses a new concePtion oflove. p*¡tt* *"t..h.99pllSSti. Each of them. we can see even in the all too brief engagement with of their thought here that each of them works instead towards initially rcvealing and then offering an alternative to the binary logic that has managed the lover's discourse seemingly for as long as it has been one.There construction of love as a É*pfr""r dom resonates wiü lrigaray's notion of love as an agent of baoming rather üan being. hradditiontothequestionsofloveinthecouplerelation.¡¡(.d ian reflect a negative dependency in which the autonomy of the oüer fails to be recognised. in the hands of even relatively contcmporary thinkers like Anders Nygren the anxiety about self-love leads to the loss of the other as*9t!*s gfu sgerpf ¡-bjesgy-lly-"!¡1S. cr¡s ¡rul ofl(pc... other-regarding Promise love. to the otherness of woman gf_t¡e &g¡1$ps etbe. Luce Irigaray. irr different ways.Á¡ love that allows the birth of the other in free- 'üird 5ryt-t-"1'@* uiffi¡ltcts' Kristeva's üat has excluded a recognition of üe significance üat sexual difference makes to all knowledges.9.sgirJrsrys-d-t-o'&lsv19-99Jrgp-gtionto$blesjn sexualdif ferengg-r.t9-.?14.ón 14{.io.