2
$\begingroup$

I hope I am asking this question in the right place. In her reading of Duras's Hiroshima mon amour, Julia Kristeva, the analyst and philosopher, refers to Duras as a melancholic. Anne Juranville, also an analyst and a professor of literature, however, believes, in Kelly Oliver's words, that "

Duras is too depressed to be melancholic Oliver, 2001, 152

Can anyone explain what she means by this? Isn't the melancholic, in the last analysis, the same as the depressed?

What does she mean by saying that

the melancholic “subject,” and in particular the feminine one, maintains an immediate, traumatic relation to the real qua maternal Thing. Ibid

Here's part of the paragraph cited from Kelly Oliver's Psychoanalysis, Aesthetics, and Politics in the Work of Kristeva (2009):

Anne Juranville, also an analyst and professor of literature, disagrees with Kristeva’s clinical diagnosis, arguing that Duras is too depressed to be melancholic, but does agree that the melancholic “subject,” and in particular the feminine one, maintains an immediate, traumatic relation to the real qua maternal Thing. This nostalgic denial of individuation, as for Kristeva, positions the melancholic beyond the pale of symbolic intervention, unable to access in any way the historical reality of the social: “Stupefied, horrified, [the melancholic] fixes himself in an inhuman zone beyond death where, lacking the least symbolic recourse, he is condemned to remain eternally and passively concentrated on this gaping wound that he himself is” (1993, 54). ibid

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There isn't a scientific diagnosis of melancholic besides a subtype of depression that I am aware of; it's possible the term is used in pseudoscience. Your sources seem to use the term in the context of some sort of literary analysis, which also might use a different terminology. I think we probably can't answer what these authors are thinking here. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jul 31 at 18:37
1
$\begingroup$

As Bryan indicates, this question is hardly answerable in the context of science. However, I can take a bash at it;

Can anyone explain what she means by this? Isn't the melancholic, in the last analysis, the same as the depressed?

No, melancholy is more of a 'normal' emotional state, whereas depression is a debilitating mental illness associated with morbid symptoms and higher chances of suicide.

As to that other passage, I reckon that's really a biased, opinion-fueled statement with no relation whatsoever in science. To cite a part of the wiki page on her:

Her [...] work includes [...] intertextuality, the semiotic, and abjection, in the fields of linguistics, literary theory and criticism, psychoanalysis, biography and autobiography, political and cultural analysis, art and art history.

These areas of expertise are quite far from science. Psychoanalysis comes closest, but even that is disputed in terms of not being embedded in evidence-based science.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I wonder what is the take of the site on non-falsifiable statements/researches/fields, such as philosophy. I've seen questions and answers on this site that are fully about philosophy $\endgroup$ – Ooker Aug 1 at 3:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.