“For She Won’t Know”: Utilising the Dead

  • Galia Benziman
Chapter

Abstract

In “Mourning and Melancholia” Freud defines healthy mourning as grief directed towards the lost one, not towards the grieving subject; the latter indicates melancholia. No clear-cut separation between the two states appears in Hardy. His work suggests that what social consensus considers unselfish—deep grief for the dead—is no less egocentric than leaving the dead behind. Mourning is of necessity always mixed with the desires of the survivor. While lamenting the dead, the mourner may also utilise their remains, exploit them for emotional or financial interests or replace them by another, hence efface them. The substitution of the dead, as in The Well-Beloved, is parallel to what we observe in the animal world, hence, by a post-Darwinian outlook, it is both erasure and a means of preservation.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Galia Benziman
    • 1
  1. 1.Open UniversityRa’ananaIsrael

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