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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 25 | volume V | March-April, 2002



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 25March-April, 2002
Reviews

Balkan Heresy of Love

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p. 1
Jelena Lužina

    Do we really think and speak of the same thing when we speak of love?
    Julia Kristeva, one of those persistent, lucid women who deal exclusively with the most complex issues of human existence (melancholy, depression, new social diseases, neurosis, pain, terror…), in one of her extremely intriguing books (Love Stories – Histores d’amour, 1983) endeavours to pose and discuss this complex issue “leaning” on a whole dozen of crucial “subquestions”:
    Is love a feeling or (perhaps, after all) a certain specific state (of the spirit)? In what ways does love express itself? Through what modalities does it display and prove itself? What is its – so specific – language? Some authors, especially women authors, undoubtedly “identify” the specific love language with the poetic one, believing that in both cases the language is full of metaphors: even when the love expression appears (ostensibly) very “simple”, monosemantic (I-love-you), its referential and communicative potentials excel “the content of the spoken/written words – that is to say, these “simple”, monosemantic words always imply (in fact – imagine) a lot, a lot more than their ortographic-ortoepic appearance can “contain”. They imagine a whole universe!
    “Is it at all possible to express love in words? Is the love discourse not the only (of all possible discourses) which can be expressed solely in first person?” – a famous Balkan feminist is asking, fascinated by the discovery of the European linguists (Kristevna, as well as other women linguists) that the “essential characteristic of the love discourse is precisely the uncertainty/vagueness of its subject” (Popovic – Perisic, 1988; 69). From this, one may conclude that the true “imaginary” field of the love discourse is the letter. To be more precise – the love letter!
    What is a love letter? The desire to reach/get to the other, the desire ‘I’ to become/be the Other. We recognise the same situation as the commencing situation of writing, Kristeva believes. Love, as writing, signifies a state of instability, “in which the individual is no longer indivisible, unique, stable: that is a state in which I accepts to be a part of the Other, to live for the other” (Kristeva, 1983; 121).
    The letter – not only the love but also the literary one! becomes “a space in which ‘I’ summons the Other, for s/he loves, suffers, outdoes him/her own self” (Popovic – Perisic, 1988; 69).
    According to Barthes writing is love itself – for it is a result


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