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Melancholic FreedomAgency and the Spirit of Politics$
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David Kyuman Kim

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195319828

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319828.001.0001

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 A World Not Well Lost

 A World Not Well Lost

Melancholy, Foreclosure, and Agency

(p.107) 5 A World Not Well Lost
Melancholic Freedom

David Kyuman Kim (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Taylor's and Butler's accounts of melancholy and agency. It is argued that the form of melancholy shared by their accounts is a key feature of symbolic loss in the constitution of the self, and symbolic loss has a central role in creating the conditions for the possibility of new modes of agency. The convention in appropriating melancholy follows the comparative example Freud established between mourning and melancholia (melancholy), in which the character of loss and the reluctance to give up on an object of love in the latter (melancholia/melancholy) takes its lead and form from the former (mourning).

Keywords:   Charles Taylor, Judith Butler, Freud, melancholy, agency, moral good, subjection, mourning, performativity

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