Author: le711

Friendship as a Way of Life

As this is the second time I’ve read Angels of America I am less fascinated by Cohn’s character and more engaged with Louis’s relationship with Joe. Particularly because I recently read Foucault’s Interview “Friendship as a Way of Life” and plan to soon read the book by Tom Roach which is based on the interview. You can read the interview here. In the interview, Foucault suggests that at a certain point, friendship became the main way of facilitating homosexuality (which might seem obvious), but when there is no institutional support for homosexual relationships, queer people would “have to invent, from A to Z, a relationship that is still formless, which is friendship: that is to say, the sum of everything through which they can give each other pleasure.” We see this very clearly happen with Louise and Joe, as their relationship grew through friendship, and through the intimacy and the homo-social spaces that were created through their relationship. All of which is a little sad to consider the amount of innovation and labor expected of such marginalized groups, but to also study the nuances of the relationships created out of them. And who’s better to have theorized some of it than Foucault?

I have not yet read Roach’s book, but here’s a quick review of it.

Death, Derrida, and Pale Horse, Pale Rider

Apologies for the late augmenters post.
During our class on Katheine Anne Porter’s story, we extensively discussed the conversation around death, particularly in Miranda’s looking forward to death as an escape, but she also clearly flees from death.
I think reflecting on this now is very interesting, especially in relation with the interview we watched for Dream of Ding Village , where Yan Lianke discusses how books portray people as fearless of death (in the context of war) but in reality everyone is actually scared of dying. In a way we see Miranda as a character representing that split in how people want to act, but in reality cannot act in that way.

Also, in the conveners’ post for the book, they brought up death and religion of trying to maybe study how much of her views on death are dependent on her christian faith. This reminded me of Jacques Derrida’s book The Gift of Death which very interestingly studies “questions first introduced in his book “Given Time” about the limits of the rational and responsible that one reaches in granting or accepting death, whether by sacrifice, murder, execution, or suicide.” (Book depository)

I would not consider this book a light or fun read, but it’s interesting if you want to think of death in new ways.