L'Eros distruttivo in Brik e Coetzee

Fabio La Mantia


The Rights of Desire (2000) by André Brink owes his title to a passage of another South African novel, Disgrace (1999) by Nobel laureate John Maxwell Coetzee. This is not, however, the only link between the two narratives. In fact, both texts portray the tormented relationship between a white, elderly, intellectual and a young black woman. These relationships are triggered by an uncontrollable desire provoked by an external force, from that «inaccessible elsewhere» mentioned by Vernant. The identikit of this force corresponds to Eros, the God of love. Not just Eros though. In fact, for the Greeks, love assumed more forms and manifestations, not all attributable to a single deity. Himeros (sexual desire) and Anteros (love-returned or counter-love) that mythology describes as the brothers of Eros, seem to better embody the impulses that shake the existential pallor of Brink and Coetzee’s heroes. The purpose of this article is, thus, to investigate how the presumed incidence of these deities on the dynamics of the two novels leads to self-destruction instead of satisfaction.

Parole chiave

Desiderio; Brink; Coetzee; Eros; auto-distruzione

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4474/308


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