Ethics and desire: Il responsabile delle risorse umane by Abram Yehoshua

Emanuele Zinato


This work offers a Freudian lecture of Yehoshua’s novel, based on the contrast between ethical project and dynamics of desire. The protagonist is a human resources manager from Jerusalem going to Russia with the corpse of an employee dead in an attack; he has a metamorphosis that seems on one hand functional to the construction of a moral apologue: as in Lévinas’ late thinking, so in Yehoshua the responsibility for the Other is entrenched in our subjective being. The Manager arbitrary inverts his route and brings back to Jerusalem the victim’s coffin, mother and child because this allegoric City belongs to everyone and its sharing is the only achievable reparation. What stays in the background in the ‘ethical’ interpretation of the text is the role of desire. The beginning of the inquiry on Julia’s corpse causes in the text the emerging of symmetrization (as Matte Blanco would say). Julia’s body, desirable althought (or because) closed in a coffin, causes the breaking in a dimension that, potentially, don’t know the distinction between things but, conversely, assimilate and confuse them in a unique reality.


Ethics; Desire; Yehoshua; Body; Orlando

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