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

  • Emanuele Zinato Università degli Studi di Padova
Keywords: Ethics, Desire, Yehoshua, Body, Orlando


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.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Emanuele Zinato, Università degli Studi di Padova
Emanuele Zinato is assistant Professor of the scientific disciplinary sector L-FIL-LET/14. He teaches Theory of literature and Comparative literature at University of Padova. He works on three research fields: the rhetorical strategies in galilean school’s texts, the conversational form of literary critics and the relationship between modernization and writing in some Italian writers of the second half of the Twentieth Century (Volponi, Vittorini, Fortini, Calvino, Sciascia, Primo Levi). He edited for Einaudi Romanzi e prose by Paolo Volponi (2002-3) and for Liguori La scienza dissimulata nel Seicento (2005). He published the volumes Volponi (2002), Il vero in maschera. Dialogismi galileiani (2003), Le idee e le forme. La critica letteraria italiana dal 1900 a oggi (2010) and (with Andrea Afribo) Modernità italiana (2011). In 2010/11 he was “professeur invité” at Université Charles De Gaulle in Lille.


Booth, Wayne C., The Company We Keep. An Ethics of Fiction, Berkeley-Los Angeles-London, University of California Press, 1988.

Ferrari, Armando B., L’Eclisse del corpo. Una ipotesi psicoanalitica, Roma, Borla, 1992.

Ginzburg Alessandra, Il miracolo dell’analogia. Saggi su letteratura e psicoanalisi, Pisa, Pacini, 2011.

Jakobson, Roman, Essais de linguistique générale, Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1963, trad. it. Saggi di linguistica generale, Ed. Luigi Heilmann, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1966.

Matte Blanco, Ignacio, The Unconsciosus as Infinite Sets. An Essay in Bi-Logic, London, Karnac, 1975, trad. it. L’inconscio come insiemi infiniti. Saggio sulla bi-logica, Ed. Pietro Bria, Torino, Einaudi, 1981.

Orlando, Francesco, Illuminismo, barocco e retorica freudiana, Torino, Einaudi, 1982.

Orlando, Francesco, “Dodici regole per la costruzione di un paradigma testuale”, L’Asino d’oro, 1, maggio 1990.

Ricoeur, Paul, Soi-même comme un autre, Paris, Éditions de Seuil, 1990, trad. it. Sé come un altro, Ed. Daniella Iannotta, Milano, Jaca Book, 1993.

Testa, Enrico, Eroi e figuranti. Il personaggio nel romanzo, Torino, Einaudi, 2009.

Yehoshua, Abraham B., Tutti i racconti, Torino, Einaudi, 1999.

Yehoshua, Abraham B., Il potere terribile di una piccola colpa. Etica e letteratura (1998), Torino, Einaudi, 2000.

Yehoshua, Abraham B., Il responsabile delle risorse umane (2004), Torino, Einaudi, 2005.

How to Cite
Zinato, E. (2013). Ethics and desire: Il responsabile delle risorse umane by Abram Yehoshua. Between, 3(5).