Chapter

In the Absence of Love

Carey Ellen Walsh

in Scrolls of Love

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225712
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237067 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225712.003.0021
In the Absence of Love

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The Song of Songs has always been a source for exegetical invention. This multiplicity brings about a dynamic encounter between text and reader and, for the author, transforms his sense of what language does. The Song, a text about human desire, ignites his desire for more interpretation and impels him to think about the link between desire and interpretation. The book's power is not merely a question of rhetoric. Literary convention, technique, and polish are only part of its brilliance. Even taken together, these features do not account for the reader's joy. Rather, joy comes out of the relationship the reader develops with the text. Human sexual desire in the Song of Songs is recounted from the perspectives of its two lovers and of the “daughters of Jerusalem”, those bystanders who behold the spectacle of want. Before proceeding to an examination of the Song's imagery, this chapter briefly sketches Jacques Lacan's view of the connection between language and desire.

Keywords: human desire; literary convention; Song of Songs; interpretation; language; Jacques Lacan

Chapter.  5007 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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