Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Loving YusufConceptual Travels from Present to Past$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mieke Bal

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226035864

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226035888.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 21 October 2018

The Invention of Sympathy

The Invention of Sympathy

Chapter:
(p.95) 5 The Invention of Sympathy
Source:
Loving Yusuf
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226035888.003.0005

Friedrich Nietzsche claimed that pain is the best incentive to memory, and memory (of pain) to morality. An extraordinary scene in Thomas Mann's novel, Joseph and His Brothers, is the scene of Yusuf and Mut. In the middle of the turbulence caused by Mut's desperate love for Yusuf, the closed circle of the harrowing house of Genesis is broken. The text proves Elaine Scarry's analysis right: pain cannot be shared. Or, more precisely, Mann specifies pain cannot be shared in words. This difficulty brings to the heart of art's social function and its limitations. Because it is such an extraordinary scene, the author felt that Mann could not have invented it out of the blue, so he started to search, and the closest he came to a possible antecedent was in the Qur'an. This chapter discusses sympathy, solidarity, as the basis of the formation of sociocultural groups. The scene of Yusuf and Mut is a scene of pain and bloodshed, a parody of civil war, a drama of women. Against the backdrop of solidarity as a social problem of the time, the scene has the kind of resonance that preoccupies.

Keywords:   sympathy, solidarity, pain, Friedrich Nietzsche, memory, Qur'an, Thomas Mann, Elaine Scarry, Joseph and His Brothers, sociocultural groups

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.