Language in Exile, Exile in Language

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on the essay “How Much Home Does a Man Need?” (Améry 1980), analyzing the language crisis inherent in forced exiles. The paper offers a comparative reading of Améry’s essay through Freud’s “Mourning and Melancholia” (1917), pointing at Améry’s relation to his lost homeland as illustrating Freud’s claim concerning the melancholic’s loss of ideal rather than real object. Améry’s melancholic position is further analyzed in terms of Kristeva’s concept of “pre-objectal depression” (Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia (Leon S. Roudiez, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press, 1987). The last part of the chapter focuses on the tragic paradox in which both agreeing with and refusal of exile are revealed as types of collaboration with the erasure of the speaking and witnessing subject.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationJean Améry
Subtitle of host publicationBeyond the Mind's Limits
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783030280956
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Contamination
  • Exile
  • Language
  • Melancholia
  • Trauma

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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