19 2 Fragile friendships Films of the 1980s One cannot make the claim that the four films Guédiguian made during the 1980s were commercial successes. They did, however, receive critical praise and are worth viewing and reflection for many reasons. Most of all, they launch Guédiguian’s project of making films collectively, with friends, especially actors whose bodies are introduced to viewers and will remain during all of Guédiguian’s career.1 They also establish the various spaces of L’Estaque, both private and public, that appear throughout Guédiguian
This book is about friendship between sovereign political agents, whose role in the modern world is performed by states. It focuses on relations of friendship that bind together whole polities. Apart from bilateral friendships, the world has seen multiple attempts to posit friendship as the true foundation of a properly organised international community. The attempts range from the World Alliance for Promoting International Friendship through Churches, to the United Nations Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States. There are two basic roles that friendship can play in the discourses on international relations. The first is as an anthropomorphic metaphor for the relations between states. The second functions as a constituent part of a normative argument seeking a change in international relations. The book highlights common ways in which classical literature uses the concept of friendship in the context of relations with foreign powers. David Ramsay references to 'the ties of ancient friendship' as an important gesture in communication with native Americans. The ethical concept of political friendship is never strictly separated from the performance of political roles. Samuel Pufendorf's description of commonwealths as moral persons stirred up intense debate over how to conceive the sum of such artificial persons and the relations between them. Finally, the book talks about normative and 'naturalist' consensual understanding by scrutinising the justificatory functions of friendship in diplomatic agreements.
2 Early modern friendship: politics and law Horizontal and hierarchical power relations within a community Medieval Scholastic scholarship and its intellectual agenda shaped by ideas of a universal order were irrevocably challenged by the Reformation and the consequent segmentation of Europe, a process accelerated by rivalries among major political powers. The demand for intellectual tools to account for manifested contingency and the particularity of political situations necessitated a turn to a powerful alternative able to be sensitive to the experience of
‘I keep wanting to give you things’ In the final section of the previous chapter, I began to explore the relationship between friendship and mourning and, more broadly, to consider the kinds of obligations and responsibilities that shape relations between friends and citizens. In the first half of this chapter, I turn to three novels by Paul Auster in which these issues are also at stake, and in which one male friend is tasked with accounting for the life of another. I approach these novels, and some of Auster’s other works, by way of the gift. Like
-lined sidewalks of Dean Street, a place where diverse worlds intersect. 2 The previous chapter considered the sometimes sentimental, often nostalgic yet always hopeful, portrayals of civic life and community that took shape around these ‘would-be utopias’. I focused on portrayals of interracial male friendship – and specifically between Jewish and African American characters – exploring how local solidarities offer an always imperfect model for national citizenship, while revealing the ways in which these relationships become freighted with the difficult legacies of 1960s
6 Friendship, interlocking directorates, cosmopolitanism My own analysis of friendship as a social process among urban elites carries forward three of the interests in Epstein and Mitchell’s studies.1 The first is the broad interest that foregrounds the moral in the social, because it is not reducible to power and its many guises or disguises. An alternative approach, relentlessly rehearsing the social as no more than instrumental or tactical transactions over resources, has become virtually a spent force, after its decades of intellectual dominance, especially
1 The ambivalence of ancient friendship In this chapter I set out to highlight common ways in which classical literature uses the concept of friendship in the context of relations with foreign powers. I do not aim to analyse the whole corpus of ancient Greek and Roman literature. The task of this chapter is much more modest. It will deal with a small number of classical authors who were invoked, often in an eclectic manner, in early modern literature on the law of nations, and later in international relations, as intellectual authorities or sources of
workplace, and many were stunningly successful in terms of sales and influence. 7 They represented not so much ‘another Bloomsbury’ as an ‘alternative Bloomsbury’ with their own magazines and friendships. 8 Some of these women represented energetic nodes of exchange, such as Royde-Smith and, as we will see later, Edith Shackleton, both of whom straddled the literary and the mainstream newspaper worlds. In response, highbrow writers and their groups worked assiduously to delimit the market for ‘elite literary works’ by occupying editors’ chairs and reviewing books for
4 Turning friendship into a moral prescription: conceptual change in modernity The debate over the state of nature Thomas Hobbes and the hostile state of nature To understand further changes in the use of friendship in juridical and political treatises, we have to turn to a crucial theoretical intervention associated with the works of Thomas Hobbes from the mid seventeenth century. If the club of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century intellectual authorities on the law of nations and nature included Gentili, Belli, Grotius and Bodin, then starting from Richard
This book explores how the contemporary American novel has revived a long literary and political tradition of imagining male friendship as interlinked with the promises and paradoxes of democracy in the United States. In the last decades of the twentieth century, not only novelists but philosophers, critical theorists, and sociologists rediscovered the concept of friendship as a means of scrutinising bonds of national identity. This book reveals how friendship, long exiled from serious political philosophy, returned as a crucial term in late twentieth-century communitarian debates about citizenship, while, at the same time, becoming integral to continental philosophy’s exploration of the roots of democracy, and, in a different guise, to histories of sexuality. Moving innovatively between these disciplines, this important study brings into dialogue the work of authors rarely discussed together – including Philip Roth, Paul Auster, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, Dinaw Mengestu, and Teju Cole – and advances a compelling new account of the political and intellectual fabric of the contemporary American novel.