The Concept of Otherness as an Attempt to Define Identity in Literature and Philosophy Cover Image

Концепт другости као покушај одређења идентитета у књижевности и филозофији
The Concept of Otherness as an Attempt to Define Identity in Literature and Philosophy

Author(s): Jovana Brkić
Subject(s): Existentialism, Structuralism and Post-Structuralism, Theory of Literature
Keywords: Identity; Otherness; self
Summary/Abstract: In this paper we will try to define the problem of identifying oneself as a special identity – difference dialectical game. Thus, we will try to show that identity can be actualized in two ways always with respect to the abovementioned dichotomy: as a difference between the self and the other – that is as a difference between us and other people surrounding us – and between the self and its internal others – that is as the internal self-differentiation. The stated relation is always achieved in both directions which makes it impossible to render a definite meaning to the self since it is conditioned by possible changes in the other, be it of external or internal kind. Therefore, the most suitable term to use when referring to the self is process or transformation. As the problem of identity shows its complex status even in this abstract we will try to approach the problem from two directions which have their theoretical backing in the works of Paul Ricoeur and Susan Stanford Friedman. The theoretical background obtained by analysing the works of the mentioned authors will be then applied on two literary texts, the novel Underground by Don DeLillo, and the novel Beloved by Toni Morrison. With this in mind, the key role to the attempt of analysing the novels, that is of analysing some characters in the novels, will have the concept of Otherness which has proved to be a complex phenomenon in both philosophy and literature and which has never ceased to encourage various debates.

  • Page Range: 45-58
  • Page Count: 14
  • Publication Year: 2016
  • Language: Serbian