To die of not dying. Mysticism and Death drive

The article analyses the language of death of St. Teresa of Avila, starting from her poem Vivi sin vivier en mí, but concentrating on her mystical autobiography Life. Death in Teresa’s writing is first interpreted as an example of the Christian ascetic tradition of dying to the world, but the properly mystical idea of death as an ecstatic experience of God is approached with the help of Freud’s idea of death drive and the Lacanian concept of jouissance. Teresa’s writing is elaborated as a locus of jouissance as ”the other face of God” that still, however, retains a sense of distance of the ultimate object of desire as that which keeps alive desire, longing and writing.

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