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A Tremendous ThingFriendship from the "Iliad" to the Internet$
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Gregory Jusdanis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452840

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452840.001.0001

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Duty and Desire

Duty and Desire

(p.92) 3 Duty and Desire
A Tremendous Thing

Gregory Jusdanis

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes the reasons for the fragility of friendships discussed in the previous chapter, by looking at the paradoxes of friendship. Specifically, it analyzes friendship as a noninstitutional relationship by considering how the tensions between duty and autonomy, compulsion and self-institution shape friends. Focusing on Nikos Kazantzakis's Zorba the Greek and Sándor Márai's Embers, the chapter looks at the emergence of friendship as a largely intimate affiliation no longer bound by rules of gift exchange, hospitality, and kinship. On the one hand, friends, like lovers, have to secede from society to develop their bond. Yet, unlike lovers, they feel guilty that they have escaped from the toils of life to create a nonproductive relationship.

Keywords:   nonproductive relationships, friendship fragility, paradoxes of friendship, noninstitutional relationships, Zorba the Greek, Embers, societal duties

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