The Fragility of Friendship


ACLS Fellowship Program


Greek and Latin


This project looks at literary constructions of friendship. In contrast to Jacques Derrida, who argues that the history of friendship is governed by an ethics of homology and affinity, it contends that literature represents friendship a as ambivalent and fragile. Through an analysis of key literary texts, it shows that friendship is an anti-essentialist relationship that does not lead to the creation of identities? It argues that literature, the only modern discourse that has concerned itself with friendship, is best suited to reveal both the paradoxes of friendship and its involvement in the emergence of modern society.