Lucky Breaks and Funny Coincidences: From the Tragedy of Desire to the Messianic Psychoanalysis of Love


This essay explores Jacques Lacan’s theory of desire as functioning according to the logic of tragedy and compares it with Alenka Zupančič’s concept of love as comedy, demonstrating however that the latter remains too caught up in the Lacanian worldview to truly capture the active side of love. The essay argues that Zupančič’s interpretation of Lacan can be reinterpreted again through the lenses of “messianic psychoanalysis” – psychoanalysis “slightly adjusted” – standing not on the side of the tragic acceptance of fate, but of the promise of “more life.” Drawing from the reflections of Agata Bielik-Robson, Eric Santner and Jonathan Lear, this essay intends to demonstrate that Zupančič’s comedy of love can be reconciled with the more relational notion of love as a psychoanalytical counterpart of messianic Exodus. An example of such a liberating combination of eros and wit can be found in Freud’s interpretation of Wilhelm Jensen’s Gradiva.


psychoanalysis, love, comedy, Jacques Lacan, Alenka Zupančič, narcissism

How to cite:

Bielińska, Agata. “Lucky Breaks and Funny Coincidences: From the Tragedy of Desire to the Messianic Psychoanalysis of Love.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 8, no. 1 (2024):  69-97. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2024.0004.


Agata Bielińska
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
72 Nowy Świat Street, 00-330 Warsaw, Poland


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