notes from kristeva’s Black Sun on christianity and the idea of christ - based on holbein’s grim depiction of christ’s corpse.
i like the idea of a christianity that places more emphasis on christ’s death than on his being “born again.”
“the death of Christ offers imaginary support to the nonrepresentable catastrophic anguish distinctive of melancholy persons. It is well known that the so-called ‘depressive’ stage is essential to the child’s access to the realm of symbols and linguistic signs. Such a depression - parting sadness as the necessary condition for the representation of any absent thing - reverts to and accompanies our symbolic activities unless exaltation, its opposite, reappropriates them.
A suspense of meaning, a darkness without hope, a recession of perspective including that of life, then reawwaken within the memory the recolleciton of traumatic partings and thrust us into a state of withdrawl. ‘Father, why have you deserted me?’
Moreover, serious depression or paroxismal clinical melancholia represents a true hell for modern individuals, convinced as they are that they must and can realize all their desires of objects and values. The Christly dereliction presents that hell with an imaginary elaboration; it provides the subject with an echo of its unbearable moments when meaning was lost, when the meaning of life was lost.
Here as elsewhere, death - that of the old body making room for the new, death to oneself for the sake of glory, death of the old man for the sake of the spiritual body - lies at the center of the experience.”