The Double’s Lesson of Love
Marguerite Duras’s novel The Ravishing of Lol Stein opens up new perspectives for understanding the double: no longer as single but as multiple. To a large extent this idea extends Levinas’s notion of the Other as infinite, but the double is not completely an Other. Rather, it is a meeting point between internal and external multiplicity, which culminates in love. This chapter begins with Søren Kierkegaard’s theory of love and repetition, continues with the multiplicity implied in Friedrich Nietzsche’s Eternal Return, and concludes with Gilles Deleuze’s notion of multiple doubles. It discerns a movement from the “one” to the “many,” movement the double might block but also launch, provided that it is no longer a single double but multiple ones. In Postmodernism, multiplicity no longer poses a problem, and yet it does not merely serve as a means to open oneself to alterity.