Three Ways To End a Relationship: Letter writing and the Dialectics of Political Separatism

Jolly, Margaretta (2008) Three Ways To End a Relationship: Letter writing and the Dialectics of Political Separatism. In: Crinquand, Sylvie (ed.) Last Letters. Cambridge Scholars Press, Cambridge, pp. 111-125. ISBN 9781847184016

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There are women who have decided not to have any further interaction with men, even to speak to a man collecting a ticket on a bus. Gays who no longer want to waste time with straights. Blacks who cant be bothered with whites. Disability activists who only wish to live and speak with others living with disabilities. Why do people become separatists? If the concept of separatism is known at all, it tends to offend for its apparently brutal refusal to accept a common humanity. In this paper, I look at letters that have been prompted by a notion of political separation and that try to articulate it as a necessary reason for ending a correspondence. In the case that forms the centerpiece of my discussion, that of a lesbian writing to end a friendship with an ex-boyfriend, I consider too, what happened when she wished to resume the correspondence some years later. I argue that such a return exemplifies a dialectical pattern of return in both correspondence and separatism.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Centre for Community Engagement
School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research
Depositing User: Margaretta Jolly
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:25
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2020 14:40
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