Esteem, ethics


This article is the second of a three-part series entitled: The Veil of Esteem: On Seeing Oneself Being Seen. Inspired by Walter Benjamin’s “reflection through vignette” method, the author inquires into the notions and interconnections between memory and esteem. Esteem is the truth of oneself through the eyes of the other, and any truth of esteem must be told from the perspective of that other, through the spectating other. Thus, the author finds that any story of esteem is veiled. This second part, Riddle and Accident, explores unconditional love as maintained without the merit-worthy, yet it is its esteem that catalyzes it. The story is narrated not as a representation of a person or of people but the discourse through which the author has been lent her voice. The author is the translator through whom she is now speaking. The translator is the producer of the discourse that suffocates her and allows her to breathe in gasped breaths, the producer of the discourse that both takes away her voice and gives her voice. The first part of this series, Fragment/Never Thinking of Tomorrow, appears in International Review of Qualitative Research, Volume 5, Issue 1; the third part, A Loan, appears in Qualitative Inquiry, Volume 18, Issue 4.


Original Citation: Hoffer, Melba. "The Veil of Esteem: On Seeing Oneself Being Seen (Part Two: Riddle and Accident)." Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies 12, no. 2 (2011): 87-95.