Dwelling in Doubleness

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Bruce Chatwin’s On the Black Hill and Michel Tournier’s Gemini suggest that one can not simply have a twin brother, since to be a twin brother is an archetypal, existential situation. It is by far not a “a wondeful balance between the other and oneself” (Tournier 144), but the two novels also prove that perfect twinship, perfect identity – like perfect marriage – would have no story worth telling at all. Thus, the principle of attractio similium does not stand with twin stories, where identical twins embody opposing worlding-forces. Either Heavenly Twins or Border Barons, they appear as perennial dwellers of existential boundaries, who balance on the brink of the nothingness of inert sameness and the pain of unamendable separation from oneness. They are hybrid Christ and Narcissus figures in the sense, who suffer something instead of others, non-twins. And this is how they provide a fertile paradigm for expressing the essential doubleness of human existence. (Conclusion)

twinship, narcism