This essay examines the final two sentences of Bersani’s Intimacies, a book he cowrote with the psychoanalyst Adam Phillips. The strange temporality of Bersani’s correspondence at the end of Intimacies coincides with the “friendly accord” invoked by Socrates at the end of the Phaedrus. This conception of correspondence as friendly accord elucidates the notion of impersonal intimacy Bersani described earlier in the book as remaining in touch, through memory, with a god we followed. Correspondence also recalls Bersani’s earlier Baudelaire and Freud, where Baudelairean “Correspondances” signal not the harmony of self and world but an ego-disseminating spiritualization of the senses. This examination of Intimacies’ final passage also tracks a distinctively Bersanian oscillation between particularizing and universalizing engagements with the world in a mise en abyme structure that articulates possibilities for new modes of relation through practices of ascetic spirituality.

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