In whatever terms we think of it Hedda Gabler's inheritance is death and despair, absence and loss. Experiencing herself as an uncreated void her 'unthought' project is to stage the scene of her own conception. Yet at the same time the play reveals in all its workings that Hedda has no 'inner image of psychic procreativity.' (Bollas, 1993, p.84) While the play as a whole is struggling to create such an image the troubling enigma of the central character is that for her this same struggle constitutes a maddening aporia: to conceive the inconceivable. The logic by which the dilemma finds its resolution is even more strange. It is when she destroys everything - that is to say, herself and the future (her unborn child) - that Hedda Gabler finally succeeds in making her own idiomatic gesture. To destroy everything is to leave nothing left to want, nothing left to envy. If nothing is left to be reduced to nothing, something may begin to be. 'A terrible beauty is born', and a destiny is fatefully fulfilled.


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