Cover Art

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Frontmatter

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. vii

Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. ix

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. xi

This book would never have been written without the unfailing support of my mother Gayle Bozeman Van Pelt. It was Nancy Blake who introduced me to Lacan and to the Institute for Psychological Study of the Arts, the group who first showed me Lacan in an international context. My respect and gratitude extends to the many scholars who have shared...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xxi

In the summer of 1993, I attended a conference on Shakespeare and the Sexual Relation at the University of West Virginia. The featured speaker was Catherine Belsey whose work at the time was a distinctive blend of new historicism, deconstruction, and Lacanian psychoanalysis. Over lunch, a graduate student attendee remarked to me that she’d love to...

Abbreviations

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. xxiii

read more

1. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Symposium

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-19

How to begin to discuss the decentered subject of psychoanalysis? Perhaps it is best to yield the stage to Jacques Lacan who emphasizes Freud’s most radical insight, saying that the “Freudian notion of the ego is so upsetting as to warrant the expression Copernican revolution” (Sem II 3). In the introduction to his second seminar on the ego in...

read more

2. The Master in the Mirror

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-43

Lacan’s mirror stage theory is many things simultaneously: an epistemological critique of the autonomous subject of science, a developmental vision of the genesis of the je or speaking subject, a dialectical reinterpretation of Freud’s concept of narcissism, a discussion of the role of projective identification in the socialized ideals of the subject, and an...

read more

3. The Poe-etics of Register Theory

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 45-70

While the mirror stage essay and its academic fate reflect the illusion of presence which creates some thing from an other, the Poe seminars exemplify the chief characteristic of the symbolic, of structuralism, and of later Lacanian register theory: recursiveness. “The Seminar on ‘The Purloined Letter’” signifies not one but two seminars, each of which...

read more

4. Lacanian Epistemology

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 71-88

Lacanian psychoanalysis emphasizes language as the medium of subjectivity; consequently, Lacan honors Saussure’s observation that “the mechanism of a language turns entirely on identities and differences” (107). Lacan’s unique insight is that he sees identity and difference as two distinct processes, each of which functions as a “register” unto...

read more

5. The Discourse of Desire and the Registers in Hamlet

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 89-117

Lacan’s pointed statement of the symbolic register evokes Hamlet directly: “Everything comes back to to be or not to be,” he remarks (Sem II 192). For Lacan, as for Freud and for the analysts who followed Freud, the archetypal subject of the unconscious is Hamlet. Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” punctuates the seminars on the “Purloined Letter.” Moreover,...

read more

6. Symptomatic Perfectionism in The Journals of Sylvia Plath

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 119-135

Sylvia Plath crafted her last poem, “Edge,” on 5 February 1963, six days before her suicide.1 Its bald, bold opening assessment, “the woman is perfected” comes like the last word in an argument, assertion and conclusion in one blow. “Edge” is an instance of creative speech whose status as mark and as mirror interests both the aesthete and the analyst.

read more

7. Being and Otherness

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 137-159

As half of a signifying binary, the “Other” is a term with a rich and lengthy philosophical history dating at least from Plato’s Sophist in which the Stranger participates in a dialogue on the ontological problems of being and nonbeing, of the One and the Other.1 This Platonic strain of thinking about alterity ontologically continues into the present...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 161-175

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 177-187

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 189-205