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John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

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Eagleton on Lacan  

2009-04-07 12:28:15|  分类: 心理分析 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Eagleton, Terry. The Ideology of the Aesthetic. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990.

Desire of the Other

p. 277-9

“Desire, in Jacques Lacan’s famous slogan, is the desire of the Other. To desire another is to desire what that other desires, since this desire is of the other’s ‘essence,’ and only by identifying with it can we therefore become one with the other. This is a paradoxical claim, however, since desire, which splits and disperses the subject, is no kind essence at all; so that to desire the other’s desire is to be as extrinsic to them as they are to themselves, caught up in the process of their own decentrement. Desire never hits its target; it becomes entangled in the other’s lack and veers off beyond them. Desire curves around the body of the other to rejoin itself, now doubly lacking since it has reduplicated its own yearning in the yearning of the other. To identify with the other is to merge with what they lack, and thus in a sense to identify with nothing."

"The child does not desire the mother, but desires what she desires, or at least what it imagines her to desire, which is the imaginary plenitude it desires. In striving to figure this plentitude for the mother, to represent for her the imaginary phallus, the child discovers that it [278] cannot succeed – that the mother’s desire swerves away beyond the child and outwards. It is not the child that women desire. It is this recognition which introduces lack into the child, reduplicating the lack of the mother; the child lacks because what the mother lacks is not him. The intervention of the castrating law or Name of the Father then converts the child’s lack from a specific one – his inadequacy vis-à-vis the mother – to a general one: with the repression of desire into the unconscious the child is now lacking not just in a particular way but in general, in excess of all particular objects. The cutting stroke of the law generalizes the child’s lack to the very basis of its being.”

“Plunged into Oedipal crisis, the child may not be able to name his lack, but he can at least misname it. If the mother does not desire him, it must be because she desires the father. But women do not desire the man, any more than they desire the child. The woman desires not the penis but the phallus, which is to say her own imaginary wholeness. But the phallus is an imposture which does not exist, other than as an ideological figment. Having vainly sought for it in the mother’s body, the child imagines that the father must possess it instead. In doing so, he mystifies the law to an imaginary plenitude, and seeks to identify with this instead as the path to his own fulfillment. The mother may be castrated, but surely the law cannot be. Perhaps the fetish of the law will block off the terrible knowledge of castration. But the law, too, is an ideological figment, and is mad with the same desire as the child. If the child misrecognizes the law, the law equally misrecognizes the child; for the child’s desire is not the exactly for the mother, but for the completion she symbolizes, for the imaginary phallus it deludedly locates in her body. None of these individuals desire each other in the least; it’s nothing personal. Desire is purely impersonal, a process or network without end or origin in which all three protagonists are caught up, yet which stems from none of them and has none of them as its goal. The three bodies in this scenario desire past each other all the time, converging only in the field of the Other. The child plugs into the mother’s desire in the vain hope that it too might thereby uncover the phallus it imagines her to want. If the child cannot be the phallus for her, it can at least join her in the ceaseless pursuit of it, thus staying with her in one sense while abandoning her in another. An identification with the mother’s desire is one which leads the child beyond her, separates it from her. The child rides out beyond the mother on the current of her own desire.”

[279] “The one I love may not be able to give me the imaginary plenitude I seek, but she can at least give me the most real thing she has, namely her own desire for the same plenitude. We give each other our desire, which is to say exactly that which neither of us can fulfil [sic] in the other. To say ‘I love you’ thus becomes equivalent to saying ‘It’s you who can’t satisfy me!’ How privileged and unique I must be, to remind you that it isn’t me you want…”

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