Posts Tagged ‘ abject ’

Some Notes from Lacan, Kristeva / Hal Foster’s The Return of the Real, The MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, 1996

from Lacan’s essay, Le Stade du Miroir

“Bodies in pieces” refers to the period before “the infant gains for the first time . . . a sense of the ‘total form’ of his body, and conceives the ‘mental permanence of his I’”. In The Mirror Stage our ego is first formed “in a primordial apprehension of our body in a mirror (or any reflection will do), an anticipatory image of corporeal unity that, as infants, we do not yet possess. This image founds our ego in this infantile moment as imaginary, that is, as locked in an identification that is also an alienation. For at the very moment that we see our self in the mirror, we see this self as image, as other. Lacan suggests that this imaginary unity of the mirror stage produces a retroactive fantasy of a prior stage when our body was in pieces — a fantasy of a chaotic body, fragmentary and fluid given over to drives that always threaten to overwhelm us — a fantasy that haunts us for the rest of our life — all those pressured moments when one feels about to shatter.”(from Hal Foster’s The Return of the Real, The MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, 1996) 209 – 210)

Also from Hal Foster (149, 153, & 156, taken from Kristeva’s Powers of Horror, trans. Leon S. Roudiez, Columbia UP, New York, 1982): Kristeva’s abject: “a category of (non)being as neither subject nor object, but before one is the subject (before full separation from the mother) or after one is the object (as a corpse given over to objecthood). The abject is what I must get rid of (throw out)  in order to be an I. Abject art (Andres Serrano, e.g.) is that art in which subjecthood is trouble, is abjection, that is, where meaning collapses (meaning is the temporal passage between maternal body and paternal law). To abject is to expel, separate; to be abject is to be repulsive, stuck; subject enough only to feel this subjecthood at risk.”

These are but a few thoughts, concepts, truths to consider before we rush to judgment about those among us who suffer mentally  and the profession which seeks to touch their wounds in some way, to help them walk away from their isolation. ~ yours truly, df