Reversals of the Mirror Stage: Lacan and Blanchot on the Precariousness of Reality

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Abstract

This essay ofers a refection on the porosity of borders, edges, frames, thresholds, and other liminal phenomena. The aim of this refection is to trace out the limits of the subject who utters ‘I’ and the principles of its reality, which Lacan in his seminar L’éthique de la psychanalyse characterizes as “essentially precarious”. It will be argued that the exposure to such precariousness of reality may cause a certain ‘reversal of the mirror stage,’ which strips the subject of its ability to speak in the frst person singular. Moreover, it is suggested that indications of such a reversal may be found at certain limit points of Lacan’s psychoanalytic discourse at which it brushes up against Maurice Blanchot’s writing of the neuter. In pursuit of these liminal points, the main body of the essay is divided into three sections each of which takes as its point of departure three key sentences from Lacan’s tenth seminar L’angoisse (1962-1963). The efort is to bring each of these sentences into a conversation (infnite no doubt) with diferent aspects of Blanchot’s writing of the neuter as these are put forward mainly in his L’espace littéraire (1955). Before entering into this conversation, however, a brief remark on the ‘mirror stage’ and a preliminary indication of its reversal is called for.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLamella – Tidsskrift for teoretisk psykoanalyse
Volume5
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)66-88
Number of pages23
ISSN2445-8074
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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