Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Theory 4 (Email 11)

Hi Jake
    This post, too, remains connected with the spirit as well as the letter (!) of the seminar.  To the extent that familiarity with  context promotes understanding, it is useful to orient the path Lacan has charted for himself by noting its emergence out of existential phenomenology -- not only Heidegger, but also Merleau-Ponty and Sartre (as we discussed).  As you know from Avatar Emergency, early Sartre -- Nausea and Being and Nothingness-- is important for my approach to French theory.  Sartre learns (ruefully)  that being and meaning (as Lacan termed it) are irreducibly split and may not be synthesized syncretized or any other version of completeness.  The absolute is impossible, or, it is the  Real.  Sartre declares, after numerous  failed attempts, that  one must either live, or tell, they  don't happen together.  One has the cake, or eats it, perhaps.  Benjamin's terms were Erlebnis (living) and Erfahrung (telling).  Now as I said it seems that Lacan agrees and shows why it is so, and his situating of what resists the absolute as the male/female division makes his case all the more convincing.  Nonetheless, he also indicates that a characteristic of the human is striving for completion.  Advertisers have mastered the showing of  completion that provokes the  evil  eye and whose nature was recognized in Christianity  as Mary with Baby Jesus (except she should be nursing for it to be precise). 

This striving is life (being), Aristotle's Entelechy, Leibniz's Monad, Spinoza's Conatus, Heidegger's Dasein.  What prevents well-being (is it a fatal resistance?) is that this striving is captured, trapped in the gaze. This aphanisis, this coming and going, place and temporality of the Unconscious, of the  Subject in its split, its dimensions of meaning or being, that is the issue. The "or" is the  vel (Latin or), in Lacan's updating of Tuché, the choice of decision.  So it is evident that numerous motifs are wrapped up in the topic you  pose.  What we need to sort out, perhaps in the band, is that there are two pleasures, two vectors or dynamics, in the circulation of drive.  Everything is interrelated in Lacan's model (the Borromean knot, the R S I rings), but perhaps we may risk a simplification justified in our context, by saying that literacy ontologized meaning in the register of the Symbolic via the (semiotic) signifier. That is the way of alienation.  The other way is opened through  the other beginning, passage through the Real, littered with part objects (letters), whose writing becomes possible in the digital apparatus, by means of a camera. This way becomes Sinthome (in late Lacan), when Lacan apprenticed himself to the littoral litter of Finnegans Wake (Joy/ce).

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