Why "the Death of the Beautiful Woman": A Lacanian Psychoanalytic Approach
|Keywords:||愛倫坡;"貝瑞妮絲""麗姬亞""莫瑞拉"拉岡;精神分析;Edgar Allan Poe;"Berenice""Ligeia""Morella"Lacan;psychoanalysis||Issue Date:||2007||Abstract:||null
This thesis argues that Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of “the death of the beautiful woman” present a psychotic logic that cannot be fully elucidated by the traditional critical approaches. The male subject in Poe’s tales presents a psychotic structure by Lacanian definition, that is, with the foreclosure of the Name-of-the-Father, while the mythical and phantasmagoric chamber presents a secluded world lacking of paternal function. The ethereal and beautiful woman emerges as the Imaginary other to the male protagonist, just as Schreber’s God as the Imaginary other to him in Freud’s noted case. Such Imaginary relationship involves ambivalence of narcissism and aggressiveness, manifest in the male’s idealization and abhorrence of the female. Yet the delusional female figure, though existing only in the Imaginary, somehow helps to stabilize the psychotic subject. The delusional system, or what Lacan calls the “delusional metaphor,” serves as a stand-in for the missing paternal metaphor. It is the psychotic’s attempt for recovery, as Freud indicates. The death of the Imaginary other in these tales implies a collapse of such delusional system and the emergence of the uncanny doubling. This leads to a fragmented body—of the male protagonist/ narrator as well as the involved readers—inundated by Real drives. For this reason, Poe’s repetition of the same topic reveals a repetition of the inassimilable Real, and even affects the reader with an irresistible jouissance. Poe’s writing is a writing that writes itself, a writing propelled by pure drive. It is a writing of drive with its uncanny performativity that disregards the subject and sweeps every one into its dizzying maelstrom.
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
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