According to Lacan in 1946 his notion of the ego is derived from the work he had done with psychosis: "I have myself demonstrated it in my study of the characteristic phenomena of what I have called the fertile moments of the delusion. Pursued according to the phenomenological method that I commend to you, this study led me to analyses from which I derived my concept of the ego, which I have left unpublished but which nevertheless threw up the rather striking term of connaissance paranoïaque."1 The mirror stage which is Lacan's invention to explain identification and the genesis of the ego would then start out as a paranoiac theory of the ego. Lacan himself still in 1946 describes the mirror stage as ambivalent in the sense that the subject is identified for its sense of self with the image of the other and that the image of the other robs it of the sense of self.2 Something neurotic and something psychotic!
Art: Rona Pondick, Dog, yellow stainless steel, 1998-2001
1. Lacan, Jacques, "Propos sur la causalité psychique,", Écrits, Seuil: Paris, 1966, p.180.
2. ibid p.181.
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