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To resume again...

The Image of the Body
in Psychoanalysis

J-A MILLER

The Communist Idea &
the Question of Terror

ALAIN BADIOU

I Saw Him, Blushed,
Grew Pale
FRANÇOIS REGNAULT

A Desire Without
Cause?
MARIE-HÉLÈNE BROUSSE

The Other Who Does
Not Exist

PIERRE-GILLES GUÉGUEN

The Two Sexes and
the Other Jouissance
ÉRIC LAURENT

The Reverseof the
Hysterical Symptom
ÉRIC LAURENT

Wall of Screens
GÉRARD WAJCMAN

Love Versus
"Symptomatic Love"
ALAN ROWAN

Better Living through
Facebook
NANCY BARTON

Stations of the Arkwork
HUNTER HUNT-
HENDRIX

Empty Centers
COLLEEN A
SPER

God as the Big Other
SLAVOJ Z
IZEK


          

God as the Big Other






Slavoj Zizek

 


[...]What, then, is the big Other? A lady from Germany told me her sex life is minimal: she seduces her husband into sex once every couple of weeks, "just so that I can tell my psychoanalyst that I still have a sex life"—the analyst is here the big Other, the agency for which one has to maintain the appearance (of the ongoing sex life). Here is a more ominous version of the same logic: in 2009, an unfortunate Greek man wrote to a Greek civil service for several months, complaining that he had yet to receive his pension; the civil service finally replied by sending him back a letter informing him that the reason for the delay was that he was dead.1 The shocking impact of such a message does not rely solely on its obvious disagreement with the fact that the addressee is alive, and, furthermore, on the pragmatic paradox that this fact implies (the message itself which informs me that I am dead is addressed to me, i.e., it presupposes that I am alive). The very fact that this paradox functions implicates a more complex situation: the message addresses the dimension in me which makes me dead even while I am still alive, the mortifying dimension of the signifier, of being inscribed into (reduced to) the network of symbolic representation. In other words, what the message is saying is something like: even if you are biologically alive, you do not exist for the big Other, for the statal registration network.

Apropos the multiple meanings of the "big Other" in Lacan, the solution is not to clearly distinguish between these meanings (the Other as the place of speech, the desiring Other, etc.). What is much more important is to analyze what Hegel would have called the "self-movement of the notion," the way one meaning, on account of its inherent tensions and implications, passes into another (often its opposite).[...]




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