Lacanian Trauma & Tuché in Paul Auster’s Man in the Dark

Mahsa Khazaei, Farid Parvaneh

Abstract


This paper seeks to examine Paul Auster’s Man in the Dark (2008) in the light of Jacques Lacan’s theory of fragmented subjectivity. This literary piece had already been introduced as a text prone to be read as a manifestation of conventional meaning of “trauma” for which narration had a therapeutic effect. A Lacanian reading for “trauma,” however, has not received decent attention by critics. By exploring Man in the Dark through Lacanian idea of fragmented subjectivity, this paper presents that the “trauma” for Brill is for no nostalgic return of the past. It also does not refer to one specific event which means that language helps it in no way to be subjugated. Rather, by scrutinizing Brill’s storytelling, the present paper portrays that his trauma ties in with Lacanian notion of “tuché” as the impossible encounter with the missed real, which by “automaton” or “repetition,” that is the network or return of signifiers, cannot be mastered.  Therefore, this analysis inevitably leads to the insufficiency of the idea that storytelling (narration) of the self or in Lacanian terms “objet petit a” can ever fill the “ontological lack” or the cause of “desire.” Furthermore, by parallelizing these Lacanian key terms to the aforementioned literary piece, the present paper argues how the “automaton” of Brill’s fragmented subjectivity in this novella proves to be contributing to his encounter with the missed real.

 


Keywords


Trauma, Ontological Lack, Desire, Signifier, Automaton, Repetition, Tuché

Full Text:

PDF

References


Auster, P. (2008). Man in the Dark. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Berthold, D. (2009). Talking Cures: A Lacanian Reading of Hegel and Kierkegaard on Language and Madness.” PPP, 16(4), 299-311.

Evans, D. (2006). An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis. London: Taylor and Francis, 2006.

Ko, J. R. (2009).Reading for (the) Real: Between Jacques Lacan and Narrative Plot. Diss. The City University of New York, 2009. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Jan 2013 .

Lacan, J. (1966) Ecrits: The First Complete Edition in English. Trans. Bruce Fink. New York and Landon: Norton and Company.

---.(1964). The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book XI. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York and London: Norton and company.

Neagu, A. (2013). “Between Fabulation and Silence: In Search of Paul Auster Effect.” Constructions of Identity (VI) : 239-49. American Studies Resources Center at LJMU. Web. 10 may 2014. http://americansc.org.uk.

Nusselder, A. C. (2006). Interface Fantasy: A Lacanian Cyborg Ontology. Amsterdam: F&N Eigen Beheer.

Feldstein, R. and Fink, B. Eds. (1995). Lacan’s Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Ruti, M. (2008).The Fall of Fantasies: A Lacanian Reading of Lack. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association,56(2), 483-508. Sage. December. 2012 http://apa.sagepub.com/contenet/56/2483.refs.html




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.4n.4p.211

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.