Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A HOMOSEXUAL READING OF THE IMAGINARY, THE SYMBOLIC AND THE REAL.

Lacan imbues these three overloaded terms with dense meanings. Let us first imaginatively try to use these three terms as a locus to place a homosexual's position and inhabitation of them. In the course of my reading i intend to collapse the distinctiveness of these terms. Interpellations of their intersections have ineluctably been postulated but my task is not deconstruction but reconstruction. The linguistic intractability of these referents is a psychoanalytic attempt to crystallize them intransigently. Feminist scholars and queer theory experts undermine such essentialist atomizations.

If a homosexual looks into the mirror, he is a disaggregated entity. As yet the fact of his sexual difference resides amidst the primordial, undifferentiated drives he has not yet verbalized or brought to bear on his consciousness. The disarticulation doesn't refute the legitimate presence of such desires but highlights their non transposition into the realm of the conscious. Kristeva would claim that such prediscursive desires preclude language and can only be retained either through recourse to a poetic language or as psychosis. Now, within the imaginary frame the mirror image is lodged as an ego ideal in the imaginary which contrasts inversely to the infant's awareness of his fragmented body.

The symbolic is a funneling of the imaginary, as the law of the father, into a legitimate, heterosexual paradigm. In a sense it is the actualization and materialization of the ego ideal which through internalizing the lost object of love (an object loss) through a process of melancholia makes it an (ego loss ). The punitive superego channels the energies of this lost love into a symbolic reaffirmation. And if this loss is a irrecoverable loss, a loss that has always already occurred then its irrecoverability of that lost jouissance would point out that original loss. Yet as theorists have promulgated, that original loss itself is constituted through language and therefore functions not as a lack or loss but as an exclusion through which heterosexual normativity defines itself.

I would like to use Zizek's notion of the real as unsymbolizable, as a originary lack through identities are contingently constructed. Intransigently congealed as the 'real' is as prediscursive its own constructedness is pointed out by Judith Butler. Moreover Lacan himself says that what cannot lodge in the symbolic is siphoned off to the real.

Interestingly enough the prediscursive incest taboo and the non thematizable real work interestingly together. If the imaginary is through reification metamorphosed into the symbolic and if the symbolic cordons off its boundaries through a displacement into the real then 'having the phallus' becomes questionable. If the real is a lack then the phallus is already foreclosed and its 'having' can only be asseverated through a process of denial and exclusivity. And since the gay man represents a equivocation of the lacanian premise by both 'having' and being the phallus then he cannot function as a lack. A lack implies an inexorable loss from which contingent identities proliferate but the lack is an exclusion through which a singular identity consolidates itself. The phallus symbolizes the penis and cannot be separated from it because it is irrevocably tied with it in a symbiotic relationship. But if the phallus is a signifier then the penis is a validation of the hegemonic possibility of it. Freud posited the ego as 'bodily ego'. My own reading is the delineation of the penis as a self amplifying strategy of the phallus whilst simultaneously separating itself from it. The assumption that certain body parts are signs of pleasure is a further autogenesis of this monochromatic idea.

The gay man as the 'other' displaces heterosexist presuppositions by challenging the univocity of its position. As an exclusion it constantly pokes the constructivity of an inviolable norm which is in itself a false consciousness. The imaginary and the real can be seen as sites of subversion simply through the process of naturalization implied in the former, which attests ironically to the apocryphal nature of the real as a universal lack. Both work through the symbolic. And it is in the dissolving of the three, their interpenetration, the fact of how one can be seen as undermining the hegemony of the other that possibilities of resignifying emerge.

3 comments:

  1. Bharat, I had trouble understanding all of this. Could you make it a bit simpler for me to understand. Your writing certainly dazzles but its reflection blinds my understanding a bit. I would like to know more.

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  2. Same request from me too as Gary's. I couldn't get the most of it.

    I need to work harder to get the whole of it and I promise to do that.


    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. gary and bina...will explain..take care...

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