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The Lost Subject

The Letter, Issue 35, Autumn 2005, Pages 72 - 78


Denise Brett

You less is - the subject appears in the loss, the cut, the break, the slip, the ambiguity of language. How so for the psychotic subject whose whole essence relies on the whole, the complete, one cut in any register being enough to orchestrate the demise of the psychotic subject. Travel or knot t'ravel[2], a question for the neurotic or a given for the psychotic. 'Not knot', 'who's there?' 'S'. 'S who?' 'S int home'. 'S Where?' 'S in tome'. The subject is in the volume. Joyce is, and through his volume he exposes the fullness of meaning. What is meaning? What is mean? What does borrow mean? Where does this lead us? What are the perils of deciphering and where should one stop? Lacan's three dit mensions serve as a structure to approach this most elusive subject: that which cannot be represented in language. The Borromean knot allows us to look at the structure of the subject without using language, each register only existing due to the limit imposed by the other two. Truth can only be approached through matheme, where the imaginary has no domain. Where can I find the best actual example of the interplay between meaning, sense, language and the imaginary? - Ulysses.

The title of this paper - The lost subject -I chose because personally speaking I think that Joyce's Ulysses and Lacan's Borromean knot illustrate that it is not so much who is the subject but the location of the subject vis- a-vis structure that is important. The Borromean knot or indeed chain has certain properties which I will outline before I continue. The knot traditionally is made up of three rings of string which are connected together in such a way that each ring is separate and only connected to another by a third. So that in the knot of three ones, each ring plays the part of the third ring for the other two. No two rings are actually connected directly to each other.

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