Homework Help

What is the Lacanian notion of the Real?  What is Julia Kristeva's notion of the...

user profile pic

biancaxox | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 27, 2009 at 10:59 AM via web

dislike 1 like

What is the Lacanian notion of the Real?  What is Julia Kristeva's notion of the abject?

Basically in simple explanation, what was Jacques Lacan's notion of the real?  What was Julia Kristeva notion of the abject?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

kc4u | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 19, 2009 at 4:14 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Lacan's notion of the Real order is deeply informed by the poststructuralist notion of an extra-linguistic order of Das Ding or The Thing, in its unnamability. Lacan sees the psychical world of each individual as constituted with three orders--Real, Symbolic and Imaginary and the three are interrelated in a Borromean knot so that if one ring gets disconnected, the rest will fall apart. While the Symbolic order is the order of language and the Imaginary houses the Ego, the Real is what is excluded from our symbolified reality. Lacan calls it the missing centre of reality. It resists linguilization and lies beyond the Symbolic as a pure and originary loss. Lacan says, the Real is ungraspable, impossible, unknowable and always silent, always in its place.

Kristeva's notion of the Abject combines the psychoanalytical and the sociological. The term is used to refer to the socially oppressed groups like the women, the blacks, the homosexuals. The abject is located beyond the symbolic order, almost into the Real. They are not amenable to language or better put, they are excluded from the socialized language of reason. A possible example can be the mouth in Beckett's play Not I. In kristeva's terms, trying to evoke the voice of the abject can be traumatic and melancholic, as she says in Black Sun. The term germinates as a play on Subject and Object. It breaks the S-O binary and focalizes the object, desolate and exiled. The 'a' of the 'abject' might well come from Lacan's idea of an a-object or the Objet petit-a that is the impossible object-cause of desire.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes