: Abstracting Desire

Jonathan Strauss

in Human Remains

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780823233793
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241262 | DOI:

Series: Forms of Living

: Abstracting Desire

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In an attempt to formulate these aesthetic insights in more conceptual terms this chapter turns to the psychoanalytic theories of anality and the fantasm. Fantasms are characterized by a concern about origins, not merely of the individual but also of the city itself, especially insofar as it is imagined to be a space of reason and meaning. To trace the fantasmatic “history” of Paris, then, this chapter considers key definitions of the city as a rational space. From these myths of enlightenment there emerges an imaginary division between a viscous, sentient materiality of the dead and a pure, abstract sublimity of death. The modern city, in these myths, would be constructed on the basis of the latter in order to protect it against the former.

Keywords: phantasm; Etienne-Gaspard Robertson; psychoanalysis; anal erotics; Jacques Lacan

Chapter.  16563 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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