Chapter

The Lacanian Real

Andrea Hurst

in Derrida Vis-à-vis Lacan

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228744
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235179 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823228744.003.0008

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

The Lacanian Real

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This chapter argues that there is a clear isomorphism between Jacques Derrida's formulations of différance and Jacques Lacan's formulations of the Real. Lacan's conception of the traumatic Real appears to be intrinsic to his radical reinvention of psychoanalysis and remains the most important notion for interpreting his texts. The Real is another word for Sigmund Freud's “trauma”. If Lacan returns to Freud's “realistic” conception of the Real, whose status is guaranteed by the repetition of the external object, it is to question this formulation via the means Freud himself provides for grasping “reality” as an economic fabrication that weaves the threads of an “imaginary” narrative around the ineradicable trauma. Lacan calls such “reality” the “automaton”. It is through the figure of the Real as trauma that one may gather together its incompatible senses (as repetition, resistance, and rupture) in a way that does not make utter nonsense of the notion, but shows how the logical structure of the Lacanian discourse accords with “the plural logic of the aporia”.

Keywords: Sigmund Freud; psychoanalysis; Jacques Derrida; Jacques Lacan; différance; Real; trauma; repetition; automaton; plural logic of the aporia

Chapter.  10825 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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