Repetition and the Split of Sign Essay

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We follow Lacan and return to Freud, only to find ourselves arriving at the knowledge that the unconscious operates like translating without the original text. There goes a process of representing activity in which we achieve a representation without knowing what is the "represented." Lacan leads us back to so many of Freud's decisive terms, thereby prefiguring the way those terms slip away from the grasp of traditional conceptual discourse. In The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis we are told that "the unconscious is structured like language" (FFC 20). This is a turn-away from Freud, a radical change bringing us to the understanding that the unconscious can be described only in reference of the Other, and thus has no…show more content…
One can see such a difference in the example of the grief-stricken father who slept next to the room where his dead child lay (FFC 57-9): Hallucination seeks to repeat the remembered experience by gaining an perceptual identity, while at the same time confirming its absence. Lacan asserts that this case does not appear in accordance with Freud's thesis that "the dream is the realization of a desire" (FFC 57). Rather, in that case, what come to meets the need of the trauma on him and gains a perceptual identity. is the unfortunate father's experience Insofar as a perception is experienced together with a satisfaction, it tends to be repeated--that is, to be re-presented--whenever satisfaction is lacking. Here, perceptual identity is a form of ideality that turns out to be an effect in the process of repetition based on a contingent encounter: on contact and contiguity. The place where such an encounter takes place is itself determined not by the quality or identity of the elements encountering each other, but rather by the quantitative variations in tension. For Lacan, what Freud attempts to retrace in his account of the formation of perceptual identity is nothing other than the determination of the signifier. Repetition is the turning point where Lacan's understanding of the unconscious begins to diverge from Freud's. His reinterpretation of Freud, at first glance, rests on the relation between repetition and sign. He reminds us, however,
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