The Psychic Life of Power

Theories in Subjection M Judith Butler

Stanford Stanford,

University California

Press

Acknowledgments

Stanford U n i v e r s i t y Press Stanford, California © 1997 b y t h e B o a r d o f T r u s t e e s o f t h e Leland Stanford Junior University P r i n t e d i n the U n i t e d States o f A m e r i c a C I P data a p p e a r at the e n d of the b o o k

This w o r k was generously sponsored by a Humanities Res e a r c h F e l l o w s h i p f r o m the U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a a t B e r k e ley. I a m g r a t e f u l t o those f r i e n d s a n d c o l l e a g u e s w h o g a v e incisive readings o f s o m e o f the chapters: Wendy Brown, W i l l i a m Connolly, D a v i d P a l u m b o - L i u , Kaja Silverman, A n n e N o r t o n , D e n i s e R i l e y , a n d H a y d e n W h i t e , a s w e l l a s the s t u d e n t s w h o p a r t i c i p a t e d i n " S o c i a l Subjects / P s y c h i c States" a t B e r k e l e y . I t h a n k A d a m P h i l l i p s for h i s p e r m i s s i o n t o r e p r i n t o u r e x c h a n g e f r o m Psychoanalytic Dialogues in this context. I also t h a n k H e l e n T a r t a r for her m e t i c u l o u s , i n t e l l i g e n t , a n d t h o r o u g h g o i n g e d i t i n g , a n d G a y l e S a l a m o n for her assistance w i t h the m a n u s c r i p t .

Contents

Introduction 1 Stubborn Attachment, B o d i l y Subjection Rereading Hegel on the Unhappy Consciousness 2 C i r c u i t s of B a d Conscience Nietzsche and Freud 3 Subjection, Resistance, Resignification Between Freud and Foucault 4 " C o n s c i e n c e D o t h M a k e Subjects o f U s A l l " Althusser's Subjection 5 M e l a n c h o l y G e n d e r / Refused Identification Keeping It M o v i n g Commentary on Judith Butler, by Adam Phillips Reply to A d a m Phillips 6 Psychic Inceptions Melancholy, Ambivalence, Rage Notes Index

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The Psychic Life of Power
Theories in Subjection

Introduction

W e s h o u l d t r y t o g r a s p s u b j e c t i o n i n its m a t e r i a l i n s t a n c e a s a c o n s t i t u t i o n of s u b j e c t s . — M i c h e l Foucault, "Two Lectures" T h e s p l i t t i n g of the subject, w i t h i n w h i c h the self as present to itself is o n l y one m o m e n t , a n d the c h a r g e d reflexivity of that m o m e n t , i s the p o i n t o f p u r c h a s e w i t h i n the subject o f its s u b j e c t i o n . T h e p r o f o u n d a n d c o r p o r e a l g u i l t w i t h w h i c h t h e s u b j e c t i s i n v e s t e d a s t h e f e b r i l e u n d e r t o n e o f t h a t selfc o n s c i o u s n e s s , w h i c h t u r n s o u t t o k n o w s o little o f itself, i s decisive i n s e c u r i n g the d e e p i n n e r c o n t r o l , w h i c h has b e e n called interpellation. — F r a n c i s B a r k e r , The Tremulous Private Body: Essays on Subjection

Subjection . . . T h e a c t or fact of b e i n g s u b j e c t e d , as u n d e r a m o n a r c h o r o t h e r s o v e r e i g n o r s u p e r i o r p o w e r ; the state o f b e i n g subject to, or u n d e r the d o m i n i o n of another; hence gen. s u b o r d i n a t i o n . . . . T h e c o n d i t i o n of b e i n g s u b j e c t , e x p o s e d , or l i a b l e to; l i a b i l i t y . . . . Logic. T h e a c t of s u p p l y i n g a s u b j e c t to a p r e d i c a t e . —Oxford English Dictionary

A s a f o r m o f power, subjection i s paradoxical. T o b e d o m i il nated by a p o w e r external to oneself is a f a m i l i a r a n d a g o n i z i n g f o r m p o w e r takes. T o f i n d , h o w e v e r , that w h a t " o n e "

2

Introduction

Introduction project r e q u i r e s t h i n k i n g the t h e o r y o f p o w e r t o g e t h e r w i t h a t h e o r y o f the p s y c h e , a task that h a s b e e n e s c h e w e d b y w r i t e r s in both F o u c a u l d i a n a n d psychoanalytic orthodoxies. T h o u g h i t offers n o p r o m i s e o f a g r a n d s y n t h e s i s , the p r e s e n t i n q u i r y seeks t o e x p l o r e the p r o v i s i o n a l p e r s p e c t i v e s f r o m w h i c h e a c h t h e o r y i l l u m i n a t e s the other. T h e project n e i t h e r b e g i n s n o r e n d s w i t h F r e u d a n d F o u c a u l t ; the q u e s t i o n o f s u b j e c t i o n , o f h o w the subject i s f o r m e d i n s u b o r d i n a t i o n , p r e o c c u p i e s the s e c t i o n of H e g e l ' s Phenomenology of Spirit that traces the slave's a p p r o a c h t o f r e e d o m a n d h i s d i s a p p o i n t i n g f a l l i n t o the " u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s . " T h e m a s t e r , w h o a t first a p p e a r s t o b e " e x t e r n a l " t o the slave, r e e m e r g e s a s the slave's o w n c o n science. T h e u n h a p p i n e s s o f the c o n s c i o u s n e s s that e m e r g e s i s its o w n self-beratement, the effect o f t h e t r a n s m u t a t i o n o f t h e m a s t e r i n t o a p s y c h i c r e a l i t y . T h e s e l f - m o r t i f i c a t i o n s that seek t o r e d r e s s the i n s i s t e n t c o r p o r e a l i t y o f s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n s t i tute b a d conscience. T h i s figure of consciousness t u r n e d back u p o n itself p r e f i g u r e s N i e t z s c h e ' s a c c o u n t , in On the Genealogy o f Morals, n o t o n l y o f h o w r e p r e s s i o n a n d r e g u l a t i o n f o r m t h e o v e r l a p p i n g p h e n o m e n a of conscience a n d bad conscience, but a l s o o f h o w the latter b e c o m e e s s e n t i a l t o the f o r m a t i o n , p e r sistence, a n d c o n t i n u i t y o f the subject. I n e a c h case, p o w e r that at first a p p e a r s as e x t e r n a l , p r e s s e d u p o n the subject, p r e s s i n g the subject i n t o s u b o r d i n a t i o n , a s s u m e s a p s y c h i c f o r m that c o n s t i t u t e s the subject's s e l f - i d e n t i t y . T h e f o r m t h i s p o w e r takes i s r e l e n t l e s s l y m a r k e d b y a f i g u r e of t u r n i n g , a t u r n i n g back u p o n oneself or even a t u r n i n g on oneself. T h i s f i g u r e operates as p a r t of the e x p l a n a t i o n of h o w a subject is p r o d u c e d , a n d so there is no subject, s t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g , w h o m a k e s this t u r n . O n the c o n t r a r y , the t u r n a p p e a r s to f u n c t i o n as a t r o p o l o g i c a l i n a u g u r a t i o n of the subject, a f o u n d i n g m o m e n t w h o s e o n t o l o g i c a l status r e m a i n s p e r m a -

is, one's v e r y f o r m a t i o n as a subject, is in s o m e sense d e p e n d e n t u p o n that v e r y p o w e r i s q u i t e another. W e are u s e d t o t h i n k i n g o f p o w e r a s w h a t presses o n the subject f r o m the o u t side, a s w h a t s u b o r d i n a t e s , sets u n d e r n e a t h , a n d relegates t o a l o w e r o r d e r . T h i s is s u r e l y a f a i r d e s c r i p t i o n of p a r t of w h a t p o w e r does. B u t if, f o l l o w i n g F o u c a u l t , w e u n d e r s t a n d p o w e r as forming the subject as w e l l , as p r o v i d i n g the v e r y c o n d i t i o n o f its e x i s t e n c e a n d the t r a j e c t o r y o f its d e s i r e , t h e n p o w e r i s n o t s i m p l y w h a t w e o p p o s e b u t also, i n a s t r o n g sense, w h a t w e d e p e n d o n for o u r existence a n d w h a t w e harbor a n d preserve i n the b e i n g s that w e are. T h e c u s t o m a r y m o d e l f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h i s p r o c e s s g o e s a s f o l l o w s : p o w e r i m p o s e s itself o n us, a n d , w e a k e n e d b y its force, w e c o m e t o i n t e r n a l i z e o r a c cept its t e r m s . W h a t s u c h a n a c c o u n t fails t o note, h o w e v e r , i s that the " w e " w h o a c c e p t s u c h t e r m s are f u n d a m e n t a l l y d e p e n d e n t o n those t e r m s f o r " o u r " existence. A r e there n o t d i s c u r s i v e c o n d i t i o n s f o r the a r t i c u l a t i o n o f a n y " w e " ? S u b j e c tion consists precisely in this f u n d a m e n t a l d e p e n d e n c y on a d i s c o u r s e w e n e v e r c h o s e b u t that, p a r a d o x i c a l l y , i n i t i a t e s a n d s u s t a i n s o u r agency. " S u b j e c t i o n " s i g n i f i e s the p r o c e s s o f b e c o m i n g s u b o r d i n a t e d b y p o w e r a s w e l l a s the p r o c e s s o f b e c o m i n g a subject. W h e t h e r b y i n t e r p e l l a t i o n , i n A l t h u s s e r ' s sense, o r b y d i s c u r s i v e p r o d u c t i v i t y , i n F o u c a u l t ' s , the subject i s i n i t i a t e d t h r o u g h a p r i m a r y s u b m i s s i o n t o p o w e r . A l t h o u g h F o u c a u l t i d e n t i f i e s the a m b i v a l e n c e i n t h i s f o r m u l a t i o n , h e d o e s n o t elaborate o n the s p e c i f i c m e c h a n i s m s o f h o w the subject i s f o r m e d i n s u b m i s s i o n . N o t o n l y d o e s the e n t i r e d o m a i n o f the p s y c h e r e m a i n l a r g e l y u n r e m a r k e d i n h i s theory, b u t p o w e r i n t h i s d o u b l e valence of subordinating a n d p r o d u c i n g remains unexplored. T h u s , if s u b m i s s i o n is a c o n d i t i o n of s u b j e c t i o n , it m a k e s sense t o ask: W h a t i s the p s y c h i c f o r m that p o w e r takes? S u c h a

4

Introduction

Introduction i n s t a n c e o f t h i s q u a s i - f i c t i v e effort t o g i v e a n a c c o u n t o f h o w the s o c i a l subject i s p r o d u c e d t h r o u g h l i n g u i s t i c m e a n s . A l t h u s s e r ' s d o c t r i n e of i n t e r p e l l a t i o n c l e a r l y sets the stage f o r F o u c a u l t ' s later v i e w s o n the " d i s c u r s i v e p r o d u c t i o n o f the subject." F o u c a u l t , of c o u r s e , i n s i s t s that the subject is n o t " s p o k e n " i n t o existence a n d that the m a t r i c e s o f p o w e r a n d d i s c o u r s e that c o n s t i t u t e the subject are n e i t h e r s i n g u l a r n o r s o v e r e i g n i n t h e i r p r o d u c t i v e a c t i o n . Yet A l t h u s s e r a n d F o u c a u l t agree that there is a f o u n d i n g s u b o r d i n a t i o n in the p r o c e s s of assujetissement. I n A l t h u s s e r ' s essay "Ideology and Ideologic a l State A p p a r a t u s e s , " the s u b o r d i n a t i o n of the subject takes p l a c e t h r o u g h l a n g u a g e , as the effect of the a u t h o r i t a t i v e v o i c e that h a i l s the i n d i v i d u a l . I n the i n f a m o u s e x a m p l e that A l t h u s ser offers, a p o l i c e m a n h a i l s a p a s s e r b y on the street, a n d the p a s s e r b y t u r n s a n d r e c o g n i z e s h i m s e l f a s the o n e w h o i s h a i l e d . I n the e x c h a n g e b y w h i c h that r e c o g n i t i o n i s p r o f e r r e d a n d a c c e p t e d , i n t e r p e l l a t i o n — t h e d i s c u r s i v e p r o d u c t i o n o f the s o c i a l s u b j e c t — t a k e s p l a c e . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , A l t h u s s e r does n o t offer a c l u e a s t o w h y that i n d i v i d u a l t u r n s a r o u n d , a c c e p t i n g the v o i c e a s b e i n g a d d r e s s e d t o h i m o r her, a n d a c c e p t i n g the s u b o r d i n a t i o n a n d n o r m a l i z a t i o n effected b y that v o i c e . W h y d o e s this subject t u r n t o w a r d the v o i c e o f the l a w , a n d w h a t i s the effect of s u c h a t u r n in i n a u g u r a t i n g a s o c i a l subject? Is t h i s a g u i l t y subject a n d , i f so, h o w d i d i t b e c o m e g u i l t y ? M i g h t the t h e o r y of i n t e r p e l l a t i o n r e q u i r e a t h e o r y of c o n s c i e n c e ? T h e i n t e r p e l l a t i o n o f the subject t h r o u g h the i n a u g u r a t i v e a d d r e s s o f state a u t h o r i t y p r e s u p p o s e s n o t o n l y that the i n c u l c a t i o n o f c o n s c i e n c e a l r e a d y has t a k e n p l a c e , b u t that c o n science, u n d e r s t o o d as the p s y c h i c o p e r a t i o n of a r e g u l a t o r y n o r m , constitutes a specifically p s y c h i c a n d social w o r k i n g of p o w e r o n w h i c h i n t e r p e l l a t i o n d e p e n d s b u t for w h i c h i t c a n g i v e n o a c c o u n t . M o r e o v e r , the m o d e l o f p o w e r i n A l t h u s -

nently uncertain. S u c h a notion, then, appears difficult, if not i m p o s s i b l e , t o i n c o r p o r a t e i n t o the a c c o u n t o f subject f o r m a t i o n . W h a t o r w h o i s s a i d t o t u r n , a n d w h a t i s the object o f s u c h a t u r n ? H o w i s i t that a subject i s w r o u g h t f r o m s u c h a n o n t o l o g i c a l l y u n c e r t a i n f o r m o f twisting? Perhaps w i t h the adv e n t o f t h i s f i g u r e , w e are n o l o n g e r i n the b u s i n e s s o f " g i v i n g a n a c c o u n t o f the f o r m a t i o n o f the subject." W e are, rather, confronted w i t h the t r o p o l o g i c a l p r e s u m p t i o n m a d e b y a n y s u c h e x p l a n a t i o n , o n e that facilitates the e x p l a n a t i o n b u t a l s o m a r k s its l i m i t . T h e m o m e n t w e seek t o d e t e r m i n e h o w p o w e r p r o d u c e s its subject, h o w t h e subject takes i n t h e p o w e r b y w h i c h i t i s i n a u g u r a t e d , w e s e e m t o enter t h i s t r o p o l o g i c a l q u a n d a r y . W e c a n n o t p r e s u m e a subject w h o p e r f o r m s a n i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n i f the f o r m a t i o n o f t h e subject i s i n n e e d o f exp l a n a t i o n . T h e f i g u r e t o w h i c h w e refer has n o t yet a c q u i r e d existence a n d i s n o t p a r t o f a v e r i f i a b l e e x p l a n a t i o n , yet o u r reference c o n t i n u e s t o m a k e a c e r t a i n k i n d o f sense. T h e p a r a dox of subjection i m p l i e s a paradox of referentiality: namely, that w e m u s t refer t o w h a t d o e s n o t yet exist. T h r o u g h a f i g u r e that m a r k s the s u s p e n s i o n o f o u r o n t o l o g i c a l c o m m i t m e n t s , w e seek t o a c c o u n t for h o w the subject c o m e s t o be. T h a t t h i s f i g u r e i s i t s e l f a " t u r n " is, r h e t o r i c a l l y , p e r f o r m a t i v e l y s p e c t a c u l a r ; " t u r n " translates the G r e e k sense o f " t r o p e . " T h u s the t r o p e o f the t u r n b o t h i n d i c a t e s a n d e x e m p l i f i e s the t r o p o l o g i c a l status o f the gesture. D o e s s u b j e c t i o n i n a u g u r a t e t r o p o l o g y
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i n s o m e w a y , o r i s the i n a u g u r a t i v e w o r k o f t r o p e s n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o k e d w h e n w e t r y t o a c c o u n t f o r the g e n e r a t i o n o f t h e s u b ject? W e w i l l r e t u r n t o t h i s q u e s t i o n t o w a r d the e n d o f this i n q u i r y w h e n w e c o n s i d e r h o w the e x p l a n a t i o n o f m e l a n c h o l i a participates in the m e c h a n i s m it describes, p r o d u c i n g p s y c h i c t o p o g r a p h i e s that are c l e a r l y t r o p o l o g i c a l . T h e scene o f " i n t e r p e l l a t i o n " o f f e r e d b y A l t h u s s e r i s o n e

6

Introduction

Introduction

7

ser's a c c o u n t a t t r i b u t e s p e r f o r m a t i v e p o w e r t o the a u t h o r i t a t i v e v o i c e , the v o i c e o f s a n c t i o n , a n d h e n c e t o a n o t i o n o f l a n g u a g e f i g u r e d a s s p e e c h . H o w are w e t o a c c o u n t for the p o w e r of written discourse, or of bureaucratic discourse, w h i c h circulates w i t h o u t v o i c e o r s i g n a t u r e ? F i n a l l y , A l t h u s s e r ' s v i e w , u s e f u l as it is, r e m a i n s i m p l i c i t l y c o n s t r a i n e d by a n o t i o n of a c e n t r a l i z e d state a p p a r a t u s , o n e w h o s e w o r d i s its d e e d , m o d eled on d i v i n e authority. The n o t i o n of discourse emerges in F o u c a u l t i n p a r t t o c o u n t e r the s o v e r e i g n m o d e l o f i n t e r p e l l a tive speech in theories s u c h as A l t h u s s e r ' s , but also to take a c c o u n t of the efficacy of d i s c o u r s e a p a r t f r o m its i n s t a n t i a t i o n a s the s p o k e n w o r d .

p r e s s e d on a subject b u t f o r m s a subject, that is, is p r e s s e d on a subject by its f o r m a t i o n , suggests an a m b i v a l e n c e at the site w h e r e the subject emerges. If the effect of a u t o n o m y is c o n d i t i o n e d b y s u b o r d i n a t i o n a n d that f o u n d i n g s u b o r d i n a t i o n o r d e p e n d e n c y i s r i g o r o u s l y r e p r e s s e d , the subject e m e r g e s i n t a n d e m w i t h the u n c o n s c i o u s . T h e F o u c a u l t i a n p o s t u l a t i o n o f s u b j e c t i o n a s the s i m u l t a n e o u s s u b o r d i n a t i o n a n d f o r m i n g o f the subject a s s u m e s a s p e c i f i c p s y c h o a n a l y t i c v a l e n c e w h e n w e c o n s i d e r that no subject e m e r g e s w i t h o u t a p a s s i o n a t e attachm e n t t o those o n w h o m h e o r she i s f u n d a m e n t a l l y d e p e n d e n t (even i f that p a s s i o n i s " n e g a t i v e " i n the p s y c h o a n a l y t i c sense). A l t h o u g h the d e p e n d e n c y o f the c h i l d i s n o t political s u b o r d i n a t i o n i n a n y u s u a l sense, the f o r m a t i o n o f p r i m a r y p a s s i o n i n d e p e n d e n c y r e n d e r s the c h i l d v u l n e r a b l e t o s u b o r d i n a t i o n a n d e x p l o i t a t i o n , a t o p i c that has b e c o m e a p r e o c c u p a t i o n of recent p o l i t i c a l d i s c o u r s e . M o r e o v e r , t h i s s i t u a t i o n o f p r i m a r y d e p e n d e n c y c o n d i t i o n s the p o l i t i c a l f o r m a t i o n a n d r e g u l a t i o n of subjects a n d b e c o m e s the m e a n s of t h e i r s u b j e c t i o n . If there is no f o r m a t i o n of the subject w i t h o u t a p a s s i o n a t e a t t a c h m e n t t o t h o s e b y w h o m she o r h e i s s u b o r d i n a t e d , t h e n s u b o r d i n a t i o n p r o v e s c e n t r a l t o the b e c o m i n g o f the subject. A s the
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Passionate

Attachments

T h e i n s i s t e n c e that a subject is p a s s i o n a t e l y a t t a c h e d to h i s o r h e r o w n s u b o r d i n a t i o n has b e e n i n v o k e d c y n i c a l l y b y those w h o seek to d e b u n k the c l a i m s of the s u b o r d i n a t e d . If a s u b ject c a n b e s h o w n t o p u r s u e o r s u s t a i n h i s o r h e r s u b o r d i n a t e d status, the r e a s o n i n g goes, t h e n p e r h a p s f i n a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for that s u b o r d i n a t i o n r e s i d e s w i t h the subject. O v e r a n d against t h i s v i e w , I w o u l d m a i n t a i n that the a t t a c h m e n t t o s u b j e c t i o n i s p r o d u c e d t h r o u g h the w o r k i n g s o f p o w e r , a n d that p a r t o f the o p e r a t i o n o f p o w e r i s m a d e c l e a r i n t h i s p s y c h i c effect, o n e o f the m o s t i n s i d i o u s o f its p r o d u c t i o n s . If, i n a N i e t z s c h e a n sense, the subject i s f o r m e d b y a w i l l that t u r n s b a c k u p o n itself, a s s u m i n g a r e f l e x i v e f o r m , t h e n the subject is the m o d a l i t y o f p o w e r that t u r n s o n itself; the subject i s the effect o f power in recoil. T h e subject w h o i s a t o n c e f o r m e d a n d s u b o r d i n a t e d i s a l r e a d y i m p l i c a t e d i n the scene o f p s y c h o a n a l y s i s . F o u c a u l t ' s r e f o r m u l a t i o n o f s u b o r d i n a t i o n a s that w h i c h i s n o t o n l y

c o n d i t i o n o f b e c o m i n g a subject, s u b o r d i n a t i o n i m p l i e s b e i n g i n a m a n d a t o r y s u b m i s s i o n . M o r e o v e r , the d e s i r e t o s u r v i v e , "to be," i s a p e r v a s i v e l y e x p l o i t a b l e d e s i r e . T h e o n e w h o h o l d s o u t the p r o m i s e o f c o n t i n u e d e x i s t e n c e p l a y s t o the d e s i r e t o s u r v i v e . " I w o u l d r a t h e r exist i n s u b o r d i n a t i o n t h a n n o t e x i s t " i s o n e f o r m u l a t i o n o f t h i s p r e d i c a m e n t ( w h e r e the r i s k o f " d e a t h " i s also p o s s i b l e ) . T h i s i s o n e r e a s o n w h y debates a b o u t the r e a l i t y o f the s e x u a l a b u s e o f c h i l d r e n t e n d t o m i s state the c h a r a c t e r of the e x p l o i t a t i o n . It is n o t s i m p l y that a s e x u a l i t y i s u n i l a t e r a l l y i m p o s e d b y the a d u l t , n o r that a s e x u a l i t y i s u n i l a t e r a l l y f a n t a s i z e d b y the c h i l d , b u t that the c h i l d ' s

8

Introduction

Introduction

9

love, a l o v e that is n e c e s s a r y for its e x i s t e n c e , is e x p l o i t e d a n d a passionate attachment abused. L e t u s c o n s i d e r that a subject i s n o t o n l y f o r m e d i n s u b o r d i n a t i o n , b u t that t h i s s u b o r d i n a t i o n p r o v i d e s the subject's c o n t i n u i n g c o n d i t i o n of possibility. A child's love is p r i o r to judgment and decision; a c h i l d tended and nourished in a " g o o d e n o u g h " w a y w i l l l o v e , a n d o n l y later s t a n d a c h a n c e o f d i s c r i m i n a t i n g a m o n g those h e o r she loves. T h i s i s t o say, n o t that the c h i l d l o v e s b l i n d l y (since f r o m e a r l y o n there i s d i s cernment and "knowingness" of an important kind), but only that i f the c h i l d i s t o p e r s i s t i n a p s y c h i c a n d s o c i a l sense, there m u s t b e d e p e n d e n c y a n d the f o r m a t i o n o f a t t a c h m e n t : there i s n o p o s s i b i l i t y o f n o t l o v i n g , w h e r e l o v e i s b o u n d u p w i t h the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r life. T h e c h i l d d o e s n o t k n o w t o w h a t he/she attaches; yet the i n f a n t a s w e l l a s the c h i l d m u s t a t t a c h i n o r d e r t o p e r s i s t i n a n d a s itself. N o subject c a n e m e r g e w i t h 3

sense of " I . " " T c o u l d n o t be w h o I am if I w e r e to l o v e in the w a y that I a p p a r e n t l y d i d , w h i c h I m u s t , t o p e r s i s t a s m y s e l f , c o n t i n u e t o d e n y a n d yet u n c o n s c i o u s l y reenact i n c o n t e m p o r a r y life w i t h the m o s t t e r r i b l e s u f f e r i n g a s its c o n s e q u e n c e . " T h e t r a u m a t i c r e p e t i t i o n o f w h a t has b e e n f o r e c l o s e d f r o m c o n t e m p o r a r y life t h r e a t e n s the " I . " T h r o u g h that n e u r o t i c r e p e t i t i o n the subject p u r s u e s its o w n d i s s o l u t i o n , its o w n u n r a v e l i n g , a p u r s u i t that m a r k s an agency, b u t n o t the subject's a g e n c y — r a t h e r , the a g e n c y of a d e s i r e that a i m s at the d i s s o l u t i o n of the subject, w h e r e the subject s t a n d s as a b a r to that desire.
4

I f the subject i s p r o d u c e d t h r o u g h f o r e c l o s u r e , t h e n the s u b ject i s p r o d u c e d b y a c o n d i t i o n f r o m w h i c h i t is, b y d e f i n i t i o n , s e p a r a t e d a n d d i f f e r e n t i a t e d . D e s i r e w i l l a i m a t u n r a v e l i n g the subject, b u t b e t h w a r t e d b y p r e c i s e l y the subject i n w h o s e n a m e it operates. A v e x a t i o n of d e s i r e , o n e that p r o v e s c r u c i a l to s u b j e c t i o n , i m p l i e s that for the subject to p e r s i s t , the s u b ject m u s t t h w a r t its o w n d e s i r e . A n d for d e s i r e t o t r i u m p h , the subject m u s t b e t h r e a t e n e d w i t h d i s s o l u t i o n . A subject t u r n e d a g a i n s t itself (its desire) a p p e a r s , on t h i s m o d e l , to be a c o n d i t i o n of the p e r s i s t e n c e of the subject. T o d e s i r e the c o n d i t i o n s o f one's o w n s u b o r d i n a t i o n i s t h u s r e q u i r e d t o p e r s i s t a s oneself. W h a t does i t m e a n t o e m b r a c e the v e r y f o r m o f p o w e r — r e g u l a t i o n , p r o h i b i t i o n , s u p p r e s s i o n — that threatens o n e w i t h d i s s o l u t i o n i n a n effort, p r e c i s e l y , t o p e r s i s t i n o n e ' s o w n existence? I t i s n o t s i m p l y that o n e r e q u i r e s the r e c o g n i t i o n o f the o t h e r a n d that a f o r m o f r e c o g n i t i o n i s c o n f e r r e d t h r o u g h s u b o r d i n a t i o n , b u t r a t h e r that o n e i s d e p e n d e n t o n p o w e r for one's v e r y f o r m a t i o n , that that f o r m a t i o n i s i m p o s s i b l e w i t h o u t d e p e n d e n c y , a n d that the p o s t u r e o f the a d u l t subject c o n s i s t s p r e c i s e l y i n the d e n i a l a n d reenactm e n t o f t h i s d e p e n d e n c y . T h e " I " e m e r g e s u p o n the c o n d i t i o n

o u t t h i s a t t a c h m e n t , f o r m e d i n d e p e n d e n c y , b u t n o subject, i n t h e c o u r s e o f its f o r m a t i o n , c a n e v e r a f f o r d f u l l y t o "see" it. T h i s a t t a c h m e n t i n its p r i m a r y f o r m s m u s t b o t h come t o b e a n d b e denied, its c o m i n g t o b e m u s t c o n s i s t i n its p a r t i a l d e n i a l , for the subject to e m e r g e . T h a t a c c o u n t s i n p a r t f o r the a d u l t sense o f h u m i l i a t i o n w h e n c o n f r o n t e d w i t h the earliest objects o f l o v e — p a r e n t s , g u a r d i a n s , s i b l i n g s , a n d s o o n — t h e sense o f b e l a t e d i n d i g n a t i o n in w h i c h one claims, "I c o u l d n ' t p o s s i b l y love s u c h a pers o n . " T h e u t t e r a n c e c o n c e d e s the p o s s i b i l i t y i t d e n i e s , establ i s h i n g the "I" a s p r e d i c a t e d u p o n that f o r e c l o s u r e , g r o u n d e d i n a n d b y that f i r m l y i m a g i n e d i m p o s s i b i l i t y . T h e "I" i s t h u s f u n d a m e n t a l l y t h r e a t e n e d b y the s p e c t e r o f t h i s ( i m p o s s i b l e ) l o v e ' s r e a p p e a r a n c e a n d r e m a i n s c o n d e m n e d t o r e e n a c t that l o v e u n c o n s c i o u s l y , r e p e a t e d l y r e l i v i n g a n d d i s p l a c i n g that s c a n d a l , that i m p o s s i b i l i t y , o r c h e s t r a t i n g that threat t o o n e ' s

10

Introduction

Introduction

il

that i t d e n y its f o r m a t i o n i n d e p e n d e n c y , the c o n d i t i o n s o f its o w n p o s s i b i l i t y . T h e "I," h o w e v e r , i s t h r e a t e n e d w i t h d i s r u p t i o n p r e c i s e l y b y t h i s d e n i a l , b y its u n c o n s c i o u s p u r s u i t o f its o w n d i s s o l u t i o n t h r o u g h n e u r o t i c r e p e t i t i o n s that restage the p r i m a r y s c e n a r i o s i t n o t o n l y refuses t o see b u t c a n n o t see, i f i t w i s h e s t o r e m a i n itself. T h i s m e a n s , o f c o u r s e , that, p r e d i c a t e d o n w h a t i t refuses t o k n o w , i t i s s e p a r a t e d f r o m itself a n d c a n n e v e r q u i t e b e c o m e o r r e m a i n itself.

a "site"), a n d t h e y e n j o y i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y o n l y to the extent that t h e y are, a s i t w e r e , first e s t a b l i s h e d i n l a n g u a g e . T h e subject i s the l i n g u i s t i c o c c a s i o n for the i n d i v i d u a l t o a c h i e v e a n d r e p r o d u c e i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y , the l i n g u i s t i c c o n d i t i o n o f its e x i s t e n c e a n d agency. N o i n d i v i d u a l b e c o m e s a subject w i t h o u t first b e c o m i n g subjected or u n d e r g o i n g "subjectivation" (a translation of the F r e n c h assujetissement). It m a k e s l i t t l e sense to treat " t h e i n d i v i d u a l " a s a n i n t e l l i g i b l e t e r m i f i n d i v i d u a l s are s a i d t o acq u i r e t h e i r i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y b y b e c o m i n g subjects. P a r a d o x i c a l l y , n o i n t e l l i g i b l e reference t o i n d i v i d u a l s o r t h e i r b e c o m i n g c a n t a k e p l a c e w i t h o u t a p r i o r reference to t h e i r status as subjects. T h e s t o r y b y w h i c h s u b j e c t i o n i s t o l d is, i n e v i t a b l y , c i r c u l a r , p r e s u p p o s i n g the v e r y subject f o r w h i c h i t seeks t o g i v e a n acc o u n t . O n the o n e h a n d , the subject c a n refer t o its o w n genesis o n l y b y t a k i n g a t h i r d - p e r s o n p e r s p e c t i v e o n itself, that is, b y d i s p o s s e s s i n g its o w n p e r s p e c t i v e i n the act o f n a r r a t i n g its genesis. O n the o t h e r h a n d , the n a r r a t i o n o f h o w the subject i s c o n s t i t u t e d p r e s u p p o s e s that the c o n s t i t u t i o n has a l r e a d y t a k e n p l a c e , a n d t h u s a r r i v e s after the fact. T h e subject loses itself t o t e l l the s t o r y o f itself, b u t i n t e l l i n g the s t o r y o f i t s e l f seeks t o g i v e a n a c c o u n t o f w h a t the n a r r a t i v e f u n c t i o n has a l r e a d y m a d e p l a i n . W h a t does i t m e a n , t h e n , that the s u b ject, d e f e n d e d by s o m e as a p r e s u p p o s i t i o n of agency, is a l s o u n d e r s t o o d to be an effect of s u b j e c t i o n ? S u c h a f o r m u l a t i o n suggests that i n the act o f o p p o s i n g s u b o r d i n a t i o n , the subject reiterates its s u b j e c t i o n ( a n o t i o n s h a r e d b y b o t h p s y c h o a n a l y sis a n d F o u c a u l d i a n a c c o u n t s ) . H o w , t h e n , i s s u b j e c t i o n t o b e t h o u g h t a n d h o w c a n i t b e c o m e a site o f a l t e r a t i o n ? A p o w e r exerted on a subject, s u b j e c t i o n is n e v e r t h e l e s s a p o w e r assumed by the subject, an a s s u m p t i o n that c o n s t i t u t e s the i n s t r u m e n t of that subject's b e c o m i n g .

Ambivalence
T h e n o t i o n o f the subject has i n c i t e d c o n t r o v e r s y w i t h i n r e c e n t t h e o r e t i c a l debate, b e i n g p r o m o t e d b y s o m e a s a n e c essary p r e c o n d i t i o n of agency a n d r e v i l e d by others as a s i g n of "mastery" to be refused. My purpose is neither to enumerate n o r t o r e s o l v e the c o n t e m p o r a r y i n s t a n c e s o f t h i s debate. R a t h e r , I p r o p o s e to take a c c o u n t of h o w a p a r a d o x r e c u r r e n t l y s t r u c t u r e s the debate, l e a d i n g i t a l m o s t a l w a y s t o c u l m i n a t e i n d i s p l a y s o f a m b i v a l e n c e . H o w c a n i t b e that the subject, t a k e n t o b e the c o n d i t i o n for a n d i n s t r u m e n t o f agency, i s a t the s a m e t i m e the effect o f s u b o r d i n a t i o n , u n d e r s t o o d a s the d e p r i v a t i o n o f a g e n c y ? I f s u b o r d i n a t i o n i s the c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y f o r agency, h o w m i g h t a g e n c y b e t h o u g h t i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the forces o f s u b o r d i n a t i o n ? " T h e subject" is sometimes b a n d i e d about as if it were interc h a n g e a b l e w i t h "the p e r s o n " o r "the i n d i v i d u a l . " T h e g e n e a l o g y of the subject as a c r i t i c a l category, h o w e v e r , suggests that the subject, r a t h e r t h a n b e i d e n t i f i e d s t r i c t l y w i t h the i n d i v i d u a l , o u g h t to be d e s i g n a t e d as a l i n g u i s t i c category, a p l a c e holder, a structure in formation. Individuals come to occupy the site of the subject (the subject s i m u l t a n e o u s l y e m e r g e s as

12

Introduction

Introduction

13

Subjection

/

Subordination

r e t a i n s the c o n d i t i o n s o f its e m e r g e n c e , t h i s d o e s n o t i m p l y that a l l o f its a g e n c y r e m a i n s t e t h e r e d t o those c o n d i t i o n s a n d that those c o n d i t i o n s r e m a i n the s a m e i n e v e r y o p e r a t i o n o f agency. A s s u m i n g p o w e r i s n o t a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d task o f t a k i n g p o w e r f r o m one place, transferring it intact, a n d then a n d t h e r e m a k i n g i t o n e ' s o w n ; the act o f a p p r o p r i a t i o n m a y i n v o l v e a n a l t e r a t i o n o f p o w e r s u c h that the p o w e r a s s u m e d o r a p p r o p r i a t e d w o r k s a g a i n s t the p o w e r that m a d e that ass u m p t i o n possible. W h e r e conditions of subordination make p o s s i b l e the a s s u m p t i o n o f p o w e r , the p o w e r a s s u m e d r e m a i n s t i e d t o those c o n d i t i o n s , b u t i n a n a m b i v a l e n t w a y ; i n fact, the p o w e r a s s u m e d m a y a t o n c e r e t a i n a n d resist that s u b o r d i n a t i o n . T h i s c o n c l u s i o n is n o t to be t h o u g h t of as (a) a r e s i s t a n c e that is really a r e c u p e r a t i o n of p o w e r or (b) a r e c u p e r a t i o n that is really a resistance. It is b o t h at o n c e , a n d t h i s a m b i v a l e n c e f o r m s the b i n d o f agency. A c c o r d i n g t o the f o r m u l a t i o n o f s u b j e c t i o n a s b o t h the s u b o r d i n a t i o n a n d b e c o m i n g o f the subject, p o w e r is, a s s u b o r d i n a t i o n , a set of c o n d i t i o n s that p r e c e d e s the subject, e f f e c t i n g a n d s u b o r d i n a t i n g the subject f r o m the o u t s i d e . T h i s f o r m u l a t i o n falters, h o w e v e r , w h e n w e c o n s i d e r that t h e r e i s n o s u b ject p r i o r to t h i s effect. P o w e r n o t o n l y acts on a subject b u t , in a t r a n s i t i v e sense, enacts the subject i n t o b e i n g . As a c o n d i t i o n , p o w e r p r e c e d e s the subject. P o w e r loses its a p p e a r a n c e o f p r i o r i t y , h o w e v e r , w h e n i t i s w i e l d e d b y the subject, a s i t u a t i o n that g i v e s r i s e t o the r e v e r s e p e r s p e c t i v e that p o w e r i s the effect of the subject, a n d that p o w e r is w h a t subjects effect. A c o n d i t i o n d o e s n o t e n a b l e o r enact w i t h o u t b e c o m i n g p r e s e n t . B e c a u s e P o w e r i s n o t i n t a c t p r i o r t o the subject, the a p p e a r a n c e o f its p r i o r i t y d i s a p p e a r s a s p o w e r acts o n the subject, a n d the subject i s i n a u g u r a t e d ( a n d d e r i v e d ) t h r o u g h t h i s tern-

T h e d o u b l e aspect of s u b j e c t i o n a p p e a r s to l e a d to a v i c i o u s c i r c l e : the a g e n c y of the subject a p p e a r s to be an effect of its s u b o r d i n a t i o n . A n y effort t o o p p o s e that s u b o r d i n a t i o n w i l l n e c e s s a r i l y p r e s u p p o s e a n d r e i n v o k e it. L u c k i l y , the s t o r y s u r v i v e s t h i s i m p a s s e . W h a t d o e s i t m e a n for the a g e n c y o f a s u b ject to presuppose its o w n s u b o r d i n a t i o n ? Is the act of presupposing the s a m e as the act of reinstating, or is there a d i s c o n t i n u i t y b e t w e e n the p o w e r p r e s u p p o s e d a n d the p o w e r r e i n s t a t e d ? C o n s i d e r that i n the v e r y act b y w h i c h the subject r e p r o d u c e s the c o n d i t i o n s o f its o w n s u b o r d i n a t i o n , the subject e x e m p l i fies a t e m p o r a l l y b a s e d v u l n e r a b i l i t y that b e l o n g s to those c o n d i t i o n s , s p e c i f i c a l l y , t o the e x i g e n c i e s o f t h e i r r e n e w a l . P o w e r c o n s i d e r e d as a c o n d i t i o n of the subject is n e c e s s a r i l y n o t the s a m e a s p o w e r c o n s i d e r e d a s w h a t the subject i s s a i d t o w i e l d . T h e p o w e r that i n i t i a t e s the subject fails t o r e m a i n c o n t i n u o u s w i t h the p o w e r that i s the subject's agency. A s i g n i f i c a n t a n d p o t e n t i a l l y e n a b l i n g r e v e r s a l o c c u r s w h e n p o w e r shifts f r o m its status as a c o n d i t i o n of a g e n c y to the subject's " o w n " a g e n c y ( c o n s t i t u t i n g a n a p p e a r a n c e o f p o w e r i n w h i c h the s u b ject a p p e a r s a s the c o n d i t i o n o f its " o w n " p o w e r ) . H o w are w e to assess that b e c o m i n g ? Is it an e n a b l i n g b r e a k , a b a d b r e a k ? H o w i s i t that the p o w e r u p o n w h i c h the subject d e p e n d s f o r e x i s t e n c e a n d w h i c h the subject i s c o m p e l l e d t o reiterate t u r n s a g a i n s t itself i n the c o u r s e o f that r e i t e r a t i o n ? H o w m i g h t w e t h i n k r e s i s t a n c e w i t h i n the t e r m s o f r e i t e r a t i o n ? S u c h a v i e w suggests that a g e n c y c a n n o t l o g i c a l l y b e d e r i v e d f r o m its c o n d i t i o n s , that n o c o n t i n u i t y i s t o b e a s s u m e d b e t w e e n (a) w h a t m a k e s p o w e r p o s s i b l e a n d (b) the k i n d s o f p o s s i b i l i t i e s that p o w e r a s s u m e s . I f i n a c t i n g the subject

14

Introduction

Introduction

15

p o r a l r e v e r s a l i n the h o r i z o n o f p o w e r . A s the a g e n c y o f the subject, p o w e r a s s u m e s its p r e s e n t t e m p o r a l d i m e n s i o n .
5

a n d as the condition of possibility for a r a d i c a l l y c o n d i t i o n e d f o r m of agency. A t h e o r y of the subject s h o u l d t a k e i n t o acc o u n t the f u l l a m b i v a l e n c e o f the c o n d i t i o n s o f its o p e r a t i o n . T h e r e is, a s i t w e r e , n o c o n c e p t u a l t r a n s i t i o n t o b e m a d e b e t w e e n p o w e r a s e x t e r n a l t o the subject, " a c t i n g o n , " a n d p o w e r as c o n s t i t u t i v e of the subject, "acted by." W h a t o n e m i g h t expect b y w a y o f a t r a n s i t i o n is, i n fact, a s p l i t t i n g a n d r e v e r s a l c o n s t i t u t i v e o f the subject itself. P o w e r acts o n the s u b ject, a n a c t i n g that i s a n e n a c t i n g : a n i r r e s o l v a b l e a m b i g u i t y arises w h e n o n e a t t e m p t s t o d i s t i n g u i s h b e t w e e n the p o w e r that ( t r a n s i t i v e l y ) enacts the subject, a n d the p o w e r e n a c t e d b y the subject, that is, b e t w e e n the p o w e r that f o r m s the s u b ject a n d the subject's " o w n " p o w e r . W h a t o r w h o i s d o i n g the " e n a c t i n g " here? Is it a p o w e r p r i o r to the subject or that of the subject i t s e l f ? A t s o m e p o i n t , a r e v e r s a l a n d c o n c e a l m e n t o c c u r s , a n d p o w e r e m e r g e s a s w h a t b e l o n g s e x c l u s i v e l y t o the subject ( m a k i n g the subject a p p e a r a s i f i t b e l o n g e d t o n o p r i o r o p e r a t i o n o f p o w e r ) . M o r e o v e r , w h a t i s e n a c t e d b y the subject i s e n a b l e d b u t n o t f i n a l l y c o n s t r a i n e d b y the p r i o r w o r k i n g o f p o w e r . A g e n c y e x c e e d s the p o w e r b y w h i c h i t i s e n a b l e d . O n e m i g h t say that the p u r p o s e s o f p o w e r are n o t a l w a y s the p u r p o s e s of agency. To the extent that the latter d i v e r g e f r o m the f o r m e r , a g e n c y is the a s s u m p t i o n of a p u r p o s e unintended by p o w e r , o n e that c o u l d n o t h a v e b e e n d e r i v e d l o g i c a l l y o r h i s t o r i c a l l y , that o p e r a t e s i n a r e l a t i o n o f c o n t i n g e n c y a n d r e v e r s a l t o the p o w e r that m a k e s i t p o s s i b l e , t o w h i c h i t n e v e r t h e l e s s b e l o n g s . T h i s is, as it w e r e , the a m b i v a l e n t scene of agency, c o n s t r a i n e d b y n o t e l e o l o g i c a l necessity. P o w e r i s b o t h e x t e r n a l t o the subject a n d the v e r y v e n u e o f the subject. T h i s a p p a r e n t c o n t r a d i c t i o n m a k e s sense w h e n w e u n d e r s t a n d that n o subject c o m e s i n t o b e i n g w i t h o u t p o w e r , b u t that its c o m i n g i n t o b e i n g i n v o l v e s the d i s s i m u l a t i o n o f

P o w e r acts o n the subject i n a t least t w o w a y s : first, a s w h a t m a k e s the subject p o s s i b l e , the c o n d i t i o n o f its p o s s i b i l i t y a n d its f o r m a t i v e o c c a s i o n , a n d s e c o n d , a s w h a t i s t a k e n u p a n d r e i t e r a t e d i n the subject's " o w n " a c t i n g . A s a subject o f p o w e r ( w h e r e "of" c o n n o t e s b o t h " b e l o n g i n g t o " a n d " w i e l d i n g " ) , the subject e c l i p s e s the c o n d i t i o n s o f its o w n e m e r g e n c e ; i t e c l i p s e s p o w e r w i t h p o w e r . T h e c o n d i t i o n s n o t o n l y m a k e p o s s i b l e the subject b u t enter i n t o the subject's f o r m a t i o n . T h e y are m a d e p r e s e n t i n the acts o f that f o r m a t i o n a n d i n the acts o f the s u b ject that f o l l o w . T h e n o t i o n o f p o w e r a t w o r k i n s u b j e c t i o n thus a p p e a r s i n t w o i n c o m m e n s u r a b l e t e m p o r a l m o d a l i t i e s : first, a s w h a t i s for the subject a l w a y s p r i o r , o u t s i d e o f itself, a n d o p e r a t i v e f r o m the start; s e c o n d , a s the w i l l e d effect o f the subject. T h i s s e c o n d m o d a l i t y c a r r i e s at least t w o sets of m e a n i n g s : as the w i l l e d effect of the subject, s u b j e c t i o n is a s u b o r d i n a t i o n that the subject b r i n g s on itself; yet if s u b j e c t i o n p r o d u c e s a subject a n d a subject is the p r e c o n d i t i o n of agency, t h e n s u b j e c t i o n i s the a c c o u n t b y w h i c h a subject b e c o m e s the g u a r a n t o r o f its r e s i s t a n c e a n d o p p o s i t i o n . W h e t h e r p o w e r i s c o n c e i v e d a s p r i o r to the subject or as its i n s t r u m e n t a l effect, the v a c i l l a t i o n b e t w e e n the t w o t e m p o r a l m o d a l i t i e s o f p o w e r ( " b e f o r e " a n d "after" the subject) has m a r k e d m o s t o f the debates o n the subject a n d the p r o b l e m o f agency. M a n y c o n v e r s a t i o n s o n the t o p i c h a v e b e c o m e m i r e d i n w h e t h e r the subject i s the c o n d i t i o n o r the i m p a s s e o f agency. I n d e e d , b o t h q u a n d a r i e s h a v e l e d m a n y t o c o n s i d e r the i s s u e o f the subject a s a n i n e v i t a b l e s t u m b l i n g b l o c k i n s o c i a l theory. P a r t o f t h i s d i f f i c u l t y , I s u g gest, is that the subject is itself a site of t h i s a m b i v a l e n c e in w h i c h the subject e m e r g e s b o t h as the effect of a p r i o r p o w e r

i6

Introduction

Introduction

17

p o w e r , a m e t a l e p t i c r e v e r s a l i n w h i c h the subject p r o d u c e d b y p o w e r b e c o m e s h e r a l d e d a s the subject w h o founds p o w e r . T h i s f o u n d a t i o n a l i s m o f the subject i s a n effect o f a w o r k i n g o f p o w e r , a n effect a c h i e v e d b y r e v e r s a l a n d c o n c e a l m e n t o f that p r i o r w o r k i n g . T h i s d o e s n o t m e a n that the subject c a n b e reduced t o the p o w e r b y w h i c h i t i s o c c a s i o n e d , n o r does i t m e a n that the p o w e r b y w h i c h i t i s o c c a s i o n e d i s reducible to the subject. P o w e r is n e v e r m e r e l y a c o n d i t i o n e x t e r n a l or p r i o r t o the subject, n o r c a n i t b e e x c l u s i v e l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the subject. I f c o n d i t i o n s o f p o w e r are t o p e r s i s t , t h e y m u s t b e r e i t e r a t e d ; the subject is p r e c i s e l y the site of s u c h r e i t e r a t i o n , a r e p e t i t i o n that i s n e v e r m e r e l y m e c h a n i c a l . A s the a p p e a r a n c e o f p o w e r shifts f r o m the c o n d i t i o n o f the subject t o its effects, the c o n d i t i o n s o f p o w e r ( p r i o r a n d external) a s s u m e a present a n d f u t u r a l f o r m . But p o w e r assumes this present c h a r a c t e r t h r o u g h a r e v e r s a l o f its d i r e c t i o n , o n e that p e r f o r m s a b r e a k w i t h w h a t has c o m e b e f o r e a n d d i s s i m u l a t e s as a selfi n a u g u r a t i n g agency. T h e r e i t e r a t i o n o f p o w e r n o t o n l y t e m p o r a l i z e s the c o n d i t i o n s o f s u b o r d i n a t i o n b u t s h o w s these c o n d i t i o n s t o be, n o t static s t r u c t u r e s , b u t t e m p o r a l i z e d — a c t i v e a n d productive. The temporalization performed by reiteration traces the r o u t e b y w h i c h p o w e r ' s a p p e a r a n c e shifts a n d r e verses: the p e r s p e c t i v e o f p o w e r alters f r o m w h a t i s a l w a y s w o r k i n g o n u s f r o m the o u t s i d e a n d f r o m the outset t o w h a t c o n s t i t u t e s the sense o f a g e n c y a t w o r k i n o u r p r e s e n t acts a n d the f u t u r a l e x p a n s e o f t h e i r effects. A l t h o u g h this study is indebted to Foucault 's f o r m u l a t i o n o f the p r o b l e m o f assujetissement i n h i s essays " T h e Subject o f P o w e r " a n d the " T w o L e c t u r e s " p u b l i s h e d i n Power/Knowledge, a s w e l l a s t o h i s m a n y d i s c u s s i o n s o f the subject o f d e s i r e a n d the subject of l a w in History of Sexuality, Volumes 1 and 2 a n d Discipline and Punish? the f o r m u l a t i o n of the subject at i s s u e

resonates w i t h a l a r g e r c u l t u r a l a n d p o l i t i c a l p r e d i c a m e n t , n a m e l y , h o w t o t a k e a n o p p o s i t i o n a l r e l a t i o n t o p o w e r that is, a d m i t t e d l y , i m p l i c a t e d i n the v e r y p o w e r o n e o p p o s e s . O f t e n t h i s p o s t l i b e r a t o r y i n s i g h t has l e d t o the c o n c l u s i o n that a l l a g e n c y here m e e t s its i m p a s s e . E i t h e r f o r m s o f c a p i t a l o r s y m b o l i c d o m i n a t i o n are h e l d t o b e s u c h that o u r acts are a l w a y s a l r e a d y " d o m e s t i c a t e d " i n a d v a n c e , o r a set o f g e n e r a l i z e d a n d t i m e l e s s i n s i g h t s i s o f f e r e d i n t o the a p o r e t i c s t r u c t u r e o f a l l m o v e m e n t s t o w a r d a f u t u r e . I w o u l d suggest that n o h i s t o r i cal o r l o g i c a l conclusions f o l l o w necessarily f r o m this p r i m a r y c o m p l i c i t y w i t h s u b o r d i n a t i o n , b u t that s o m e p o s s i b i l i t i e s t e n tatively do. That agency is i m p l i c a t e d in s u b o r d i n a t i o n is not the s i g n of a fatal s e l f - c o n t r a d i c t i o n at the c o r e of the subject a n d , h e n c e , f u r t h e r p r o o f o f its p e r n i c i o u s o r o b s o l e t e c h a r acter. B u t n e i t h e r d o e s it r e s t o r e a p r i s t i n e n o t i o n of the s u b ject, d e r i v e d f r o m s o m e c l a s s i c a l l i b e r a l - h u m a n i s t f o r m u l a t i o n , w h o s e a g e n c y i s a l w a y s a n d o n l y o p p o s e d t o p o w e r . T h e first v i e w characterizes p o l i t i c a l l y s a n c t i m o n i o u s f o r m s of fatali s m ; the s e c o n d , n a i v e f o r m s o f p o l i t i c a l o p t i m i s m . I h o p e t o steer c l e a r o f b o t h these a l t e r n a t i v e s . T h e subject m i g h t yet b e t h o u g h t a s d e r i v i n g its a g e n c y f r o m p r e c i s e l y the p o w e r i t o p p o s e s , a s a w k w a r d a n d e m b a r r a s s i n g a s s u c h a f o r m u l a t i o n m i g h t be, e s p e c i a l l y f o r those w h o b e l i e v e that c o m p l i c i t y a n d a m b i v a l e n c e c o u l d b e r o o t e d o u t o n c e a n d for a l l . I f the subject i s neither f u l l y d e t e r m i n e d b y p o w e r nor f u l l y d e t e r m i n i n g o f p o w e r (but s i g n i f i c a n t l y a n d p a r t i a l l y b o t h ) , the subject e x c e e d s the l o g i c o f n o n c o n t r a d i c t i o n , i s a n e x c r e s c e n c e o f l o g i c , a s i t w e r e . T o c l a i m that the
7

subject exceeds e i t h e r / o r i s n o t t o c l a i m that i t l i v e s i n s o m e free z o n e o f its o w n m a k i n g . E x c e e d i n g i s n o t e s c a p i n g , a n d the subject exceeds p r e c i s e l y that t o w h i c h i t i s b o u n d . I n t h i s sense, the subject c a n n o t q u e l l the a m b i v a l e n c e b y w h i c h i t i s

r
18 Introduction Introduction 19 constituted. P a i n f u l , d y n a m i c , a n d p r o m i s i n g , this v a c i l l a t i o n b e t w e e n the a l r e a d y - t h e r e a n d the y e t - t o - c o m e is a c r o s s r o a d s that rejoins e v e r y step b y w h i c h i t i s t r a v e r s e d , a r e i t e r a t e d a m b i v a l e n c e at the heart of agency. P o w e r r e a r t i c u l a t e d is " r e " a r t i c u l a t e d i n the sense o f a l r e a d y d o n e a n d " r e " - a r t i c u l a t e d i n the sense o f d o n e over, d o n e a g a i n , d o n e a n e w . W h a t r e m a i n t o b e c o n s i d e r e d are: (a) h o w the f o r m a t i o n o f the subject i n v o l v e s the r e g u l a t o r y f o r m a t i o n o f the p s y c h e , i n c l u d i n g h o w w e m i g h t r e j o i n the d i s c o u r s e o f p o w e r w i t h the d i s c o u r s e o f p s y c h o a n a l y s i s ; a n d (b) h o w w e m i g h t m a k e s u c h a c o n c e p t i o n o f the subject w o r k a s a n o t i o n o f p o l i t i c a l a g e n c y i n postliberatory times. a n c h o l i a that w o r k i n t a n d e m w i t h p r o c e s s e s o f s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n . A n d yet, i f w e refuse the o n t o l o g i c a l d u a l i s m that p o s i t s the s e p a r a t i o n o f the p o l i t i c a l a n d the p s y c h i c , i t s e e m s c r u c i a l t o offer a c r i t i c a l a c c o u n t o f p s y c h i c s u b j e c t i o n i n t e r m s o f the r e g u l a t o r y a n d p r o d u c t i v e effects o f p o w e r . I f f o r m s o f r e g u l a t o r y p o w e r are s u s t a i n e d i n p a r t t h r o u g h the f o r m a t i o n o f a subject, a n d i f that f o r m a t i o n takes p l a c e a c c o r d i n g t o the r e q u i r e m e n t s o f p o w e r , s p e c i f i c a l l y , a s the i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f n o r m s , t h e n a t h e o r y o f subject f o r m a t i o n m u s t g i v e a n a c c o u n t o f t h i s p r o c e s s o f i n c o r p o r a t i o n , a n d the n o t i o n o f i n c o r p o r a t i o n m u s t b e i n t e r r o g a t e d t o a s c e r t a i n the p s y c h i c t o p o g r a p h y i t a s s u m e s . H o w d o e s the s u b j e c t i o n o f d e s i r e r e q u i r e a n d i n s t i t u t e the d e s i r e for s u b j e c t i o n ? I n c l a i m i n g that s o c i a l n o r m s are i n t e r n a l i z e d , w e h a v e n o t yet e x p l a i n e d w h a t i n c o r p o r a t i o n or, m o r e g e n e r a l l y , i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n is, w h a t i t m e a n s f o r a n o r m t o b e c o m e i n t e r n a l i z e d o r w h a t h a p p e n s t o the n o r m i n the p r o c e s s o f i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n . I s the n o r m first " o u t s i d e , " a n d d o e s i t t h e n enter i n t o a p r e g i v e n p s y c h i c space, u n d e r s t o o d a s a n i n t e r i o r theater o f s o m e k i n d ? O r d o e s the i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n o f the n o r m c o n t r i b u t e t o the p r o d u c t i o n o f i n t e r n a l i t y ? D o e s the n o r m , h a v i n g b e c o m e p s y c h i c , i n v o l v e n o t o n l y the i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n o f the n o r m , b u t the i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n o f the p s y c h e ? 1 a r g u e that t h i s p r o c e s s o f
9

Regulations of the Psyche
I f p o w e r w o r k s n o t m e r e l y t o d o m i n a t e o r o p p r e s s existi n g subjects, b u t a l s o t o f o r m subjects, w h a t i s t h i s f o r m a t i o n ? O b v i o u s l y , p o w e r d o e s n o t b r i n g p e r s o n s i n t o the w o r l d i n a n y o r d i n a r y sense. F o u c a u l t l i n k s the f o r m a t i v e o r p r o d u c tive character of p o w e r to regulatory a n d d i s c i p l i n a r y regimes. In Discipline and Punish, c r i m e p r o d u c e s a class of c r i m i n a l s , c r a f t e d b o d i l y i n the g e s t u r e a n d s t y l e o f i m p r i s o n m e n t . B u t h o w are w e t o u n d e r s t a n d t h i s sense o f p r o d u c t i o n a n d crafting? The formative d i m e n s i o n of p o w e r is to be u n d e r s t o o d i n a n o n m e c h a n i s t i c a n d n o n b e h a v i o r i s t i c f a s h i o n . I t does n o t a l w a y s p r o d u c e a c c o r d i n g t o a p u r p o s e , o r rather, its p r o d u c t i o n i s s u c h that i t o f t e n exceeds o r alters the p u r p o s e s f o r w h i c h it produces.
8

i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n fabricates the distinction between interior and exterior life, o f f e r i n g us a d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n the p s y c h i c a n d the s o c i a l that differs s i g n i f i c a n t l y f r o m a n a c c o u n t o f the p s y c h i c i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n o f n o r m s . M o r e o v e r , g i v e n that n o r m s are n o t i n t e r n a l i z e d i n m e c h a n i c a l o r f u l l y p r e d i c t a b l e w a y s , d o e s the n o r m a s s u m e a n o t h e r c h a r a c t e r as a psychic p h e n o m e n o n ? In p a r t i c u l a r , h o w are w e t o a c c o u n t f o r the d e s i r e f o r the n o r m a n d for subjection m o r e generally in terms of a p r i o r desire for s o c i a l existence, a d e s i r e e x p l o i t e d b y r e g u l a t o r y p o w e r ?

F o u c a u l t i s n o t o r i o u s l y t a c i t u r n o n the

t o p i c o f the p s y c h e , b u t a n a c c o u n t o f s u b j e c t i o n , i t seems, m u s t b e t r a c e d i n the t u r n s o f p s y c h i c life. M o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y , i t m u s t b e t r a c e d i n the p e c u l i a r t u r n i n g o f a subject a g a i n s t itself that takes p l a c e i n acts o f s e l f - r e p r o a c h , c o n s c i e n c e , a n d m e l -

20

Introduction

Introduction

21

W h e r e s o c i a l categories g u a r a n t e e a r e c o g n i z a b l e a n d e n d u r i n g s o c i a l existence, the e m b r a c e o f s u c h categories, e v e n a s t h e y w o r k i n the s e r v i c e o f s u b j e c t i o n , i s o f t e n p r e f e r r e d t o n o s o c i a l e x i s t e n c e a t a l l . H o w i s it, t h e n , that the l o n g i n g for s u b j e c t i o n , b a s e d o n a l o n g i n g for s o c i a l existence, r e c a l l i n g a n d exploiting p r i m a r y dependencies, emerges as an instrument a n d effect o f the p o w e r o f subjection? T o u n d e r s c o r e the abuses o f p o w e r a s r e a l , n o t the c r e a t i o n or f a n t a s y of the subject, p o w e r is o f t e n cast as u n e q u i v o c a l l y e x t e r n a l t o the subject, s o m e t h i n g i m p o s e d a g a i n s t the s u b ject's w i l l . B u t i f the v e r y p r o d u c t i o n o f the subject a n d the f o r m a t i o n o f that w i l l are the c o n s e q u e n c e s o f a p r i m a r y s u b o r d i n a t i o n , t h e n the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of the subject to a p o w e r n o t o f its o w n m a k i n g i s u n a v o i d a b l e . T h a t v u l n e r a b i l i t y q u a l i f i e s the subject a s a n e x p l o i t a b l e k i n d o f b e i n g . I f o n e i s t o o p p o s e the abuses o f p o w e r ( w h i c h i s n o t the s a m e a s o p p o s i n g p o w e r itself), i t seems w i s e t o c o n s i d e r i n w h a t o u r v u l n e r a b i l i t y t o that a b u s e consists. T h a t subjects are c o n s t i t u t e d i n p r i m a r y v u l n e r a b i l i t y d o e s n o t e x o n e r a t e the abuses t h e y suffer; o n the c o n t r a r y , i t m a k e s a l l the m o r e c l e a r h o w f u n d a m e n t a l the v u l n e r a b i l i t y c a n be. H o w i s i t that the subject i s the k i n d o f b e i n g w h o c a n b e e x p l o i t e d , w h o is, b y v i r t u e o f its o w n f o r m a t i o n , v u l n e r a b l e t o s u b j u g a t i o n ? B o u n d t o seek r e c o g n i t i o n o f its o w n e x i s t e n c e i n categories, t e r m s , a n d n a m e s that are n o t o f its o w n m a k i n g , the subject seeks the s i g n o f its o w n e x i s t e n c e o u t s i d e itself, i n a d i s c o u r s e that i s a t o n c e d o m i n a n t a n d i n d i f f e r e n t . S o c i a l categories s i g n i f y s u b o r d i n a t i o n a n d e x i s t e n c e a t once. I n o t h e r w o r d s , w i t h i n s u b j e c t i o n the p r i c e o f e x i s t e n c e i s s u b o r d i n a t i o n . P r e c i s e l y a t the m o m e n t i n w h i c h c h o i c e i s i m p o s s i b l e , the subject p u r s u e s s u b o r d i n a t i o n as the p r o m i s e of existence. T h i s p u r s u i t i s n o t c h o i c e , b u t n e i t h e r i s i t necessity. Subjec-

t i o n e x p l o i t s the d e s i r e for existence, w h e r e e x i s t e n c e i s a l w a y s conferred f r o m elsewhere; it m a r k s a p r i m a r y v u l n e r a b i l i t y to the O t h e r i n o r d e r t o be. A s s u m i n g t e r m s o f p o w e r that o n e n e v e r m a d e b u t t o w h i c h one i s v u l n e r a b l e , o n w h i c h o n e d e p e n d s i n o r d e r t o be, a p p e a r s to be a m u n d a n e s u b j e c t i o n at the b a s i s of subject f o r mation. " A s s u m i n g " p o w e r is no s i m p l e process, however, for p o w e r is not m e c h a n i c a l l y r e p r o d u c e d w h e n it is assumed. I n s t e a d , o n b e i n g a s s u m e d , p o w e r r u n s the r i s k o f a s s u m i n g another f o r m a n d direction. If conditions of p o w e r do not u n i l a t e r a l l y p r o d u c e subjects, t h e n w h a t i s the t e m p o r a l a n d l o g i c a l f o r m that the a s s u m p t i o n o f p o w e r takes? A r e d e s c r i p t i o n o f the d o m a i n o f p s y c h i c s u b j e c t i o n i s n e e d e d t o m a k e c l e a r h o w s o c i a l p o w e r p r o d u c e s m o d e s o f r e f l e x i v i t y a t the s a m e t i m e a s i t l i m i t s f o r m s o f s o c i a l i t y . I n o t h e r w o r d s , t o the extent that n o r m s o p e r a t e a s p s y c h i c p h e n o m e n a , r e s t r i c t i n g a n d p r o d u c i n g d e s i r e , t h e y also g o v e r n the f o r m a t i o n o f the subject a n d c i r c u m s c r i b e the d o m a i n o f a l i v a b l e s o c i a l i t y . T h e p s y c h i c o p e r a t i o n o f the n o r m offers a m o r e i n s i d i o u s r o u t e f o r r e g u l a t o r y p o w e r t h a n e x p l i c i t c o e r c i o n , o n e w h o s e success a l l o w s its tacit o p e r a t i o n w i t h i n the s o c i a l . A n d yet, b e i n g p s y c h i c , the n o r m d o e s n o t m e r e l y r e i n s t a t e s o c i a l p o w e r , i t b e c o m e s formative a n d vulnerable in h i g h l y specific ways. The social c a t e g o r i z a t i o n s that e s t a b l i s h the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of the subject to l a n g u a g e are t h e m s e l v e s v u l n e r a b l e t o b o t h p s y c h i c a n d h i s t o r i c a l change. T h i s v i e w c o u n t e r s a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f a p s y c h i c o r l i n g u i s t i c n o r m a t i v i t y (as i n s o m e v e r s i o n s o f the S y m b o l i c ) that i s p r i o r t o the s o c i a l o r sets c o n s t r a i n t s o n the s o c i a l . Just a s the subject i s d e r i v e d f r o m c o n d i t i o n s o f p o w e r that p r e cede it, s o the p s y c h i c o p e r a t i o n o f the n o r m i s d e r i v e d , t h o u g h not mechanically or predictably, f r o m p r i o r social operations. P s y c h i c subjection m a r k s a specific m o d a l i t y of subjection.

22

Introduction

Introduction

23

I t does n o t s i m p l y reflect o r r e p r e s e n t b r o a d e r r e l a t i o n s o f social p o w e r — e v e n as it remains importantly tied to them. F r e u d a n d N i e t z s c h e offer d i f f e r i n g a c c o u n t s o f subject f o r m a t i o n that r e l y o n the p r o d u c t i v i t y o f the n o r m . B o t h a c c o u n t for the f a b r i c a t i o n of c o n s c i e n c e as the effect of an i n t e r n a l i z e d p r o h i b i t i o n (thereby establishing " p r o h i b i t i o n " as not o n l y p r i vative, but productive). In F r e u d a n d Nietzsche, a p r o h i b i t i o n o n a c t i o n o r e x p r e s s i o n i s s a i d t o t u r n "the d r i v e "
1 0

W h a t i s the m e a n s b y w h i c h d e s i r e i s u n d e r s t o o d t o b e curbed, d o u b l e d back, or even prohibited? Reflection on desire absorbs d e s i r e i n t o r e f l e c t i o n : w e w i l l see h o w this w o r k s i n H e g e l . B u t there i s a n o t h e r o r d e r o f p r o h i b i t i o n , o n e w h i c h falls o u t s i d e the c i r c u i t o f s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n . F r e u d d i s t i n g u i s h e s b e t w e e n r e p r e s s i o n a n d f o r e c l o s u r e , s u g g e s t i n g that a r e p r e s s e d d e s i r e m i g h t o n c e h a v e l i v e d a p a r t f r o m its p r o h i b i t i o n , b u t that f o r e c l o s e d d e s i r e i s r i g o r o u s l y b a r r e d , c o n s t i t u t i n g the subject t h r o u g h a c e r t a i n k i n d o f p r e e m p t i v e loss. E l s e w h e r e I h a v e s u g g e s t e d that the f o r e c l o s u r e of h o m o s e x u a l i t y a p p e a r s to be f o u n d a t i o n a l to a c e r t a i n h e t e r o s e x u a l v e r s i o n o f the subject.
11

back on

itself, f a b r i c a t i n g a n i n t e r n a l s p h e r e , the c o n d i t i o n for selfi n s p e c t i o n a n d r e f l e x i v i t y . T h e d r i v e t u r n i n g b a c k u p o n itself b e c o m e s the p r e c i p i t a t i n g c o n d i t i o n of subject f o r m a t i o n , a p r i m a r y l o n g i n g i n r e c o i l that i s t r a c e d i n H e g e l ' s v i e w o f the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s a s w e l l . W h e t h e r the d o u b l i n g b a c k u p o n itself i s p e r f o r m e d b y p r i m a r y l o n g i n g s , d e s i r e , o r d r i v e s , i t p r o d u c e s i n e a c h i n s t a n c e a p s y c h i c h a b i t o f self-beratement, o n e that is c o n s o l i d a t e d o v e r t i m e as c o n s c i e n c e . C o n s c i e n c e i s the m e a n s b y w h i c h a subject b e c o m e s a n object f o r itself, r e f l e c t i n g on itself, e s t a b l i s h i n g itself as r e flective a n d reflexive. T h e "I" i s n o t s i m p l y o n e w h o t h i n k s a b o u t h i m - o r herself; i t i s d e f i n e d b y t h i s c a p a c i t y for r e flective s e l f - r e l a t i o n o r r e f l e x i v i t y . F o r N i e t z s c h e , r e f l e x i v i t y i s a c o n s e q u e n c e o f c o n s c i e n c e ; s e l f - k n o w i n g f o l l o w s f r o m selfp u n i s h m e n t . ( T h u s o n e n e v e r " k n o w s " o n e s e l f p r i o r t o the r e c o i l of desire in question.) In order to c u r b desire, one makes o f oneself a n object f o r r e f l e c t i o n ; i n the c o u r s e o f p r o d u c i n g one's o w n a l t e r i t y , o n e b e c o m e s e s t a b l i s h e d a s a r e f l e x i v e b e i n g , o n e w h o c a n take oneself a s a n object. R e f l e x i v i t y b e c o m e s the m e a n s b y w h i c h d e s i r e i s r e g u l a r l y t r a n s m u t e d i n t o the c i r c u i t o f self-reflection. T h e d o u b l i n g b a c k o f d e s i r e that culminates in reflexivity produces, however, another order of d e s i r e : the d e s i r e for that v e r y c i r c u i t , for r e f l e x i v i t y a n d , u l t i m a t e l y , for s u b j e c t i o n .

The formula "I have never l o v e d "

someone of similar gender and "I have never lost" any such p e r s o n p r e d i c a t e s the " I " o n the " n e v e r - n e v e r " o f that l o v e a n d loss. I n d e e d , the o n t o l o g i c a l a c c o m p l i s h m e n t o f h e t e r o s e x u a l " b e i n g " i s t r a c e d t o t h i s d o u b l e n e g a t i o n , w h i c h f o r m s its c o n s t i t u t i v e m e l a n c h o l i a , a n e m p h a t i c a n d i r r e v e r s i b l e loss that f o r m s the t e n u o u s basis o f that " b e i n g . " Significantly, F r e u d identifies heightened conscience a n d self-beratement a s o n e s i g n o f m e l a n c h o l i a , the c o n d i t i o n o f u n c o m p l e t e d grief. T h e f o r e c l o s u r e o f c e r t a i n f o r m s o f l o v e suggests that the m e l a n c h o l i a that g r o u n d s the subject ( a n d h e n c e a l w a y s threatens t o u n s e t t l e a n d d i s r u p t that g r o u n d ) s i g n a l s a n i n c o m p l e t e a n d i r r e s o l v a b l e grief. U n o w n e d a n d i n c o m p l e t e , m e l a n c h o l i a is the l i m i t to the subject's sense of pouvoir, its sense o f w h a t i t c a n a c c o m p l i s h a n d , i n that sense, its p o w e r . M e l a n c h o l i a rifts the subject, m a r k i n g a l i m i t t o w h a t i t c a n a c c o m m o d a t e . B e c a u s e the subject d o e s n o t , c a n n o t , reflect o n that loss, that loss m a r k s the l i m i t o f r e f l e x i v i t y , that w h i c h exceeds ( a n d c o n d i t i o n s ) its c i r c u i t r y . U n d e r s t o o d a s f o r e c l o s u r e , that loss i n a u g u r a t e s the subject a n d threatens i t w i t h dissolution.

24

Introduction C o n s i d e r e d a l o n g N i e t z s c h e a n a n d H e g e l i a n l i n e s , the s u b -

Introduction

25

latter case, the f o r e c l o s u r e m i g h t b e u s e f u l l y r e l i n k e d w i t h the Foucauldian notion of a regulatory ideal, an ideal according to w h i c h certain f o r m s of love become possible a n d others, impossible. W i t h i n psychoanalysis, we think of social sanction a s e n c o d e d i n the e g o - i d e a l a n d p a t r o l l e d b y the s u p e r - e g o . But what might it mean to think of social sanction as w o r k i n g , t h r o u g h f o r e c l o s u r e , t o p r o d u c e the p o s s i b l e d o m a i n i n w h i c h l o v e a n d loss c a n o p e r a t e ? A s f o r e c l o s u r e , the s a n c t i o n w o r k s not to p r o h i b i t existing desire but to p r o d u c e certain k i n d s of objects a n d to.bar o t h e r s f r o m the f i e l d o f s o c i a l p r o d u c t i o n . I n t h i s w a y , the s a n c t i o n d o e s n o t w o r k a c c o r d i n g t o the r e p r e s sive h y p o t h e s i s , a s p o s t u l a t e d a n d c r i t i c i z e d b y F o u c a u l t , b u t as a m e c h a n i s m of p r o d u c t i o n , o n e that c a n o p e r a t e , h o w e v e r , o n the b a s i s o f a n o r i g i n a r y v i o l e n c e .
12

ject engages i n its o w n s e l f - t h w a r t i n g , a c c o m p l i s h e s its o w n s u b j e c t i o n , d e s i r e s a n d crafts its o w n s h a c k l e s , a n d s o t u r n s a g a i n s t a d e s i r e that i t k n o w s t o b e — o r k n e w t o b e — i t s o w n . F o r a loss t o p r e d a t e the subject, t o m a k e i t p o s s i b l e ( a n d i m p o s s i b l e ) , w e m u s t c o n s i d e r the p a r t that loss p l a y s i n subject f o r m a t i o n . Is there a loss that c a n n o t be t h o u g h t , c a n n o t be o w n e d o r g r i e v e d , w h i c h f o r m s the c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y f o r the subject? Is t h i s w h a t H e g e l c a l l e d "the loss of the loss," a f o r e c l o s u r e that c o n s t i t u t e s a n u n k n o w a b i l i t y w i t h o u t w h i c h the subject c a n n o t e n d u r e , a n i g n o r a n c e a n d m e l a n c h o l i a that m a k e s p o s s i b l e a l l c l a i m s o f k n o w l e d g e a s one's o w n ? I s t h e r e not a l o n g i n g to g r i e v e — a n d , equivalently, an inability to g r i e v e — t h a t w h i c h o n e n e v e r w a s able t o l o v e , a l o v e that f a l l s s h o r t of the " c o n d i t i o n s of e x i s t e n c e " ? T h i s is a loss n o t m e r e l y o f the object o r s o m e set o f objects, b u t o f l o v e ' s o w n p o s s i b i l i t y : the loss o f the a b i l i t y t o l o v e , the u n f i n i s h a b l e g r i e v i n g f o r that w h i c h f o u n d s the subject. O n the o n e h a n d , m e l a n c h o l i a i s a n a t t a c h m e n t that s u b s t i t u t e s f o r a n a t t a c h m e n t that i s b r o k e n , gone, o r i m p o s s i b l e ; o n the o t h e r h a n d , m e l a n c h o l i a c o n t i n u e s the t r a d i t i o n o f i m p o s s i b i l i t y , a s i t w e r e , that b e l o n g s t o the a t t a c h m e n t f o r w h i c h i t s u b s t i t u t e s . T h e r e are, o f c o u r s e , v a r i o u s w a y s o f r e f u s i n g t o l o v e , n o t all of w h i c h qualify as foreclosure. But what happens w h e n a c e r t a i n f o r e c l o s u r e o f l o v e b e c o m e s the c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y f o r s o c i a l e x i s t e n c e ? D o e s this n o t p r o d u c e a s o c i a l i t y afflicted b y m e l a n c h o l i a , a s o c i a l i t y i n w h i c h l o s s c a n n o t b e g r i e v e d b e c a u s e i t c a n n o t b e r e c o g n i z e d a s loss, b e c a u s e w h a t is lost never h a d a n y entitlement to existence? H e r e o n e m i g h t w e l l d i s t i n g u i s h b e t w e e n (a) a n attachm e n t that is s u b s e q u e n t l y d i s a v o w e d a n d (b) a f o r e c l o s u r e that s t r u c t u r e s the f o r m s that a n y a t t a c h m e n t m a y a s s u m e . I n the

I n the w o r k o f M e l a n i e K l e i n , g u i l t a p p e a r s t o e m e r g e , n o t in consequence of internalizing an external prohibition, but as a w a y o f p r e s e r v i n g the object o f l o v e f r o m one's o w n p o t e n t i a l l y o b l i t e r a t i n g v i o l e n c e . G u i l t serves the f u n c t i o n o f p r e s e r v i n g the object o f l o v e a n d , hence, o f p r e s e r v i n g l o v e itself. What might it mean to understand guilt, then, as a w a y in w h i c h l o v e p r e s e r v e s the object i t m i g h t o t h e r w i s e d e s t r o y ? As a s t o p g a p a g a i n s t a s a d i s t i c d e s t r u c t i o n , g u i l t s i g n a l s less the p s y c h i c p r e s e n c e o f a n o r i g i n a l l y s o c i a l a n d e x t e r n a l n o r m t h a n a c o u n t e r v a i l i n g d e s i r e t o c o n t i n u e the object o n e w i s h e s d e a d . I t i s i n t h i s sense that g u i l t e m e r g e s i n the c o u r s e o f m e l a n c h o l i a n o t o n l y , a s the F r e u d i a n v i e w w o u l d h a v e i t , t o k e e p the d e a d object a l i v e , b u t t o k e e p the l i v i n g object f r o m "death," w h e r e d e a t h m e a n s the d e a t h o f l o v e , i n c l u d i n g the o c c a s i o n s o f s e p a r a t i o n a n d loss. D o e s the K l e i n i a n v i e w suggest, t h e n , that the f u n c t i o n o f l o v e c a n b e f u l l y e x p l a i n e d w i t h i n a p s y c h i c e c o n o m y that c a r r i e s n o s o c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t r e s i d u e ? O r i s the s o c i a l s i g n i f i -

26

Introduction

Introduction

27

c a n c e o f g u i l t t o b e t r a c e d i n a r e g i s t e r o t h e r t h a n that o f p r o h i b i t i o n , i n the d e s i r e for r e p a r a t i o n ? I n o r d e r t o p r e s e r v e the object f r o m o n e ' s o w n a g g r e s s i o n , a n a g g r e s s i o n that a l w a y s a c c o m p a n i e s l o v e (as c o n f l i c t ) , g u i l t enters the p s y c h i c scene as a necessity. If the object goes, so goes a s o u r c e of l o v e . In o n e sense, g u i l t w o r k s t o t h w a r t the a g g r e s s i v e e x p r e s s i o n o f l o v e that m i g h t d o i n the l o v e d object, a n object u n d e r s t o o d t o b e a s o u r c e o f l o v e ; i n a c o u n t e r sense, h o w e v e r , g u i l t w o r k s t o p r e s e r v e the object a s a n object o f l o v e (its i d e a l i z a t i o n ) a n d h e n c e ( v i a i d e a l i z a t i o n ) t o p r e s e r v e the p o s s i b i l i t y o f l o v i n g a n d b e i n g loved. A g g r e s s i o n — o r hate—is not m e r e l y m i t i g a t e d , b u t r e r o u t e d a g a i n s t the o n e w h o loves, o p e r a t i n g a s the self-beratements o f the s u p e r - e g o .
13

cause s u c h objects f a i l to q u a l i f y as objects of l o v e : as objects of love they assume a m a r k of destruction. Indeed, they m a y threaten one's o w n d e s t r u c t i o n as w e l l : "I w i l l be d e s t r o y e d if I l o v e in that w a y . " M a r k e d for "death," the object is, as it w e r e , a l r e a d y lost, a n d the d e s i r e t o v a n q u i s h the object i s p r e c i s e l y the d e s i r e t o v a n q u i s h a n object w h i c h , i f l o v e d , w o u l d s p e l l d e s t r u c t i o n for the o n e w h o loves. C a n w e r e a d the w o r k i n g s o f s o c i a l p o w e r p r e c i s e l y i n the d e l i m i t a t i o n o f the f i e l d o f s u c h objects, objects m a r k e d f o r death? A n d i s this p a r t o f the i r r e a l i t y , the m e l a n c h o l i c aggress i o n a n d the d e s i r e t o v a n q u i s h , that c h a r a c t e r i z e s the p u b l i c r e s p o n s e t o the d e a t h o f m a n y o f t h o s e c o n s i d e r e d " s o c i a l l y dead," w h o die f r o m A I D S ? G a y people, prostitutes, d r u g users, a m o n g o t h e r s ? I f t h e y are d y i n g o r a l r e a d y d e a d , let u s v a n q u i s h t h e m a g a i n . A n d c a n the sense o f " t r i u m p h " b e w o n precisely through a practice of social differentiation in w h i c h one a c h i e v e s a n d m a i n t a i n s " s o c i a l e x i s t e n c e " o n l y b y the p r o d u c t i o n a n d m a i n t e n a n c e o f those s o c i a l l y d e a d ? M i g h t o n e not also r e a d the p a r a n o i a that s t r u c t u r e s p u b l i c d i s c o u r s e o n s u c h issues as the i n v e r s i o n of that a g g r e s s i o n : the d e s i r e to v a n q u i s h the d e a d o t h e r that, t h r o u g h a r e v e r s a l , c o m e s t o m a r k that o t h e r as the threat of d e a t h , c a s t i n g the o t h e r as the ( u n l i k e l y ) p e r s e c u t o r o f the s o c i a l l y n o r m a l a n d n o r m a l i z e d ? W h a t is i t , t h e n , that is d e s i r e d in s u b j e c t i o n ? Is it a s i m p l e l o v e of the s h a c k l e s , or is t h e r e a m o r e c o m p l e x s c e n a r i o at w o r k ? H o w i s s u r v i v a l t o b e m a i n t a i n e d i f the t e r m s b y w h i c h existence i s g u a r a n t e e d are p r e c i s e l y t h o s e that d e m a n d a n d i n s t i t u t e s u b o r d i n a t i o n ? O n this u n d e r s t a n d i n g , s u b j e c t i o n i s the p a r a d o x i c a l effect o f a r e g i m e o f p o w e r i n w h i c h the v e r y " c o n d i t i o n s of existence," the p o s s i b i l i t y of c o n t i n u i n g as a r e c o g n i z a b l e s o c i a l b e i n g , r e q u i r e s the f o r m a t i o n a n d m a i n t e n a n c e o f the subject i n s u b o r d i n a t i o n . I f o n e accepts S p i n o z a ' s

B e c a u s e l o v e a n d ag-

g r e s s i o n w o r k together, the m i t i g a t i o n o f a g g r e s s i o n t h r o u g h g u i l t i s also the m i t i g a t i o n o f l o v e . G u i l t w o r k s , t h e n , b o t h t o f o r e c l o s e a n d t o c o n t i n u e l o v e , o r rather, t o c o n t i n u e l o v e (less p a s s i o n a t e l y , to be sure) as the effect of a f o r e c l o s u r e . K l e i n ' s s c h e m e raises a n u m b e r o f q u e s t i o n s r e l a t i n g t o the relation between love a n d aggression. W h y m i g h t one want d e a d the object o f l o v e ? I s t h i s a p r i m a r y s a d i s m that m i g h t b e e x p l a i n e d b y r e c o u r s e t o a p r i m a r y d e a t h d r i v e , o r are there o t h e r w a y s t o a c c o u n t for the d e s i r e t o v a n q u i s h w h a t o n e l o v e s ? F o l l o w i n g F r e u d , K l e i n situates s.uch a d e s i r e t o v a n q u i s h w i t h i n the p r o b l e m a t i c o f m e l a n c h o l i a , t h u s m a k i n g the p o i n t that the d e s i r e to v a n q u i s h c h a r a c t e r i z e s a r e l a t i o n to an object a l r e a d y lost: a l r e a d y lost a n d t h u s e l i g i b l e for a c e r t a i n k i n d of vanquishing. K l e i n l i n k s g u i l t t o w a r d the object w i t h the d e s i r e t o t r i u m p h o v e r the object, a sense o f t r i u m p h w h i c h , i f p u r s u e d too far, threatens to d e s t r o y the object as a s o u r c e of love. Yet o n e m i g h t c o n s i d e r that c e r t a i n f o r m s o f l o v e e n t a i l the loss o f the object n o t o n l y b e c a u s e o f a n i n n a t e d e s i r e t o t r i u m p h , b u t b e -

28

Introduction

Introduction

29

n o t i o n that d e s i r e i s a l w a y s the d e s i r e t o p e r s i s t i n o n e ' s o w n being,
1 4

tence t h r e a t e n e d . A n d yet, w i t h o u t a r e p e t i t i o n that r i s k s l i f e — i n its c u r r e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n — h o w m i g h t w e b e g i n t o i m a g i n e the c o n t i n g e n c y o f that o r g a n i z a t i o n , a n d p e r f o r m a t i v e l y r e c o n f i g u r e the c o n t o u r s of the c o n d i t i o n s of life? A c r i t i c a l a n a l y s i s of s u b j e c t i o n i n v o l v e s : (1) an a c c o u n t of the w a y r e g u l a t o r y p o w e r m a i n t a i n s subjects i n s u b o r d i n a t i o n b y p r o d u c i n g a n d e x p l o i t i n g the d e m a n d for c o n t i n u i t y , v i s i b i l i t y , a n d p l a c e ; (2) r e c o g n i t i o n that the subject p r o d u c e d as continuous, visible, a n d located is nevertheless h a u n t e d by an i n a s s i m i l a b l e r e m a i n d e r , a m e l a n c h o l i a that m a r k s the l i m i t s of s u b j e c t i v a t i o n ; (3) an a c c o u n t of the i t e r a b i l i t y of the s u b ject that s h o w s h o w a g e n c y m a y w e l l c o n s i s t i n o p p o s i n g a n d t r a n s f o r m i n g the s o c i a l t e r m s b y w h i c h i t i s s p a w n e d . A l t h o u g h s u c h a f o r m u l a t i o n c a n h a r d l y b e the b a s i s for a n o p t i m i s t i c v i e w of the subject or of a s u b j e c t - c e n t e r e d p o l i t i c s , it m a y s t a n d as a p r o v o c a t i o n a n d as a c a u t i o n a g a i n s t t w o f o r m s o f t h e o r e t i c a l d e s i r e : o n e i n w h i c h a s s u m i n g a n d stati n g a " s u b j e c t - p o s i t i o n " i s the c o n s u m m a t e m o m e n t o f p o l i t i c s ; a n d a n o t h e r i n w h i c h the d i s m i s s a l o f the subject a s a p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r o p e u n d e r e s t i m a t e s the l i n g u i s t i c r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r e n t e r i n g s o c i a l i t y a t a l l . A s m u c h a s a p e r s p e c t i v e o n the s u b ject r e q u i r e s an e v a c u a t i o n of the first p e r s o n , a s u s p e n s i o n of the "I" in the interests of an a n a l y s i s of subject f o r m a t i o n , so a r e a s s u m p t i o n of that f i r s t - p e r s o n p e r s p e c t i v e is c o m p e l l e d b y the q u e s t i o n o f agency. T h e a n a l y s i s o f s u b j e c t i o n i s a l w a y s d o u b l e , t r a c i n g the c o n d i t i o n s o f subject f o r m a t i o n a n d t r a c i n g the t u r n against those c o n d i t i o n s for the s u b j e c t — a n d its perspective—to emerge. A c r i t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n of subject f o r m a t i o n m a y w e l l offer a better c o m p r e h e n s i o n o f the d o u b l e b i n d s t o w h i c h o u r e m a n c i p a t o r y efforts o c c a s i o n a l l y l e a d w i t h o u t , i n c o n s e q u e n c e , e v a c u a t i n g the p o l i t i c a l . Is there a w a y to a f f i r m c o m p l i c i t y

a n d recasts the metaphysical s u b s t a n c e that f o r m s the

i d e a l for d e s i r e a s a m o r e p l i a b l e n o t i o n o f s o c i a l b e i n g , o n e m i g h t t h e n b e p r e p a r e d t o r e d e s c r i b e the d e s i r e t o p e r s i s t i n one's o w n b e i n g a s s o m e t h i n g that c a n b e b r o k e r e d o n l y w i t h i n the r i s k y t e r m s o f s o c i a l life. T h e r i s k o f d e a t h i s t h u s c o e x t e n s i v e w i t h the i n s u r m o u n t a b i l i t y o f the s o c i a l . I f the t e r m s b y w h i c h "existence" i s formulated, sustained, a n d w i t h d r a w n are the a c t i v e a n d p r o d u c t i v e v o c a b u l a r y o f p o w e r , t h e n t o p e r s i s t i n one's b e i n g m e a n s t o b e g i v e n o v e r f r o m the start t o s o c i a l t e r m s that are n e v e r f u l l y one's o w n . T h e d e s i r e t o p e r s i s t i n one's o w n b e i n g r e q u i r e s s u b m i t t i n g t o a w o r l d o f others that i s f u n d a m e n t a l l y n o t one's o w n ( a s u b m i s s i o n that does n o t t a k e p l a c e a t a later date, b u t w h i c h f r a m e s a n d m a k e s p o s s i b l e the d e s i r e t o be). O n l y b y p e r s i s t i n g i n a l t e r i t y d o e s o n e p e r s i s t i n one's " o w n " b e i n g . V u l n e r a b l e t o t e r m s that o n e n e v e r m a d e , o n e p e r s i s t s a l w a y s , t o s o m e degree, t h r o u g h categories, n a m e s , t e r m s , a n d c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s that m a r k a p r i m a r y a n d inaugurative alienation in sociality. If such terms institute a p r i m a r y s u b o r d i n a t i o n or, i n d e e d , a p r i m a r y v i o l e n c e , t h e n a subject e m e r g e s a g a i n s t itself in o r d e r , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , to be for itself. W h a t w o u l d i t m e a n for the subject t o d e s i r e s o m e t h i n g o t h e r t h a n its c o n t i n u e d " s o c i a l e x i s t e n c e " ? I f s u c h a n e x i s t e n c e cannot be undone w i t h o u t falling into some k i n d of death, can existence nevertheless be r i s k e d , death courted or p u r s u e d , in o r d e r t o e x p o s e a n d o p e n t o t r a n s f o r m a t i o n the h o l d o f s o c i a l p o w e r o n the c o n d i t i o n s o f life's p e r s i s t e n c e ? T h e subject i s c o m p e l l e d t o repeat the n o r m s b y w h i c h i t i s p r o d u c e d , b u t that r e p e t i t i o n establishes a d o m a i n of r i s k , f o r if o n e fails to r e i n s t a t e the n o r m " i n the r i g h t w a y , " o n e b e c o m e s subject t o f u r t h e r s a n c t i o n , o n e feels the p r e v a i l i n g c o n d i t i o n s o f e x i s -

30

Introduction

a s the basis o f p o l i t i c a l agency, y e t i n s i s t that p o l i t i c a l a g e n c y m a y d o m o r e t h a n reiterate the c o n d i t i o n s o f s u b o r d i n a t i o n ? If, as A l t h u s s e r i m p l i e s , b e c o m i n g a subject r e q u i r e s a k i n d o f m a s t e r y i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e f r o m s u b m i s s i o n , are there p e r haps p o l i t i c a l and psychic consequences to be w r o u g h t f r o m s u c h a f o u n d i n g a m b i v a l e n c e ? T h e t e m p o r a l p a r a d o x o f the subject i s s u c h that, o f necessity, w e m u s t lose the p e r s p e c t i v e o f a subject a l r e a d y f o r m e d i n o r d e r t o a c c o u n t f o r o u r o w n b e c o m i n g . T h a t " b e c o m i n g " i s n o s i m p l e o r c o n t i n u o u s affair, b u t a n u n e a s y p r a c t i c e o f r e p e t i t i o n a n d its r i s k s , c o m p e l l e d yet i n c o m p l e t e , w a v e r i n g o n the h o r i z o n o f s o c i a l b e i n g .

Stubborn Attachment, Bodily Subjection
Rereading Hegel on Unhappy the Consciousness

a freedom still enmeshed in servitude —Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit

T

he t r a n s i t i o n in The Phenomenology of Spirit f r o m the sect i o n " L o r d s h i p a n d B o n d a g e " t o " T h e F r e e d o m o f Selfis o n e of the least i n t e r r o g a t e d of H e g e l ' s p h i l o -

C o n s c i o u s n e s s : S t o i c i s m , S k e p t i c i s m , a n d the U n h a p p y C o n sciousness"
1

s o p h i c a l m o v e m e n t s . P e r h a p s b e c a u s e the c h a p t e r o n l o r d s h i p a n d b o n d a g e s e c u r e d a l i b e r a t i o n i s t n a r r a t i v e for v a r i o u s p r o gressive p o l i t i c a l visions, most readers have neglected to pay a t t e n t i o n t o the r e s o l u t i o n o f f r e e d o m i n t o s e l f - e n s l a v e m e n t a t the e n d o f the chapter. Insofar a s recent t h e o r y has c a l l e d i n t o q u e s t i o n b o t h the a s s u m p t i o n o f a p r o g r e s s i v e h i s t o r y a n d the status o f the subject, the d y s t o p i c r e s o l u t i o n o f " L o r d s h i p a n d B o n d a g e " has p e r h a p s r e g a i n e d a t i m e l y s i g n i f i c a n c e . F o u c a u l t s u g g e s t e d that the p o i n t o f m o d e r n p o l i t i c s i s n o

r
32 Stubborn Attachment, B o d i l y Subjection Hegel's Unhappy Consciousness 33 l o n g e r to l i b e r a t e a subject, b u t r a t h e r to i n t e r r o g a t e the r e g u l a t o r y m e c h a n i s m s t h r o u g h w h i c h "subjects" are p r o d u c e d a n d maintained. A l t h o u g h Foucault's vocabulary ought not to be c o n f l a t e d w i t h H e g e l ' s , h i s c o n c e r n w i t h the d o u b l e - e d g e d i m p l i c a t i o n s of s u b j e c t i o n (assujetissement: the s i m u l t a n e o u s forming a n d regulating of the subject) is in s o m e w a y s p r e f i g u r e d i n H e g e l ' s a c c o u n t o f the b o n d s m a n ' s l i b e r a t i o n i n t o v a r i o u s f o r m s of e t h i c a l self-beratement. In Discipline and Punish, F o u c a u l t l i m i t s the efficacy o f p r i s o n r e f o r m : "the m a n d e s c r i b e d for u s , w h o m w e are i n v i t e d t o free, i s a l r e a d y i n h i m s e l f the effect of a s u b j e c t i o n [assujettissement] m u c h m o r e p r o f o u n d t h a n h i m s e l f . " T h e b o n d s m a n i n H e g e l t h r o w s off the a p p a r 2

p r e s s e d , i n c a r c e r a t e d w i t h i n a n d f i n a l l y able t o d i s c h a r g e a n d vent itself o n l y on itself: that, a n d that a l o n e , is w h a t the bad conscience is in its b e g i n n i n g s . "
3

U n d e r s c o r i n g the p a i n f u l r e a l i z a t i o n that " l i b e r a t i o n " f r o m e x t e r n a l a u t h o r i t i e s d o e s n o t suffice to i n i t i a t e a subject i n t o freedom, Foucault draws u p o n Nietzsche and, in particular, u p o n the s e l f - i n c a r c e r a t i n g m o v e m e n t that s t r u c t u r e s m o d e r n f o r m s o f r e f l e x i v i t y . T h e l i m i t s t o l i b e r a t i o n are t o b e u n d e r stood not merely as self-imposed but, more fundamentally, as the p r e c o n d i t i o n of the subject's v e r y f o r m a t i o n . A c e r t a i n s t r u c t u r i n g a t t a c h m e n t t o s u b j e c t i o n b e c o m e s the c o n d i t i o n o f m o r a l s u b j e c t i v a t i o n . C o n s i d e r the e x p a n d e d text o f F o u c a u l t ' s r e m a r k s o n the p r i s o n e r ' s s u b j e c t i o n , p r e v i o u s l y c i t e d , i n Discipline and Punish: " T h e m a n d e s c r i b e d for u s , w h o m w e are i n v i t e d to free, is a l r e a d y in h i m s e l f the effect of a s u b j e c t i o n [assujettissement] m u c h m o r e p r o f o u n d t h a n h i m s e l f . A ' s o u l ' i n h a b i t s h i m a n d b r i n g s h i m t o existence, w h i c h i s itself a factor i n the m a s t e r y that p o w e r exercises o v e r the b o d y . T h e s o u l is the effect a n d i n s t r u m e n t of a p o l i t i c a l a n a t o m y ; the s o u l i s the p r i s o n o f the b o d y . "
4

ently external " L o r d " only to find himself in an ethical w o r l d , subjected t o v a r i o u s n o r m s a n d i d e a l s . O r , t o p u t i t m o r e p r e c i s e l y , the subject e m e r g e s a s a n u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h r o u g h the r e f l e x i v e a p p l i c a t i o n o f these e t h i c a l l a w s . T h e p e r m u t a t i o n s o f s e l f - e n s l a v e m e n t that H e g e l d e s c r i b e s a p p e a r t o take the b o d y a s w h a t m u s t b e n e g a t e d , m o r t i f i e d , o r s u b o r d i n a t e d t o a n e t h i c a l d e m a n d . T h e " t e r r o r " that seizes the b o n d s m a n w i t h his recognition of freedom appears to c u l m i nate i n the s i m u l t a n e o u s f a b r i c a t i o n o f e t h i c a l n o r m s a n d the b e r a t e m e n t o f the b o d i l y c o n d i t i o n o f h i s o w n life. I n this sense, " T h e U n h a p p y C o n s c i o u s n e s s " establishes a r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n s e l f - e n s l a v e m e n t a s b o d i l y s u b j e c t i o n a n d the f o r m u l a t i o n o f s e l f - i m p o s e d e t h i c a l i m p e r a t i v e s that p r e f i g u r e s N i e t z s c h e ' s c r i t i q u e of the s a m e in On the Genealogy of Morals a n d F o u c a u l t ' s a p p r o p r i a t i o n o f that c r i t i q u e . I n the f o l l o w i n g c i t a t i o n f r o m N i e t z s c h e ' s Genealogy of Morals, o n e c a n d i s c e r n a t e m p o r a r y c o n v e r g e n c e b e t w e e n the f i g u r e s o f s e l f - e n s l a v e m e n t i n H e g e l ' s " U n h a p p y C o n s c i o u s n e s s " a n d the m o r a l i z e d " m a n " of c o n s c i e n c e in N i e t z s c h e : " T h i s instinct for freedom f o r c i b l y m a d e l a t e n t . . . t h i s i n s t i n c t for f r e e d o m p u s h e d b a c k a n d r e -

H o w p r e c i s e l y are w e t o r e a d this " i n h a b i t i n g " o f the b o d y b y the s o u l ? C a n a r e t u r n t o H e g e l h e l p u s t o r e a d it? W h a t are the p o i n t s o f c o n v e r g e n c e a n d d i v e r g e n c e i n H e g e l , N i e t z s c h e , a n d F o u c a u l t o n the s t r u c t u r e o f subjection? H e g e l ' s a c c o u n t i n "The U n h a p p y Consciousness" prefigures a critical discourse o n e t h i c a l p o s i t i o n s that n o t o n l y seek t o i n s t i t u t e the d e n i a l o r sacrifice o f b o d i l y life, b u t that f a l l i n t o i n s t r u c t i v e p a r a d o x e s w h e n t h e y d o . H e g e l s h o w s that i f the s u p p r e s s i o n o f the b o d y r e q u i r e s a n i n s t r u m e n t a l m o v e m e n t o f a n d b y the b o d y , t h e n the b o d y i s i n a d v e r t e n t l y preserved i n a n d b y the i n s t r u m e n t o f its s u p p r e s s i o n . T h i s f o r m u l a t i o n p r e f i g u r e s the p o s s i b i l i t y o f a convergence w i t h Nietzschean, F o u c a u l t i a n , and, as we shall

34

Stubborn Attachment, Bodily Subjection

Hegel's Unhappy Consciousness

35

see, F r e u d i a n p e r s p e c t i v e s o n self-abasement, w h i c h H e g e l ' s text, i n the t r a n s i t i o n t o S p i r i t , forecloses. T h e r e a d i n g that f o l l o w s p u r s u e s the p a t h that H e g e l i n t r o d u c e s o n l y t o foreclose. A r r e s t i n g the text p r i o r t o its r e s o l u t i o n i n t o S p i r i t , t h i s i n q u i r y seeks t o k n o w w h e t h e r a s u p p r e s s e d l i n k w i t h a N i e t z s c h e a n a n d F r e u d i a n account of conscience is e m b e d d e d in Hegel's chapter. T h e first s e c t i o n of t h i s essay offers a r e a d i n g that a c c o u n t s for h o w t h i s p a r a d o x o f b o d i l y s u b j e c t i o n i s f o r m u l a t e d i n the t r a n s i t i o n f r o m " L o r d s h i p a n d B o n d a g e " t o " T h e U n h a p p y C o n s c i o u s n e s s " in The Phenomenology of Spirit. In the s e c o n d s e c t i o n , I c o n s i d e r the restatements of that p a r a d o x i c a l f o r m u lation i n psychoanalytic a n d F o u c a u l t i a n terms. W i t h o u t pres u m i n g a d i r e c t l i n e of i n f l u e n c e , I suggest b o t h that H e g e l ' s i n s i g h t s i n " T h e U n h a p p y C o n s c i o u s n e s s " o n the i n e l u c t a b i l i t y o f the a t t a c h m e n t o f a n d t o the b o d y i n s u b j e c t i o n are r e i t e r a t e d i n F o u c a u l t i a n f r a m e w o r k s , a n d that the F o u c a u l t i a n a c c o u n t o f s u b j e c t i o n , d e s p i t e its s i g n i f i c a n t m o v e s b e y o n d d i a l e c t i c a l l o g i c , r e m a i n s u n w i t t i n g l y t e t h e r e d t o the H e g e l i a n f o r m u l a t i o n . F u r t h e r m o r e , H e g e l t a c i t l y p r e s u m e s that subject i o n is u n d e r s t o o d as a s e l f - n e g a t i n g attachment a n d , in t h i s w a y , shares a n o p e r a t i v e a s s u m p t i o n w i t h the F r e u d i a n n o t i o n of l i b i d i n a l investment.

t e r e d the l o r d a n d the b o n d s m a n , a n d w e h a v e b e e n g i v e n t o u n d e r s t a n d these d i s c r e p a n t figures a s d i f f e r e n t i a l l y p o s i t i o n e d w i t h respect t o b o d i l y life. T h e b o n d s m a n a p p e a r s a s a n i n s t r u m e n t a l b o d y w h o s e l a b o r p r o v i d e s for the m a t e r i a l c o n d i t i o n s o f the l o r d ' s existence, a n d w h o s e m a t e r i a l p r o d ucts reflect b o t h the s u b o r d i n a t i o n o f the b o n d s m a n a n d the d o m i n a t i o n of the master. In a sense, the l o r d p o s t u r e s as a d i s e m b o d i e d d e s i r e f o r self-reflection, o n e w h o n o t o n l y r e q u i r e s the s u b o r d i n a t i o n o f the b o n d s m a n i n the status o f a n i n s t r u m e n t a l b o d y , b u t w h o r e q u i r e s i n effect that the b o n d s m a n b e the l o r d ' s b o d y , b u t b e i t i n s u c h a w a y that the l o r d forgets o r d i s a v o w s h i s o w n a c t i v i t y i n p r o d u c i n g the b o n d s m a n , a p r o duction w h i c h we w i l l call a projection. T h i s forgetting involves a clever trick. It is an action by w h i c h a n a c t i v i t y i s d i s a v o w e d , yet, a s a n a c t i o n , i t r h e t o r i c a l l y c o n c e d e s the v e r y a c t i v i t y that i t seeks t o negate. T o d i s a v o w one's b o d y , t o r e n d e r i t " O t h e r " a n d t h e n t o e s t a b l i s h the " O t h e r " a s a n effect o f a u t o n o m y , i s t o p r o d u c e o n e ' s b o d y i n s u c h a w a y that the a c t i v i t y o f its p r o d u c t i o n — a n d its essent i a l r e l a t i o n t o the l o r d — i s d e n i e d . T h i s t r i c k o r r u s e i n v o l v e s a d o u b l e d i s a v o w a l a n d a n i m p e r a t i v e that the " O t h e r " b e c o m e c o m p l i c i t w i t h t h i s d i s a v o w a l . I n o r d e r n o t t o b e the b o d y that the l o r d p r e s u m a b l y is, a n d i n o r d e r t o h a v e the b o n d s m a n p o s t u r e a s i f the b o d y that h e i s b e l o n g s t o h i m s e l f — a n d n o t b e the o r c h e s t r a t e d p r o j e c t i o n of the l o r d — t h e r e m u s t be a c e r t a i n k i n d o f e x c h a n g e , a b a r g a i n o r d e a l , i n w h i c h r u s e s are e n a c t e d a n d t r a n s a c t e d . I n effect, the i m p e r a t i v e t o the b o n d s m a n c o n sists i n the f o l l o w i n g f o r m u l a t i o n : y o u b e m y b o d y f o r m e , b u t d o n o t let m e k n o w that the b o d y y o u are i s m y b o d y . A n i n j u n c t i o n a n d c o n t r a c t are h e r e p e r f o r m e d i n s u c h a w a y that the m o v e s w h i c h g u a r a n t e e the f u l f i l l m e n t o f the i n j u n c t i o n a n d the c o n t r a c t are i m m e d i a t e l y c o v e r e d o v e r a n d f o r g o t t e n .

Hegel and the Production of Self-Enslavement
In H e g e l ' s Phenomenology, b o d i e s are a l m o s t n e v e r to be f o u n d a s objects o f p h i l o s o p h i c a l r e f l e c t i o n , m u c h less a s sites o f e x p e r i e n c e , for b o d i e s are, i n H e g e l , a l w a y s a n d o n l y r e f e r r e d t o i n d i r e c t l y a s the e n c a s e m e n t , l o c a t i o n , o r s p e c i f i c i t y o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s . B y the t i m e w e a r r i v e a t the s e c t i o n o n the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s , w e , the readers, h a v e a l r e a d y e n c o u n -

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Stubborn Attachment, Bodily Subjection A t the c l o s e o f the s e c t i o n o n l o r d s h i p a n d b o n d a g e , the

Hegel's Unhappy Consciousness

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a c t i v e a n d a u t o n o m o u s . I n d e e d , the object e m e r g e s a s the o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n o f the b o n d s m a n ' s l a b o r , a n d t h u s a s a n i n s t a n c e of that l a b o r , a c o n g e a l i n g a n d r e f l e c t i o n of that labor. B u t w h a t , t h e n , d o e s the object reflect? Is it the a u t o n o m y of the b o n d s m a n ? O r i s i t the d i s s i m u l a t e d effect o f a u t o n o m y that r e s u l t s f r o m the c o n t r a c t m a d e b e t w e e n l o r d a n d b o n d s m a n ? I n o t h e r w o r d s , i f the b o n d s m a n effects a u t o n o m y t h r o u g h a m i m i n g o f the l o r d ' s b o d y , a m i m i n g w h i c h r e m a i n s h i d d e n f r o m the l o r d , t h e n the " a u t o n o m y " o f the slave i s the c r e d i b l e effect of t h i s d i s s i m u l a t i o n . T h e object of l a b o r t h u s reflects the a u t o n o m y of the b o n d s m a n to the extent that the object, too, c o v e r s o v e r the d i s s i m u l a t i o n w h i c h i s the a c t i v i t y o f the b o n d s m a n . I n h i s w o r k , t h e n , the b o n d s m a n d i s c o v e r s o r r e a d s h i s o w n s i g n a t u r e , b u t w h a t i s i t that m a r k s that s i g n a t u r e a s h i s o w n ? T h e b o n d s m a n d i s c o v e r s h i s a u t o n o m y , b u t h e does n o t (yet) see that h i s a u t o n o m y is the d i s s i m u l a t e d effect of the l o r d ' s . ( N o r d o e s h e see that the l o r d ' s a u t o n o m y i s itself a d i s s i m u l a t i o n : the l o r d effects the a u t o n o m y o f d i s e m b o d i e d r e f l e c t i o n a n d delegates the a u t o n o m y o f e m b o d i m e n t t o the b o n d s m a n , t h u s p r o d u c i n g t w o " a u t o n o m i e s " that a p p e a r a t the outset r a d i c a l l y t o e x c l u d e o n e another.) B u t h e r e a q u e s t i o n e m e r g e s : D o e s the b o n d s m a n ' s a c t i v i t y r e m a i n f u l l y c o n s t r a i n e d b y the d i s s i m u l a t i o n b y w h i c h i t i s m o b i l i z e d ? O r does t h i s d i s s i m u l a t i o n p r o d u c e effects that exc e e d the c o n t r o l o r d o m i n i o n o f the l o r d ? I f the b o n d s m a n i s t o r e c o g n i z e the m a r k s m a d e o n the object a s h i s o w n , t h e n that r e c o g n i t i o n m u s t t a k e p l a c e t h r o u g h a n act o f r e a d i n g o r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n b y w h i c h the m a r k s (Zeichen) that the b o n d s m a n sees are s o m e h o w u n d e r s t o o d to r e p r e s e n t the b o n d s m a n . I t i s n o t that the a c t i v i t y m u s t b e w i t n e s s e d , b u t that the signs p r o d u c e d m u s t be r e a d as an effect o f the e f f e c t i v i t y that d e s i g n a t e s the b o n d s m a n , m u s t i n s o m e

b o n d s m a n l a b o r s a w a y i n a r e p e t i t i v e f a s h i o n o n objects that b e l o n g t o the l o r d . I n t h i s sense, b o t h h i s l a b o r a n d h i s p r o d u c t s are p r e s u m e d f r o m the start t o b e o t h e r t h a n h i s o w n , e x p r o p r i a t e d . T h e y are g i v e n a w a y p r i o r t o a n y p o s s i b i l i t y o f g i v i n g t h e m a w a y , s i n c e t h e y are, s t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g , n e v e r the b o n d s m a n ' s t o g i v e . A n d yet, t h i s " c o n t r a c t " i n w h i c h the b o n d s m a n s u b s t i t u t e s h i m s e l f f o r the l o r d b e c o m e s c o n s e q u e n t i a l ; the s u b s t i t u t i o n itself b e c o m e s f o r m a t i v e o f a n d for the b o n d s m a n . A s the b o n d s m a n slaves a w a y a n d b e c o m e s a w a r e o f h i s o w n s i g n a t u r e o n the t h i n g s that h e m a k e s , h e r e c o g n i z e s i n the f o r m o f the artifact that h e crafts the m a r k i n g s o f h i s o w n l a b o r , m a r k i n g s that are f o r m a t i v e o f the object itself. H i s l a b o r p r o d u c e s a v i s i b l e a n d l e g i b l e set o f m a r k s i n w h i c h the b o n d s m a n r e a d s b a c k f r o m the object a c o n f i r m a t i o n o f h i s o w n formative a c t i v i t y T h i s labor, this activity, w h i c h belongs f r o m the start t o the l o r d , i s n e v e r t h e l e s s reflected b a c k t o the b o n d s m a n a s h i s o w n l a b o r , a l a b o r that emanates f r o m h i m , e v e n i f i t a p p e a r s t o e m a n a t e f r o m the l o r d . C a n , t h e n , the l a b o r reflected b a c k b e s a i d f i n a l l y t o b e the b o n d s m a n ' s o w n ? R e m e m b e r that the l o r d has d i s a v o w e d h i s o w n l a b o r i n g b e i n g , his b o d y as an i n s t r u m e n t of labor, a n d has e s t a b l i s h e d the b o n d s m a n a s the o n e w h o w i l l o c c u p y the l o r d ' s b o d y for h i m . I n t h i s sense, the l o r d has c o n t r a c t e d the b o n d s m a n as a surrogate or substitute. The b o n d s m a n thus b e l o n g s t o the l o r d , b u t w i t h a k i n d o f b e l o n g i n g that c a n n o t b e a v o w e d , f o r t o a v o w the b e l o n g i n g w o u l d b e t o a v o w the s u b s t i t u t i o n a n d , hence, t o e x p o s e the l o r d a s b e i n g the b o d y w h i c h the l o r d a p p a r e n t l y v e r y m u c h does n o t w a n t t o be. H e n c e , it is as a s u b s t i t u t e in the s e r v i c e of d i s a v o w a l that the b o n d s m a n l a b o r s ; o n l y b y m i m i n g a n d c o v e r i n g o v e r the m i m e t i c status o f that l a b o r c a n the b o n d s m a n a p p e a r t o b e b o t h

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w a y b e u n d e r s t o o d t o refer r e t r o a c t i v e l y t o the b o n d s m a n a s s i g n a t o r y . I f w e are t o u n d e r s t a n d the f o r m i n g o f the object a s the i n s c r i b i n g o f the b o n d s m a n ' s s i g n a t u r e , the f o r m a t i v e p r i n c i p l e of the object to be the f o r m a t i o n of h i s s i g n a t u r e , t h e n the b o n d s m a n ' s s i g n a t u r e d e s i g n a t e s a d o m a i n of c o n t e s t e d o w n e r s h i p . T h i s i s his m a r k , w h i c h h e c a n r e a d ( w e s h a l l let the b o n d s m a n o c c u p y the site o f p r e s u m p t i v e m a s c u l i n i t y ) , a n d s o the object a p p e a r s t o b e l o n g t o h i m . Yet this object m a r k e d b y h i m , w h i c h has h i s m a r k o n i t , b e l o n g s t o the l o r d , a t least n o m i n a l l y . T h e b o n d s m a n s i g n s , a s i t w e r e , for the l o r d , a s a p r o x y s i g n a t o r y , as a d e l e g a t e d s u b s t i t u t e . T h u s the s i g n a t u r e d o e s n o t seal o w n e r s h i p o f the object b y the b o n d s m a n , b u t b e c o m e s the site for the r e d o u b l i n g o f o w n e r s h i p a n d , h e n c e , sets the stage for a scene of c o n t e s t a t i o n . T h e m a r k o r s i g n o n the object i s n o t s i m p l y the p r o p e r t y o f the b o n d s m a n — t h i s object w i t h h i s m a r k o n i t i m p l i e s f o r h i m that h e i s a b e i n g w h o m a r k s t h i n g s , w h o s e a c t i v i t y p r o d u c e s a s i n g u l a r effect, a s i g n a t u r e , w h i c h is i r r e d u c i b l y h i s . T h a t s i g n a t u r e i s e r a s e d w h e n the object i s g i v e n o v e r t o the l o r d , w h o s t a m p s i t w i t h his n a m e , o w n s i t , o r c o n s u m e s i t i n s o m e w a y . T h e w o r k i n g o f the slave i s t h u s t o b e u n d e r s t o o d as a m a r k i n g w h i c h r e g u l a r l y u n m a r k s itself, a s i g n a t o r y act w h i c h p u t s itself u n d e r e r a s u r e a t the m o m e n t i n w h i c h i t i s circulated, for c i r c u l a t i o n here is a l w a y s a matter of e x p r o p r i a t i o n b y the l o r d . T h e slave, o f c o u r s e , f r o m the start has b e e n w o r k i n g f o r a n o t h e r , u n d e r the n a m e o r s i g n o f s o m e other, a n d s o has b e e n m a r k i n g the object w i t h h i s o w n s i g n a t u r e u n d e r a set o f c o n d i t i o n s i n w h i c h that s i g n a t u r e i s a l w a y s a l r e a d y e r a s e d , w r i t t e n o v e r , e x p r o p r i a t e d , r e s i g n i f i e d . I f the b o n d s m a n w r i t e s o v e r the s i g n a t o r y o f the l o r d , t e m p o r a r i l y r e v e r s i n g the s u b o r d i n a t e p o s i t i o n o f the p r o x y t o the o r i g i n a l , the l o r d r e a p p r o p r i a t e s the object b y w r i t i n g o v e r the s i g -

n a t u r e of the b o n d s m a n . W h a t e m e r g e s is less a p a l i m p s e s t i c object—like Kafka's topographies—than a m a r k of ownership p r o d u c e d t h r o u g h a set of c o n s e q u e n t i a l erasures. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , the b o n d s m a n n e v e r t h e l e s s d e r i v e s a sense of s e l f - r e c o g n i t i o n a t the e n d o f the c h a p t e r , b u t n o t b y r e a d i n g b a c k h i s s i g n a t u r e f r o m the object. A f t e r a l l , that s i g n a t u r e has b e e n w r i t t e n o v e r b y the s i g n a t u r e o f the l o r d . H e r e c o g n i z e s h i m s e l f i n the v e r y f o r f e i t u r e o f the s i g n a t u r e , i n the threat t o a u t o n o m y that s u c h a n e x p r o p r i a t i o n p r o d u c e s . S t r a n g e l y , t h e n , a c e r t a i n s e l f - r e c o g n i t i o n i s d e r i v e d f r o m the r a d i c a l l y t e n u o u s status o f the b o n d s m a n ; i t i s a c h i e v e d t h r o u g h the exp e r i e n c e of absolute fear. T h i s fear is a fear of a c e r t a i n loss of c o n t r o l , a c e r t a i n t r a n sience a n d e x p r o p r i a b i l i t y p r o d u c e d b y the a c t i v i t y o f labor. H e r e the l o g i c o f the b o n d s m a n ' s a c t i v i t y a p p e a r s c u r i o u s l y t o c o n v e r g e w i t h that o f the l o r d . E a r l i e r i t s e e m e d that the l o r d o c c u p i e d the p l a c e o f p u r e c o n s u m p t i o n , a p p r o p r i a t i n g a n d e x t i n g u i s h i n g a l l that the b o n d s m a n m a d e . T h e b o n d s m a n , b y contrast, a c h i e v e d the e x p e r i e n c e o f s e l f - r e f l e x i v i t y t h r o u g h w o r k i n g o n a n d c r e a t i n g a n object that b o r e the m a r k s o f h i s being, a n d thereby understood himself as a being w h o forms o r creates t h i n g s w h i c h o u t l a s t h i m , a p r o d u c e r o f p e r m a n e n t t h i n g s . F o r the l o r d , o c c u p y i n g the p o s i t i o n o f p u r e c o n s u m p t i o n , objects w e r e t r a n s i t o r y , a n d h e h i m s e l f w a s d e f i n e d a s a series o f t r a n s i t o r y desires. F o r the l o r d , t h e n , n o t h i n g s e e m e d t o last, e x c e p t p e r h a p s h i s o w n c o n s u m i n g a c t i v i t y , h i s o w n e n d l e s s desire. T h e s e t w o p o s i t i o n s , h o w e v e r , are n o t r a d i c a l l y o p p o s e d t o o n e a n o t h e r , for e a c h i n a different w a y e x p e r i e n c e s o n l y a n d a l w a y s the loss o f the object a n d , w i t h that loss, the e x p e r i e n c e of a f e a r f u l t r a n s i e n c e . W o r k is, f o r H e g e l , a f o r m of d e s i r e , a f o r m w h i c h i d e a l l y s u p p r e s s e s the t r a n s i t o r y c h a r a c t e r o f

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d e s i r e ; i n h i s w o r d s , " w o r k i s d e s i r e h e l d i n c h e c k , fleetingness s t a v e d off" (118/153). T o w o r k o n a n object i s t o g i v e i t f o r m , a n d t o g i v e i t f o r m i s t o g i v e i t a n e x i s t e n c e that o v e r c o m e s t r a n s i t o r i n e s s . T h e c o n s u m p t i o n o f the object i s the n e g a t i o n o f that effect of p e r m a n e n c e ; the c o n s u m p t i o n of the object is its déformation. T h e a c c u m u l a t i o n o f p r o p e r t y , h o w e v e r , r e q u i r e s that f o r m e d objects b e p o s s e s s e d r a t h e r t h a n c o n s u m e d ; o n l y a s p r o p e r t y d o objects r e t a i n t h e i r f o r m a n d "stave off fleeti n g n e s s . " O n l y a s p r o p e r t y d o objects f u l f i l l the t h e o l o g i c a l p r o m i s e w i t h w h i c h t h e y are i n v e s t e d . T h e b o n d s m a n ' s fear, t h e n , c o n s i s t s i n the e x p e r i e n c e o f h a v i n g w h a t a p p e a r s t o b e h i s p r o p e r t y e x p r o p r i a t e d . I n the e x p e r i e n c e o f g i v i n g u p w h a t h e has m a d e , the b o n d s m a n u n d e r s t a n d s t w o i s s u e s : first, that w h a t h e i s i s e m b o d i e d o r s i g n i f i e d i n w h a t h e m a k e s , a n d s e c o n d , that w h a t h e m a k e s i s m a d e u n d e r the c o m p u l s i o n t o g i v e i t u p . H e n c e , i f the object defines h i m , reflects b a c k w h a t h e is, i s the s i g n a t o r y text b y w h i c h h e a c q u i r e s a sense o f w h o h e is, a n d i f t h o s e objects are r e l e n t l e s s l y s a c r i f i c e d , t h e n he is a r e l e n t l e s s l y s e l f - s a c r i f i c i n g being. He can recognize his o w n signature o n l y as what is cons t a n t l y b e i n g e r a s e d , a s a p e r s i s t e n t site o f v a n i s h i n g . H e has n o c o n t r o l o v e r w h a t h e p u t s h i s n a m e t o o r o v e r the p u r p o s e s t o w h i c h h e seeks t o fasten h i s n a m e . H i s s i g n a t u r e i s a n act o f self-erasure: h e r e a d s that the s i g n a t u r e i s h i s , that h i s o w n e x i s t e n c e a p p e a r s t o b e i r r e d u c i b l y h i s o w n , that w h a t i s i r r e d u c i b l y h i s o w n i s h i s o w n v a n i s h i n g , a n d that t h i s v a n i s h i n g is effected by a n o t h e r — t h a t is, that t h i s is a s o c i a l l y c o m p e l l e d f o r m o f self-erasure. N o t o n l y d o e s h e l a b o r for a n o t h e r , w h o takes the y i e l d o f h i s l a b o r , b u t h e g i v e s u p h i s s i g n a t u r e for the s i g n a t u r e o f the other, n o l o n g e r m a r k i n g o w n e r s h i p o f h i s o w n labor in any way.

T h i s e x p r o p r i a t i o n o f the object d o e s n o t negate the b o n d s m a n ' s sense o f h i m s e l f a s a l a b o r i n g b e i n g , b u t i t d o e s i m p l y that w h a t e v e r h e m a k e s , h e a l s o loses. T h e d e t e r m i n a t e t h i n g that the b o n d s m a n m a k e s reflects the b o n d s m a n h i m s e l f as a d e t e r m i n a t e t h i n g . B u t b e c a u s e the object i s g i v e n a w a y , h e b e c o m e s that w h i c h c a n b e f o r f e i t e d . I f the object i s the c o n g e a l i n g o r f o r m i n g o f l a b o r , a n d i f the l a b o r i s that o f the b o n d s m a n , t h e n the d e t e r m i n a t e a n d t r a n s i e n t c h a r a c t e r o f the t h i n g w i l l i m p l y the d e t e r m i n a t e a n d t r a n s i e n t c h a r a c t e r o f the b o n d s m a n . T h e l a b o r i n g b o d y w h i c h n o w k n o w s itself t o h a v e f o r m e d the object also k n o w s that it is transient. T h e b o n d s m a n not o n l y negates t h i n g s ( i n the sense o f t r a n s f o r m i n g t h e m t h r o u g h labor) a n d is a n e g a t i n g a c t i v i t y , b u t he is subject to a full a n d final negation in death. T h i s confrontation of death at the e n d of the c h a p t e r r e c a l l s the l i f e - a n d - d e a t h s t r u g g l e at its b e g i n n i n g . The strategy of d o m i n a t i o n w a s meant to replace the l i f e - a n d - d e a t h s t r u g g l e . B u t i n the e a r l i e r v e r s i o n d e a t h h a p p e n e d t h r o u g h the v i o l e n c e o f the o t h e r ; d o m i n a t i o n w a s a w a y of f o r c i n g the o t h e r to d i e within the c o n t e x t of life. T h e f a i l u r e of d o m i n a t i o n as a s t r a t e g y r e i n t r o d u c e s the fear of d e a t h , b u t locates i t a s the i n e v i t a b l e fate o f a n y b e i n g w h o s e consciousness is d e t e r m i n e d a n d e m b o d i e d , no longer as a threat p o s e d b y a n o t h e r . T h e b o n d s m a n v e r g e s o n t h i s shatteri n g r e c o g n i t i o n o f h i s o w n d e a t h i n the last p a r a g r a p h o f the chapter, b u t h e r e c o i l s f r o m r e c o g n i z i n g d e a t h , a t t a c h i n g h i m self i n s t e a d t o v a r i o u s a t t r i b u t e s o f h i s o w n , t a k i n g u p a p o s ture of smugness or stubbornness, c l i n g i n g to what appears to be f i r m about himself, f i r m l y clinging to himself, in order not t o k n o w that d e a t h threatens e v e r y aspect o f h i s o w n f i r m n e s s : "since the e n t i r e c o n t e n t s o f its n a t u r a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s h a v e n o t b e e n j e o p a r d i z e d , [Indem nicht aile Erfullungen seines naturlichen

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Bewusstseins wankend geworden] d e t e r m i n a t e b e i n g s t i l l in principle attaches to it; h a v i n g a m i n d of one's o w n is s e l f - w i l l , a f r e e d o m s t i l l e n m e s h e d i n s e r v i t u d e " (119/155). T h e u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s e m e r g e s h e r e i n the m o v e m e n t by w h i c h terror is allayed through a resolution of stubbornness or, rather, t h r o u g h the a c t i o n b y w h i c h t e r r o r o f b o d i l y d e a t h i s d i s p l a c e d b y a s m u g n e s s a n d s t u b b o r n n e s s that, i n the next chapter, is r e v a l u e d as religious self-righteousness. T h i s s a n c t i m o n i o u s self is n o t without t e r r o r : its r e f l e x i v i t y is selft e r r o r i z i n g . T h e b o d y w h i c h the b o n d s m e n e m b l e m a t i z e d a s a l a b o r i n g i n s t r u m e n t i s recast a t the e n d o f the l o r d s h i p a n d b o n d a g e c h a p t e r as a t r a n s i e n t object, subject to d e a t h . T h e r e c o g n i t i o n o f the b o d y ' s d e a t h i s a v e r t e d , h o w e v e r , for a m o d e o f l i v i n g i n w h i c h the b o d y i s ceaselessly d y i n g a w a y : h e n c e , the m o v e f r o m the s e r v i t u d e o f the b o n d s m a n t o that o f the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s . T h e b o n d s m a n takes the p l a c e o f the l o r d b y r e c o g n i z i n g h i s o w n f o r m a t i v e c a p a c i t y , b u t o n c e the l o r d i s d i s p l a c e d , the b o n d s m a n b e c o m e s l o r d o v e r h i m s e l f , m o r e specifically, l o r d over his o w n b o d y ; this f o r m of reflexivity s i g n a l s the passage f r o m b o n d a g e t o u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s . It i n v o l v e s s p l i t t i n g the p s y c h e i n t o t w o p a r t s , a l o r d s h i p a n d a b o n d a g e i n t e r n a l t o a s i n g l e c o n s c i o u s n e s s , w h e r e b y the b o d y is again d i s s i m u l a t e d as an alterity, b u t w h e r e this alterity is n o w i n t e r i o r t o the p s y c h e itself. N o l o n g e r subjected a s a n e x t e r n a l i n s t r u m e n t o f l a b o r , the b o d y i s s t i l l s p l i t off f r o m c o n s c i o u s n e s s . R e c o n s t i t u t e d a s a n i n t e r i o r a l i e n , the b o d y i s s u s t a i n e d t h r o u g h its d i s a v o w a l a s w h a t c o n s c i o u s n e s s m u s t continue to disavow. W h a t i s the f o r m that t h i s s e l f - s u b j e c t i o n takes i n the sect i o n o n the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s ? I n the first i n s t a n c e , i t i s a f o r m of s t u b b o r n n e s s (eigensinnigkeit). It has a " m i n d of one's o w n " or "self-will," but one w h i c h is nevertheless s t i l l a f o r m

o f s e r v i t u d e . C o n s c i o u s n e s s c l i n g s o r attaches t o itself, a n d t h i s c l i n g i n g to c o n s c i o u s n e s s is at the s a m e t i m e a d i s a v o w a l o f the b o d y , w h i c h a p p e a r s t o s i g n i f y the t e r r o r o f d e a t h , "the a b s o l u t e fear." T h e u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s r e q u i r e s a n d e n gages t h i s a t t a c h m e n t b y i n v o k i n g a n i m p e r a t i v e . Its fear i s a l l a y e d b y l e g i s l a t i n g a n e t h i c a l n o r m . H e n c e , the i m p e r a t i v e t o c l i n g t o o n e s e l f i s m o t i v a t e d b y t h i s a b s o l u t e fear a n d b y the n e e d to refuse that fear. I n a s m u c h as it is an ethical i n j u n c t i o n , t h i s i m p e r a t i v e is the d i s a r t i c u l a t e d r e f u s a l of a b s o l u t e fear. T h e s e c t i o n o n the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s e x p l a i n s the genesis of the s p h e r e of the e t h i c a l as a defense a g a i n s t the a b s o l u t e fear b y w h i c h i t i s m o t i v a t e d . T h e f a b r i c a t i o n o f n o r m s o u t o f ( a n d against) fear, a n d the r e f l e x i v e i m p o s i t i o n o f those n o r m s , subjects the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n a d o u b l e sense: the subject i s s u b o r d i n a t e d t o n o r m s , a n d the n o r m s are s u b j e c t i v a t i n g , that is, t h e y g i v e a n e t h i c a l s h a p e t o the r e f l e x i v i t y o f t h i s e m e r g i n g subject. T h e s u b j e c t i o n that takes p l a c e u n d e r the s i g n of the e t h i c a l is a f l i g h t f r o m fear, a n d so is c o n s t i t u t e d as a k i n d of f l i g h t a n d d e n i a l , a f e a r f u l f l i g h t f r o m fear that c o v e r s its fear first w i t h s t u b b o r n e s s a n d t h e n w i t h r e l i g i o u s s e l f - r i g h t e o u s n e s s . T h e m o r e a b s o l u t e the e t h i c a l i m p e r a t i v e b e c o m e s , the m o r e s t u b b o r n or eigensinnig the e n f o r c e m e n t of its l a w , the m o r e the a b s o l u t e n e s s of the m o t i v a t i n g fear is at o n c e a r t i c u l a t e d a n d r e f u s e d . A b s o l u t e fear i s t h u s d i s p l a c e d b y the a b s o l u t e l a w w h i c h , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , r e c o n s t i t u t e d the fear as a fear of the l a w . A b s o l u t e fear w o u l d j e o p a r d i z e a l l d e t e r m i n a t e t h i n g s , i n c l u d i n g the d e t e r m i n a t e t h i n g n e s s o f the b o n d s m a n . T h e f l i g h t f r o m that fear, a fear of d e a t h , vacates the t h i n g l i k e c h a r a c t e r of the subject. T h i s e n t a i l s v a c a t i n g the b o d y a n d c l i n g i n g t o w h a t appears to be most disembodied: thought. H e g e l introduces s t o i c i s m as a k i n d of d e f e n s i v e c l i n g i n g , o n e that separates

r
44 Stubborn Attachment, Bodily Subjection Hegel's Unhappy Consciousness 45 the a c t i v i t y o f t h i n k i n g f r o m a n y c o n t e n t . F o r H e g e l , s t o i c i s m w i t h d r a w s i n t o a subjective a n d r a t i o n a l existence that has as its h i g h e s t a i m the a b s o l u t e w i t h d r a w a l f r o m existence p e r se, i n c l u d i n g its o w n . T h i s task t u r n s o u t t o b e s e l f - r e f u t i n g , o f c o u r s e , i n s o f a r as e v e n s e l f - r e f u t a t i o n r e q u i r e s a p e r s i s t e n t self t o enact the w i t h d r a w a l f r o m its o w n a n d o t h e r existences. B e c a u s e the c o n c e p t u a l act of n e g a t i o n a l w a y s p r e s u p p o s e s a p o s i t i o n f r o m w h i c h that n e g a t i o n takes p l a c e , s t o i c i s m e n d s u p u n d e r s c o r i n g the v e r y p o s i t i v i t y o f the self that i t s o u g h t t o deny. S k e p t i c i s m f o l l o w s u p o n s t o i c i s m f o r H e g e l b e c a u s e s k e p t i c i s m b e g i n s b y p r e s u p p o s i n g the i n s u p e r a b i l i t y o f the t h i n k i n g subject. F o r s k e p t i c i s m , the self is a p e r p e t u a l l y n e g a t i n g a c t i v i t y , a c t i v e l y r e f u t i n g the e x i s t e n c e o f e v e r y t h i n g a s its o w n c o n s t i t u t i v e a c t i v i t y . S k e p t i c i s m negates the d o m a i n o f a l t e r i t y b y t r y i n g t o s h o w that a n y g i v e n d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f l o g i c a l n e c e s s i t y t u r n s i n t o its o p p o s i t e a n d , hence, i s n o t w h a t i t is. T h e s k e p t i c traces a n d focuses o n t h i s c o n s t a n t v a n i s h i n g o f d e t e r m i n a t e a p p e a r a n c e w i t h o u t t a k i n g i n t o a c c o u n t the d i a l e c t i c a l l o g i c that o r c h e s trates a n d u n i f i e s these v a r i o u s o p p o s i t i o n s . H e n c e , n o t h i n g i s w h a t i t is, a n d there i s n o l o g i c a l o r e m p i r i c a l g r o u n d acc e s s i b l e t o the s k e p t i c o n w h i c h the d o m a i n o f a l t e r i t y m i g h t rationally be k n o w n . The skeptic's t h i n k i n g becomes a frantic effort t o m a k e e v e r y g i v e n d e t e r m i n a t i o n d i s a p p e a r i n t o s o m e o t h e r one, s o that t h i s c o n s t a n t a p p e a r i n g a n d v a n i s h i n g p r o c e e d s a c c o r d i n g t o n o o r d e r o r necessity. T h e s k e p t i c , l i k e some n e w historicists a m o n g us, ends up p r o d u c i n g contrad i c t i o n for its o w n sake: s i g n i f i c a n t l y , H e g e l a r g u e s that t h i s p r o d u c t i o n o f c h a o s ( u n d e r s t o o d a s ceaseless c o n t r a d i c t i o n ) i s pleasurable i n a s m u c h as the s k e p t i c is a l w a y s able to u n d e r m i n e the p o s i t i o n o f h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l o p p o n e n t . T h i s k i n d of pleasurable a n d incessant refutation is still a f o r m o f s t u b b o r n n e s s o r eigensinnigkeit: " i t i s i n fact l i k e the s q u a b b l i n g o f s e l f - w i l l e d c h i l d r e n [eigensinniger Jungen] w h o b y c o n t r a d i c t i n g t h e m s e l v e s b u y for t h e m s e l v e s the p l e a s u r e [die Freude] of c o n t i n u a l l y c o n t r a d i c t i n g o n e a n o t h e r " (126/162). The skeptic overrides his o w n contradictoriness in order to t a k e p l e a s u r e i n f o r c i n g others t o w i t n e s s t h e i r c o n t r a d i c tions. But this pleasure, a f o r m of s a d i s m , is short-lived, for the s t u b b o r n a n d p e r s i s t e n t c h a r a c t e r o f the s k e p t i c ' s efforts w i l l d o u b t l e s s b e c h a l l e n g e d w h e n the s k e p t i c e n c o u n t e r s a n o t h e r l i k e h i m s e l f . I f a n o t h e r s k e p t i c e x p o s e s the first s k e p tic's c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , t h e n the first s k e p t i c i s f o r c e d t o t a k e account of his o w n contradictoriness. This u n d e r s t a n d i n g of his o w n contradictoriness w i l l initiate for h i m a n e w m o d a l i t y o f t h o u g h t . A t t h i s p o i n t , the s k e p t i c b e c o m e s s e l f - c o n s c i o u s o f the c o n s t i t u t i v e c o n t r a d i c t i o n o f h i s o w n n e g a t i n g a c t i v i t y a n d the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s e m e r g e s a s a n e x p l i c i t f o r m o f ethical reflexivity. I n a sense, the c h i l d i s h a n d s t u b b o r n p l e a s u r e that the s k e p tic takes i n w a t c h i n g a n o t h e r f a l l t u r n s i n t o a p r o f o u n d u n h a p p i n e s s w h e n he is, as it w e r e , f o r c e d to watch himself f a l l i n t o e n d l e s s c o n t r a d i c t i o n s . H e r e the d i s t a n c e a f f o r d e d b y w a t c h i n g seems e s s e n t i a l l y l i n k e d t o the s a d i s m o f the p l e a s u r e a n d t o the p o s t u r e o f the s k e p t i c a s o n e w h o e x e m p t s h i m s e l f t h r o u g h v i s u a l d i s t a n c e f r o m the scene that h e w i t n e s s e s . T h e s a d i s t i c p l e a s u r e i n v o l v e d i n w a t c h i n g a n o t h e r b e c o m e s , i n the m o d e o f u n h a p p i n e s s , a d i s p l e a s u r a b l e w a t c h i n g o f oneself.
5

W i t n e s s i n g i m p l i e s a m i m e t i c r e d u p l i c a t i o n o f the self, a n d its " d i s p a s s i o n " i s b e l i e d b y the p a s s i o n o f m i m e t i c i s m . T h e self w h o s h o r e d u p its i d e n t i t y b y e n c o u r a g i n g others t o f a l l i n t o c o n t r a d i c t i o n s u d d e n l y sees itself as o n e of t h o s e o t h e r s ; t h i s v i e w i n g o f oneself a t a d i s t a n c e n o t o n l y i n i t i a t e s the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s b u t a l s o i n v e r t s the s k e p t i c ' s p l e a s u r e i n t o p a i n .

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T h e s a d i s m d i r e c t e d t o w a r d the other i s n o w t u r n e d b a c k o n c o n s c i o u s n e s s itself ( p o s t p o n i n g for the m o m e n t w h e t h e r the p l e a s u r e i n s a d i s m i s a l s o r e r o u t e d against c o n s c i o u s n e s s ) . A s a d u a l s t r u c t u r e , the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s takes itself as its o w n object o f s c o r n . T h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l e l a b o r a t i o n o f t h i s s c o r n takes the f o l l o w i n g f o r m : c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s n o w d i v i d e d i n t o t w o p a r t s , the " e s s e n t i a l " a n d " u n c h a n g e a b l e , " o n the o n e h a n d , a n d the " i n e s s e n t i a l " a n d "changeable," o n the other. T h e w a t c h i n g self, d e f i n e d as a k i n d of witnessing a n d scorning, differentiates itself f r o m the self w i t n e s s e d a s p e r p e t u a l l y f a l l i n g i n t o c o n t r a d i c t i o n . T h i s w a t c h i n g b e c o m e s a w a y o f r e e s t a b l i s h i n g the v i s u a l d i s t a n c e b e t w e e n a subject a l o o f f r o m the scene a n d the s u b ject i n c o n t r a d i c t i o n . I n t h i s case, h o w e v e r , the w i t n e s s i n g a n d s c o r n i n g self c a n n o t d e n y that the c o n t r a d i c t o r y self i s its o w n self; it k n o w s that the c o n t r a d i c t o r y self is itself, b u t in o r d e r to s h o r e u p a n i d e n t i t y o v e r a n d against i t , i t r e n d e r s t h i s c o n t r a d i c t o r y self i n t o a n i n e s s e n t i a l p a r t o f itself. I t t h u s p a r t s w i t h itself i n o r d e r t o p u r i f y itself o f c o n t r a d i c t i o n . A s a r e s u l t , the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s berates itself c o n stantly, s e t t i n g u p o n e p a r t o f itself a s a p u r e j u d g e a l o o f f r o m c o n t r a d i c t i o n a n d d i s p a r a g i n g its c h a n g e a b l e p a r t a s i n e s s e n t i a l , a l t h o u g h i n e l u c t a b l y t i e d t o it. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , the a c t i v i t y that i n s k e p t i c i s m b e g i n s a s c h i l d i s h s a d i s m b e c o m e s r e f o r m u l a t e d a s e t h i c a l s e l f - j u d g m e n t i n the context o f the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s : a s a d u l t t o c h i l d , t h e n , the u n c h a n g e a b l e c o n s c i o u s n e s s "passes j u d g m e n t " o n the changeable. I m p l i c i t i n t h i s d u a l s t r u c t u r i n g o f the subject, h o w e v e r , i s the r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n t h o u g h t a n d c o r p o r e a l i t y , for the u n c h a n g e a b l e w i l l b e a k i n d o f n o n c o n t r a d i c t o r y t h o u g h t , the p u r e t h o u g h t s o u g h t b y the stoics, a n d the c o n t r a d i c t o r y d o m a i n w i l l b e that o f altern a t i n g q u a l i t i e s , the c h a n g e a b l e d o m a i n o f a p p e a r a n c e , w h a t

p e r t a i n s t o the subject's o w n p h e n o m e n a l b e i n g . T h e c h i l d w h o " w a t c h e s " i s t r a n s f i g u r e d i n t o the j u d g e w h o "passes j u d g m e n t , " a n d the aspect o f the self o n w h i c h i t passes j u d g m e n t i s s t e e p e d i n the c h a n g e a b l e w o r l d o f b o d i l y s e n s a t i o n . U n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s seeks t o o v e r c o m e t h i s d u a l i t y b y f i n d i n g a b o d y w h i c h e m b o d i e s the p u r i t y o f its u n c h a n g e a b l e part; i t seeks t o c o m e i n t o r e l a t i o n w i t h "the U n c h a n g e a b l e i n its i n c a r n a t e o r e m b o d i e d f o r m . " T o d o this, the subject s u b o r d i n a t e s its o w n b o d y i n the s e r v i c e o f the t h o u g h t o f the u n c h a n g e a b l e ; t h i s s u b o r d i n a t i n g a n d p u r i f y i n g effort i s that of devotion (Andacht). Yet, p r e d i c t a b l y , t h i s effort to d e p l o y the b o d y i n the s e r v i c e o f t h i n k i n g the u n c h a n g e a b l e p r o v e s i m p o s s i b l e . D e v o t i o n t u r n s o u t t o b e p u r e self-feeling, w h a t H e g e l d i s p a r a g i n g l y refers t o a s "the c h a o t i c j i n g l i n g o f b e l l s , o r a m i s t o f w a r m i n c e n s e , a m u s i c a l t h i n k i n g " (131/168). A s self-feeling, i t i s the f e e l i n g o f the b o d y c o m p e l l e d t o s i g n i f y the t r a n s c e n d e n t a n d u n c h a n g e a b l e , a f e e l i n g w h i c h n e v e r theless r e m a i n s e n s c o n c e d i n the b o d i l y f e e l i n g that i t seeks t o t r a n s c e n d . I n d e e d , self-feeling refers o n l y a n d e n d l e s s l y t o itself (a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i z e d f o r m of eigensinnigkeit), a n d so is u n a b l e t o f u r n i s h k n o w l e d g e o f a n y t h i n g o t h e r t h a n itself. D e v o t i o n , t h e n , w h i c h seeks t o i n s t r u m e n t a l i z e the b o d y i n the s e r v i c e o f the u n c h a n g e a b l e , t u r n s o u t t o b e a n i m m e r s i o n i n the b o d y that p r e c l u d e s access t o a n y t h i n g else, i n d e e d , a n i m m e r s i o n that takes the b o d y t o b e the u n c h a n g e a b l e a n d s o falls i n t o c o n t r a d i c t i o n . A l t h o u g h devotion appears to be a f o r m of self-immersion, it is a l s o a c o n t i n u a t i o n of s e l f - b e r a t e m e n t as s e l f - m o r t i f i c a t i o n . T h i s self-feeling, p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e i t d o e s n o t r e a c h the u n c h a n g e a b l e , b e c o m e s itself the object o f d e r i s i o n a n d j u d g m e n t , m a r k i n g the c o n t i n u i n g i n a d e q u a c y o f the self i n r e l a t i o n t o its t r a n s c e n d e n t m e a s u r e . T h e t r a n s c e n d e n t i s w h a t i s a l w a y s

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m i s s e d , a n d so h a u n t s t h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s as a figure of w h a t i s p e r m a n e n t l y i n a c c e s s i b l e , f o r e v e r lost. I n the m o d e o f d e v o tion, then, "consciousness . . . can o n l y find as a present reality the g r a v e of its l i f e " (132/169-70). In a t r a n s p o s i t i o n of figures, the b o d y s u r v i v e s , a n d a l l that i s left o f the t r a n s c e n d e n t i d e a l is a "grave." W h e r e a s d e v o t i o n , t h e n , b e g i n s as an effort to s u b o r d i n a t e the b o d y to a t r a n s c e n d e n t object, it e n d s by t a k i n g the b o d y , that is, self-feeling, as its object of w o r s h i p , a n d l e t t i n g the u n c h a n g e a b l e s p i r i t die. H e r e w e m i g h t c o n c l u d e that a c e r t a i n f o r m o f s e l f - p r e o c c u p a t i o n , u n d e r s t o o d as a r e f o r m u l a t i o n of an i n s u r m o u n t a b l e eigensinnigkeit, c o n s t i t u t e s a n a r c i s s i s m of the subject that d e feats the s e l f - s a c r i f i c i a l project o f d e v o t i o n . T h e subject w h o w o u l d s u b o r d i n a t e its b o d y t o a n i d e a l , c o m p e l its b o d y t o e m b o d y a n i d e a l , f i n d s itself m o r e f u l l y a u t o n o m o u s f r o m that i d e a l , o u t l i v i n g i t altogether. T h e c o l l a p s e o f d e v o t i o n i n t o n a r c i s s i s m , i f w e c a n c a l l i t that, s i g n i f i e s that there c a n b e n o f i n a l l e a v e - t a k i n g o f the b o d y w i t h i n life. F o r c e d , t h e n , t o a c c e p t t h i s i n e l u c t a b i l i t y of the b o d y as a p r e s u p p o s i t i o n , a n e w f o r m o f the subject e m e r g e s , w h i c h i s d i s t i n c t l y K a n t i a n . I f there i s a w o r l d o f a p p e a r a n c e for w h i c h the b o d y i s e s s e n t i a l , t h e n s u r e l y there i s a w o r l d o f n o u m e n a i n w h i c h the b o d y has n o p l a c e ; the w o r l d d i v i d e s u p i n t o b e i n g s that are f o r - i t s e l f a n d in-itself. I n a f o r m u l a t i o n that w i l l p r e f i g u r e K i e r k e g a a r d ' s Philosophical Fragments, H e g e l c l a i m s that the u n c h a n g e a b l e w o r l d s u r r e n d e r s o r r e n o u n c e s a n e m b o d i e d f o r m , that it, the i n itself, d e l i v e r s a n e m b o d i e d v e r s i o n o f itself i n t o the c h a n g e able w o r l d t o b e s a c r i f i c e d . T h i s reference t o the f i g u r e o f C h r i s t suggests that the u n c h a n g e a b l e w o r l d b e c o m e s e m b o d i e d , b u t does s o o n l y t o b e s a c r i f i c e d o r r e t u r n e d t o the u n c h a n g e a b l e w o r l d f r o m w h i c h i t c a m e . A s a m o d e l for the

s a c r e d life, C h r i s t i s u n d e r s t o o d a s a n e m b o d i m e n t w h i c h i s c o n t i n u a l l y i n the m o d e o f g i v i n g t h a n k s . I n its d e s i r e a n d i n its w o r k , t h i s e m b o d i e d c o n s c i o u s n e s s seeks t o g i v e t h a n k s for its o w n life, c a p a c i t i e s , f a c u l t i e s , a b i l i t i e s . T h e s e are g i v e n t o it; its life is e x p e r i e n c e d as a gift; a n d it l i v e s o u t its life in the m o d e o f gratefulness. A l l o f its acts i t o w e s t o a n o t h e r ; its life b e c o m e s u n d e r s t o o d a s a k i n d o f e n d l e s s debt. P r e c i s e l y because, o n the o n e h a n d , t h i s l i v i n g b e i n g o w e s its life t o a n o t h e r b e i n g , i t i s n o t the seat o r o r i g i n o f its o w n a c t i o n s . Its a c t i o n i s r e f e r r e d t o a n o t h e r ' s a c t i o n ; t h u s , n o t b e i n g the g r o u n d o f its o w n a c t i o n , i t i s n o t r e s p o n s i b l e for w h a t i t does. O n the o t h e r h a n d , its o w n a c t i o n s are t o b e c o n s t r u e d as a p e r p e t u a l self-sacrifice by w h i c h the self proves or d e m o n strates its o w n t h a n k f u l n e s s . T h i s d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f t h a n k f u l ness t h u s b e c o m e s a k i n d o f s e l f - a g g r a n d i z e m e n t , w h a t H e g e l w i l l c a l l "the e x t r e m e o f i n d i v i d u a l i t y " (134/171). T h e r e n u n c i a t i o n o f the self a s the o r i g i n o f its o w n a c tions must be p e r f o r m e d repeatedly a n d can never finally be a c h i e v e d , if o n l y b e c a u s e the demonstration of r e n u n c i a t i o n is itself a s e l f - w i l l e d a c t i o n . T h i s s e l f - w i l l e d a c t i o n t h u s r h e t o r i cally confounds precisely what it is supposed to show. The self b e c o m e s a n i n c e s s a n t p e r f o r m e r o f r e n u n c i a t i o n , w h e r e b y the p e r f o r m a n c e , a s a n a c t i o n , c o n t r a d i c t s the p o s t u l a t i o n o f /«action that it is m e a n t to s i g n i f y . P a r a d o x i c a l l y , p e r f o r m a n c e b e c o m e s the occasion f o r a g r a n d a n d e n d l e s s a c t i o n that effect i v e l y a u g m e n t s a n d i n d i v i d u a t e s the self i t seeks t o deny. T h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s , l i k e the stoic, seeks t o k n o w a n d s h o w itself as a " n o t h i n g , " yet i n e v i t a b l y b e c o m e s a doing of n o t h i n g . H e r e the p l e a s u r e w h i c h e a r l i e r a p p e a r e d t o b e l o n g t o the c h i l d i s h s a d i s m o f the s k e p t i c i s t u r n e d o n the self: t h i s "doing of n o t h i n g , " H e g e l argues, finds in "its enjoyment a feeling of wretchedness." This i n t e r m i n g l i n g of pleasure a n d

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p a i n r e s u l t s f r o m a r e n u n c i a t i o n o f the self w h i c h c a n n e v e r q u i t e a c c o m p l i s h that r e n u n c i a t i o n , w h i c h , a s a n i n c e s s a n t acc o m p l i s h i n g , c a r r i e s w i t h i t the p l e a s u r a b l e a s s e r t i o n o f self. T h e s e l f - a b s o r p t i o n o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s d o e s n o t translate i n t o s e l f - c o n g r a t u l a t i o n o r s i m p l e n a r c i s s i s m . Rather, i t a p p e a r s a s negative narcissism, an engaged preoccupation w i t h what is m o s t d e b a s e d a n d d e f i l e d a b o u t it. H e r e a g a i n the self to be r e n o u n c e d is f i g u r e d as a b o d i l y self, a s " t h i s a c t u a l i n d i v i d u a l i n the a n i m a l f u n c t i o n s . " H e g e l a p p e a r s t o i m p l y d e f e c a t i o n a s a n object o f s e l f - p r e o c c u p a t i o n : "these [ a n i m a l f u n c t i o n s ] are n o l o n g e r p e r f o r m e d n a t u r a l l y a n d w i t h o u t embarrassment, as matters trifling in themselves w h i c h c a n n o t possess a n y i m p o r t a n c e o r e s s e n t i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e for S p i r i t ; i n s t e a d , i t i s i n t h e m that the e n e m y r e v e a l s h i m self i n h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s h a p e , t h e y are r a t h e r the object o f s e r i o u s e n d e a v o r , a n d b e c o m e p r e c i s e l y m a t t e r s o f the u t most importance. This enemy, however, renews himself in his defeat, a n d c o n s c i o u s n e s s , i n f i x i n g its a t t e n t i o n o n h i m , far f r o m f r e e i n g itself f r o m h i m , r e a l l y r e m a i n s f o r e v e r i n contact w i t h h i m , a n d f o r e v e r sees itself a s d e f i l e d " (135-36/174). T h i s "enemy," as it w e r e , is d e s c r i b e d as "the m e r e s t p a r t i c u l a r of the m e a n e s t character," o n e w h i c h serves, u n f o r t u n a t e l y , a s a n object o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n for t h i s " f a l l e n " c o n s c i o u s n e s s . H e r e , c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n its f u l l a b j e c t i o n has b e c o m e l i k e shit, lost i n a s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l a n a l i t y , a c i r c l e of its o w n m a k i n g . In H e g e l ' s w o r d s , " w e h a v e here o n l y a p e r s o n a l i t y c o n f i n e d t o its o w n self a n d its p e t t y a c t i o n s , a p e r s o n a l i t y b r o o d i n g o v e r itself, as w r e t c h e d as it is i m p o v e r i s h e d " (136/174). R e g a r d i n g itself as a n o t h i n g , as a d o i n g of n o t h i n g , as an e x c r e m e n t a l f u n c t i o n , a n d h e n c e r e g a r d i n g itself a s e x c r e m e n t , t h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s effectively r e d u c e s itself to the c h a n g e a b l e features o f its b o d i l y f u n c t i o n s a n d p r o d u c t s . Yet, s i n c e i t i s

an e x p e r i e n c e of w r e t c h e d n e s s , there is s o m e c o n s c i o u s n e s s w h i c h takes s t o c k o f these f u n c t i o n s a n d w h i c h i s n o t t h o r o u g h l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h t h e m . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t i s h e r e , i n the effort t o differentiate itself f r o m its e x c r e t o r y f u n c t i o n s , i n d e e d , f r o m its e x c r e t o r y i d e n t i t y , that c o n s c i o u s n e s s r e l i e s o n a " m e d i a t o r , " w h a t H e g e l w i l l c a l l "the p r i e s t . " I n o r d e r t o r e c o n n e c t w i t h the p u r e a n d the u n c h a n g e a b l e , t h i s b o d i l y c o n s c i o u s n e s s offers u p its e v e r y " d o i n g " t o a p r i e s t o r m i n i s t e r . T h i s m e d i a t i n g a g e n c y r e l i e v e s the abject c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f its r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for its o w n a c t i o n s . T h r o u g h the i n s t i t u t i o n o f c o u n s e l a n d a d v i c e , the p r i e s t offers the r e a s o n for the abject c o n s c i o u s n e s s ' s a c t i o n s . E v e r y t h i n g that the abject c o n s c i o u s ness offers, that is, a l l o f its e x t e r n a l i z a t i o n s , i n c l u d i n g d e s i r e , w o r k , a n d e x c r e m e n t , are to be c o n s t r u e d as offerings, as p a y i n g p e n a n c e . T h e p r i e s t i n s t i t u t e s b o d i l y s e l f - a b n e g a t i o n a s the p r i c e o f h o l i n e s s , e l e v a t i n g the r e n u n c i a t o r y g e s t u r e o f e x c r e t i o n t o a r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e w h e r e b y the e n t i r e b o d y i s r i t u a l i s t i c a l l y p u r g e d . T h e s a n c t i f i c a t i o n o f a b j e c t i o n takes p l a c e t h r o u g h r i t u a l s of f a s t i n g a n d m o r t i f i c a t i o n [fasten uni kasteien]" (137/175). B e c a u s e the b o d y c a n n o t be f u l l y d e n i e d , as the stoic t h o u g h t , i t m u s t b e r i t u a l i s t i c a l l y r e n o u n c e d . I n its fastings a n d m o r t i f i c a t i o n s , the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s ness d e n i e s itself the p l e a s u r e s o f c o n s u m p t i o n , f i g u r i n g p e r h a p s that i t w i l l f o r e s t a l l the i n e v i t a b i l i t y o f the e x c r e m e n t a l m o m e n t . A s s e l f - i n f l i c t e d b o d i l y acts, f a s t i n g a n d m o r t i f i c a t i o n are r e f l e x i v e a c t i o n s , t u r n i n g s o f the b o d y against itself. A t the l i m i t s o f t h i s s e l f - m o r t i f i c a t i o n a n d self-sacrifice, the abjected c o n s c i o u s n e s s a p p e a r s t o g r o u n d its a c t i o n i n the c o u n s e l o f the p r i e s t , a n d yet t h i s g r o u n d i n g m e r e l y c o n c e a l s the r e f l e x i v e o r i g i n s o f its s e l f - p u n i s h m e n t . A t t h i s j u n c t u r e H e g e l d e p a r t s f r o m w h a t has b e e n the patt e r n o f e x p l a n a t i o n , i n w h i c h a self-negating p o s t u r e i s u n d e r -

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s c o r e d as a posture, a p h e n o m e n a l i z a t i o n that refutes the n e g a t i o n i t seeks t o i n s t i t u t e . I n the p l a c e o f s u c h a n e x p l a n a t i o n , H e g e l asserts that the w i l l o f a n o t h e r operates t h r o u g h the selfs a c r i f i c i a l a c t i o n s of the p e n i t e n t . In effect, self-sacrifice is n o t r e f u t e d t h r o u g h the c l a i m that self-sacrifice i s itself a w i l l f u l a c t i v i t y ; rather, H e g e l asserts that i n self-sacrifice one enacts a n o t h e r ' s w i l l . O n e m i g h t e x p e c t that the p e n i t e n t w o u l d b e s h o w n to be reveling in himself, self-aggrandizing, narcissist i c , that h i s s e l f - p u n i s h m e n t s w o u l d c u l m i n a t e i n a p l e a s u r a b l e a s s e r t i o n o f self. B u t H e g e l e s c h e w s t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n a n d t h u s b r e a k s w i t h the p a t t e r n o f e x p l a n a t i o n i n the c h a p t e r i n f a v o r of a religious solution in Spirit. I n d e e d , at t h i s j u n c t u r e o n e m i g h t w e l l i m a g i n e a set of c l o s i n g t r a n s i t i o n s f o r " T h e U n h a p p y C o n s c i o u s n e s s " different f r o m the ones H e g e l s u p p l i e s , a set that is, n e v e r t h e l e s s , perhaps more p r o p e r l y Hegelian than H e g e l himself. The penitent d i s c l a i m s h i s act a s h i s o w n , a v o w i n g that a n o t h e r ' s w i l l , the p r i e s t ' s , operates t h r o u g h h i s self-sacrifice, a n d , further, that the p r i e s t ' s w i l l i s d e t e r m i n e d b y G o d ' s . I n s t a l l e d t h u s i n a great c h a i n o f w i l l s , the abject c o n s c i o u s n e s s enters i n t o a c o m m u n i t y o f w i l l s . A l t h o u g h its w i l l i s d e t e r m i n a t e , i t i s n e v e r t h e l e s s b o u n d t o the p r i e s t ' s ; i n this u n i t y , the n o t i o n o f S p i r i t i s first d i s c e r n e d . T h e m e d i a t o r o r p r i e s t c o u n s e l s the p e n i t e n t that h i s p a i n w i l l b e r e p a i d w i t h e v e r l a s t i n g a b u n d a n c e , that h i s m i s e r y w i l l b e r e w a r d e d w i t h e v e r l a s t i n g h a p piness; misery a n d p a i n i m p l y a future transformation into t h e i r o p p o s i t e s . I n t h i s sense, the m i n i s t e r r e f o r m u l a t e s the d i a l e c t i c a l r e v e r s a l a n d establishes the i n v e r s i o n o f v a l u e s a s a n a b s o l u t e p r i n c i p l e . W h e r e a s i n a l l o f the e a r l i e r e x a m p l e s o f s e l f - n e g a t i o n p l e a s u r e w a s u n d e r s t o o d t o inhere i n p a i n (the p l e a s u r a b l e a g g r a n d i z e m e n t o f the stoic, the p l e a s u r a b l e s a d i s m o f the s k e p t i c ) , p l e a s u r e i s h e r e t e m p o r a l l y r e m o v e d

f r o m p a i n , f i g u r e d a s its f u t u r e c o m p e n s a t i o n . F o r H e g e l , t h i s e s c h a t o l o g i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the p a i n o f t h i s w o r l d i n t o the p l e a s u r e of the n e x t establishes the t r a n s i t i o n f r o m selfconsciousness to reason. A n d self-consciousness's recognition of itself as p a r t of a r e l i g i o u s c o m m u n i t y of w i l l s effects the transition f r o m self-consciousness to Spirit. B u t w h a t are w e t o m a k e o f t h i s f i n a l t r a n s i t i o n , c o n s i d e r i n g the i m m a n e n t r e l a t i o n o f p l e a s u r e a n d p a i n i n the t r a n s i t i o n s that p r e c e d e it? B e f o r e the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f the " m e d i a t o r " a n d the " p r i e s t , " the c h a p t e r o n the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s a p p e a r s to p r o c e e d as if it c o n t a i n e d a t r e n c h a n t c r i t i q u e of e t h i cal imperatives a n d r e l i g i o u s ideals, a critique w h i c h prefigu r e s the N i e t z s c h e a n a n a l y s i s that e m e r g e s s o m e s i x t y y e a r s later. E v e r y effort t o r e d u c e itself t o i n a c t i o n o r t o n o t h i n g , t o s u b o r d i n a t e o r m o r t i f y its o w n b o d y , c u l m i n a t e s i n a d v e r t e n t l y in the production of s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s as a p l e a s u r e s e e k i n g a n d s e l f - a g g r a n d i z i n g agent. E v e r y effort t o o v e r c o m e the b o d y , p l e a s u r e , a n d a g e n c y p r o v e s t o b e n o t h i n g o t h e r t h a n the a s s e r t i o n of p r e c i s e l y those features of the subject.

Post-Hegelian

Subjections

The Nietzschean critique of ethical norms, prefigured in "The U n h a p p y Consciousness" and articulated in Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals a n d Daybreak, has r e c e i v e d m o r e recent r e f o r m u l a t i o n in F o u c a u l t ' s Discipline and Punish. B o t h H e g e l ' s p o s i t i o n a n d those i n s p i r e d b y N i e t z s c h e m i g h t a l s o b e u s e f u l l y c o m p a r e d w i t h F r e u d ' s c r i t i q u e o f the genesis of m o r a l i m p e r a t i v e s in Civilization and Its Discontents. R e c a l l that for H e g e l e t h i c a l i m p e r a t i v e s first e m e r g e i n a d e f e n s i v e r e s p o n s e t o a b s o l u t e fear, a n d t h e i r e m e r g e n c e m u s t b e c o n s t r u e d as a p e r m u t a t i o n a n d r e f u s a l of that fear. T h i s a b s o l u t e

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fear w a s the fear of d e a t h , h e n c e a fear c o n d i t i o n e d by the finite c h a r a c t e r o f the b o d y . T h e e t h i c a l r e f u s a l a n d s u b o r d i n a t i o n o f the b o d y m i g h t t h e n b e u n d e r s t o o d a s a m a g i c a l effort t o p r e e m p t that e x i s t e n t i a l n e g a t i o n . M o r e o v e r , the i d e a l o f r a d i c a l self-sufficiency i s j e o p a r d i z e d b y the b o d y ' s p e r m e a b i l i t y a n d d e p e n d e n c y . I n t h i s sense, e x c r e t i o n i s n o t the o n l y " a n i m a l f u n c t i o n " that w o u l d s i g n i f y " d e f i l e m e n t " f o r t h i s s u b ject. T h e r e p e a t e d efforts t o sacrifice the b o d y w h i c h b e c o m e r e p e a t e d a s s e r t i o n s o f the b o d y are a l s o efforts t o d e f e n d i t a g a i n s t e v e r y t h i n g that " j e o p a r d i z e s " it, w h e r e t o b e i n " j e o p a r d y " d e n o t e s a d a n g e r s l i g h t l y less d i r e t h a n d e a t h , a k i n d o f p e n e t r a t i v e p a r o x y s m that i m p l i e s b e i n g m o v e d o r s h a k e n s e x u a l l y " t h r o u g h a n d t h r o u g h " (durch und durch angesteckt). O n e c o u l d t h e n see i n the v a r i o u s f o r m s o f s e l f - b e r a t e m e n t a n d self-mortification typologized in "The U n h a p p y Consciousn e s s " a p r é f i g u r a t i o n of n e u r o s i s a n d p e r h a p s a l s o a s p e c i f i c modality of homosexual panic.
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b o d y within life, efforts w h i c h c u l m i n a t e d i n the a s s e r t i o n o f the i n e l u c t a b i l i t y o f the b o d y . W h e r e a s o t h e r r e l i g i o u s n o t i o n s t u r n e d o u t t o b e s u r r e p t i t i o u s w a y s o f r e a s s e r t i n g the b o d y , t h i s o n e a p p e a r s e x e m p t f r o m the d i a l e c t i c a l r e v e r s a l that i t resolves. P s y c h o a n a l y s i s t h e o r i z e s the f a i l u r e t o m a i n t a i n the subject i o n o f the b o d y a l o n g l i n e s p a r a l l e l t o these e a r l i e r d i a l e c t i c a l reversals. T h e r e p r e s s i o n o f the l i b i d o i s a l w a y s u n d e r s t o o d as itself a l i b i d i n a l l y i n v e s t e d r e p r e s s i o n . H e n c e , the l i b i d o is not absolutely negated t h r o u g h repression, but rather becomes the i n s t r u m e n t o f its o w n s u b j e c t i o n . T h e r e p r e s s i v e l a w i s n o t e x t e r n a l t o the l i b i d o that i t represses, b u t the r e p r e s s i v e l a w represses t o the extent that r e p r e s s i o n b e c o m e s a l i b i d i n a l a c t i v i t y . F u r t h e r , m o r a l i n t e r d i c t i o n s , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e that
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are t u r n e d a g a i n s t the b o d y , are t h e m s e l v e s s u s t a i n e d b y the b o d i l y a c t i v i t y that t h e y seek t o c u r b : An idea . . . w h i c h belongs entirely to psychoanalysis and w h i c h is foreign to people's ordinary way of thinking . . . it tells us that conscience (or more correctly, the anxiety w h i c h later becomes conscience) is indeed the cause of instinctual renunciation to begin w i t h , but that later that relationship is reversed. Every renunciation of i n stinct n o w becomes a dynamic source of conscience and every fresh renunciation increases the latter's severity and intolerance.
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W e m i g h t t h e n r e r e a d the m o b i l i z i n g fear that i s b o t h r e f u s e d a n d r e r o u t e d b y the e t h i c a l i m p e r a t i v e i n t e r m s o f the f e a r e d " e x p r o p r i a b i l i t y " o f the b o d y . I f the b o n d s m a n ' s l a b o r i n g a c t i v i t y c o u l d b e e x p r o p r i a t e d b y the l o r d a n d the essence o f the b o n d s m a n ' s b o d y b e h e l d i n o w n e r s h i p b y that l o r d , t h e n the b o d y c o n s t i t u t e s a site of c o n t e s t e d o w n e r s h i p , o n e w h i c h t h r o u g h d o m i n a t i o n o r the threat o f d e a t h c a n a l w a y s b e o w n e d b y another. T h e b o d y a p p e a r s t o b e n o t h i n g other t h a n a threat to the project of safety a n d self-sufficiency that g o v e r n s the Phenomenology's trajectory. T h e anal preoccupat i o n that d i r e c t l y p r e c e d e s the a s c e n d a n c e i n t o a r e l i g i o u s c o n c e p t o f a n afterlife suggests that b o d i l y p e r m e a b i l i t y c a n o n l y b e r e s o l v e d b y escape i n t o a n afterlife i n w h i c h n o b o d i e s exist a t a l l . T h i s a f f i r m a t i o n o f the a b s o l u t e n e g a t i o n o f the b o d y c o n t r a d i c t s a l l the e a r l i e r efforts t o s u b o r d i n a t e o r m a s t e r the

A c c o r d i n g t o F r e u d , t h e n , the s e l f - i m p o s e d i m p e r a t i v e s o f c o n s c i e n c e are p u r s u e d a n d a p p l i e d p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e t h e y are n o w the site o f the v e r y s a t i s f a c t i o n that t h e y seek t o p r o h i b i t . I n o t h e r w o r d s , p r o h i b i t i o n b e c o m e s the d i s p l a c e d site o f s a t i s f a c t i o n f o r the " i n s t i n c t " o r d e s i r e that i s p r o h i b i t e d , a n o c c a s i o n f o r r e l i v i n g the i n s t i n c t u n d e r the r u b r i c o f the c o n d e m n i n g law. T h i s is, o f c o u r s e , the s o u r c e o f the f o r m o f c o m e d y i n w h i c h the b e a r e r o f the m o r a l l a w t u r n s o u t t o

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b e the m o s t s e r i o u s t r a n s g r e s s o r o f its p r e c e p t s ( H a w t h o r n e ' s D i m s d a l e , T o m Stoppard's m o r a l philosopher). Because this d i s p l a c e d s a t i s f a c t i o n i s e x p e r i e n c e d t h r o u g h the a p p l i c a t i o n o f the l a w , that a p p l i c a t i o n i s r e i n v i g o r a t e d a n d i n t e n s i f i e d w i t h the e m e r g e n c e o f e v e r y p r o h i b i t e d desire. T h e p r o h i b i t i o n d o e s n o t seek t o o b l i t e r a t e p r o h i b i t e d d e s i r e ; o n the c o n t r a r y , p r o h i b i t i o n seeks t o r e p r o d u c e p r o h i b i t e d d e s i r e a n d b e c o m e s i n t e n s i f i e d t h r o u g h the r e n u n c i a t i o n s i t effects. T h e "afterlife" o f p r o h i b i t e d d e s i r e i s i n the p r o h i b i t i o n itself, w h e r e the p r o h i b i t i o n n o t o n l y s u s t a i n s , b u t is sustained by, the d e s i r e that it forces the subject to r e n o u n c e . In t h i s sense, t h e n , r e n u n c i a t i o n takes p l a c e through the v e r y d e s i r e that is r e n o u n c e d , w h i c h is to say, the d e s i r e is never r e n o u n c e d , b u t b e c o m e s p r e s e r v e d a n d r e a s s e r t e d i n the v e r y s t r u c t u r e o f r e n u n c i a t i o n . Nietzsche makes a similar argument, deploying a dialectic a l s t r u c t u r e n o t u n l i k e H e g e l ' s , i n h i s c r i t i q u e o f the ascetic i d e a l in On the Genealogy of Morals. T h e i n e l u c t a b i l i t y of the b o d y i n " T h e U n h a p p y C o n s c i o u s n e s s " p a r a l l e l s the i n e l u c t a b i l i t y o f " i n s t i n c t " i n F r e u d a n d that o f the w i l l i n N i e t z s c h e . F o r N i e t z s c h e , the ascetic i d e a l , u n d e r s t o o d a s a w i l l t o n o t h ingness, is a w a y of interpreting a l l suffering as guilt. A l t h o u g h g u i l t w o r k s t o d e n y a specific k i n d o f object for h u m a n w a n t s , i t c a n n o t o b l i t e r a t e the w a n t i n g c h a r a c t e r o f h u m a n s . A c c o r d i n g t o the dictates o f g u i l t , t h e n , " m a n h a d o n l y t o want s o m e t h i n g — a n d to b e g i n w i t h , it mattered not what, whereto, or h o w he w a n t e d : the will itself was saved." T h e ascetic i d e a l , v e r y m u c h like Hegel's u n h a p p y consciousness, is to be unders t o o d , t h e n , as: that hatred against everything human, even more, against everything animal, everything material, this disgust w i t h the senses, w i t h reason itself, this fear of happiness and beauty, this desire to get away from all semblance, change, becoming, death, wish, desire itself—the

meaning of all this is a w i l l to nothingness, a w i l l running counter to life, a revolt against the most fundamental presuppositions of life; yet it is and remains a w i l l ! . . . rather than want nothing, man even wants nothingness!
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I d o n o t m e a n t o suggest that F r e u d ' s h i g h l y p r o b l e m a t i c n o t i o n of instinct, Hegel's inchoate body, a n d Nietzsche's w i l l are s t r i c t l y e q u i v a l e n t . Yet I do w a n t to suggest that these three thinkers circumscribe a k i n d of dialectical reversal w h i c h centers o n the i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f a f u l l o r f i n a l r e f l e x i v e s u p p r e s s i o n o f w h a t w e m i g h t l o o s e l y c a l l "the b o d y " w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s o f life. I f the s u p p r e s s i o n o f the b o d y i s itself a n i n s t r u m e n t a l m o v e m e n t o f a n d b y the b o d y , t h e n the b o d y i s i n a d v e r t e n t l y p r e s e r v e d i n a n d b y the i n s t r u m e n t o f its s u p p r e s s i o n . T h e selfd e f e a t i n g effort o f s u c h s u p p r e s s i o n , h o w e v e r , n o t o n l y l e a d s t o its o p p o s i t e — a s e l f - c o n g r a t u l a t o r y o r s e l f - a g g r a n d i z i n g ass e r t i o n o f d e s i r e , w i l l , the b o d y — i n m o r e c o n t e m p o r a r y form u l a t i o n s i t l e a d s t o the e l a b o r a t i o n o f a n i n s t i t u t i o n o f the subject w h i c h exceeds the d i a l e c t i c a l f r a m e b y w h i c h i t i s spawned. I n H e g e l , the s u p p r e s s i o n o f b o d i l y life i s s h o w n t o r e q u i r e the v e r y b o d y that i t seeks t o s u p p r e s s ; i n t h i s sense, the b o d y i s p r e s e r v e d i n a n d b y the v e r y act o f s u p p r e s s i o n . F r e u d u n d e r s t o o d this differently in his analysis of neurosis as a k i n d of l i b i d i n a l a t t a c h m e n t to a p r o h i b i t i o n w h i c h n e v e r theless t h w a r t s l i b i d i n a l g r a t i f i c a t i o n . W h e r e that t h w a r t i n g c o n s t i t u t e s a r e p r e s s i o n , the s p l i t t i n g off of i d e a t i o n f r o m affect, n e u r o s i s o r s y m p t o m f o r m a t i o n f o l l o w s . O n e m i g h t r e a d H e g e l ' s references to eigensinnigkeit or s t u b b o r n n e s s as i l l u s t r a t i n g the p r o c e s s o f s p l i t t i n g a n d defense i n the f o r m a t i o n o f n e u r o s i s . T h a t H e g e l refers t o t h i s " u n h a p p i n e s s " a s a k i n d o f s t u b b o r n a t t a c h m e n t suggests that, a s i n n e u r o s i s , the e t h i c a l r e g u l a t i o n o f b o d i l y i m p u l s e b e c o m e s the f o c u s a n d a i m

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o f i m p u l s e itself. I n b o t h cases, w e are g i v e n t o u n d e r s t a n d a n a t t a c h m e n t t o s u b j e c t i o n w h i c h i s f o r m a t i v e o f the r e f l e x i v e s t r u c t u r e o f s u b j e c t i o n itself. T h e i m p u l s e o r b o d i l y e x p e r i e n c e w h i c h w o u l d be negated, to return to H e g e l , is inadvertently preserved b y the v e r y a c t i v i t y o f n e g a t i o n . W e c a n see i n b o t h H e g e l a n d F r e u d a c e r t a i n r e l i a n c e o n a dialectical reversal by w h i c h a b o d i l y experience, b r o a d l y cons t r u e d , c o m e s u n d e r the c e n s o r o f the l a w o n l y t o r e e m e r g e a s the s u s t a i n i n g affect of that law. T h e F r e u d i a n n o t i o n of sublimation suggests that d e n i a l o r d i s p l a c e m e n t o f p l e a s u r e a n d d e s i r e c a n b e c o m e f o r m a t i v e of c u l t u r e ; h i s Civilization and Its Discontents t h u s l a i d the g r o u n d for M a r c u s e ' s Eros and Civilization. T h e i n a d v e r t e n t l y p r o d u c t i v e effects o f s u b l i m a t i o n i n the f o r m a t i o n o f c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t s a p p e a r t o e x c e e d the d i a l e c t i c a l r e v e r s a l b y w h i c h t h e y are g e n e r a t e d . W h e r e a s f o r M a r cuse, the d r i v e s , o r eros a n d thanatos, p r e c e d e the r e g u l a t o r y i m p e r a t i v e s b y w h i c h t h e y are r e n d e r e d c u l t u r a l l y l i v a b l e , f o r F o u c a u l t , the r e p r e s s i v e h y p o t h e s i s , w h i c h a p p e a r s t o i n c l u d e w i t h i n its s t r u c t u r e the m o d e l o f s u b l i m a t i o n , fails t o w o r k p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e r e p r e s s i o n generates the v e r y p l e a s u r e s a n d d e s i r e s i t seeks t o regulate. F o r F o u c a u l t , r e p r e s s i o n d o e s n o t act o n a p r e g i v e n f i e l d o f p l e a s u r e a n d d e s i r e ; i t c o n s t i t u t e s that f i e l d a s that w h i c h i s t o b e r e g u l a t e d , that w h i c h i s a l w a y s p o t e n t i a l l y o r a c t u a l l y u n d e r the r u b r i c o f r e g u l a t i o n . T h e r e p r e s s i v e r e g i m e , a s F o u c a u l t calls it, r e q u i r e s its o w n selfa u g m e n t a t i o n a n d p r o l i f e r a t i o n . A s s u c h , this r e g i m e r e q u i r e s the f i e l d o f b o d i l y i m p u l s e t o e x p a n d a n d p r o l i f e r a t e a s a m o r a l i z e d d o m a i n , s u c h that i t w i l l c o n t i n u a l l y h a v e f r e s h m a t e r i a l t h r o u g h w h i c h t o a r t i c u l a t e its o w n p o w e r . H e n c e , r e p r e s s i o n produces a field of infinitely moralizable b o d i l y phenomena i n o r d e r t o f a c i l i t a t e a n d r a t i o n a l i z e its o w n p r o l i f e r a t i o n . H e r e w e see that F o u c a u l t d e p a r t s f r o m the k i n d o f d i a l e c t i -

c a l r e v e r s a l w e f o l l o w e d i n H e g e l . I n F o u c a u l t , the s u p p r e s s i o n o f the b o d y n o t o n l y r e q u i r e s a n d p r o d u c e s the v e r y b o d y i t seeks t o s u p p r e s s , i t goes f u r t h e r b y e x t e n d i n g the b o d i l y d o m a i n t o b e r e g u l a t e d , p r o l i f e r a t i n g sites o f c o n t r o l , d i s c i p l i n e , a n d s u p p r e s s i o n . I n o t h e r w o r d s , the b o d y presumed b y the Hegelian explanation is incessantly p r o d u c e d and proliferated i n o r d e r t o e x t e n d the d o m a i n o f j u r i d i c a l p o w e r . I n t h i s sense, the r e s t r i c t i o n s p l a c e d on the b o d y n o t o n l y require a n d produce the b o d y t h e y seek to r e s t r i c t , b u t proliferate the d o m a i n of the b o d i l y b e y o n d the d o m a i n t a r g e t e d b y the o r i g i n a l r e s t r i c t i o n . In w h a t m a n y h a v e c o m e to see as a f i n a l l y U t o p i a n g e s t u r e i n F o u c a u l t , t h i s p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f the b o d y b y j u r i d i c a l r e g i m e s b e y o n d the t e r m s o f d i a l e c t i c a l r e v e r s a l i s a l s o the site o f p o s s i b l e resistance. T h e p s y c h o a n a l y t i c d i s c o u r s e that w o u l d d e scribe a n d pathologize repressed desire ends up p r o d u c i n g a discursive incitement to desire: i m p u l s e is continually fabric a t e d as a site of c o n f e s s i o n a n d , h e n c e , p o t e n t i a l c o n t r o l , b u t t h i s f a b r i c a t i o n exceeds the r e g u l a t o r y a i m s b y w h i c h i t i s g e n erated. I n t h i s sense, c r i m i n a l c o d e s w h i c h seek t o c a t a l o g u e a n d i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e n o r m a l c y b e c o m e the site f o r a contestat i o n o f the c o n c e p t o f the n o r m a l ; s e x o l o g i s t s w h o w o u l d classify a n d p a t h o l o g i z e h o m o s e x u a l i t y i n a d v e r t e n t l y p r o v i d e the c o n d i t i o n s for a p r o l i f e r a t i o n a n d m o b i l i z a t i o n o f h o m o s e x u a l cultures. W i t h i n the H e g e l i a n f r a m e w o r k , the subject, w h i c h s p l i t s itself off f r o m its b o d y , r e q u i r e s that b o d y i n o r d e r t o s u s t a i n its s p l i t t i n g a c t i v i t y ; the b o d y t o b e s u p p r e s s e d i s t h u s m a r s h a l l e d i n the s e r v i c e o f that s u p p r e s s i o n . F o r F o u c a u l t , the b o d y t o b e r e g u l a t e d i s s i m i l a r l y m a r s h a l l e d i n the serv i c e o f s u p p r e s s i o n , b u t the b o d y i s n o t c o n s t i t u t e d p r i o r t o that r e g u l a t i o n . O n the c o n t r a r y , the b o d y i s p r o d u c e d a s a n object o f r e g u l a t i o n , a n d f o r r e g u l a t i o n t o a u g m e n t itself, the

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b o d y i s proliferated a s a n object o f r e g u l a t i o n . T h i s p r o l i f e r a t i o n b o t h m a r k s off F o u c a u l t ' s t h e o r y f r o m H e g e l ' s a n d c o n s t i t u t e s the site o f p o t e n t i a l r e s i s t a n c e t o r e g u l a t i o n . T h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f t h i s r e s i s t a n c e i s d e r i v e d f r o m w h a t i s unforeseeable i n p r o liferation. But to understand h o w a regulatory regime c o u l d p r o d u c e effects w h i c h are n o t o n l y u n f o r e s e e a b l e b u t c o n s t i tute r e s i s t a n c e , i t seems that w e m u s t r e t u r n t o the q u e s t i o n o f s t u b b o r n a t t a c h m e n t s a n d , m o r e p r e c i s e l y , t o the p l a c e o f that a t t a c h m e n t i n the s u b v e r s i o n o f the law. A l t h o u g h Foucault criticizes Freud's hypothesis of repression, he is i n d e b t e d to this theorization in his o w n account of the p r o d u c t i o n a n d p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f the r e g u l a t e d b o d y . I n p a r t i c u l a r , the l o g i c o f s u b j e c t i o n i n b o t h H e g e l a n d F r e u d i m p l i e s that the i n s t r u m e n t o f s u p p r e s s i o n b e c o m e s the n e w s t r u c t u r e a n d a i m o f d e s i r e , a t least w h e n s u b j e c t i o n p r o v e s effective. B u t i f a r e g u l a t o r y r e g i m e r e q u i r e s the p r o d u c t i o n o f n e w sites o f r e g u l a t i o n a n d , h e n c e , a m o r e t h o r o u g h g o i n g m o r a l i z a t i o n o f the b o d y , t h e n w h a t i s the p l a c e o f b o d i l y i m p u l s e , d e s i r e , a n d a t t a c h m e n t ? D o e s the r e g u l a t o r y r e g i m e n o t o n l y p r o d u c e d e s i r e , b u t b e c o m e p r o d u c e d b y the c u l t i v a t i o n o f a c e r t a i n a t t a c h m e n t to the r u l e of s u b j e c t i o n ? If p a r t of w h a t r e g u l a t o r y r e g i m e s d o i s t o c o n s t r a i n the f o r m a t i o n a n d att a c h m e n t s of d e s i r e , t h e n it s e e m s that f r o m the start a c e r t a i n detachability of i m p u l s e is p r e s u m e d , a certain i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y b e t w e e n the c a p a c i t y for a b o d i l y a t t a c h m e n t , o n the o n e h a n d , a n d the site w h e r e i t i s c o n f i n e d , o n the other. F o u cault appears to p r e s u m e precisely this detachability of desire i n c l a i m i n g that i n c i t e m e n t s a n d r e v e r s a l s are t o s o m e d e g r e e unforeseeable, that t h e y h a v e the c a p a c i t y , c e n t r a l to the n o t i o n o f resistance, t o exceed the r e g u l a t o r y a i m s for w h i c h t h e y w e r e p r o d u c e d . I f a g i v e n r e g i m e c a n n o t f u l l y c o n t r o l the i n c i t e m e n t s that i t n e v e r t h e l e s s p r o d u c e s , i s that i n p a r t the r e s u l t

of a resistance, at the l e v e l of i m p u l s e , to a f u l l a n d f i n a l d o mestication by any regulatory regime? What Hegel implies in "The Unhappy Consciousness" is n o t m e r e l y that m o r a l w r e t c h e d n e s s c a n n o t b e c o h e r e n t l y s u s t a i n e d , that i t i n v a r i a b l y c o n c e d e s the b o d i l y b e i n g that i t seeks to d e n y , b u t that the p u r s u i t of w r e t c h e d n e s s , the a t t a c h m e n t t o w r e t c h e d n e s s , i s b o t h the c o n d i t i o n a n d the p o t e n t i a l u n d o i n g o f s u c h s u b j e c t i o n . I f w r e t c h e d n e s s , agony, a n d p a i n are sites o r m o d e s o f s t u b b o r n n e s s , w a y s o f a t t a c h i n g t o oneself, n e g a t i v e l y a r t i c u l a t e d m o d e s o f r e f l e x i v i t y , t h e n that i s b e c a u s e t h e y are g i v e n b y r e g u l a t o r y r e g i m e s a s the sites a v a i l a b l e f o r a t t a c h m e n t , a n d a subject w i l l attach t o p a i n rather t h a n n o t attach a t a l l . F o r F r e u d , a n i n f a n t f o r m s a p l e a s u r e - g i v i n g a t t a c h m e n t t o a n y e x c i t a t i o n that c o m e s its w a y , e v e n the m o s t t r a u m a t i c , w h i c h a c c o u n t s for the f o r m a t i o n o f m a s o c h i s m a n d , for s o m e , the p r o d u c t i o n o f a b j e c t i o n , r e j e c t i o n , w r e t c h e d n e s s , a n d s o o n a s the n e c e s s a r y p r e c o n d i t i o n s for l o v e . T h e g e s t u r e o f r e j e c t i o n c a n b e c o m e m a s o c h i s t i c a l l y e r o t i c i z e d o n l y b e c a u s e i t i s a gesture. A l t h o u g h the rejecting gesture's a l l e g e d p u r p o s e i s t o t h w a r t a n o n c o m i n g d e s i r e , it n e v e r t h e l e s s a p p e a r s as a gesture, t h u s making itself present a n d l e n d i n g itself to b e i n g r e a d as a k i n d of o f f e r i n g or, m i n i m a l l y , presence. P r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e the g e s t u r e of r e j e c t i o n is, it r h e t o r i c a l l y d e n i e s the threat of w i t h d r a w a l that it n e v e r theless p u r p o r t s t o signify. F o r the i n f a n t , the p r e s e n c e o r d e t e r m i n a c y o f that object, n o m a t t e r h o w p e r s i s t e n t l y r e j e c t i n g , is n e v e r t h e l e s s a site of p r e s e n c e a n d e x c i t a t i o n a n d , h e n c e , is better t h a n n o object a t a l l . T h i s t r u i s m i s n o t far f r o m N i e t z sche's l i n e that the w i l l w o u l d r a t h e r w i l l n o t h i n g n e s s t h a n n o t w i l l at a l l . In b o t h cases, the d e s i r e to d e s i r e is a w i l l i n g n e s s to d e s i r e p r e c i s e l y that w h i c h w o u l d f o r e c l o s e d e s i r e , i f o n l y f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y o f c o n t i n u i n g t o desire.

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Stubborn Attachment, B o d i l y Subjection T h e q u e s t i o n , t h e n , that H e g e l a n d F r e u d w o u l d a p p e a r

t o p o s e for F o u c a u l t i s w h e t h e r t h i s t e r r a i n o f " s t u b b o r n att a c h m e n t " d o e s n o t i n s o m e w a y f i g u r e i n the s c e n a r i o s o f s u b j e c t i o n that he d e s c r i b e s . To w h a t extent d o e s a r e g u l a t o r y r e g i m e e x p l o i t t h i s w i l l i n g n e s s t o a t t a c h b l i n d l y t o w h a t seeks t o s u p p r e s s o r negate that v e r y a t t a c h m e n t ? A n d t o w h a t extent does the a t t a c h m e n t that a r e g u l a t o r y r e g i m e r e q u i r e s p r o v e t o b e b o t h its c o n s t i t u t i v e f a i l u r e a n d the p o t e n t i a l site of r e s i s t a n c e ? If d e s i r e has as its f i n a l a i m the c o n t i n u a t i o n of i t s e l f — a n d here one m i g h t l i n k H e g e l , F r e u d , a n d F o u c a u l t a l l b a c k to S p i n o z a ' s conatus — t h e n the c a p a c i t y of d e s i r e to be w i t h d r a w n a n d t o r e a t t a c h w i l l c o n s t i t u t e s o m e t h i n g l i k e the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of every strategy of subjection.

Circuits of Bad Conscience
Nietzsche and Freud

N

i e t z s c h e offers a v i e w of c o n s c i e n c e as a m e n t a l a c t i v i t y that n o t o n l y f o r m s v a r i o u s p s y c h i c p h e n o m e n a , b u t i s

itself formed, the c o n s e q u e n c e of a d i s t i n c t i v e k i n d of i n t e r n a l ization. In Nietzsche, w h o distinguishes conscience f r o m bad c o n s c i e n c e , the w i l l i s s a i d t o t u r n b a c k u p o n itself. B u t w h a t are w e t o m a k e o f t h i s strange l o c u t i o n ; h o w are w e b e i n g a s k e d t o i m a g i n e a w i l l s u c h that i t r e c o i l s a n d r e d o u b l e s u p o n itself; a n d h o w , m o s t p e r t i n e n t l y , i s t h i s f i g u r e b e i n g o f f e r e d a s a w a y t o a r t i c u l a t e the k i n d o f r e f l e x i v i t y c e n t r a l t o the o p e r a t i o n of b a d conscience? F r e u d w i l l use a s i m i l a r language in w r i t i n g o f the f o r m a t i o n o f c o n s c i e n c e , e s p e c i a l l y i n r e l a t i o n t o p a r a n o i a a n d n a r c i s s i s m . H e d e s c r i b e s c o n s c i e n c e a s the force of a d e s i r e — a l t h o u g h s o m e t i m e s a force of a g g r e s s i o n — a s it t u r n s b a c k o n itself, a n d h e u n d e r s t a n d s p r o h i b i t i o n , n o t a s a l a w e x t e r n a l t o d e s i r e , b u t a s the v e r y o p e r a t i o n o f d e s i r e a s i t t u r n s o n its o w n p o s s i b i l i t y . W h a t sense d o w e m a k e o f the f i g u r e that e m e r g e s i n the c o n t e x t o f b o t h e x p l a n a t i o n s , that o f a w i l l that t u r n s b a c k on itself, that of a d e s i r e that t u r n s b a c k o n itself? W e m u s t ask n o t o n l y h o w t h i s f i g u r e o f r e c o i l i n g a n d

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r e d o u b l i n g becomes central to u n d e r s t a n d i n g b a d conscience, b u t w h a t t h i s f i g u r e suggests a b o u t the b o d i l y p o s i t i o n o r d i s p o s i t i o n e n c o d e d i n the s t r u c t u r e o f r e f l e x i v i t y . W h y d o e s a b o d y d o u b l e d o v e r o n itself f i g u r e w h a t i t m e a n s t o b e a selfc o n s c i o u s sort o f b e i n g ? T h e n o t i o n that m o r a l i t y i s p r e d i c a t e d o n a c e r t a i n k i n d o f v i o l e n c e i s a l r e a d y f a m i l i a r , b u t m o r e s u r p r i s i n g i s that s u c h v i o l e n c e f o u n d s the subject. M o r a l i t y p e r f o r m s that v i o l e n c e a g a i n a n d a g a i n i n c u l t i v a t i n g the subject a s a r e f l e x i v e b e i n g . T h i s is, i n p a r t , w h a t l e d N i e t z s c h e t o reflect that m o r a l i t y is a k i n d of i l l n e s s . If this t u r n i n g on o n e s e l f c a n be c a l l e d a k i n d o f v i o l e n c e , i t c a n n o t s i m p l y b e o p p o s e d i n the n a m e o f nonviolence, for w h e n a n d where it is opposed, it is o p p o s e d f r o m a p o s i t i o n that p r e s u p p o s e s t h i s v e r y v i o l e n c e . I do n o t w i s h s i m p l y t o u n d e r s c o r e the a p o r e t i c s t r u c t u r e i n v o l v e d i n the a s s u m p t i o n o f m o r a l i t y , n o r s i m p l y t o a f f i r m the g e n e r a l ized violence in any and all m o r a l positioning, although both insights, furnished by deconstruction, f o r m a point of depart u r e for w h a t I seek to d o . R a t h e r , I w o u l d suggest that the subject w h o w o u l d o p p o s e v i o l e n c e , e v e n v i o l e n c e t o itself, i s itself the effect o f a p r i o r v i o l e n c e w i t h o u t w h i c h the subject c o u l d n o t h a v e e m e r g e d . C a n that p a r t i c u l a r c i r c l e b e b r o k e n ? H o w a n d w h e n does that b r e a k a g e o c c u r ? A n d w h a t e m e r g e s a s a s i g n i f i c a n t p o s s i b i l i t y i n w h i c h the subject loses its c l o s e d c o n t o u r , the c i r c u l a r i t y o f its o w n r e f l e x i v e c l o s u r e ? A p u r e w i l l , ontologically intact p r i o r to any articulation, does not s u d d e n l y e m e r g e as a p r i n c i p l e of s e l f - a u g m e n t a t i o n a n d selfa f f i r m a t i o n that exceeds the b o u n d s o f a n y a n d a l l r e g u l a t o r y s c h é m a s . R a t h e r , the f o r m a t i v e a n d f a b r i c a t i n g d i m e n s i o n o f p s y c h i c life, w h i c h t r a v e l s u n d e r the n a m e o f the " w i l l , " a n d w h i c h i s u s u a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a r e s t r i c t i v e l y aesthetic d o m a i n , p r o v e s c e n t r a l t o r e f a s h i o n i n g the n o r m a t i v e s h a c k l e s

that n o subject c a n d o w i t h o u t , b u t w h i c h n o subject i s c o n d e m n e d t o r e p e a t i n e x a c t l y the s a m e w a y . M y i n q u i r y c o n c e r n s a p e r s i s t e n t p r o b l e m that e m e r g e s w h e n w e t r y t o t h i n k the p o s s i b i l i t y o f a w i l l that takes i t s e l f a s its o w n object a n d , t h r o u g h the f o r m a t i o n o f that k i n d o f r e f l e x i v i t y , b i n d s itself t o itself, a c q u i r e s its o w n i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h r e f l e x i v i t y . T o w h a t extent i s t h i s a p p a r e n t s e l f - b o n d a g e f u l l y o r e x c l u s i v e l y s e l f - i m p o s e d ? I s t h i s s t r a n g e p o s t u r e o f the w i l l i n the s e r v i c e o f a s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n that r e q u i r e s the p r o d u c t i o n o f the subject a c o n s e q u e n c e o r a n e x p r e s s i o n o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e ? I s u p p o s e that those w h o seek t o r e d e e m N i e t z sche b y c l a i m i n g that h e c a n b e i n v o k e d i n the s e r v i c e o f the e t h i c a l m i g h t t h i n k that the o n l y a l t e r n a t i v e w o r s e t h a n b a d c o n s c i e n c e i s its o b l i t e r a t i o n . B u t r e m e m b e r that N i e t z s c h e n o t o n l y d i s t i n g u i s h e s b e t w e e n the e t h i c a l a n d m o r a l i t y , b u t asks a b o u t the value o f m o r a l i t y , t h u s i n s t a t i n g a v a l u e b y w h i c h m o r a l i t y m i g h t b e assessed, b u t s u g g e s t i n g a s w e l l that t h i s assessment, this v a l u a t i o n , m a y n o t b e r e d u c i b l e t o m o r a l i t y . I t a k e it that the j u x t a p o s i t i o n of N i e t z s c h e w i t h the q u e s t i o n o f ethics is, i n d e e d , a q u e s t i o n b e c a u s e N i e t z s c h e a n d v a r i o u s figures w i t h i n the C o n t i n e n t a l t r a d i t i o n h a v e b e e n f o u n d g u i l t y b y a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h i r r e s p o n s i b l e acts a n d events. W h a t w i l l b e the r e s p o n s e t o these c h a r g e s ? T o t a k e the s i d e o f the e t h i c a l , t o relate e a c h a n d e v e r y t h i n k e r t o the e t h i c a l ? O r w i l l this b e a n o c c a s i o n t o t h i n k the p r o b l e m a b i t m o r e c a r e f u l l y , to c o n t i n u e to p o s e the e t h i c a l as a q u e s t i o n , o n e w h i c h c a n n o t b e f r e e d o f its c o m p l i c i t y w i t h w h a t i t m o s t s t r o n g l y o p p o s e s ? W i l l t h i s , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , b e c o m e a t i m e i n w h i c h w e reflect u p o n the m o r e p e r v a s i v e d i m e n s i o n s o f c o m p l i c i t y a n d w h a t might be derived f r o m such a vexed relation to power? I u n d e r s t a n d the d e s i r e t o r e s i t u a t e N i e t z s c h e w i t h i n the e t h i c a l d o m a i n a s a n effort t o c o u n t e r the c a r i c a t u r e , w i t h i n

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c o n t e m p o r a r y c r i t i c i s m , of N i e t z s c h e as one w h o o n l y des t r o y s the d o m a i n o f v a l u e s ( w h e r e that d e s t r u c t i o n i s n o t itself a s o u r c e of v a l u e , or a v a l u e in itself). I w a n t i n s t e a d to s u g gest that N i e t z s c h e offers us a p o l i t i c a l i n s i g h t i n t o the f o r m a t i o n o f the p s y c h e a n d the p r o b l e m o f s u b j e c t i o n , u n d e r s t o o d p a r a d o x i c a l l y n o t m e r e l y as the s u b o r d i n a t i o n of a subject to a n o r m , b u t as the c o n s t i t u t i o n of a subject t h r o u g h p r e c i s e l y s u c h a s u b o r d i n a t i o n . I n d e e d , to the extent that b a d c o n s c i e n c e i n v o l v e s a t u r n i n g a g a i n s t oneself, a b o d y i n r e c o i l u p o n itself, h o w d o e s t h i s f i g u r e serve the s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n o f the subject, a n d h o w m i g h t w e u n d e r s t a n d this m o r e f u n d a m e n t a l s u b j e c t i o n , w i t h o u t w h i c h n o p r o p e r subject e m e r g e s ? I w a n t t o suggest that, a l t h o u g h there i s n o f i n a l u n d o i n g o f the r e f l e x i v e b i n d , that p o s t u r e of the self b e n t a g a i n s t itself, a p a s s i o n a t e d e r e g u l a t i o n o f the subject m a y p e r h a p s p r e c i p i t a t e a t e n u o u s u n r a v e l i n g o f that c o n s t i t u t i v e k n o t . W h a t e m e r g e s i s n o t the unshackled w i l l or a " b e y o n d " to power, but another direct i o n for w h a t i s m o s t f o r m a t i v e i n p a s s i o n , a f o r m a t i v e p o w e r w h i c h is at o n c e the c o n d i t i o n of its v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t itself, its status as a n e c e s s a r y f i c t i o n , a n d the site of its e n a b l i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s . T h i s r e c a s t i n g o f the " w i l l " i s n o t , p r o p e r l y s p e a k i n g , the w i l l o f a subject, n o r i s i t a n effect f u l l y c u l t i v a t e d b y a n d t h r o u g h s o c i a l n o r m s ; i t is, I w o u l d suggest, the site a t w h i c h the s o c i a l i m p l i c a t e s the p s y c h i c i n its v e r y f o r m a t i o n — o r , t o b e m o r e p r e c i s e , a s its v e r y f o r m a t i o n a n d f o r m a t i v i t y . C o n s i d e r the g e n e r a l c l a i m that the s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n o f the subject c o m p e l s a p a s s i o n a t e a t t a c h m e n t to r e g u l a t i o n , a n d that this f o r m a t i o n o f the w i l l takes p l a c e i n p a r t t h r o u g h the a c t i o n o f a r e p r e s s i o n . A l t h o u g h o n e i s t e m p t e d t o c l a i m that s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n i s s i m p l y i n t e r n a l i z e d , t a k e n f r o m the outs i d e a n d b r o u g h t i n t o the p s y c h e , the p r o b l e m i s m o r e c o m p l i c a t e d a n d , i n d e e d , m o r e i n s i d i o u s . F o r the b o u n d a r y that

d i v i d e s the o u t s i d e f r o m the i n s i d e i s i n the p r o c e s s o f b e i n g i n s t a l l e d , p r e c i s e l y t h r o u g h the r e g u l a t i o n o f the subject. T h e r e p r e s s i o n i s the v e r y t u r n i n g b a c k o n itself w h i c h the p a s sionate a t t a c h m e n t t o s u b j e c t i o n p e r f o r m s . H o w c a n a w i l l b e e n t i c e d t o m a k e s u c h a t u r n ? A r e w e t o t h i n k that t u r n a s a n i n t e r n a l b e n d i n g o f the p s y c h e against itself? I f so, w h y i s i t f i g u r e d a s a b o d y that t u r n s o n a n d a g a i n s t itself? A r e the p s y c h i c a n d the s o m a t i c a r t i c u l a t e d t h r o u g h o n e a n o t h e r i n s u c h a w a y that the f i g u r a t i o n of the first is i m p l i c a t e d i n v a r i a b l y in a c h i a s t i c r e l a t i o n to the s e c o n d ? C l e a r l y , w h a t is at stake i s s o m e t h i n g m o r e t h a n a n d different f r o m a r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n a n external d e m a n d offered b y regulatory p o w e r a n d a n i n t e r n a l r e c o i l r e g i s t e r e d as its s e c o n d a r y effect. If p r e s u p p o s e d in the v e r y n o t i o n of the subject is a p a s s i o n a t e a t t a c h m e n t to s u b j e c t i o n , t h e n the subject w i l l n o t e m e r g e save a s a n e x e m p l i f i c a t i o n a n d effect of t h i s a t t a c h m e n t . I h o p e to s h o w , first through a consideration of Nietzsche, then in relation to F r e u d , h o w the v e r y n o t i o n o f r e f l e x i v i t y , a s a n e m e r g e n t s t r u c t u r e o f the subject, is the c o n s e q u e n c e of a " t u r n i n g b a c k on itself," a r e p e a t e d s e l f - b e r a t e m e n t w h i c h c o m e s t o f o r m the m i s n o m e r o f "conscience," a n d that there i s n o f o r m a t i o n o f the subject w i t h o u t a p a s s i o n a t e a t t a c h m e n t to s u b j e c t i o n . Significantly, N i e t z s c h e attributes a creative or formative p o w e r t o c o n s c i e n c e , a n d the act o f t u r n i n g b a c k u p o n o n e self i s n o t o n l y the c o n d i t i o n o f the p o s s i b i l i t y o f the s u b ject, b u t the c o n d i t i o n o f the p o s s i b i l i t y o f f i c t i o n , f a b r i c a t i o n , a n d t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n . I n d e e d , N i e t z s c h e r e m a r k s that b a d c o n s c i e n c e fabricates the s o u l , that e x p a n s e of i n t e r i o r p s y c h i c space. If the subject is u n d e r s t o o d as a k i n d of n e c e s s a r y fict i o n , t h e n i t i s a l s o o n e o f the first a r t i s t i c a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s p r e s u p p o s e d by morality. The artistic accomplishments of b a d c o n s c i e n c e e x c e e d the p u r v i e w o f the subject; i n d e e d , t h e y

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w i l l come to include "all imaginative and ideal phenomena," i n c l u d i n g c o n c e p t u a l t h i n k i n g , f i g u r a t i v e w r i t i n g , a n d the c o n j e c t u r e d fables a n d m y t h s w h i c h c o m p o s e the v a r i o u s r e t r o s p e c t i v e i m a g i n i n g s o f genealogy. I n this sense, the c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y o f N i e t z s c h e ' s o w n w r i t i n g a p p e a r s t o b e the b a d c o n s c i e n c e for w h i c h i t seeks t o g i v e a n a c c o u n t . N i e t z s c h e offers a n a r r a t i v e that seeks to a c c o u n t f o r t h i s f o r m a t i o n , b u t h i s n a r r a t i v e w i l l b e afflicted f r o m the start b y the v e r y c o n s c i e n c e that i t seeks t o u n c o v e r f o r us. T h e c l a i m that c o n s c i e n c e i s a f i c t i o n i s n o t t o b e c o n f u s e d w i t h the c l a i m that c o n s c i e n c e i s a r b i t r a r y o r d i s p e n s a b l e ; o n the c o n t r a r y , i t i s a n e c e s s a r y f i c t i o n , o n e w i t h o u t w h i c h the g r a m m a t i c a l a n d p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l subject c a n n o t exist. B u t i f its f i c t i v e status d o e s n o t d i s p e l its necessity, h o w are w e t o c o n s t r u e the sense o f that n e c e s s i t y ? M o r e p r e c i s e l y , w h a t does i t m e a n t o say that a subject e m e r g e s o n l y t h r o u g h the a c t i o n o f t u r n i n g b a c k on i t s e l f ? If t h i s t u r n i n g b a c k on oneself is a t r o p e , a m o v e m e n t w h i c h i s a l w a y s a n d o n l y figured a s a b o d i l y m o v e m e n t , b u t w h i c h n o b o d y l i t e r a l l y p e r f o r m s , i n w h a t w i l l the necess i t y o f s u c h a f i g u r a t i o n c o n s i s t ? T h e t r o p e a p p e a r s t o b e the s h a d o w of a b o d y , a s h a d o w i n g of that b o d y ' s v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t itself, a b o d y i n s p e c t r a l a n d l i n g u i s t i c f o r m that i s the s i g n i f y i n g m a r k o f the p s y c h e ' s e m e r g e n c e . C o n s i d e r e d g r a m m a t i c a l l y , i t w i l l s e e m that there m u s t first b e a subject w h o t u r n s b a c k o n itself, yet I w i l l a r g u e that there is no subject e x c e p t as a c o n s e q u e n c e of t h i s v e r y r e f l e x i v i t y . H o w c a n the subject b e p r e s u m e d a t b o t h e n d s o f t h i s p r o cess, e s p e c i a l l y w h e n i t i s the v e r y f o r m a t i o n o f the subject for w h i c h t h i s p r o c e s s seeks t o g i v e a n a c c o u n t ? If, in F r e u d , c o n s c i e n c e is a p a s s i o n a t e a t t a c h m e n t to prohibition, a n a t t a c h m e n t w h i c h takes the f o r m o f a t u r n i n g b a c k on oneself, d o e s the f o r m a t i o n of the ego t a k e p l a c e as the s e d i -

m e n t e d result of this p e c u l i a r f o r m of reflexivity? T h e n o u n f o r m "ego" w i l l t h e n r e i f y a n d m a s k the i t e r a t e d a c c u m u l a t i o n of this reflexive m o v e m e n t . Of what is this reflexivity c o m p o s e d ? W h a t i s i t that i s s a i d t o t u r n b a c k u p o n w h a t ? A n d w h a t c o m p o s e s the a c t i o n o f " t u r n i n g b a c k u p o n " ? I w a n t t o suggest that t h i s l o g i c a l c i r c u l a r i t y i n w h i c h the subject a p p e a r s a t o n c e t o b e p r e s u p p o s e d a n d n o t yet f o r m e d , o n the o n e h a n d , o r f o r m e d a n d h e n c e n o t p r e s u p p o s e d , o n the other, i s a m e l i o r a t e d w h e n o n e u n d e r s t a n d s that i n b o t h F r e u d a n d N i e t z s c h e t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p o f r e f l e x i v i t y i s a l w a y s a n d o n l y figu r e d , a n d that t h i s f i g u r e m a k e s n o o n t o l o g i c a l c l a i m . T o refer t o a " w i l l , " m u c h less t o its " t u r n i n g b a c k o n itself," i s a s t r a n g e w a y t o s p e a k , s t r a n g e b e c a u s e i t figures a p r o c e s s w h i c h c a n n o t b e d e t a c h e d f r o m o r u n d e r s t o o d a p a r t f r o m that v e r y f i g u r a t i o n . I n d e e d , for N i e t z s c h e , the w r i t i n g o f s u c h f i g u r a t i o n s , a n d f i g u r a t i o n i n g e n e r a l , are p a r t a n d p a r c e l o f the " i d e a l a n d i m a g i n a t i v e p h e n o m e n a " w h i c h are the c o n s e q u e n c e s o f b a d conscience. H e n c e , we do not come to k n o w s o m e t h i n g about b a d c o n s c i e n c e w h e n w e c o n s i d e r the s t r a n g e f i g u r e o f reflexi v i t y that N i e t z s c h e offers us. W e are, a s i t w e r e , c a u g h t u p i n the l u r i n g effects o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e a t the v e r y t e x t u a l m o m e n t w h e n w e seek t o k n o w w h a t , p r e c i s e l y , t h i s b a d c o n s c i e n c e is. I f i t i s c r e d i t e d w i t h b e i n g the g r o u n d o f f i g u r a t i o n , yet c a n itself o n l y b e f i g u r e d — i n d e e d , f i g u r e d a s that g r o u n d — t h e c i r cularity w h i c h might be lamented from a logical perspective c o n c e r n e d w i t h e s t a b l i s h i n g c l e a r s e q u e n c e b e c o m e s the c o n s t i t u t i v e feature of b a d c o n s c i e n c e , c o n s i d e r e d b o t h as a f i g u r e a n d a s the c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y for f i g u r a t i o n itself. The apparent c i r c u l a r i t y of this account reappears in a rel a t e d set o f q u a n d a r i e s . W h a t m o t i v a t e s the w i l l t o t u r n b a c k o n i t s e l f ? D o e s i t t u r n b a c k o n itself u n d e r the p r e s s u r e o f a n e x t e r n a l f o r c e o r l a w , u n d e r the a n t i c i p a t e d o r r e c o l l e c t e d

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force o f p u n i s h m e n t ? O r d o e s t h i s p e c u l i a r f o r m o f r e f l e x i v i t y t a k e p l a c e p r i o r to, o r i n s o m e other f o r m o f c o m p l i c i t y w i t h , a set of e x t e r n a l l y i m p o s e d d e m a n d s ? T o c l a r i f y t h i s last p o i n t i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o r e c o n s i d e r the thesis that p u n i s h m e n t p r e c e d e s c o n s c i e n c e , a n d that c o n s c i e n c e c a n b e u n d e r s t o o d a s the u n p r o b l e m a t i c i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n o f p u n i s h m e n t , its m n e m o n i c trace. A l t h o u g h there are clearly textual moments in w h i c h Nietzsche appears to be a r g u i n g for s u c h a t e m p o r a l p r i o r i t y o f p u n i s h m e n t t o c o n science, there are a l s o c o m p e t i n g v i e w s i n N i e t z s c h e w h i c h c a l l this sequential account into question. I f the w i l l i n N i e t z s c h e i s a t its m o s t p r o d u c t i v e — t h a t is, its m o s t c o n s c i e n t i o u s — w h e n i t i s t u r n e d b a c k u p o n itself, t h e n i t a p p e a r s that the s e v e r i t y o f c o n s c i e n c e i s l i n k e d t o the s t r e n g t h o f the w i l l o f w h i c h i t i s c o m p o s e d . S i m i l a r l y , f o r F r e u d , the s t r e n g t h o f c o n s c i e n c e i s n o u r i s h e d p r e c i s e l y b y the a g g r e s s i o n that it f o r b i d s . In t h i s sense, t h e n , the s t r e n g t h of c o n s c i e n c e c o r r e l a t e s n e i t h e r w i t h the s t r e n g t h o f a p u n i s h m e n t r e c e i v e d n o r w i t h the s t r e n g t h o f a m e m o r y o f a p u n i s h m e n t r e c e i v e d , but with the strength of one's own aggression, o n e w h i c h is s a i d to h a v e v e n t e d itself e x t e r n a l l y , b u t w h i c h n o w , u n d e r the r u b r i c o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e , i s s a i d t o v e n t itself i n t e r n a l l y . T h i s latter v e n t i n g is a l s o at the s a m e t i m e a f a b r i c a t i n g : an i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n w h i c h is p r o d u c e d or f a b r i c a t e d as the effect of a s u b l i m a t i o n . T h i s c i r c u l a r i t y a p p e a r s t o b r e a k the l i n e o f c a u s a l i t y o r i n ternalization usually conjectured between an external or hist o r i c a l e x p e r i e n c e o f p u n i s h m e n t a n d a n i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n o f the m n e m o n i c t r a c e o f that p u n i s h m e n t i n the f o r m o f c o n s c i e n c e . But if conscience is self-derived in this way, a n d not d e r i v e d unilaterally f r o m an internalization of an external or historical p u n i s h m e n t , i s there s o m e o t h e r w a y t o u n d e r s t a n d its f u n c t i o n i n the p r o c e s s o f s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n ? I s i t p o s s i b l e t o u n d e r -

s t a n d the force o f p u n i s h m e n t o u t s i d e o f the w a y s i n w h i c h i t e x p l o i t s a n a r c i s s i s t i c d e m a n d , or, t o p u t i t i n a N i e t z s c h e a n v e i n , i s i t p o s s i b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d the force o f p u n i s h m e n t o u t s i d e o f the w a y s i n w h i c h i t e x p l o i t s the w i l l ' s a t t a c h m e n t t o itself? To c l a i m that there is a p a s s i o n a t e a t t a c h m e n t to s u b j e c t i o n a p p e a r s to p r e s u p p o s e that there is first a p a s s i o n , a n d that its a i m i s t o attach t o s o m e k i n d o f object. I n N i e t z s c h e , there w i l l emerge a question of w h e t h e r this p r i m a r y passion, this w i l l , p r e c e d e s the a t t a c h m e n t s b y w h i c h i t i s k n o w n , o r w h e t h e r its a t t a c h m e n t s p r e c e d e its p a s s i o n s o r a c q u i r e t h e i r p a s s i o n a t e c h a r a c t e r o n l y after a n a t t a c h m e n t i s a s s u m e d . (It m a y i n v a r i a b l y b e b o t h , p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n a n i n c o m m e n s u r a b l e set o f t e m p o r a l trajectories. I n s o m e w a y s , w e m i g h t see t h i s q u e s t i o n a s p e r v a d i n g the debates b e t w e e n L a c a n i a n a n d object-relations construals of Freud.)

Nietzsche's Account of Bad Conscience
Nietzsche's consideration of b a d conscience in On the

Genealogy of Morals is i n t r o d u c e d in s e c t i o n 16 of the seco n d essay. A t first, the r e l a t i o n o f t h i s n o t i o n t o the n o t i o n o f c o n s c i e n c e i n t r o d u c e d e a r l i e r i n the s a m e essay i s u n c l e a r . C o n s c i e n c e i s i n t r o d u c e d v i a the a n i m a l w h o i s b r e d t o k e e p p r o m i s e s , a n d i n r e l a t i o n t o the " s o v e r e i g n " m a n . T h e o n e w h o m a k e s a n d k e e p s h i s p r o m i s e i s o n e w h o "has b r e d i n h i m s e l f a . . . f a c u l t y " o p p o s e d to f o r g e t f u l n e s s , n a m e l y , a m e m o r y , w h i c h b e c o m e s "a memory of the will." H e r e N i e t z s c h e refers
1

t o a n " i m p r e s s i o n " that i s a c t i v e l y s u s t a i n e d b y a d e s i r e , o n e w h i c h is not forgotten, but w h i c h , in being actively r e m e m b e r e d , p r o d u c e s the p r o t r a c t e d c o n t i n u i t y o f the w i l l . B u t t h i s i m p r e s s i o n i s n o t s p e c i f i e d . A n i m p r e s s i o n f r o m w h e r e ? I n the

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s e r v i c e o f w h a t ? N i e t z s c h e t h e n i n s i s t s that the o n e w h o m a k e s p r o m i s e s w i l l n o t a l l o w a n y t h i n g t o i n t e r r u p t the p r o c e s s b y w h i c h a n o r i g i n a l statement, " I w i l l " o r " I s h a l l d o this," c u l m i nates i n the d i s c h a r g e o f the d e s i g n a t e d act. T h e o n e w h o t r u l y p r o m i s e s w i e l d s the p o w e r o f the s o v e r e i g n t o enact w h a t h e says, t o b r i n g i n t o b e i n g w h a t h e w i l l s . I n o t h e r w o r d s , the p r o m i s i n g b e i n g establishes a c o n t i n u i t y b e t w e e n a statement a n d a n act, a l t h o u g h the t e m p o r a l d i s j u n c t i o n b e t w e e n the t w o i s a c k n o w l e d g e d a s a n o p p o r t u n i t y f o r the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f v a r i o u s c o m p e t i n g c i r c u m s t a n c e s a n d a c c i d e n t s . I n the face o f these c i r c u m s t a n c e s a n d a c c i d e n t s , the w i l l c o n t i n u e s t o p r o d u c e itself, t o l a b o r o n itself i n the s e r v i c e o f m a k i n g o f itself a c o n t i n u i t y , w h e r e that c o n t i n u i t y , that " l o n g c h a i n o f w i l l , " a s N i e t z s c h e p u t s it, establishes its o w n t e m p o r a l i t y o v e r a n d a g a i n s t a n y o t h e r w h i c h m i g h t seek t o c o m p l i c a t e o r q u a l i f y its e x e c u t i o n . T h i s p r o m i s i n g b e i n g i s o n e w h o s t a n d s for h i m s e l f t h r o u g h t i m e a n d w h o s e w o r d continues t h r o u g h time, one " w h o g i v e s [his] w o r d a s s o m e t h i n g that c a n b e r e l i e d o n b e cause [h]e k n o w [ s ] h i m s e l f t o b e s t r o n g e n o u g h t o m a i n t a i n i t i n the face o f a c c i d e n t s " (60/294). T h i s p r o t r a c t e d w i l l , w h i c h i s s e l f - i d e n t i c a l t h r o u g h t i m e a n d w h i c h establishes its o w n t i m e , c o n s t i t u t e s the m a n o f c o n s c i e n c e . ( O d d l y e n o u g h , t h i s i d e a l o f the efficacious s p e e c h act p r e s u p p o s e d b y p r o m i s i n g i s u n d e r c u t b y N i e t z s c h e ' s o w n n o t i o n o f the s i g n c h a i n , a c c o r d i n g t o w h i c h a s i g h i s b o u n d t o s i g n i f y i n w a y s that estrange the s i g n f r o m the o r i g i n a t i n g i n t e n t i o n s b y w h i c h i t i s m o b i l i z e d . A c c o r d i n g t o the h i s t o r i c i t y o f the s i g n c h a i n , i t w o u l d b e i m p o s s i b l e t o k e e p a p r o m i s e , b e c a u s e i t w o u l d b e i m p o s s i b l e t o safeg u a r d a s i g n f r o m the v a r i o u s h i s t o r i c a l a c c i d e n t s b y w h i c h its m e a n i n g i s a u g m e n t e d i n excess o f its o r i g i n a t i n g i n t e n t i o n s . ) In section 3, w h i c h follows this discussion, Nietzsche recons i d e r s t h i s i d e a l i z a t i o n o f the p r o m i s i n g a n i m a l a n d a s k s h o w

a m e m o r y c a n be c r e a t e d for a w i l l . T h i s r e t u r n s us to the q u e s t i o n c o n c e r n i n g the status o f the " i m p r e s s i o n " that i s a c t i v e l y r e a n i m a t e d a n d r e l i v e d , a n d w h i c h , i n a n d t h r o u g h its r e a n i m a t i o n , establishes the p r o t r a c t e d c o n t i n u i t y o f the w i l l . "If s o m e t h i n g i s t o stay i n the m e m o r y , i t m u s t b e b u r n e d i n ; o n l y that w h i c h n e v e r ceases t o hurt stays i n the m e m o r y " (61/295). A n d w e t h e n l e a r n o f the " t e r r o r " that f o r m e r l y a t t e n d e d a l l p r o m i s e s . I s t h i s " t e r r o r , " t h e n , t o b e c o n s t r u e d a s the " i m p r e s s i o n " that w o r k s a s the m n e m o n i c d e v i c e w h e r e b y the w i l l m a k e s itself r e g u l a r a n d c a l c u l a b l e ? B y s e c t i o n 4 , N i e t z s c h e p o s e s the q u e s t i o n o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e e x p l i c i t l y , b u t c o n t i n u e s t o treat i t a s i f i t w e r e q u i t e separate f r o m c o n s c i e n c e itself. H e a s k s : H o w d i d "that o t h e r ' s o m b e r t h i n g , ' the c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f g u i l t , the ' b a d c o n s c i e n c e , ' c o m e i n t o the w o r l d ? " (62/297). B u t is it other? Is there a w a y for the w i l l to b e c o m e r e g u l a r , to b e c o m e the p r o t r a c t e d c o n t i n u i t y w h i c h u n d e r w r i t e s the p r o m ise, w i t h o u t b e c o m i n g subject t o the l o g i c o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e ? W e l l - k n o w n d i s c u s s i o n s o f the r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n d e b t a n d g u i l t f o l l o w ( 6 2 - 6 3 / 2 9 7 - 9 8 ) , i n w h i c h the f a i l u r e t o r e p a y a l o a n a w a k e n s the d e s i r e f o r c o m p e n s a t i o n i n the c r e d i t o r , a n d i n j u r y i s i n f l i c t e d o n the d e b t o r . T h e a t t r i b u t i o n o f m o r a l acc o u n t a b i l i t y t o the d e b t o r t h u s r a t i o n a l i z e s the d e s i r e o f the c r e d i t o r t o p u n i s h the d e b t o r . W i t h that n o t i o n o f " a c c o u n t a b i l i t y " emerges a w h o l e p a n o p l y of m o r a l l y saturated psyc h i c p h e n o m e n a : i n t e n t i o n a l i t y , e v e n c e r t a i n v e r s i o n s o f the w i l l itself. B u t the d e s i r e t o p u n i s h c a n n o t b e f u l l y a c c o u n t e d f o r b y the c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f the b r o k e n c o n t r a c t . W h y d o e s the c r e d i t o r t a k e p l e a s u r e i n the i n f l i c t i o n o f i n j u r y , a n d w h a t f o r m does that p l e a s u r e t a k e w h e n i n j u r y i s i n f l i c t e d i n the m o r a l i z e d a c t i o n b y w h i c h the c r e d i t o r h o l d s the d e b t o r m o r a l l y accountable a n d p r o n o u n c e s h i m g u i l t y ? W h a t strange cons u m m a t i o n o f p l e a s u r e takes p l a c e i n that a t t r i b u t i o n o f g u i l t ?

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Circuits of B a d Conscience T h i s a c c o u n t o f h o w the a t t r i b u t i o n o f g u i l t o r i g i n a t e s i s n o t

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a c t u a l i z e d a s d e e d , a n d t o e m e r g e o n the c o n d i t i o n that the p r o m i s e has b e e n b r o k e n . B u t r e c a l l that the e x e c u t i o n o f the d e e d w a s n o t w i t h o u t its f a b r i c a t i o n s : o n e effect o f the p r o m ise i s t o p r o d u c e a n "I" w h i c h m i g h t s t a n d f o r itself across t i m e . T h u s , the f a b r i c a t i o n o f s u c h a n "I" i s the p a r a d o x i c a l r e s u l t o f the p r o m i s e . T h e " I " b e c o m e s c o n t i n u o u s w i t h its d e e d , b u t its d e e d is, p a r a d o x i c a l l y , to create the c o n t i n u i t y of itself. B a d c o n s c i e n c e w o u l d b e the f a b r i c a t i o n o f i n f e r i o r i t y that attends the b r e a k i n g o f a p r o m i s e , the d i s c o n t i n u i t y o f the w i l l , b u t the " I " w h o w o u l d k e e p the p r o m i s e i s p r e c i s e l y the c u l t i v a t e d effect o f t h i s c o n t i n u o u s f a b r i c a t i o n o f i n f e r i o r i t y . C a n there e v e n b e a p r o m i s i n g b e i n g , o n e w h o i s able t o d i s c h a r g e w o r d s i n t o deeds, w i t h o u t the b a d c o n s c i e n c e w h i c h f o r m s the v e r y " I " w h o m a k e s g o o d h i s w o r d t h r o u g h t i m e , w h o has a m e m o r y o f the w i l l , a n d f o r w h o m the p s y c h e has a l r e a d y been produced? N i e t z s c h e d e s c r i b e s " b a d c o n s c i e n c e i n its b e g i n n i n g s " a s the "instinct for freedom f o r c i b l y m a d e l a t e n t " (87/325). But w h e r e i s the trace o f t h i s f r e e d o m i n the s e l f - s h a c k l i n g that N i e t z s c h e d e s c r i b e s ? I t i s t o b e f o u n d i n the p l e a s u r e t a k e n i n a f f l i c t i n g p a i n , a p l e a s u r e t a k e n i n a f f l i c t i n g p a i n o n oneself i n the s e r v i c e of, i n the n a m e of, m o r a l i t y . T h i s p l e a s u r e i n aff l i c t i o n , a t t r i b u t e d e a r l i e r t o the c r e d i t o r , t h u s b e c o m e s , u n d e r the p r e s s u r e o f the s o c i a l c o n t r a c t , a n i n t e r n a l i z e d p l e a s u r e , the j o y o f p e r s e c u t i n g oneself. T h e o r i g i n o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e is, t h u s , the j o y t a k e n i n p e r s e c u t i n g oneself, w h e r e the self p e r s e c u t e d d o e s n o t exist o u t s i d e the o r b i t o f that p e r s e c u t i o n . B u t the i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n o f p u n i s h m e n t i s the v e r y p r o d u c t i o n o f the self, a n d i t i s i n t h i s p r o d u c t i o n that p l e a s u r e a n d f r e e d o m are c u r i o u s l y l o c a t e d . P u n i s h m e n t i s n o t m e r e l y p r o d u c t i v e o f the self, b u t t h i s v e r y p r o d u c t i v i t y o f p u n i s h m e n t i s the site for the f r e e d o m a n d p l e a s u r e o f the w i l l , its f a b r i c a t i n g a c t i v i t y .

yet the f o r m a t i o n o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e ( w h i c h w o u l d , o f c o u r s e , b e the s e l f - a t t r i b u t i o n o r s e l f - i n f l i c t i o n o f g u i l t ) . I t p r e s u p p o s e s that a c o n t r a c t has b e e n b r o k e n , a n d the e x i s t e n c e of the c o n t r a c t p r e s u p p o s e s the i n s t i t u t i o n o f p r o m i s i n g . I n d e e d , the d e b t o r i s o n e w h o fails t o k e e p h i s p r o m i s e , p r o t r a c t h i s w i l l , a n d d i s c h a r g e h i s w o r d i n the e x e c u t i o n o f a n act. T h e p u n i s h m e n t o f the d e b t o r t h u s p r e s u p p o s e s the m o d e l o r i d e a l o f the p r o m i s i n g a n i m a l , y e t t h i s p r o m i s i n g a n i m a l c o u l d n o t c o m e i n t o b e i n g w i t h o u t the i m p r e s s i o n s o f t e r r o r p r o d u c e d b y p u n i s h m e n t . T h e p u n i s h m e n t o f the d e b t o r a p p e a r s t o e m e r g e i n r e s p o n s e t o a n i n j u r y , the d e b t b e i n g cast as that i n j u r y , b u t the r e s p o n s e takes on a m e a n i n g that exceeds the e x p l i c i t p u r p o s e o f a c h i e v i n g c o m p e n s a t i o n . F o r the p u n i s h m e n t i s p l e a s u r a b l e , a n d the i n f l i c t i o n o f i n j u r y i s c o n s t r u e d as a s e d u c t i o n to life ( 6 6 - 6 7 / 3 0 1 - 2 ) . I f t h i s c o m p l i c a t e d scene a n i m a t e s the c r e d i t o r , h o w d o w e u n d e r s t a n d the f o r m a t i o n o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e i n the d e b t o r ? N i e t z s c h e w r i t e s , " P u n i s h m e n t i s s u p p o s e d t o h a v e the v a l u e o f a w a k e n i n g the f e e l i n g o f g u i l t i n the g u i l t y p e r s o n ; o n e seeks in it the a c t u a l instrumentum of that p s y c h i c a l r e a c t i o n c a l l e d ' b a d c o n s c i e n c e , ' ' s t i n g o f c o n s c i e n c e ' " (81/318). B u t N i e t z s c h e takes h i s d i s t a n c e f r o m t h i s f o r m u l a t i o n , s i n c e n o t m e r e l y p s y c h i c r e a c t i o n s , b u t the p s y c h e itself i s the i n s t r u m e n t o f t h i s p u n i s h m e n t . T h e i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n o f i n s t i n c t — w h i c h takes p l a c e w h e n the i n s t i n c t does n o t i m m e d i a t e l y d i s c h a r g e a s the d e e d — i s u n d e r s t o o d t o p r o d u c e the s o u l o r the p s y c h e i n s t e a d ; the p r e s s u r e e x e r t e d f r o m the w a l l s o f s o c i e t y forces a n i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n w h i c h c u l m i n a t e s i n the p r o d u c t i o n o f the s o u l , t h i s p r o d u c t i o n b e i n g u n d e r s t o o d a s a p r i m a r y a r t i s t i c a c c o m p l i s h m e n t , the f a b r i c a t i o n o f a n i d e a l . T h i s f a b r i c a t i o n a p p e a r s t o take the p l a c e o f the p r o m i s e , the w o r d

7

6

Circuits of Bad Conscience A s a p e c u l i a r d e f o r m a t i o n o f a r t i s t r y ( w h i c h is, o f c o u r s e ,

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nomena, then it is difficult to imagine w h i c h of Nietzsche's fabulous genealogical terms w o u l d not finally be attributable to t h i s b a d c o n s c i e n c e . I n d e e d , h i s p r o j e c t of o f f e r i n g a g e n e a l o g y o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e a p p e a r s t o f o u n d e r w h e n the v e r y t e r m s h e w i l l u s e t o a c c o u n t for t h i s f o r m a t i o n t u r n o u t t o b e the effect o f t h i s f o r m a t i o n itself. E l s e w h e r e h e w i l l refuse, for i n stance, t o a c c e p t the n o t i o n o f the w i l l a s a c o n c e p t u a l g i v e n . In Beyond Good and Evil, he w r i t e s , " w i l l i n g s e e m s to me to be . . . s o m e t h i n g complicated, s o m e t h i n g that is a u n i t o n l y as a w o r d . " O n c e w i l l i n g i s e l e v a t e d t o the status o f a p h i l o s o p h i 2

i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e f r o m its p r i m a r y f o r m a t i o n ) , s e l f - c o n s c i o u s ness i s the f o r m the w i l l takes w h e n i t i s p r e v e n t e d f r o m s i m p l e e x p r e s s i o n a s a d e e d . B u t i s the m o d e l b y w h i c h a n i n s t i n c t o r a w i l l expresses o r d i s c h a r g e s itself i n a d e e d i n a n y sense p r i o r t o t h i s s e l f - t h w a r t e d e x p r e s s i o n o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e ? C a n there b e a m o d e l o f p r o m i s i n g that d o e s n o t f r o m the first presuppose b a d conscience? The noble is described earlier as one for w h o m his w o r k i s "an instinctive creation a n d i m p o s i t i o n o f f o r m s . . . the m o s t i n v o l u n t a r y a n d u n c o n s c i o u s artists [that] there a r e " (86/325). T h e s o u l is p r e c i s e l y w h a t a c e r t a i n v i o l e n t a r t i s t r y p r o d u c e s w h e n i t takes itself a s its o w n object. T h e s o u l , the p s y c h e , i s n o t there p r i o r t o t h i s r e f l e x i v e m o v e , b u t t h i s r e f l e x i v e t u r n i n g o f the w i l l a g a i n s t itself p r o d u c e s i n its w a k e the m e t a p h o r i c s o f p s y c h i c life. If we u n d e r s t a n d the s o u l to be the effect of i m p o s i n g a f o r m u p o n oneself, w h e r e the f o r m i s t a k e n t o b e e q u i v a l e n t t o the s o u l , t h e n there c a n b e n o p r o t r a c t e d w i l l , n o " I " that s t a n d s f o r itself t h r o u g h t i m e , w i t h o u t t h i s s e l f - i m p o s i t i o n o f f o r m , t h i s m o r a l l a b o r i n g o n oneself. T h i s f u n d a m e n t a l l y a r t i s tic p r o d u c t i o n o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e , the p r o d u c t i o n o f a " f o r m " f r o m a n d o f the w i l l , i s d e s c r i b e d b y N i e t z s c h e a s "the w o m b o f a l l i d e a l a n d i m a g i n a t i v e p h e n o m e n a " (87/326). B a d c o n s c i e n c e i s f a b r i c a t e d , b u t i t i n t u r n i s c r e d i t e d w i t h the f a b r i c a t i o n o f a l l i d e a l a n d i m a g i n a t i v e p h e n o m e n a . I s there, t h e n , a n y w a y t o a n s w e r the q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r a r t i s t r y p r e c e d e s b a d c o n s c i e n c e o r i s its r e s u l t ? I s there a n y w a y t o p o s t u l a t e s o m e t h i n g b e f o r e t h i s " t u r n i n g b a c k u p o n i t s e l f " w h i c h i s the t r o p i c f o u n d a t i o n o f the subject a n d a l l a r t i s t r y , i n c l u d i n g a l l i m a g i n a t i o n a n d c o n c e p t u a l life? I f b a d c o n s c i e n c e originates imaginative and ideal phe-

cal concept, he writes, it is of necessity a k i n d of fiction. The s a m e w o u l d c l e a r l y h o l d for the n o t i o n o f " i n s t i n c t , " a n d a l s o for the effort t o a c c o u n t c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y o r s e q u e n t i a l l y f o r h o w a n y t h i n g c a n b e d e r i v e d f r o m the w i l l , o r the w i l l f r o m a n y t h i n g else: "one s h o u l d u s e 'cause' a n d 'effect' o n l y a s p u r e c o n c e p t s , that is to say, as c o n v e n t i o n a l f i c t i o n s for the p u r p o s e o f d e s i g n a t i o n a n d c o m m u n i c a t i o n — n o t for e x p l a n a t i o n . "
3

In

On the Genealogy of Morals, he reiterates that c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n e m e r g e s f r o m the g e n e a l o g y o f t o r t u r e a s the p r o m i s e o f a c e r t a i n escape: c o n c e p t s , he w r i t e s , are an effort to g a i n r e lease f r o m a t o r t u r e . Is the v e r y c o n c e p t u a l a p p a r a t u s of On the Genealogy of Morals i m p l i c a t e d in t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n , a n d is N i e t z s c h e ' s text t h e n a n effort t o escape f r o m the t o r t u r e s o f b a d c o n s c i e n c e , a l t h o u g h i t o w e s its life, a s i t w e r e , t o that v e r y source? I f a l l " i m a g i n a t i v e p h e n o m e n a " are the r e s u l t o f t h i s v i o l e n t i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n , i t f o l l o w s that the g e n e a l o g i c a l a c c o u n t w i l l b e o n e of these p h e n o m e n a , a n a r r a t i v e effect of the n a r r a t i v e it seeks t o t e l l . T h e u n m a s k i n g o f the n a r r a t i v e i s its r e m a s k i n g — i n e v i t a b l y . I n d e e d , i t seems that the v e r y c r e a t i v i t y o n e seeks t o o p p o s e t o the i n h i b i t i o n o f s t r e n g t h i s f u n d a m e n t a l l y d e -

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p e n d e n t o n that v e r y i n h i b i t i o n . I n t h i s sense, r e p r e s s i o n a p p e a r s t o u n d e r w r i t e o r g u a r a n t e e b o t h the b e i n g w h o p r o m i s e s a n d the w r i t e r o f f i c t i o n , i n c l u d i n g c o n c e p t u a l f i c t i o n s s u c h a s g e n e a l o g y . T h e u n i t y o f w i l l a t t r i b u t e d t o the p r o m i s i n g i s itself the effect of a r e p r e s s i o n , a f o r g e t f u l n e s s , a n o t - r e m e m b e r i n g o f the satisfactions w h i c h a p p e a r t o p r e c e d e r e p r e s s i o n , a n d w h i c h repression makes sure w i l l not appear again.

o n l y t o want s o m e t h i n g — a n d t o b e g i n w i t h , i t m a t t e r e d n o t w h a t , w h e r e t o , or h o w he w a n t e d : (162/411). I n h i s a n a l y s i s o f n e u r o s i s , F r e u d u n d e r s t o o d t h i s differently, a s a k i n d o f l i b i d i n a l a t t a c h m e n t t o a p r o h i b i t i o n w h i c h has a s its p u r p o s e the t h w a r t i n g o f l i b i d i n a l g r a t i f i c a t i o n . W h e r e that t h w a r t i n g c o n s t i t u t e s a r e p r e s s i o n , the r e p r e s s i o n i s s u s t a i n e d b y the l i b i d o that i t seeks t o t h w a r t . I n n e u r o sis, the e t h i c a l r e g u l a t i o n o f b o d i l y i m p u l s e b e c o m e s the f o c u s a n d a i m o f i m p u l s e itself. H e r e w e are g i v e n t o u n d e r s t a n d a n a t t a c h m e n t t o s u b j e c t i o n w h i c h i s f o r m a t i v e o f the r e f l e x i v e structure of subjection. The i m p u l s e w h i c h w o u l d be negated i s i n a d v e r t e n t l y preserved b y that v e r y n e g a t i n g a c t i v i t y . W e c a n hear a r e s o n a n c e o f N i e t z s c h e w h e n F r e u d d e s c r i b e s the p r o c e s s b y w h i c h l i b i d o c o m e s u n d e r the c e n s o r of the l a w o n l y to r e e m e r g e as the s u s t a i n i n g affect of that l a w . T h e r e p r e s s i o n o f the l i b i d o i s a l w a y s t o b e u n d e r s t o o d as itself a l i b i d i n a l l y i n v e s t e d r e p r e s s i o n . H e n c e , the l i b i d o is not absolutely negated t h r o u g h repression, but rather becomes the i n s t r u m e n t o f its o w n s u b j e c t i o n . T h e r e p r e s s i v e l a w i s n o t e x t e r n a l t o the l i b i d o that i t represses, b u t the r e p r e s s i v e l a w represses t o the extent that r e p r e s s i o n b e c o m e s a l i b i d i n a l a c t i v i t y . F u r t h e r , m o r a l i n t e r d i c t i o n s , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e that are t u r n e d a g a i n s t the b o d y , are t h e m s e l v e s s u s t a i n e d b y the b o d i l y a c t i v i t y that t h e y seek t o c u r b . T h e desire to desire is a w i l l i n g n e s s to desire precisely w h a t w o u l d f o r e c l o s e d e s i r e , i f o n l y for the p o s s i b i l i t y o f c o n t i n u i n g t o d e s i r e . T h i s d e s i r e f o r d e s i r e i s e x p l o i t e d i n the p r o c e s s o f s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n , f o r i f the t e r m s b y w h i c h w e g a i n s o c i a l r e c o g n i t i o n for o u r s e l v e s are t h o s e b y w h i c h w e are r e g u l a t e d and g a i n s o c i a l existence, t h e n t o a f f i r m o n e ' s e x i s t e n c e i s t o c a p i t u late t o one's s u b o r d i n a t i o n — a s o r r y b i n d . H o w p r e c i s e l y t h i s the will itself was saved"

Freud, Narcissism, and Regulation
I n t h i s f i n a l s e c t i o n , I w o u l d l i k e t o r e t u r n t o the p r o b l e m o f social regulation, not as acting on a psyche, but as c o m p l i c i t o u s i n the f o r m a t i o n o f the p s y c h e a n d its d e s i r e . T o that e n d , I p r o p o s e a d e t o u r t h r o u g h F r e u d ; the N i e t z s c h e a n r e s o n a n c e s i n h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f c o n s c i e n c e w i l l b e c o m e clear. The postulation of repression's p r i m a c y brings us directly t o F r e u d , a n d t o a r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the p r o b l e m o f p u n i s h m e n t i n r e l a t i o n t o the f o r m a t i o n o f c o n s c i e n c e a n d s o c i a l s u b j e c t i o n . I f t h i s s u b j e c t i o n i s n o t m e c h a n i s t i c , n o t the s i m p l e effect o f a n i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n , t h e n h o w c a n w e u n d e r s t a n d the p s y c h i c e n g a g e m e n t w i t h s u b j e c t i o n i n a w a y that d o e s n o t d i s j o i n the d i s c o u r s e o f s e l f - s u b j e c t i o n f r o m the p r o b l e m o f s o c i a l regulation? H o w can cultivating a narcissistic attachment to p u n i s h m e n t b e the m e a n s b y w h i c h the p o w e r o f s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n e x p l o i t s a n a r c i s s i s t i c d e m a n d for s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n w h i c h is i n d i f f e r e n t to its o c c a s i o n ? T h i s s u g g e s t i o n o f n a r c i s s i s m is, I w o u l d suggest, a l r e a d y a t w o r k i n N i e t z s c h e . T h e ascetic i d e a l , u n d e r s t o o d a s a w i l l to nothingness, is a w a y of i n t e r p r e t i n g a l l suffering as guilt. W h e r e a s g u i l t w o r k s t o d e n y a s p e c i f i c k i n d o f object f o r h u m a n w a n t s , i t c a n n o t o b l i t e r a t e the w a n t i n g c h a r a c t e r o f h u m a n s . A c c o r d i n g t o the dictates o f g u i l t , t h e n , " m a n h a d

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narcissistic attachment to attachment is exploited by mechan i s m s o f s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n i s i n a d v e r t e n t l y m a d e c l e a r i n a set o f s p e c u l a t i o n s that F r e u d offers o n the r e p r e s s i o n o f h o m o s e x u a l i t y a n d the f o r m a t i o n o f c o n s c i e n c e a n d c i t i z e n s h i p . I n " O n the M e c h a n i s m o f P a r a n o i a , " h e l i n k s the s u p p r e s s i o n o f h o m o s e x u a l d r i v e s t o the p r o d u c t i o n o f s o c i a l f e e l i n g . A t the e n d o f that p i e c e , h e r e m a r k s that " h o m o s e x u a l d r i v e s " h e l p t o c o n s t i t u t e "the s o c i a l i n s t i n c t s , t h u s c o n t r i b u t i n g a n e r o t i c factor to f r i e n d s h i p a n d c o m r a d e s h i p , to esprit de corps a n d to the l o v e o f m a n k i n d i n g e n e r a l . " A t the c l o s e o f the essay " O n
4

Its Discontents, w h e r e it t u r n s o u t that the p r o h i b i t i o n a g a i n s t h o m o s e x u a l i t y w h i c h c o n s c i e n c e i s s a i d t o enact o r a r t i c u l a t e f o u n d s a n d c o n s t i t u t e s c o n s c i e n c e itself a s a p s y c h i c p h e n o m e n o n . T h e p r o h i b i t i o n a g a i n s t the d e s i r e i s that d e s i r e a s i t t u r n s b a c k u p o n itself, a n d t h i s t u r n i n g b a c k u p o n itself b e c o m e s the v e r y i n c e p t i o n , the v e r y a c t i o n o f w h a t i s r e n d e r e d e n t i t a t i v e t h r o u g h the t e r m " c o n s c i e n c e . " F r e u d w r i t e s in Civilization and Its Discontents "that c o n science (or m o r e c o r r e c t l y , the a n x i e t y w h i c h later b e c o m e s conscience) i s i n d e e d the cause o f i n s t i n c t u a l r e n u n c i a t i o n t o b e g i n w i t h , b u t that later the r e l a t i o n s h i p i s r e v e r s e d . E v e r y renunciation of instinct n o w becomes a d y n a m i c source of c o n s c i e n c e a n d e v e r y f r e s h r e n u n c i a t i o n increases the latter's severity a n d intolerance."
6

N a r c i s s i s m , " h e m i g h t b e r e a d a s s p e c i f y i n g the l o g i c w h e r e b y t h i s p r o d u c t i o n o f s o c i a l f e e l i n g takes p l a c e . T h e " e g o - i d e a l , " h e w r i t e s , has a s o c i a l s i d e : " i t i s a l s o the c o m m o n i d e a l o f a f a m i l y , a class or a n a t i o n . It n o t o n l y b i n d s the n a r c i s s i s t i c l i b i d o , b u t a l s o a c o n s i d e r a b l e a m o u n t o f the p e r s o n ' s h o m o s e x u a l l i b i d o , w h i c h i n t h i s w a y b e c o m e s t u r n e d b a c k i n t o the ego. T h e d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n d u e t o the n o n - f u l f i l l m e n t o f the i d e a l liberates h o m o s e x u a l l i b i d o , w h i c h i s t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o sense o f g u i l t ( d r e a d o f the c o m m u n i t y ) . "
5

A c c o r d i n g t o F r e u d , t h e n , the s e l f - i m p o s e d i m p e r a t i v e s that c h a r a c t e r i z e the c i r c u l a r r o u t e o f c o n s c i e n c e are p u r s u e d a n d a p p l i e d p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e t h e y are n o w the site o f the v e r y sati s f a c t i o n that t h e y seek t o p r o h i b i t . I n o t h e r w o r d s , p r o h i b i t i o n b e c o m e s the o c c a s i o n for r e l i v i n g the i n s t i n c t u n d e r the r u b r i c o f the c o n d e m n i n g l a w . P r o h i b i t i o n r e p r o d u c e s the p r o h i b i t e d d e s i r e a n d b e c o m e s i n t e n s i f i e d t h r o u g h the r e n u n c i a t i o n s i t effects. T h e "afterlife" o f p r o h i b i t e d d e s i r e takes p l a c e t h r o u g h the p r o h i b i t i o n itself, w h e r e the p r o h i b i t i o n n o t o n l y s u s t a i n s , b u t is sustained by the d e s i r e that it forces i n t o r e n u n c i a t i o n . I n t h i s sense, t h e n , r e n u n c i a t i o n takes p l a c e t h r o u g h the v e r y d e s i r e that is r e n o u n c e d : the d e s i r e is never r e n o u n c e d , b u t b e c o m e s p r e s e r v e d a n d r e a s s e r t e d i n the v e r y s t r u c t u r e o f r e nunciation. T h i s e x a m p l e l e a d s u s b a c k t o the t r o p e w i t h w h i c h w e b e g a n , the f i g u r e o f c o n s c i e n c e a s t u r n i n g b a c k o n itself a s i f it w e r e a b o d y r e c o i l e d on itself, r e c o i l e d at the t h o u g h t of its d e s i r e , f o r w h o m its d e s i r e i s s y m p t o m a t i z e d a s that p o s t u r e

This transformation of

h o m o s e x u a l i t y i n t o g u i l t a n d , therefore, i n t o the basis o f s o c i a l f e e l i n g takes p l a c e w h e n the fear o f p a r e n t a l p u n i s h m e n t b e c o m e s g e n e r a l i z e d a s the d r e a d o f l o s i n g the l o v e o f f e l l o w m e n . P a r a n o i a i s the w a y i n w h i c h that l o v e i s c o n s i s t e n t l y r e i m a g i n e d a s a l w a y s a l m o s t w i t h d r a w n , a n d i t is, p a r a d o x i c a l l y , fear o f l o s i n g that l o v e w h i c h m o t i v a t e s the s u b l i m a t i o n or introversion of homosexuality. Indeed, this s u b l i m a t i o n is n o t q u i t e a s i n s t r u m e n t a l a s i t m a y s o u n d , for i t i s n o t that o n e d i s a v o w s h o m o s e x u a l i t y i n o r d e r t o g a i n the l o v e o f f e l l o w m e n , b u t that a c e r t a i n h o m o s e x u a l i t y c a n o n l y b e a c h i e v e d a n d c o n t a i n e d through t h i s d i s a v o w a l . A n o t h e r place in F r e u d w h e r e this becomes v e r y clear is the d i s c u s s i o n of the f o r m a t i o n of c o n s c i e n c e in Civilization and

r

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o f r e c o i l . C o n s c i e n c e i s t h u s f i g u r e d a s a b o d y w h i c h takes itself as its object, f o r c e d i n t o a p e r m a n e n t p o s t u r e of n e g a t i v e n a r c i s s i s m or, m o r e p r e c i s e l y , a n a r c i s s i s t i c a l l y n o u r i s h e d self-beratement (then, mistakenly, identified w i t h a narcissist i c stage). C o n s i d e r — a s a p a r t i n g s h o t — h o w the c o n t e m p o r a r y efforts t o r e g u l a t e h o m o s e x u a l i t y w i t h i n the U . S . m i l i t a r y are t h e m selves the r e g u l a t o r y f o r m a t i o n o f the m a s c u l i n e subject, o n e w h o consecrates h i s i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h renunciation a s a n act o f s p e e c h : to say "I am a h o m o s e x u a l " is fine as l o n g as o n e a l s o promises " a n d I d o n ' t i n t e n d to act." T h i s , the s u p p r e s s i o n a n d s u s t a i n i n g o f h o m o s e x u a l i t y i n a n d t h r o u g h the c i r c u l a r p o s t u r e b y w h i c h a b o d y utters its o w n r e n u n c i a t i o n , accedes t o its r e g u l a t i o n t h r o u g h the p r o m i s e . B u t that p e r f o r m a t i v e u t t e r a n c e , h o w e v e r c o m p e l l e d , w i l l b e subject t o i n f e l i c i t y , t o s p e a k i n g o t h e r w i s e , t o r e c i t i n g o n l y h a l f the sentence, d e f o r m i n g the p r o m i s e , r e f o r m u l a t i n g the c o n f e s s i o n a s d e f i a n c e , r e m a i n i n g silent. T h i s o p p o s i t i o n w i l l d r a w f r o m a n d oppose the p o w e r b y w h i c h i t i s c o m p e l l e d , a n d t h i s s h o r t c i r c u i t i n g of r e g u l a t o r y p o w e r c o n s t i t u t e s the p o s s i b i l i t y of a postmoral g e s t u r e t o w a r d a less r e g u l a r f r e e d o m , o n e that f r o m the p e r s p e c t i v e of a less c o d i f i a b l e set of v a l u e s calls i n t o q u e s t i o n the values of morality.
M y p r o b l e m i s essentially the d e f i n i t i o n o f the i m p l i c i t systems in w h i c h we find ourselves prisoners; what I w o u l d l i k e t o grasp i s the s y s t e m o f l i m i t s a n d e x c l u s i o n w h i c h w e p r a c t i c e w i t h o u t k n o w i n g it; I w o u l d l i k e t o m a k e the cultural unconscious apparent. — Foucault, "Rituals of E x c l u s i o n "

Subjection, Resistance, Resignification
Between Freud and Foucault

C

o n s i d e r , in Discipline and Punish, the p a r a d o x i c a l c h a r a c ter o f w h a t F o u c a u l t d e s c r i b e s a s the s u b j e c t i v a t i o n o f

the p r i s o n e r . T h e t e r m " s u b j e c t i v a t i o n " c a r r i e s the p a r a d o x i n itself: assujetissement d e n o t e s b o t h the b e c o m i n g of the subject a n d the p r o c e s s o f s u b j e c t i o n — o n e i n h a b i t s the f i g u r e o f a u t o n o m y o n l y by b e c o m i n g subjected to a power, a subjection

w h i c h i m p l i e s a r a d i c a l dependency. F o r F o u c a u l t , this p r o cess o f s u b j e c t i v a t i o n takes p l a c e c e n t r a l l y t h r o u g h the b o d y . In Discipline and Punish the p r i s o n e r ' s b o d y n o t o n l y a p p e a r s as a sign of g u i l t a n d t r a n s g r e s s i o n , as the e m b o d i m e n t of p r o h i b i t i o n a n d the s a n c t i o n for r i t u a l s o f n o r m a l i z a t i o n , b u t i s

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f r a m e d a n d f o r m e d t h r o u g h the d i s c u r s i v e m a t r i x o f a j u r i d i c a l subject. T h e c l a i m that a d i s c o u r s e " f o r m s " the b o d y i s n o s i m p l e one, a n d f r o m the start w e m u s t d i s t i n g u i s h h o w s u c h " f o r m i n g " is n o t the s a m e as a " c a u s i n g " or " d e t e r m i n i n g , " s t i l l less is it a n o t i o n that b o d i e s are s o m e h o w m a d e of d i s c o u r s e pure and simple.
1

f u l l siege a n d i n v a s i o n o f that b o d y b y the s i g n i f y i n g p r a c t i c e s o f the p r i s o n — n a m e l y , i n s p e c t i o n , c o n f e s s i o n , the r e g u l a r i z a t i o n a n d n o r m a l i z a t i o n o f b o d i l y m o v e m e n t a n d gesture, the d i s c i p l i n a r y r e g i m e s o f the b o d y w h i c h h a v e l e d f e m i n i s t s t o c o n s u l t F o u c a u l t i n o r d e r t o elaborate the d i s c i p l i n a r y p r o d u c t i o n o f gender. T h e p r i s o n t h u s acts o n the p r i s o n e r ' s b o d y ,
2

F o u c a u l t suggests that the p r i s o n e r i s n o t r e g u l a t e d b y a n exterior r e l a t i o n of p o w e r , w h e r e b y an i n s t i t u t i o n takes a p r e g i v e n i n d i v i d u a l a s the target o f its s u b o r d i n a t i n g a i m s . O n the c o n t r a r y , the i n d i v i d u a l i s f o r m e d or, rather, f o r m u l a t e d t h r o u g h his discursively constituted " i d e n t i t y " as prisoner. S u b j e c t i o n is, l i t e r a l l y , the making of a subject, the p r i n c i p l e o f r e g u l a t i o n a c c o r d i n g t o w h i c h a subject i s f o r m u l a t e d o r p r o d u c e d . S u c h s u b j e c t i o n i s a k i n d o f p o w e r that n o t o n l y u n i l a t e r a l l y acts on a g i v e n i n d i v i d u a l as a f o r m of d o m i n a t i o n , b u t also activates or f o r m s the subject. H e n c e , s u b j e c t i o n i s n e i t h e r s i m p l y the d o m i n a t i o n o f a subject n o r its p r o d u c t i o n , b u t designates a c e r t a i n k i n d o f r e s t r i c t i o n i n p r o d u c t i o n , a r e s t r i c t i o n w i t h o u t w h i c h the p r o d u c t i o n o f the subject c a n n o t t a k e p l a c e , a r e s t r i c t i o n t h r o u g h w h i c h that p r o d u c t i o n takes p l a c e . A l t h o u g h F o u c a u l t o c c a s i o n a l l y tries t o a r g u e that h i s t o r i c a l l y juridical p o w e r — p o w e r a c t i n g o n , s u b o r d i n a t i n g , p r e g i v e n subjects—precedes p r o d u c t i v e p o w e r , the c a p a c i t y o f p o w e r to form subjects, w i t h the p r i s o n e r it is clear that the subject p r o d u c e d a n d the subject r e g u l a t e d o r s u b o r d i n a t e d are one, a n d that c o m p u l s o r y p r o d u c t i o n i s its o w n f o r m o f regulation. F o u c a u l t w a r n s a g a i n s t those w i t h i n the l i b e r a l t r a d i t i o n w h o w o u l d l i b e r a t e the p r i s o n e r f r o m the p r i s o n ' s o p p r e s s i v e confines, for the s u b j e c t i o n s i g n i f i e d b y the e x t e r i o r i n s t i t u t i o n o f the p r i s o n does n o t act a p a r t f r o m the i n v a s i o n a n d m a n a g e m e n t o f the p r i s o n e r ' s b o d y : w h a t F o u c a u l t d e s c r i b e s a s the

b u t i t does s o b y f o r c i n g the p r i s o n e r t o a p p r o x i m a t e a n i d e a l , a n o r m o f b e h a v i o r , a m o d e l o f o b e d i e n c e . T h i s i s h o w the prisoner's i n d i v i d u a l i t y is rendered coherent, totalized, m a d e i n t o the d i s c u r s i v e a n d c o n c e p t u a l p o s s e s s i o n o f the p r i s o n ; i t is, a s F o u c a u l t insists, the w a y i n w h i c h " h e b e c o m e s the p r i n ciple of his o w n subjection." This normative ideal inculcated,
3

a s i t w e r e , i n t o the p r i s o n e r i s a k i n d o f p s y c h i c i d e n t i t y , o r w h a t F o u c a u l t w i l l c a l l a " s o u l . " B e c a u s e the s o u l i s a n i m p r i s o n i n g effect, F o u c a u l t c l a i m s that the p r i s o n e r i s subjected " i n a m o r e f u n d a m e n t a l w a y " t h a n b y the s p a t i a l c a p t i v i t y o f the p r i s o n . I n d e e d , i n the c i t a t i o n that f o l l o w s , the s o u l i s f i g u r e d as itself a k i n d of s p a t i a l c a p t i v i t y , i n d e e d , as a k i n d of p r i s o n , w h i c h p r o v i d e s the e x t e r i o r f o r m o r r e g u l a t o r y p r i n c i p l e o f the p r i s o n e r ' s b o d y . T h i s b e c o m e s c l e a r i n F o u c a u l t ' s f o r m u l a t i o n that "the m a n d e s c r i b e d for us, w h o m w e are i n v i t e d t o free, is a l r e a d y in h i m s e l f the effect of a s u b j e c t i o n [assujettissement] m u c h m o r e p r o f o u n d t h a n h i m s e l f . . . the s o u l is the p r i s o n o f the b o d y " (30). A l t h o u g h F o u c a u l t i s s p e c i f y i n g the s u b j e c t i v a t i o n o f the p r i s o n e r here, h e a p p e a r s a l s o t o b e p r i v i l e g i n g the m e t a p h o r o f the p r i s o n t o t h e o r i z e the s u b j e c t i v a t i o n o f the b o d y . W h a t are w e t o m a k e o f i m p r i s o n m e n t a n d i n v a s i o n a s the p r i v i l e g e d f i g u r e s t h r o u g h w h i c h F o u c a u l t a r t i c u l a t e s the p r o cess o f s u b j e c t i v a t i o n , the d i s c u r s i v e p r o d u c t i o n o f i d e n t i t i e s ? If discourse produces identity by supplying and enforcing a regulatory p r i n c i p l e w h i c h t h o r o u g h l y invades, totalizes,

86

Subjection, Resistance, Resignification

Between Freud and Foucault

87

a n d r e n d e r s c o h e r e n t the i n d i v i d u a l , t h e n i t s e e m s that e v e r y " i d e n t i t y , " i n s o f a r as it is t o t a l i z i n g , acts as p r e c i s e l y s u c h a " s o u l that i m p r i s o n s the b o d y . " I n w h a t sense i s t h i s s o u l " m u c h m o r e p r o f o u n d " t h a n the p r i s o n e r h i m s e l f ? D o e s t h i s m e a n that the s o u l p r e e x i s t s the b o d y that a n i m a t e s it? H o w are w e t o u n d e r s t a n d s u c h a c l a i m i n the c o n t e x t o f F o u c a u l t ' s theory of power? R a t h e r t h a n a n s w e r that q u e s t i o n d i r e c t l y , o n e m i g h t f o r the p u r p o s e s o f c l a r i f i c a t i o n c o u n t e r p o s e the " s o u l , " w h i c h F o u c a u l t a r t i c u l a t e s a s a n i m p r i s o n i n g f r a m e , t o the p s y c h e i n the p s y c h o a n a l y t i c sense. I n the p s y c h e , the subject's i d e a l c o r r e 4

that i n f e r i o r i t y as a m a l l e a b l e s u r f a c e for the u n i l a t e r a l effects of disciplinary power. I am in part m o v i n g t o w a r d a psychoanalytic criticism of F o u c a u l t , for I t h i n k that o n e c a n n o t a c c o u n t for s u b j e c t i v a t i o n a n d , i n p a r t i c u l a r , b e c o m i n g the p r i n c i p l e o f o n e ' s o w n s u b j e c t i o n w i t h o u t r e c o u r s e to a p s y c h o a n a l y t i c a c c o u n t of the f o r m a t i v e o r g e n e r a t i v e effects o f r e s t r i c t i o n o r p r o h i b i t i o n . M o r e o v e r , the f o r m a t i o n o f the subject c a n n o t f u l l y b e t h o u g h t — i f it ever can b e — w i t h o u t recourse to a p a r a d o x i c a l l y ena b l i n g set of g r o u n d i n g c o n s t r a i n t s . Yet as I elaborate t h i s c r i t i q u e , s o m e r o m a n t i c i z e d n o t i o n s o f the u n c o n s c i o u s d e f i n e d as necessary resistance w i l l come u n d e r critical scrutiny, a n d that c r i t i c i s m w i l l e n t a i l the r e e m e r g e n c e o f a F o u c a u l t i a n p e r s p e c t i v e within p s y c h o a n a l y s i s . T h e q u e s t i o n of a s u p p r e s s e d p s y c h o a n a l y s i s i n F o u c a u l t — r a i s e d b y F o u c a u l t h i m s e l f i n the reference t o a " c u l t u r a l u n c o n s c i o u s " q u o t e d i n the e p i g r a p h t o t h i s c h a p t e r — m i g h t b e r a i s e d m o r e p r e c i s e l y a s the p r o b l e m o f l o c a t i n g o r a c c o u n t i n g f o r resistance. W h e r e d o e s r e s i s tance t o o r i n d i s c i p l i n a r y subject f o r m a t i o n take p l a c e ? D o e s the r e d u c t i o n o f the p s y c h o a n a l y t i c a l l y r i c h n o t i o n o f the p s y che t o that o f the i m p r i s o n i n g s o u l e l i m i n a t e the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e s i s t a n c e to n o r m a l i z a t i o n a n d to subject f o r m a t i o n , a r e s i s t a n c e that e m e r g e s p r e c i s e l y f r o m the i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y b e t w e e n p s y c h e a n d subject? H o w w o u l d w e u n d e r s t a n d s u c h resistance, a n d w o u l d s u c h a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g e n t a i l a c r i t i c a l r e t h i n k i n g o f p s y c h o a n a l y s i s a l o n g the w a y ? I n w h a t f o l l o w s , I w i l l ask t w o different k i n d s o f q u e s t i o n s , one of F o u c a u l t , a n d another of psychoanalysis ( a p p l y i n g this term variously to F r e u d and to Lacan).
6

s p o n d s t o the e g o - i d e a l , w h i c h the s u p e r - e g o i s s a i d t o c o n s u l t , a s i t w e r e , i n o r d e r t o m e a s u r e the ego. L a c a n r e d e s c r i b e s t h i s i d e a l a s the " p o s i t i o n " o f the subject w i t h i n the s y m b o l i c , the n o r m that i n s t a l l s the subject w i t h i n l a n g u a g e a n d h e n c e w i t h i n available schemes of c u l t u r a l intelligibility. This viable a n d i n t e l l i g i b l e b e i n g , t h i s subject, i s a l w a y s p r o d u c e d a t a cost, a n d w h a t e v e r resists the n o r m a t i v e d e m a n d b y w h i c h subjects are i n s t i t u t e d r e m a i n s u n c o n s c i o u s . T h u s the p s y c h e , w h i c h i n c l u d e s the u n c o n s c i o u s , i s v e r y d i f f e r e n t f r o m the subject: the p s y c h e i s p r e c i s e l y w h a t exceeds the i m p r i s o n i n g effects of the d i s c u r s i v e d e m a n d to i n h a b i t a c o h e r e n t i d e n tity, to b e c o m e a c o h e r e n t subject. T h e p s y c h e is w h a t resists the r e g u l a r i z a t i o n that F o u c a u l t a s c r i b e s t o n o r m a l i z i n g d i s c o u r s e s . T h o s e d i s c o u r s e s are s a i d to i m p r i s o n the b o d y in the soul, t o a n i m a t e a n d c o n t a i n the b o d y w i t h i n that i d e a l f r a m e , a n d t o that extent r e d u c e the n o t i o n o f the p s y c h e t o the o p e r a tions of an externally framing a n d n o r m a l i z i n g ideal.
5

This

F o u c a u l t i a n m o v e a p p e a r s t o treat the p s y c h e a s i f i t r e c e i v e d u n i l a t e r a l l y the effect o f the L a c a n i a n s y m b o l i c . T h e t r a n s p o s i t i o n o f the s o u l i n t o a n e x t e r i o r a n d i m p r i s o n i n g f r a m e f o r the b o d y vacates, a s i t w e r e , the i n f e r i o r i t y o f the b o d y , l e a v i n g

First, if Foucault

u n d e r s t a n d s the p s y c h e t o b e a n i m p r i s o n i n g effect i n the service of n o r m a l i z a t i o n , then h o w m i g h t he account for psychic resistance to n o r m a l i z a t i o n ? Second, w h e n some p r o p o n e n t s

88

Subjection, Resistance, Resignification

Between Freud and Foucault

89

of p s y c h o a n a l y s i s i n s i s t that r e s i s t a n c e to n o r m a l i z a t i o n is a f u n c t i o n o f the u n c o n s c i o u s , i s t h i s g u a r a n t e e o f p s y c h i c resistance m e r e l y s l e i g h t o f h a n d ? M o r e p r e c i s e l y , i s the r e s i s t a n c e u p o n w h i c h psychoanalysis insists socially a n d discursively p r o d u c e d , o r i s i t a k i n d o f r e s i s t a n c e to, a n u n d e r m i n i n g of, s o c i a l a n d d i s c u r s i v e p r o d u c t i o n a s such? C o n s i d e r the c l a i m that the u n c o n s c i o u s o n l y a n d a l w a y s resists n o r m a l i z a t i o n , that e v e r y r i t u a l o f c o n f o r m i t y t o the i n j u n c t i o n s o f c i v i l i z a t i o n c o m e s at a cost, a n d that a c e r t a i n u n h a r n e s s e d a n d u n s o c i a l i z e d r e m a i n d e r i s t h e r e b y p r o d u c e d , w h i c h contests the a p p e a r a n c e o f the l a w - a b i d i n g subject. T h i s p s y c h i c r e m a i n d e r s i g n i f i e s the l i m i t s o f n o r m a l i z a t i o n . T h a t p o s i t i o n d o e s n o t i m p l y that s u c h r e s i s t a n c e w i e l d s the p o w e r t o r e w o r k o r r e a r t i c u l a t e the t e r m s o f d i s c u r s i v e d e m a n d , the d i s c i p l i n a r y i n j u n c t i o n s b y w h i c h n o r m a l i z a t i o n o c c u r s . T o t h w a r t the i n j u n c t i o n t o p r o d u c e a d o c i l e b o d y i s n o t the s a m e a s d i s m a n t l i n g the i n j u n c t i o n o r c h a n g i n g the t e r m s o f subject c o n s t i t u t i o n . I f the u n c o n s c i o u s , o r the p s y c h e m o r e g e n e r a l l y , i s d e f i n e d a s r e sistance, w h a t d o w e t h e n m a k e o f u n c o n s c i o u s a t t a c h m e n t s t o s u b j e c t i o n , w h i c h i m p l y that the u n c o n s c i o u s i s n o m o r e free o f n o r m a l i z i n g d i s c o u r s e t h a n the subject? I f the u n c o n s c i o u s escapes f r o m a g i v e n n o r m a t i v e i n j u n c t i o n , t o w h a t o t h e r i n j u n c t i o n d o e s i t f o r m a n a t t a c h m e n t ? W h a t m a k e s u s t h i n k that the u n c o n s c i o u s i s a n y less s t r u c t u r e d b y the p o w e r r e l a t i o n s that p e r v a d e c u l t u r a l s i g n i f i e r s t h a n i s the l a n g u a g e o f the subject? I f w e f i n d a n a t t a c h m e n t t o s u b j e c t i o n a t the l e v e l o f the u n c o n s c i o u s , w h a t k i n d o f r e s i s t a n c e i s t o b e w r o u g h t f r o m that? E v e n i f w e g r a n t that u n c o n s c i o u s r e s i s t a n c e t o a n o r m a l i z i n g i n j u n c t i o n g u a r a n t e e s the f a i l u r e o f that i n j u n c t i o n f u l l y t o c o n s t i t u t e its subject, does s u c h r e s i s t a n c e d o a n y t h i n g t o alter o r e x p a n d the d o m i n a n t i n j u n c t i o n s o r i n t e r p e l l a t i o n s o f subject f o r m a t i o n ? W h a t d o w e m a k e o f a r e s i s t a n c e that c a n

o n l y u n d e r m i n e , but w h i c h appears to have no p o w e r to rea r t i c u l a t e the t e r m s , the s y m b o l i c t e r m s — t o u s e L a c a n i a n p a r l a n c e — b y w h i c h subjects are c o n s t i t u t e d , b y w h i c h s u b j e c t i o n i s i n s t a l l e d i n the v e r y f o r m a t i o n o f the subject? T h i s r e s i s t a n c e establishes the i n c o m p l e t e c h a r a c t e r o f a n y effort t o p r o d u c e a subject b y d i s c i p l i n a r y m e a n s , b u t i t r e m a i n s u n a b l e t o r e a r t i c u l a t e the d o m i n a n t t e r m s o f p r o d u c t i v e p o w e r . Before continuing this interrogation of psychoanalysis, h o w e v e r , let u s r e t u r n t o the p r o b l e m o f b o d i e s i n F o u c a u l t . H o w a n d w h y i s resistance d e n i e d t o bodies p r o d u c e d t h r o u g h d i s c i p l i n a r y regimes? W h a t is this n o t i o n of d i s c i p l i n a r y p r o d u c t i o n , a n d does i t w o r k a s e f f i c a c i o u s l y a s F o u c a u l t a p p e a r s to i m p l y ? In the f i n a l c h a p t e r of the first v o l u m e of The History of Sexuality, F o u c a u l t calls for a " h i s t o r y of b o d i e s " w h i c h w o u l d i n q u i r e i n t o "the m a n n e r i n w h i c h w h a t i s m o s t m a t e r i a l a n d v i t a l i n t h e m has b e e n i n v e s t e d . " I n t h i s f o r m u l a 7

t i o n , h e suggests that p o w e r acts n o t o n l y o n the b o d y b u t a l s o in the b o d y , that p o w e r n o t o n l y p r o d u c e s the b o u n d a r i e s of a subject b u t p e r v a d e s the i n f e r i o r i t y of that subject. In the last f o r m u l a t i o n , i t a p p e a r s that there i s a n " i n s i d e " t o the b o d y w h i c h exists b e f o r e p o w e r ' s i n v a s i o n . B u t g i v e n the r a d i c a l ext e r i o r i t y o f the s o u l , h o w are w e t o u n d e r s t a n d " i n f e r i o r i t y " in F o u c a u l t ? That inferiority w i l l not be a soul, a n d it w i l l
8

n o t be a p s y c h e , b u t w h a t w i l l it be? Is t h i s a space of p u r e m a l l e a b i l i t y , o n e w h i c h is, a s i t w e r e , r e a d y t o c o n f o r m t o the d e m a n d s of socialization? Or is this i n f e r i o r i t y to be called, s i m p l y , the b o d y ? H a s i t c o m e t o the p a r a d o x i c a l p o i n t w h e r e F o u c a u l t w a n t s t o c l a i m that the s o u l i s the e x t e r i o r f o r m , a n d the b o d y the i n t e r i o r space? A l t h o u g h F o u c a u l t w a n t s o n o c c a s i o n t o refute the p o s s i b i l i t y of a b o d y w h i c h is not p r o d u c e d through p o w e r relat i o n s , s o m e t i m e s h i s e x p l a n a t i o n s r e q u i r e a b o d y to m a i n t a i n a

90

Subjection, Resistance, Resignification

Between

Freud

and

Foucault

91

m a t e r i a l i t y o n t o l o g i c a l l y d i s t i n c t f r o m the p o w e r r e l a t i o n s that t a k e it as a site of i n v e s t m e n t . I n d e e d , the t e r m " s i t e " s e e m 9

of a subject, a s u b j e c t i v a t i o n . T h e " s o u l b r i n g s [the p r i s o n e r ] t o e x i s t e n c e " ; n o t u n l i k e i n A r i s t o t l e , the s o u l , a s a n i n s t r u m e n t o f p o w e r , f o r m s a n d f r a m e s the b o d y , s t a m p s i t , a n d i n s t a m p i n g it, b r i n g s i t i n t o b e i n g . I n t h i s f o r m u l a t i o n , there i s n o b o d y o u t s i d e o f p o w e r , f o r the m a t e r i a l i t y o f the b o d y — indeed, materiality itself—is p r o d u c e d by a n d in direct relat i o n t o the i n v e s t m e n t o f p o w e r . T h e m a t e r i a l i t y o f the p r i s o n , F o u c a u l t w r i t e s , is e s t a b l i s h e d to the extent that (dans la mesure ou) it is a v e c t o r a n d i n s t r u m e n t of p o w e r .
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i n g l y a p p e a r s i n t h i s p h r a s e w i t h o u t w a r r a n t , for w h a t i s the r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n the b o d y a s site a n d the i n v e s t m e n t s w h i c h that site i s s a i d t o r e c e i v e o r b e a r ? D o e s the t e r m "site" s t a b i l i z e the b o d y i n r e l a t i o n t o those i n v e s t m e n t s , w h i l e d e f l e c t i n g the q u e s t i o n o f h o w i n v e s t m e n t s e s t a b l i s h , c o n t o u r , a n d d i s r u p t w h a t the p h r a s e takes for g r a n t e d a s the b o d y ' s "site" (i.e., d o e s the t e r m "site" deflect the project o f L a c a n ' s " m i r r o r stage")? W h a t c o n s t i t u t e s a n " i n v e s t m e n t , " a n d w h a t i s its c o n stituting power? Does it have a v i s u a l i z i n g function, a n d can w e u n d e r s t a n d the p r o d u c t i o n o f the b o d i l y ego i n F r e u d a s the p r o j e c t e d o r s p a t i a l i z e d m o d a l i t y o f s u c h i n v e s t m e n t s ?
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H e n c e , the p r i s o n

is materialized to the extent that it is invested with power. To be g r a m m a t i c a l l y a c c u r a t e , there i s n o p r i s o n p r i o r t o its m a t e r i a l i z a t i o n ; its m a t e r i a l i z a t i o n i s c o e x t e n s i v e w i t h its i n v e s t i t u r e w i t h p o w e r r e l a t i o n s ; a n d m a t e r i a l i t y i s the effect a n d g a u g e o f t h i s i n v e s t m e n t . T h e p r i s o n c o m e s t o b e o n l y w i t h i n the f i e l d o f p o w e r r e l a t i o n s , m o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y , o n l y t o the extent that i t i s s a t u r a t e d w i t h s u c h r e l a t i o n s a n d that s u c h a s a t u r a t i o n i s f o r m a t i v e o f its v e r y b e i n g . H e r e the b o d y — o f the p r i s o n e r a n d o f the p r i s o n — i s n o t a n i n d e p e n d e n t m a t e r i a l i t y , a static s u r f a c e or site, w h i c h a s u b s e q u e n t i n v e s t m e n t c o m e s t o m a r k , s i g n i f y u p o n , o r p e r v a d e ; the b o d y i s that f o r w h i c h m a t e r i a l i z a t i o n a n d i n v e s t i t u r e are c o e x t e n s i v e . A l t h o u g h the s o u l i s u n d e r s t o o d t o f r a m e the b o d y i n Discipline and Punish, F o u c a u l t suggests that the p r o d u c t i o n of the "subject" takes p l a c e t o s o m e d e g r e e t h r o u g h the s u b o r d i n a t i o n a n d e v e n d e s t r u c t i o n o f the b o d y . I n " N i e t z s c h e , G e n e a l ogy, H i s t o r y , " F o u c a u l t r e m a r k s that o n l y t h r o u g h the d e s t r u c t i o n o f the b o d y d o e s the subject a s a " d i s s o c i a t e d u n i t y " a p p e a r : "the b o d y i s the i n s c r i b e d s u r f a c e o f events ( t r a c e d b y l a n g u a g e a n d d i s s o l v e d b y ideas), the l o c u s o f a d i s s o c i a t e d self ( a d o p t i n g the i l l u s i o n of a s u b s t a n t i a l u n i t y ) , a n d a v o l u m e in perpetual disintegration."
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I n d e e d , t o w h a t extent i s the b o d y ' s site s t a b i l i z e d t h r o u g h a c e r t a i n p r o j e c t i v e i n s t a b i l i t y , one w h i c h F o u c a u l t c a n n o t q u i t e d e s c r i b e a n d w h i c h w o u l d p e r h a p s engage h i m i n the p r o b l e m a t i c o f the ego a s a n i m a g i n a r y f u n c t i o n ? Discipline and Punish offers a different c o n f i g u r a t i o n of the r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n m a t e r i a l i t y a n d i n v e s t m e n t . T h e r e the s o u l i s t a k e n t o b e a n i n s t r u m e n t o f p o w e r t h r o u g h w h i c h the b o d y is c u l t i v a t e d a n d f o r m e d . In a sense, it acts as a p o w e r l a d e n s c h e m a that p r o d u c e s a n d a c t u a l i z e s the b o d y . W e c a n u n d e r s t a n d F o u c a u l t ' s references t o the s o u l a s a n i m p l i c i t r e w o r k i n g o f the A r i s t o t e l i a n f o r m u l a t i o n i n w h i c h the s o u l i s u n d e r s t o o d t o b e the f o r m a n d p r i n c i p l e o f the b o d y ' s m a t t e r .
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F o u c a u l t a r g u e s in Discipline and Punish that the s o u l b e c o m e s a n o r m a t i v e a n d n o r m a l i z i n g i d e a l a c c o r d i n g t o w h i c h the b o d y is trained, shaped, cultivated, a n d invested; it is a hist o r i c a l l y s p e c i f i c i m a g i n a r y i d e a l (idéal spéculatif) u n d e r w h i c h the b o d y i s m a t e r i a l i z e d . T h i s " s u b j e c t i o n " or assujetissement is n o t o n l y a s u b o r d i nation but a securing a n d maintaining, a putting into place

T h e subject a p p e a r s a t the

e x p e n s e o f the b o d y , a n a p p e a r a n c e c o n d i t i o n e d i n i n v e r s e r e -

9

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l a t i o n t o the d i s a p p e a r a n c e o f the b o d y . T h e subject n o t o n l y e f f e c t i v e l y takes the p l a c e of the b o d y b u t acts as the s o u l w h i c h f r a m e s a n d f o r m s the b o d y i n c a p t i v i t y . H e r e the f o r m i n g a n d f r a m i n g f u n c t i o n o f that e x t e r i o r s o u l w o r k s against the b o d y ; i n d e e d , i t m i g h t b e u n d e r s t o o d a s the s u b l i m a t i o n o f the b o d y i n c o n s e q u e n c e o f d i s p l a c e m e n t a n d s u b s t i t u t i o n . I n t h u s r e d e s c r i b i n g the b o d y i n F o u c a u l t , I h a v e c l e a r l y w a n d e r e d into a psychoanalytic vocabulary of sublimation. W h i l e there, let me p o s e a q u e s t i o n to r e t u r n to the i s s u e of s u b j e c t i o n a n d resistance. I f the b o d y i s s u b o r d i n a t e d a n d t o s o m e extent d e s t r o y e d a s the d i s s o c i a t e d self emerges, a n d i f that e m e r g e n c e m i g h t b e r e a d a s the s u b l i m a t i o n o f the b o d y a n d the self b e r e a d a s the b o d y ' s g h o s t l y f o r m , t h e n i s there s o m e p a r t o f the b o d y w h i c h i s n o t p r e s e r v e d i n s u b l i m a t i o n , s o m e p a r t o f the b o d y w h i c h r e m a i n s u n s u b l i m a t e d ? T h i s b o d i l y r e m a i n d e r , I w o u l d suggest, s u r v i v e s for s u c h a subject i n the m o d e o f a l r e a d y , i f n o t a l w a y s , h a v i n g b e e n d e s t r o y e d , i n a k i n d o f c o n s t i t u t i v e loss. T h e b o d y i s n o t a site on w h i c h a c o n s t r u c t i o n takes p l a c e ; it is a d e s t r u c t i o n on the o c c a s i o n o f w h i c h a subject i s f o r m e d . T h e f o r m a t i o n o f t h i s subject i s a t o n c e the f r a m i n g , s u b o r d i n a t i o n , a n d r e g u l a t i o n o f the b o d y , a n d the m o d e i n w h i c h that d e s t r u c t i o n i s p r e s e r v e d ( i n the sense o f s u s t a i n e d a n d e m b a l m e d ) i n n o r m a l i z a t i o n . If, t h e n , the b o d y i s n o w t o b e u n d e r s t o o d a s that w h i c h n o t o n l y c o n s t i t u t e s the subject i n its d i s s o c i a t e d a n d s u b l i m a t e d state, b u t also exceeds o r resists a n y effort a t s u b l i m a t i o n , h o w are w e t o u n d e r s t a n d t h i s b o d y that is, a s i t w e r e , n e g a t e d o r r e p r e s s e d s o that the subject m i g h t l i v e ? O n e m i g h t e x p e c t the b o d y t o r e t u r n i n a n o n - n o r m a l i z a b l e w i l d n e s s , a n d there are o f c o u r s e m o m e n t s i n F o u c a u l t w h e n s o m e t h i n g l i k e that h a p p e n s . B u t m o r e o f t e n t h a n n o t , i n F o u c a u l t the p o s s i b i l i t y of s u b v e r s i o n or r e s i s t a n c e a p p e a r s (a) in the c o u r s e of a s u b -

j e c t i v a t i o n that e x c e e d s the n o r m a l i z i n g a i m s b y w h i c h i t i s m o b i l i z e d , f o r e x a m p l e , i n " r e v e r s e - d i s c o u r s e , " o r (b) t h r o u g h convergence w i t h other discursive regimes, whereby inadvert e n t l y p r o d u c e d d i s c u r s i v e c o m p l e x i t y u n d e r m i n e s the teleological aims of n o r m a l i z a t i o n .
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T h u s r e s i s t a n c e a p p e a r s a s the

effect of p o w e r , as a p a r t of p o w e r , its s e l f - s u b v e r s i o n . I n the t h e o r i z a t i o n o f resistance, a c e r t a i n p r o b l e m arises w h i c h c o n c e r n s p s y c h o a n a l y s i s a n d , b y i m p l i c a t i o n , the l i m i t s o f s u b j e c t i v a t i o n . F o r F o u c a u l t , the subject w h o i s p r o d u c e d t h r o u g h s u b j e c t i o n i s n o t p r o d u c e d a t a n i n s t a n t i n its t o t a l i t y . Instead, i t i s i n the p r o c e s s o f b e i n g p r o d u c e d , i t i s repeate d l y p r o d u c e d ( w h i c h i s n o t the s a m e a s b e i n g p r o d u c e d a n e w a g a i n a n d again). It is p r e c i s e l y the p o s s i b i l i t y of a r e p e t i t i o n w h i c h d o e s n o t c o n s o l i d a t e that d i s s o c i a t e d u n i t y , the subject, b u t w h i c h p r o l i f e r a t e s effects w h i c h u n d e r m i n e the force o f n o r m a l i z a t i o n . T h e t e r m w h i c h n o t o n l y n a m e s , b u t f o r m s a n d f r a m e s the s u b j e c t — l e t u s u s e F o u c a u l t ' s e x a m p l e of h o m o s e x u a l i t y — m o b i l i z e s a r e v e r s e d i s c o u r s e a g a i n s t the v e r y r e g i m e o f n o r m a l i z a t i o n b y w h i c h i t i s s p a w n e d . T h i s is, o f c o u r s e , n o t a p u r e o p p o s i t i o n , for the s a m e " h o m o s e x u a l i t y " w i l l b e d e p l o y e d first i n the s e r v i c e o f n o r m a l i z i n g h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y a n d s e c o n d i n the s e r v i c e o f its o w n d e p a t h o l o g i z a t i o n . T h i s t e r m w i l l c a r r y the r i s k o f the f o r m e r m e a n i n g i n the latter, b u t i t w o u l d b e a m i s t a k e t o t h i n k that s i m p l y b y s p e a k i n g the t e r m o n e e i t h e r t r a n s c e n d s h e t e r o s e x u a l n o r m a l i z a t i o n o r b e c o m e s its i n s t r u m e n t . T h e r i s k o f r e n o r m a l i z a t i o n i s p e r s i s t e n t l y there: c o n s i d e r the o n e w h o i n d e f i a n t " o u t n e s s " d e c l a r e s h i s / h e r h o m o s e x u a l i t y o n l y t o r e c e i v e the r e s p o n s e , " A h yes, s o y o u are that, a n d o n l y that." W h a t e v e r y o u say w i l l b e r e a d b a c k a s a n o v e r t or subtle manifestation of y o u r essential homosexuality. (One should not underestimate h o w exhausting it is to be expected

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t o b e a n " o u t " h o m o s e x u a l a l l the t i m e , w h e t h e r the e x p e c t a t i o n c o m e s f r o m g a y a n d l e s b i a n a l l i e s o r t h e i r foes.) H e r e F o u c a u l t cites a n d r e w o r k s the p o s s i b i l i t y o f r e s i g n i f i c a t i o n , o f m o b i l i z i n g p o l i t i c a l l y w h a t N i e t z s c h e , in On the Genealogy of Morals, c a l l e d the " s i g n c h a i n . " T h e r e N i e t z s c h e a r g u e s that the uses t o w h i c h a g i v e n s i g n i s o r i g i n a l l y p u t are " w o r l d s a p a r t " f r o m the uses t o w h i c h i t t h e n b e c o m e s a v a i l a b l e . T h i s t e m p o r a l g a p b e t w e e n usages p r o d u c e s the p o s s i b i l i t y o f a r e v e r s a l o f s i g n i f i c a t i o n , b u t a l s o o p e n s the w a y for a n i n a u g u r a t i o n o f s i g n i f y i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s that e x c e e d t h o s e t o w h i c h the t e r m has b e e n p r e v i o u s l y b o u n d . T h e F o u c a u l t i a n subject i s n e v e r f u l l y c o n s t i t u t e d i n subjection, then; it is repeatedly constituted in subjection, a n d it is i n the p o s s i b i l i t y o f a r e p e t i t i o n that repeats a g a i n s t its o r i g i n that s u b j e c t i o n m i g h t b e u n d e r s t o o d t o d r a w its i n a d v e r t e n t l y enabling power. F r o m a psychoanalytic perspective, however, w e m i g h t ask w h e t h e r t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y o f r e s i s t a n c e t o a c o n stituting or subjectivating p o w e r can be derived from what is " i n " o r "of" d i s c o u r s e . W h a t c a n w e m a k e o f the w a y i n w h i c h d i s c o u r s e s n o t o n l y c o n s t i t u t e the d o m a i n s o f the s p e a k a b l e , b u t are t h e m s e l v e s b o u n d e d t h r o u g h the p r o d u c t i o n o f a c o n s t i t u t i v e o u t s i d e : the u n s p e a k a b l e , the u n s i g n i f i a b l e ? F r o m a Lacanian perspective, one m i g h t w e l l question w h e t h e r the effects o f the p s y c h e c a n b e s a i d t o b e e x h a u s t e d i n w h a t c a n b e s i g n i f i e d o r w h e t h e r there i s n o t , o v e r a n d against t h i s s i g n i f y i n g b o d y , a d o m a i n o f the p s y c h e w h i c h contests l e g i b i l i t y . If, a c c o r d i n g to p s y c h o a n a l y s i s , the subject i s n o t the s a m e a s the p s y c h e f r o m w h i c h i t e m e r g e s a n d if, f o r F o u c a u l t , the subject i s n o t the s a m e a s the b o d y f r o m w h i c h i t emerges, t h e n p e r h a p s the b o d y has c o m e t o s u b s t i t u t e for the p s y c h e i n F o u c a u l t — t h a t is, a s that w h i c h exceeds a n d c o n f o u n d s the i n j u n c t i o n s of n o r m a l i z a t i o n . Is t h i s a b o d y p u r e

a n d s i m p l e , o r d o e s "the b o d y " c o m e t o s t a n d for a c e r t a i n o p e r a t i o n o f the p s y c h e , o n e w h i c h i s d i s t i n c t l y different, i f n o t d i r e c t l y o p p o s e d to, the s o u l f i g u r e d a s a n i m p r i s o n i n g effect? P e r h a p s F o u c a u l t h i m s e l f h a s i n v e s t e d the b o d y w i t h a p s y c h i c m e a n i n g that h e c a n n o t elaborate w i t h i n the t e r m s that h e uses. H o w does the p r o c e s s o f s u b j e c t i v a t i o n , the d i s c i p l i n a r y p r o d u c t i o n o f the subject, b r e a k d o w n , i f i t does, i n b o t h F o u c a u l t i a n a n d p s y c h o a n a l y t i c t h e o r y ? W h e n c e does that f a i l u r e e m e r g e , a n d w h a t are its c o n s e q u e n c e s ? C o n s i d e r the A l t h u s s e r i a n n o t i o n o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n , i n w h i c h a subject i s c o n s t i t u t e d b y b e i n g h a i l e d , a d d r e s s e d , n a m e d .
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F o r the m o s t p a r t , i t seems, A l t h u s s e r b e l i e v e d that t h i s s o c i a l d e m a n d — o n e might call it a symbolic injunction—actually p r o d u c e d the k i n d s o f subjects i t n a m e d . H e g i v e s the e x a m p l e o f the p o l i c e m a n o n the street y e l l i n g " H e y y o u there!," a n d c o n c l u d e s that t h i s c a l l i m p o r t a n t l y c o n s t i t u t e s the o n e i t a d dresses a n d sites. T h e scene is c l e a r l y a d i s c i p l i n a r y o n e ; the p o l i c e m a n ' s c a l l i s a n effort t o b r i n g s o m e o n e b a c k i n l i n e . Yet w e m i g h t a l s o u n d e r s t a n d i t i n L a c a n i a n t e r m s a s the c a l l o f s y m b o l i c constitution. A s A l t h u s s e r himself insists, this perf o r m a t i v e effort o f n a m i n g c a n o n l y attempt t o b r i n g its a d dressee i n t o b e i n g : there is a l w a y s the r i s k of a c e r t a i n misrecognition. If o n e m i s r e c o g n i z e s that effort to p r o d u c e the subject, the p r o d u c t i o n itself falters. T h e o n e w h o i s h a i l e d m a y f a i l t o hear, m i s r e a d the c a l l , t u r n the o t h e r w a y , a n s w e r t o a n o t h e r n a m e , i n s i s t o n n o t b e i n g a d d r e s s e d i n that w a y . I n d e e d , the d o m a i n o f the i m a g i n a r y i s d e m a r c a t e d b y A l t h u s s e r a s p r e c i s e l y the d o m a i n that m a k e s misrecognition p o s s i b l e . T h e n a m e is called, a n d I am sure it is my name, but it isn't. The name i s c a l l e d , a n d I a m s u r e that a n a m e i s b e i n g c a l l e d , m y n a m e , but it is in someone's incomprehensible speech, or worse, it is someone c o u g h i n g , or worse, a radiator w h i c h for a m o m e n t

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a p p r o x i m a t e s a h u m a n v o i c e . O r I a m s u r e that n o one has n o t i c e d m y t r a n s g r e s s i o n , a n d that i t i s n o t m y n a m e that i s b e i n g c a l l e d , b u t o n l y a c o u g h i n g passerby, the h i g h p i t c h o f the h e a t i n g m e c h a n i s m — b u t i t i s m y n a m e , a n d yet I d o n o t r e c o g n i z e m y s e l f i n the subject that the n a m e , a t t h i s m o m e n t , installs.
16

s i b i l i t y o f the d i s c u r s i v e — t h a t is, s y m b o l i c — c o n s t i t u t i o n o f i d e n t i t y . I d e n t i t y c a n n e v e r b e f u l l y t o t a l i z e d b y the s y m b o l i c , for w h a t i t fails t o o r d e r w i l l e m e r g e w i t h i n the i m a g i n a r y a s a d i s o r d e r , a site w h e r e i d e n t i t y is c o n t e s t e d . H e n c e , i n a L a c a n i a n v e i n , J a c q u e l i n e R o s e f o r m u l a t e s the u n c o n s c i o u s a s that w h i c h t h w a r t s a n y effort o f the s y m b o l i c to constitute sexed identity coherently a n d fully, an u n c o n s c i o u s i n d i c a t e d b y the s l i p s a n d g a p s that c h a r a c t e r i z e the w o r k i n g s of the i m a g i n a r y in l a n g u a g e . I q u o t e a passage w h i c h has b e n e f i t t e d m a n y o f u s w h o h a v e s o u g h t t o f i n d in psychoanalysis a p r i n c i p l e of resistance to g i v e n forms of social reality: The unconscious constantly reveals the "failure" of identity. Because there is no continuity of psychic life, so there is no stability of sexual identity, no position for w o m e n (or for men) w h i c h is ever simply achieved. N o r does psychoanalysis see such "failure" as a specialcase inability or an i n d i v i d u a l deviancy from the norm. "Failure" is not a moment to be regretted in a process of adaptation, or development into normality,. . . "failure" is something endlessly repeated and relived moment by moment throughout our i n d i v i d u a l histories. It appears not only in the symptom, but also in dreams, in slips of the tongue and in forms of sexual pleasure w h i c h are pushed to the sidelines of the norm. . . . there is a resistance to identity at the very heart of psychic life.
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C o n s i d e r the force o f t h i s d y n a m i c o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n a n d m i s r e c o g n i t i o n w h e n the n a m e i s n o t a p r o p e r n a m e b u t a social category,
17

a n d hence a signifier capable of b e i n g inter-

preted in a n u m b e r of divergent a n d conflictual ways. To be hailed as a " w o m a n " or "Jew" or "queer" or "Black" or " C h i cana" may be heard or interpreted as an affirmation or an i n s u l t , d e p e n d i n g o n the c o n t e x t i n w h i c h the h a i l i n g o c c u r s ( w h e r e context i s the effective h i s t o r i c i t y a n d s p a t i a l i t y o f the s i g n ) . I f that n a m e i s c a l l e d , there i s m o r e o f t e n t h a n n o t s o m e h e s i t a t i o n a b o u t w h e t h e r o r h o w t o r e s p o n d , for w h a t i s a t stake i s w h e t h e r the t e m p o r a r y t o t a l i z a t i o n p e r f o r m e d b y the n a m e i s p o l i t i c a l l y e n a b l i n g o r p a r a l y z i n g , w h e t h e r the f o r e c l o s u r e , i n d e e d the v i o l e n c e , o f the t o t a l i z i n g r e d u c t i o n o f i d e n t i t y p e r f o r m e d b y that p a r t i c u l a r h a i l i n g i s p o l i t i c a l l y strategic o r r e g r e s s i v e or, i f p a r a l y z i n g a n d regressive, also e n abling in some way. T h e A l t h u s s e r i a n u s e o f L a c a n centers o n the f u n c t i o n o f the i m a g i n a r y as the p e r m a n e n t p o s s i b i l i t y of misrecognition, that is, the i n c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y b e t w e e n s y m b o l i c d e m a n d (the n a m e that i s i n t e r p e l l a t e d ) a n d the i n s t a b i l i t y a n d u n p r e d i c t a b i l i t y of its a p p r o p r i a t i o n . If the i n t e r p e l l a t e d n a m e seeks to a c c o m p l i s h the i d e n t i t y to w h i c h it refers, it b e g i n s as a p e r f o r m a t i v e p r o c e s s w h i c h i s n e v e r t h e l e s s d e r a i l e d i n the i m a g i n a r y , f o r the i m a g i n a r y i s s u r e l y p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h the l a w , s t r u c t u r e d b y the l a w , b u t does n o t i m m e d i a t e l y o b e y the law. F o r the L a c a n i a n , t h e n , the i m a g i n a r y s i g n i f i e s the i m p o s -

In Discipline and Punish, F o u c a u l t p r e s u m e s the efficacy of the s y m b o l i c d e m a n d , its p e r f o r m a t i v e c a p a c i t y t o c o n s t i t u t e the subject w h o m it n a m e s . In The History of Sexuality, Volume l, h o w e v e r , there is b o t h a r e j e c t i o n of "a s i n g l e l o c u s o f R e v o l t " — w h i c h w o u l d p r e s u m a b l y i n c l u d e the p s y c h e , the i m a g i n a r y , o r the u n c o n s c i o u s w i t h i n its p u r v i e w — a n d a n affirmation of m u l t i p l e possibilities of resistance enabled by p o w e r itself. F o r F o u c a u l t , r e s i s t a n c e c a n n o t b e outside the l a w

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i n a n o t h e r r e g i s t e r (the i m a g i n a r y ) o r i n that w h i c h e l u d e s the c o n s t i t u t i v e p o w e r o f the l a w . there is no single locus of great Refusal, no soul of revolt, source of all rebellions, or pure law of the revolutionary. Instead there is a p l u rality of resistances, each of them a special case: resistances that are possible, necessary, improbable; others that are spontaneous, savage, solitary, concerted, rampant, or violent; still others that are quick to compromise, interested, or sacrificial; by definition, they can only exist in the strategic field of power relations. But this does not mean that they are only a reaction or rebound, forming w i t h respect to the basic domination an underside that is in the end always passive, doomed to perpetual defeat.
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p o w e r a n d u n d e r s t a n d s r e s i s t a n c e a s a n effect o f p o w e r . F o u c a u l t ' s c o n c e p t i o n i n i t i a t e s a shift f r o m a d i s c o u r s e o n l a w , c o n c e i v e d a s j u r i d i c a l ( a n d p r e s u p p o s i n g a subject s u b o r d i n a t e d by power), to a discourse on power, w h i c h is a field of p r o d u c t i v e , r e g u l a t o r y , a n d c o n t e s t a t o r y r e l a t i o n s . F o r F o u c a u l t , the s y m b o l i c p r o d u c e s the p o s s i b i l i t y o f its o w n s u b v e r s i o n s , a n d these s u b v e r s i o n s are u n a n t i c i p a t e d effects o f s y m b o l i c i n t e r pellations. T h e n o t i o n o f "the s y m b o l i c " d o e s n o t a d d r e s s the m u l t i p l i c i t y o f p o w e r v e c t o r s u p o n w h i c h F o u c a u l t i n s i s t s , for p o w e r i n F o u c a u l t n o t o n l y c o n s i s t s i n the r e i t e r a t e d e l a b o r a tion of norms or interpellating demands, but is formative or productive, malleable, multiple, proliferative, a n d conflictual. M o r e o v e r , i n its r e s i g n i f i c a t i o n s , the l a w itself i s t r a n s m u t e d i n t o that w h i c h o p p o s e s a n d exceeds its o r i g i n a l p u r p o s e s . I n t h i s sense, d i s c i p l i n a r y d i s c o u r s e d o e s n o t u n i l a t e r a l l y c o n s t i tute a subject in F o u c a u l t , or rather, if it does, it simultaneously c o n s t i t u t e s the c o n d i t i o n for the subject's d e - c o n s t i t u t i o n . W h a t i s b r o u g h t i n t o b e i n g t h r o u g h the p e r f o r m a t i v e effect o f the i n t e r p e l l a t i n g d e m a n d i s m u c h m o r e t h a n a "subject," f o r the "subject" c r e a t e d i s n o t for that r e a s o n f i x e d i n p l a c e : i t b e c o m e s the o c c a s i o n for a f u r t h e r m a k i n g . I n d e e d , I w o u l d a d d , a subject o n l y r e m a i n s a subject t h r o u g h a r e i t e r a t i o n or r e a r t i c u l a t i o n of itself as a subject, a n d t h i s d e p e n d e n c y of the subject o n r e p e t i t i o n for c o h e r e n c e m a y c o n s t i t u t e that s u b ject's i n c o h e r e n c e , its i n c o m p l e t e character. T h i s r e p e t i t i o n or, better, i t e r a b i l i t y t h u s b e c o m e s the n o n - p l a c e o f s u b v e r s i o n , the p o s s i b i l i t y o f a r e - e m b o d y i n g o f the s u b j e c t i v a t i n g n o r m that c a n r e d i r e c t its n o r m a t i v i t y . C o n s i d e r the i n v e r s i o n s o f " w o m a n " a n d " w o m a n , " d e p e n d i n g o n the s t a g i n g a n d a d d r e s s o f t h e i r p e r f o r m a n c e , o f " q u e e r " a n d "queer," d e p e n d i n g o n p a t h o l o g i z i n g o r contes-

T h i s last c a r i c a t u r e o f p o w e r , a l t h o u g h c l e a r l y w r i t t e n w i t h M a r c u s e i n m i n d , r e c a l l s the effect o f the L a c a n i a n l a w , w h i c h p r o d u c e s its o w n " f a i l u r e " a t the l e v e l o f the p s y c h e , b u t w h i c h c a n n e v e r b e d i s p l a c e d o r r e f o r m u l a t e d b y that p s y c h i c r e sistance. T h e i m a g i n a r y t h w a r t s the efficacy o f the s y m b o l i c l a w b u t c a n n o t t u r n b a c k u p o n the l a w , d e m a n d i n g o r effecti n g its r e f o r m u l a t i o n . I n t h i s sense, p s y c h i c r e s i s t a n c e t h w a r t s the l a w i n its effects, b u t c a n n o t r e d i r e c t the l a w o r its effects. R e s i s t a n c e i s t h u s l o c a t e d i n a d o m a i n that i s v i r t u a l l y p o w e r less t o alter the l a w that i t o p p o s e s . H e n c e , p s y c h i c r e s i s t a n c e p r e s u m e s the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the l a w i n its a n t e r i o r , s y m b o l i c f o r m a n d , i n that sense, c o n t r i b u t e s t o its status q u o . I n s u c h a v i e w , r e s i s t a n c e a p p e a r s d o o m e d t o p e r p e t u a l defeat. I n c o n t r a s t , F o u c a u l t f o r m u l a t e s r e s i s t a n c e a s a n effect o f the v e r y p o w e r that i t i s s a i d t o o p p o s e . T h i s i n s i s t e n c e o n the d u a l p o s s i b i l i t y o f b e i n g b o t h constituted b y the l a w a n d an effect of resistance to the l a w m a r k s a d e p a r t u r e f r o m the L a c a n i a n f r a m e w o r k , f o r w h e r e L a c a n r e s t r i c t s the n o t i o n o f s o c i a l p o w e r t o the s y m b o l i c d o m a i n a n d delegates r e s i s t a n c e to the i m a g i n a r y , F o u c a u l t recasts the s y m b o l i c as r e l a t i o n s of

100

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T

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Freud

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tatory modes. B o t h examples concern, not an o p p o s i t i o n bet w e e n r e a c t i o n a r y a n d p r o g r e s s i v e usage, b u t r a t h e r a p r o g r e s s i v e u s a g e that r e q u i r e s a n d r e p e a t s the r e a c t i o n a r y i n o r d e r to effect a s u b v e r s i v e r e t e r r i t o r i a l i z a t i o n . F o r F o u c a u l t , t h e n , the d i s c i p l i n a r y a p p a r a t u s p r o d u c e s subjects, b u t as a c o n s e q u e n c e o f that p r o d u c t i o n , i t b r i n g s i n t o d i s c o u r s e the c o n d i t i o n s for s u b v e r t i n g that a p p a r a t u s itself. I n o t h e r w o r d s , the l a w t u r n s a g a i n s t itself a n d s p a w n s v e r s i o n s o f itself w h i c h o p p o s e a n d p r o l i f e r a t e its a n i m a t i n g p u r p o s e s . T h e strategic q u e s t i o n for F o u c a u l t is, t h e n , h o w c a n w e w o r k the p o w e r r e l a t i o n s b y w h i c h w e are w o r k e d , a n d i n w h a t d i r e c t i o n ? I n h i s later i n t e r v i e w s , F o u c a u l t suggests that i d e n t i t i e s are formed w i t h i n contemporary political arrangements in relat i o n t o c e r t a i n r e q u i r e m e n t s o f the l i b e r a l state, ones w h i c h p r e s u m e that the a s s e r t i o n o f r i g h t s a n d c l a i m s t o e n t i t l e m e n t c a n o n l y b e m a d e o n the basis o f a s i n g u l a r a n d i n j u r e d i d e n tity. T h e m o r e specific i d e n t i t i e s b e c o m e , the m o r e t o t a l i z e d a n i d e n t i t y b e c o m e s b y that v e r y s p e c i f i c i t y . I n d e e d , w e m i g h t u n d e r s t a n d t h i s c o n t e m p o r a r y p h e n o m e n o n a s the m o v e m e n t b y w h i c h a j u r i d i c a l a p p a r a t u s p r o d u c e s the f i e l d o f p o s s i b l e p o l i t i c a l subjects. B e c a u s e for F o u c a u l t the d i s c i p l i n a r y a p p a r a t u s o f the state operates t h r o u g h the t o t a l i z i n g p r o d u c t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l s , a n d b e c a u s e t h i s t o t a l i z a t i o n o f the i n d i v i d u a l e x t e n d s the j u r i s d i c t i o n o f the state (i.e., b y t r a n s f o r m i n g i n d i v i d u a l s i n t o subjects o f the state), F o u c a u l t w i l l c a l l for a r e m a k i n g o f s u b j e c t i v i t y b e y o n d the s h a c k l e s o f the j u r i d i c a l law. I n t h i s sense, w h a t w e c a l l i d e n t i t y p o l i t i c s i s p r o d u c e d b y a state w h i c h c a n o n l y a l l o c a t e r e c o g n i t i o n a n d r i g h t s t o s u b jects t o t a l i z e d b y the p a r t i c u l a r i t y that c o n s t i t u t e s t h e i r p l a i n tiff status. I n c a l l i n g for a n o v e r t h r o w , a s i t w e r e , o f s u c h a n a r r a n g e m e n t , F o u c a u l t i s n o t c a l l i n g f o r the release o f a h i d d e n o r r e p r e s s e d s u b j e c t i v i t y , b u t rather, for a r a d i c a l m a k i n g

o f s u b j e c t i v i t y f o r m e d i n a n d against the h i s t o r i c a l h e g e m o n y of the j u r i d i c a l subject: Maybe the target nowadays is not to discover what we are, but to refuse what we are. We have to imagine and b u i l d up what we could be to get r i d of this k i n d of political "double b i n d , " w h i c h is the simultaneous individualization and totalization of modern power structures. . . . The conclusion w o u l d be that the political, ethical, social, philosophical problem of our days is not to try to liberate us both from the state, and from the state's institutions, but to liberate us from the state and the type of individualization w h i c h is linked to the state. We have to promote new forms of subjectivity through the refusal of this k i n d of individuality w h i c h has been imposed on us for several centuries.
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T w o sets o f q u e s t i o n s e m e r g e f r o m the a b o v e a n a l y s i s . F i r s t , w h y c a n F o u c a u l t f o r m u l a t e r e s i s t a n c e i n r e l a t i o n t o the d i s c i p l i n a r y p o w e r of s e x u a l i t y in The History of Sexuality, w h e r e a s in Discipline and Punish d i s c i p l i n a r y p o w e r a p p e a r s to determ i n e d o c i l e b o d i e s i n c a p a b l e o f resistance? I s there s o m e t h i n g a b o u t the r e l a t i o n s h i p of sexuality to p o w e r that c o n d i t i o n s the p o s s i b i l i t y o f r e s i s t a n c e i n the f i r s t text, a n d a n o t e d absence o f a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f s e x u a l i t y f r o m the d i s c u s s i o n o f p o w e r a n d b o d i e s in the s e c o n d ? N o t e that in the History of Sexuality the r e p r e s s i v e f u n c t i o n o f the l a w i s u n d e r m i n e d p r e c i s e l y t h r o u g h b e c o m i n g itself the object o f e r o t i c i n v e s t m e n t a n d exc i t a t i o n . D i s c i p l i n a r y a p p a r a t u s fails t o r e p r e s s s e x u a l i t y p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e the a p p a r a t u s i s itself e r o t i c i z e d , b e c o m i n g the o c c a s i o n for the incitement of sexuality a n d , therefore, u n d o i n g its o w n r e p r e s s i v e a i m s . Second, w i t h this transferable p r o p e r t y of sexual investm e n t s i n m i n d , w e m i g h t ask w h a t c o n d i t i o n s the p o s s i b i l i t y F o u c a u l t i n v i t e s , that o f r e f u s i n g the t y p e o f i n d i v i d u a l i t y c o r r e l a t e d w i t h the d i s c i p l i n a r y a p p a r a t u s o f the m o d e r n state?

r
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A n d h o w d o w e a c c o u n t for attachment t o p r e c i s e l y the k i n d o f s t a t e - l i n k e d i n d i v i d u a l i t y that r e c o n s o l i d a t e s the j u r i d i c a l l a w ? T o w h a t extent h a s the d i s c i p l i n a r y a p p a r a t u s that attempts to produce a n d totalize identity become an abiding object o f p a s s i o n a t e a t t a c h m e n t ? W e c a n n o t s i m p l y t h r o w off the i d e n t i t i e s w e h a v e b e c o m e , a n d F o u c a u l t ' s c a l l t o " r e f u s e " those i d e n t i t i e s w i l l c e r t a i n l y b e m e t w i t h resistance. I f w e r e ject t h e o r e t i c a l l y the s o u r c e o f r e s i s t a n c e i n a p s y c h i c d o m a i n that i s s a i d t o p r e c e d e o r e x c e e d the s o c i a l ,
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r e s i d u e o f d e s i r e , the effect o f i n c o r p o r a t i o n s w h i c h , F r e u d argues in The Ego and the Id, trace a l i n e a g e of a t t a c h m e n t a n d loss. I n F r e u d ' s v i e w , the f o r m a t i o n o f c o n s c i e n c e enacts a n att a c h m e n t t o p r o h i b i t i o n w h i c h f o u n d s the subject i n its reflexi v i t y . U n d e r the p r e s s u r e of the e t h i c a l l a w , a subject e m e r g e s w h o i s c a p a b l e o f r e f l e x i v i t y , that is, w h o takes h i m / h e r s e l f a s a n object, a n d s o m i s t a k e s h i m / h e r s e l f , s i n c e he/she is, b y v i r t u e o f that f o u n d i n g p r o h i b i t i o n , a t a n i n f i n i t e d i s t a n c e f r o m h i s / h e r o r i g i n . O n l y o n the c o n d i t i o n o f a s e p a r a t i o n e n f o r c e d t h r o u g h p r o h i b i t i o n d o e s a subject e m e r g e , f o r m e d t h r o u g h the a t t a c h m e n t t o p r o h i b i t i o n ( i n o b e d i e n c e t o i t , b u t a l s o e r o t i c i z i n g it). A n d t h i s p r o h i b i t i o n i s a l l the m o r e s a v o r y p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e i t i s b o u n d u p i n the n a r c i s s i s t i c c i r c u i t that w a r d s off the d i s s o l u t i o n o f the subject i n t o p s y c h o s i s .
22

as we must, can

we r e f o r m u l a t e p s y c h i c r e s i s t a n c e in terms of the social w i t h o u t that r e f o r m u l a t i o n b e c o m i n g a d o m e s t i c a t i o n o r n o r m a l i z a t i o n ? ( M u s t the s o c i a l a l w a y s b e e q u a t e d w i t h the g i v e n a n d the n o r m a l i z a b l e ? ) I n p a r t i c u l a r , h o w are w e t o u n d e r s t a n d , n o t m e r e l y the d i s c i p l i n a r y p r o d u c t i o n o f the subject, b u t the d i s c i p l i n a r y c u l t i v a t i o n of an attachment to subjection? S u c h a p o s t u l a t i o n m a y raise the q u e s t i o n o f m a s o c h i s m — i n d e e d , the q u e s t i o n o f m a s o c h i s m i n s u b j e c t - f o r m a t i o n — y e t i t d o e s n o t a n s w e r the q u e s t i o n o f the status o f " a t t a c h m e n t " o r " i n v e s t m e n t . " H e r e e m e r g e s the g r a m m a t i c a l p r o b l e m b y w h i c h a n a t t a c h m e n t a p p e a r s t o p r e c e d e the subject w h o m i g h t b e s a i d t o " h a v e " it. Yet i t s e e m s c r u c i a l t o s u s p e n d the usual grammatical requirements a n d consider an inversion of t e r m s s u c h that c e r t a i n a t t a c h m e n t s p r e c e d e a n d c o n d i t i o n the f o r m a t i o n o f subjects (the v i s u a l i z a t i o n o f l i b i d o i n the m i r r o r stage, the s u s t a i n i n g o f that p r o j e c t e d i m a g e t h r o u g h t i m e a s the d i s c u r s i v e f u n c t i o n o f the n a m e ) . I s t h i s t h e n a n o n t o l o g y o f l i b i d o o r i n v e s t m e n t that i s i n s o m e sense p r i o r t o a n d separ a b l e f r o m a subject, o r i s e v e r y s u c h i n v e s t m e n t f r o m the start b o u n d u p w i t h a r e f l e x i v i t y that i s s t a b i l i z e d ( w i t h i n the i m a g i n a r y ) as the ego? If the ego is c o m p o s e d of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s , a n d i d e n t i f i c a t i o n is the r e s o l u t i o n of d e s i r e , t h e n the ego is the

F o r F o u c a u l t , a subject i s f o r m e d a n d t h e n i n v e s t e d w i t h a s e x u a l i t y by a r e g i m e of p o w e r . If the v e r y p r o c e s s of subjectf o r m a t i o n , h o w e v e r , r e q u i r e s a p r e e m p t i o n of s e x u a l i t y , a f o u n d i n g p r o h i b i t i o n that p r o h i b i t s a c e r t a i n d e s i r e b u t itself b e c o m e s a f o c u s of d e s i r e , t h e n a subject is f o r m e d t h r o u g h the p r o h i b i t i o n of a s e x u a l i t y , a p r o h i b i t i o n that at the s a m e t i m e f o r m s t h i s s e x u a l i t y — a n d the subject w h o i s s a i d t o b e a r it. T h i s v i e w d i s p u t e s the F o u c a u l t i a n n o t i o n that p s y c h o a n a l y s i s p r e s u m e s the e x t e r i o r i t y o f the l a w t o d e s i r e , f o r i t m a i n t a i n s that there i s n o d e s i r e w i t h o u t the l a w that f o r m s a n d s u s t a i n s the v e r y d e s i r e i t p r o h i b i t s . I n d e e d , p r o h i b i t i o n b e c o m e s a n o d d f o r m o f p r e s e r v a t i o n , a w a y o f e r o t i c i z i n g the l a w that w o u l d abolish eroticism, but w h i c h only works by compelling e r o t i c i z a t i o n . In t h i s sense, a " s e x u a l i d e n t i t y " is a p r o d u c t i v e contradiction in terms, for identity is f o r m e d t h r o u g h a p r o h i b i t i o n o n s o m e d i m e n s i o n o f the v e r y s e x u a l i t y i t i s s a i d t o

104

Subjection, Resistance, Resignification

Between Freud and Foucault

105

bear, a n d s e x u a l i t y , w h e n i t i s t i e d t o i d e n t i t y , i s a l w a y s i n s o m e sense u n d e r c u t t i n g itself. T h i s is n o t n e c e s s a r i l y a static c o n t r a d i c t i o n , f o r the s i g n i fiers o f i d e n t i t y are n o t s t r u c t u r a l l y d e t e r m i n e d i n a d v a n c e . I f F o u c a u l t c o u l d a r g u e that a s i g n c o u l d b e t a k e n u p , u s e d f o r p u r p o s e s c o u n t e r t o t h o s e for w h i c h i t w a s d e s i g n e d , t h e n h e u n d e r s t o o d that e v e n the m o s t n o x i o u s t e r m s c o u l d b e o w n e d , that the m o s t i n j u r i o u s i n t e r p e l l a t i o n s c o u l d also b e the site o f r a d i c a l r e o c c u p a t i o n a n d r e s i g n i f i c a t i o n . B u t w h a t lets u s o c c u p y the d i s c u r s i v e site o f i n j u r y ? H o w are w e a n i m a t e d a n d m o b i l i z e d b y that d i s c u r s i v e site a n d its i n j u r y , s u c h that o u r v e r y a t t a c h m e n t t o i t b e c o m e s the c o n d i t i o n for o u r r e s i g n i f i c a t i o n o f it? C a l l e d b y a n i n j u r i o u s n a m e , I c o m e i n t o s o c i a l b e i n g , a n d b e c a u s e I h a v e a c e r t a i n i n e v i t a b l e attachm e n t t o m y existence, b e c a u s e a c e r t a i n n a r c i s s i s m takes h o l d o f a n y t e r m that confers existence, I a m l e d t o e m b r a c e the t e r m s that i n j u r e m e b e c a u s e t h e y c o n s t i t u t e m e s o c i a l l y . T h e s e l f - c o l o n i z i n g trajectory o f c e r t a i n f o r m s o f i d e n t i t y p o l i t i c s are s y m p t o m a t i c o f this p a r a d o x i c a l e m b r a c e o f the i n j u r i o u s term. As a further paradox, then, only by o c c u p y i n g — b e i n g o c c u p i e d b y — t h a t i n j u r i o u s t e r m c a n I resist a n d o p p o s e i t , r e c a s t i n g the p o w e r that c o n s t i t u t e s me as the p o w e r I o p p o s e . I n t h i s w a y , a c e r t a i n p l a c e for p s y c h o a n a l y s i s i s s e c u r e d i n that a n y m o b i l i z a t i o n against s u b j e c t i o n w i l l t a k e s u b j e c t i o n a s its r e s o u r c e , a n d that a t t a c h m e n t t o a n i n j u r i o u s i n t e r p e l l a tion w i l l , by w a y of a necessarily alienated narcissism, become the c o n d i t i o n u n d e r w h i c h r e s i g n i f y i n g that i n t e r p e l l a t i o n b e comes possible. This w i l l not be an unconscious outside of p o w e r , b u t rather s o m e t h i n g l i k e the u n c o n s c i o u s o f p o w e r itself, i n its t r a u m a t i c a n d p r o d u c t i v e i t e r a b i l i t y . If, t h e n , w e u n d e r s t a n d c e r t a i n k i n d s o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n s t o c o n f e r i d e n t i t y , those i n j u r i o u s i n t e r p e l l a t i o n s w i l l c o n s t i t u t e

i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h i n j u r y . T h i s i s n o t the s a m e a s s a y i n g that s u c h a n i d e n t i t y w i l l r e m a i n a l w a y s a n d f o r e v e r r o o t e d i n its i n j u r y a s l o n g a s i t r e m a i n s a n i d e n t i t y , b u t i t does i m p l y that the p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f r e s i g n i f i c a t i o n w i l l r e w o r k a n d u n s e t t l e the p a s s i o n a t e a t t a c h m e n t t o s u b j e c t i o n w i t h o u t w h i c h subject form a t i o n — a n d r e - f o r m a t i o n — c a n n o t succeed.

Althusser's

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event, b u t a c e r t a i n w a y of staging the call, w h e r e the c a l l , as staged, b e c o m e s d e l i t e r a l i z e d i n the c o u r s e o f its e x p o s i t i o n o r darstellung. T h e c a l l itself is a l s o f i g u r e d as a d e m a n d to a l i g n oneself w i t h the l a w , a t u r n i n g a r o u n d (to face the l a w , t o f i n d

'Conscience Doth Make Subjects of Us A l l "
Althusser's Subjection

a face for the l a w ? ) , a n d an e n t r a n c e i n t o the l a n g u a g e of selfa s c r i p t i o n — " H e r e I a m " — t h r o u g h the a p p r o p r i a t i o n o f g u i l t . W h y d o e s subject f o r m a t i o n a p p e a r t o t a k e p l a c e o n l y u p o n the a c c e p t a n c e o f g u i l t , s o that there i s n o " I " w h o m i g h t asc r i b e a p l a c e t o itself, w h o m i g h t b e a n n o u n c e d i n s p e e c h , w i t h o u t first a s e l f - a t t r i b u t i o n of g u i l t , a s u b m i s s i o n to the l a w t h r o u g h a n a c c e p t a n c e o f its d e m a n d for c o n f o r m i t y ? T h e o n e w h o t u r n s a r o u n d i n r e s p o n s e t o the c a l l does n o t r e s p o n d t o a d e m a n d t o t u r n a r o u n d . T h e t u r n i n g a r o u n d i s a n act that

A l t h u s s e r ' s d o c t r i n e of i n t e r p e l l a t i o n c o n t i n u e s to s t r u c t u r e c o n t e m p o r a r y debate o n subject f o r m a t i o n , o f f e r i n g a w a y to account for à subject w h o c o m e s i n t o b e i n g as a c o n s e q u e n c e o f l a n g u a g e , yet a l w a y s w i t h i n its t e r m s . T h e t h e o r y o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n a p p e a r s to stage a s o c i a l scene in w h i c h a s u b ject i s h a i l e d , the subject t u r n s a r o u n d , a n d the subject t h e n accepts the t e r m s b y w h i c h h e o r she i s h a i l e d . T h i s is, n o d o u b t , a scene b o t h p u n i t i v e a n d r e d u c e d , for the c a l l i s m a d e b y a n officer o f "the L a w , " a n d t h i s officer i s cast a s s i n g u l a r a n d s p e a k i n g . C l e a r l y w e m i g h t object that the " c a l l " a r r i v e s s e v e r a l l y a n d i n i m p l i c i t a n d u n s p o k e n w a y s , that the scene i s n e v e r q u i t e a s d y a d i c a s A l t h u s s e r c l a i m s , b u t these objections have been rehearsed, a n d " i n t e r p e l l a t i o n " as a doctrine c o n t i n u e s t o s u r v i v e its c r i t i q u e . I f w e a c c e p t that the scene i s e x e m p l a r y a n d a l l e g o r i c a l , t h e n i t n e v e r needs t o h a p p e n for its e f f e c t i v i t y t o b e p r e s u m e d . I n d e e d , i f i t i s a l l e g o r i c a l i n B e n j a m i n ' s sense, t h e n the p r o c e s s l i t e r a l i z e d b y the a l l e g o r y i s p r e c i s e l y w h a t resists n a r r a t i o n , w h a t exceeds the n a r r a t i v i z a b i l i t y o f events. I n t e r p e l l a t i o n , o n t h i s a c c o u n t , i s n o t a n
1

is, a s i t w e r e , c o n d i t i o n e d b o t h b y the " v o i c e " o f the l a w a n d b y the r e s p o n s i v e n e s s o f the o n e h a i l e d b y the law. T h e " t u r n i n g a r o u n d " i s a s t r a n g e sort o f m i d d l e g r o u n d ( t a k i n g p l a c e , p e r h a p s , i n a s t r a n g e sort o f " m i d d l e v o i c e " ) ,
2

w h i c h is de-

t e r m i n e d b o t h b y the l a w a n d the a d d r e s s e e , b u t b y n e i t h e r u n i l a t e r a l l y o r e x h a u s t i v e l y . A l t h o u g h there w o u l d b e n o t u r n i n g a r o u n d w i t h o u t first h a v i n g b e e n h a i l e d , n e i t h e r w o u l d there b e a t u r n i n g a r o u n d w i t h o u t s o m e r e a d i n e s s t o t u r n . B u t w h e r e a n d w h e n d o e s the c a l l i n g o f the n a m e s o l i c i t the t u r n i n g a r o u n d , the a n t i c i p a t o r y m o v e t o w a r d i d e n t i t y ? H o w a n d w h y does the subject t u r n , a n t i c i p a t i n g the c o n f e r r a l o f i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h the s e l f - a s c r i p t i o n o f g u i l t ? W h a t k i n d o f r e l a t i o n a l r e a d y b i n d s these t w o s u c h that the subject k n o w s t o t u r n , k n o w s that s o m e t h i n g i s t o b e g a i n e d f r o m s u c h a t u r n ? H o w m i g h t w e t h i n k o f t h i s " t u r n " a s p r i o r t o subject f o r m a t i o n , a p r i o r c o m p l i c i t y w i t h the l a w w i t h o u t w h i c h n o subject e m e r g e s ? T h e t u r n t o w a r d the l a w i s t h u s a t u r n a g a i n s t o n e self, a t u r n i n g b a c k o n o n e s e l f that c o n s t i t u t e s the m o v e m e n t o f c o n s c i e n c e . B u t h o w d o e s the reflex o f c o n s c i e n c e p a r a l y z e

io8

"Conscience D o t h M a k e Subjects o f U s A l l "

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the c r i t i c a l i n t e r r o g a t i o n o f the l a w a t the s a m e t i m e that i t figures the subject's u n c r i t i c a l r e l a t i o n to the l a w as a c o n d i t i o n of subjectivation? T h e one addressed is c o m p e l l e d to t u r n t o w a r d the l a w p r i o r t o a n y p o s s i b i l i t y o f a s k i n g a set o f c r i t i cal questions: W h o is speaking? W h y s h o u l d I t u r n around? W h y s h o u l d I a c c e p t the t e r m s b y w h i c h I a m h a i l e d ? T h i s m e a n s that p r i o r t o a n y p o s s i b i l i t y o f a c r i t i c a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the l a w i s a n o p e n n e s s o r v u l n e r a b i l i t y t o the l a w , e x e m p l i f i e d i n the t u r n t o w a r d the l a w , i n the a n t i c i p a t i o n o f c u l l i n g a n i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h i d e n t i f y i n g w i t h the o n e w h o has b r o k e n the law. I n d e e d , the l a w i s b r o k e n p r i o r t o a n y p o s s i b i l i t y o f h a v i n g access t o the l a w , a n d s o " g u i l t " i s p r i o r t o k n o w l e d g e o f the l a w a n d is, i n t h i s sense, a l w a y s s t r a n g e l y i n n o c e n t . T h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a c r i t i c a l v i e w o f the l a w i s t h u s l i m i t e d b y w h a t m i g h t b e u n d e r s t o o d a s a p r i o r d e s i r e for the law, a passionate c o m p l i c i t y w i t h law, w i t h o u t w h i c h no subject c a n exist. F o r the "I" to l a u n c h its c r i t i q u e , it m u s t first u n d e r s t a n d that the "I" itself i s d e p e n d e n t u p o n its c o m p l i c i t o u s d e s i r e for the l a w t o m a k e p o s s i b l e its o w n existence. A c r i t i c a l r e v i e w o f the l a w w i l l n o t , therefore, u n d o the force o f c o n s c i e n c e u n l e s s the o n e w h o offers that c r i t i q u e i s w i l l i n g , a s i t w e r e , t o b e u n d o n e b y the c r i t i q u e that h e o r she p e r f o r m s . I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o r e m e m b e r that the t u r n t o w a r d the l a w i s n o t necessitated b y the h a i l i n g ; i t i s c o m p e l l i n g , i n a less t h a n l o g i c a l sense, b e c a u s e i t p r o m i s e s i d e n t i t y . I f the l a w speaks i n the n a m e of a s e l f - i d e n t i c a l subject ( A l t h u s s e r cites the utterance o f the H e b r e w G o d : " I a m that I a m " ) , h o w i s i t that c o n s c i e n c e m i g h t d e l i v e r or restore a self to oneness w i t h itself, to the p o s t u l a t i o n o f s e l f - i d e n t i t y that b e c o m e s the p r e c o n d i t i o n o f the l i n g u i s t i c c o n s o l i d a t i o n " H e r e I a m " ? Yet h o w m i g h t w e site the v u l n e r a b i l i t y o f s u b j e c t i v a t i o n p r e c i s e l y i n that t u r n ( t o w a r d the l a w , a g a i n s t the self), w h i c h

p r e c e d e s a n d a n t i c i p a t e s the a c c e p t a n c e o f g u i l t , a t u r n that e l u d e s s u b j e c t i v a t i o n e v e n a s i t c o n d i t i o n s it? H o w d o e s t h i s " t u r n " f i g u r e a c o n s c i e n c e that m i g h t b e r e n d e r e d less c o n s c i e n t i o u s t h a n A l t h u s s e r w o u l d r e n d e r it? A n d h o w d o e s A l t h u s s e r ' s s a n c t i f i c a t i o n o f the scene o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n m a k e the p o s s i b i l i t y o f b e c o m i n g a " b a d " subject m o r e r e m o t e a n d less i n c e n d i a r y t h a n i t m i g h t w e l l b e ? The doctrine of interpellation appears to presuppose a p r i o r a n d unelaborated doctrine of conscience, a t u r n i n g back u p o n o n e s e l f in the sense that N i e t z s c h e d e s c r i b e d in On the Genealogy of Morals. T h i s r e a d i n e s s to accept g u i l t to g a i n a p u r c h a s e
3

on identity is l i n k e d to a h i g h l y religious scenario of a n o m i n a t i n g c a l l that c o m e s f r o m G o d a n d that c o n s t i t u t e s the s u b ject b y a p p e a l i n g t o a n e e d f o r the l a w , a n o r i g i n a l g u i l t that the l a w p r o m i s e s t o assuage t h r o u g h the c o n f e r r a l o f i d e n t i t y . H o w does t h i s r e l i g i o u s f i g u r a t i o n o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n r e s t r a i n i n a d v a n c e a n y p o s s i b i l i t y o f c r i t i c a l i n t e r v e n t i o n i n the w o r k i n g s o f the l a w , a n y u n d o i n g o f the subject w i t h o u t w h i c h the l a w cannot proceed? The m e n t i o n of conscience in Althusser's "Ideology a n d I d e o l o g i c a l State A p p a r a t u s e s " has r e c e i v e d l i t t l e c r i t i c a l at4

t e n t i o n , e v e n t h o u g h the t e r m , t a k e n together w i t h the exa m p l e o f r e l i g i o u s a u t h o r i t y t o i l l u s t r a t e the force o f i d e o l ogy, suggests that the t h e o r y of i d e o l o g y is s u p p o r t e d by a c o m p l i c a t e d set o f t h e o l o g i c a l m e t a p h o r s . A l t h o u g h A l t h u s ser e x p l i c i t l y i n t r o d u c e s "the C h u r c h " m e r e l y a s a n example o f i d e o l o g i c a l i n t e r p e l l a t i o n , i t a p p e a r s that i d e o l o g y i n h i s t e r m s c a n n o t b e t h o u g h t e x c e p t t h r o u g h the m e t a p h o r i c s o f r e l i g i o u s authority. The final section of "Ideology" is entitled " A n Example: The Christian Religious Ideology" and makes explicit the e x e m p l a r y status that r e l i g i o u s i n s t i t u t i o n s h a v e o c c u p i e d i n the p r e c e d i n g s e c t i o n o f the essay. T h o s e e x a m p l e s i n c l u d e :

110

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Althusser's Subjection

m

the p u t a t i v e " e t e r n i t y " o f i d e o l o g y ; the e x p l i c i t a n a l o g y b e t w e e n the " o b v i o u s n e s s o f i d e o l o g y " a n d St. P a u l ' s n o t i o n o f the " L o g o s " i n w h i c h w e are s a i d t o " l i v e , m o v e a n d h a v e o u r b e i n g " ; P a s c a l ' s p r a y e r a s a n i n s t a n c e o f r i t u a l i n w h i c h ass u m i n g the p o s t u r e o f k n e e l i n g g i v e s r i s e o v e r t i m e t o belief; b e l i e f i t s e l f a s the i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y r e p r o d u c e d c o n d i t i o n o f i d e o l o g y ; a n d the d e i f y i n g c a p i t a l i z a t i o n o f " F a m i l y , " " C h u r c h , " " S c h o o l , " a n d "State." A l t h o u g h the last s e c t i o n o f the essay seeks t o e x p l i c a t e a n d e x p o s e the e x a m p l e o f r e l i g i o u s a u t h o r i t y , t h i s e x p o s u r e l a c k s the p o w e r t o defuse the f o r c e o f i d e o l o g y . A l t h u s s e r ' s o w n w r i t i n g , h e c o n c e d e s , i n v a r i a b l y enacts w h a t i t t h e m a tizes, a n d t h u s p r o m i s e s n o e n l i g h t e n e d escape f r o m i d e o l o g y
5

c o n s t i t u t i o n o f the subject. B a p t i s m e x e m p l i f i e s the l i n g u i s t i c m e a n s b y w h i c h the subject i s c o m p e l l e d i n t o s o c i a l b e i n g . G o d n a m e s "Peter," a n d t h i s a d d r e s s establishes G o d a s the o r i g i n o f P e t e r ; the n a m e r e m a i n s a t t a c h e d t o Peter p e r m a 6

n e n t l y b y v i r t u e o f the i m p l i e d a n d c o n t i n u o u s p r e s e n c e i n the n a m e o f the o n e w h o n a m e s h i m . W i t h i n the t e r m s o f A l t h u s ser's e x a m p l e s , h o w e v e r , t h i s n a m i n g c a n n o t b e a c c o m p l i s h e d w i t h o u t a c e r t a i n r e a d i n e s s o r a n t i c i p a t o r y d e s i r e o n the p a r t o f the o n e a d d r e s s e d . T o the extent that the n a m i n g i s a n a d dress, there i s a n a d d r e s s e e p r i o r t o the a d d r e s s ; b u t g i v e n that the a d d r e s s i s a n a m e w h i c h creates w h a t i t n a m e s , there a p p e a r s t o b e n o " P e t e r " w i t h o u t the n a m e "Peter." I n d e e d , " P e t e r " d o e s n o t exist w i t h o u t the n a m e that s u p p l i e s the l i n g u i s t i c g u a r a n t e e of existence. In t h i s sense, as a p r i o r a n d e s s e n t i a l c o n d i t i o n o f the f o r m a t i o n o f the subject, there i s a c e r t a i n r e a d i n e s s t o b e c o m p e l l e d b y the a u t h o r i t a t i v e i n t e r p e l l a t i o n , a r e a d i n e s s w h i c h suggests that o n e is, as i t w e r e , a l r e a d y i n r e l a t i o n t o the v o i c e b e f o r e the r e s p o n s e , a l r e a d y i m p l i c a t e d i n the t e r m s o f the a n i m a t i n g m i s r e c o g n i t i o n b y a n a u t h o r i t y t o w h i c h one subsequently yields. O r perhaps one has already y i e l d e d before one turns a r o u n d , a n d that t u r n i n g i s m e r e l y a s i g n o f a n i n e v i t a b l e s u b m i s s i o n b y w h i c h o n e i s e s t a b l i s h e d a s a subject p o s i t i o n e d i n l a n g u a g e a s a p o s s i b l e addressee. I n t h i s sense, the scene w i t h the p o l i c e i s a b e l a t e d a n d r e d o u b l e d scene, o n e w h i c h r e n d e r s e x p l i c i t a f o u n d i n g s u b m i s s i o n for w h i c h n o s u c h scene w o u l d p r o v e a d e q u a t e . I f that s u b m i s s i o n b r i n g s the subject i n t o b e i n g , t h e n the n a r r a t i v e that seeks t o t e l l the s t o r y o f that s u b m i s s i o n c a n p r o c e e d o n l y b y e x p l o i t i n g g r a m m a r f o r its f i c t i o n a l effects. T h e n a r r a t i v e that seeks t o a c c o u n t f o r h o w the subject c o m e s i n t o b e i n g p r e s u m e s the g r a m m a t i c a l "subject" p r i o r t o the a c c o u n t o f its genesis. Yet the f o u n d i n g s u b m i s s i o n that has

t h r o u g h t h i s a r t i c u l a t i o n . T o i l l u s t r a t e the p o w e r o f i d e o l o g y t o c o n s t i t u t e subjects, A l t h u s s e r has r e c o u r s e t o the e x a m p l e o f the d i v i n e v o i c e that n a m e s , a n d i n n a m i n g , b r i n g s its s u b jects i n t o b e i n g . I n c l a i m i n g that s o c i a l i d e o l o g y o p e r a t e s i n an analogous way, A l t h u s s e r inadvertently assimilates social i n t e r p e l l a t i o n t o the d i v i n e p e r f o r m a t i v e . T h e e x a m p l e o f i d e o l o g y t h u s a s s u m e s the status o f a p a r a d i g m for t h i n k i n g i d e o l o g y a s s u c h , w h e r e b y the i n e v i t a b l e s t r u c t u r e s o f i d e o l o g y are e s t a b l i s h e d t e x t u a l l y t h r o u g h r e l i g i o u s m e t a p h o r : the a u t h o r i t y o f the " v o i c e " o f i d e o l o g y , the " v o i c e " o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n , is f i g u r e d as a v o i c e a l m o s t i m p o s s i b l e to refuse. T h e f o r c e of i n t e r p e l l a t i o n i n A l t h u s s e r i s d e r i v e d f r o m the e x a m p l e s b y w h i c h it is ostensibly illustrated, most notably, G o d ' s voice in the n a m i n g o f Peter ( a n d M o s e s ) a n d its s e c u l a r i z a t i o n i n the p o s t u l a t e d v o i c e o f the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f state a u t h o r i t y : the p o l i c e m a n ' s v o i c e i n the h a i l i n g o f the w a y w a r d p e d e s t r i a n w i t h " H e y y o u there!" I n o t h e r w o r d s , the d i v i n e p o w e r o f n a m i n g s t r u c t u r e s the t h e o r y o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n that a c c o u n t s for the i d e o l o g i c a l

112

"Conscience Doth M a k e Subjects of Us A l l "

Althusser's Subjection

113

n o t yet r e s o l v e d i n t o the subject w o u l d b e p r e c i s e l y the n o n n a r r a t i v i z a b l e p r e h i s t o r y o f the subject, a p a r a d o x w h i c h calls the v e r y n a r r a t i v e o f subject f o r m a t i o n i n t o q u e s t i o n . I f there is no subject e x c e p t as a c o n s e q u e n c e of this s u b j e c t i o n , the n a r r a t i v e that w o u l d e x p l a i n t h i s r e q u i r e s that the t e m p o r a l i t y n o t b e t r u e , for the g r a m m a r o f that n a r r a t i v e p r e s u p p o s e s that there i s n o s u b j e c t i o n w i t h o u t a subject w h o u n d e r g o e s it. Is this f o u n d i n g s u b m i s s i o n a k i n d of y i e l d i n g p r i o r to any q u e s t i o n o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l m o t i v a t i o n ? H o w are w e t o u n d e r s t a n d the p s y c h i c d i s p o s i t i o n a t w o r k a t the m o m e n t i n w h i c h the p e d e s t r i a n r e s p o n d s t o the l a w ? W h a t c o n d i t i o n s a n d i n f o r m s that r e s p o n s e ? W h y w o u l d the p e r s o n o n the street r e s p o n d t o " H e y y o u t h e r e ! " b y t u r n i n g a r o u n d ? W h a t i s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of t u r n i n g to face a v o i c e that calls f r o m b e h i n d ? T h i s t u r n i n g t o w a r d the v o i c e of the l a w is a s i g n of a c e r t a i n d e s i r e t o b e b e h e l d b y a n d p e r h a p s also t o b e h o l d the face o f authority, a visual rendering of an auditory scene—a m i r r o r stage or, p e r h a p s m o r e a p p r o p r i a t e l y , a n " a c o u s t i c m i r r o r " —
7

be r e a d as the c o m p e l l e d c o n s e q u e n c e of a n a r c i s s i s t i c a t t a c h m e n t t o one's c o n t i n u i n g existence. A l t h u s s e r takes u p g u i l t e x p l i c i t l y i n the n a r r a t i v e , h o w e v e r reliable, of his m u r d e r of Hélène, his wife, in w h i c h he narrates, i n a t e l l i n g r e v e r s a l o f the p o l i c e scene i n " I d e o l o g y , " h o w h e r u s h e d i n t o the street c a l l i n g for the p o l i c e i n o r d e r t o d e l i v e r h i m s e l f u p t o the law. T h i s c a l l i n g for the p o l i c e i s
8

a peculiar inversion of hailing w h i c h "Ideology" presupposes w i t h o u t e x p l i c i t l y t h e m a t i z i n g . W i t h o u t e x p l o i t i n g the b i o g r a p h i c a l , I w a n t t o p u r s u e the t h e o r e t i c a l i m p o r t a n c e o f t h i s r e v e r s a l o f the scene w i t h the p o l i c e , i n w h i c h the m a n o n the street calls f o r the p o l i c e r a t h e r t h a n r e s p o n d i n g t o the p o l i c e ' s call. In "Ideology," guilt a n d conscience operate i m p l i c i t l y in relation to an ideological demand, an animating reprimand, in the a c c o u n t o f subject f o r m a t i o n . T h e p r e s e n t c h a p t e r a t t e m p t s t o r e r e a d that essay t o u n d e r s t a n d h o w i n t e r p e l l a t i o n i s essent i a l l y f i g u r e d t h r o u g h the r e l i g i o u s e x a m p l e . T h e e x e m p l a r y status o f r e l i g i o u s a u t h o r i t y u n d e r s c o r e s the p a r a d o x o f h o w the v e r y p o s s i b i l i t y o f subject f o r m a t i o n d e p e n d s u p o n a p a s sionate p u r s u i t o f a r e c o g n i t i o n w h i c h , w i t h i n the t e r m s o f the religious example, is inseparable f r o m a c o n d e m n a t i o n . A n o t h e r w a y o f p o s i n g t h i s q u e s t i o n w o u l d b e t o ask: H o w i s A l t h u s s e r ' s text i m p l i c a t e d i n the " c o n s c i e n c e " that i t seeks to e x p l a i n ? To w h a t extent is the p e r s i s t e n c e of the t h e o l o g i c a l m o d e l a s y m p t o m , o n e that c o m p e l s a s y m p t o m a t i c r e a d i n g ? In h i s i n t r o d u c t o r y essay to Reading Capital, A l t h u s ser suggests that e v e r y text m u s t b e r e a d f o r the " i n v i s i b l e " that a p p e a r s w i t h i n the w o r l d that t h e o r y r e n d e r s v i s i b l e . I n
9

that p e r m i t s the m i s r e c o g n i t i o n w i t h o u t w h i c h the s o c i a l i t y o f the subject c a n n o t b e a c h i e v e d . T h i s s u b j e c t i v a t i o n is, acc o r d i n g to A l t h u s s e r , a m i s r e c o g n i t i o n , a false a n d p r o v i s i o n a l t o t a l i z a t i o n ; w h a t p r e c i p i t a t e s t h i s d e s i r e for the l a w , t h i s l u r e o f m i s r e c o g n i t i o n o f f e r e d i n the r e p r i m a n d that establishes s u b o r d i n a t i o n a s the p r i c e o f s u b j e c t i v a t i o n ? T h i s a c c o u n t a p p e a r s to i m p l y that s o c i a l existence, existence as a subject, c a n b e p u r c h a s e d o n l y t h r o u g h a g u i l t y e m b r a c e o f the l a w , w h e r e g u i l t g u a r a n t e e s the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f the l a w a n d , hence, the c o n t i n u a t i o n of the subject's existence. If the subject c a n o n l y assure h i s / h e r existence i n t e r m s o f the l a w , a n d the l a w r e quires subjection for subjectivation, then, perversely, one m a y ( a l w a y s a l r e a d y ) y i e l d t o the l a w i n o r d e r t o c o n t i n u e t o ass u r e o n e ' s o w n existence. T h e y i e l d i n g t o the l a w m i g h t t h e n

a recent c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f A l t h u s s e r ' s n o t i o n o f " s y m p t o m a t i c r e a d i n g , " J e a n - M a r i e V i n c e n t r e m a r k s that " a text i s n o t i n t e r e s t i n g o n l y b e c a u s e i t i s o r g a n i z e d l o g i c a l l y , b e c a u s e o f the a p p a r e n t l y r i g o r o u s w a y i n w h i c h i t d e v e l o p s its a r g u m e n t s ,

ii

4

"Conscience D o t h M a k e Subjects of Us A l l "

T

Althusser's

Subjection

"5

b u t a l s o b e c a u s e o f w h a t d i s o r g a n i z e s its o r d e r , b e c a u s e o f a l l that w e a k e n s i t . "
1 0

a r e f l e x i v i t y — w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e s the c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y for the subject t o f o r m . R e f l e x i v i t y i s c o n s t i t u t e d t h r o u g h t h i s m o m e n t o f c o n s c i e n c e , t h i s t u r n i n g b a c k u p o n oneself, w h i c h i s s i m u l t a n e o u s w i t h a t u r n i n g t o w a r d the law. T h i s selfr e s t r i c t i o n d o e s n o t i n t e r n a l i z e a n e x t e r n a l l a w : the m o d e l o f i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n takes for g r a n t e d that a n " i n t e r n a l " a n d "extern a l " h a v e a l r e a d y b e e n f o r m e d . Instead, t h i s s e l f - r e s t r i c t i o n i s p r i o r to the subject. It c o n s t i t u t e s the i n a u g u r a t i n g r e f l e x i v e t u r n o f the subject, e n a c t e d i n a n t i c i p a t i o n o f the l a w a n d hence d e t e r m i n e d by, h a v i n g p r e j u d i c a t i v e f o r e k n o w l e d g e of, the l a w . C o n s c i e n c e i s f u n d a m e n t a l t o the p r o d u c t i o n a n d r e g u l a t i o n o f the c i t i z e n - s u b j e c t , for c o n s c i e n c e t u r n s the i n d i v i d u a l a r o u n d , m a k e s h i m / h e r a v a i l a b l e t o the s u b j e c t i v a t i n g r e p r i m a n d . T h e l a w r e d o u b l e s that r e p r i m a n d , h o w e v e r : the t u r n i n g b a c k i s a t u r n i n g t o w a r d . H o w are these t u r n s t o b e t h o u g h t together, w i t h o u t r e d u c i n g o n e t o the o t h e r ? B e f o r e the p o l i c e o r the c h u r c h a u t h o r i t i e s a r r i v e o n the A l t h u s s e r i a n scene, there is a reference to p r o h i b i t i o n w h i c h , i n a L a c a n i a n v e i n , i s l i n k e d w i t h the v e r y p o s s i b i l i t y o f s p e e c h . A l t h u s s e r l i n k s the e m e r g e n c e o f a c o n s c i o u s n e s s — a n d a c o n s c i e n c e ("la c o n s c i e n c e c i v i q u e et p r o f e s s i o n e l l e " ) — w i t h the p r o b l e m of s p e a k i n g p r o p e r l y (bien parler)}
1

Neither Althusser nor Vincent considers

the p o s s i b i l i t y that the e x e m p l a r y status o f c e r t a i n m e t a p h o r s m a y o c c a s i o n a s y m p t o m a t i c r e a d i n g that " w e a k e n s " r i g o r o u s a r g u m e n t . Yet i n A l t h u s s e r ' s o w n text, r e c o n s i d e r i n g the c e n t r a l r e l i g i o u s t r o p e s o f the v o i c e o f the l a w a n d c o n s c i e n c e e n ables o n e t o q u e s t i o n w h a t has b e c o m e , w i t h i n recent l i t e r a r y s t u d i e s , a n u n n e c e s s a r y t e n s i o n b e t w e e n the r e a d i n g o f m e t a p h o r a n d the r e a d i n g o f i d e o l o g y . T o the extent that A l t h u s s e r ' s r e l i g i o u s a n a l o g i e s are u n d e r s t o o d a s m e r e l y i l l u s t r a t i v e , t h e y are set a p a r t f r o m the r i g o r o u s a r g u m e n t a t i o n of the text itself, o f f e r e d i n p e d a g o g i c a l p a r a p h r a s i s . Yet the p e r f o r m a t i v e force o f the v o i c e o f r e l i g i o u s a u t h o r i t y b e c o m e s e x e m p l a r y f o r the t h e o r y o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n , t h u s e x t e n d i n g t h r o u g h e x a m p l e the p u t a t i v e force o f d i v i n e n a m i n g t o the s o c i a l a u t h o r i t i e s b y w h i c h the subject i s h a i l e d i n t o s o c i a l b e i n g . I d o n o t m e a n t o suggest that the " t r u t h " o f A l t h u s s e r ' s text c a n b e d i s c o v e r e d i n h o w the f i g u r a i d i s r u p t s " r i g o r o u s " c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n . S u c h a n a p p r o a c h r o m a n t i c i z e s the f i g u r a i a s e s s e n t i a l l y d i s r u p t i v e , whereas figures m a y w e l l c o m p o u n d a n d intensify concept u a l c l a i m s . T h e c o n c e r n here has a m o r e s p e c i f i c t e x t u a l a i m , namely, to show h o w figures—examples and analogies—inf o r m a n d e x t e n d c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n s , i m p l i c a t i n g the text i n a n ideological sanctification of religious authority w h i c h it can e x p o s e o n l y b y r e e n a c t i n g that a u t h o r i t y . F o r A l t h u s s e r , the efficacy o f i d e o l o g y consists i n p a r t i n the f o r m a t i o n of conscience, w h e r e the n o t i o n " c o n s c i e n c e " is u n d e r s t o o d t o p l a c e r e s t r i c t i o n s o n w h a t i s s p e a k a b l e or, m o r e generally, representable. Conscience cannot be conceptualized as a s e l f - r e s t r i c t i o n , if that r e l a t i o n is c o n s t r u e d as a p r e g i v e n r e f l e x i v i t y , a t u r n i n g b a c k u p o n itself p e r f o r m e d b y a r e a d y m a d e subject. I n s t e a d , it d e s i g n a t e s a k i n d of t u r n i n g b a c k —

"Speak-

i n g p r o p e r l y " a p p e a r s t o b e a n i n s t a n c e o f the i d e o l o g i c a l w o r k o f a c q u i r i n g s k i l l s , a p r o c e s s c e n t r a l t o the f o r m a t i o n o f the subject. T h e " d i v e r s e s k i l l s " o f l a b o r p o w e r m u s t b e r e p r o d u c e d , a n d increasingly this r e p r o d u c t i o n happens "outside the f i r m " a n d i n school, that is, o u t s i d e p r o d u c t i o n a n d i n e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . T h e s k i l l s t o b e l e a r n e d are, a b o v e a l l , the skills of speech. T h e first m e n t i o n of "conscience," w h i c h w i l l t u r n o u t t o b e c e n t r a l t o the success o r efficacy o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n , i s l i n k e d t o the a c q u i s i t i o n o f m a s t e r y , t o l e a r n i n g h o w t o "speak p r o p e r l y . " T h e r e p r o d u c t i o n o f the subject takes p l a c e

n6

"Conscience D o t h M a k e Subjects o f U s A l l "

Althusser's Subjection

117

t h r o u g h the r e p r o d u c t i o n o f l i n g u i s t i c s k i l l s , c o n s t i t u t i n g , a s i t w e r e , the r u l e s a n d a t t i t u d e s o b s e r v e d " b y e v e r y agent i n the d i v i s i o n o f l a b o u r . " I n t h i s sense the r u l e s o f p r o p e r s p e e c h are also the r u l e s b y w h i c h respect i s p r o f e r r e d o r w i t h h e l d . W o r k e r s are t a u g h t t o speak p r o p e r l y a n d m a n a g e r s l e a r n t o s p e a k to w o r k e r s " i n the r i g h t w a y [bien commander]" (13132/72). L a n g u a g e s k i l l s are s a i d t o b e m a s t e r e d a n d m a s t e r a b l e , yet this mastery is figured by Althusser quite clearly as a k i n d o f s u b m i s s i o n : "the r e p r o d u c t i o n o f l a b o r p o w e r r e q u i r e s n o t o n l y a r e p r o d u c t i o n of (the l a b o r e r ' s ) s k i l l s , b u t also, at the s a m e t i m e , a r e p r o d u c t i o n of its s u b m i s s i o n to the r u l e s of the established order [soumission à l'idéologie dominante]" (132/72). T h i s s u b m i s s i o n t o the r u l e s o f the d o m i n a n t i d e o l o g y l e a d s i n the n e x t p a r a g r a p h t o the p r o b l e m a t i c o f subjection, w h i c h c a r r i e s the d o u b l e m e a n i n g o f h a v i n g s u b m i t t e d t o these r u l e s a n d b e c o m i n g constituted w i t h i n sociality b y v i r t u e o f this submission. A l t h u s s e r w r i t e s that "the s c h o o l . . . teaches ' k n o w - h o w ' [ s k i l l s ; des 'savoir-faire'] . . . in f o r m s w h i c h e n s u r e subjection to the ruling ideology [l'assujetissement à l ' i d é o l o g i e d o m i n a n t e ] or [ou] the m a s t e r y of its ' p r a c t i c e ' " (133/73). C o n s i d e r the l o g i c a l effect o f the d i s j u n c t i v e " o r " i n the m i d d l e o f t h i s form u l a t i o n : " s u b j e c t i o n t o the r u l i n g i d e o l o g y o r " — p u t i n different, yet e q u i v a l e n t t e r m s — " t h e m a s t e r y o f its ' p r a c t i c e ' " ( m y e m p h a s i s ) . T h e m o r e a p r a c t i c e i s m a s t e r e d , the m o r e f u l l y subjection is achieved. S u b m i s s i o n a n d mastery take place simultaneously, a n d this p a r a d o x i c a l s i m u l t a n e i t y constitutes the a m b i v a l e n c e o f s u b j e c t i o n . T h o u g h o n e m i g h t e x p e c t s u b m i s s i o n to consist in y i e l d i n g to an externally i m p o s e d d o m i n a n t o r d e r a n d t o b e m a r k e d b y a loss o f c o n t r o l a n d m a s t e r y , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , i t i s itself m a r k e d b y m a s t e r y . T h e b i n a r y f r a m e

o f m a s t e r y / s u b m i s s i o n i s f o r f e i t e d b y A l t h u s s e r a s h e recasts submission precisely a n d p a r a d o x i c a l l y as a k i n d of mastery. In t h i s v i e w , n e i t h e r s u b m i s s i o n n o r m a s t e r y is performed by a subject; the l i v e d s i m u l t a n e i t y of s u b m i s s i o n as m a s t e r y , a n d m a s t e r y a s s u b m i s s i o n , i s the c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y for the e m e r g e n c e of the subject. The conceptual p r o b l e m here is u n d e r s c o r e d by a g r a m m a t i c a l o n e i n w h i c h there c a n b e n o subject p r i o r t o a s u b m i s s i o n , a n d yet there i s a g r a m m a t i c a l l y i n d u c e d " n e e d t o k n o w " who u n d e r g o e s t h i s s u b m i s s i o n in o r d e r to b e c o m e a subject. A l t h u s s e r i n t r o d u c e s the t e r m " i n d i v i d u a l " a s a p l a c e - h o l d e r t o satisfy p r o v i s i o n a l l y t h i s g r a m m a t i c a l n e e d , b u t w h a t m i g h t u l t i m a t e l y fit the g r a m m a t i c a l r e q u i r e m e n t w i l l n o t b e a static g r a m m a t i c a l subject. T h e g r a m m a r o f the subject e m e r g e s o n l y as a c o n s e q u e n c e of the p r o c e s s we are t r y i n g to d e s c r i b e . B e c a u s e w e are, a s i t w e r e , t r a p p e d w i t h i n the g r a m m a t i c a l t i m e o f the subject (e.g., " w e are t r y i n g t o d e s c r i b e , " " w e are t r a p p e d " ) , it is a l m o s t i m p o s s i b l e to ask after the g e n e a l o g y o f its c o n s t r u c t i o n w i t h o u t p r e s u p p o s i n g that c o n s t r u c t i o n i n a s k i n g the q u e s t i o n . W h a t , p r i o r t o the subject, a c c o u n t s f o r its f o r m a t i o n ? A l t h u s s e r b e g i n s " I d e o l o g y a n d I d e o l o g i c a l State A p p a r a t u s e s " b y r e f e r r i n g t o the r e p r o d u c t i o n o f s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , s p e c i f i e d a s the r e p r o d u c t i o n o f s o c i a l s k i l l s . H e t h e n d i s t i n g u i s h e s b e t w e e n s k i l l s r e p r o d u c e d i n the f i r m a n d those r e p r o d u c e d i n e d u c a t i o n . T h e subject is f o r m e d w i t h respect to the latter. In a sense, t h i s r e p r o d u c t i o n o f r e l a t i o n s i s p r i o r t o the subject w h o i s f o r m e d i n its c o u r s e . Yet the t w o c a n n o t , s t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g , b e t h o u g h t w i t h o u t e a c h other. T h e r e p r o d u c t i o n o f s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , the r e p r o d u c t i o n o f s k i l l s , i s the r e p r o d u c t i o n o f s u b j e c t i o n . B u t the r e p r o d u c t i o n o f l a b o r i s not c e n t r a l h e r e — t h e c e n t r a l r e p r o d u c t i o n i s o n e

ii8

"Conscience Doth M a k e Subjects of Us A l l "

Althusser

s

Subjection

119

p r o p e r t o the subject a n d takes p l a c e i n r e l a t i o n t o l a n g u a g e a n d t o the f o r m a t i o n o f c o n s c i e n c e . F o r A l t h u s s e r , t o p e r f o r m tasks " c o n s c i e n t i o u s l y " i s t o p e r f o r m t h e m , a s i t w e r e , a g a i n a n d a g a i n , t o r e p r o d u c e those s k i l l s a n d , i n r e p r o d u c i n g t h e m , to acquire mastery. A l t h u s s e r places "conscientiously" in q u o tation m a r k s ("pour s'acquitter 'consciencieusement' de leur tâche," 73), t h u s b r i n g i n g i n t o r e l i e f the w a y i n w h i c h l a b o r i s m o r a l i z e d . T h e m o r a l sense o f s'acquitter i s lost i n its t r a n s l a t i o n as "to p e r f o r m " : if the m a s t e r y of a set of s k i l l s is to be c o n s t r u e d as an acquitting of oneself, t h e n t h i s m a s t e r y of savoir-faire d e f e n d s o n e a g a i n s t a n a c c u s a t i o n ; q u i t e l i t e r a l l y , it is the a c c u s e d ' s d e c l a r a t i o n of i n n o c e n c e . To a c q u i t oneself " c o n s c i e n t i o u s l y " is, t h e n , to c o n s t r u e l a b o r as a c o n f e s s i o n of i n n o c e n c e , a d i s p l a y o r p r o o f o f g u i l t l e s s n e s s i n the face o f the d e m a n d for confession i m p l i e d by an insistent accusation. " S u b m i s s i o n " t o the r u l e s o f the d o m i n a n t i d e o l o g y m i g h t t h e n be u n d e r s t o o d as a s u b m i s s i o n to the n e c e s s i t y to p r o v e i n n o c e n c e i n the face o f a c c u s a t i o n , a s u b m i s s i o n t o the d e m a n d f o r p r o o f , a n e x e c u t i o n o f that p r o o f , a n d a c q u i s i t i o n o f the status o f the subject i n a n d t h r o u g h c o m p l i a n c e w i t h the t e r m s of the i n t e r r o g a t i v e law. To b e c o m e a "subject" is t h u s to have been p r e s u m e d guilty, then tried a n d declared i n n o cent. B e c a u s e t h i s d e c l a r a t i o n is n o t a s i n g l e act b u t a status i n c e s s a n t l y reproduced, to b e c o m e a "subject" is to be c o n t i n u o u s l y i n the p r o c e s s o f a c q u i t t i n g oneself o f the a c c u s a t i o n o f g u i l t . It is to h a v e b e c o m e an e m b l e m of l a w f u l n e s s , a c i t i z e n i n g o o d s t a n d i n g , b u t o n e for w h o m that status i s t e n u o u s , i n d e e d , one w h o has k n o w n — s o m e h o w , s o m e w h e r e — w h a t i t is not to h a v e that s t a n d i n g a n d h e n c e to h a v e b e e n cast o u t a s g u i l t y Yet b e c a u s e t h i s g u i l t c o n d i t i o n s the subject, i t c o n stitutes the p r e h i s t o r y o f the s u b j e c t i o n t o the l a w b y w h i c h the subject i s p r o d u c e d . H e r e o n e m i g h t u s e f u l l y conjecture

that the r e a s o n there are so f e w references to " b a d subjects" i n A l t h u s s e r i s that the t e r m t e n d s t o w a r d the o x y m o r o n i c . T o be " b a d " is not yet to be a subject, n o t yet to h a v e a c q u i t t e d oneself o f the a l l e g a t i o n o f g u i l t .
12

T h i s p e r f o r m a n c e i s n o t s i m p l y i n accord w i t h these s k i l l s , for there i s n o subject p r i o r t o t h e i r p e r f o r m i n g ; p e r f o r m i n g s k i l l s l a b o r i o u s l y w o r k s the subject i n t o its status as a s o c i a l being. There is guilt, a n d then a repetitive practice by w h i c h s k i l l s are a c q u i r e d , a n d t h e n a n d o n l y t h e n a n a s s u m p t i o n o f the g r a m m a t i c a l p l a c e w i t h i n the s o c i a l as a subject. To say that the subject p e r f o r m s a c c o r d i n g to a set of s k i l l s is, as it w e r e , to t a k e g r a m m a r at its w o r d : there is a subject w h o e n c o u n t e r s a set o f s k i l l s t o b e l e a r n e d , l e a r n s t h e m o r fails t o l e a r n t h e m , a n d t h e n a n d o n l y t h e n c a n i t b e s a i d e i t h e r to h a v e m a s t e r e d those s k i l l s or n o t . To m a s t e r a set of s k i l l s is n o t s i m p l y t o accept a set o f s k i l l s , b u t t o r e p r o d u c e t h e m i n a n d a s one's o w n a c t i v i t y . T h i s i s not s i m p l y t o act a c c o r d i n g to a set of r u l e s , b u t to e m b o d y r u l e s in the c o u r s e of a c t i o n a n d to r e p r o d u c e those rules in e m b o d i e d rituals of a c t i o n .
13

W h a t leads t o t h i s r e p r o d u c t i o n ? C l e a r l y , i t i s n o t m e r e l y a m e c h a n i s t i c a p p r o p r i a t i o n of n o r m s , n o r is it a v o l u n t a r i s t i c a p p r o p r i a t i o n . It is neither s i m p l e b e h a v i o r i s m n o r a deliberate project. To the extent that it p r e c e d e s the f o r m a t i o n of the subject, it is n o t yet of the o r d e r of c o n s c i o u s n e s s , a n d yet t h i s i n v o l u n t a r y c o m p u l s i o n i s n o t a m e c h a n i s t i c a l l y i n d u c e d effect. T h e n o t i o n o f r i t u a l suggests that i t i s p e r f o r m e d , a n d that i n the r e p e t i t i o n o f p e r f o r m a n c e a b e l i e f i s s p a w n e d , w h i c h i s t h e n i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the p e r f o r m a n c e i n its subsequent operations. But inherent to any performance is a c o m p u l s i o n t o " a c q u i t oneself," a n d s o p r i o r t o a n y p e r f o r m a n c e i s an anxiety a n d a knowingness w h i c h becomes articulate a n d a n i m a t i n g o n l y o n the o c c a s i o n o f the r e p r i m a n d .

120

"Conscience D o t h M a k e Subjects of Us A H "

Althusser's

Subjection

121

I s i t p o s s i b l e t o separate the p s y c h i c d i m e n s i o n o f t h i s r i t u a l i s t i c r e p e t i t i o n f r o m the "acts" b y w h i c h i t i s a n i m a t e d a n d reanimated? The v e r y n o t i o n of r i t u a l is meant to render belief a n d p r a c t i c e i n s e p a r a b l e . Yet the S l o v e n i a n c r i t i c M l a d e n D o l a r a r g u e s that A l t h u s s e r fails t o a c c o u n t for the p s y c h e a s a separate d i m e n s i o n . D o l a r c o u n s e l s a r e t u r n t o L a c a n , m u c h i n the s a m e w a y that S l a v o j Z i z e k suggests a n e c e s s a r y c o m plementarity between Althusser and Lacan.
1 4

ance w i t h i n m a t e r i a l i t y . A c c o r d i n g t o D o l a r , i n t e r p e l l a t i o n c a n o n l y e x p l a i n the f o r m a t i o n o f the subject i n a p a r t i a l w a y : "for A l t h u s s e r , the subject i s w h a t m a k e s i d e o l o g y w o r k ; for p s y c h o a n a l y s i s , the subject e m e r g e s w h e r e i d e o l o g y fails. . . . The r e m a i n d e r p r o d u c e d by subjectivation is also invisible f r o m the p o i n t o f v i e w o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n . " " I n t e r p e l l a t i o n " h e w r i t e s , " i s a w a y o f a v o i d i n g [that r e m a i n d e r ] " (76). A t stake for D o l a r i s the n e e d t o s t r e n g t h e n the d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n the d o m a i n o f the s y m b o l i c , u n d e r s t o o d a s c o m m u n i c a b l e s p e e c h a n d s o c i a l b o n d s , a n d that o f the p s y c h i c , w h i c h i s o n t o l o g i c a l l y d i s t i n c t f r o m the s o c i a l a n d i s d e n n e d a s the r e m a i n d e r that the n o t i o n o f the s o c i a l c a n n o t t a k e i n t o a c c o u n t . Dolar distinguishes between materiality and inferiority, t h e n l o o s e l y a l i g n s that d i s t i n c t i o n w i t h the A l t h u s s e r i a n d i v i s i o n b e t w e e n the m a t e r i a l i t y o f the state a p p a r a t u s a n d the putative ideality of subjectivity. In a f o r m u l a t i o n w i t h strong C a r t e s i a n r e s o n a n c e , D o l a r defines s u b j e c t i v i t y t h r o u g h the n o t i o n o f i n f e r i o r i t y a n d i d e n t i f i e s a s m a t e r i a l the d o m a i n o f e x t e r i o r i t y (i.e., e x t e r i o r t o the subject). H e p r e s u p p o s e s that s u b j e c t i v i t y consists i n b o t h i n f e r i o r i t y a n d i d e a l i t y , w h e r e a s m a t e r i a l i t y b e l o n g s t o its o p p o s i t e , the c o u n t e r v a i l i n g e x t e r i o r world. This manner of distinguishing interior from exterior m a y w e l l s e e m strange as a c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of or e x t r a p o l a t i o n from Althusser's position. Althusser's distinctive contribution is, after a l l , t o u n d e r m i n e the o n t o l o g i c a l d u a l i s m p r e s u p p o s e d b y the c o n v e n t i o n a l M a r x i s t d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n a m a t e r i a l base a n d a n i d e a l o r i d e o l o g i c a l s u p e r s t r u c t u r e . H e d o e s s o b y a s s e r t i n g the m a t e r i a l i t y o f the i d e o l o g i c a l : " a n i d e o l o g y a l w a y s exists i n a n a p p a r a t u s , a n d its p r a c t i c e , o r p r a c t i c e s . T h i s existence i s m a t e r i a l . "
1 6

T o insist o n the

s e p a r a b i l i t y o f the p s y c h e f r o m s o c i a l p r a c t i c e i s t o i n t e n s i f y the r e l i g i o u s m e t a p h o r i c s i n A l t h u s s e r , that is, t o f i g u r e the p s y c h e as p u r e i d e a l i t y , not u n l i k e the i d e a l i t y of the s o u l . I turn, then, to D o l a r ' s reading of Althusser in order to consider the t e n s i o n b e t w e e n the p u t a t i v e i d e a l i t y o f s u b j e c t i v i t y a n d the c l a i m that i d e o l o g y , i n c l u d i n g p s y c h i c r e a l i t y , i s p a r t o f the e x p a n d e d d o m a i n o f m a t e r i a l i t y i n the A l t h u s s e r i a n sense. M l a d e n D o l a r ' s essay " B e y o n d I n t e r p e l l a t i o n "
1 5

suggests

that A l t h u s s e r , d e s p i t e h i s o c c a s i o n a l u s e o f L a c a n ' s t h e o r y o f the i m a g i n a r y , fails t o a p p r e c i a t e the d i s r u p t i v e p o t e n t i a l o f p s y c h o a n a l y s i s , i n p a r t i c u l a r , the n o t i o n o f the R e a l a s d e s i g n a t i n g that w h i c h n e v e r b e c o m e s a v a i l a b l e t o s u b j e c t i v a t i o n . D o l a r w r i t e s , " T o p u t it the s i m p l e s t w a y , there is a p a r t of the i n d i v i d u a l that c a n n o t s u c c e s s f u l l y pass i n t o the subject, a n e l e m e n t of ' p r e - i d e o l o g i c a l ' a n d ' p r e s u b j e c t i v e ' materia prima that c o m e s t o h a u n t s u b j e c t i v i t y o n c e i t i s c o n s t i t u t e d a s s u c h " (75). T h e u s e of "materia prima" h e r e is s i g n i f i c a n t , for w i t h t h i s p h r a s e D o l a r e x p l i c i t l y contests the s o c i a l a c c o u n t o f m a t e r i a l i t y that A l t h u s s e r p r o v i d e s . In fact, t h i s "materia prima" n e v e r materializes in the A l t h u s s e r i a n sense, n e v e r e m e r g e s as a p r a c t i c e , a r i t u a l , or a s o c i a l r e l a t i o n ; f r o m the p o i n t of v i e w o f the s o c i a l , the " m a t e r i a p r i m a " i s r a d i c a l l y immaterial. D o l a r t h u s c r i t i c i z e s A l t h u s s e r for e l i d i n g the d i m e n s i o n o f subject i v i t y that r e m a i n s r a d i c a l l y i m m a t e r i a l , b a r r e d f r o m a p p e a r -

T h e c o n s t i t u t i o n of the subject is material to the extent that

122

"Conscience D o t h M a k e Subjects of Us A l l "

Althusser's

Subjection

123

t h i s c o n s t i t u t i o n takes p l a c e t h r o u g h rituals, a n d these r i t u a l s m a t e r i a l i z e "the i d e a s o f the subject" (169). W h a t i s c a l l e d "subj e c t i v i t y , " u n d e r s t o o d a s the l i v e d a n d i m a g i n a r y e x p e r i e n c e o f the subject, i s itself d e r i v e d f r o m the m a t e r i a l r i t u a l s b y w h i c h subjects are c o n s t i t u t e d . P a s c a l ' s b e l i e v e r k n e e l s m o r e t h a n once, n e c e s s a r i l y r e p e a t i n g the g e s t u r e b y w h i c h b e l i e f i s c o n j u r e d . T o u n d e r s t a n d , m o r e b r o a d l y , "the r i t u a l s o f i d e o l o g i c a l r e c o g n i t i o n " ' (173) b y w h i c h the subject i s c o n s t i t u t e d i s c e n t r a l t o the v e r y n o t i o n o f i d e o l o g y . B u t i f b e l i e f f o l l o w s f r o m the p o s t u r e o f p r a y e r , i f that p o s t u r e c o n d i t i o n s a n d reiterates belief, t h e n h o w are w e t o separate the i d e a t i o n a l s p h e r e f r o m the r i t u a l p r a c t i c e s b y w h i c h i t i s i n c e s s a n t l y r e i n s t i t u t e d ? A l t h o u g h the q u e s t i o n of the subject is n o t the s a m e as the q u e s t i o n o f s u b j e c t i v i t y , i n D o l a r ' s essay i t n e v e r t h e l e s s r e m a i n s u n c l e a r h o w t h o s e t w o n o t i o n s are t o b e t h o u g h t together. T h e n o t i o n o f " s u b j e c t i v i t y " d o e s n o t h a v e m u c h p l a y i n A l t h u s s e r , e x c e p t p e r h a p s i n the c r i t i q u e o f s u b j e c t i v i s m , a n d i t i s u n c l e a r h o w that t e r m m i g h t b e t r a n s p o s e d o n t o the t e r m s h e uses. T h i s m a y b e D o l a r ' s c r i t i c a l p o i n t , n a m e l y , that there i s n o t e n o u g h o f a p l a c e f o r s u b j e c t i v i t y i n A l t h u s ser's text. D o l a r ' s p r i m a r y c r i t i c a l c o n c e r n i s that A l t h u s s e r c a n n o t f u l l y t a k e i n t o a c c o u n t the " r e m a i n d e r " p r o d u c e d b y s u b j e c t i v a t i o n , the n o n - p h e n o m e n a l " k e r n e l o f i n f e r i o r i t y . "
1 7

l i m i t to b o t h materialization a n d subjectivation; it constitutes the c o n s t i t u t i v e l a c k o r the n o n - s y m b o l i z a b l e R e a l . A s forec l o s e d o r i n t r o j e c t e d , the p r i m a r y object i s lost a n d i d e a l i z e d a t once; the i d e a l i t y a c q u i r e d b y t h i s object t h r o u g h i n t r o j e c t i o n c o n s t i t u t e s the f o u n d i n g i d e a l i t y o f s u b j e c t i v i t y . T h i s i n s i g h t i s the o n e that A l t h u s s e r a p p e a r s t o m i s s , a n d yet D o l a r a p p e a r s t o a t t r i b u t e t o h i m the v e r y d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n m a t e r i a l i t y a n d i d e a l i t y that i s i n s u f f i c i e n t l y r e a l i z e d i n A l t h u s s e r ' s theory: there is a step in the emergence of both the subject and the Other that Althusser leaves out and that can perhaps be best illustrated by Althusser's o w n example. To elucidate the transition between the external materiality of state apparatuses (institutions, practices, rituals, etc.) and the inferiority of ideological subjectivity, Althusser borrows a famous suggestion from Pascal, namely his scandalous piece of advice that the best way to become a believer is to follow the religious rituals. (88) D o l a r refers to t h i s as a "senseless r i t u a l , " a n d t h e n reverses the A l t h u s s e r i a n a c c o u n t i n o r d e r t o e s t a b l i s h that the c r e e d a n d the r i t u a l are the effects o f " a s u p p o s i t i o n , " that r i t u a l f o l l o w s belief, b u t i s n o t its c o n d i t i o n o f p r o d u c t i o n . D o l a r u n d e r s c o r e s the i n a b i l i t y o f A l t h u s s e r ' s t h e o r y o f r i t u a l p r a c tice t o a c c o u n t for the m o t i v a t i o n t o p r a y : " W h a t m a d e h i m f o l l o w the r i t u a l ? W h y d i d he/she c o n s e n t t o repeat a series o f senseless g e s t u r e s ? " (89). D o l a r ' s q u e s t i o n s are i m p o s s i b l e t o satisfy i n A l t h u s s e r ' s t e r m s , b u t the v e r y p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s o f D o l a r ' s q u e s t i o n s c a n be countered w i t h an Althusserian explanation. That Dolar p r e s u m e s a c o n s e n t i n g subject p r i o r to the p e r f o r m a n c e of a r i t u a l suggests that he p r e s u m e s a v o l i t i o n a l subject m u s t already be in place to give an account of motivation. But h o w d o e s this c o n s e n t i n g subject c o m e t o be? T h i s s u p p o s i n g a n d

I n fact, D o l a r w i l l a r g u e that the d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n the i n t e r i o r a n d the e x t e r i o r i s p r o d u c e d t h r o u g h "the i n t r o j e c t i o n of the object" (79). H e n c e , a p r i m a r y object is i n t r o j e c t e d , a n d that i n t r o j e c t i o n b e c o m e s the c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y for the subject. T h e i r r e c o v e r a b i l i t y o f that object is, thus, n o t o n l y the s u p p o r t i n g c o n d i t i o n o f the subject b u t the p e r s i s t e n t threat to its coherence. T h e L a c a n i a n n o t i o n of the R e a l is cast as the first act of i n t r o j e c t i o n as w e l l as the subject's r a d i c a l l i m i t . I n D o l a r , the i d e a l i t y o f t h i s k e r n e l o f i n f e r i o r i t y sets the

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c o n s e n t i n g subject a p p e a r s t o p r e c e d e a n d c o n d i t i o n the "ent r a n c e " i n t o the s y m b o l i c a n d , hence, the b e c o m i n g o f a s u b ject. T h e c i r c u l a r i t y i s clear, b u t h o w i s i t t o b e u n d e r s t o o d ? I s it a f a i l i n g of A l t h u s s e r n o t to p r o v i d e the subject p r i o r to the f o r m a t i o n o f the subject, o r d o e s h i s " f a i l u r e " i n d i c a t e o n l y that the g r a m m a t i c a l r e q u i r e m e n t s o f the n a r r a t i v e w o r k a g a i n s t the a c c o u n t of subject f o r m a t i o n that the n a r r a t i v e a t t e m p t s to p r o v i d e ? T o l i t e r a l i z e o r t o a s c r i b e a n o n t o l o g i c a l status t o the g r a m m a t i c a l r e q u i r e m e n t o f "the subject" i s t o p r e s u m e a m i metic relation between g r a m m a r a n d ontology w h i c h misses the p o i n t , b o t h A l t h u s s e r i a n a n d L a c a n i a n , that the a n t i c i p a t i o n s o f g r a m m a r are a l w a y s a n d o n l y r e t r o a c t i v e l y i n s t a l l e d . T h e g r a m m a r that g o v e r n s the n a r r a t i o n o f subject f o r m a t i o n p r e s u m e s that the g r a m m a t i c a l p l a c e f o r the subject has a l r e a d y b e e n e s t a b l i s h e d . I n a n i m p o r t a n t sense, t h e n , the g r a m m a r that the n a r r a t i v e r e q u i r e s r e s u l t s f r o m the n a r r a t i v e itself. T h e a c c o u n t of subject f o r m a t i o n is t h u s a d o u b l e fict i o n a t c r o s s - p u r p o s e s w i t h itself, r e p e a t e d l y s y m p t o m a t i z i n g w h a t resists n a r r a t i o n . W i t t g e n s t e i n r e m a r k s , " W e s p e a k , w e utter w o r d s , a n d o n l y later get a sense of t h e i r l i f e . " A n t i c i p a t i o n of s u c h sense g o v erns the " e m p t y " r i t u a l that i s s p e e c h , a n d e n s u r e s its i t e r a b i l i t y . I n t h i s sense, t h e n , w e m u s t n e i t h e r first b e l i e v e b e f o r e w e k n e e l n o r k n o w the sense o f w o r d s b e f o r e w e speak. O n the c o n t r a r y , b o t h are p e r f o r m e d " o n f a i t h " that sense w i l l a r r i v e i n a n d t h r o u g h a r t i c u l a t i o n i t s e l f — a n a n t i c i p a t i o n that i s n o t t h e r e b y g o v e r n e d by a g u a r a n t e e of n o e m a t i c s a t i s f a c t i o n . If s u p p o s i n g a n d c o n s e n t i n g are u n t h i n k a b l e o u t s i d e o f the l a n g u a g e o f s u p p o s i n g a n d c o n s e n t i n g , a n d t h i s l a n g u a g e i s itself a sedimentation of ritual forms —the rituals of C a r t e s i a n i s m — t h e n the act b y w h i c h w e m i g h t " c o n s e n t " t o k n e e l i s n o m o r e a n d n o less r i t u a l i s t i c t h a n the k n e e l i n g itself.

D o l a r m a k e s h i s o b j e c t i o n e x p l i c i t l y t h e o l o g i c a l b y suggesti n g that A l t h u s s e r ' s r e f o r m u l a t i o n o f the n o t i o n o f m a t e r i a l i t y t o i n c l u d e the d o m a i n o f i d e o l o g y i s t o o i n c l u s i v e , that i t leaves n o r o o m for a n o n - m a t e r i a l i z a b l e i d e a l i t y , the lost a n d i n t r o jected object that i n a u g u r a t e s the f o r m a t i o n of the subject. It remains unclear, however, precisely h o w D o l a r reads "materia l i t y " i n A l t h u s s e r , a n d w h e t h e r the r i t u a l a n d h e n c e temporal d i m e n s i o n o f m a t e r i a l i t y i n A l t h u s s e r i s effaced i n f a v o r o f a r e d u c t i o n o f m a t e r i a l i t y t o the e m p i r i c a l l y o r s o c i a l l y g i v e n : This is also w h y Althusser's ardent insistence on materiality is i n sufficient: the Other that emerges here, the Other of the symbolic order, is not material, and Althusser covers up this non-materiality by talking about the materiality of institutions and practices. If subjectivity can spring up from materially following certain rituals, it is only insofar as those rituals function as a symbolic automatism, that is, insofar as they are governed by an "immaterial" logic supported by the Other. That Other cannot be discovered by scrutinizing materiality . . . what counts is ultimately not that they are material, but that they are ruled by a code and by a repetition. (89) T h i s last r e m a r k f o r m u l a t e s a n o p p o s i t i o n b e t w e e n m a t e r i a l i t y a n d r e p e t i t i o n that a p p e a r s t o b e i n d i r e c t t e n s i o n w i t h A l t h u s s e r ' s o w n a r g u m e n t a t i o n . I f i d e o l o g y i s m a t e r i a l t o the extent that it consists in a set of p r a c t i c e s , a n d p r a c t i c e s are governed by rituals, then materiality is defined as m u c h by ritual and repetition as it is by more narrowly empiricist conc e p t i o n s . M o r e o v e r , the r i t u a l s o f i d e o l o g y are m a t e r i a l t o the extent that t h e y a c q u i r e a productive c a p a c i t y a n d , in A l t h u s ser's text, w h a t r i t u a l s p r o d u c e are subjects. D o l a r e x p l a i n s that r i t u a l s p r o d u c e n o t subjects, b u t subject i v i t y , a n d c a n d o s o o n l y t o the extent that t h e y are t h e m s e l v e s governed by a s y m b o l i c or reiterative logic, a logic w h i c h is i m m a t e r i a l . S u b j e c t i v i t y for D o l a r i s s a i d t o " s p r i n g u p f r o m

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m a t e r i a l l y f o l l o w i n g c e r t a i n r i t u a l s , " w h e r e the " s p r i n g i n g u p " i s n o t itself m a t e r i a l , b u t w h e r e the n o t i o n o f " f o l l o w i n g " a r i t u a l does h a v e a m a t e r i a l d i m e n s i o n . S u b j e c t i v i t y arises i m m a t e r i a l l y f r o m a material r i t u a l performance, but this can h a p p e n o n l y o n the c o n d i t i o n that a l o g i c p r e c e d e s a n d s u p ports this r i t u a l performance, a n i m m a t e r i a l logic, one w h i c h e n c o d e s a n d reenacts the i d e a l i z i n g effects o f i n t r o j e c t i o n . B u t h o w are w e t o d i s t i n g u i s h the r e p e t i t i o n p r o p e r t o r i t u a l a n d the r e p e t i t i o n p r o p e r t o the " s y m b o l i c a u t o m a t i s m " ? C o n s i d e r the i n s e p a r a b i l i t y o f t h o s e t w o r e p e t i t i o n s i n A l t h u s s e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the m a t e r i a l i t y o f i d e a s a n d the i d e a l in ideology: Ideas have disappeared as such (insofar as they are endowed w i t h an ideal or spiritual existence), to the precise extent that it has emerged that their existence is inscribed in the actions of practices governed by rituals defined in the last instance by an ideological apparatus. It therefore appears that the subject acts insofar as he is acted by the following system (set out in the order of its real determination): ideology existing in a material ideological apparatus, prescribing material practices governed by a material ritual, w h i c h practices exist in the material actions of a subject acting in all consciousness according to his belief.
18

w o u l d w e p l a c e " i n t e r p e l l a t i o n " o n t h i s m a p p i n g o f the d i v i d e ? Is it the v o i c e of the s y m b o l i c , is it the r i t u a l i z e d v o i c e of the state, o r h a v e the t w o b e c o m e i n d i s s o l u b l e ? If, t o u s e D o l a r ' s t e r m , the s y m b o l i c a c q u i r e s its "existence" o n l y i n r i t u a l , t h e n w h a t establishes the i d e a l i t y o f that s y m b o l i c d o m a i n a p a r t f r o m the v a r i o u s m o d e s o f its a p p e a r a n c e a n d i t e r a b i l i t y ? R i t u a l takes p l a c e t h r o u g h r e p e t i t i o n , a n d r e p e t i t i o n i m p l i e s the d i s c o n t i n u i t y o f the m a t e r i a l , the i r r e d u c i b i l i t y o r m a t e r i ality to phenomenality. The interval by w h i c h any repetition takes p l a c e d o e s not, s t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g , appear; it is, as it w e r e , the absence b y w h i c h the p h e n o m e n a l i s a r t i c u l a t e d . B u t t h i s n o n - a p p e a r a n c e o r absence i s n o t f o r that r e a s o n a n " i d e a l i t y , " for it is b o u n d to the a r t i c u l a t i o n as its c o n s t i t u t i v e a n d absent necessity. T h e o l o g i c a l resistance to m a t e r i a l i s m is exemplified in D o l a r ' s e x p l i c i t defense o f L a c a n ' s C a r t e s i a n i n h e r i t a n c e ,
19

his i n -

sistance u p o n the p u r e i d e a l i t y o f the s o u l , yet the t h e o l o g i c a l i m p u l s e a l s o s t r u c t u r e s A l t h u s s e r ' s w o r k i n the f i g u r e o f the p u n i t i v e law. D o l a r suggests that, t h o u g h the l a w s u c c e s s f u l l y regulates its subjects, it c a n n o t t o u c h a c e r t a i n i n t e r i o r r e g i s ter o f l o v e : "there i s a r e m a i n d e r i n v o l v e d i n the m e c h a n i s m of i n t e r p e l l a t i o n , the left-over of the c l e a n c u t , a n d . . . t h i s r e m a i n d e r c a n b e p i n p o i n t e d i n the e x p e r i e n c e o f l o v e " (85). A b i t f u r t h e r o n , h e asks, " C o u l d o n e say that l o v e i s w h a t w e find beyond interpellation?" H e r e l o v e is, i n D o l a r ' s w o r d s , a " f o r c e d c h o i c e , " s u g g e s t i n g that w h a t h e e x p e c t e d f r o m the n o t i o n o f a subject w h o " c o n sents" t o k n e e l a n d p r a y i s a n a c c o u n t o f a " f o r c e d c o n s e n t " o f some k i n d . L o v e is b e y o n d interpellation precisely because it is understood to be compelled by an immaterial law —the symb o l i c — o v e r a n d a b o v e the r i t u a l i s t i c l a w s that g o v e r n the v a r i o u s p r a c t i c e s o f l o v e : " T h e O t h e r that e m e r g e s here, the O t h e r

Ideas exist " i n s c r i b e d " i n acts that are p r a c t i c e s r e g u l a t e d by rituals. C a n they appear any other way, a n d can they have an "existence" outside of ritual? W h a t m i g h t it m e a n to ret h i n k the m a t e r i a l n o t o n l y as r e g u l a t e d r e p e t i t i o n , b u t as a r e p e t i t i o n that p r o d u c e s a subject a c t i n g i n f u l l c o n s c i o u s n e s s a c c o r d i n g t o h i s b e l i e f ? T h e subject's b e l i e f i s n o different f r o m P a s c a l ' s ; t h e y are b o t h the r e s u l t o f the r e p e t i t i o u s c o n j u r i n g that A l t h u s s e r calls " m a t e r i a l i t y . " D o l a r a r g u e s that A l t h u s s e r fails t o t a k e i n t o a c c o u n t the d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n m a t e r i a l i t y a n d the s y m b o l i c , b u t w h e r e

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o f the s y m b o l i c o r d e r , i s n o t m a t e r i a l , a n d A l t h u s s e r c o v e r s u p t h i s n o n - m a t e r i a l i t y b y t a l k i n g a b o u t the m a t e r i a l i t y o f i n s t i t u t i o n s a n d p r a c t i c e s " (89). T h e O t h e r w h o i s lost, i n t r o j e c t e d , w h o i s s a i d t o b e c o m e the i m m a t e r i a l c o n d i t i o n o f the subject, i n a u g u r a t e s the r e p e t i t i o n specific t o the s y m b o l i c , the p u n c t u a t e d f a n t a s y o f a r e t u r n that n e v e r i s o r c o u l d b e c o m p l e t e d . Let us p r o v i s i o n a l l y accept this p s y c h o a n a l y t i c account of subject f o r m a t i o n , c o n c e d e that the subject c a n n o t f o r m e x c e p t t h r o u g h a b a r r e d r e l a t i o n t o the O t h e r , a n d e v e n c o n s i d e r t h i s b a r r e d O t h e r t o r e a p p e a r a s the i n t r o j e c t e d c o n d i t i o n o f s u b ject f o r m a t i o n , s p l i t t i n g the subject at its i n c e p t i o n . E v e n so, are there o t h e r f o r m s o f " l o s i n g " the O t h e r that are n o t i n t r o j e c t i o n , a n d are there v a r i o u s w a y s o f i n t r o j e c t i n g that O t h e r ? A r e these t e r m s n o t c u l t u r a l l y e l a b o r a t e d , i n d e e d , r i t u a l i z e d , to s u c h a degree that no m e t a - s c h e m e of s y m b o l i c l o g i c escapes the h e r m e n e u t i c s o f s o c i a l d e s c r i p t i o n ? S i g n i f i c a n t l y , t h o u g h s o c i a l i n t e r p e l l a t i o n s are d e s c r i b e d b y D o l a r a s a l w a y s " f a i l i n g " f u l l y t o c o n s t i t u t e subjects, n o s u c h " f a i l u r e " seems a t w o r k i n the c o m p u l s o r y c h a r a c t e r o f l o v e . To the extent that p r i m a r y i n t r o j e c t i o n is an act of l o v e , it is, I w o u l d suggest, n o t a n act p e r f o r m e d o n l y once, b u t a r e i t e r a t e d a n d i n d e e d r i t u a l affair. B u t w h a t i s t o k e e p u s f r o m m a k i n g the a n a l o g y that w e f a l l i n l o v e i n m u c h the s a m e w a y w e k n e e l a n d p r a y , o r that w e m a y w e l l b e d o i n g o n e w h e n w e t h i n k w e are d o i n g the o t h e r ? Yet D o l a r ' s s u g g e s t i o n that l o v e m i g h t b e " b e y o n d " i n t e r p e l l a t i o n i s a n i m p o r t a n t one. A l t h u s s e r w o u l d h a v e b e n e f i t e d f r o m a better u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f h o w the l a w b e c o m e s the o b ject of p a s s i o n a t e a t t a c h m e n t , a s t r a n g e scene of l o v e . F o r the c o n s c i e n c e w h i c h c o m p e l s the w a y w a r d p e d e s t r i a n t o t u r n a r o u n d u p o n h e a r i n g the p o l i c e m a n ' s a d d r e s s o r u r g e s the m u r d e r e r i n t o the streets i n s e a r c h o f the p o l i c e a p p e a r s t o b e

d r i v e n b y a l o v e o f the l a w w h i c h c a n b e satisfied o n l y b y r i t u a l p u n i s h m e n t . T o the extent that A l t h u s s e r gestures t o w a r d t h i s a n a l y s i s , h e b e g i n s t o e x p l a i n h o w a subject i s f o r m e d t h r o u g h the p a s s i o n a t e p u r s u i t o f the r e p r i m a n d i n g r e c o g n i t i o n o f the state. T h a t the subject t u r n s r o u n d o r r u s h e s t o w a r d the l a w suggests that the subject l i v e s in p a s s i o n a t e e x p e c t a t i o n of the law. S u c h l o v e i s n o t b e y o n d i n t e r p e l l a t i o n ; rather, i t f o r m s the p a s s i o n a t e c i r c l e i n w h i c h the subject b e c o m e s e n s n a r e d b y its o w n state. The failure of interpellation is clearly to be v a l u e d , but to f i g u r e that f a i l u r e in t e r m s that r e h a b i l i t a t e a s t r u c t u r e of l o v e o u t s i d e the d o m a i n o f the s o c i a l r i s k s r e i f y i n g p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l f o r m s of l o v e as e t e r n a l p s y c h i c facts. It a l s o leaves u n e x p l a i n e d the p a s s i o n that p r e c e d e s a n d f o r m s c o n s c i e n c e , that p r e c e d e s a n d f o r m s the p o s s i b i l i t y o f l o v e , o n e that acc o u n t s for the f a i l u r e o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n f u l l y t o c o n s t i t u t e the subject i t n a m e s . I n t e r p e l l a t i o n i s " b a r r e d " f r o m success n o t b y a s t r u c t u r a l l y p e r m a n e n t f o r m o f p r o h i b i t i o n (or f o r e c l o sure), b u t b y its i n a b i l i t y t o d e t e r m i n e the c o n s t i t u t i v e h e l d o f the h u m a n . If c o n s c i e n c e is one f o r m that the p a s s i o n a t e att a c h m e n t t o existence takes, t h e n the f a i l u r e o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n i s t o b e f o u n d p r e c i s e l y i n the p a s s i o n a t e a t t a c h m e n t that a l s o a l l o w s i t t o w o r k . A c c o r d i n g t o the l o g i c o f c o n s c i e n c e , w h i c h f u l l y c o n s t r a i n s A l t h u s s e r , the subject's existence c a n n o t b e l i n g u i s t i c a l l y g u a r a n t e e d w i t h o u t p a s s i o n a t e a t t a c h m e n t t o the l a w . T h i s c o m p l i c i t y a t o n c e c o n d i t i o n s a n d l i m i t s the v i a b i l i t y o f a c r i t i c a l i n t e r r o g a t i o n o f the l a w . O n e c a n n o t c r i t i c i z e t o o far the t e r m s b y w h i c h one's existence i s s e c u r e d . B u t i f the d i s c u r s i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r existence e x c e e d the r e p r i m a n d v o i c e d b y the l a w , w o u l d that n o t l e s s e n the n e e d t o c o n f i r m one's g u i l t a n d e m b a r k o n a p a t h o f c o n s c i e n t i o u s ness as a w a y to g a i n a p u r c h a s e on i d e n t i t y ? W h a t are the

T
130 "Conscience Doth M a k e Subjects of Us A l l "
Althusser's Subjection

131

c o n d i t i o n s u n d e r w h i c h o u r v e r y sense o f l i n g u i s t i c s u r v i v a l depends u p o n our willingness to t u r n back u p o n ourselves, that is, i n w h i c h a t t a i n i n g r e c o g n i z a b l e b e i n g r e q u i r e s selfnegation, requires existing as a self-negating b e i n g in order to a t t a i n a n d p r e s e r v e a status as " b e i n g " at a l l ? I n a N i e t z s c h e a n v e i n , s u c h a slave m o r a l i t y m a y b e p r e d i cated u p o n the s o b e r c a l c u l a t i o n that i t i s better t o " b e " e n s l a v e d i n s u c h a w a y t h a n n o t t o " b e " a t a l l . B u t the t e r m s that c o n s t r a i n the o p t i o n t o b e i n g v e r s u s n o t b e i n g " c a l l f o r " a n o t h e r k i n d o f r e s p o n s e . U n d e r w h a t c o n d i t i o n s does a l a w m o n o p o l i z e the t e r m s o f existence i n s o t h o r o u g h a w a y ? O r is t h i s a t h e o l o g i c a l f a n t a s y of the l a w ? Is there a p o s s i b i l i t y of being elsewhere or otherwise, w i t h o u t d e n y i n g our c o m p l i c i t y i n the l a w that w e o p p o s e ? S u c h p o s s i b i l i t y w o u l d r e q u i r e a different k i n d o f t u r n , o n e that, e n a b l e d b y the l a w , t u r n s a w a y f r o m the l a w , r e s i s t i n g its l u r e o f i d e n t i t y , a n a g e n c y that o u t r u n s a n d c o u n t e r s the c o n d i t i o n s o f its e m e r g e n c e . S u c h a t u r n d e m a n d s a w i l l i n g n e s s not to b e — a c r i t i c a l desubject i v a t i o n — i n o r d e r t o e x p o s e the l a w a s less p o w e r f u l t h a n i t seems. W h a t f o r m s m i g h t l i n g u i s t i c s u r v i v a l t a k e i n t h i s d e s u b j e c t i v i z e d d o m a i n ? H o w w o u l d one k n o w one's existence? T h r o u g h what terms w o u l d it be recognized a n d recognizable? S u c h q u e s t i o n s c a n n o t b e a n s w e r e d here, b u t t h e y i n d i c a t e a d i r e c t i o n for t h i n k i n g that i s p e r h a p s p r i o r t o the q u e s t i o n o f c o n s c i e n c e , n a m e l y , the q u e s t i o n that p r e o c c u p i e d S p i n o z a , N i e t z s c h e , a n d m o s t r e c e n t l y , G i o r g i o A g a m b e n : H o w are w e to u n d e r s t a n d the d e s i r e to be as a c o n s t i t u t i v e d e s i r e ? R e s i t u ating conscience a n d interpellation w i t h i n such an account, we m i g h t then a d d to this question another: H o w is such a d e s i r e e x p l o i t e d n o t o n l y b y a l a w i n the s i n g u l a r , b u t b y l a w s o f v a r i o u s k i n d s s u c h that w e y i e l d t o s u b o r d i n a t i o n i n o r d e r t o m a i n t a i n s o m e sense o f s o c i a l " b e i n g " ?

I n c o n c l u s i o n , A g a m b e n offers u s one d i r e c t i o n f o r r e t h i n k i n g ethics a l o n g the l i n e s of the d e s i r e to be, h e n c e , at a d i s tance f r o m a n y p a r t i c u l a r f o r m a t i o n o f c o n s c i e n c e : if human beings were or had to be this or that substance, this or that destiny, no ethical experience w o u l d be p o s s i b l e . . . . This does not mean, however, that humans are not, and do not have to be, something, that they are simply consigned to nothingness and therefore can freely decide whether to be or not to be, to adopt or not to adopt this or that destiny (nihilism and decisionism coincide at this point). There is in effect something that humans are and have to be, but this is not an essence nor properly a thing: It is the simple
fact of one's own existence as possibility or potentiality.
20

A g a m b e n m i g h t b e r e a d a s c l a i m i n g that t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y m u s t r e s o l v e itself i n t o s o m e t h i n g , b u t c a n n o t u n d o its o w n status a s p o s s i b i l i t y t h r o u g h s u c h a r e s o l u t i o n . O r , rather, w e m i g h t r e r e a d " b e i n g " a s p r e c i s e l y the p o t e n t i a l i t y that r e m a i n s unexhausted by any particular interpellation. S u c h a failure of i n t e r p e l l a t i o n m a y w e l l u n d e r m i n e the c a p a c i t y o f the subject t o " b e " i n a s e l f - i d e n t i c a l sense, b u t i t m a y a l s o m a r k the p a t h t o w a r d a m o r e o p e n , even m o r e ethical, k i n d of b e i n g , one of o r for the f u t u r e .

Refused

Identification

133

c h o l i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s c e n t r a l t o the p r o c e s s w h e r e b y the ego a s s u m e s a g e n d e r e d character. S e c o n d , I w a n t to e x p l o r e h o w t h i s a n a l y s i s o f the m e l a n c h o l i c f o r m a t i o n o f g e n d e r sheds l i g h t o n the p r e d i c a m e n t o f l i v i n g w i t h i n a c u l t u r e w h i c h c a n

Melancholy Gender / Refused Identification

m o u r n the loss o f h o m o s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t o n l y w i t h great difficulty. Reflecting on his speculations in " M o u r n i n g and M e l a n c h o l i a , " F r e u d w r i t e s in The Ego and the Id that in the e a r l i e r essay h e h a d s u p p o s e d that " a n object w h i c h w a s lost has b e e n set u p a g a i n i n s i d e the e g o — t h a t is, that a n object-cathexis h a d b e e n r e p l a c e d b y a n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . A t that t i m e , h o w e v e r , " h e c o n t i n u e d , " w e d i d n o t a p p r e c i a t e the f u l l s i g n i f i c a n c e o f this

I n grief the w o r l d b e c o m e s p o o r a n d e m p t y ; i n m e l a n c h o l i a i t i s the ego itself. — Freud, "Mourning and Melancholia"

p r o c e s s a n d d i d n o t k n o w h o w c o m m o n a n d h o w t y p i c a l i t is. S i n c e t h e n w e h a v e c o m e t o u n d e r s t a n d that t h i s k i n d o f s u b s t i t u t i o n has a great s h a r e i n d e t e r m i n i n g the f o r m t a k e n b y the ego a n d that i t m a k e s a n e s s e n t i a l c o n t r i b u t i o n t o w a r d b u i l d i n g u p w h a t i s c a l l e d its ' c h a r a c t e r ' " (p. 28). S l i g h t l y later i n the s a m e text, F r e u d e x p a n d s t h i s v i e w : " w h e n i t h a p p e n s that a p e r s o n has to g i v e up a s e x u a l object, there q u i t e o f t e n ensues an a l t e r a t i o n of h i s ego w h i c h c a n o n l y be d e s c r i b e d as a sett i n g u p o f the object i n s i d e the ego, a s i t o c c u r s i n m e l a n c h o l i a " (29). H e c o n c l u d e s t h i s d i s c u s s i o n b y s p e c u l a t i n g that " i t m a y b e that t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s the sole c o n d i t i o n u n d e r w h i c h the i d c a n g i v e u p its objects . . . i t m a k e s i t p o s s i b l e t o s u p p o s e that the c h a r a c t e r of the ego is a p r e c i p i t a t e of a b a n d o n e d object-cathexes a n d that it c o n t a i n s the h i s t o r y of t h o s e objectc h o i c e s " (29). W h a t F r e u d h e r e calls the "character o f the e g o " a p p e a r s t o b e the s e d i m e n t a t i o n o f objects l o v e d a n d lost, the a r c h a e l o g i c a l r e m a i n d e r , as it w e r e , of u n r e s o l v e d grief. W h a t i s p e r h a p s m o s t s t r i k i n g a b o u t h i s f o r m u l a t i o n here i s h o w i t reverses h i s p o s i t i o n i n " M o u r n i n g a n d M e l a n c h o l i a " o n w h a t i t m e a n s t o r e s o l v e grief. I n the e a r l i e r essay, F r e u d

H o w i s i t t h e n that i n m e l a n c h o l i a the s u p e r - e g o c a n b e c o m e a gathering-place for the death instincts? — F r e u d , The Ego and the Id

I

t m a y at first s e e m strange to t h i n k of g e n d e r as a k i n d of m e l a n c h o l y , or as o n e of m e l a n c h o l y ' s effects. B u t let us

r e m e m b e r that in The Ego and the Id F r e u d h i m s e l f a c k n o w l e d g e d that m e l a n c h o l y , the u n f i n i s h e d p r o c e s s o f g r i e v i n g , i s c e n t r a l t o the f o r m a t i o n o f the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s that f o r m the ego. I n d e e d , i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s f o r m e d f r o m u n f i n i s h e d g r i e f are the m o d e s i n w h i c h the lost object i s i n c o r p o r a t e d a n d p h a n t a s m a t i c a l l y p r e s e r v e d i n a n d a s the ego. C o n s i d e r i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h i s i n s i g h t F r e u d ' s f u r t h e r r e m a r k that "the ego i s first a n d f o r e m o s t a b o d i l y e g o , "
1

not m e r e l y a surface, b u t

"the p r o j e c t i o n of a surface." F u r t h e r , t h i s b o d i l y ego a s s u m e s a g e n d e r e d m o r p h o l o g y , so that the b o d i l y ego is a l s o a g e n d e r e d ego. I h o p e first to e x p l a i n the sense in w h i c h a m e l a n -

134

Melancholy Gender

Refused

Identification

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a s s u m e s that g r i e f c a n be r e s o l v e d t h r o u g h a d e - c a t h e x i s , a b r e a k i n g o f a t t a c h m e n t , a s w e l l a s the s u b s e q u e n t m a k i n g o f n e w a t t a c h m e n t s . In The Ego and the Id, he m a k e s r o o m f o r the n o t i o n that m e l a n c h o l i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n m a y be a prerequisite for l e t t i n g the object go. B y c l a i m i n g t h i s , h e c h a n g e s w h a t i t m e a n s t o "let a n object go," for there i s n o f i n a l b r e a k i n g o f the a t t a c h m e n t . T h e r e is, rather, the i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f the attachm e n t as i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , w h e r e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n b e c o m e s a m a g i c a l , a p s y c h i c f o r m of p r e s e r v i n g the object. Insofar as i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s the p s y c h i c p r e s e r v e o f the object a n d s u c h i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s c o m e t o f o r m the ego, the lost object c o n t i n u e s t o h a u n t a n d i n h a b i t the ego a s o n e o f its c o n s t i t u t i v e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s . T h e lost object is, i n that sense, m a d e c o e x t e n s i v e w i t h the ego itself. I n d e e d , o n e m i g h t c o n c l u d e that m e l a n c h o l i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p e r m i t s the loss o f the object i n the e x t e r n a l w o r l d p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e it p r o v i d e s a w a y to preserve the object as p a r t of the ego a n d , h e n c e , to avert the loss as a c o m p l e t e loss. H e r e w e see that l e t t i n g the object g o m e a n s , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , n o t f u l l a b a n d o n m e n t of the object b u t t r a n s f e r r i n g the status of the object f r o m e x t e r n a l t o i n t e r n a l . G i v i n g u p the object b e c o m e s p o s s i b l e o n l y o n the c o n d i t i o n o f a m e l a n c h o l i c i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n or, w h a t m i g h t f o r o u r p u r p o s e s t u r n o u t t o b e e v e n m o r e i m p o r t a n t , a m e l a n c h o l i c incorporation. If in m e l a n c h o l i a a loss is r e f u s e d , it is n o t f o r that r e a s o n a b o l i s h e d . I n t e r n a l i z a t i o n p r e s e r v e s loss i n the p s y c h e ; m o r e p r e c i s e l y , the i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n o f loss i s p a r t o f the m e c h a n i s m o f its r e f u s a l . I f the object c a n n o l o n g e r exist i n the e x t e r n a l w o r l d , i t w i l l t h e n exist i n t e r n a l l y , a n d that i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n w i l l be a w a y to d i s a v o w the loss, to k e e p it at bay, to stay or p o s t p o n e the r e c o g n i t i o n a n d s u f f e r i n g o f loss. Is there a w a y in w h i c h gender i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s or, rather, the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s that b e c o m e c e n t r a l t o the f o r m a t i o n o f

g e n d e r , are p r o d u c e d t h r o u g h m e l a n c h o l i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n ? I t s e e m s clear that the p o s i t i o n s o f " m a s c u l i n e " a n d " f e m i n i n e , " w h i c h F r e u d , in Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), u n d e r s t o o d a s the effects o f l a b o r i o u s a n d u n c e r t a i n a c c o m p l i s h m e n t , are e s t a b l i s h e d i n p a r t t h r o u g h p r o h i b i t i o n s w h i c h demand the loss of c e r t a i n s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t s , a n d d e m a n d as w e l l that those losses not be a v o w e d , a n d not be g r i e v e d . If the a s s u m p t i o n o f f e m i n i n i t y a n d the a s s u m p t i o n o f m a s c u l i n i t y p r o c e e d t h r o u g h the a c c o m p l i s h m e n t o f a n a l w a y s t e n u o u s h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y , w e m i g h t u n d e r s t a n d the force o f t h i s a c c o m p l i s h m e n t a s m a n d a t i n g the a b a n d o n m e n t o f h o m o s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t s or, p e r h a p s m o r e t r e n c h a n t l y , preempting the p o s sibility of h o m o s e x u a l attachment, a foreclosure of p o s s i b i l i t y w h i c h produces a d o m a i n of homosexuality understood as u n l i v a b l e p a s s i o n a n d u n g r i e v a b l e loss. T h i s h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y i s p r o d u c e d n o t o n l y t h r o u g h i m p l e m e n t i n g the p r o h i b i t i o n o n incest b u t , p r i o r t o that, b y e n f o r c i n g the p r o h i b i t i o n o n h o m o s e x u a l i t y . T h e o e d i p a l c o n f l i c t p r e s u m e s that h e t e r o s e x u a l d e s i r e has a l r e a d y b e e n accomplished, that the d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n h e t e r o s e x u a l a n d h o m o s e x u a l has b e e n e n f o r c e d ( a d i s t i n c t i o n w h i c h , after a l l , has n o n e c e s s i t y ) ; i n t h i s sense, the p r o h i b i t i o n o n incest p r e s u p p o s e s the p r o h i b i t i o n o n h o m o s e x u a l i t y , f o r it p r e s u m e s the h e t e r o s e x u a l i z a t i o n of desire. T o a c c e p t t h i s v i e w w e m u s t b e g i n b y p r e s u p p o s i n g that m a s c u l i n e a n d f e m i n i n e are n o t d i s p o s i t i o n s , a s F r e u d s o m e t i m e s a r g u e s , b u t i n d e e d a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s , ones w h i c h e m e r g e i n t a n d e m w i t h the a c h i e v e m e n t o f h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y . Here F r e u d articulates a c u l t u r a l logic w h e r e b y gender is achieved a n d stabilized through heterosexual positioning, and where threats to h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y t h u s b e c o m e threats to g e n d e r itself. T h e p r e v a l e n c e o f t h i s h e t e r o s e x u a l m a t r i x i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f g e n d e r e m e r g e s n o t o n l y i n F r e u d ' s text, b u t i n the c u l t u r a l

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2

f o r m s o f life that h a v e a b s o r b e d t h i s m a t r i x a n d are i n h a b i t e d b y e v e r y d a y f o r m s o f g e n d e r a n x i e t y H e n c e , the fear o f h o m o s e x u a l d e s i r e i n a w o m a n m a y i n d u c e a p a n i c that she i s l o s i n g h e r f e m i n i n i t y , that she is n o t a w o m a n , that she is no l o n g e r a p r o p e r w o m a n , that if she is n o t q u i t e a m a n , she is l i k e one, a n d h e n c e m o n s t r o u s i n s o m e w a y . O r i n a m a n , the terror of h o m o s e x u a l desire m a y lead to a terror of being construed as feminine, f e m i n i z e d , of no longer b e i n g p r o p e r l y a m a n , o f b e i n g a " f a i l e d " m a n , o r b e i n g i n s o m e sense a f i g u r e o f m o n s t r o s i t y o r abjection. I w o u l d a r g u e that p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l l y there are m a n y w a y s o f e x p e r i e n c i n g g e n d e r a n d s e x u a l i t y that d o n o t r e d u c e t o t h i s e q u a t i o n , that d o n o t p r e s u m e that g e n d e r i s s t a b i l i z e d t h r o u g h the i n s t a l l a t i o n of a f i r m h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y , b u t for the m o m e n t I w a n t to i n v o k e this stark a n d h y p e r b o l i c construct i o n o f the r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n g e n d e r a n d s e x u a l i t y i n o r d e r t o t h i n k t h r o u g h the q u e s t i o n o f u n g r i e v e d a n d u n g r e i v a b l e loss i n the f o r m a t i o n o f w h a t w e m i g h t c a l l the g e n d e r e d c h a r a c t e r of the ego. C o n s i d e r that g e n d e r i s a c q u i r e d a t least i n p a r t t h r o u g h the r e p u d i a t i o n o f h o m o s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t s ; the g i r l b e c o m e s a g i r l t h r o u g h b e i n g subject t o a p r o h i b i t i o n w h i c h b a r s the m o t h e r a s a n object o f d e s i r e a n d i n s t a l l s that b a r r e d object a s a p a r t of the ego, i n d e e d , as a m e l a n c h o l i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . T h u s the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n c o n t a i n s w i t h i n i t b o t h the p r o h i b i t i o n a n d the d e s i r e , a n d s o e m b o d i e s the u n g r i e v e d loss o f the h o m o s e x u a l cathexis. If o n e is a g i r l to the extent that one does n o t want a girl, then wanting a g i r l w i l l bring being a girl into question; w i t h i n this m a t r i x , h o m o s e x u a l desire thus panics gender. Heterosexuality is cultivated through prohibitions, and these p r o h i b i t i o n s t a k e as one of t h e i r objects h o m o s e x u a l at-

t a c h m e n t s , t h e r e b y f o r c i n g the loss of those a t t a c h m e n t s .

If

the g i r l is to t r a n s f e r l o v e f r o m h e r father to a s u b s t i t u t e o b ject, she m u s t , a c c o r d i n g t o F r e u d i a n l o g i c , first r e n o u n c e l o v e for h e r m o t h e r , a n d r e n o u n c e i t i n s u c h a w a y that b o t h the a i m a n d the object are f o r e c l o s e d . She m u s t n o t transfer that h o m o s e x u a l l o v e o n t o a s u b s t i t u t e f e m i n i n e figure, b u t r e n o u n c e the p o s s i b i l i t y o f h o m o s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t itself. O n l y o n t h i s c o n d i t i o n does a h e t e r o s e x u a l a i m b e c o m e e s t a b l i s h e d a s w h a t s o m e c a l l a s e x u a l o r i e n t a t i o n . O n l y o n the c o n d i t i o n o f t h i s f o r e c l o s u r e o f h o m o s e x u a l i t y c a n the father a n d s u b s t i tutes for h i m b e c o m e objects o f d e s i r e , a n d the m o t h e r b e c o m e the u n e a s y site of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . B e c o m i n g a " m a n " w i t h i n this l o g i c r e q u i r e s r e p u d i a t i n g f e m i n i n i t y as a p r e c o n d i t i o n for the h e t e r o s e x u a l i z a t i o n of s e x u a l d e s i r e a n d its f u n d a m e n t a l a m b i v a l e n c e . I f a m a n b e c o m e s h e t e r o s e x u a l b y r e p u d i a t i n g the f e m i n i n e , w h e r e c o u l d that r e p u d i a t i o n l i v e e x c e p t i n a n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w h i c h h i s h e t e r o s e x u a l career seeks t o d e n y ? I n d e e d , the d e s i r e for the f e m i n i n e i s m a r k e d b y that r e p u d i a t i o n : h e w a n t s the w o m a n h e w o u l d n e v e r be. H e w o u l d n ' t b e c a u g h t d e a d b e i n g her: t h e r e f o r e he w a n t s her. She is h i s r e p u d i a t e d i d e n t i f i c a t i o n (a r e p u d i a t i o n he s u s t a i n s as at o n c e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n a n d the object o f h i s desire). O n e o f the m o s t a n x i o u s a i m s o f h i s d e s i r e w i l l b e t o elaborate the d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n h i m a n d her, a n d h e w i l l seek t o d i s c o v e r a n d i n s t a l l p r o o f o f that difference. H i s w a n t i n g w i l l be haunted by a dread of being what he wants, s o that h i s w a n t i n g w i l l a l s o a l w a y s b e a k i n d o f d r e a d . P r e cisely because what is r e p u d i a t e d a n d hence lost is preserved as a r e p u d i a t e d identification, this desire w i l l attempt to overcome an identification w h i c h can never be complete. I n d e e d , h e w i l l n o t i d e n t i f y w i t h her, a n d h e w i l l n o t d e s i r e a n o t h e r m a n . T h a t r e f u s a l t o d e s i r e , that s a c r i f i c e o f d e s i r e

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u n d e r the force o f p r o h i b i t i o n , w i l l i n c o r p o r a t e h o m o s e x u a l i t y as an identification w i t h m a s c u l i n i t y But this m a s c u l i n i t y w i l l b e h a u n t e d b y the l o v e i t c a n n o t g r i e v e , a n d b e f o r e I suggest h o w t h i s m i g h t b e t r u e , I ' d l i k e t o situate the k i n d o f w r i t i n g that I h a v e b e e n o f f e r i n g as a c e r t a i n c u l t u r a l e n g a g e m e n t w i t h p s y c h o a n a l y t i c t h e o r y that b e l o n g s n e i t h e r t o the fields o f p s y c h o l o g y n o r t o p s y c h o a n a l y s i s , b u t w h i c h n e v e r t h e l e s s seeks t o e s t a b l i s h a n i n t e l l e c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p t o those e n t e r p r i s e s . T h u s far, I h a v e b e e n o f f e r i n g s o m e t h i n g l i k e a n exegesis o f a c e r t a i n p s y c h o a n a l y t i c l o g i c , o n e that a p p e a r s i n s o m e p s y c h o a n a l y t i c texts b u t w h i c h these texts a n d others a l s o s o m e t i m e s contest. I m a k e n o e m p i r i c a l c l a i m s , n o r a t t e m p t a survey of current psychoanalytic scholarship on gender, sexua l i t y , or m e l a n c h o l y . I w a n t m e r e l y to suggest w h a t I t a k e to be some p r o d u c t i v e convergences between Freud's t h i n k i n g on u n g r i e v e d a n d u n g r i e v a b l e loss a n d the p r e d i c a m e n t o f l i v i n g i n a c u l t u r e w h i c h c a n m o u r n the loss o f h o m o s e x u a l attachm e n t o n l y w i t h great d i f f i c u l t y T h i s p r o b l e m a t i c i s m a d e a l l the m o r e a c u t e w h e n w e c o n s i d e r the r a v a g e s o f A I D S , a n d the task o f f i n d i n g a p u b l i c occasion a n d language in w h i c h to grieve this seemingly endless n u m b e r o f deaths. M o r e g e n e r a l l y , t h i s p r o b l e m m a k e s itself felt i n the u n c e r t a i n t y w i t h w h i c h h o m o s e x u a l l o v e a n d loss is r e g a r d e d : is it r e g a r d e d as a " t r u e " l o v e , a " t r u e " loss, a l o v e a n d loss w o r t h y a n d c a p a b l e o f b e i n g g r i e v e d , a n d t h u s w o r t h y a n d capable of h a v i n g been lived? Or is it a love a n d a loss h a u n t e d by the s p e c t e r of a c e r t a i n u n r e a l i t y , a c e r t a i n u n t h i n k a b i l i t y , the d o u b l e d i s a v o w a l o f the " I n e v e r l o v e d her, a n d I n e v e r lost her," u t t e r e d b y a w o m a n , the " I n e v e r l o v e d h i m , I n e v e r lost h i m , " u t t e r e d b y a m a n ? I s t h i s the " n e v e r n e v e r " that s u p p o r t s the n a t u r a l i z e d s u r f a c e o f h e t e r o s e x u a l life as w e l l as its p e r v a s i v e m e l a n c h o l i a ? Is it the d i s a v o w a l of

loss b y w h i c h s e x u a l f o r m a t i o n , i n c l u d i n g g a y s e x u a l f o r m a tion, proceeds? I f w e a c c e p t the n o t i o n that the p r o h i b i t i o n o n h o m o s e x u a l i t y operates t h r o u g h o u t a l a r g e l y h e t e r o s e x u a l c u l t u r e as one o f its d e f i n i n g o p e r a t i o n s , t h e n the loss o f h o m o s e x u a l o b jects a n d a i m s (not s i m p l y t h i s p e r s o n o f the s a m e g e n d e r , b u t any p e r s o n o f the s a m e g e n d e r ) w o u l d a p p e a r t o b e f o r e c l o s e d f r o m the start. I say " f o r e c l o s e d " to suggest that t h i s is a p r e e m p t i v e loss, a m o u r n i n g for u n l i v e d p o s s i b i l i t i e s . If t h i s l o v e i s f r o m the start o u t o f the q u e s t i o n , t h e n i t c a n n o t h a p p e n , a n d i f i t does, i t c e r t a i n l y d i d n o t . I f i t does, i t h a p p e n s o n l y u n d e r the o f f i c i a l s i g n o f its p r o h i b i t i o n a n d d i s a v o w a l .
3

W h e n c e r t a i n k i n d s o f losses are c o m p e l l e d b y a set o f c u l t u r a l l y prevalent p r o h i b i t i o n s , we m i g h t expect a c u l t u r a l l y p r e v a l e n t f o r m o f m e l a n c h o l i a , o n e w h i c h s i g n a l s the i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n o f the u n g r i e v e d a n d u n g r i e v a b l e h o m o s e x u a l cathexis. A n d w h e r e there i s n o p u b l i c r e c o g n i t i o n o r d i s c o u r s e t h r o u g h w h i c h s u c h a loss m i g h t b e n a m e d a n d m o u r n e d , t h e n m e l a n c h o l i a takes o n c u l t u r a l d i m e n s i o n s o f c o n t e m p o r a r y c o n s e q u e n c e . O f c o u r s e , i t c o m e s a s n o s u r p r i s e that the m o r e h y p e r b o l i c a n d d e f e n s i v e a m a s c u l i n e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , the m o r e fierce the u n g r i e v e d h o m o s e x u a l cathexis. I n t h i s sense, we might understand both "masculinity" and "femininity" as f o r m e d a n d c o n s o l i d a t e d t h r o u g h i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s w h i c h are i n p a r t c o m p o s e d o f d i s a v o w e d grief. I f w e a c c e p t the n o t i o n that h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y n a t u r a l i z e s itself b y i n s i s t i n g o n the r a d i c a l o t h e r n e s s o f h o m o s e x u a l i t y , then heterosexual identity is purchased through a melancholic i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f the l o v e that i t d i s a v o w s : the m a n w h o i n s i s t s u p o n the c o h e r e n c e o f h i s h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y w i l l c l a i m that h e n e v e r l o v e d a n o t h e r m a n , a n d hence n e v e r lost a n o t h e r m a n . T h a t l o v e , that a t t a c h m e n t b e c o m e s subject to a d o u b l e d i s -

140

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a v o w a l , a n e v e r h a v i n g l o v e d , a n d a n e v e r h a v i n g lost. T h i s " n e v e r - n e v e r " t h u s f o u n d s the h e t e r o s e x u a l subject, as it w e r e ; i t i s a n i d e n t i t y b a s e d u p o n the r e f u s a l t o a v o w a n a t t a c h m e n t a n d , h e n c e , the r e f u s a l t o g r i e v e . There is perhaps a more culturally instructive w a y of des c r i b i n g this scenario, for it is not s i m p l y a matter of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s u n w i l l i n g n e s s t o a v o w a n d hence t o g r i e v e h o m o s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t s . W h e n the p r o h i b i t i o n against h o m o s e x u a l i t y i s c u l t u r a l l y p e r v a s i v e , t h e n the " l o s s " o f h o m o s e x u a l love is precipitated through a p r o h i b i t i o n w h i c h is repeated a n d r i t u a l i z e d t h r o u g h o u t the c u l t u r e . W h a t ensues i s a c u l t u r e of gender melancholy in w h i c h masculinity and femininity e m e r g e a s the traces o f a n u n g r i e v e d a n d u n g r i e v a b l e l o v e ; i n d e e d , w h e r e m a s c u l i n i t y a n d f e m i n i n i t y w i t h i n the h e t e r o s e x u a l m a t r i x are s t r e n g t h e n e d t h r o u g h the r e p u d i a t i o n s that they p e r f o r m . In opposition to a conception of sexuality w h i c h is s a i d to " e x p r e s s " a g e n d e r , g e n d e r itself is h e r e u n d e r s t o o d to be c o m p o s e d of precisely what remains inarticulate in sexuality. If we u n d e r s t a n d gender m e l a n c h o l y in this way, then perh a p s w e c a n m a k e sense o f the p e c u l i a r p h e n o m e n o n w h e r e b y h o m o s e x u a l desire becomes a source of guilt. In " M o u r n i n g a n d M e l a n c h o l i a " F r e u d a r g u e s that m e l a n c h o l y i s m a r k e d b y the e x p e r i e n c e o f self-beratement. H e w r i t e s , "If o n e l i s tens c a r e f u l l y t o the m a n y a n d v a r i o u s self-accusations o f the m e l a n c h o l i c , o n e c a n n o t i n the e n d a v o i d the i m p r e s s i o n that often the m o s t v i o l e n t o f t h e m are h a r d l y a t a l l a p p l i c a b l e t o the p a t i e n t h i m s e l f , b u t that w i t h i n s i g n i f i c a n t m o d i f i c a t i o n s t h e y d o fit s o m e o n e else, s o m e p e r s o n w h o m the p a t i e n t l o v e s , has l o v e d or o u g h t to l o v e . . . the s e l f - r e p r o a c h e s are r e p r o a c h e s a g a i n s t a l o v e d object w h i c h h a v e b e e n s h i f t e d o n t o the p a t i e n t ' s o w n e g o . "
4

F r e u d goes o n t o c o n j e c t u r e that the c o n f l i c t w i t h the o t h e r w h i c h r e m a i n s u n r e s o l v e d a t the t i m e the o t h e r i s lost r e e m e r g e s i n the p s y c h e a s a w a y o f c o n t i n u i n g the q u a r r e l . I n d e e d , anger at the o t h e r is d o u b t l e s s e x a c e r b a t e d by the d e a t h o r d e p a r t u r e w h i c h o c c a s i o n s the loss. B u t t h i s anger i s t u r n e d i n w a r d a n d b e c o m e s the s u b s t a n c e o f self-beratement. I n " O n N a r c i s s i s m , " F r e u d l i n k s the e x p e r i e n c e o f g u i l t w i t h the t u r n i n g b a c k i n t o the ego o f h o m o s e x u a l l i b i d o . P u t t i n g
5

a s i d e the q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r l i b i d o c a n b e h o m o s e x u a l o r heterosexual, we m i g h t rephrase F r e u d a n d consider guilt as the t u r n i n g b a c k i n t o the ego of h o m o s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t . If the loss b e c o m e s a r e n e w e d scene of c o n f l i c t , a n d if the a g g r e s s i o n that f o l l o w s f r o m that loss c a n n o t b e a r t i c u l a t e d o r e x t e r n a l i z e d , t h e n i t r e b o u n d s u p o n the ego itself, i n the f o r m o f a super-ego. T h i s w i l l eventually lead F r e u d t o l i n k melancholic i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h the a g e n c y of the s u p e r - e g o in The Ego and the Id, b u t a l r e a d y i n " O n N a r c i s s i s m " w e h a v e s o m e sense o f h o w guilt is wrought f r o m ungrievable homosexuality. T h e ego i s s a i d t o b e c o m e i m p o v e r i s h e d i n m e l a n c h o l i a , b u t i t a p p e a r s a s p o o r p r e c i s e l y t h r o u g h the w o r k i n g s o f selfb e r a t e m e n t . T h e e g o - i d e a l , w h a t F r e u d calls the " m e a s u r e " a g a i n s t w h i c h the ego i s j u d g e d b y the s u p e r - e g o , i s p r e c i s e l y the i d e a l o f s o c i a l r e c t i t u d e d e n n e d o v e r a n d against h o m o s e x u a l i t y . " T h i s i d e a l , " F r e u d w r i t e s , "has a s o c i a l s i d e : i t i s a l s o the c o m m o n i d e a l of a f a m i l y , a class or a n a t i o n . It n o t o n l y b i n d s the n a r c i s s i s t i c l i b i d o , b u t a l s o a c o n s i d e r a b l e a m o u n t o f the p e r s o n ' s h o m o s e x u a l l i b i d o , w h i c h i n t h i s w a y b e c o m e s t u r n e d b a c k i n t o the ego. T h e d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n d u e t o the n o n - f u l f i l l m e n t o f t h i s i d e a l liberates h o m o s e x u a l l i b i d o , w h i c h i s t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a sense o f g u i l t ( d r e a d o f the c o m m u n i t y ) " (81). B u t the m o v e m e n t o f t h i s " t r a n s f o r m a t i o n " i s n o t a l t o g e t h e r

142

Melancholy Gender

Refused Identification

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clear. A f t e r a l l , F r e u d w i l l a r g u e in Civilization and Its Discontents that these s o c i a l i d e a l s are t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a sense of guilt t h r o u g h a k i n d of internalization w h i c h is not, u l t i m a t e l y , m i m e t i c . I n " O n N a r c i s s i s m , " i t i s n o t that o n e treats oneself as h a r s h l y as o n e w a s t r e a t e d b u t r a t h e r that the agg r e s s i o n t o w a r d the i d e a l a n d its u n f u l f i l l a b i l i t y i s t u r n e d i n w a r d , a n d t h i s s e l f - a g g r e s s i o n b e c o m e s the p r i m a r y s t r u c t u r e o f c o n s c i e n c e : " b y m e a n s o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n [the c h i l d ] takes the u n a t t a c k a b l e a u t h o r i t y i n t o h i m s e l f " (86). I n this sense, i n m e l a n c h o l i a the s u p e r - e g o c a n b e c o m e a g a t h e r i n g p l a c e f o r the d e a t h i n s t i n c t s . A s s u c h , i t i s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y the s a m e as those i n s t i n c t s or t h e i r effect. In t h i s w a y , m e l a n c h o l i a attracts the d e a t h i n s t i n c t s t o the s u p e r - e g o , the d e a t h i n s t i n c t s b e i n g u n d e r s t o o d as a r e g r e s s i v e s t r i v i n g t o w a r d o r g a n i c e q u i l i b r i u m , a n d the self-beratement o f the s u p e r - e g o b e i n g u n d e r s t o o d t o m a k e u s e o f that r e g r e s s i v e s t r i v i n g for its o w n p u r p o s e s . M e l a n c h o l y i s b o t h the r e f u s a l o f g r i e f a n d the i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f loss, a m i m i n g o f the d e a t h i t c a n n o t m o u r n . Yet the i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f d e a t h d r a w s u p o n the d e a t h i n s t i n c t s t o s u c h a d e g r e e that w e m i g h t w e l l w o n d e r w h e t h e r the t w o c a n b e s e p a r a t e d f r o m o n e a n o t h e r , w h e t h e r analytically or phenomenologically. T h e p r o h i b i t i o n o n h o m o s e x u a l i t y p r e e m p t s the p r o c e s s o f g r i e f a n d p r o m p t s a m e l a n c h o l i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w h i c h effect i v e l y t u r n s h o m o s e x u a l d e s i r e b a c k u p o n itself. T h i s t u r n i n g b a c k u p o n itself i s p r e c i s e l y the a c t i o n o f self-beratement a n d g u i l t . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , h o m o s e x u a l i t y i s not a b o l i s h e d b u t p r e s e r v e d , t h o u g h p r e s e r v e d p r e c i s e l y i n the p r o h i b i t i o n o n h o m o s e x u a l i t y . In Civilization and Its Discontents, F r e u d m a k e s c l e a r that c o n s c i e n c e r e q u i r e s the c o n t i n u o u s sacrifice o r r e n u n c i a t i o n o f i n s t i n c t t o p r o d u c e the p e c u l i a r s a t i s f a c t i o n that conscience requires; conscience is never assuaged by renuncia-

tion, but is paradoxically strengthened ("renunciation breeds i n t o l e r a n c e " ) . R e n u n c i a t i o n d o e s n o t a b o l i s h the i n s t i n c t ; i t
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d e p l o y s the i n s t i n c t for its o w n p u r p o s e s , s o that p r o h i b i t i o n , a n d the l i v e d e x p e r i e n c e o f p r o h i b i t i o n a s r e p e a t e d r e n u n c i a t i o n , i s n o u r i s h e d p r e c i s e l y b y the i n s t i n c t that i t r e n o u n c e s . I n this s c e n a r i o , r e n u n c i a t i o n r e q u i r e s the v e r y h o m o s e x u a l i t y that i t c o n d e m n s , n o t a s its e x t e r n a l object, b u t a s its o w n m o s t t r e a s u r e d s o u r c e o f sustenance. T h e act o f r e n o u n c i n g h o m o sexuality thus paradoxically strengthens homosexuality, but it s t r e n g t h e n s h o m o s e x u a l i t y p r e c i s e l y a s the p o w e r o f r e n u n c i a t i o n . R e n u n c i a t i o n b e c o m e s the a i m a n d v e h i c l e o f satisfact i o n . A n d i t is, w e m i g h t conjecture, p r e c i s e l y the fear o f sett i n g h o m o s e x u a l i t y l o o s e f r o m t h i s c i r c u i t o f r e n u n c i a t i o n that s o terrifies the g u a r d i a n s o f m a s c u l i n i t y i n the U . S . m i l i t a r y . W h a t w o u l d m a s c u l i n i t y " b e " w i t h o u t this aggressive circuit o f r e n u n c i a t i o n f r o m w h i c h i t i s w r o u g h t ? G a y s i n the m i l i t a r y threaten to u n d o m a s c u l i n i t y o n l y because this m a s c u l i n i t y is made of repudiated homosexuality.
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S o m e s u g g e s t i o n s I m a d e in Bodies That Matter c a n f a c i l i 6

tate the t r a n s i t i o n f r o m the c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f m e l a n c h o l i a a s a s p e c i f i c a l l y p s y c h i c e c o n o m y t o the p r o d u c t i o n o f the c i r c u i t r y o f m e l a n c h o l i a a s p a r t o f the o p e r a t i o n o f r e g u l a t o r y p o w e r . If m e l a n c h o l i a d e s i g n a t e s a s p h e r e of a t t a c h m e n t that i s n o t e x p l i c i t l y p r o d u c e d a s a n object o f d i s c o u r s e , t h e n i t e r o d e s the o p e r a t i o n o f l a n g u a g e that n o t o n l y p o s i t s objects, b u t r e g u l a t e s a n d n o r m a l i z e s objects t h r o u g h that p o s i t i n g . If m e l a n c h o l i a a p p e a r s at first to be a f o r m of c o n t a i n m e n t , a w a y o f i n t e r n a l i z i n g a n a t t a c h m e n t that i s b a r r e d f r o m the w o r l d , i t a l s o establishes the p s y c h i c c o n d i t i o n s for r e g a r d i n g "the w o r l d " itself a s c o n t i n g e n t l y o r g a n i z e d t h r o u g h c e r t a i n k i n d s of foreclosures.
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H a v i n g d e s c r i b e d a m e l a n c h o l y p r o d u c e d t h r o u g h the c o m -

144

Melancholy Gender

Refused Identification

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p u l s o r y p r o d u c t i o n of heterosexuality, thus, a heterosexual m e l a n c h o l y that o n e m i g h t r e a d i n the w o r k i n g s o f g e n d e r itself, I w a n t n o w t o suggest that r i g i d f o r m s o f g e n d e r a n d sexual identification, whether homosexual or heterosexual, a p p e a r t o s p a w n f o r m s o f m e l a n c h o l y . I w o u l d l i k e first t o rec o n s i d e r the t h e o r y of g e n d e r as p e r f o r m a t i v e that I e l a b o r a t e d i n Gender Trouble, a n d t h e n t o t u r n t o the q u e s t i o n o f g a y m e l a n c h o l i a a n d the p o l i t i c a l c o n s e q u e n c e s o f u n g r i e v a b l e loss. T h e r e I a r g u e d that g e n d e r is p e r f o r m a t i v e , by w h i c h I m e a n t that n o g e n d e r i s " e x p r e s s e d " b y a c t i o n s , gestures, o r s p e e c h , b u t that the p e r f o r m a n c e o f g e n d e r p r o d u c e s r e t r o a c t i v e l y the i l l u s i o n that there i s a n i n n e r g e n d e r core. T h a t is, the p e r f o r m a n c e of g e n d e r r e t r o a c t i v e l y p r o d u c e s the effect of s o m e t r u e o r a b i d i n g f e m i n i n e essence o r d i s p o s i t i o n , s o that o n e c a n n o t use a n e x p r e s s i v e m o d e l f o r t h i n k i n g a b o u t gender. M o r e o v e r , I a r g u e d that g e n d e r is p r o d u c e d as a r i t u a l i z e d r e p e t i t i o n o f c o n v e n t i o n s , a n d that t h i s r i t u a l i s s o c i a l l y c o m p e l l e d i n p a r t b y the force o f a c o m p u l s o r y h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y . I n t h i s c o n t e x t , I w o u l d l i k e t o r e t u r n t o the q u e s t i o n o f d r a g t o e x p l a i n i n clearer t e r m s h o w I u n d e r s t a n d p s y c h o a n a l y s i s t o b e l i n k e d w i t h g e n d e r p e r f o r m a t i v i t y , a n d h o w I take p e r f o r mativity to be linked w i t h melancholia. It is n o t e n o u g h to say that g e n d e r is p e r f o r m e d , or that the m e a n i n g o f g e n d e r c a n b e d e r i v e d f r o m its p e r f o r m a n c e , w h e t h e r o r n o t one w a n t s t o r e t h i n k p e r f o r m a n c e a s a c o m p u l s o r y s o c i a l r i t u a l . C l e a r l y there are w o r k i n g s o f g e n d e r that do not " s h o w " in what is p e r f o r m e d as gender, a n d to reduce the p s y c h i c w o r k i n g s o f g e n d e r t o the l i t e r a l p e r f o r m a n c e o f g e n d e r w o u l d b e a m i s t a k e . P s y c h o a n a l y s i s i n s i s t s that the o p a c i t y o f the u n c o n s c i o u s sets l i m i t s t o the e x t e r i o r i z a t i o n o f the p s y c h e . It also a r g u e s — r i g h t l y , I t h i n k — t h a t w h a t is ext e r i o r i z e d o r p e r f o r m e d c a n o n l y b e u n d e r s t o o d b y reference

to what is barred f r o m performance, what cannot or w i l l not be performed. The relation between drag performances a n d gender perf o r m a t i v i t y in Gender Trouble goes s o m e t h i n g l i k e t h i s : w h e n a m a n i s p e r f o r m i n g d r a g a s a w o m a n , the " i m i t a t i o n " that d r a g i s s a i d t o b e i s t a k e n a s a n " i m i t a t i o n " o f f e m i n i n i t y , b u t the " f e m i n i n i t y " that h e i m i t a t e s i s n o t u n d e r s t o o d a s b e i n g itself a n i m i t a t i o n . Yet i f o n e c o n s i d e r s that g e n d e r i s a c q u i r e d , that i t i s a s s u m e d i n r e l a t i o n t o i d e a l s w h i c h are n e v e r q u i t e i n habited by anyone, then f e m i n i n i t y is an ideal w h i c h everyone a l w a y s a n d o n l y " i m i t a t e s . " T h u s , d r a g i m i t a t e s the i m i t a t i v e s t r u c t u r e o f g e n d e r , r e v e a l i n g g e n d e r itself t o b e a n i m i t a tion. H o w e v e r attractive this f o r m u l a t i o n m a y have seemed, it d i d n ' t a d d r e s s the q u e s t i o n o f h o w c e r t a i n f o r m s o f d i s a v o w a l a n d r e p u d i a t i o n c o m e t o o r g a n i z e the p e r f o r m a n c e o f gender. H o w i s the p h e n o m e n o n o f g e n d e r m e l a n c h o l i a t o b e r e l a t e d t o the p r a c t i c e o f g e n d e r p e r f o r m a t i v i t y ? M o r e o v e r , g i v e n the i c o n o g r a p h i e f i g u r e o f the m e l a n c h o l i c d r a g q u e e n , o n e m i g h t ask w h e t h e r there i s n o t a d i s s a t i s f i e d l o n g i n g i n the m i m e t i c i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f g e n d e r that i s d r a g . H e r e o n e m i g h t ask also after the d i s a v o w a l w h i c h o c c a s i o n s the p e r f o r m a n c e a n d w h i c h p e r f o r m a n c e m i g h t b e s a i d t o enact, w h e r e p e r f o r m a n c e engages " a c t i n g o u t " i n the p s y c h o a n a l y t i c sense. If m e l a n c h o l i a in F r e u d ' s sense is the effect of an ungrieved loss,
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performance, understood as "acting out,"

m a y b e r e l a t e d t o the p r o b l e m o f u n a c k n o w l e d g e d loss. I f there i s a n u n g r i e v e d loss i n d r a g p e r f o r m a n c e , p e r h a p s i t i s a loss that i s r e f u s e d a n d i n c o r p o r a t e d i n the p e r f o r m e d i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , o n e w h i c h reiterates a g e n d e r e d i d e a l i z a t i o n a n d its r a d i c a l u n i n h a b i t a b i l i t y . T h i s is, t h e n , n e i t h e r a t e r r i t o r i a l i z a t i o n o f the f e m i n i n e b y the m a s c u l i n e n o r a s i g n o f the e s s e n t i a l p l a s t i c i t y of gender. It suggests that the p e r f o r m a n c e a l l e g o r i z e s a

146

Melancholy Gender

Refused

Identification

147

loss i t c a n n o t g r i e v e , a l l e g o r i z e s the i n c o r p o r a t i v e f a n t a s y o f m e l a n c h o l i a w h e r e b y a n object i s p h a n t a s m a t i c a l l y t a k e n i n or on as a w a y of r e f u s i n g to let it go. G e n d e r itself m i g h t be u n d e r s t o o d i n p a r t a s the " a c t i n g o u t " o f u n r e s o l v e d grief. T h e a b o v e a n a l y s i s is a r i s k y o n e b e c a u s e it suggests that f o r a " m a n " p e r f o r m i n g f e m i n i n i t y , o r for a " w o m a n " p e r f o r m i n g m a s c u l i n i t y (the latter is a l w a y s , in effect, to p e r f o r m a l i t t l e less, g i v e n that f e m i n i n i t y is cast as the s p e c t a c u l a r g e n d e r ) , there i s a n a t t a c h m e n t t o — a n d a loss a n d r e f u s a l o f — t h e f i g u r e o f f e m i n i n i t y b y the m a n , o r the f i g u r e o f m a s c u l i n i t y b y the w o m a n . I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o u n d e r s c o r e that, a l t h o u g h d r a g i s a n effort t o n e g o t i a t e c r o s s - g e n d e r e d i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , c r o s s g e n d e r e d i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s n o t the o n l y p a r a d i g m for t h i n k i n g about homosexuality, m e r e l y one a m o n g others. D r a g allegor i z e s s o m e set of m e l a n c h o l i c i n c o r p o r a t i v e fantasies that stab i l i z e gender. N o t o n l y are a vast n u m b e r o f d r a g p e r f o r m e r s s t r a i g h t , b u t i t w o u l d b e a m i s t a k e t o t h i n k that h o m o s e x u a l i t y i s best e x p l a i n e d t h r o u g h the p e r f o r m a t i v i t y that i s d r a g . W h a t d o e s s e e m u s e f u l i n t h i s a n a l y s i s , h o w e v e r , i s that d r a g e x p o s e s o r a l l e g o r i z e s the m u n d a n e p s y c h i c a n d p e r f o r m a t i v e practices by w h i c h heterosexualized genders f o r m themselves t h r o u g h r e n o u n c i n g the possibility of h o m o s e x u a l i t y , a forec l o s u r e w h i c h p r o d u c e s b o t h a f i e l d o f h e t e r o s e x u a l objects a n d a d o m a i n o f those w h o m i t w o u l d b e i m p o s s i b l e t o l o v e . D r a g t h u s a l l e g o r i z e s heterosexual melancholy, the m e l a n c h o l y b y w h i c h a m a s c u l i n e g e n d e r i s f o r m e d f r o m the r e f u s a l t o g r i e v e the m a s c u l i n e as a p o s s i b i l i t y of l o v e ; a f e m i n i n e g e n d e r i s f o r m e d ( t a k e n o n , a s s u m e d ) t h r o u g h the i n c o r p o r a t i v e f a n t a s y b y w h i c h the f e m i n i n e i s e x c l u d e d a s a p o s s i b l e object of love, an exclusion never grieved, but "preserved" t h r o u g h h e i g h t e n e d f e m i n i n e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . I n t h i s sense, the " t r u e s t "

l e s b i a n m e l a n c h o l i c i s the s t r i c t l y s t r a i g h t w o m a n , a n d the " t r u e s t " g a y m a l e m e l a n c h o l i c i s the s t r i c t l y s t r a i g h t m a n . W h a t d r a g d o e s e x p o s e , h o w e v e r , i s that i n the " n o r m a l " c o n s t i t u t i o n o f g e n d e r p r e s e n t a t i o n , the g e n d e r that i s p e r f o r m e d i s c o n s t i t u t e d b y a set o f d i s a v o w e d a t t a c h m e n t s , i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e a different d o m a i n o f the " u n p e r f o r m a b l e . " I n d e e d , w h a t c o n s t i t u t e s the sexually u n p e r f o r m a b l e m a y — b u t n e e d n o t — b e p e r f o r m e d as gender identification. T o the extent that h o m o s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t s r e m a i n u n 11

a c k n o w l e d g e d w i t h i n n o r m a t i v e h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y , t h e y are n o t m e r e l y constituted as desires w h i c h emerge a n d subsequently b e c o m e p r o h i b i t e d ; rather, these d e s i r e s are p r o s c r i b e d f r o m the start. A n d w h e n t h e y d o e m e r g e o n the far s i d e o f the censor, t h e y m a y w e l l c a r r y the m a r k o f i m p o s s i b i l i t y w i t h t h e m , p e r f o r m i n g , a s i t w e r e , a s the i m p o s s i b l e w i t h i n the p o s sible. A s s u c h , t h e y w i l l n o t b e a t t a c h m e n t s that c a n b e o p e n l y g r i e v e d . T h i s is, t h e n , less a refusal to g r i e v e (the M i t s c h e r l i c h f o r m u l a t i o n that accents the c h o i c e i n v o l v e d ) t h a n a p r e e m p t i o n o f g r i e f p e r f o r m e d b y the absence o f c u l t u r a l c o n v e n t i o n s for a v o w i n g the loss o f h o m o s e x u a l l o v e . A n d this absence p r o d u c e s a c u l t u r e o f h e t e r o s e x u a l m e l a n c h o l y , one w h i c h c a n b e r e a d i n the h y p e r b o l i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s b y w h i c h m u n d a n e heterosexual m a s c u l i n i t y a n d f e m i n i n i t y confirm themselves. T h e s t r a i g h t m a n becomes ( m i m e s , cites, a p p r o p r i a t e s , a s s u m e s the status of) the m a n h e " n e v e r " l o v e d a n d " n e v e r " g r i e v e d ; the s t r a i g h t w o m a n becomes the w o m a n she " n e v e r " l o v e d a n d " n e v e r " g r i e v e d . I t i s i n t h i s sense, t h e n , that w h a t i s m o s t a p p a r e n t l y p e r f o r m e d a s g e n d e r i s the s i g n a n d s y m p t o m o f a pervasive disavowal. G a y m e l a n c h o l i a , h o w e v e r , also c o n t a i n s a n g e r that c a n b e t r a n s l a t e d i n t o p o l i t i c a l e x p r e s s i o n . It is p r e c i s e l y to c o u n t e r

148

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t h i s p e r v a s i v e c u l t u r a l r i s k o f gay m e l a n c h o l i a ( w h a t the n e w s p a p e r s g e n e r a l i z e a s " d e p r e s s i o n " ) that there has b e e n a n i n sistent p u b l i c i z a t i o n a n d p o l i t i c i z a t i o n o f g r i e f o v e r t h o s e w h o h a v e d i e d f r o m A I D S . T h e N a m e s Project Q u i l t is e x e m p l a r y , r i t u a l i z i n g a n d r e p e a t i n g the n a m e itself a s a w a y o f p u b l i c a l l y a v o w i n g limitless loss.
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a l i t y that is to s o m e d e g r e e an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with a rejected h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y . I m p o r t a n t t o t h i s e c o n o m y , h o w e v e r , i s the r e f u s a l to r e c o g n i z e t h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n that is, as it w e r e , a l r e a d y m a d e , a r e f u s a l w h i c h a b s e n t l y designates the d o m a i n of a s p e c i f i c a l l y g a y m e l a n c h o l i a , a loss w h i c h c a n n o t b e r e c o g n i z e d a n d , hence, c a n n o t b e m o u r n e d . F o r a g a y o r l e s b i a n i d e n t i t y p o s i t i o n t o s u s t a i n its a p p e a r a n c e a s c o h e r e n t , h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y m u s t r e m a i n i n that rejected a n d r e p u d i a t e d p l a c e . P a r a d o x i c a l l y , its h e t e r o s e x u a l remains m u s t be sustained p r e c i s e l y t h r o u g h i n s i s t i n g o n the seamless c o h e r e n c e o f a s p e c i f i c a l l y g a y i d e n t i t y . H e r e i t s h o u l d b e c o m e c l e a r that a r a d i c a l r e f u s a l t o i d e n t i f y suggests that o n s o m e l e v e l a n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n has a l r e a d y t a k e n p l a c e , a n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n h a s b e e n m a d e a n d d i s a v o w e d , w h o s e s y m p t o m a t i c a p p e a r a n c e i s the i n s i s t e n c e , the o v e r d e t e r m i n a t i o n of the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n that is, as it w e r e , w o r n o n the b o d y that s h o w s . T h i s raises the p o l i t i c a l q u e s t i o n o f the cost o f a r t i c u l a t i n g a coherent i d e n t i t y p o s i t i o n by p r o d u c i n g , e x c l u d i n g , a n d r e p u d i a t i n g a d o m a i n of abjected specters that t h r e a t e n the a r b i t r a r i l y c l o s e d d o m a i n o f subject p o s i t i o n s . P e r h a p s o n l y by r i s k i n g the incoherence of i d e n t i t y is c o n n e c t i o n p o s s i b l e , a p o l i t i c a l p o i n t that c o r r e l a t e s w i t h L e o B e r s a n i ' s i n s i g h t that o n l y the d e c e n t e r e d subject i s a v a i l a b l e t o d e s i r e .
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Insofar as the g r i e f r e m a i n s u n s p e a k a b l e , the rage o v e r the loss c a n r e d o u b l e b y v i r t u e o f r e m a i n i n g u n a v o w e d . A n d i f that rage i s p u b l i c a l l y p r o s c r i b e d , the m e l a n c h o l i c effects of such a p r o s c r i p t i o n can achieve suicidal proportions. The e m e r g e n c e o f c o l l e c t i v e i n s t i t u t i o n s for g r i e v i n g are t h u s c r u cial to s u r v i v a l , to reassembling c o m m u n i t y , to rearticulati n g k i n s h i p , t o r e w e a v i n g s u s t a i n i n g r e l a t i o n s . Insofar a s t h e y i n v o l v e the p u b l i c i z a t i o n a n d d r a m a t i z a t i o n o f d e a t h — a s i n the case o f " d i e - i n s " b y Q u e e r N a t i o n — t h e y c a l l for b e i n g r e a d a s l i f e - a f f i r m i n g r e j o i n d e r s t o the d i r e p s y c h i c c o n s e quences of a g r i e v i n g process c u l t u r a l l y thwarted a n d p r o scribed. M e l a n c h o l y can work, however, w i t h i n homosexuality in specific w a y s that c a l l for r e t h i n k i n g . W i t h i n the f o r m a t i o n o f g a y a n d l e s b i a n i d e n t i t y , there m a y b e a n effort t o d i s a v o w a constitutive relationship to heterosexuality. W h e n this disa v o w a l is u n d e r s t o o d as a p o l i t i c a l n e c e s s i t y in o r d e r to specify g a y a n d l e s b i a n i d e n t i t y o v e r a n d against its o s t e n s i b l e o p p o site, h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y , that c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e p a r a d o x i c a l l y c u l m i n a t e s i n a w e a k e n i n g o f the v e r y c o n s t i t u e n c y i t i s m e a n t to u n i t e . N o t o n l y does s u c h a strategy a t t r i b u t e a false a n d m o n o l i t h i c status t o h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y , b u t i t m i s s e s the p o l i t i c a l o p p o r t u n i t y t o w o r k o n the w e a k n e s s i n h e t e r o s e x u a l s u b j e c t i v a t i o n a n d t o refute the l o g i c o f m u t u a l e x c l u s i o n b y w h i c h heterosexism proceeds. M o r e o v e r , a full-scale d e n i a l of the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p c a n c o n s t i t u t e a r e j e c t i o n of h e t e r o s e x u -

W h a t can-

not b e a v o w e d a s a c o n s t i t u t i v e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n for a n y g i v e n subject p o s i t i o n r u n s the r i s k n o t o n l y o f b e c o m i n g e x t e r n a l ized in a degraded form, but repeatedly repudiated a n d subject to a p o l i c y of d i s a v o w a l . T h e l o g i c o f r e p u d i a t i o n that I've c h a r t e d h e r e i s i n s o m e w a y s a h y p e r b o l i c theory, a logic in d r a g , as it were, w h i c h overstates the case, b u t overstates it f o r a r e a s o n . T h e r e is n o n e c e s s a r y r e a s o n for i d e n t i f i c a t i o n t o o p p o s e d e s i r e , o r for d e s i r e t o b e f u e l e d b y r e p u d i a t i o n . T h i s r e m a i n s t r u e for

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heterosexuality a n d h o m o s e x u a l i t y alike, a n d for forms of b i s e x u a l i t y that t a k e t h e m s e l v e s t o b e c o m p o s i t e f o r m s o f e a c h . I n d e e d , w e are m a d e a l l the m o r e f r a g i l e u n d e r the p r e s s u r e o f s u c h r u l e s , a n d a l l the m o r e m o b i l e w h e n a m b i v a l e n c e a n d loss are g i v e n a d r a m a t i c l a n g u a g e i n w h i c h to d o t h e i r a c t i n g o u t .

| Keeping It M o v i n g
Commentary on Judith Butler's "Melancholy Gender / Refused Identification"
A D A M PHILLIPS

E n d s o f sentences a n d other pauses o n l y c o m e w h e n w e r u n out of time or hope. —Carolyn Creedon, The Best American Poetry

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f , a s F r e u d suggests, c h a r a c t e r i s c o n s t i t u t e d b y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n — t h e ego l i k e n i n g itself t o w h a t i t o n c e l o v e d — t h e n
1

character is close to caricature, an i m i t a t i o n of an i m i t a t i o n .

L i k e the artists P l a t o w a n t e d t o b a n , w e are m a k i n g c o p i e s o f c o p i e s , b u t u n l i k e P l a t o ' s artists w e h a v e n o o r i g i n a l , o n l y a n infinite succession of likenesses to someone w h o , to a l l intents a n d p u r p o s e s , does n o t exist. F r e u d ' s n o t i o n o f c h a r a c t e r i s a p a r o d y o f a P l a t o n i c w o r k o f art; h i s t h e o r y o f c h a r a c t e r form a t i o n through identification makes a m o c k e r y of character a s i n a n y w a y s u b s t a n t i v e . T h e ego i s a l w a y s d r e s s i n g u p for s o m e w h e r e t o go. Insofar a s b e i n g i s b e i n g l i k e , there c a n b e

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n o p l a c e for T r u e selves o r c o r e g e n d e r i d e n t i t i e s . A f t e r a l l , m y sense o f a u t h e n t i c i t y c a n c o m e o n l y f r o m the senses o f a u t h e n t i c i t y i n m y c u l t u r e . I n t h i s context, m y T r u e Self i s m o r e a c c u r a t e l y d e s c r i b e d a s m y P r e f e r r e d Self (or Selves). I a m the p e r f o r m e r o f m y c o n s c i o u s a n d u n c o n s c i o u s preferences. L a c a n ' s m i r r o r - s t a g e is a t e s t a m e n t to the h a v o c w r e a k e d by m i m e t i c forms of development; a n d M i k k e l Borch-Jacobsen a n d L e o B e r s a n i i n p a r t i c u l a r h a v e e x p o s e d the v i o l e n c e a n d t a u t o l o g y o f F r e u d ' s t h e o r y o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , the m u t u a l i m plication and complicity involved in being like. As Judith
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lief that F r e u d t u r n e d t o m o u r n i n g , w h i c h s e e m e d t o r e v e a l that the ego i s g r o u n d e d i n its r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h l o v e d a n d hated others. M o u r n i n g is i m m e n s e l y reassuring because it
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c o n v i n c e s u s o f s o m e t h i n g w e m i g h t o t h e r w i s e d o u b t ; o u r att a c h m e n t t o others. T h e p r o t r a c t e d p a i n f u l n e s s o f m o u r n i n g c o n f i r m s s o m e t h i n g that p s y c h o a n a l y s i s h a d p u t i n t o q u e s t i o n : h o w i n t r a n s i g e n t l y d e v o t e d w e are t o the p e o p l e w e l o v e a n d hate. D e s p i t e the e v i d e n c e o f o u r d r e a m s , o u r c a p a c i t y for i n finite s u b s t i t u t i o n i s meager. I n t h i s sense, m o u r n i n g has b e e n a b a l l a s t for the m o r e r a d i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s of p s y c h o a n a l y s i s . It i s the r o c k , s o t o s p e a k , o n w h i c h P r o m e t h e u s f o u n d e r s . It m i g h t at first s e e m m o r e a c c u r a t e to say that, f o r F r e u d , it w a s the O e d i p u s c o m p l e x that b o t h c o n s t i t u t e d a n d set l i m i t s t o the e x o r b i t a n c e o f the ego. B u t i t is, a s K l e i n has s h o w n , the m o u r n i n g e n t a i l e d i n the s o - c a l l e d r e s o l u t i o n o f the O e d i p u s c o m p l e x that c o n s o l i d a t e s the ego. W i t h o u t m o u r n i n g f o r p r i m a r y objects t h e r e i s n o w a y o u t o f the m a g i c c i r c l e o f the f a m i l y . I n d e e d , p a r t l y t h r o u g h the w o r k o f K l e i n , m o u r n i n g has p r o v i d e d the f o u n d a t i o n f o r d e v e l o p m e n t i n m o s t v e r s i o n s o f p s y c h o a n a l y s i s ; s o m u c h so, i n fact, that m o u r n i n g has acq u i r e d the status o f a q u a s i - r e l i g i o u s c o n c e p t i n p s y c h o a n a l y sis. A n a l y s t s b e l i e v e i n m o u r n i n g ; i f a p a t i e n t w e r e t o c l a i m , a s E m e r s o n o n c e d i d , that m o u r n i n g w a s " s h a l l o w " h e o r she w o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d to be "out of t o u c h " w i t h s o m e t h i n g or other. It is as t h o u g h a c a p a c i t y f o r m o u r n i n g , w i t h a l l that it i m p l i e s , c o n s t i t u t e s the h u m a n c o m m u n i t y . W e c a n n o m o r e imagine a w o r l d w i t h o u t bereavement than we can imagine a world without punishment. I t h i n k that, s o m e w h a t a l o n g these l i n e s , J u d i t h B u t l e r i s t r y i n g t o u s e m o u r n i n g t o g i v e s o m e g r a v i t y , i n b o t h senses, to her exhilarating n o t i o n of gender as performative. W h a t is r e m a r k a b l e a b o u t h e r essay is that she m a n a g e s to do t h i s

B u t l e r ' s s o b e r i n g essay s h o w s , t h i s c r i t i c a l c o n c e p t o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s the n e x u s for a n u m b e r o f c o n t e n t i o u s issues i n c o n t e m p o r a r y theory; it invites us to w o n d e r what we use other p e o p l e for a n d h o w o t h e r t h e y are. I n fact, i t forces u s t o c o n f r o n t the q u e s t i o n that e x e r c i s e d F r e u d a n d that object r e l a t i o n s a n d r e l a t i o n a l p s y c h o a n a l y s i s take for g r a n t e d ; i n w h a t sense d o w e h a v e w h a t w e p r e f e r t o c a l l r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h each other? W h e n F r e u d p r o p o s e d that the object w a s m e r e l y " s o l d e r e d " o n t o the i n s t i n c t , that o u r p r i m a r y c o m m i t m e n t w a s t o o u r d e s i r e a n d n o t t o its target, h e i m p l i e d that w e are n o t a t t a c h e d t o e a c h o t h e r i n the w a y s w e l i k e t o t h i n k .
3

F r e u d g l i m p s e d in the Interpretation of Dreams the ego's p o t e n tial for p r o m i s c u o u s m o b i l i t y ; dreams i n particular revealed that p s y c h i c life w a s a s t o n i s h i n g l y m o b i l e a n d a d v e n t u r o u s e v e n i f l i v e d life w a s n o t . ( V e r y f e w p e o p l e are a c t i v e l y b i sexual yet everyone is p s y c h i c a l l y bisexual.) F r e u d h a d b o t h t o e x p l a i n t h i s d i s p a r i t y — t h a t w e d o n o t h a v e the c o u r a g e , as it were, of o u r p r i m a r y p r o c e s s — a n d also to f i n d a way, i n theory, o f g r o u n d i n g the F a u s t i a n ego, d e f i n i n g its l o y a l t i e s w h e n t h e y s o m e t i m e s s e e m e d u n r e l i a b l e . T h e ego c e r t a i n l y s e e m e d s h i f t y i n its a l l e g i a n c e s , a n d s o i t w a s w i t h s o m e r e -

154

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w i t h o u t the a r g u m e n t ' s d e g e n e r a t i n g i n t o the m o r e c o e r c i v e p i e t i e s that t a l k a b o u t g r i e f u s u a l l y b r i n g s i n its w a k e . M o u r n ing makes moralists of us all. There w i l l never be m o r e gender identities than we can invent a n d p e r f o r m . We s h o u l d not be c e l e b r a t i n g t h o s e p e o p l e , m a n y o f w h o m are p s y c h o a n a l y s t s , w h o , i n the n a m e o f T r u t h , o r P s y c h i c H e a l t h , o r M a t u r i t y , seek t o l i m i t the r e p e r t o i r e . I t i s n o w a c l i c h é , i n t h e o r y i f n o t i n p r a c t i c e , that a l l v e r s i o n s o f g e n d e r i d e n t i t y are c o n f l i c t u a l a n d t h e r e f o r e p r o b l e m atic. W h a t B u t l e r i s p r o p o s i n g w i t h h e r n o t i o n o f a m e l a n c h o l i c identification, a "culture of gender melancholy in w h i c h masc u l i n i t y a n d f e m i n i n i t y e m e r g e a s the traces o f a n u n g r i e v e d a n d ungrievable love," is a n e w version of an o l d question a b o u t g e n d e r i d e n t i t y . W h y are h o m o s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t s — the i n a p p r o p r i a t e l y n a m e d " n e g a t i v e " O e d i p u s c o m p l e x — d e scribed, even if not o r i g i n a l l y experienced, aversively? W h y are these m a n i f e s t l y p a s s i o n a t e l o v e s d i s a v o w e d , m a d e u n mournable, repudiated, a n d then punished w h e n witnessed i n others? A t the least, i t s e e m s c l e a r f r o m B u t l e r ' s c o n v i n c i n g a c c o u n t that the c u l t u r a l l y p e r v a s i v e h o s t i l i t y — b o t h i n t e r a n d i n t r a p s y c h i c a l l y — t o h o m o s e x u a l i t y i s b a s e d o n envy. I f some heterosexuals in p r e - A i D S times were explicitly envious o f the p r o m i s c u i t y o f h o m o s e x u a l s — w h y c a n ' t W E c r u i s e ? — h e t e r o s e x u a l s n o w m a y b e m o r e l i k e l y t o e n v y s i m p l y the i n t i m a c y that s o m e p e o p l e are free t o i n d u l g e a n d elaborate w i t h p e o p l e o f the s a m e sex. B u t if, a s B u t l e r suggests, " m a s c u l i n i t y " a n d " f e m i n i n i t y " are f o r m e d a n d c o n s o l i d a t e d t h r o u g h i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s that are c o m p o s e d i n p a r t o f d i s a v o w e d grief, w h a t w o u l d i t b e l i k e t o l i v e i n a w o r l d that a c k n o w l e d g e d a n d s a n c t i o n e d s u c h grief, that a l l o w e d us, a s i t w e r e , the f u l l course of our bereavement of d i s o w n e d or renounced gend e r i d e n t i t i e s ? W h a t w o u l d h a v e t o h a p p e n i n the s o - c a l l e d

p s y c h o a n a l y t i c c o m m u n i t y f o r a n ethos t o b e c r e a t e d i n w h i c h p a t i e n t s w e r e e n c o u r a g e d t o m o u r n the loss o f a l l t h e i r r e pressed gender identities? T h e s e s e e m t o m e t o b e q u e s t i o n s o f c o n s i d e r a b l e interest, p r o v i d e d t h e y d o n o t e n t a i l the i d e a l i z a t i o n o f m o u r n i n g — i t s u s e as a s p u r i o u s r e d e m p t i v e p r a c t i c e , as a k i n d of ersatz c u r e for r e p r e s s i o n o r the a n g u i s h e s o f u n c e r t a i n t y . I f the c o n v i n c e d h e t e r o s e x u a l m a n , i n B u t l e r ' s w o r d s , " b e c o m e s subject t o a double disavowal, a never-having-loved and a never-havinglost," the h o m o s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t , i s i t t h e r e f o r e t o b e c o m e i n t e g r a l t o the p s y c h o a n a l y t i c p r o j e c t t o a n a l y z e , o r e n g i n e e r the u n d o i n g o f t h i s d i s a v o w a l i f the h e t e r o s e x u a l m a n c l a i m s t o b e r e l a t i v e l y u n t r o u b l e d b y it? T o m e , the a b s o l u t e p l a u s i b i l i t y of Butler's argument poses some telling c l i n i c a l q u a n d a r i e s . W h o , for e x a m p l e , d e c i d e s w h a t c o n s t i t u t e s a p r o b l e m f o r the p a t i e n t ? A n d b y w h a t c r i t e r i a ? A s s u m e d h e t e r o s e x u ality is every bit as m u c h of a " p r o b l e m " as any other a s s u m e d p o s i t i o n (all s y m p t o m s , after a l l , are states o f c o n v i c t i o n ) . C e r t a i n l y B u t l e r ' s p a p e r r e m i n d s u s o f the cost, the d e p r i v a t i o n , i n a l l g e n d e r i d e n t i t i e s , n o t t o m e n t i o n the t e r r o r i n f o r m i n g these desperate measures. "There is," Butler writes, "no necessary r e a s o n for i d e n t i f i c a t i o n t o o p p o s e d e s i r e , o r f o r d e s i r e t o b e f u e l e d b y r e p u d i a t i o n . " B u t t h e r e is, o f c o u r s e , a n e c e s s a r y r e a son by a certain k i n d of psychoanalytic logic. In Freud's view, we become what we cannot have, a n d we desire (and punish) w h a t w e are c o m p e l l e d t o d i s o w n . B u t w h y these c h o i c e s — w h y c a n ' t w e d o b o t h a n d s o m e t h i n g else a s w e l l ? — a n d w h y are t h e y the c h o i c e s ? T h e s e are the i s s u e s o p e n e d u p i n B u t l e r ' s Gender Trouble. The essentially performative, constructed nature of gender i d e n t i t y m a k e s a l l c o n s t r a i n t s o f the r e p e r t o i r e s e e m f a c t i t i o u s a n d u n n e c e s s a r i l y o p p r e s s i v e . B u t just a s e v e r y p e r f o r m a n c e i s

154

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Identification

*55

w i t h o u t the a r g u m e n t ' s d e g e n e r a t i n g i n t o the m o r e c o e r c i v e p i e t i e s that t a l k a b o u t g r i e f u s u a l l y b r i n g s i n its w a k e . M o u r n i n g makes moralists of us all. There w i l l never be m o r e gender identities than we can invent a n d p e r f o r m . We s h o u l d not be c e l e b r a t i n g t h o s e p e o p l e , m a n y o f w h o m are p s y c h o a n a l y s t s , w h o , i n the n a m e o f T r u t h , o r P s y c h i c H e a l t h , o r M a t u r i t y , seek t o l i m i t the r e p e r t o i r e . I t i s n o w a c l i c h é , i n t h e o r y i f n o t i n p r a c t i c e , that a l l v e r s i o n s o f g e n d e r i d e n t i t y are c o n f l i c t u a l a n d t h e r e f o r e p r o b l e m atic. W h a t B u t l e r i s p r o p o s i n g w i t h h e r n o t i o n o f a m e l a n c h o l i c identification, a "culture of gender melancholy in w h i c h masc u l i n i t y a n d f e m i n i n i t y e m e r g e a s the traces o f a n u n g r i e v e d a n d ungrievable love," is a n e w version of an o l d question a b o u t g e n d e r i d e n t i t y . W h y are h o m o s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t s — the i n a p p r o p r i a t e l y n a m e d " n e g a t i v e " O e d i p u s c o m p l e x — d e scribed, even if not o r i g i n a l l y experienced, aversively? W h y are these m a n i f e s t l y p a s s i o n a t e l o v e s d i s a v o w e d , m a d e u n mournable, repudiated, a n d then punished w h e n witnessed i n o t h e r s ? A t the least, i t s e e m s c l e a r f r o m B u t l e r ' s c o n v i n c i n g a c c o u n t that the c u l t u r a l l y p e r v a s i v e h o s t i l i t y — b o t h i n t e r a n d i n t r a p s y c h i c a l l y — t o h o m o s e x u a l i t y i s b a s e d o n envy. I f some heterosexuals in p r e - A i D S times were explicitly envious o f the p r o m i s c u i t y o f h o m o s e x u a l s — w h y c a n ' t W E c r u i s e ? — h e t e r o s e x u a l s n o w m a y b e m o r e l i k e l y t o e n v y s i m p l y the i n t i m a c y that s o m e p e o p l e are free t o i n d u l g e a n d elaborate w i t h p e o p l e o f the s a m e sex. B u t if, a s B u t l e r suggests, " m a s c u l i n i t y " a n d " f e m i n i n i t y " are f o r m e d a n d c o n s o l i d a t e d t h r o u g h i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s that are c o m p o s e d i n p a r t o f d i s a v o w e d grief, w h a t w o u l d i t b e l i k e t o l i v e i n a w o r l d that a c k n o w l e d g e d a n d s a n c t i o n e d s u c h grief, that a l l o w e d u s , a s i t w e r e , the f u l l course of our bereavement of d i s o w n e d or renounced gend e r i d e n t i t i e s ? W h a t w o u l d h a v e t o h a p p e n i n the s o - c a l l e d

p s y c h o a n a l y t i c c o m m u n i t y for a n ethos t o b e c r e a t e d i n w h i c h p a t i e n t s w e r e e n c o u r a g e d t o m o u r n the loss o f a l l t h e i r r e pressed gender identities? T h e s e s e e m t o m e t o b e q u e s t i o n s o f c o n s i d e r a b l e interest, p r o v i d e d t h e y d o n o t e n t a i l the i d e a l i z a t i o n o f m o u r n i n g — i t s u s e as a s p u r i o u s r e d e m p t i v e p r a c t i c e , as a k i n d of ersatz c u r e for r e p r e s s i o n o r the a n g u i s h e s o f u n c e r t a i n t y . I f the c o n v i n c e d h e t e r o s e x u a l m a n , i n B u t l e r ' s w o r d s , " b e c o m e s subject t o a double disavowal, a never-having-loved and a never-havinglost," the h o m o s e x u a l a t t a c h m e n t , i s i t t h e r e f o r e t o b e c o m e i n t e g r a l t o the p s y c h o a n a l y t i c p r o j e c t t o a n a l y z e , o r e n g i n e e r the u n d o i n g o f t h i s d i s a v o w a l i f the h e t e r o s e x u a l m a n c l a i m s t o b e r e l a t i v e l y u n t r o u b l e d b y it? T o m e , the a b s o l u t e p l a u s i b i l i t y of Butler's argument poses some telling c l i n i c a l q u a n daries. W h o , for example, decides w h a t constitutes a p r o b l e m for the p a t i e n t ? A n d b y w h a t c r i t e r i a ? A s s u m e d h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y is every bit as m u c h of a " p r o b l e m " as any other a s s u m e d p o s i t i o n (all s y m p t o m s , after a l l , are states o f c o n v i c t i o n ) . C e r t a i n l y B u t l e r ' s p a p e r r e m i n d s u s o f the cost, the d e p r i v a t i o n , i n a l l g e n d e r i d e n t i t i e s , n o t t o m e n t i o n the t e r r o r i n f o r m i n g these desperate measures. "There is," Butler writes, "no necessary r e a s o n for i d e n t i f i c a t i o n t o o p p o s e d e s i r e , o r f o r d e s i r e t o b e f u e l e d b y r e p u d i a t i o n . " B u t there is, o f c o u r s e , a n e c e s s a r y r e a son by a certain k i n d of psychoanalytic logic. In Freud's view, we become what we cannot have, a n d we desire (and punish) w h a t w e are c o m p e l l e d t o d i s o w n . B u t w h y these c h o i c e s — w h y c a n ' t w e d o b o t h a n d s o m e t h i n g else a s w e l l ? — a n d w h y are t h e y the c h o i c e s ? T h e s e are the i s s u e s o p e n e d u p i n B u t l e r ' s Gender Trouble. The essentially performative, constructed nature of gender i d e n t i t y m a k e s a l l c o n s t r a i n t s o f the r e p e r t o i r e s e e m f a c t i t i o u s a n d u n n e c e s s a r i l y o p p r e s s i v e . B u t just a s e v e r y p e r f o r m a n c e i s

i 6
5

Melancholy Gender

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s u b s i d i z e d b y a n i n h i b i t i o n e l s e w h e r e , s o there i s n o i d e n t i t y , h o w e v e r c o m p e l l i n g the p e r f o r m a n c e , w i t h o u t s u f f e r i n g . I f the i d e a o f p e r f o r m a n c e frees i d e n t i t y i n t o states o f ( s o m e t i m e s w i l l e d ) p o s s i b i l i t y , m o u r n i n g refers those s a m e i d e n t i t i e s b a c k to their unconscious histories, w i t h their repetitions a n d their w a s t e ; those p a r a m e t e r s that s e e m i n g l y t h w a r t o u r o p t i o n s . M o u r n i n g a n d p e r f o r m a n c e — a n d the p e r f o r m a n c e s that c o n s t i t u t e o u r sense o f m o u r n i n g — s e e m u s e f u l l y t w i n n e d . W i t h o u t the i d e a o f p e r f o r m a n c e , m o u r n i n g b e c o m e s l i t e r a l i z e d a s T r u t h — o u r d e e p e s t act; w i t h o u t the i d e a o f m o u r n i n g , p e r f o r m a n c e b e c o m e s a n e x c e s s i v e d e m a n d — p r e t e n d there's n o unconscious, then pretend what y o u like. "I believe in all sincerity," V a l é r y w r o t e , "that i f e a c h m a n w e r e n o t able t o l i v e a n u m b e r o f l i v e s b e s i d e h i s o w n , h e w o u l d n o t b e able t o l i v e h i s o w n life." Valéry 's ironic s i n c e r i t y — f r o m w h i c h of his lives is
5

too c o n s c i o u s o f the c o n s t r a i n t s , the u n c o n s c i o u s c o n s t r a i n t s , o n p o s s i b i l i t y that are c a l l e d s y m p t o m s ( a n d f r o m a different p e r s p e c t i v e are c a l l e d the O e d i p u s c o m p l e x ) . B u t , o f c o u r s e , w h a t i s p o s s i b l e i n a n a l y s i s , o r a n y w h e r e else, i s d i c t a t e d b y o u r t h e o r e t i c a l p a r a d i g m s , b y the l a n g u a g e s w e c h o o s e t o s p e a k a b o u t o u r p r a c t i c e . D e s p i t e boasts t o the c o n t r a r y — p s y c h o a n a l y s i s , the I m p o s s i b l e P r o f e s s i o n a n d the l i k e — p s y c h o a n a l y s i s i s o n l y a s d i f f i c u l t a s w e m a k e it. F r o m a clinical point of view, Butler's initial political volu n t a r i s m i n Gender Trouble w o u l d h a v e m a d e a n a l y s t s w a r y . B u t there i s n o o b v i o u s r e a s o n w h y a n a l y s t s i n t h e i r p r a c t i c e h a v e t o b e less i m a g i n a t i v e t h a n B u t l e r i s a s k i n g t h e m t o b e i n " M e l a n c h o l y G e n d e r . " T h e a n a l y s t w h o b e l i e v e s i n the u n c o n s c i o u s c a n h a r d l y set h i m s e l f up as a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the a u t h e n t i c life e v e n t h o u g h the l a n g u a g e h e uses t o t a l k a b o u t h i s job i s f u l l o f the j a r g o n o f a u t h e n t i c i t y ( i n t e g r i t y , h o n e s t y , t r u t h , self, i n s t i n c t ) . T h e l a n g u a g e o f p e r f o r m a n c e m a y b e too easy t o d i s m i s s c l i n i c a l l y a s e v a s i v e , i n a w a y that i s b l i n d t o the t h e a t r i c a l i t y o f the a n a l y t i c s i t u a t i o n . B u t l e r ' s u s e o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n p u t s the n o t i o n o f the p e r f o r m a t i v e b a c k i n t o the a n a l y t i c f r a m e ; w h a t i s m o r e s u r p r i s i n g i s that she has b e e n able to use m o u r n i n g as a w a y of n u a n c i n g the t h e a t r i c a l i t y that is integral to our m a k i n g of identities, our m a k i n g ourselves u p t h r o u g h loss. I t i s f o r t u n a t e that w r i t e r s are i n t e r e s t e d i n p s y c h o a n a l y s i s because, u n l i k e a n a l y s t s , t h e y are free t o t h i n k u p t h o u g h t s u n c o n s t r a i n e d b y the h y p n o t i c effect o f c l i n i c a l practice. G o o d performers, like musicians or sportspeople or a n a l y s t s , are often n o t that g o o d a t t a l k i n g a b o u t w h a t t h e y d o , p a r t l y b e c a u s e they are the ones w h o d o it. A n d the d o i n g i t , o f c o u r s e , l i k e the l i v i n g o f a n y life, i n v o l v e s a c k n o w l e d g i n g , i n o n e w a y o r a n o t h e r , that there are o n l y t w o sexes. T h o u g h this, i n a n d o f itself, says n o t h i n g a b o u t

he s p e a k i n g ? — i n v i t e s us, l i k e Butler, to m u l t i p l y o u r versions o f self a s s o m e k i n d o f p s y c h i c n e c e s s i t y ; a s t h o u g h w e m i g h t n o t b e able t o bear the loss o f n o t d o i n g so. B u t h o w m a n y l i v e s c a n the a n a l y s t r e c o g n i z e i n , o r d e m a n d of, h i s p a t i e n t , a n d w h a t are the c o n s t r a i n t s o n t h i s r e c o g n i t i o n that s o e a s i l y becomes a demand? I n a n a l y s i s , o f c o u r s e , i t i s n o t o n l y the p a t i e n t ' s g e n d e r i d e n t i t i e s that are a t stake. B o t h the a n a l y s t a n d h e r p a t i e n t are w o r k i n g to sustain their desire, a n d d e s i r e — b o t h i n t r a - a n d i n t e r p s y c h i c a l l y — d e p e n d s o n difference. T h e r e a l w a y s has t o b e s o m e t h i n g else, s o m e t h i n g s u f f i c i e n t l y (or a p p a r e n t l y ) other. T h e s p e c t e r o f A p h a n i s i s , Jones's r e p r e s s e d c o n c e p t o f the d e a t h o f d e s i r e , h a u n t s the p r o c e s s . B u t t h o u g h d e s i r e d e p e n d s o n difference, w e o n l y l i k e the d i f f e r e n c e s w e l i k e ; the set of d e s i r a b l e or t o l e r a b l e differences, d e s i r e - s u s t a i n i n g difference, i s n e v e r i n f i n i t e for a n y o n e . P s y c h o a n a l y s i s i s a b o u t w h e r e w e d r a w these c o n s t i t u t i v e l i n e s . A n y c l i n i c i a n i s o n l y

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the p o s s i b l e r e p e r t o i r e o f g e n d e r i d e n t i t i e s . T h e l o g i c o f B u t l e r ' s a r g u m e n t , the k i n d o f i n s t r u c t i v e i n c o h e r e n c e she f i n d s i n F r e u d , r e c u p e r a t e s a sense o f p o s s i b i l i t y for a n a l y t i c p r a c tice. A n d y e t the v e r y l u c i d i t y o f B u t l e r ' s essay a l s o p r o m p t s a n o t h e r k i n d o f r e f l e c t i o n . I t c a n s o m e t i m e s s e e m a s h a m e that there are o n l y t w o sexes, n o t least b e c a u s e w e u s e t h i s difference a s a p a r a d i g m t o d o s o m u c h w o r k for u s (the differences b e t w e e n the sexes are, o f c o u r s e , m o r e e x c i t i n g , o r m o r e art i c u l a b l e , t h a n the differences b e t w e e n a l i v e b o d y a n d a d e a d b o d y ) . T h e r e i s a k i n d o f i n t e l l e c t u a l m e l a n c h o l y i n the loss o f a t h i r d sex that n e v e r e x i s t e d a n d s o c a n n e v e r b e m o u r n e d ; t h i s t h i r d , i r r a t i o n a l sex that w o u l d b r e a k the s p e l l (or the l o g i c ) o f the t w o , a n d that i s o n e o f the c h i l d ' s f o r m a t i v e a n d r e p r e s s e d fantasies a b o u t h i m s e l f o r herself. ( T h e r e i s a l i n k b e t w e e n t h i s m a g i c a l s o l u t i o n t o the p r i m a l scene a n d fantasies o f s y n t h e s i s a n d r e d e m p t i o n . ) W h a t F r e u d c a l l e d p r i m a r y p r o c e s s is, after a l l , the e r a s i n g o f m u t u a l e x c l u s i o n , a l o g i c d e f y i n g l o g i c . T h i s f o r m of generosity (and radicalism) is not always available, it seems, t o o u r s e c o n d a r y - p r o c e s s selves. S t a r t i n g w i t h t w o sexes, a s w e m u s t — d e s c r i b e d a s o p p o sites or a l t e r n a t i v e s or c o m p l e m e n t s — l o c k s us i n t o a l o g i c , a b i n a r y s y s t e m that o f t e n s e e m s r e m o t e f r o m l i v e d a n d s p o k e n e x p e r i e n c e a n d i s c o m p l i c i t w i t h the o t h e r b i n a r y p a i r s — inside/outside, p r i m a r y process/secondary process, sadism/ m a s o c h i s m , a n d s o o n — t h a t are s u c h a m i s l e a d i n g p a r t o f psychoanalytic language. We s h o u l d be speaking of paradoxes a n d spectrums, not contradictions a n d m u t u a l exclus i o n . E v e r y c h i l d r i g h t l y w a n t s t o k n o w w h e t h e r there i s a p o s i t i o n b e y o n d exclusion or difference or separateness—a w o r l d i n w h i c h l e a v i n g a n d b e i n g left o u t d i s a p p e a r s , a n i d e a taken up at a different level in U t o p i a n socialism, w h i c h aims at a s o c i e t y w i t h o u t m a r g i n s a n d therefore w i t h o u t h u m i l i a t i o n .

I n t h i n k i n g a b o u t g e n d e r , o r a n y o f the s o - c a l l e d i d e n t i t i e s , it seems to be e x t r e m e l y d i f f i c u l t to f i n d a p i c t u r e or a s t o r y that n o l o n g e r n e e d s the i d e a o f e x c l u s i o n . A n d B u t l e r ' s t h e o r e t i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n s reflect this. T h e r e s e e m s t o b e s o m e t h i n g b e w i t c h i n g , c e r t a i n l y i n p s y c h o a n a l y t i c theory, a b o u t the i d e a — a n d the e x p e r i e n c e — o f e v a c u a t i o n a n d o f the k i n d s o f d e f i n i t i o n that the i d e a o f i n s i d e a n d o u t s i d e c a n g i v e u s ( i n r e l a t i v e l y recent p s y c h o a n a l y t i c h i s t o r y Balint w a s a s k i n g w h e t h e r the f i s h w a s i n the w a t e r o r the w a t e r i n the fish). O b v i o u s l y , the v o c a b u l a r y o f d i f f e r e n c e — t h e m e a n s o f e s t a b l i s h i n g those intra- and interpsychic boundaries and limits w h i c h psychoa n a l y s i s p r o m o t e s — i s , b y d e f i n i t i o n , far m o r e e x t e n s i v e t h a n the l a n g u a g e o f s a m e n e s s (the s a m e , o f c o u r s e , i s n o t o n l y the i d e n t i c a l ) . W e c a n t a l k a b o u t d i f f e r e n c e — i n a sense, that's what talk is a b o u t — b u t sameness makes us mute, d u l l , or repetitive. A n d t o talk about h o m o s e x u a l i t y exclusively i n terms o f s a m e n e s s i s t o c o m p o u n d the m u d d l e . S a m e n e s s , l i k e difference, is a ( m o t i v a t e d ) fantasy, n o t a n a t u r a l fact. T h e l a n g u a g e o f b o u n d a r i e s that p s y c h o a n a l y s i s i s s o i n t e n t o n , a n d that makes possible notions of identification and m o u r n i n g , p r o m o t e s a specific set of a s s u m p t i o n s a b o u t w h a t a p e r s o n is a n d c a n be. It is a p i c t u r e of a p e r s o n i n f o r m e d by the l a n g u a g e s of p u r i t y and property, what M a r y Douglas more exactly called p u r i t y a n d danger. I t m a y b e m o r e u s e f u l t o t a l k a b o u t g r a dations a n d b l u r r i n g rather than contours a n d outlines w h e n w e p l o t o u r stories a b o u t g e n d e r .
6

Butler's language of per-

f o r m a n c e k e e p s d e f i n i t i o n o n the m o v e , w h i c h i s w h e r e i t i s anyway. M o u r n i n g slows things d o w n .

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der performativity, a n d second, on whether sexual difference is an o p p o s i t i o n that is as stable as it m i g h t a p p e a r . P h i l l i p s suggests that the c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f m e l a n c h o l i c i n c o r p o r a t i o n t e m p e r s the v o l u n t a r i s m o f the p o s i t i o n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h g e n d e r p e r f o r m a t i v i t y that has e m e r g e d i n the r e c e p t i o n of Gender Trouble. On the o n e h a n d , there a p p e a r s to be a r e p u d i a t e d a n d u n r e s o l v e d k n o t o f grief, a n d o n the other, a selfc o n s c i o u s subject w h o , i n a S a r t r i a n v e i n , creates itself a n e w a g a i n a n d a g a i n . B u t w h a t i f the t e r m s o f t h i s o p p o s i t i o n are n o t q u i t e a s stable a s t h e y seem? C o n s i d e r that the i r r e s o l u t i o n o f m e l a n c h o l i a i s t i e d t o the c h e c k p l a c e d u p o n a g g r e s s i o n against the lost other, that the i d e a l i z a t i o n of the o t h e r that a c c o m p a n i e s s e l f - b e r a t e m e n t i n m e l a n c h o l i a i s p r e c i s e l y the r o u t i n g a g a i n s t the ego o f a g g r e s s i o n t o w a r d the o t h e r w h i c h A d a m P h i l l i p s ' s w e l c o m e c o m m e n t a r y c o n f i r m s that there i l m i g h t b e a d i a l o g u e , e v e n p e r h a p s a p s y c h o a n a l y t i c one, between a c l i n i c a l a n d a speculative perspective on questions o f g e n d e r , m e l a n c h o l i a , a n d p e r f o r m a t i v i t y . C l e a r l y the p o s i t i o n s here are n o t as " s t a k e d o u t " as is o f t e n the case, f o r P h i l l i p s is himself b o t h a c l i n i c i a n a n d a speculative thinker, a n d t h u s f u r t h e r s the d o u b l y d i m e n s i o n e d w r i t i n g i n a u g u r a t e d b y F r e u d . I n d e e d , w h a t m i g h t a t first s e e m a s t r i c t o p p o s i t i o n — t h e c l i n i c i a n , o n the o n e h a n d , a n d the c u l t u r a l t h e o r i s t o f g e n d e r , o n the o t h e r — i s b r o k e n d o w n a n d r e c o n f i g u r e d i n the c o u r s e o f t h i s e x c h a n g e , a n d i t i s a s m u c h the content o f h i s c l a i m s a s the m o v e m e n t o f his o w n t h i n k i n g w h i c h m a k e s m e w a n t t o r e c o n s i d e r the o p p o s i t i o n a l f r a m i n g a n d t h i n k i n g w h i c h seems, l u c k i l y , n o t t o b e able t o s u s t a i n itself here. M y r e p l y w i l l f o c u s first o n the q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r m e l a n c h o l y is rightly u n d e r s t o o d to oppose or to temper notions of genis prohibited f r o m being expressed directly. The p r o h i b i t i o n w o r k s i n the s e r v i c e o f a n i d e a l i z a t i o n , b u t i t a l s o w o r k s i n the service of an i d e a l i z a t i o n of grief as a p u r e or sacred practice. The melancholic, b a r r e d f r o m aggressive expression, begins to m i m e a n d i n c o r p o r a t e the lost one, r e f u s i n g the loss t h r o u g h that i n c o r p o r a t i v e strategy, " c o n t i n u i n g the q u a r r e l " w i t h the other, b u t n o w i n the f o r m o f a n i n t r a p s y c h i c self-beratement. B u t t h i s p r o c e s s i s n o t o n l y i n t r a p s y c h i c , f o r s y m p t o m a t i c exp r e s s i o n i s p r e c i s e l y the r e t u r n o f w h a t i s e x c l u d e d i n the p r o c e s s o f i d e a l i z a t i o n . W h a t i s the p l a c e o f " a c t i n g o u t " i n r e l a t i o n t o s y m p t o m a t i c e x p r e s s i o n , e s p e c i a l l y w h e n beratem e n t escapes the i n t r a p s y c h i c c i r c u i t t o e m e r g e i n d i s p l a c e d a n d externalized forms? Is this k i n d of "acting out," w h i c h often takes the f o r m o f a p a n t o m i m e , n o t the v e r y v e n u e f o r a n a g g r e s s i o n that refuses t o r e m a i n l o c k e d u p i n the c i r c u i t o f self-beratement, a n a g g r e s s i o n that b r e a k s o u t o f that c i r c u i t o n l y t o h e a p itself, t h r o u g h d i s p l a c e m e n t , o n objects w h i c h

Reply to A d a m Phillips's Commentary on "Melancholy Gender / Refused Identification"

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s i g n i f y the r e s o n a n c e , the r e m a i n s , of the lost o t h e r ? In t h i s sense, w h a t is p e r f o r m e d as a c o n s e q u e n c e of m e l a n c h o l i a is n o t a v o l u n t a r y act, b u t a n a c t i n g o u t m o t i v a t e d — i n p a r t — b y an u n o w n e d aggression. H o w d o e s t h i s a c c o u n t w o r k i n the c o n t e x t o f g e n d e r m e l ancholia? If I acquire my gender by r e p u d i a t i n g my love for o n e o f m y o w n g e n d e r , t h e n that r e p u d i a t i o n l i v e s o n i n the a c t i n g o u t o f m y g e n d e r a n d a s k s t o b e r e a d a s r i v a l r y , aggression, i d e a l i z a t i o n , a n d m e l a n c h o l i a . If I am a w o m a n to the extent that I h a v e n e v e r l o v e d o n e , b o t h a g g r e s s i o n a n d s h a m e a r e l o c k e d i n t o that "never," that " n o w a y , " w h i c h s u g gests that w h a t e v e r g e n d e r I a m i s t h r e a t e n e d f u n d a m e n t a l l y b y the r e t u r n o f the l o v e r e n d e r e d u n t h i n k a b l e b y that d e f e n s i v e "never." T h e r e f o r e w h a t I act, i n d e e d , w h a t I "choose," has s o m e t h i n g p r o f o u n d l y u n c h o s e n i n i t that r u n s t h r o u g h the c o u r s e o f that " p e r f o r m a n c e . " H e r e the n o t i o n o f g e n d e r p e r f o r m a t i v i t y c a l l s f o r p s y c h o a n a l y t i c r e t h i n k i n g t h r o u g h the n o t i o n o f " a c t i n g o u t , " a s i t e m e r g e s i n the a r t i c u l a t i o n o f m e l a n c h o l i a a n d i n the p a n t o m i m i c r e s p o n s e t o loss w h e r e b y the lost o t h e r i s i n c o r p o r a t e d i n the f o r m a t i v e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s o f the ego. P h i l l i p s is right to w a r n psychoanalysis against an idealizat i o n o f m o u r n i n g itself, the s a c r a l i z a t i o n o f m o u r n i n g a s the c o n s u m m a t e p s y c h o a n a l y t i c r i t u a l . It is as if psychoanalysis a s a p r a c t i c e r i s k s b e c o m i n g a f f l i c t e d w i t h the v e r y s u f f e r i n g i t seeks t o k n o w . T h e r e s o l u t i o n o f g r i e f b e c o m e s u n t h i n k a b l e i n a s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h o u r v a r i o u s losses b e c o m e the c o n d i t i o n for p s y c h o a n a l y s i s a s a p r a c t i c e o f i n t e r m i n a b l e m o u r n i n g . B u t w h a t b r e a k s the h o l d o f g r i e f e x c e p t the c u l t i v a t i o n o f the a g g r e s s i o n g r i e f h o l d s a t b a y against the m e a n s b y w h i c h i t i s h e l d a t b a y ? P a r t o f w h a t s u s t a i n s a n d e x t e n d s the p e r i o d o f m o u r n i n g i s p r e c i s e l y the p r o h i b i t i o n a g a i n s t e x p r e s s i n g

a g g r e s s i o n t o w a r d w h a t i s l o s t — i n p a r t because that lost o n e has a b a n d o n e d u s , a n d i n the s a c r a l i z a t i o n o f the object, w e e x c l u d e the p o s s i b i l i t y o f r a g i n g a g a i n s t that a b a n d o n m e n t . W h a t are the a f f i r m a t i v e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f m i m e t i c a c t i n g o u t as it w o r k s , w i t h i n a p s y c h o a n a l y t i c f r a m e , to t h e a t r i c a l i z e that a g g r e s s i o n w i t h o u t e t h i c a l c o n s e q u e n c e , a n d t o a r t i c u l a t e , for the p u r p o s e s of s e l f - r e f l e c t i o n , t h r o u g h a set of "acts" the l o g i c o f r e p u d i a t i o n b y w h i c h t h e y are m o t i v a t e d ? Isn't i t t h e n the case that s u c h t h e a t r i c a l i t y m i g h t w o r k a s a p s y c h o a n a l y t i c n o t i o n a n d n o t o n l y a s that w h i c h m u s t b e c o r r e c t e d o r t e m p e r e d b y p s y c h o a n a l y s i s ? W o u l d n ' t that b e o n e w a y t o c o u n t e r the i d e a l i z a t i o n o f m o u r n i n g (itself a s y m p t o m o f m o u r n i n g ) w h i c h c o m m i t s p s y c h o a n a l y s i s t o the s o b e r w o r k o f p e r m a n e n t m o u r n i n g ? T o w h a t extent i s that effect o f " p e r m a n e n c e " the r e s u l t o f the force o f r e p u d i a t i o n itself, a g g r e s s i o n i n the service of a self-berating b i n d t y p i c a l of melancholia? P h i l l i p s asks a n o t h e r set o f q u e s t i o n s , w h i c h s e e m a l s o t o w o r k w i t h i n a c e r t a i n o p p o s i t i o n a l f r a m e w h i c h m a y b e less o p p o s i t i o n a l t h a n a t first a p p e a r s . H e r e p h r a s e s m y q u e s t i o n a p p r o p r i a t e l y w h e n h e q u e r i e s w h e t h e r there i s a n e c e s s a r y r e a s o n for i d e n t i f i c a t i o n t o o p p o s e d e s i r e o r for d e s i r e t o b e f u e l e d b y r e p u d i a t i o n . H e c l a i m s that w i t h i n the p s y c h o a n a l y t i c f r a m e w o r k there are g o o d reasons, a n d that e v e r y p o s i t i o n t a k e n u p a n d e v e r y d e s i r e d e t e r m i n e d engages a p s y c h i c c o n f l i c t . T h i s f o l l o w s f r o m the fact that there are a l w a y s losses, refusals, a n d sacrifices t o b e m a d e a l o n g the w a y t o h a v i n g the ego o r c h a r a c t e r f o r m e d o r h a v i n g d e s i r e d i s p o s e d i n a n y d e t e r m i n a t e d i r e c t i o n . T h i s s e e m s r i g h t . B u t p e r h a p s there i s a w a y o f d e v e l o p i n g a t y p o l o g y o f " r e f u s a l " a n d " e x c l u s i o n " that might help us distinguish between what is rigorously repudia t e d a n d f o r e c l o s e d , a n d w h a t h a p p e n s t o b e less r i g i d l y o r p e r m a n e n t l y d e c l i n e d . S u r e l y there is, say, a w a y o f a c c o u n t -

164

Melancholy Gender

Refused

Identification

165

i n g for h o m o s e x u a l i t y w h i c h p r e s u p p o s e s that i t i s r o o t e d i n an unconscious repudiation of heterosexuality a n d w h i c h , in m a k i n g that p r e s u m p t i o n , d e t e r m i n e s r e p u d i a t e d h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y t o b e the u n c o n s c i o u s " t r u t h " o f l i v e d h o m o s e x u a l i t y . B u t i s s u c h a p r e s u m p t i o n a b o u t r e p u d i a t i o n n e c e s s a r y t o acc o u n t for the trajectory o f l i v e d h o m o s e x u a l i t y ? C o u l d there be equally compelling accounts of unconscious motivations that a c c o u n t for h o m o s e x u a l i t y w h i c h d o n o t a s s u m e the r e p u d i a t e d status o f h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y i n its f o r m a t i o n ? A n d w h a t o f those h o m o s e x u a l s w h o d o n o t r i g o r o u s l y o p p o s e h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y either i n t r a p s y c h i c a l l y o r i n t e r p s y c h i c a l l y , b u t w h o are n e v e r t h e l e s s r e l a t i v e l y d e t e r m i n e d i n the d i r e c t i o n a l i t y o f t h e i r d e s i r e ? P e r h a p s the e c o n o m y o f d e s i r e a l w a y s w o r k s t h r o u g h r e f u s a l a n d loss o f s o m e k i n d , b u t i t i s n o t a s a c o n s e quence an economy structured by a logic of non-contradiction. Isn't t h i s k i n d o f p o s t c o n t r a d i c t o r y p s y c h i c m o b i l i t y w h a t i s desired psychoanalytically, a n d what F r e u d sought to c i r c u m s c r i b e t h r o u g h reference to the b i s e x e d n e s s of the p s y c h e ? Is t h i s m o b i l i t y n o t a s i g n that a r i g o r o u s l y i n s t i t u t e d l o g i c of r e p u d i a t i o n i s n o t , after a l l , n e c e s s a r y for p s y c h i c s u r v i v a l ? I t s e e m s t o m e that w e m u s t accept, a s P h i l l i p s r i g h t l y c o u n sels u s t o d o , that there i s n o " p o s i t i o n b e y o n d e x c l u s i o n — o r difference, o r separateness" a n d n o " w o r l d i n w h i c h l e a v i n g a n d b e i n g left o u t d i s a p p e a r s . " B u t d o e s t h i s a c c e p t a n c e c o m m i t us to the p o s i t i o n that "sex" is a stable c a t e g o r y or that objects o f h o m o s e x u a l l o v e m u s t d i s a p p e a r t h r o u g h the force o f r e p u d i a t i o n a n d p r o h i b i t i o n ? T o w h a t extent m u s t w e a l i g n this m o r e g e n e r a l a n d i n e v i t a b l e s e p a r a t i o n a n d loss w i t h a repudiation of homosexual love w h i c h makes gender melanc h o l i e s o f u s all? T h e " g i v e n n e s s " o f s e x u a l d i f f e r e n c e i s c l e a r l y n o t to be d e n i e d , a n d I agree that there is no " t h i r d s e x " to be f o u n d o r p u r s u e d . B u t w h y i s s e x u a l d i f f e r e n c e the p r i m a r y

guarantor o f loss i n o u r p s y c h i c l i v e s ? A n d c a n a l l s e p a r a t i o n a n d loss b e t r a c e d b a c k t o that s t r u c t u r i n g loss o f the o t h e r sex b y w h i c h w e e m e r g e a s t h i s s e x e d b e i n g i n the w o r l d ? P e r h a p s t h i s a s s u m p t i o n i s t r o u b l e d i f w e take s e r i o u s l y the n o t i o n that sex i s a t o n c e g i v e n a n d a c c o m p l i s h e d — g i v e n a s that w h i c h i s (always) yet t o b e a c c o m p l i s h e d — a n d that i t i s accomplished in part through a heterosexualization of l i b i d i n a l a i m s . T h i s a p p e a r e d t o b e F r e u d ' s a r g u m e n t i n the o p e n i n g c h a p t e r s of Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. To w h a t extent does the h e t e r o s e x u a l f r a m e for d e s i r e a n d loss cast the p r o b l e m o f s e p a r a t i o n a n d loss first a n d f o r e m o s t a s a p r o b l e m o f s e x u a l difference? C o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g p r o b l e m a t i c , w h i c h i s n o t q u i t e i n P h i l l i p s ' s l a n g u a g e , b u t t o u c h e s o n the f r a m e w o r k that h e esp o u s e s . D o e s it f o l l o w that if o n e d e s i r e s a w o m a n , o n e is d e s i r i n g f r o m a m a s c u l i n e d i s p o s i t i o n , o r i s that d i s p o s i t i o n r e t r o a c t i v e l y a t t r i b u t e d to the d e s i r i n g p o s i t i o n as a w a y of r e t a i n i n g h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y a s the w a y o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g the s e p a rateness o r a l t e r i t y that c o n d i t i o n s d e s i r e ? F o r i f that c l a i m were true, every w o m a n w h o desires another w o m a n desires her f r o m a m a s c u l i n e d i s p o s i t i o n a n d i s " h e t e r o s e x u a l " t o that degree; o d d l y , t h o u g h , i f the o t h e r w o m a n desires h e r i n r e t u r n , the e c o n o m y b e c o m e s o n e o f m a l e h o m o s e x u a l i t y ^ ) . D o e s t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l f r a m e n o t m i s u n d e r s t a n d the m o d e s o f a l t e r i t y that p e r s i s t w i t h i n h o m o s e x u a l i t y , r e d u c i n g the h o m o s e x u a l t o a p u r s u i t o f s a m e n e s s w h i c h is, i n fact, v e r y r a r e l y the case (or is as often the case in h e t e r o s e x u a l p u r s u i t ) ? Is this explanation t h r o u g h recourse to masculine disposit i o n n o t a n i n s t a n c e o f the t h e o r e t i c a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f " m a s c u l i n i t y " o r o f the m a s c u l i n e "sex" w h i c h c o v e r s o v e r — o r f o r e closes—the possibility of another t e r m i n o l o g y w h i c h w o u l d a v o w a r i c h p s y c h i c w o r l d o f a t t a c h m e n t a n d loss w h i c h i s

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n o t f i n a l l y r e d u c i b l e t o a g i v e n n o t i o n o f s e x u a l difference? I n d e e d , t o w h a t extent are o u r n o t i o n s o f the m a s c u l i n e a n d the f e m i n i n e f o r m e d t h r o u g h the lost a t t a c h m e n t s w h i c h t h e y are s a i d t o o c c a s i o n ? C a n w e f i n a l l y e v e r r e s o l v e the q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r s e x u a l d i f f e r e n c e is the a c c o m p l i s h m e n t of a m e l a n c h o l i c h e t e r o s e x u a l i t y , s a c r a l i z e d a s t h e o r y , o r w h e t h e r i t i s the g i v e n c o n d i t i o n o f loss a n d a t t a c h m e n t i n a n y set o f h u m a n r e l a t i o n s ? It seems clear that in s o m e cases it is b o t h , b u t that w e w o u l d l o s e a v i t a l t e r m i n o l o g y for u n d e r s t a n d i n g loss a n d its f o r m a t i v e effects i f w e w e r e t o a s s u m e f r o m the outset that w e o n l y a n d a l w a y s lose the o t h e r sex, for i t i s a s o f t e n the case that w e are often i n the m e l a n c h o l i c b i n d o f h a v i n g lost o u r o w n sex i n o r d e r , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , t o b e c o m e it.
C o n f l i c t s b e t w e e n the ego a n d the i d e a l . . . u l t i m a t e l y reflect the contrast b e t w e e n w h a t is real a n d w h a t is p s y c h i c a l , b e t w e e n the external w o r l d a n d the i n t e r n a l w o r l d . — F r e u d , The Ego and the Id

Psychic Inceptions
Melancholy, Ambivalence, Rage

I

n " M o u r n i n g a n d M e l a n c h o l i a , " m e l a n c h o l y a t first a p p e a r s to be an aberrant f o r m of m o u r n i n g , in w h i c h one denies

the loss o f a n object (an o t h e r o r a n i d e a l ) a n d refuses the task

o f grief, u n d e r s t o o d a s b r e a k i n g a t t a c h m e n t t o the o n e w h o i s lost. T h i s lost object i s m a g i c a l l y r e t a i n e d a s p a r t o f o n e ' s p s y c h i c life. T h e s o c i a l w o r l d a p p e a r s t o b e e c l i p s e d i n m e l a n c h o l y , a n d an internal w o r l d structured in ambivalence emerges as the c o n s e q u e n c e . I t i s n o t i m m e d i a t e l y clear h o w m e l a n c h o l y m i g h t b e r e a d , t h e n , i n t e r m s o f s o c i a l life, i n p a r t i c u l a r , i n
1

t e r m s o f the s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n o f p s y c h i c life. Yet the a c c o u n t o f melancholy is an account of h o w psychic and social domains are p r o d u c e d i n r e l a t i o n t o o n e another. A s s u c h , m e l a n c h o l y offers p o t e n t i a l i n s i g h t i n t o h o w the b o u n d a r i e s o f the s o c i a l are i n s t i t u t e d a n d m a i n t a i n e d , n o t o n l y a t the e x p e n s e o f p s y -

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Ambivalence,

Rage

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c h i c life, b u t t h r o u g h b i n d i n g p s y c h i c life i n t o f o r m s o f m e l a n cholic ambivalence. M e l a n c h o l i a t h u s r e t u r n s us to the f i g u r e of the " t u r n " as a f o u n d i n g t r o p e i n the d i s c o u r s e o f the p s y c h e . I n H e g e l , t u r n i n g b a c k u p o n oneself c o m e s t o s i g n i f y the ascetic a n d s k e p t i c a l m o d e s o f r e f l e x i v i t y that m a r k the u n h a p p y c o n s c i o u s n e s s ; i n N i e t z s c h e , t u r n i n g b a c k o n oneself suggests a r e t r a c t i n g o f w h a t o n e h a s s a i d o r d o n e , o r a r e c o i l i n g i n s h a m e i n the face o f w h a t o n e has done. I n A l t h u s s e r , the t u r n that the p e d e s t r i a n m a k e s t o w a r d the v o i c e o f the l a w i s a t o n c e r e f l e x i v e (the m o m e n t of b e c o m i n g a subject w h o s e s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s i s m e d i a t e d b y the l a w ) a n d s e l f - s u b j u g a t i n g . A c c o r d i n g t o the n a r r a t i v e o f m e l a n c h o l i a that F r e u d p r o v i d e s , the ego i s s a i d t o " t u r n b a c k u p o n i t s e l f " o n c e l o v e fails t o f i n d its object a n d i n s t e a d takes itself a s n o t o n l y a n object o f l o v e , b u t o f a g g r e s s i o n a n d hate a s w e l l . B u t w h a t i s t h i s "self" that takes itself as its o w n object? Is the o n e w h o " t a k e s " itself a n d the o n e w h o i s " t a k e n " the s a m e ? T h i s s e d u c t i o n o f reflexi v i t y s e e m s t o f o u n d e r l o g i c a l l y , s i n c e i t i s u n c l e a r that t h i s ego c a n exist p r i o r t o its m e l a n c h o l i a . T h e " t u r n " that m a r k s the m e l a n c h o l i c r e s p o n s e t o loss a p p e a r s t o i n i t i a t e the r e d o u b l i n g o f the ego a s a n object; o n l y b y t u r n i n g b a c k o n itself d o e s the ego a c q u i r e the status of a p e r c e p t u a l object. M o r e o v e r , the att a c h m e n t t o the object that i s u n d e r s t o o d i n m e l a n c h o l i a t o b e r e d i r e c t e d t o w a r d the ego u n d e r g o e s a f u n d a m e n t a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n the c o u r s e o f that r e d i r e c t i o n . N o t o n l y i s the attachm e n t s a i d t o g o f r o m l o v e t o hate a s i t m o v e s f r o m the object to the ego, b u t the ego itself is p r o d u c e d as a psychic object; in fact, the v e r y a r t i c u l a t i o n o f t h i s p s y c h i c space, s o m e t i m e s f i g u r e d as " i n t e r n a l , " depends on this m e l a n c h o l i c t u r n . T h e t u r n f r o m the object t o the ego p r o d u c e s the ego, w h i c h s u b s t i t u t e s for the object lost. T h i s p r o d u c t i o n is a t r o p o l o g i c a l

g e n e r a t i o n a n d f o l l o w s f r o m the p s y c h i c c o m p u l s i o n t o s u b s t i t u t e f o r objects lost. T h u s , i n m e l a n c h o l i a n o t o n l y d o e s the ego s u b s t i t u t e for the object, b u t t h i s act of s u b s t i t u t i o n institutes the ego as a n e c e s s a r y r e s p o n s e to or "defense" a g a i n s t loss. To the extent that the ego is "the p r e c i p i t a t e of its a b a n d o n e d object-cathexes," it is the c o n g e a l m e n t of a h i s t o r y of loss, the s e d i m e n t a t i o n o f r e l a t i o n s o f s u b s t i t u t i o n o v e r t i m e , the r e s o l u t i o n o f a t r o p o l o g i c a l f u n c t i o n i n t o the o n t o l o g i c a l effect of the self. M o r e o v e r , t h i s s u b s t i t u t i o n o f ego for object d o e s n o t q u i t e w o r k . T h e ego i s a p o o r s u b s t i t u t e for the lost object, a n d its f a i l u r e to s u b s t i t u t e in a w a y that satisfies (that is, to o v e r c o m e its status as a s u b s t i t u t i o n ) , l e a d s to the a m b i v a l e n c e that d i s t i n g u i s h e s m e l a n c h o l i a . T h e t u r n f r o m the object t o the ego c a n n e v e r q u i t e b e a c c o m p l i s h e d ; i t i n v o l v e s f i g u r i n g the ego o n the m o d e l o f the object (as s u g g e s t e d i n the i n t r o d u c t o r y p a r a g r a p h s o f " O n N a r c i s s i s m " ) ; i t a l s o i n v o l v e s the u n c o n s c i o u s b e l i e f that the ego m i g h t c o m p e n s a t e f o r the loss that is suffered. T o the extent that the ego fails t o p r o v i d e s u c h c o m p e n s a t i o n , i t e x p o s e s the f a u l t l i n e s i n its o w n t e n u o u s f o u n d a t i o n s . A r e w e t o accept that the ego t u r n s f r o m the object t o the ego, or that the ego t u r n s its p a s s i o n , as o n e m i g h t r e d i r e c t a w h e e l , f r o m the object to itself 1 D o e s the s a m e ego t u r n its i n v e s t m e n t f r o m the object t o itself, o r i s the ego f u n d a m e n t a l l y a l t e r e d b y v i r t u e o f b e c o m i n g the object o f s u c h a t u r n ? W h a t i s the status o f " i n v e s t m e n t " a n d " a t t a c h m e n t " ? D o t h e y i n d i cate a f r e e - f l o a t i n g d e s i r e that r e m a i n s the s a m e r e g a r d l e s s of the k i n d o f object t o w h i c h i t i s d i r e c t e d ? D o e s the t u r n n o t o n l y p r o d u c e the ego b y w h i c h i t i s o s t e n s i b l y i n i t i a t e d b u t a l s o s t r u c t u r e the a t t a c h m e n t i t i s s a i d t o r e d i r e c t ? I s s u c h a t u r n o r r e d i r e c t i o n e v e n p o s s i b l e ? T h e loss f o r w h i c h the t u r n seeks t o c o m p e n s a t e i s n o t o v e r c o m e , a n d the

Psychic Inceptions object i s n o t r e s t o r e d ; rather, the loss b e c o m e s the o p a q u e c o n d i t i o n f o r the e m e r g e n c e of the ego, a loss that h a u n t s it f r o m the start a s c o n s t i t u t i v e a n d a v o w a b l e . F r e u d r e m a r k s that i n m o u r n i n g the object i s " d e c l a r e d " lost o r d e a d , b u t i n m e l a n cholia, it follows, no such declaration is possible. M e l a n c h o 2

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that s u c h a d i v i s i o n c a n b e u n d e r s t o o d a p a r t f r o m its c o n t e x t in melancholia. In what follows, I hope to clarify h o w m e l a n c h o l i a i n v o l v e s the p r o d u c t i o n o f a n i n t e r n a l w o r l d a s w e l l as a t o p o g r a p h i c a l set of f i c t i o n s that s t r u c t u r e s the p s y c h e . If the m e l a n c h o l i c t u r n i s the m e c h a n i s m b y w h i c h the d i s t i n c tion between internal a n d external w o r l d s is instituted, then m e l a n c h o l i a i n i t i a t e s a v a r i a b l e b o u n d a r y b e t w e e n the p s y c h i c a n d the s o c i a l , a b o u n d a r y , I h o p e to s h o w , that d i s t r i b u t e s a n d r e g u l a t e s the p s y c h i c s p h e r e i n r e l a t i o n t o p r e v a i l i n g n o r m s o f social regulation. That a love or desire or l i b i d i n a l attachment is unders t o o d to take itself as its object, a n d to do t h i s t h r o u g h the f i g u r e o f the t u r n , suggests o n c e a g a i n the t r o p o l o g i c a l b e g i n n i n g s o f subject f o r m a t i o n . F r e u d ' s essay p r e s u m e s that l o v e o f the object c o m e s first, a n d o n l y u p o n the loss o f the o b ject does m e l a n c h o l y e m e r g e . C o n s i d e r e d closely, h o w e v e r , F r e u d ' s essay m a k e s c l e a r that there c a n b e n o ego w i t h o u t m e l a n c h o l i a , that the ego's loss i s c o n s t i t u t i v e . T h e n a r r a t i v e g r a m m a r that m i g h t a c c o u n t for this r e l a t i o n s h i p i s n e c e s s a r i l y c o n f o u n d e d f r o m the start. M e l a n c h o l i a does n o t n a m e a p s y c h i c p r o c e s s that m i g h t b e recounted t h r o u g h an adequate explanatory scheme. It tends t o c o n f o u n d a n y e x p l a n a t i o n o f p s y c h i c p r o c e s s that w e m i g h t b e i n c l i n e d t o offer. A n d the r e a s o n i t c o n f o u n d s a n y s u c h effort is that it m a k e s c l e a r that o u r a b i l i t y to refer to the p s y c h e t h r o u g h t r o p e s o f i n t e r n a l i t y are t h e m s e l v e s effects o f a m e l a n c h o l i c c o n d i t i o n . M e l a n c h o l i a p r o d u c e s a set of s p a t i a l i z i n g t r o p e s f o r p s y c h i c life, d o m i c i l e s o f p r e s e r v a t i o n a n d s h e l t e r a s w e l l a s arenas for s t r u g g l e a n d p e r s e c u t i o n . S u c h tropes do not " e x p l a i n " m e l a n c h o l i a : they constitute some of its t a b u l a r d i s c u r s i v e effects. In a m a n n e r that r e c a l l s N i e t z 3

l i a is p r e c i s e l y the effect of u n a v o w a b l e loss. A loss p r i o r to s p e e c h a n d d e c l a r a t i o n , i t i s the l i m i t i n g c o n d i t i o n o f its p o s s i b i l i t y : a w i t h d r a w a l o r r e t r a c t i o n f r o m s p e e c h that m a k e s s p e e c h p o s s i b l e . I n this sense, m e l a n c h o l i a m a k e s m o u r n i n g p o s s i b l e , a v i e w that F r e u d c a m e to a c c e p t in The Ego and the Id. T h e i n a b i l i t y t o d e c l a r e s u c h a loss s i g n i f i e s the " r e t r a c t i o n " o r " a b s o r p t i o n " o f the loss b y the ego. C l e a r l y , the ego d o e s n o t l i t e r a l l y t a k e a n object i n s i d e itself, a s i f the ego w e r e a k i n d o f shelter p r i o r t o its m e l a n c h o l y . T h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i s c o u r s e s that p r e s u m e the t o p o g r a p h i c a l s t a b i l i t y o f a n " i n t e r n a l w o r l d " a n d its v a r i o u s " p a r t s " m i s s the c r u c i a l p o i n t that m e l a n c h o l y i s p r e c i s e l y w h a t i n t e r i o r i z e s the p s y c h e , that is, m a k e s i t p o s s i b l e t o refer t o the p s y c h e t h r o u g h s u c h t o p o g r a p h i c a l t r o p e s . T h e t u r n f r o m object t o ego i s the m o v e m e n t that m a k e s the d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e m p o s s i b l e , that m a r k s the d i v i s i o n , the s e p a r a t i o n o r loss, that f o r m s the ego t o b e g i n w i t h . I n t h i s sense, the t u r n f r o m the object to the ego fails s u c c e s s f u l l y to s u b s t i t u t e the latter f o r the f o r m e r , b u t d o e s s u c c e e d i n m a r k i n g a n d p e r p e t u a t i n g the p a r t i t i o n b e t w e e n the t w o . T h e t u r n t h u s p r o d u c e s the d i v i d e b e t w e e n ego a n d object, the i n t e r n a l a n d e x t e r n a l w o r l d s that i t a p p e a r s t o p r e s u m e . If a p r e c o n s t i t u t e d ego w e r e able to m a k e s u c h a t u r n f r o m an object to itself, it a p p e a r s that it w o u l d h a v e to t u r n f r o m a p r e c o n s t i t u t e d e x t e r n a l r e a l i t y t o a n i n t e r n a l one. B u t s u c h a n e x p l a n a t i o n c o u l d n o t a c c o u n t for the v e r y d i v i s i o n b e t w e e n internal a n d external on w h i c h it depends. Indeed, it is unclear

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sche's a c c o u n t of the f a b r i c a t i o n of c o n s c i e n c e , F r e u d offers a v i e w of conscience as an agency a n d " i n s t i t u t i o n " p r o d u c e d and maintained by melancholy. A l t h o u g h F r e u d seeks t o d i s t i n g u i s h m o u r n i n g a n d m e l a n c h o l i a i n t h i s essay, h e offers a p o r t r a i t o f m e l a n c h o l i a that c o n t i n u a l l y blurs into his v i e w of m o u r n i n g . He begins his des c r i p t i o n , for i n s t a n c e , b y r e m a r k i n g that m o u r n i n g m a y b e a " r e a c t i o n to the loss of a l o v e d p e r s o n , or to the loss of s o m e a b s t r a c t i o n that has t a k e n the p l a c e o f o n e , s u c h a s one's c o u n try, l i b e r t y , a n i d e a l , a n d s o o n " (243). A t first, m o u r n i n g seems t o h a v e t w o f o r m s , o n e i n w h i c h s o m e o n e i s lost, s o m e o n e r e a l i s lost, a n d a n o t h e r , i n w h i c h w h a t i s lost i n the s o m e o n e r e a l i s i d e a l , the loss o f a n i d e a l . A s the essay p r o g r e s s e s , i t a p p e a r s that the loss o f the i d e a l , "the loss o f a m o r e i d e a l k i n d " i s correlated w i t h melancholia. A l r e a d y w i t h i n m o u r n i n g , h o w ever, the loss m a y b e o f a n a b s t r a c t i o n o r a n i d e a l , o n e that has t a k e n the p l a c e o f the o n e w h o i s lost. A f e w p a r a g r a p h s later, h e notes that " m e l a n c h o l i a t o o m a y b e the r e a c t i o n t o the loss of a l o v e d object" a n d that " w h e r e the e x c i t i n g causes are d i f f e r e n t [ f r o m m o u r n i n g ] o n e c a n r e c o g n i z e that there i s a loss of a m o r e i d e a l k i n d . " If o n e m o u r n s f o r the loss of a n i d e a l , a n d that i d e a l m a y s u b s t i t u t e for a p e r s o n w h o has b e e n lost, o r w h o s e l o v e i s b e l i e v e d t o b e lost, t h e n i t m a k e s no sense to c l a i m that m e l a n c h o l i a is d i s t i n g u i s h e d as a loss o f " a m o r e i d e a l k i n d . " A n d yet, a different k i n d o f d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n the t w o e m e r g e s w h e n F r e u d c l a i m s , w i t h reference t o m o u r n i n g , that the i d e a l m a y h a v e s u b s t i t u t e d for the p e r s o n a n d , w i t h reference t o m e l a n c h o l i a , that the m e l a n c h o l i c " k n o w s w h o m h e has lost b u t n o t what h e h a s lost i n h i m . " I n m e l a n c h o l i a , the i d e a l that the p e r s o n r e p r e s e n t s a p p e a r s t o b e u n k n o w a b l e ; i n m o u r n i n g , the p e r s o n , o r the i d e a l that s u b s t i -

tutes for the p e r s o n a n d that, p r e s u m a b l y , r e n d e r s the p e r s o n lost, i s u n k n o w a b l e . F r e u d says m e l a n c h o l i a i s r e l a t e d t o " a n object-loss w i t h d r a w n f r o m c o n s c i o u s n e s s , " b u t t o the extent that m o u r n i n g is related to substitute ideals a n d abstractions such as "count r y a n d l i b e r t y , " i t t o o i s c l e a r l y c o n s t i t u t e d t h r o u g h the loss o f the object, a d o u b l e loss that i n v o l v e s b o t h the s u b s t i t u t e i d e a l a n d the p e r s o n . W h e r e a s i n m e l a n c h o l i a the i d e a l i s o c c l u d e d a n d o n e does n o t k n o w w h a t o n e has lost " i n " the p e r s o n lost, i n m o u r n i n g o n e r i s k s n o t k n o w i n g w h o m o n e has lost " i n " l o s i n g the i d e a l . L a t e r i n the essay F r e u d specifies the p s y c h i c s y s t e m s i n w h i c h m e l a n c h o l y takes p l a c e a n d w h a t i t m e a n s for m e l a n c h o l y t o b e r e l a t e d t o " a n object-loss w i t h d r a w n f r o m c o n s c i o u s n e s s . " H e w r i t e s that "the u n c o n s c i o u s [ t h i n g - ] p r e s e n t a t i o n [Dingvorstellung] of the object has b e e n a b a n d o n e d by the l i b i d o " (256)." T h e " t h i n g - p r e s e n t a t i o n " of the object is n o t the object itself, b u t a c a t h e c t e d trace, o n e that is, in r e l a t i o n to the object, a l r e a d y a s u b s t i t u t e a n d a d e r i v a t i v e . In m o u r n i n g , the traces o f the object, its i n n u m e r a b l e " l i n k s , " are o v e r c o m e p i e c e m e a l o v e r t i m e . I n m e l a n c h o l i a , the p r e s e n c e o f a m b i v a l e n c e i n r e l a t i o n t o the object m a k e s a n y s u c h p r o g r e s s i v e d e - l i n k i n g o f l i b i d i n a l a t t a c h m e n t i m p o s s i b l e . Rather, " c o u n t l e s s separate s t r u g g l e s are c a r r i e d o n o v e r the object, i n w h i c h l o v e a n d hate c o n t e n d w i t h e a c h o t h e r ; the o n e seeks t o d e t a c h the l i b i d o f r o m the object, the o t h e r t o m a i n t a i n this p o s i t i o n o f the l i b i d o a g a i n s t the assault." T h i s s t r a n g e battlef i e l d i s t o b e f o u n d , F r e u d m a i n t a i n s , i n "the r e g i o n o f the m e m o r y - t r a c e s of things." A m b i v a l e n c e m a y b e a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c feature o f e v e r y l o v e a t t a c h m e n t that a p a r t i c u l a r ego m a k e s , o r i t m a y " p r o c e e d

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p r e c i s e l y f r o m those e x p e r i e n c e s that i n v o l v e d the threat o f l o s i n g the object" (256). T h i s last r e m a r k suggests, h o w e v e r , that ambivalence may well be a result of loss, that the loss of an object p r e c i p i t a t e s a n a m b i v a l e n c e t o w a r d i t a s p a r t o f the p r o c e s s of l e t t i n g it go. If so, t h e n m e l a n c h o l i a , d e n n e d as the
5

T h e a m b i v a l e n c e that i s w i t h d r a w n f r o m c o n s c i o u s n e s s r e m a i n s w i t h d r a w n " n o t u n t i l the o u t c o m e characteristic o f m e l a n c h o l y h a s set i n " (257; " b i s n i c h t d e r f u r d i e M e l a n c h o l i e c h a r a k t e r i s t i s c h e A u s g a n g e i n g e t r e t e n i s t " [211]). W h a t i s t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c " e x i t " o r " p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e " that m e l a n c h o l y takes? F r e u d w r i t e s , " t h i s , a s w e k n o w , consists i n the threate n e d l i b i d i n a l c a t h e x i s a t l e n g t h a b a n d o n i n g the object, o n l y , h o w e v e r , t o d r a w b a c k t o the p l a c e i n the ego f r o m w h i c h i t has p r o c e e d e d . " A m o r e p r e c i s e t r a n s l a t i o n w o u l d c l a r i f y that m e l a n c h o l i a i n v o l v e s a n a t t e m p t t o s u b s t i t u t e the ego f o r that cathexis, o n e that i n v o l v e s a r e t u r n of the cathexis to its p o i n t o f o r i g i n : the t h r e a t e n e d c a t h e x i s i s a b a n d o n e d , b u t o n l y t o pull itself back onto the place of the ego ("aber n u r , um s i c h a u f d i e S t e l l e des Ichs . . . z u r ù c k z u z i e h e n " ) , a p l a c e f r o m w h i c h the t h r e a t e n e d a t t a c h m e n t has d e p a r t e d ( " v o n d e r sie a u s g e gangen war"). I n m e l a n c h o l i a , c a t h e x i s i s u n d e r s t o o d t o engage reflexi v e l y w i t h itself ( " u m s i c h a u f d i e Stelle des Ichs . . . z u r ù c k z u z i e h e n " ) a n d , s p e c i f i c a l l y , t o d r a w o r p u l l itself i n a n d b a c k t o the p l a c e o f its o w n d e p a r t u r e o r g o i n g - o u t . T h i s " p l a c e " of the ego is n o t q u i t e the s a m e as the ego itself, b u t s e e m s to r e p r e s e n t a p o i n t of d e p a r t u r e , an Ausgangspunkt, for the l i b i d o , a s w e l l a s the m e l a n c h o l i c site o f its r e t u r n . I n t h i s r e t u r n of l i b i d o to its p l a c e of d e p a r t u r e , a p l a c e of the ego, a m e l a n c h o l i c c i r c u m s c r i p t i o n o f l i b i d o takes p l a c e . T h i s r e t u r n is described as a w i t h d r a w a l , a d r a w i n g or p u l l i n g b a c k (zuriickziehung), b u t also, in the n e x t l i n e , as a flight: " D i e L i e b e hat s i c h s o d u r c h i h r e F l u c h t i n s I c h d e r A u f h e b u n g e n t z o g e n " (210). A l t h o u g h t h i s l i n e i s t r a n s l a t e d i n f a m o u s l y
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a m b i v a l e n t r e a c t i o n t o loss, m a y b e c o e x t e n s i v e w i t h loss, s o that m o u r n i n g i s s u b s u m e d i n m e l a n c h o l i a . F r e u d ' s s t a t e m e n t that m e l a n c h o l i a arises f r o m " a n object-loss w i t h d r a w n f r o m consciousness" is thus specified in relation to ambivalence: " e v e r y t h i n g t o d o w i t h these s t r u g g l e s d u e t o a m b i v a l e n c e r e m a i n s w i t h d r a w n f r o m c o n s c i o u s n e s s , u n t i l the o u t c o m e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f m e l a n c h o l i a h a s set i n . " T h e a m b i v a l e n c e r e m a i n s entzogen—withdrawn—only to take on a s p e c i f i c f o r m in m e l a n c h o l i a , o n e i n w h i c h different aspects o f the p s y c h e a r e a c c o r d e d o p p o s i n g p o s i t i o n s w i t h i n the r e l a t i o n o f a m b i v a l e n c e . F r e u d offers t h i s p s y c h i c a r t i c u l a t i o n o f a m b i v a l e n c e a s " a c o n flict b e t w e e n o n e p a r t o f the ego a n d the c r i t i c a l a g e n c y " a s a n a c c o u n t o f the f o r m a t i o n o f the s u p e r - e g o i n its c r i t i c a l r e l a t i o n t o the ego. A m b i v a l e n c e t h u s p r e c e d e s the p s y c h i c t o p o g r a p h y o f s u p e r - e g o / e g o ; its m e l a n c h o l i c a r t i c u l a t i o n i s offered a s the c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y o f that v e r y t o p o g r a p h y . T h u s , i t w o u l d m a k e n o sense t o seek r e c o u r s e t o s u c h a t o p o g r a p h y to explain m e l a n c h o l i a , if the a m b i v a l e n c e that is s a i d to d i s tinguish melancholia is what then becomes articulated—after a p e r i o d o f b e i n g w i t h d r a w n f r o m c o n s c i o u s n e s s — a s ego a n d super-ego. T h e internal topography by w h i c h melancholia is p a r t i a l l y e x p l a i n e d i s itself the effect o f that m e l a n c h o l i a . W a l ter B e n j a m i n r e m a r k s that m e l a n c h o l i a s p a t i a l i z e s , a n d that its effort t o r e v e r s e o r s u s p e n d t i m e p r o d u c e s " l a n d s c a p e s " a s its s i g n a t u r e effect. O n e m i g h t p r o f i t a b l y r e a d the F r e u d i a n
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a s " S o b y t a k i n g f l i g h t i n t o the ego l o v e escapes e x t i n c t i o n " (257), the sense o f e s c a p i n g e x t i n c t i o n i s n o t p r e c i s e l y r i g h t . T h e w o r d entzogen, for i n s t a n c e , w a s p r e v i o u s l y t r a n s l a t e d a s

t o p o g r a p h y that m e l a n c h o l y o c c a s i o n s as p r e c i s e l y s u c h a s p a t i a l i z e d l a n d s c a p e o f the m i n d .

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" w i t h d r a w n " a n d Aufhebung c a r r i e s a n o t o r i o u s l y a m b i g u o u s set o f m e a n i n g s f r o m its c i r c u l a t i o n w i t h i n H e g e l i a n d i s c o u r s e : cancellation but not quite extinction; suspension, preservat i o n , a n d o v e r c o m i n g . T h r o u g h its f l i g h t i n t o the ego, o r i n the ego, l o v e has w i t h d r a w n o r t a k e n a w a y its o w n o v e r c o m i n g , w i t h d r a w n a transformation, rendered it psychic. H e r e it is not a question of love "escaping an extinction" mandated f r o m e l s e w h e r e ; rather, l o v e i t s e l f w i t h d r a w s o r takes a w a y the d e s t r u c t i o n o f the object, takes i t o n a s its o w n d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s . I n s t e a d o f b r e a k i n g w i t h the object, o r t r a n s f o r m i n g the object t h r o u g h m o u r n i n g , t h i s Aufhebung—this a c t i v e , n e g a t i n g , a n d t r a n s f o r m a t i v e m o v e m e n t — i s t a k e n i n t o the ego. T h e " f l i g h t " of l o v e i n t o the ego is t h i s effort to s q u i r r e l the Aufhebung a w a y inside, to w i t h d r a w it f r o m external reality, a n d to institute an i n t e r n a l t o p o g r a p h y i n w h i c h the a m b i v a l e n c e m i g h t f i n d a n altered articulation. The w i t h d r a w a l of ambivalence thus p r o d u c e s the p o s s i b i l i t y of a p s y c h i c t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , i n d e e d , a fabulation of psychic topography. T h i s f l i g h t a n d w i t h d r a w a l i s n a m e d , i n the n e x t l i n e , a s a r e g r e s s i o n , o n e that m a k e s p o s s i b l e the c o n s c i o u s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f m e l a n c h o l i a : " A f t e r t h i s r e g r e s s i o n o f the l i b i d o the p r o cess c a n b e c o m e c o n s c i o u s , and it is represented to consciousness as a conflict between one part of the ego and the critical agency [ u n d r e p r a s e n t i e r t s i c h d e m B e w u s s t s e i n als e i n K o n f l i k t z w i s c h e n e i n e m T e i l des Ichs a n d d e r k r i t i s c h e n I n s t a n z ; m y e m p h a s i s ] . " W h e r e a s o n e m i g h t e x p e c t that the r e g r e s s i o n o f the l i b i d o , its b e i n g w i t h d r a w n i n t o c o n s c i o u s n e s s (as w e l l a s the w i t h d r a w a l o f a m b i v a l e n c e i n t o c o n s c i o u s n e s s ) i s the f a i l u r e o f its a r t i c u l a t i o n , the o p p o s i t e a p p e a r s t o b e the case. O n l y u p o n the c o n d i t i o n o f s u c h a w i t h d r a w a l d o e s m e l a n c h o l i a t a k e a conscious f o r m . The w i t h d r a w a l or regression of libido is

r e p r e s e n t e d to c o n s c i o u s n e s s as a c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n p a r t s of the ego; i n d e e d , the ego c o m e s t o b e r e p r e s e n t e d i n p a r t s o n l y o n the c o n d i t i o n that s u c h a w i t h d r a w a l o r r e g r e s s i o n has t a k e n p l a c e . I f m e l a n c h o l i a c o n s t i t u t e s the w i t h d r a w a l o r r e g r e s s i o n o f a m b i v a l e n c e , a n d i f that a m b i v a l e n c e b e c o m e s c o n s c i o u s t h r o u g h b e i n g r e p r e s e n t e d a s o p p o s i t i o n a l p a r t s o f the ego, a n d that r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i s m a d e p o s s i b l e o n the c o n d i t i o n o f that w i t h d r a w a l , t h e n i t f o l l o w s that t h i s p r é f i g u r a t i o n o f the t o p o g r a p h i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n ego a n d s u p e r - e g o i s i t s e l f d e p e n d e n t u p o n m e l a n c h o l i a . M e l a n c h o l i a p r o d u c e s the p o s s i b i l i t y for the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of p s y c h i c life. T h e Aufhebung that i s w i t h d r a w n — o n e that m i g h t h a v e m e a n t the o v e r c o m i n g of loss t h r o u g h a t t a c h m e n t to a s u b s t i t u t e o b j e c t — i s an Aufhebung that r e e m e r g e s w i t h i n a n d as r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , a c a n c e l l a t i o n a n d p r e s e r v a t i o n of the object, a set of " w o r d - t r a c e s " (to u s e F r e u d ' s t e r m ) that b e c o m e s the p s y c h o a n a l y t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f p s y c h i c life. T o w h a t extent d o e s m e l a n c h o l i a r e p r e s e n t a n o t h e r w i s e unrepresentable ambivalence by fabulating psychic topograp h i e s ? R e p r e s e n t a t i o n i s itself i m p l i c a t e d i n m e l a n c h o l i a , that is, the effort to r e - p r e s e n t that is at an i n f i n i t e d i s t a n c e f r o m its object. M o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y , m e l a n c h o l i a p r o v i d e s the c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y for the a r t i c u l a t i o n o f p s y c h i c t o p o g r a p h i e s , o f the ego i n its c o n s t i t u t i v e r e l a t i o n t o the s u p e r - e g o a n d t h u s o f the ego itself. A l t h o u g h the ego i s s a i d t o b e the p o i n t o f d e p a r t u r e for a l i b i d o that i s s u b s e q u e n t l y w i t h d r a w n i n t o the ego, i t n o w a p p e a r s that o n l y u p o n s u c h a w i t h d r a w a l c a n the ego e m e r g e a s a n object for c o n s c i o u s n e s s , s o m e t h i n g that m i g h t be r e p r e s e n t e d at a l l , w h e t h e r as a p o i n t of d e p a r t u r e or a site o f r e t u r n . I n d e e d , the p h r a s e " w i t h d r a w n i n t o the e g o " i s the r e t r o a c t i v e p r o d u c t o f the m e l a n c h o l i c p r o c e s s i t p u r p o r t s t o

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describe. T h u s it does not, strictly speaking, describe a preconstituted psychic process but emerges in a belated fashion as a representation c o n d i t i o n e d by m e l a n c h o l i c w i t h d r a w a l . T h i s last p o i n t raises the q u e s t i o n o f the status o f the p s y c h i c t o p o g r a p h i e s that p r e d o m i n a t e i n this a n d o t h e r essays b y F r e u d . A l t h o u g h o n e m i g h t e x p e c t that s u c h t o p o g r a p h i e s are to be r e a d as the e x p l a n a t o r y a p p a r a t u s of p s y c h o a n a l y sis a n d n o t , a s i t w e r e , o n e o f its t e x t u a l i z e d s y m p t o m s , F r e u d suggests that the v e r y d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n ego a n d s u p e r - e g o c a n b e t r a c e d t o a n a m b i v a l e n c e that i s first w i t h d r a w n f r o m consciousness a n d then reemerges as a p s y c h i c topography i n w h i c h " c r i t i c a l a g e n c y " i s s p l i t off f r o m the ego. S i m i l a r l y , i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f the self-beratements o f the s u p e r - e g o , h e refers t e l l i n g l y to c o n s c i e n c e as "one of the m a j o r i n s t i t u t i o n s of the ego." C l e a r l y p l a y i n g on a metaphor of a socially constructed d o m a i n o f p o w e r , F r e u d ' s reference t o c o n s c i e n c e a s " a m o n g the m a j o r i n s t i t u t i o n s of the ego [Ichinstitutionen]" (247) suggests n o t o n l y that c o n s c i e n c e i s i n s t i t u t e d , p r o d u c e d , a n d m a i n t a i n e d w i t h i n a l a r g e r p o l i t y a n d its o r g a n i z a t i o n , b u t that the ego a n d its v a r i o u s p a r t s are accessible t h r o u g h a m e t a p h o r i c a l l a n g u a g e that attributes a s o c i a l c o n t e n t a n d s t r u c t u r e to these p r e s u m a b l y psychic phenomena. A l t h o u g h F r e u d begins his essay b y i n s i s t i n g o n the i n d i s p u t a b l y " p s y c h o g e n i c n a t u r e " (243) o f the m e l a n c h o l i a a n d m o u r n i n g u n d e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n i n the essay, h e also p r o v i d e s s o c i a l m e t a p h o r s that n o t o n l y g o v e r n the t o p o g r a p h i c d e s c r i p t i o n s o f m e l a n c h o l y ' s o p e r a tion, but i m p l i c i t l y u n d o his o w n c l a i m to p r o v i d e a specific a l l y p s y c h o g e n i c e x p l a n a t i o n o f these p s y c h i c states. F r e u d d e s c r i b e s "one p a r t of the ego [that] sets itself o v e r against the other, j u d g e s it c r i t i c a l l y , a n d , as it w e r e , takes it as its object." A c r i t i c a l a g e n c y is s a i d to be " s p l i t off" (abgespalten) f r o m the

ego, s u g g e s t i n g that i n s o m e p r i o r state, t h i s c r i t i c a l f a c u l t y w a s n o t yet separate. H o w , p r e c i s e l y , this s p l i t t i n g o f the ego i n t o p a r t s o c c u r s is, i t seems, p a r t o f the strange, f a b u l a t i n g scene i n i t i a t e d b y m e l a n c h o l y , the w i t h d r a w a l o f c a t h e x i s f r o m the object to the ego, a n d the s u b s e q u e n t e m e r g e n c e of a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the p s y c h e i n t e r m s o f s p l i t s a n d parts, a r t i c u l a t i n g ambivalence a n d internal antagonism. Is this t o p o g r a p h y n o t s y m p t o m a t i c o f w h a t i t seeks t o e x p l a i n ? H o w else d o w e e x p l a i n this i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n o f the p s y c h e a n d its e x p r e s s i o n h e r e as a scene of p a r t i t i o n a n d c o n f r o n t a t i o n ? Is there an i m p l i c i t s o c i a l text i n this t o p o g r a p h i c a l r e n d i t i o n o f p s y c h i c life, o n e that i n s t a l l s a n t a g o n i s m (the threat of j u d g m e n t ) as the s t r u c t u r a l n e c e s s i t y o f the t o p o g r a p h i c a l m o d e l , o n e that f o l lows f r o m melancholia a n d f r o m a w i t h d r a w a l of attachment? M e l a n c h o l i a d e s c r i b e s a p r o c e s s b y w h i c h a n o r i g i n a l l y ext e r n a l object i s lost, o r a n i d e a l i s lost, a n d the r e f u s a l t o b r e a k the a t t a c h m e n t t o s u c h a n object o r i d e a l l e a d s t o the w i t h d r a w a l of the object i n t o the ego, the r e p l a c e m e n t of the object b y the ego, a n d the s e t t i n g u p o f a n i n n e r w o r l d i n w h i c h a c r i t i c a l a g e n c y i s s p l i t off f r o m the ego a n d p r o c e e d s t o take the ego as its object. In a w e l l - k n o w n passage, F r e u d m a k e s c l e a r that the a c c u s a t i o n s that the c r i t i c a l a g e n c y is s a i d to l e v e l against the ego t u r n o u t t o b e v e r y m u c h l i k e the a c c u s a t i o n s that the ego w o u l d h a v e l e v e l e d a g a i n s t the object o r the i d e a l . T h u s , the ego a b s o r b s b o t h l o v e a n d rage a g a i n s t the object. M e l a n c h o l i a appears to be a process of internalization, a n d one m i g h t w e l l r e a d its effects as a p s y c h i c state that has e f f e c t i v e l y s u b s t i t u t e d itself for the w o r l d i n w h i c h i t d w e l l s . T h e effect o f m e l a n c h o l i a , t h e n , a p p e a r s t o b e the loss o f the s o c i a l w o r l d , the s u b s t i t u t i o n o f p s y c h i c p a r t s a n d a n t a g o n i s m s f o r e x t e r n a l r e l a t i o n s a m o n g s o c i a l actors: " a n object-loss w a s t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a n ego-loss a n d the c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n the ego a n d the l o v e d

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p e r s o n i n t o a c l e a v a g e b e t w e e n the c r i t i c a l a c t i v i t y o f the ego a n d the ego a s a l t e r e d b y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n " (249). T h e object i s lost, a n d the ego i s s a i d t o w i t h d r a w the o b ject i n t o itself. T h e "object" t h u s w i t h d r a w n i s a l r e a d y m a g i c a l , a trace of s o m e k i n d , a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the object, b u t n o t the object itself, w h i c h is, after a l l , gone. T h e ego i n t o w h i c h t h i s r e m n a n t i s " b r o u g h t " i s n o t e x a c t l y a s h e l t e r f o r lost p a r t objects, a l t h o u g h i t i s s o m e t i m e s d e s c r i b e d that w a y . T h e ego i s " a l t e r e d b y i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , " that is, a l t e r e d b y v i r t u e o f abs o r b i n g the object o r p u l l i n g b a c k its o w n c a t h e x i s o n t o itself. T h e " p r i c e " o f s u c h a n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , h o w e v e r , i s that the ego s p l i t s i n t o the c r i t i c a l a g e n c y a n d the ego a s object o f c r i t i c i s m a n d j u d g m e n t . T h u s the r e l a t i o n t o the object r e a p p e a r s " i n " the ego, n o t m e r e l y as a m e n t a l e v e n t or s i n g u l a r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , b u t as a scene of s e l f - b e r a t e m e n t that r e c o n f i g u r e s the t o p o g r a p h y o f the ego, a f a n t a s y o f i n t e r n a l p a r t i t i o n a n d j u d g m e n t that c o m e s t o s t r u c t u r e the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f p s y c h i c life tout court. T h e ego n o w s t a n d s for the object, a n d the c r i t i c a l a g e n c y c o m e s to r e p r e s e n t the ego's d i s o w n e d rage, r e i f i e d as a p s y c h i c a g e n c y separate f r o m the ego itself. T h a t rage, a n d the a t t a c h m e n t i t i m p l i e s , are " t u r n e d b a c k u p o n " the ego, b u t from where? Yet c e r t a i n s o c i a l l y i d e n t i f i a b l e features o f the m e l a n c h o l i c , i n c l u d i n g " c o m m u n i c a t i v e n e s s , " suggest that m e l a n c h o l i a i s n o t a n a s o c i a l p s y c h i c state. I n fact, m e l a n c h o l i a i s p r o d u c e d t o the extent that the s o c i a l w o r l d i s e c l i p s e d b y the p s y c h i c , that a c e r t a i n transfer of a t t a c h m e n t f r o m objects to ego takes p l a c e , n o t w i t h o u t a c o n t a m i n a t i o n o f the p s y c h i c s p h e r e b y the s o c i a l s p h e r e that i s a b a n d o n e d . F r e u d suggests a s m u c h w h e n h e e x p l a i n s that the lost o t h e r i s n o t s i m p l y b r o u g h t i n s i d e the ego, a s o n e m i g h t shelter a w a y w a r d d o g . T h e act o f i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n (to be c o n s t r u e d as a f a n t a s y r a t h e r t h a n as a

p r o c e s s ) t r a n s f o r m s the object (one m i g h t e v e n u s e the t e r m Aufhebung for s u c h a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n ) ; the o t h e r is t a k e n in a n d t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a n ego, b u t a n ego t o b e r e v i l e d , t h e r e b y b o t h p r o d u c i n g a n d s t r e n g t h e n i n g the c r i t i c a l " a g e n c y . . . c o m m o n l y called conscience." A f o r m of m o r a l reflexivity is p r o d u c e d i n w h i c h the ego s p l i t s itself t o f u r n i s h a n i n t e r n a l p e r s p e c t i v e b y w h i c h t o j u d g e itself. T h i s r e f l e x i v e r e l a t i o n b y w h i c h the ego b e c o m e s a n object f o r itself t u r n s o u t to be a w i t h d r a w n a n d t r a n s f o r m e d (entzogen a n d aufgehoben) r e l a t i o n t o the lost o t h e r ; i n t h i s sense, r e f l e x i v i t y a p p e a r s t o d e p e n d u p o n the p r i o r o p e r a t i o n o f m e l a n c h o l i a . T h e ego i s a l s o f i g u r e d as h a v i n g a voice t h r o u g h this p r o c e s s , a n d it a p p e a r s i m p e r a t i v e w i t h i n m e l a n c h o l i a that s e l f - b e r a t e m e n t b e v o i c e d , n o t m e r e l y t o oneself, b u t i n the p r e s e n c e o f others. T h e s e l f - r e p r o a c h e s o f the ego are n o t s i m p l y the i m i t a t i o n o f r e p r o a c h e s o n c e l e v e l e d a g a i n s t the ego f r o m the o n e lost, a s i s c o m m o n l y a s s u m e d ; rather, t h e y are r e p r o a c h e s l e v e l e d a g a i n s t the o t h e r that n o w t u r n b a c k u p o n the ego. Before we consider m o r e closely what it means for somet h i n g to " t u r n back u p o n itself" in this way, it seems i m p o r tant t o n o t e that the p s y c h i c f o r m o f r e f l e x i v i t y m e l a n c h o l i a elaborates c a r r i e s the trace of the o t h e r w i t h i n it as a d i s s i m u l a t e d s o c i a l i t y , a n d that the p e r f o r m a n c e o f m e l a n c h o l i a a s the s h a m e l e s s v o i c i n g o f s e l f - b e r a t e m e n t i n f r o n t o f o t h e r s effects a d e t o u r that rejoins m e l a n c h o l i a t o its lost o r w i t h d r a w n s o c i ality. I n m e l a n c h o l i a , n o t o n l y i s the loss o f a n o t h e r o r a n i d e a l lost t o c o n s c i o u s n e s s , b u t the s o c i a l w o r l d i n w h i c h s u c h a loss b e c a m e p o s s i b l e i s a l s o lost. T h e m e l a n c h o l i c d o e s n o t m e r e l y w i t h d r a w the lost object f r o m c o n s c i o u s n e s s , b u t w i t h d r a w s i n t o the p s y c h e a c o n f i g u r a t i o n o f the s o c i a l w o r l d a s w e l l . T h e ego thus b e c o m e s a " p o l i t y " a n d c o n s c i e n c e o n e of its " m a j o r i n s t i t u t i o n s , " p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e p s y c h i c life w i t h d r a w s a s o c i a l

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w o r l d i n t o itself i n a n effort t o a n n u l the losses that w o r l d d e m a n d s . W i t h i n m e l a n c h o l i a , the p s y c h e b e c o m e s the t o p o s i n w h i c h there i s n o loss a n d , i n d e e d , n o n e g a t i o n . M e l a n c h o l i a refuses t o a c k n o w l e d g e loss, a n d i n t h i s sense " p r e s e r v e s " its lost objects as p s y c h i c effects. F r e u d r e m a r k s the s o c i a l c o n d u c t o f the m e l a n c h o l i c , e m p h a s i z i n g h i s o r her s h a m e l e s s s e l f - e x p o s u r e : "the m e l a n c h o l i c does n o t b e h a v e i n q u i t e the s a m e w a y a s a p e r s o n w h o i s crushed by remorse a n d self-reproach in a n o r m a l fashion. F e e l i n g s o f s h a m e are l a c k i n g . . . o r . . . are n o t p r o m i n e n t . . . . O n e m i g h t e m p h a s i z e the p r e s e n c e i n h i m o f a n a l m o s t o p p o site t r a i t o f i n s i s t e n t c o m m u n i c a t i v e n e s s w h i c h f i n d s satisfact i o n i n s e l f - e x p o s u r e " (247). T h e m e l a n c h o l i c s u s t a i n s a n i n d i r e c t a n d d e f l e c t e d r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the s o c i a l i t y f r o m w h i c h he or she has w i t h d r a w n . O n e would have d e n o u n c e d the lost other if one c o u l d — f o r departing, if for no other reason. F u l f i l l i n g a w i s h w h o s e f o r m , the past s u b j u n c t i v e , p r e c l u d e s a n y s u c h f u l f i l l m e n t , the m e l a n c h o l i c seeks n o t o n l y t o r e verse t i m e , r e i n s t a t i n g the i m a g i n a r y past a s the p r e s e n t , b u t t o o c c u p y e v e r y p o s i t i o n a n d t h e r e b y t o p r e c l u d e the loss o f the addressee. T h e m e l a n c h o l i c w o u l d h a v e said something, if h e o r she c o u l d , b u t d i d n o t , a n d n o w b e l i e v e s i n the s u s t a i n i n g p o w e r o f the v o i c e . V a i n l y , the m e l a n c h o l i c n o w says w h a t h e o r she w o u l d h a v e s a i d , a d d r e s s e d o n l y t o h i m s e l f , a s o n e w h o i s a l r e a d y s p l i t off f r o m h i m s e l f , b u t w h o s e p o w e r o f self-address d e p e n d s u p o n this self-forfeiture. T h e m e l a n c h o l i c t h u s b u r r o w s i n a d i r e c t i o n o p p o s i t e t o that i n w h i c h h e m i g h t f i n d a fresher trace of the lost other, a t t e m p t i n g to r e s o l v e the loss t h r o u g h p s y c h i c s u b s t i t u t i o n s a n d c o m p o u n d i n g the loss as he goes. A f a i l u r e of address, a f a i l u r e to s u s t a i n the o t h e r t h r o u g h the v o i c e that addresses, m e l a n c h o l i a e m e r g e s as a c o m p e n s a t o r y f o r m of n e g a t i v e n a r c i s s i s m : I r e v i l e m y -

self a n d r e h a b i l i t a t e the o t h e r i n the f o r m o f m y o w n i n t e r n a l a m b i v a l e n c e . I refuse to s p e a k to or of the other, b u t I s p e a k v o l u m i n o u s l y a b o u t m y s e l f , l e a v i n g a r e f r a c t e d t r a i l of w h a t I d i d n o t say t o o r a b o u t the other. T h e s t r o n g e r the i n h i b i t i o n a g a i n s t e x p r e s s i o n , the s t r o n g e r the e x p r e s s i o n o f c o n s c i e n c e . H o w d o e s t h i s p r o b l e m o f the u n c o n s c i o u s loss, the r e f u s e d loss, that m a r k s m e l a n c h o l i a r e t u r n u s t o the p r o b l e m o f the r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n the p s y c h i c a n d the s o c i a l ? I n m o u r n i n g , F r e u d tells us, there is n o t h i n g a b o u t the loss that is u n c o n s c i o u s . In m e l a n c h o l i a , h e m a i n t a i n s , "the object-loss i s w i t h d r a w n f r o m c o n s c i o u s n e s s " : the object i s n o t o n l y lost, b u t that loss itself i s lost, w i t h d r a w n a n d p r e s e r v e d i n the s u s p e n d e d t i m e o f p s y c h i c life. I n o t h e r w o r d s , a c c o r d i n g t o the m e l a n c h o l i c , " I h a v e lost n o t h i n g . " T h e u n s p e a k a b i l i t y a n d u n r e p r e s e n t a b i l i t y o f t h i s loss t r a n s lates d i r e c t l y i n t o a h e i g h t e n i n g o f c o n s c i e n c e . W h e r e o n e m i g h t e x p e c t that c o n s c i e n c e w o u l d w a x a n d w a n e a c c o r d i n g t o the s t r e n g t h o f e x t e r n a l l y i m p o s e d p r o h i b i t i o n s , i t a p p e a r s that its s t r e n g t h has m o r e t o d o w i t h m a r s h a l l i n g aggress i o n i n the s e r v i c e o f r e f u s i n g t o a c k n o w l e d g e a loss that h a s a l r e a d y t a k e n p l a c e , a r e f u s a l to lose a t i m e that is a l r e a d y gone. O d d l y , the p s y c h e ' s m o r a l i s m a p p e a r s t o b e a n i n d e x o f its o w n t h w a r t e d g r i e f a n d i l l e g i b l e rage. T h u s , i f the r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n m e l a n c h o l i a a n d s o c i a l life i s t o b e r e e s t a b l i s h e d , i t i s n o t t o b e m e a s u r e d b y r e g a r d i n g the self-beratements o f c o n science a s m i m e t i c i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n s o f the b e r a t e m e n t s l e v e l e d b y s o c i a l agencies o f j u d g m e n t o r p r o h i b i t i o n . R a t h e r , f o r m s o f s o c i a l p o w e r e m e r g e that r e g u l a t e w h a t losses w i l l a n d w i l l n o t b e g r i e v e d ; i n the s o c i a l f o r e c l o s u r e o f g r i e f w e m i g h t f i n d w h a t fuels the i n t e r n a l v i o l e n c e o f c o n s c i e n c e . A l t h o u g h s o c i a l p o w e r r e g u l a t e s w h a t losses c a n b e g r i e v e d , it is n o t a l w a y s as effective as it a i m s to be. T h e loss c a n -

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n o t f u l l y b e d e n i e d , b u t n e i t h e r does i t a p p e a r i n a w a y that c a n d i r e c t l y b e a f f i r m e d . T h e " p l a i n t s " o f the m e l a n c h o l i c are i n v a r i a b l y m i s d i r e c t e d , yet i n t h i s m i s d i r e c t i o n r e s i d e s a n a scent p o l i t i c a l text. T h e p r o h i b i t i o n on g r i e f registers as a loss o f s p e e c h for its addressee. T h e p a i n o f loss i s " c r e d i t e d " t o the o n e w h o suffers it, a t w h i c h p o i n t the loss i s u n d e r s t o o d as a f a u l t or i n j u r y d e s e r v i n g of redress; o n e seeks r e d r e s s f o r h a r m s d o n e t o oneself, b u t f r o m n o o n e e x c e p t oneself. T h e v i o l e n c e o f s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n i s n o t t o b e f o u n d i n its u n i l a t e r a l a c t i o n , b u t i n the c i r c u i t o u s r o u t e b y w h i c h the p s y che accuses itself o f its o w n w o r t h l e s s n e s s . N o d o u b t , t h i s i s a strange a n d o p a q u e s y m p t o m o f u n r e s o l v e d grief. W h y does the r e t r a c t i o n of the lost o t h e r i n t o the ego, the r e f u s a l to ack n o w l e d g e loss, c u l m i n a t e in a d e p r i v a t i o n of the ego? Is the loss r e s i t u a t e d i n a w a y that n u l l i f i e s the ego i n o r d e r , p s y c h i c a l l y , to save the object? T h e decrease in self-esteem that is said to distinguish melancholia f r o m m o u r n i n g appears to result f r o m p r o d i g i o u s efforts b y the c r i t i c a l a g e n c y t o d e p r i v e the ego of its esteem. B u t o n e c o u l d e q u a l l y say that there is no q u e s t i o n o f h i g h o r l o w self-esteem p r i o r t o the o p e r a t i o n o f t h i s c r i t i c a l agency, n o " e s t e e m " that b e l o n g s t o the ego p r i o r t o its p a r t i t i o n i n t o ego a n d s u p e r - e g o . P r i o r t o the o p e r a t i o n o f a c r i t i c a l agency, it w o u l d be d i f f i c u l t to g a u g e the ego against an i d e a l , a j u d g m e n t that p r e s u p p o s e s a c r i t i c a l a g e n c y that m i g h t a p p r o v e o r d i s a p p r o v e o f the ego's m o r a l state. I n t h i s sense, self-esteem a p p e a r s t o b e p r o d u c e d b y the v e r y c r i t i c a l agency by w h i c h it is potentially destroyed. F r e u d d o e s refer t o t h i s r e s i t u a t i n g o f loss i n the ego w h e n he refers to the ego as i m p o v e r i s h e d , as h a v i n g b e c o m e p o o r , a n d " a n object-loss . . . t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o an e g o - l o s s " (249). T h i s loss i n the ego i s a p p a r e n t l y a loss o f a n i d e a l o f itself, a n d i n F r e u d ' s later w o r k , h e specifies that the j u d g m e n t s o f c o n -

science w o r k i n s u c h a w a y that the s u p e r - e g o gauges the ego against the " e g o - i d e a l . " T h e ego i s f o u n d t o b e i m p o v e r i s h e d b e s i d e t h i s i d e a l , a n d the " l o s s " that the ego suffers is a loss o f c o m m e n s u r a b i l i t y b e t w e e n itself a n d the i d e a l b y w h i c h i t is judged. W h e r e does this i d e a l emerge from? Is it a r b i t r a r i l y m a n u f a c t u r e d b y the ego, o r d o s u c h i d e a l s r e t a i n the t r a c e o f s o c i a l r e g u l a t i o n a n d n o r m a t i v i t y ? F r e u d r e m a r k s that m e l a n c h o l i a is a r e s p o n s e n o t just to d e a t h , b u t to o t h e r o r d e r s of loss, i n c l u d i n g "slights a n d d i s a p p o i n t m e n t s " (250). A n d w h e n h e i n t r o d u c e s the n o t i o n that b o t h m o u r n i n g a n d m e l a n c h o l i a c a n b e r e s p o n s e s t o the loss o f a n i d e a l , s u c h a s " c o u n t r y " o r " l i b e r t y , " h e m a k e s c l e a r b y h i s e x a m p l e s that s u c h i d e a l s are s o c i a l i n character. T h e i d e a l s b y w h i c h the ego j u d g e s itself c l e a r l y are ones b y w h i c h the ego w i l l b e f o u n d w a n t i n g . T h e m e l a n c h o l i c c o m p a r e s h i m - o r herself i n v i d i o u s l y w i t h s u c h s o c i a l i d e a l s . I f t h e y are the p s y c h i c s a n c t i f i c a t i o n o f o n c e - e x t e r n a l objects o r i d e a l s , t h e n they are s e e m i n g l y a l s o the target o f a g g r e s s i o n . I n d e e d , w e m i g h t w e l l ask w h e t h e r the s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h the ego is, as it w e r e , b e r a t e d by the i d e a l is n o t the i n v e r s i o n of a p r i o r s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h the ego w o u l d , i f i t c o u l d , h a v e b e r a t e d the i d e a l . Is the p s y c h i c v i o l e n c e of c o n s c i e n c e n o t a r e f r a c t e d i n d i c t m e n t o f the s o c i a l f o r m s that h a v e m a d e c e r t a i n k i n d s o f losses u n g r i e v a b l e ? T h u s , a loss i n the w o r l d that c a n n o t b e d e c l a r e d enrages, generates a m b i v a l e n c e , a n d b e c o m e s the loss " i n " the ego that i s n a m e l e s s a n d d i f f u s e a n d that p r o m p t s p u b l i c r i t u a l s o f selfb e r a t e m e n t . O f m o u r n i n g , F r e u d w r i t e s that i t " i m p e l s the ego to g i v e up the object by declaring the object to be d e a d " (257, m y e m p h a s i s ) . M e l a n c h o l i a , i t w o u l d f o l l o w , refuses t o m a k e a n y s u c h d e c l a r a t i o n , d e c l i n e s s p e e c h , s u s p e n d i n g the " v e r d i c t o f r e a l i t y that the object n o l o n g e r e x i s t s " (255). W e

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k n o w , h o w e v e r , that the m e l a n c h o l i c i s also " c o m m u n i c a t i v e , " w h i c h suggests that h i s o r h e r s p e e c h i s n e i t h e r v e r d i c t i v e n o r d e c l a r a t i v e (assertoric), b u t i n e v i t a b l y i n d i r e c t a n d c i r c u i t o u s . W h a t c a n n o t b e d e c l a r e d b y the m e l a n c h o l i c i s n e v e r theless w h a t g o v e r n s m e l a n c h o l i c s p e e c h — a n u n s p e a k a b i l i t y that o r g a n i z e s the f i e l d of the s p e a k a b l e . " T h e loss o f the m e l a n c h o l i c seems p u z z l i n g t o u s b e c a u s e we cannot see what it is that is a b s o r b i n g h i m so e n t i r e l y " (247). W h a t c a n n o t b e d i r e c t l y s p o k e n i s also w h a t i s o c c l u d e d f r o m sight, absent f r o m the v i s u a l f i e l d that o r g a n i z e d m e l a n c h o lia. Melancholia is kept from view; it is an absorption by s o m e t h i n g that c a n n o t b e a c c o m m o d a t e d b y v i s i o n , that resists b e i n g b r o u g h t i n t o the o p e n , n e i t h e r seen n o r d e c l a r e d . A s p r i v a t e a n d i r r e c o v e r a b l e a s t h i s loss seems, the m e l a n cholic is strangely outgoing, p u r s u i n g an "insistent c o m m u n i cativeness w h i c h f i n d s s a t i s f a c t i o n i n s e l f - e x p o s u r e " (247). T h e w o r t h l e s s n e s s o f the ego i s i n s i s t e n t l y c o m m u n i c a t e d . M e l ancholic speech, neither verdictive nor declarative, remains u n a b l e t o s p e a k its loss. W h a t the m e l a n c h o l i c does d e c l a r e , n a m e l y , h i s o w n w o r t h l e s s n e s s , i d e n t i f i e s the loss a t the s i g h t of the ego a n d , hence, c o n t i n u e s to f a i l to i d e n t i f y the loss. S e l f - b e r a t e m e n t takes the p l a c e o f a b a n d o n m e n t , a n d b e c o m e s the t o k e n of its r e f u s a l . The heightening of conscience under such circumstances attests to the u n a v o w e d status of the loss. T h e ego b e c o m e s m o r a l i z e d o n the c o n d i t i o n o f u n g r i e v e d loss. B u t w h a t c o n d i t i o n s m a k e i t p o s s i b l e t o g r i e v e , o r n o t t o g r i e v e , loss? T h e ego n o t o n l y b r i n g s the object i n s i d e b u t b r i n g s agg r e s s i o n against the object a l o n g w i t h it. T h e m o r e t h i s object is b r o u g h t i n s i d e , as it w e r e , the h i g h e r the s e l f - d e b a s e m e n t , the p o o r e r the ego b e c o m e s : d e l u s i o n a l self-abasement "overc o m e s the i n s t i n c t w h i c h c o m p e l s e v e r y l i v i n g t h i n g t o l i f e "

(246). T h e a g g r e s s i o n t u r n e d against the ego has the p o w e r t o contest a n d o v e r c o m e the d e s i r e t o l i v e . A t t h i s p o i n t i n F r e u d ' s theory, a g g r e s s i o n against o n e s e l f i s d e r i v e d f r o m a n o u t w a r d l y d i r e c t e d a g g r e s s i o n against a n other. B u t o n e c a n d i s c e r n i n this f o r m u l a t i o n the b e g i n n i n g s o f r e f l e c t i o n o n a d r i v e that m i g h t b e s a i d t o c o u n t e r the p l e a s u r e p r i n c i p l e , w h a t is later r e f e r r e d to as the d e a t h d r i v e . I n m e l a n c h o l i a , the ego c o n t r a c t s s o m e t h i n g o f the loss o r a b a n d o n m e n t b y w h i c h the object i s n o w m a r k e d , a n a b a n d o n m e n t that i s r e f u s e d a n d , a s r e f u s e d , i s i n c o r p o r a t e d . I n this sense, to refuse a loss is to b e c o m e it. If the ego c a n n o t accept the loss of the other, t h e n the loss that the o t h e r c o m e s t o r e p r e s e n t b e c o m e s the loss that n o w c h a r a c t e r i z e s the ego: the ego b e c o m e s p o o r a n d i m p o v e r i s h e d . A loss s u f f e r e d i n the w o r l d b e c o m e s n o w the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c l a c k i n the ego ( a s p l i t that is, a s i t w e r e , i m p o r t e d t h r o u g h the n e c e s s a r y w o r k of internalization). I n t h i s w a y , m e l a n c h o l i a operates i n a d i r e c t i o n d i r e c t l y c o u n t e r t o n a r c i s s i s m . E c h o i n g the b i b l i c a l c a d e n c e o f "the s h a d o w o f d e a t h , " a w a y i n w h i c h d e a t h i m p o s e s its p r e s e n c e o n life, F r e u d r e m a r k s that i n m e l a n c h o l i a "the s h a d o w o f the object fell u p o n the e g o " (249). I n L a c a n ' s essays o n n a r c i s s i s m , the f o r m u l a t i o n i s i m p o r t a n t l y r e v e r s e d : the s h a d o w o f the ego falls u p o n the object. N a r c i s s i s m c o n t i n u e s t o c o n t r o l
9

l o v e , e v e n w h e n that n a r c i s s i s m a p p e a r s t o g i v e w a y t o objectl o v e : it is s t i l l m y s e l f that I f i n d there at the site of the object, m y absence. I n m e l a n c h o l i a t h i s f o r m u l a t i o n i s r e v e r s e d : i n the p l a c e of the loss that the o t h e r c o m e s to r e p r e s e n t , I f i n d m y self t o b e that loss, i m p o v e r i s h e d , w a n t i n g . I n n a r c i s s i s t i c l o v e , the o t h e r c o n t r a c t s m y a b u n d a n c e . I n m e l a n c h o l i a , I c o n t r a c t the o t h e r ' s absence. T h i s o p p o s i t i o n b e t w e e n m e l a n c h o l i a a n d n a r c i s s i s m ges-

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t u r e s t o w a r d the d u a l - d r i v e theory. F r e u d i s c l e a r that m e l a n cholia must be u n d e r s t o o d in part as a narcissistic disturbance. S o m e o f its features c o m e f r o m n a r c i s s i s m , b u t s o m e c o m e f r o m m o u r n i n g . I n m a k i n g t h i s c l a i m , F r e u d a p p e a r s t o set m o u r n i n g as a l i m i t to n a r c i s s i s m , or p e r h a p s , as its c o u n t e r d i r e c t i o n . W h a t e r o d e s the ego i n m e l a n c h o l i a i s u n d e r s t o o d to be a loss that w a s o r i g i n a l l y e x t e r n a l , b u t by The Ego and the Id F r e u d c o m e s to r e c o g n i z e that the w o r k of m e l a n c h o l i a m a y w e l l b e i n the s e r v i c e o f the d e a t h d r i v e . H e asks, " H o w i s i t t h e n that i n m e l a n c h o l i a the s u p e r - e g o c a n b e c o m e a g a t h e r i n g - p l a c e for the d e a t h i n s t i n c t s ? "
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b e e n e x p e r i e n c e d a s " t u r n e d a r o u n d u p o n the subject's o w n self" (251) — " e i n e W e n d u n g g e g e n d i e eigene P e r s o n e r f a h r e n h a b e n . " T h e a m b i v a l e n c e that c o n t a i n s t h i s a g g r e s s i o n s p l i t s the cathexis, w h i c h i s t h e n d i s t r i b u t e d i n t o "parts": p a r t o f the e r o t i c cathexis regresses to i d e n t i f i c a t i o n ; the other p a r t to s a d i s m . Set up as i n t e r n a l p a r t s of the ego, the s a d i s t i c p a r t takes a i m a t the p a r t that i d e n t i f i e s , a n d the p s y c h i c a l l y v i o l e n t d r a m a o f the s u p e r - e g o p r o c e e d s . F r e u d a p p e a r s t o a s s u m e a m b i v a l e n c e at the scene of loss: a w i s h for the o t h e r to d i e or to go (a w i s h that is s o m e t i m e s i n s t i g a t e d by the d e s i r e of the ego t o l i v e a n d , hence, b r e a k its a t t a c h m e n t t o w h a t has gone or died). F r e u d interprets this ambivalence as at once an i n stance of s a d i s m a n d a w i s h to p r e s e r v e the other as oneself. S e l f - t o r m e n t i s t h i s s a d i s m t u r n e d b a c k o n the ego, e n c o d i n g a n d d i s s i m u l a t i n g the d u a l d e s i r e t o v a n q u i s h a n d t o save the object. S e l f - p u n i s h m e n t , h e notes, i s "the c i r c u i t o u s p a t h " o f s a d i s m ; w e m i g h t a d d , i t i s the c i r c u i t o u s p a t h o f i d e n t i f i c a tion as w e l l . F r e u d a p p e a r s clear h e r e that s a d i s m p r e c e d e s m a s o c h i s m . ( H i s later e m p h a s i s o n the d e a t h d r i v e w i l l i n v e r t t h i s p r i o r i t y . ) R e f l e x i v e a r t i c u l a t i o n s o f a g g r e s s i o n are a l w a y s d e r i v e d f r o m o u t w a r d l y d i r e c t e d ones. W e h a v e k n o w n f o r s o m e t i m e , h e w r i t e s , that "no n e u r o t i c h a r b o r s t h o u g h t s o f s u i c i d e w h i c h h e has n o t t u r n e d b a c k u p o n h i m s e l f [auf sich zuruckwendet] f r o m m u r d e r o u s i m p u l s e s t o w a r d o t h e r s " (252). T h e ego takes itself as an object in the p l a c e of t a k i n g the other as an object. I n d e e d , the ego first takes itself as an object on the c o n d i t i o n that it has already t a k e n the other as an object, a n d that the other b e c o m e s the m o d e l b y w h i c h the ego a s s u m e s its b o u n d a r y a s a n o b ject for i t s e l f — a k i n d o f m i m e s i s , n o t u n l i k e that d e s c r i b e d b y M i k k e l Borch-Jacobsen,
11

H o w is it

that the e g o - e r o d i n g effects of m e l a n c h o l i a , the ones that o v e r c o m e "the i n s t i n c t w h i c h c o m p e l s e v e r y l i v i n g t h i n g t o life," c o m e t o w o r k i n the s e r v i c e o f a d r i v e that seeks t o o v e r c o m e life? F r e u d goes f u r t h e r a n d r e m a r k s that the " m e r c i l e s s v i o l e n c e " o f c o n s c i e n c e s h o w s that " w h a t i s n o w h o l d i n g s w a y in the s u p e r - e g o is, as it w e r e , a p u r e c u l t u r e of the d e a t h i n s t i n c t [Todestrieb]" (53). In m e l a n c h o l i a , t h e n , a c c o r d i n g to this r e v i s e d t h e o r y p u b l i s h e d in The Ego and the Id, it w o u l d b e i m p o s s i b l e t o separate the d e a t h d r i v e f r o m the c o n s c i e n c e h e i g h t e n e d t h r o u g h m e l a n c h o l i a . I n e i t h e r case, the ego r i s k s its life i n the face o f its f a i l u r e t o l i v e u p t o the s t a n d a r d s e n c o d e d i n the e g o - i d e a l . A n d the a g g r e s s i o n i t takes u p o n itself i s i n p a r t p r o p o r t i o n a l t o the a g g r e s s i o n against the other that i t has m a n a g e d t o b r i n g u n d e r c o n t r o l . In t h i s a c c o u n t of m e l a n c h o l i a , r e f l e x i v i t y e m e r g e s , as it does for N i e t z s c h e , a s a t r a n s p o s e d a g g r e s s i v i t y . A s w e h a v e seen, for F r e u d i n " M o u r n i n g a n d M e l a n c h o l i a , " a g g r e s s i o n is p r i m a r i l y a r e l a t i o n to others a n d o n l y s e c o n d a r i l y a r e l a t i o n t o oneself. H e r e m a r k s that the s u i c i d a l p e r s o n m u s t first h a v e u n d e r g o n e m u r d e r o u s i m p u l s e s , a n d suggests that selft o r m e n t satisfies s a d i s m a n d hate. B o t h o f these i m p u l s e s h a v e

in w h i c h mimetic activity produces

the ego a s a n object o n the m o d e l o f the other. M i m e s i s w i t h i n

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m e l a n c h o l i a p e r f o r m s t h i s a c t i v i t y a s the i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f the other " i n t o the ego." T h i s i s a n effort t o p r e s e r v e the other a n d a t the s a m e t i m e t o d i s s i m u l a t e a g g r e s s i o n t o w a r d the other. C l e a r l y n o F r e u d i a n t h e o r y that takes the ego a s p r i m a r y o r p r e g i v e n c a n a c c o u n t for the w a y i n w h i c h the ego first b e c o m e s a n object o n the c o n d i t i o n o f the i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n o f a g g r e s s i o n a n d the r e f u s a l o f loss. M e l a n c h o l i a establishes the t e n u o u s basis of the ego, a n d i n d i c a t e s s o m e t h i n g of its status as an i n s t r u m e n t of containment. T h e s i g n i f i c a n c e of the ego a s c o n t a i n i n g a g g r e s s i o n b e c o m e s clear w h e n w e c o n s i d e r F r e u d ' s e x p l i c i t l y s o c i a l m e t a p h o r i c s i n these d e s c r i p t i o n s . O n e passage, n o t e d b y H o m i B h a b h a ,
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social a n d psychic instrument. This super-egoic conscience is n o t s i m p l y a n a l o g o u s t o the state's m i l i t a r y p o w e r o v e r its c i t i z e n r y ; the state c u l t i v a t e s m e l a n c h o l i a a m o n g its c i t i z e n r y p r e c i s e l y a s a w a y o f d i s s i m u l a t i n g a n d d i s p l a c i n g its o w n i d e a l a u t h o r i t y . T h i s is n o t to suggest that c o n s c i e n c e is a s i m p l e i n s t a n t i a t i o n of the state; on the c o n t r a r y , it is the v a n i s h i n g p o i n t o f the state's a u t h o r i t y , its p s y c h i c i d e a l i z a t i o n , a n d , i n that sense, its d i s a p p e a r a n c e as an e x t e r n a l object. T h e p r o c e s s of f o r m i n g the subject is a p r o c e s s of r e n d e r i n g the t e r r o r i z i n g p o w e r o f the state i n v i s i b l e — a n d e f f e c t i v e — a s the i d e a l i t y o f c o n s c i e n c e . F u r t h e r m o r e , the i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f the i d e a l o f " L a w " u n d e r s c o r e s the c o n t i n g e n t r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n a g i v e n state a n d the i d e a l i t y o f its p o w e r . T h i s i d e a l i t y c a n a l w a y s b e incorporated elsewhere a n d remains incommensurable w i t h a n y o f its g i v e n i n c o r p o r a t i o n s . T h a t t h i s i d e a l i t y c a n n o t b e r e d u c e d t o a n y o f its i n c o r p o r a t i o n s does n o t m e a n , h o w e v e r , that i t subsists i n a n o u m e n a l s p h e r e b e y o n d a l l e m b o d i m e n t s . R a t h e r , the i n c o r p o r a t i o n s are sites o f r e a r t i c u l a t i o n , c o n d i tions for a " w o r k i n g t h r o u g h " a n d , potentially, a " t h r o w i n g off" (Auflehnung).

suggests s o m e t h i n g o f

the p o l i t i c a l a n a l o g y at issue. " M e l a n c h o l i c . . . r e a c t i o n . . . p r o c e e d s f r o m a m e n t a l c o n s t e l l a t i o n of r e v o l t [seelischen Konstellation der Auflehnung], w h i c h has t h e n , by a c e r t a i n p r o c e s s , p a s s e d o v e r i n t o the c r u s h e d state of m e l a n c h o l i a [die melancholische Zerknirschung]" (248). B h a b h a a r g u e s that m e l a n c h o l i a is n o t a f o r m of p a s s i v i t y , b u t a f o r m o f r e v o l t that takes p l a c e t h r o u g h r e p e t i t i o n a n d m e t o n y m y . T h e m e l a n c h o l i c i n v e r t s against itself the i n d i c t m e n t i t w o u l d l e v e l against the other; t h i s " i n c o r p o r a t i o n " o f the o t h e r is also, B h a b h a notes, a " d i s i n c o r p o r a t i o n of the M a s ter." U n d e r s c o r i n g that "the L a w is e n t o m b e d as loss at the p o i n t o f its i d e a l a u t h o r i t y , " h e a r g u e s that m e l a n c h o l i a c o n tests the i d e a l i t y o f that a u t h o r i t y p r e c i s e l y b y i n c o r p o r a t i n g it.
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The revolt in melancholia can be distilled by marshalling a g g r e s s i o n i n the s e r v i c e o f m o u r n i n g , b u t also, n e c e s s a r i l y , o f life. A s a n i n s t r u m e n t o f p s y c h i c t e r r o r , c o n s c i e n c e w i e l d s the p o w e r of c o n d e m n a t i o n that, q u i t e l i t e r a l l y , p o s e s a threat to one's life. F r e u d notes that i t "often e n o u g h s u c c e e d s i n d r i v i n g the ego i n t o d e a t h , if the latter d o e s n o t fend off its tyrant in t i m e b y the c h a n g e r o u n d i n t o m a n i a . "
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A u t h o r i t y ' s ideality is incorporable elsewhere, no longer

t i e d i n a n y a b s o l u t e sense t o one f i g u r e o f the l a w . M e l a n c h o l i a i s a r e b e l l i o n that has b e e n p u t d o w n , c r u s h e d . Yet it is n o t a static affair; it c o n t i n u e s as a k i n d of " w o r k " that takes p l a c e b y d e f l e c t i o n . F i g u r e d w i t h i n the w o r k i n g s o f the p s y c h e i s the p o w e r o f the state t o p r e e m p t a n i n s u r r e c t i o n a r y rage. T h e " c r i t i c a l a g e n c y " of the m e l a n c h o l i c is at o n c e a

M a n i a appears to be

the e n e r g e t i c t h r o w i n g off of the a t t a c h m e n t to the lost object, e n s h r i n e d i n the w o r k i n g s o f c o n s c i e n c e . Yet i n m a n i a , " w h a t the ego has s u r m o u n t e d a n d w h a t i t i s t r i u m p h i n g o v e r r e main hidden from it."
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I n m a n i a , the t y r a n t i s f e n d e d off, b u t

n o t t h r o w n off o r o v e r c o m e . M a n i a m a r k s a t e m p o r a r y s u s -

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p e n s i o n o r m a s t e r i n g o f the t y r a n t b y the ego, b u t the t y r a n t r e m a i n s s t r u c t u r a l l y e n s c o n c e d f o r that p s y c h e — a n d u n k n o w able. F o r a r e s o l u t i o n o f m e l a n c h o l i a that i s m o r e t h o r o u g h t h a n a n y m a n i a c a n p r o v i d e , F r e u d suggests that " a v e r d i c t o f r e a l i t y " m u s t b e a c c e p t e d for m e l a n c h o l i a t o b e c o m e m o u r n i n g , a n d f o r the a t t a c h m e n t t o the lost object t o b e s e v e r e d . I n d e e d , the a g g r e s s i o n i n s t r u m e n t a l i z e d b y c o n s c i e n c e a g a i n s t the ego i s p r e c i s e l y w h a t m u s t b e r e a p p r o p r i a t e d i n the serv i c e of the d e s i r e to l i v e : "the l i b i d o ' s a t t a c h m e n t to the lost object i s m e t b y the v e r d i c t o f r e a l i t y that the object n o l o n g e r exists; a n d the ego, c o n f r o n t e d a s i t w e r e w i t h the q u e s t i o n w h e t h e r i t s h a l l s h a r e t h i s fate, i s p e r s u a d e d b y the s u m o f the n a r c i s s i s t i c s a t i s f a c t i o n s i t d e r i v e s f r o m b e i n g a l i v e t o sever its a t t a c h m e n t to the object that has b e e n a b o l i s h e d " (255). F o r the m e l a n c h o l i c , b r e a k i n g the a t t a c h m e n t c o n s t i t u t e s a s e c o n d loss of the object. If the object l o s t its e x t e r n a l i t y w h e n i t b e c a m e a p s y c h i c i d e a l , i t n o w loses its i d e a l i t y a s the ego t u r n s a g a i n s t c o n s c i e n c e , t h u s d e c e n t e r i n g itself. T h e j u d g m e n t s o f c o n s c i e n c e are e x c h a n g e d f o r the v e r d i c t o f r e a l i t y , a n d t h i s v e r d i c t p o s e s a d i l e m m a for the m e l a n c h o l i c , n a m e l y , w h e t h e r t o f o l l o w the l o s t object i n t o d e a t h o r t o s e i z e the o p p o r t u n i t y t o l i v e . L a t e r , F r e u d r e m a r k s that there c a n b e no s e v e r i n g of t h i s a t t a c h m e n t to the object w i t h o u t a d i r e c t " d e c l a r a t i o n " o f loss a n d the d e s a n c t i f i c a t i o n o f the object b y e x t e r n a l i z i n g a g g r e s s i o n against it: "Just a s m o u r n i n g i m p e l s the ego t o g i v e u p the object b y d e c l a r i n g the object t o b e d e a d a n d o f f e r i n g the ego the i n d u c e m e n t t o l i v e , s o d o e s e a c h s i n g l e s t r u g g l e o f a m b i v a l e n c e l o o s e n the f i x a t i o n o f the l i b i d o t o the object b y d i s p a r a g i n g i t , d e n i g r a t i n g i t a n d e v e n a s i t w e r e k i l l i n g it off [entwertet, herabsetzt, gleichsam audi erschlagt]" (257). " K i l l i n g off" the c r i t i c a l a g e n c y reverses a n d d i s p l a c e s the i n t e r i o r i z e d scene o f c o n s c i e n c e a n d c l e a r s the w a y f o r

psychic survival. Whereas melancholia involves a "delusional s e l f - a b a s e m e n t . . . that o v e r c o m e s the i n s t i n c t w h i c h c o m p e l s e v e r y l i v i n g t h i n g t o l i f e , " the b r e a k w i t h m e l a n c h o l i a i n v o l v e s t u r n i n g against the a l r e a d y " t u r n e d b a c k " a g g r e s s i o n that c o n stitutes c o n s c i e n c e . S u r v i v a l , n o t p r e c i s e l y the o p p o s i t e o f m e l ancholia, but what melancholia puts in suspension—requires r e d i r e c t i n g rage a g a i n s t the lost other, d e f i l i n g the s a n c t i t y o f the d e a d f o r the p u r p o s e s o f life, r a g i n g a g a i n s t the d e a d i n order not to join them. A l t h o u g h s u c h rage m a y b e r e q u i r e d t o b r e a k the m e l a n c h o l i c b i n d , t h e r e i s n o f i n a l r e p r i e v e f r o m the a m b i v a lence a n d no final separation of m o u r n i n g f r o m m e l a n c h o l i a . F r e u d ' s v i e w that m o u r n i n g a n d m e l a n c h o l i a m i g h t b e d i s t i n g u i s h e d i s c h a l l e n g e d n o t o n l y i n h i s o w n essay b y that n a m e , b u t e x p l i c i t l y in The Ego and the Id. A m b i v a l e n c e , w h i c h is first i d e n t i f i e d a s a p o s s i b l e r e s p o n s e t o loss i n " M o u r n i n g a n d M e l a n c h o l i a , " b e c o m e s , t o w a r d the e n d o f the essay, the s t r u g g l e that loss o c c a s i o n s b e t w e e n the d e s i r e t o l i v e a n d the d e s i r e t o die. A s s u c h , b o t h a m b i v a l e n c e a n d the s t r u g g l e o f life a n d d e a t h , t o b o r r o w H e g e l i a n p a r l a n c e , are o c c a s i o n e d b y loss, i n d e e d , i n s t i g a t e d b y loss. I f a m b i v a l e n c e d i s t i n g u i s h e s m e l ancholia f r o m m o u r n i n g , a n d i f m o u r n i n g entails a m b i v a l e n c e a s p a r t o f the p r o c e s s o f " w o r k i n g t h r o u g h , " t h e n t h e r e i s n o w o r k o f m o u r n i n g that d o e s n o t engage m e l a n c h o l i a . A s w a s r e m a r k e d i n the p r e v i o u s chapter, F r e u d a r g u e s i n The Ego and the Id that the ego is c o m p o s e d of its l o s t a t t a c h m e n t s a n d that there w o u l d b e n o ego w e r e there n o i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n o f loss a l o n g m e l a n c h o l i c l i n e s . T h e i n v e r s e o f t h i s p o s i t i o n , h o w ever, i s n o t p u r s u e d b y F r e u d , a l t h o u g h h i s t h e o r y p o i n t s the w a y : i f the ego c o n t a i n s a g g r e s s i o n a g a i n s t the o t h e r w h o i s gone, t h e n i t f o l l o w s that r e e x t e r n a l i z i n g that a g g r e s s i o n " u n c o n t a i n s " the ego. T h e d e s i r e t o l i v e i s n o t the d e s i r e o f the

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ego, b u t a d e s i r e that u n d o e s the ego in the c o u r s e of its e m e r gence. T h e " m a s t e r y " o f the ego w o u l d t h e n b e i d e n t i f i e d a s the effect of the d e a t h d r i v e , a n d life, in a N i e t z s c h e a n sense, w o u l d b r e a k a p a r t that m a s t e r y , i n i t i a t i n g a l i v e d m o d e o f b e c o m i n g that contests the stasis a n d d e f e n s i v e status of the ego. B u t the s t o r y o f m o u r n i n g c a n n o t b e r e d u c e d t o o n e i n w h i c h life t r i u m p h s o v e r d e a t h . T h e d y n a m i c i s m o r e c o m p l i c a t e d . A l t h o u g h i n 1917 F r e u d does n o t yet d i s t i n g u i s h b e t w e e n the p l e a s u r e p r i n c i p l e a n d the d e a t h d r i v e , h e d o e s note that m e l a n c h o l y has the p o w e r t o force the ego i n t o d e a t h . B y 1923, h e e x p l i c i t l y c l a i m s that c o n s c i e n c e , a s i t f u n c t i o n s i n m e l a n c h o l i a , i s " a g a t h e r i n g p l a c e " for the d e a t h d r i v e s . I n m o u r n i n g , the c l a i m o f life does n o t t r i u m p h o v e r the l u r e o f d e a t h ; o n the c o n t r a r y , the "death d r i v e s " are m a r s h a l l e d i n the s e r v i c e o f b r e a k i n g w i t h the object, " k i l l i n g " the object i n o r d e r to l i v e . F u r t h e r , i n s o f a r as the object r e s i d e s as the i d e a l i t y of c o n s c i e n c e , a n d the ego i s s i t u a t e d w i t h i n that t o p o g r a p h i c a l scene, b o t h c o n s c i e n c e a n d the ego are n e c e s s a r i l y u n d o n e b y that m u r d e r o u s c l a i m o n life. T h e "death d r i v e " i s t h u s p a r a d o x i c a l l y n e c e s s a r y for s u r v i v a l ; i n m o u r n i n g , the b r e a k i n g o f a t t a c h m e n t i n a u g u r a t e s life. B u t t h i s " b r e a k " i s n e v e r f i n a l o r f u l l . O n e does n o t r e t r a c t a q u a n t i t y o f l i b i d o f r o m o n e object i n o r d e r t o i n v e s t i t i n another. T o the extent that m e l a n c h o l y establishes the p o s i t i o n a l i t y o f the ego, the d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n the p s y c h i c a n d the s o c i a l , i t also f u n c t i o n s t o m a k e p o s s i b l e a n e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l e n c o u n t e r w i t h alterity. T h e c o n c l u s i o n o f g r i e f m a y u n d o the ego ( i n the sense o f " u n b i n d i n g " i t f r o m its c a t h e x i s i n c o n s c i e n c e ) , b u t i t does n o t d e s t r o y it. T h e r e i s n o b r e a k w i t h the c o n s t i t u t i v e h i s t o r i c i t y o f loss t o w h i c h m e l a n c h o l y attests (except p e r h a p s i n the m a n i c r e s p o n s e , w h i c h i s a l w a y s t e m p o r a r y ) . T h e h i s t o r i c i t y o f loss i s t o b e f o u n d i n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n a n d , h e n c e , i n the v e r y f o r m s that a t t a c h m e n t

i s b o u n d t o take. " L i b i d o " a n d " a t t a c h m e n t " i n s u c h a v i e w c o u l d not be conceived as free-floating energies, but as h a v i n g a h i s t o r i c i t y that c o u l d n e v e r f u l l y b e r e c o v e r e d . I f i n " M o u r n i n g a n d M e l a n c h o l i a , " F r e u d t h o u g h t that o n e m u s t s e v e r o n e a t t a c h m e n t to m a k e a n o t h e r , in The Ego and the Id, he is clear that o n l y u p o n the c o n d i t i o n that the lost o t h e r b e c o m e s i n t e r n a l i z e d c a n m o u r n i n g ever b e a c c o m p l i s h e d a n d n e w attachments begun. H e r e , of course, an u n e x p l o r e d p o i n t d e s e r v e s r e m a r k : i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n does n o t h a v e t o t a k e the f o r m of a mercilessly violent conscience, a n d certain k i n d s of i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n , w h i c h are n o t a l w a y s i n c o r p o r a t i o n s , are n e c essary f o r s u r v i v a l .
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I n d e e d , D e r r i d a insists, w i t h the later

F r e u d , that " m o u r n i n g i s the a f f i r m a t i v e i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f the O t h e r " a n d that, i n p r i n c i p l e , there c a n b e n o e n d t o m o u r n ing.
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I n d e e d , o n e m a y rage a g a i n s t one's a t t a c h m e n t t o s o m e o t h e r s ( w h i c h i s s i m p l y t o alter the t e r m s o f the a t t a c h m e n t ) , b u t n o rage c a n s e v e r the a t t a c h m e n t t o alterity, e x c e p t p e r h a p s a s u i c i d a l rage that u s u a l l y s t i l l leaves b e h i n d a note, a f i n a l a d d r e s s , t h u s c o n f i r m i n g that a l l o c u t o r y b o n d . S u r v i v a l d o e s n o t t a k e p l a c e b e c a u s e a n a u t o n o m o u s ego exercises a u t o n o m y i n c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h a c o u n t e r v a i l i n g w o r l d ; o n the c o n t r a r y , n o ego c a n e m e r g e except t h r o u g h a n i m a t i n g refe r e n c e to s u c h a w o r l d . S u r v i v a l is a m a t t e r of a v o w i n g the trace o f loss that i n a u g u r a t e s one's o w n e m e r g e n c e . T o m a k e of m e l a n c h o l i a a s i m p l e " r e f u s a l " to g r i e v e its losses c o n j u r e s a subject w h o m i g h t a l r e a d y b e s o m e t h i n g w i t h o u t its losses, that is, o n e w h o v o l u n t a r i l y e x t e n d s a n d retracts h i s o r h e r w i l l . Yet the subject w h o m i g h t g r i e v e i s i m p l i c a t e d i n a loss o f a u t o n o m y that i s m a n d a t e d b y l i n g u i s t i c a n d s o c i a l life; i t c a n n e v e r p r o d u c e itself a u t o n o m o u s l y . F r o m the start, t h i s ego i s o t h e r t h a n itself; w h a t m e l a n c h o l i a s h o w s i s that o n l y

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b y a b s o r b i n g the o t h e r a s o n e s e l f does o n e b e c o m e s o m e t h i n g at all. The social terms w h i c h make survival possible, w h i c h i n t e r p e l l a t e s o c i a l existence, n e v e r reflect the a u t o n o m y o f the one w h o comes to recognize h i m - or herself in t h e m arid, thus, s t a n d s a c h a n c e "to b e " w i t h i n l a n g u a g e . I n d e e d , b y f o r f e i t i n g that n o t i o n o f a u t o n o m y s u r v i v a l b e c o m e s p o s s i b l e ; the "ego" i s r e l e a s e d f r o m its m e l a n c h o l i c f o r e c l o s u r e o f the s o c i a l . T h e ego c o m e s i n t o b e i n g o n the c o n d i t i o n o f the " t r a c e " o f the other, w h o is, at that m o m e n t of e m e r g e n c e , a l r e a d y at a d i s tance. To a c c e p t the a u t o n o m y of the ego is to forget that trace; a n d t o a c c e p t that trace i s t o e m b a r k u p o n a p r o c e s s o f m o u r n i n g that c a n n e v e r b e c o m p l e t e , for n o f i n a l s e v e r a n c e c o u l d t a k e p l a c e w i t h o u t d i s s o l v i n g the ego. T h i s i n s i g h t that m e l a n c h o l i a offers i n t o the p o w e r o f the trace of a l t e r i t y to p r o d u c e the ego " a l o n g a f i c t i o n a l l i n e , " as L a c a n has p u t i t , i s n o t r e s t r i c t e d t o the trace o f s o m e s p e c i f i c set o f others, that is, t o the c h i l d a n d its m o t h e r o r t o o t h e r d y a d i c p a i r s . I n d e e d , the " o t h e r " m a y b e a n i d e a l , a c o u n t r y , a c o n c e p t o f l i b e r t y , i n w h i c h the loss o f s u c h i d e a l s i s c o m p e n sated b y the i n t e r i o r i z e d i d e a l i t y o f c o n s c i e n c e . A n o t h e r o r a n i d e a l m a y b e " l o s t " b y b e i n g r e n d e r e d u n s p e a k a b l e , that is, lost through p r o h i b i t i o n or foreclosure: unspeakable, impossible t o d e c l a r e , b u t e m e r g i n g i n the i n d i r e c t i o n o f c o m p l a i n t a n d the h e i g h t e n e d j u d g m e n t s o f c o n s c i e n c e . C o n t a i n e d w i t h i n the p s y c h i c t o p o g r a p h y o f a m b i v a l e n c e , the f a d e d s o c i a l text r e q u i r e s a d i f f e r e n t sort o f g e n e a l o g y i n the f o r m a t i o n o f the subject, o n e w h i c h takes i n t o a c c o u n t h o w w h a t r e m a i n s u n s p e a k a b l y absent i n h a b i t s the p s y c h i c v o i c e o f the o n e w h o r e m a i n s . T h e v i o l e n c e o f the loss i s r e d o u b l e d a n d r e f r a c t e d i n a v i o l e n c e o f the p s y c h i c a g e n c y that threatens d e a t h ; the s o c i a l i s " t u r n e d b a c k " i n t o the p s y c h i c , o n l y t o leave its trace i n the v o i c e o f c o n s c i e n c e . C o n s c i e n c e t h u s fails t o i n s t a n t i a t e s o c i a l

r e g u l a t i o n ; rather, i t i s the i n s t r u m e n t o f its d i s s i m u l a t i o n . T o c l a i m life i n s u c h c i r c u m s t a n c e s i s t o contest the r i g h t e o u s p s y che, n o t b y a n act o f w i l l , b u t b y s u b m i s s i o n t o a s o c i a l i t y a n d l i n g u i s t i c life that m a k e s s u c h acts p o s s i b l e , o n e that exceeds the b o u n d s o f the ego a n d its " a u t o n o m y . " T o p e r s i s t i n one's b e i n g m e a n s t o b e g i v e n o v e r f r o m the start t o s o c i a l t e r m s that are n e v e r f u l l y o n e ' s o w n . T h o s e t e r m s i n s t i t u t e a l i n g u i s tic life f o r the " o n e " w h o s p e a k s p r i o r t o a n y act o f agency, a n d t h e y r e m a i n b o t h i r r e d u c i b l e t o the o n e w h o s p e a k s a n d the n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n s o f s u c h s p e e c h . I n t h i s sense, i n t e r p e l l a t i o n w o r k s b y f a i l i n g , that is, i t i n s t i t u t e s its subject a s a n agent p r e c i s e l y to the extent that it fails to d e t e r m i n e s u c h a subject e x h a u s t i v e l y i n t i m e . T h e i n a u g u r a t i v e scene o f i n t e r p e l l a t i o n i s o n e i n w h i c h a c e r t a i n f a i l u r e t o b e c o n s t i t u t e d b e c o m e s the c o n d i t i o n o f p o s s i b i l i t y for c o n s t i t u t i n g oneself. S o c i a l d i s c o u r s e w i e l d s the p o w e r t o f o r m a n d r e g u l a t e a subject t h r o u g h the i m p o s i t i o n o f its o w n t e r m s . T h o s e t e r m s , h o w e v e r , are n o t s i m p l y acc e p t e d o r i n t e r n a l i z e d ; t h e y b e c o m e p s y c h i c o n l y t h r o u g h the m o v e m e n t b y w h i c h t h e y are d i s s i m u l a t e d a n d " t u r n e d . " I n the absence of e x p l i c i t r e g u l a t i o n , the subject e m e r g e s as o n e for w h o m p o w e r h a s b e c o m e v o i c e , a n d v o i c e , the r e g u l a t o r y i n s t r u m e n t o f the p s y c h e . T h e s p e e c h acts o f p o w e r — t h e d e c l a r a t i o n o f g u i l t , the j u d g m e n t o f w o r t h l e s s n e s s , the v e r d i c t s o f reality—are topographically rendered as psychic instruments a n d i n s t i t u t i o n s w i t h i n a p s y c h i c l a n d s c a p e that d e p e n d s o n its m e t a p h o r i c i t y f o r its p l a u s i b i l i t y . R e g u l a t o r y p o w e r b e c o m e s " i n t e r n a l " o n l y t h r o u g h the m e l a n c h o l i c p r o d u c t i o n o f the f i g u r e o f i n t e r n a l space, o n e that f o l l o w s f r o m the w i t h d r a w i n g of resources —a w i t h d r a w a l a n d t u r n i n g of language, a s w e l l . B y w i t h d r a w i n g its o w n p r e s e n c e , p o w e r b e c o m e s a n object l o s t — " a loss o f a m o r e i d e a l k i n d . " E l i g i b l e f o r m e l a n -

198

Psychic Inceptions

c h o l i c i n c o r p o r a t i o n , p o w e r n o l o n g e r acts u n i l a t e r a l l y o n its subject. R a t h e r , the subject i s p r o d u c e d , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , t h r o u g h t h i s w i t h d r a w a l o f p o w e r , its d i s s i m u l a t i o n a n d f a b u l a t i o n o f the p s y c h e as a s p e a k i n g t o p o s . S o c i a l p o w e r v a n i s h e s , b e c o m i n g the object lost, o r s o c i a l p o w e r m a k e s v a n i s h , effecting a m a n d a t o r y set of losses. T h u s , it effects a m e l a n c h o l i a that r e p r o d u c e s p o w e r a s the p s y c h i c v o i c e o f j u d g m e n t a d d r e s s e d t o ( t u r n e d u p o n ) oneself, t h u s m o d e l i n g r e f l e x i v i t y o n s u b j e c t i o n . S o m e p s y c h o a n a l y t i c t h e o r i s t s o f the s o c i a l h a v e a r g u e d that s o c i a l i n t e r p e l l a t i o n a l w a y s p r o d u c e s a p s y c h i c excess i t c a n n o t c o n t r o l . Yet the p r o d u c t i o n of the p s y c h i c as a d i s t i n c t d o m a i n c a n n o t o b l i t e r a t e the s o c i a l o c c a s i o n o f t h i s p r o d u c t i o n . T h e " i n s t i t u t i o n " o f the ego c a n n o t f u l l y o v e r c o m e its s o c i a l r e s i d u e , g i v e n that its " v o i c e " i s f r o m the start b o r r o w e d f r o m e l s e w h e r e , a r e c a s t i n g of a s o c i a l " p l a i n t " as p s y c h i c selfjudgment. T h e p o w e r i m p o s e d u p o n o n e i s the p o w e r that a n i m a t e s one's e m e r g e n c e , a n d t h e r e a p p e a r s t o b e n o e s c a p i n g t h i s a m b i v a l e n c e . I n d e e d , there a p p e a r s t o b e n o " o n e " w i t h o u t a m b i v a l e n c e , w h i c h i s t o say that the f i c t i v e r e d o u b l i n g necess a r y to b e c o m e a self r u l e s o u t the p o s s i b i l i t y of strict i d e n t i t y . F i n a l l y , t h e n , there i s n o a m b i v a l e n c e w i t h o u t loss a s the v e r d i c t of s o c i a l i t y , o n e that leaves the t r a c e of its t u r n at the scene of one's e m e r g e n c e .

Notes

INTRODUCTION
I. H a y d e n White remarks i n Tropics of Discourse (Baltimore: Johns H o p k i n s University Press, 1978) that "the w o r d tropic derives from tropikos, tropos, w h i c h i n classical Greek meant 'turn' and i n Koine 'way' or 'manner.' It comes into modern Indo-European languages by way of tropus, w h i c h i n Classical Latin meant 'metaphor' or 'figure of speech' and in Late L a t i n , especially as applied to music theory, 'mood' or 'measure' " (p. 2). White goes on to associate the notion of trope w i t h style, a term that he understands to distinguish the study of discourse from both the study of fiction and logic. Tropes are "deviations" from customary language, but they also generate figures of speech or thought (a distinction crucial to Quintillian's account as well). In this sense, a trope can produce a connection between terms that is not considered either customary or logical. For our purposes, this means that a trope operates in a way that is not restricted to accepted versions of reality. At the same time, a trope cannot operate, that is, generate new meanings or connections, if its departure from custom and logic is not recognized as such a departure. In this sense, a trope presupposes an accepted version of reality for its operation.

For Nietzsche, however, the recirculation and sedimentation of tropes is the condition of possibility for the customary use of language. Indeed, he argues that tropes are the stuff out of w h i c h literal and conceptual language emerges. O n l y through a k i n d of forgetfulness of the tropological status of language does something like customary language take hold. Customary language is the sedimentation

202

Notes to Pages 7-14

Notes

to

Pages

16-28

203

or "deadening" effect of tropes. This suggestion is made clear, both argumentatively and rhetorically, in his essay " O n Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense," in Friedrich Nietzsche, On Rhetoric and Language, ed. Sander G i l m a n et al. (New York: O x f o r d University Press, 1989). " T u r n " was an English term for "trope" in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, used in referring to several syntactical figures of speech. Richard L a n h a m writes that a trope is a specific k i n d of figure, one w h i c h changes the meaning of a w o r d (A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms, Berkeley: University of California Press,

in its persistence and instability" (p. 9). This statement was not meant to suggest that power acts without the subject. On the contrary, for power to act, there must be a subject, but that necessity does not make the subject into the origin of power.
6. Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: et of The punir: Sexuality, Birth of de 1: the la An Prison prison Intro-

(New York: (Paris:
duction, la

Pantheon,

Gallimard,
1: Volonté 2

1977), 1975); The
savoir The

Surveiller History

Naissance Volume

trans. Robert H u r l e y (New York: Vintage, 1978), Histoire de
de of

1991). Some ar-

sexualité

(Paris:
of

Gallimard,
Sexuality (New

1978);
York:

The

Use

of

gue for retaining the term "figure" for terms that change the meaning of more than one w o r d . Quintillian objects to this distinction, insisting that this change of meaning happens in ways that are not reducible to single or plural words, and then defines a trope as a change of meaning, whereas "figure" is used for a change in form (i.e., the form of a pattern of speech or even a genre of writing). That this turn is considered generative or productive seems especially relevant to our consideration of the production or generation of the subject. Not only is generation what a trope does, but the explanation of generation seems to require the use of tropes, an operation of language that both reflects and enacts the generativity it seeks to explain, irreducibly mimetic and performative. 2. My discussion of "attachment" is indebted to W e n d y Brown's essay " W o u n d e d Attachments," in her States of Injury: Freedom and
Power in Late Modernity (Princeton:

Pleasure:

Volume L'usage des

History

Pantheon,

1985),

plaisirs, Selected

(Paris: G a l l i m a r d ,
Interviews and Other

1984); "Two Lectures,"
Writings, 19J2-J7, ed.

Power/Knowledge:

C o l i n G o r d o n (New York: Pantheon, 1980), pp. 78-108. 7. Lacan refers to the subject as excrescence. 8. Nietzsche develops the notion of the sign-chain (Zeichenkette) in On the Genealogy of Morals, trans. Walter K a u f m a n n (New York: R a n d o m House, 1967), pp. 77-78; Zur Généalogie der Moral, i n Nietzsche,
Samtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Einzelbànden, ed. Giorgio

C o l l i and M a z z i n o Montinari, vol. 5 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1988), pp. 314-15. H e remarks that the origin of a w o r d or an instrument may come to assume purposes and produce effects for w h i c h it was never originally intended or fashioned. 9. I distinguish between internal and interior, according to conventions within phenomenology: "internal" designates a contingent relation; "interior," a constitutive relation. This terminology also underscores the phenomenological register of the latter. 10. Both authors use the w o r d Trieb for drive. In addition, both figure this drive as what can and does turn back u p o n itself. 11. See Chapter 5 for a more detailed examination of this notion. 12. For a discussion of the lack of originary violence in F o u cauldian notions of discursive productivity, see Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's provocative essay " M o r e on Power/Knowledge," in her Outside in the Teaching Machine (New York:

Princeton University Press, 1995).

3. In " O n Narcissism," F r e u d distinguishes between narcissistic and anaclitic forms of love, arguing that the former enhance or i n flate the ego, and the latter lead to its diminution or impoverishment. 4. On the notion that repetition, signifying the death drive, marks the limit of the ego's mastery, see Jacques Lacan, Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, ed. J.-A. Miller, trans. A l a n Sheridan (New York: Norton, 1978), pp. 40-49. F r e u d makes the argument i n Beyond
the Pleasure Principle (The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological

Works of Sigmund Freud, ed. and trans. James Strachey, 24 vols. [London: H o g a r t h , 1953-74], Ï8: 20-23). 5. This discussion continues arguments that I made in Bodies That
Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" ( N e w York:

Routledge, 1993), p. 33.

13. Freud's reflections on " M o u r n i n g and Melancholia" in The Ego and the Id become important for Melanie Klein's observations on i n corporation. 14. Spinoza argues that "everything insofar as it is in itself, enRoutledge,

1993):

"There is no power that acts, but only a reiterated acting that is power

204

Notes

to

Pages

31-54

Notes to Pages 55-81

205

deavors to persist in its o w n being" (p. 135), even as he insists that "a thing, w h i c h is conditioned to act in a particular manner, has necessarily been conditioned by G o d " (p. 61). A u t o n o m y is thus always conditioned and, to that extent, subverted by the conditions of its o w n possibility. ("The Ethics," Philosophy of Spinoza, trans. R. H. M. Elwes [New York: Tudor Publishing House], 1934.)

ed. a n d trans. James Strachey, 24 vols. (London: Hogarth, 1953-74), 14: 73-104, for a discussion of the origins of conscience in the repression of homosexuality. 7. H e r e one can see that Foucault's critique of F r e u d in The History of Sexuality, Volume 1 is partially wrong. Foucault's view that psychoanalysis fails to understand how law produces desire is itself a failure to understand the way in w h i c h prohibition is productive. Foucault reserves the term "power" for a productive operation that is understood not to apply to "law." Yet we see that an insurmountable equivocation between the two terms is p r o d u c e d once law is understood as productive. 8. S i g m u n d 9. Nietzsche, Freud, Zur Civilization der and Its Discontents, 411-12; my trans. James Strachey (New York: N o r t o n , 1977), p. 84. Généalogie Moral, translation. Kaufman's equivalent is on pp. 162-63.

CHAPTER 1 N O T E : This chapter originally appeared in D a v i d C l a r k e and Tilottama Rajan, eds., Intersections: Nineteenth-Century Philosophy and Contemporary Theory (Buffalo: S U N Y Press,

1995). I w o u l d like to thank

W i l l i a m C o n n o l l y a n d Peter Fenves for comments on earlier versions of this essay. 1. In the following text I refer to this chapter in abbreviated form as "The U n h a p p y Consciousness." English citations are from The Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A. V. M i l l e r (Oxford: O x f o r d University Press, 1977); G e r m a n citations are from G . W. F Hegel, Werke in zwanzig Bdnden, vol.

CHAPTER 2 1. F r i e d r i c h Nietzsche,
der Moral, in Nietzsche,

3 (Frankfurt a m M a i n : Suhrkamp, 1980). Page n u m Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison

On

the Genealogy of Morals,
Werke: Kritische

trans. Walter
in 15

bers for later citations w i l l appear in the text.
2. M i c h e l Foucault,

K a u f m a n n (New York: R a n d o m House, 1967), p. 58; Zur Généalogie
Sdmtliche Studienausgabe

(New York: Pantheon, 1977), p. 30; Surveiller et punir: Naissance de la
prison (Paris: G a l l i m a r d ,

Einzelbànden, ed. G i o r g i o C o l l i and M a z z i n o M o n t i n a r i , vol. 5 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1988), p. 292. 2. F r i e d r i c h Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, trans. Walter Kaufm a n n ( N e w York: R a n d o m House, 1966), p. 25; fenseits von Gut und
Base, in Nietzsche, Sdmtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Einzel-

1975), p. 30.
On the Genealogy of Morals,
Werke: Kritische

3. Friedrich Nietzsche,
der Moral, in Nietzsche,

trans. Walter
in 15

K a u f m a n n (New York: R a n d o m House, 1967), p. 87; Zur Généalogie
Sdmtliche Studienausgabe

Einzelbànden, ed. G i o r g i o C o l l i and M a z z i n o M o n t i n a r i , vol. 5 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1988), p. 325.

bànden, ed. G i o r g i o C o l l i a n d M a z z i n o M o n t i n a r i , 5: 32. 3. Ibid., p. 29/36. 4. S i g m u n d F r e u d , " O n the M e c h a n i s m of Paranoia," third section of "Psycho-Analytic Notes on an Autobiographical A c c o u n t of a Case of Paranoia (Dementia Paranoides)," The Standard Edition of the
Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, ed. and trans. James

4. Foucault,

Discipline and Punish, p.

30/34.

5. T h e relevance of the psychoanalytic understanding of the "phantasmatic" and, in particular, the view of Laplanche a n d Pontalis that the subject is dissimulated in the scene of phantasy. We might consider the various stages of progress in the Phenomenology as successive forms of the phantasmatic, that is, successive ways in w h i c h the subject becomes dissimulated in and as the scene of its action. 6. See S i g m u n d F r e u d , " O n Narcissism: An Introduction," The
Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud,

Strachey, 24 vols. (London: Hogarth, 1953-74) 12: 31. 5. S i g m u n d F r e u d , " O n Narcissism: An Introduction," Standard Edition, 14: 73-104. Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, trans. James 6. S i g m u n d

Strachey (New York: N o r t o n , 1977), p. 84.

2o6

Notes to Pages 84-89

Notes

to

Pages

90-101

207

CHAPTER 3 N O T E : T h i s essay was previously published in John Rajchman, ed.,
The Question of Identity

It is also taken up in an interesting way by W i l l i a m C o n n o l l y in his
The Augustinian Imperative

( N e w b u r y Park, Calif.:

Sage Press,

1993).

9. See my "Foucault and the Paradox of Bodily Inscriptions," Journal of Philosophy 86, no. 11 (November 1989): 257-79. 10. See discussions of the b o d i l y ego in F r e u d , "The Ego a n d the
Id," The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund

(New York: Routledge, 1995). discussion borrows from a n d
the Discursive

1. T h e following
Chapter 1 of my

expands u p o n
Limits of "Sex"

Bodies

That

Matter:

On

( N e w York: Routledge, 1993), pp. 33-36. 2. See Sandra Bartky, Femininity and Domination (New York: Routledge, 1990).
3. M i c h e l Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison,

Freud, ed. a n d trans. James Strachey, 24 vols. (London: H o g a r t h , 195374), 19: 26, and in Margaret Whitford, Luce Irigaray: Philosophy in the Feminine (London: Routledge,

1991), pp. 53~74-

11. 12.

F o r a fuller explanation of Foucault's reworking of Aristotle, "What was at issue was not whether the prison environment

trans. A l a n Sheridan (New York: R a n d o m House, 1979), p. 203; Surveiller et punir: Naissance de la prison (Paris: G a l l i m a r d ,

see "Bodies that Matter" i n m y Bodies that Matter, pp. 32-36. was too harsh or too aseptic, too primitive or too efficient, but its very materiality as an instrument and vector of power," Discipline and
Punish, p. 30; Surveiller et punir, p. 35.

1975), p. 202.

4. It is important to distinguish between the notion of the psyche, w h i c h includes the notion of the unconscious, and that of the subject, whose formation is conditioned by the exclusion of the unconscious. 5. For an extended and rich discussion of how norms work to subjectivate and, in particular, how norms are to be understood as transitive actions, see Pierre Macherey, "Towards a Natural H i s tory of N o r m s " in T i m o t h y J. A r m s t r o n g , trans, and ed., Michel Foucault/Philosopher (Routledge: N e w York, 1992), p p . 176-91. In the same volume, for a discussion of Foucault as writing indirectly about Lacan, see Jacques-Alain Miller, " M i c h e l Foucault a n d Psychoanalysis," pp. 58-63. On the p r o b l e m of the dynamic relation between ethical demands a n d the subjectivity to w h i c h they are addressed, see the very useful comparative discussion of Foucault and Lacan
in John Rajchman, Truth and Eros: Foucault, Lacan, and the Question of Ethics (New York: Routledge,

13. See Foucault, "Nietzsche, Genealogy, History," in The Foucault
Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon,

1984).

14.

See Z a k i a Pathak a n d Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, "Shahbano," in

Judith Butler and Joan Scott, eds., Feminists Theorize the Political ( N e w York: Routledge, 1992), pp. 257-79. 15. Louis Althusser, "Ideology a n d Ideological State Apparatuses Towards an Investigation)," Lenin and Philosophy and Other (Notes

Essays, trans. Ben Brewster ( N e w York: M o n t h l y Review Press,

1971),

pp. 170-77.
16.
and

For an excellent book that appropriates this Althusserian p r o b the Category of 'Women in History (Minneapolis: University of

lematic for feminism, see Denise Riley, "Am I That Name? ": Feminism M i n n e s o t a Press, 1988). 17. See Slavoj Z i z e k on the social interpellation of the proper name in The Sublime Object of Ideology (London: Verso, 1989), pp. 87-102. 18. Jacqueline Rose, Sexuality in the Field of Vision (London: Verso,

1991).

6. This is not to suggest that psychoanalysis is only to be represented by these two figures, although in this analysis it w i l l be.
7. M i c h e l Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduc-

tion, tr. Robert H u r l e y (New York: R a n d o m House, 1978), p. 152; F o u cault, La volonté de savoir (Paris: G a l l i m a r d , 1978), p. 200. 8. T h i s question is raised in a different way by Charles Taylor w h e n he asks whether there is a place for Augustinian "inwardness" in F o u cault; see his "Foucault on F r e e d o m and Truth," in D a v i d C o u z e n s H o y , éd., Foucault: A Critical Reader (New York: Blackwell, 1986), p. 99.

1987), pp. 90-91. 19. Foucault, The
20. Foucault,

History of Sexuality, Volume 1, pp.

95-96.
Foucault: Beyond

"The

Subject

and

Power,"

Michel

Structuralism and Hermeneutics, ed. Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), p. 212.

208

Notes

to

Pages

102-9

Notes

to

Pages

109-12

209

21. See the preface to Victor Burgin, James D o n a l d , and C o r a Kaplan, eds., Formations of Fantasy (London: social. 22. In the above, the terms "attachment" and "investment" might be understood as intentional in the phenomenological sense, that is, as libidinal movements or trajectories w h i c h always take an object. There is no free-floating attachment w h i c h subsequently takes an object; rather, an attachment is always an attachment to an object, where that to w h i c h it is attached alters the attachment itself. T h e transferability of attachment presupposes that the object to w h i c h an attachment is made may change, but that the attachment w i l l persist and w i l l always take some object, and that this action of binding to (tied always to a certain warding off) is the constitutive action of attachment. This notion of attachment seems close to certain efforts to account for drives in non-biologistic terms (to be distinguished from efforts that take the biological seriously). Here one might seek recourse to Gilles Deleuze's reading of drives in Masochism: An Interpretation of Coldness and Cruelty (New York: Braziller, 1971; Presen-

in On

the Genealogy of Morals, linking the first with the capacity to

Methuen,

1986), for a

promise and the second to the problem of internalization and of debt. The distinction appears not to be sustained, as it becomes apparent that the being who promises can only stand for his/her future by first becoming regular, that is, by internalizing the law or, to be precise, "burning it into the will." Internalization, introduced in the second essay, section 16, involves the turning of the w i l l (or instincts) against itself. In section fifteen, Nietzsche introduces freedom as that w h i c h turns against itself in the making of bad conscience: "This instinct for freedom forcibly made l a t e n t . . . this instinct for freedom pushed back and repressed, incarcerated within and finally able to discharge and vent itself only on itself: that, and that alone, is what the bad conscience is in its beginnings" (Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, trans. Walter K a u f m a n n and R. J. Hollingdale [New York: R a n d o m House, 1967], p. 87). 4. Louis Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes pp. Towards an Investigation)," et appareils Lenin and Philosophy and Other
Essays, trans. Ben Brewster (New York: M o n t h l y Review Press,

psychoanalytic warning against "collapsing" the psychic and the

1971),
Positions

127-88;

"Idéologie

idéologiques

d'etat,"

tation de Sacher-Masoch [Paris: Minuit,

1967]), in w h i c h he suggests

(Paris: Editions Sociales, 1976), pp. 67-126. 5. Althusser implicates his o w n writing in the version of ideological interpellation that he explains: "it is essential to realize that both he who is writing these lines and the reader who reads them are themselves subjects, and therefore ideological subjects (a tautological proposition, i.e. that the author and the reader of these lines both live 'spontaneously' or 'naturally' in ideology" (ibid., p. 171; p. 110). In this remark, Althusser presumes the authoritative capacities of the voice and insists that his writing, to the extent that it is ideological, addresses its reader as w o u l d a voice. 6. Ibid., p. 177.
7. See Kaja Silverman, The Acoustic Mirror: The Female Voice in

that drives may be understood as the pulsionality of positing or valuation. See also Jean Laplanche's recent discussions in w h i c h "the drive" becomes indissociable from its cultural articulation: "we think it necessary to conceive of a dual expository stage: on the one hand, the preliminary stage of an organism that is b o u n d to homeostasis and self-preservation, and, on the other hand, the stage of the adult cultural w o r l d in w h i c h the infant is immediately and completely i m mersed," }ean Laplanche: Seduction, Translation, Drives, ed. John Fletcher

and M a r t i n Stanton (London: Institute of Contemporary Arts, 1992), p. 187.

CHAPTER 4
1. See Walter Benjamin, On the Origins of German Tragic Drama,

Psychoanalysis

and

Cinema

(Bloomington:

Indiana

University

Press,

1988). Silverman notes the "theological" dimension of the "voiceover" in film, w h i c h always escapes the viewer's gaze (p. 49). Silverm a n also makes clear that the voice recognized in the cinematic presentation of voice is not only the maternal voice, but a repudiated dimension of the masculine subject's o w n voice (pp. 80-81). Silver-

trans. Peter Osborne (Cambridge: M I T Press, 1987). 2. I thank H a y d e n White for this suggestion. 3. Nietzsche distinguishes between conscience and bad conscience

210

Notes

to Pages

113-19

Notes

to

Pages

120-39

211

man's analysis sheds light on the "voice" of ideology insofar as the subject w h o turns around already knows the voice to w h i c h he responds, suggesting an irreducible ambiguity between the "voice" of conscience a n d the "voice" of the law.
8. See section I in Louis Althusser, L'avenir dure longtemps, suivi les

tence) from the ideas of the i n d i v i d u a l concerned, i.e. from h i m as a subject with a consciousness w h i c h contains the ideas of his belief. In this way, i.e. by means of the absolutely ideological 'conceptual' device (dispositif) thus set up (a subject endowed with a consciousness in w h i c h he freely forms or freely recognizes ideas in w h i c h he believes), the (material) attitude of the subject concerned naturally follows" (p. 167). 14. 15. See Slavoj Zizek, The Sublime Object of Ideology (London: Verso, M l a d e n Dolar, " B e y o n d Interpellation," Qui Parle 6, no. 2

faits (Paris: Éditions S T O C K / I M E C , 1992). 9. Louis Althusser and Etienne Balibar, Reading Capital, trans. Ben Brewster (London: Verso, 1970), p. 26; Lire le Capital (Paris: François M a s p e r o , 1968). 10. Jean-Marie Vincent, " L a lecture symptomale chez Althusser," in Futur Antérieur, éd., Sur Althusser: Passages (Paris: Éditions L ' H a r mattan, 1993), p. 97 (my translation). 11. 12. Althusser, "Ideology a n d Ideological State Apparatuses," p. 132; O n e might usefully compare M a x Weber's The Protestant Ethic "Idéologie," p. 72. w it h Althusser on this point. In both, labor is effectively guaranteed through a C h r i s t i a n ethic, although in Althusser the religious inflection appears to be more Catholic than Protestant. 13. Pierre B o u r d i e u elaborates the concept of the habitus in The
Logic of Practice (Stanford: Stanford University Press,

1989), pp. 1-2.
(Spring-Summer 1993): 73-96. T h e English version is a revision of the original, "Jenseits der A n r u f u n g , " in Slavoj Zizek, ed., Gestalten der
Autoritt (Vienna: H o r a Verlag,

1991).

16. 17.

Althusser, "Ideology a n d Ideological State Apparatuses," p. 166. Dolar, "Beyond Interpellation," p. 76.

18. Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses," pp. 169-70; "Idéologie," p. 109. 19. Dolar, "Beyond Interpellation," p. 78. Agamben, The Coming Community, trans. Michael 20. G i o r g i o

1990), pp. 66-79,

H a r d t (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), p. 43.

where he analyzes the embodied rituals of everydayness by w h i c h a given culture produces and sustains belief in its o w n "obviousness." B o u r d i e u underscores the place of the body, its gestures, its stylistics, its unconscious "knowingness" as the site for the reconstitution of a practical sense without w h i c h social reality c o u l d not be constituted. Bourdieu's notion of the habitus might well be read as a reformulation of Althusser's notion of ideology. Whereas Althusser writes that ideology constitutes the "obviousness" of the subject, but that this obviousness is the effect of a dispositif, the same term reemerges in Bourdieu to describe the way in w h i c h a habitus generates certain beliefs. F o r B o u r d i e u , dispositions are generative and transposable. Note in Althusser's "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" the inception of this latter reappropriation: " A n i n d i v i d u a l believes in G o d , or Duty, or Justice, etc. This belief derives (for everyone, i.e. for all those w h o live in an ideological representation of ideology, w h i c h reduces ideology to ideas endowed by definition with a spiritual exisN O T E : T h i s paper was first presented at the D i v i s i o n 39 Meetings of the A m e r i c a n Psychological Association i n N e w York C i t y i n A p r i l 1993. It was subsequently published with the replies from a n d to
Adam Phillips in Psychoanalytic Dialogues: A journal of Relational Per-

CHAPTER 5

spectives 5 no. 2 (1995): 165-94. 1. Sigmund Freud,
Complete Psychological

The Ego and the Id, in The Standard Edition of the
of Sigmund Freud, ed.
x :

Works

and

trans.

James

Strachey, 24 vols. (London: H o g a r t h , 1953-74), 9

2. Presumably, sexuality must be trained away from things, animals, parts of all of the above, a n d narcissistic attachments of various kinds. 3. The notion of foreclosure has become Lacanian terminology for Freud's notion of Verwerfung. Distinguished from repression under-

212

Notes

to

Pages

140-53

Notes

to

Pages

156-74.

213 1993).

stood as an action by an already-formed subject, foreclosure is an act of negation that founds and forms the subject. See the entry " F o r c l u sion" in J. Laplanche and J.-B. Pontalis, Vocabulaire de la psychanalyse (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1967), pp. 163-67. 4. Sigmund F r e u d , " M o u r n i n g and Melancholia," Standard Edition,

5. Q u o t e d i n S. D u n n , 6. M a r y Douglas, Purity
CHAPTER 6
1. See Eric Santner,

Walking Light (New York: N o r t o n , and Danger

(London, Routledge, 1966).

14: 169.
5. S i g m u n d F r e u d , " O n Narcissism: An Introduction," Standard
Edition,

Stranded

Objects:

Mourning,

Memory,

and

Film

in

Postwar Germany

(Ithaca:

C o r n e l l University Press, Mitscherlich, The Inability

1990), and Alexto Mourn: Principles

14:

81-82.

ander

and

Margarate

6. See F r e u d , Civilization and Its Discontents, trans. James Strachey, (New York: Norton, 1977), pp. 81-92. 7. See "Contagious W o r d : 'Homosexuality' and the Military," in m y Excitable Speech (New York: Routledge, 1996).

of Collective Behavior, trans. Beverley R. Placzek ( N e w York: G r o v e Press, 1975). See also, for a feminist account that situates melancholia within the production of sexual difference, Juliana Schiesari, The
Gendering of Melancholia: Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and the Symbolics of Loss in Renaissance Literature

8. See m y 77-

Bodies That Matter (New York: Routledge,

1993), pp. 169-

(Ithaca: C o r n e l l University Press, 1992).
Works of Sigmund Freud, ed. and trans.

2. S i g m u n d F r e u d , " M o u r n i n g and Melancholia," The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological

9. T h e following argument is taken from my Bodies That Matter, pp.

233-36.
10. See " F r e u d and the Melancholia of G e n d e r " in my Gender
Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge,

James Strachey, 24 vols. (London: Hogarth, 1953-74), 14: 256. 3. H e r e Melanie Klein's trenchant intervention on the relation of melancholia to paranoia and manic-depressive states does not carry the analysis far enough. H e r theory tends to rely on tropes of internality without asking whether such tropes are the effects of a melancholia that they seek to explain. See "A Contribution to the Psychogenesis of Manic-Depressive States" (1935) and " M o u r n i n g and Its Relation to Manic-Depressive States" (1935) i n The Selected Melanie
Klein, ed. Juliet Mitchell (London: Penguin,

1990).
11. This is not to suggest that an exclusionary matrix rigorously distinguishes between how one identifies and how one desires; it is quite possible to have overlapping identification and desire in heterosexual or homosexual exchange, or in a bisexual history of sexual practice. Furthermore, "masculinity" and "femininity" do not exhaust the terms for either eroticized identification or desire. 12. See Douglas C r i m p , " M o u r n i n g and Militancy," October 51 (Winter 1989): 97-107.
13. Leo Bersani, The Freudian Body: Psychoanalysis and Art (New

1986). F o r an excellent

essay on K l e i n and the p r i m a r y status of aggression, see Jacqueline Rose's "Negativity in the W o r k of Melanie Klein," in Why War? —
Psychoanalysis, Politics, and the Return to Melanie Klein (Oxford: Basil

Blackwell, 1993), pp. 137-90. 4. H e r e F r e u d replaces the term Sachvorstellung, used in his essay
"The Unconscious" (Standard Edition, 14: 201), by Dingvorstellung.

York: C o l u m b i a University Press, 1986), pp. 64-66,112-13.
Notes to Phillips Reply

In

the

Standard

Edition,

James

Strachey

notes

that

Dingvorstellung

1. F r e u d , The Ego and the Id, 19: 12-59. 2. M i k k e l Borch-Jacobsen, The Emotional Tie (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993); Leo Bersani, The Freudian Body.
3. Freud, Three Essays on the History of Sexuality, Standard Edition, 7:

appears in The Interpretation of Dreams in the discussion of jokes. The distinction is that between a word-presentation and a thingpresentation. Strachey explains that the latter consists in "the cathexis, if not of the direct memory-images of the thing, at least of remoter memory-traces derived from these" (ibid.). 5. F r e u d concedes as m u c h earlier in the essay w h e n he remarks

125-243.
4. F r e u d , " M o u r n i n g and Melancholia."

214

Notes

to

Pages

174-95

Notes

to Page

195

215
of the Visible World

that "the loss of a love object is an excellent opportunity for the a m bivalence in love-relationships to make itself effective and come into the open" (250-51). Toward the end of the essay, F r e u d remarks u p o n "an essential analogy between m o u r n i n g and melancholia": m o u r n ing impels the ego to detach from its lost object in order to continue to live, and melancholia, through "the struggle of ambivalence loosen(s) the fixation of the libido to the object by disparaging it" (257).
6. Walter Benjamin, The Origin of the German Tragic Drama, trans.

for

"heteropathic

identification"

in

The

Threshold

(New York: Routledge, 1996). Based in quite different psychoanalytic views, each has contested the centrality of incorporation and superegoic functions in the account of internalization. 17. Jacques Derrida, remarks, Humanities Research Institute, U n i versity of California, Irvine, A p r i l 5,1995.

John Osborne (London: N L B , 1977), pp. 92-97. 7. S i g m u n d F r e u d , "Trauer u n d Melancholie," Psychologie des Unbewussten, 8. See Studienausgabe Roy

(Frankfurt a. M . : S. Fischer,
A New Language for

1982), 193-212.
(New

Schaefer,

Psychoanalysis

H a v e n : Yale University Press, 1976), p. 177. For a view of fantasy that operates within melancholia, see chapter one of Nicolas A b r a ham and Maria Torok, The Shell and the Kernel: Renewals of Psycho-

analysis, tr. and ed. Nicholas T. Rand (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994). 9. "The image of man's body is the principle of every unity he perceives in objects . . . all the objects of his w o r l d are always structured a r o u n d the wandering shadow of his o w n ego [l'ombre errante de
son propre moi]" (Jacques Lacan, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book II,

trans. Sylvana Tomaselli [ N e w York: W. W. N o r t o n , 1991], p. 166; Le Séminaire, livre II [Paris: Seuil, 1978], p. 198). 10. Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id, The Standard Edition, 19: 54. ("Wie kommt es nun, dass bei der Melancholie das der Ich zu einer A r t Sammelstàtte der Todestriebe werden kann?") 11. On p r i m a r y mimesis, see M i k k e l Borch-Jacobsen, The Emotional Tie: Psychoanalysis, Mimesis, and Affect Press, 1993). 12. H o m i K. Bhabha, "Postcolonial Authority and Postmodern Guilt," in Lawrence Grossberg et al., eds., Cultural Studies: A Reader ( N e w York: Routledge, 1992), pp. 65-66. 13. 14. 15. Ibid., p. 66. F r e u d , The Ego and the Id, p. 253. F r e u d , " M o u r n i n g and Melancholia," p. 254. (Stanford: Stanford University

16. Jessica Benjamin has argued something similar in Bonds of Love (New York: Pantheon, 1988), and Kaja Silverman has made the case

Index

Abraham, Nicolas, 214118

death, 27, 41-43,142
Deleuze, Gilles, 2o8n22 Derrida, Jacques, 195, 215017

Agamben, Giorgio, 130-31, 2111120 agency, 10,13-16 AIDS, 27, 138,148, 154
Althusser, Louis, 2, 5-6, 30, 95-

desire, 22-23, 39~4°< 61-62,103,

108, 193-94
Dolar, Mladen, 120-26, 2 i m i 5
Douglas, Mary, 159 foreclosure, 8-9, 23 Foucault, Michel, 2-3, 5-7, 16, 18,

96, 106-31, 207ni5, 20904-6, 21008-9, 2 i o n n
Aristotle, 90-91, 207ml
Bartky, Sandra, 2o6n2 Bhabha, Homi, 190, 214012 Benjamin, Jessica, 2i4ni6 Benjamin, Walter, 174, 208m,

25» 31-33* 53/ 58-60, 83-105, 203n6, 204n2, 20404, 20507, 20603, 20607, 207019-20
Freud, Sigmuod, 22, 34, 53, 55-

21406
Bersani, Leo, 2i2n3 body, 35-36, 42-43, 47-48, 51,

58, 60-61, 63, 69, 78-82,132-52, 167-95, 20406, 20504-8
grief, 24, 138-40, 145-47 guilt, 25, 73-74,107-9, 118-19,141 Hegel, G. W. F., 3, 23, 24, 31-61,

54-55- 57, 59- 68, 83-87, 89-91
Borch-Jacobsen, Mikkel, 152, 189,

212n2
Bourdieu, Pierre, 2ion3 Brown, Wendy, 202n2 Connolly, William, 20708

176,193
homosexuality, 23, 80, 82, 93-94, conscience, 18, 22-24, 63-64, 67-

133-50, 163-66
ioterpellatioo, 106-11,128-29, 1-97
Jones, Eroest, 156

69, 71, 107, 109, 114, 115, 118, 129, 132-33, 172, 181, 183, 185, 188,191-97
Crimp, Douglas, 212012

218 Kierkegaard, Soren, 48 Klein, Melanie, 25, 153, 170, 203ni3, 21303

Index

Rose, Jacqueline, 97, 207ni8 sadism, 46 Santner, Eric, 213m Schaefer, Roy, 2i4n8 Silverman, Kaja, 20907, 2i4ni6 sociality, 21, 29, 165, 178-79, 181-82, 185, 196, 198 soul, 76, 85-86, 89-91 Spinoza, Benedict de, 27, 62, 203~4ni4 Spivak, Gayatry Chakravorty, 203ni2 sublimation, 92 survival, 7, 28, 193,195-96 Taylor, Charles, 2o6n8 Torok, Maria, 2i4n8 turn, trope of the, 3-4, 68, 76, 81,106-7, H4 5> !30/140-42, 168-69, 189, 193,197-98
_1

Lacan, Jacques, 87, 94-98, 115, 122, 124,127, 152, 187, 202n2, 203n7, 2 i i n 3 , 21409 Laplanche, Jean, 2 0 4 ^ , 2o8n22 love, 7-8, 25-27, 127-28,168, 171 Macherey, Pierre, 2o6n5 Marcuse, Herbert, 58 masochism, 102 melancholia, 19, 23,133-97 Miller, Jacques-Alain, 2o6n5 Mitscherlich, Alexander and Margarete, 213m norms, 19, 21, 25, 28, 32, 99 paranoia, 27, 80 Pathak, Zakia, 207ni4 performatives, 110,114 Phillips, Adam, 151-65 Pontalis, J.-B., 2 0 4 ^ psychoanalysis, 6-7, 11, 25, 55, 86-87, !38/144-46,156-65,198 Quintillian, Marcus, 201m rage, 180-81,183,190,193,195 Rajan, Rajeswari Sunder, 207ni4 Rajchman, John, 2o6n5 Riley, Denise, 207ni6

Valéry, Paul, 156 Vincent, Jean-Marie, 113-14, 2ionio Weber, Max, 2ioni2 White, Hayden, 201m, 2o8n2 Whitford, Margaret, 207nio will, 63-66, 69-70, 72-73, 76-77 Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 124 Zizek, Slavoj, 207ni7, 2 i m i 4

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Butler, Judith P. T h e psychic life of power : theories in subjection / Judith Butler. p. cm. : ISBN 0-8047-2812-7 (pbk.) 3. Self—Social I. Title. Includes bibliographical references a n d index. ISBN 0-8047-2811-9 (cl.) 1. Self (Philosophy) aspects. BD438.5.B88 1997 2. Power (Philosophy)

4. Power (Social sciences)

126—dc21

96-40851
CIP

® T h i s book is printed on acid-free, recycled paper. O r i g i n a l printing 1997 Last figure below indicates year of this printing:

07 06 05 04 03 02 01

CRITICAL THEORY; PHILOSOPHY

T H E PSYCHIC LIFE OF P O W E R
Theories in Subjection
JUDITH BUTLER As a form of power, subjection is paradoxical. To be dominated by a power external to oneself is a familiar a n d agonizing form power takes. To find, h o w ever, that what "one" is, one's very formation as a subject, is dependent u p o n that very power is quite another. If, following Foucault, we understand power as forming the subject as well, it provides the very condition of its existence and the trajectory of its desire. Power is not s i m p l y what we d e p e n d on for our existence but that w h i c h forms reflexivity as well. D r a w i n g u p o n Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Foucault, and Althusser, this challenging and lucid work offers a theory of subject formation that illuminates as ambivalent the psychic effects of social power. If we take Hegel a n d Nietzsche seriously, then the "inner life" of consciousness a n d , indeed, of conscience, not only is fabricated by power, but becomes one of the ways in w h i c h power is anchored in subjectivity. The author considers the way in w h i c h psychic life is generated by the social operation of power, a n d how that social operation of power is concealed a n d fortified by the psyche that it produces. Power is no longer understood to be "internali z e d " by an existing subject, but the subject is spawned as an ambivalent effect of power, one that is staged through the operation of conscience. To claim that power fabricates the psyche is also to claim that there is a fictional and fabricated quality to the psyche. The figure of a psyche that "turns against itself" is crucial to this study, and offers an alternative to describing power as "internalized." A l t h o u g h most readers of Foucault eschew psychoanalytic theory, and most thinkers of the psyche eschew Foucault, the author seeks to theorize this ambivalent relation between the social a n d the psychic as one of the most d y n a m i c a n d difficult effects of power. This w o r k combines social theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis in novel ways, offering a more sustained analysis of the theory of subject formation implicit in such other works of the author as Bodies That Matter: On the
Discursive Identity. Judith University Butler of is Chancellor's Professor of Rheti Limits of "Sex" and Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of

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