Öznenin Trajedisi: Aynanın Ötesine Geçmek (The Tragedy of Subject: Through the Mirror)

Dört Öge 2 (15):75-84 (2019)
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This paper explores a new and post-structuralist discourse on the relationship between Lacan’s theory of mirror stage and the story of Narcissus as a mythological narrative. According to this discourse, subject is a construction posterior to the ‘I’. Lacan suggests that in the mirror stage 6-18 months old infants discern the I as something distinct from and outside of themselves for the first time through a reflective surface. An infant comprehends the image they see in this reflective surface as a being independent of their mother and an object belonging to themselves, and they greatly admire this independent object as an ideal-I. That is, by discerning their own being through an image, the infant achieves a feeling of unity via this image and perceives their own being as an admirable unity. This feeling of I and unity, however, is doomed to decay as to become subject by means of the elements of Lacanian reality, namely language and the laws of society. Within the reality, Narcissus – exactly like in the Lacan’s theory of mirror – lost the confrontation of perceiving the image he admired in his reflection. The I of Narcissus, which he has been holding on as an image in this world, is drawn and demised whilst going beyond the water mirror so as to become a subject. In other words, the I that Narcissus admired in the reflection of the water underwent an unsurmountable deformation and he paid the price with his life. In this study, from the perspective of the Lacanian theory of subject it will be argued that the tragic split between imaginary and symbolic order represented by the death of Narcissus is not only a psychopathologic fact, but it is also a fundamental narrative about the construction of subject in the history of philosophy.
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Archival date: 2019-09-11
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