"We have learnt to see Joyce as Lacan's own symptom," writes Jean-Michel Rabate, "and as the sinthome par excellence" (2006, 26). This duality of Joyce as an unreadable text permeated with enjoyment and at the same time as an enigma that Lacan wants to decipher supplies the key to an understanding of Seminar XXIII. Lacan's addition to the triad of the Real, the Symbolic and the Imaginary of a fourth term, the Sigma (or sinthome) firms up his late shift from the speakingbeing (parletre, the Lacanian neologism that indicates the insertion of the human being into the signifying chain) to MAN (LOM, a Lacanian play on l'homme). Instead of the human being as inserted into the Symbolic Order, Seminar XXIII presents Joyce as inserting himself into language, tying the signifier to the body in a special, unique way. For Lacan, the sinthome is eccentric to the registers of the Real, Symbolic and Imaginary, yet it paradoxically links them when the Name-of- the-Father fails. The implication is carried in the concept of "nomination" that the Name-of-the-Father (or its structural equivalents, such as "Woman," "God" and "Joyce") makes language possible for the individual.
Field of Research
200525 Literary Theory
Socio Economic Objective
970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture