by Alejandra Josiowicz
“In the act of writing, and, why not, of reading, there was a world that came near, and there was a belonging that was at stake.”
Denilson Lopes, O homem que amava rapazes o outros ensaios. 2002.
Why study psychoanalysis and how to use it as a critical tool? What is to be queer here and now? What are the possible connections between teaching, writing, reading and our sexed selves? If the identity categories control our eroticism, what practices of reading, teaching and writing should we use? How should we defer ourselves (Butler 1996) in order not to be captivated in our own voice, writing, work?
How can we remain opaque, in an age in which all ethics –democratic, professional, commercial, technical- are associated with transparency and public disclosure? Is there a particular performance of dignity in the practice of opacity, like Eric Laurent said recently about the paradoxical figure of authority in his clinic practice (“Psychoanalysis & our time” Laurent, Eric. Barnard College, NY, 29th Sept 2011)?
In a multicultural age where emerging agents so much as developing countries seek to occupy a new real and imaginary space in a public sphere in crisis, what should be the role of experimental, critical, gender and psychoanalytic theory? Should it theorize its paradoxes, take part or critically weigh the facts and figures of a possible new beginning? What kind of gender & social performances should we allow and choose for ourselves? How much painful social and gender indefiniteness can our bodies and minds endure? How should we speak about the risky frontiers of our identity and to whom? Students? Professors? Therapists? Friends? Is there a possibility to remain silent, enabling the psychic excess of the real to act for itself?
What do we do with the genders we want to have, the genders we lost, the mimicking and rejections we constantly enact? Do we disguise them in drag? Do we repeat them endlessly searching for a secure place, for an identification? Which appearances, which glitters and surfaces, which powerful disguises will deploy not so much the stigmatization of an other but the uncertainties and negotiations of our own pleasures and desires? Which transvestites’ souls? Which masquerades? Transwritings, transimages, transquotidean, androgynies, ambiguities, identities as becoming, baroque spectacles, all gathered in a practice of writing that escapes the purely academic posture of the critic and involves itself in criticism as an act of pleasure (Lopes 2002).
If, according to Lacan, the unconscious is structured as a language -more than the Freudian reservoir of affective impulses- semiological research after Pierce and Saussure had to deal with this renovation. The lacanian concept of language – as mother tongue- is a powerful tool to block and, more importantly, unblock inhibition, symptom and depression. The semiotic, precocious pre- linguistic relations, minimum particles of language that the child shares with his mother, carry the most archaic register of the unconscious. Childish babble carries the inscription of primitive traumas, joyful as well as painful experiences (Kristeva 2011). Therefore, to recover that primitive oral body is to go beyond the banal body of the globalized media towards artistic practice as experience and radical language. That is why, according to Kristeva, psychoanalytic practice and literature constitute one and the same psychic dynamic, because they are mystical transformative experience of our subjectivity.
-Butler, Judith, “Imitation and Gender Insubordination” in Women, Knowledge and Reality. Explorations in Feminist Philosophy. New York: Routledge, 1996.
-Kristeva, Julia, “Psicoanálisis y literatura son la misma cosa” entrevista por Mauro Libertella en Clarín, Revistaenie, 11- Noviembre-2011.
-Laurent, Eric, “Psychoanalysis & our time” in The First Paris USA Lacan Seminar in New York City. Lacan´s Legacy: Thirty Years in the Lacanian Orientation, Barnard College , NY, 29th Sept 2011.
-Lopes, Denilson, O homem que amava rapazes e outros ensaios. Rio de Janeiro: Aeroplano, 2002.
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