Sartre & Lacan 3
- (This is one of the e-mails I sent as part of the discussion of Sartre and
I can provide the following quotation which might be of interest to
Lacanians. It comes from Sartre's Truth & Existence, written in 1948 but
published posthumously in 1989, and takes up a theme introduced in Being &
Nothingness (1943: 578). Sartre interprets the revelation of truth (or
being) as entailing the experience of an 'appropriative Jouissance'
symbolised by images of sexual violation; which he refers to as the 'Actaeon
Complex'. He proceeds to analyse the epistemophilic drive in terms of a
contrast between the Actaeon Complex (i.e., knowledge as sexual violation)
and the Jonah Complex (knowledge as devouring, the oral drive).
Enjoyment [Jouissance] is precisely this irritating and voluptuous proximity
without distance of the For-itself to what is not itself. To enjoy a thing
is to create it when it is. It is to illuminate it and have what we are
return to us in the dimension of the In-itself. It is to be as present to it
as we are present to ourselves and yet distinct from it. Enjoyment is a
unity, but one which is refused and which haunts duality like a ghost.
Enjoyment is being nothing other than what we enjoy, and yet not being what
we enjoy. It is the magical sketch of the identifying appropriation, in
absolute proximity. To love is to enjoy Being. It is to love the In-itself
for the In-itself. But at the same time it is to want that seperation, that
is, to refuse the identification of the In-itself with the For-itself because
it would lose its compact density. It is to want to be the light sliding
across the surface of the absolute density of being. (pp. 29-30)