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|French: corps morcelé|
In the mirror stage the infant sees its reflection in the mirror as a whole/synthesis, and this perception causes, by contrast, the perception of its own body (which lacks motor coordination at this stage) as divided and fragmented.
However, the anticipation of a synthetic ego is henceforth constantly threatened by the memory of this sense of fragmentation, which manifests itself in "images of castration, emasculation, mutilation, dismemberment, dislocation, evisceration, devouring, bursting open of the body" which haunt the human imagination.
These images typically appear in the analysand's dreams and associations at a particular phase in the treatment - namely, the moment when the analysand's aggressivity emerges in the negative transference.
Illusion of Synthesis
"He [the subject] is originally an inchoate collection of desires - there you have the true sense of the expression fragmented body."
In this way, the fragmented body is "revealed at the organic level, in the lines of fragilization that define the anatomy of phantasy, as exhibited in the schizoid and spasmodic symptoms of hysteria."
- Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 11
- Lacan, Jacques. "Some Reflections on the Ego", Int. J. Psycho-Anal., vol. 34, 1953 [1951b]: 13
- Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book III. The Psychoses, 1955-56. Trans. Russell Grigg. London: Routledge, 1993. p.39
- Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 5