Ethics of Psychoanalysis
The act expresses completely an intention which is both conscious and unconscious, the conscious assumption of the unconscious death drive (on the other hand, a sudden impulsive suicide attempt is not a true act, but probably a passage to the act).
It is not self-evident what constitutes an 'event' (or an 'act').
Examples of what Zižek calls 'acts' vary widely in scope and impact.
At the lowest level of agape there is a kind of Pollyanna-ish 'saying "Yes!" to life in its mysterious synchronic multitude' (Fragile Absolute, 103; also Fright, 172; cf. Ticklish Subject, 150).
Some characters in works of literature or film b- perform an 'act' when they sacrifice what they hold dearest, committing what Zižek calls 'a strike against the self'.
An example is Kevin Spacey's shooting of his own wife and daughter, who are being held hostage by rival gangsters, in The Usual Suspects.
Because desire comes to us from the Other, it is a mistake to think of it as subversive; on the contrary, it is banal in the extreme.
In The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology, this negative subject-concept is brought to bear on the issue of the "ethical act" - a political act transgressing the rules of the established social order.
- Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book XI. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1964. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1977. p.50
- Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XV. L'acte psychanalytique, 1967-68. Unpublished.
- Lacan, Jacques. Télévision, Paris: Seuil, 1973. Television: A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment, ed. Joan Copjec, trans. Denis Hollier, Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelson, New York: Norton, 1990]. p.66-7
- (Fragile Absolute, 149-50)
- (Enjoy!, 70ff)
|Kid A In Alphabet Land|
Act · Blot · Commodity-fetish · Death Drive · Ego-ideal · Father · Gaze · Hysteric · Imaginary · Jouissance · Kapital · Letter · Mirror Stage · Name · Other · Phallus · Qua · Real · Super Signifier · Thing · Unheimlich · Voice · Woman · Xenophobe · Yew · Z-man
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Repetition first appears in a form that is not clear, that is not self-evident, like a reproduction, or a making present, in act. That is why I have placed The Act with a large question-mark at the bottom of the blackboard so as to indicate that, as long as we speak of the relations of repetition with the real, this act will remain on our horizon.
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