Development of the Term
Investment of the Libido in the Ego
Birth of the Ego
Lacan attributes great importance to this phase in Freud's work, since it clearly inscribes the ego as an object of the libidinal economy, and links the birth of the ego to the narcissistic stage of development.
Narcissistic Stage of Development
Myth of Narcissus
Identification with the Specular Image
Erotic-Aggressive Character of Narcissism
Narcissism has both an erotic character and an aggressive character. It is erotic, as the myth of Narcissus shows, since the subject is strongly attracted to the gestalt that is his image. It is aggressive, since the wholeness of the specular image contrasts with the uncoordinated disunity of the subject's real body, and thus seems to threaten the subject with disintegration.
"Narcissistic Suicidal Aggression"
In "Remarks on Psychic Sausality," Lacan coins the term "narcissistic suicidal aggression" (aggression suicidaire narcissique) to express the fact that the erotic-aggressive character of the narcissistic infatuation with the specular image can lead the subject to self-destruction (as the myth of Narcissus also illustrates).
Imaginary Dimension of Human Relationships
- Freud, Sigmund. "On Narcissism: An Introduction," 1914c. SE XIV, 69.
- Lacan, Jacques. "Propos sur la causalité psychique", in Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. . pp. 151-93
- Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. Paris: Seuil, 1966. p. 187; Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. Paris: Seuil, 1966. p. 174
- Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book III. The Psychoses, 1955-56. Trans. Russell Grigg. London: Routledge, 1993. p. 92