The modern ethical act, according to Lacan, displays the structure of what Freud called the gesture of abstaining [Versagung]. In the traditional (premodern) act, the subject sacrifices everything (all 'pathological' things for the Cause-Thing that matters to him more than life itself: Antigone, condemend to death, enumerates all the things she will not be able to experience because of her premature death (marriage, children...) - this is the 'bad infinity' one sacrifices through the Exception (the Thing for which one acts, and which, precisely, is not sacrificed). Here the structure is that of the Kantian SUblime: the overwwhelming infinity of sacrificed empirical/pathological objects brings home in a negative way the enormous, incomprehensible dimension of the Thing for which one sacrifices them. So Antigone is sublime in her sad enumeration of what she is sacrificing - this list, in its enormity, indicates her unconditional fidelity. It is necessary to add that this Antigone is a masculine fantasy par excellence?
- Žižek, S. (2000) The Fragile Absolute, or Why the Christian Legacy is Worth Fighting For, London and New York: Verso. p. 154
Further information about Antigone (Lacan) can be found in the following reference(s):
- Žižek, Slavoj. The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology. London: Verso, 1999.p. 263-4