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Splitting of the Ego
Freud talks about the "splitting of the ego" (Gr. Ich-spaltung, Fr. clivage du moi) as a process -- observable in fetishism and psychosis -- whereby two contradictory attitudes come to exist side by side in the ego -- acceptance and disavowal.<ref>Freud, Sigmund. "Splitting of the Ego in the Process of Defence." SE XXIII, 1938. p. 273</ref>
Lacan expands the concept of Spaltung -- from a process unique to fetishism or psychosis -- to a general characteristic of subjectivity itself; the subject can never be anything other than split -- divided and alienated from himself.
The split is irreducible, can never be healed; there is no possibility of synthesis.
The split or divided subject is symbolised by the bar which strikes through the S to produce the barred subject, .<ref>Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 288</ref>
The subject is split by the very fact that he is a "speaking being,"<ref>Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 269</ref> because speech divides the subject of the enunciation from the subject of the statement.
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