Difference between revisions of "Paternal metaphor"

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paternal metaphor (mÈtaphore paternelle)                                  When, in 1956,
 
  
Lacan first begins        to discuss the tropes of        METAPHOR and metonymy in
 
  
detail, the example he takes to illustrate the structure of metaphor is a line
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[[Image:Lacan-paternalmetaphor.jpg|center]]
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[[paternal metaphor]] ([[French]]: ''[[métaphore paternelle]]'') 
  
from Victor Hugo's poem, Booz endormi (Hugo, 1859-83: 97-9). This poem
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==Paternity and Metaphor==
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When, in 1956, [[Lacan]] first begins to discuss the tropes of [[metaphor]] and [[metonymy]] in detail, the example he takes to illustrate the structure of [[metaphor]] is a line from [[Victor Hugo]]'s [[poem]], [[Booz endormi]].<ref>Hugo, 1859-83: 97-9</ref>
  
retells the biblical story of Ruth and Boaz; while Ruth sleeps at his feet,
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This [[poem]] retells the [[biblical]] story of Ruth and Boaz; while Ruth sleeps at his feet, Boaz dreams that a tree grows out of his stomach, a revelation that he is to be the founder of a race.
  
Boaz dreams that a tree grows out of his stomach, a revelation that he is to
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In the line which [[Lacan]] quotes - "His sheaf was neither miserly  nor spiteful" - the [[metaphoric]] [[substitution]] of "sheaf" for "Boaz" produces a poetic effect of [[signification]].<ref>{{S3}} p.218-25; {{S4}} p.377-8; {{E}} p.156-8; {{S8}} p.158-9</ref>
  
be the founder of a race. In the line which Lacan quotes            - 'His sheaf was
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[[Paternity]] is thus both the theme of the [[poem]] (its [[content]]) and also inherent in the [[structure]] of [[metaphor]] itself.  
  
neither miserly      nor spiteful'    - the metaphoric substitution of 'sheaf' for
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All [[paternity]] involves [[metaphor]]ic [[substitution]], and vice versa.
  
'Boaz' produces a poetic effect of SIGNIFICATION (S3, 218-25; see S4, 377-
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==Paternal Metaphor==
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The phrase '[[paternal metaphor]]' is introduced by [[Lacan]] in 1957.<ref>{{S4}} p.379</ref>
  
8; E, 156-8; S8, 158-9). Paternity is thus both the theme of the poem (its
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In 1958, he goes on to elaborate the [[structure]] of this [[metaphor]]; it involves the [[substitution]] of one [[signifier]] (the [[Name-of-the-Father]]) for another (the [[desire]] of the [[mother]]).<ref>{{E}} p.200</ref>
  
content) and also inherent in the structure of metaphor itself. All paternity
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The [[paternal metaphor]] thus designates the [[metaphorical]] (i.e. [[substitutive]]) character of the [[oedipus complex]] itself.  
  
mvolves metaphoric substitution, and vice versa.
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It is the fundamental [[metaphor]] on which all [[signification]] depends: for this reason, all [[signification]] is [[phallic]].  
  
    The phrase 'paternal metaphor' is introduced by Lacan in 1957 (S4, 379). In
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If the [[Name-of-the-Father]] is [[foreclosed]] (i.e. in [[psychosis]]), there can be no [[paternal metaphor]], and hence no [[phallic]] [[signification]].
  
1958, he goes on to elaborate the structure of this metaphor; it involves the
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==See Also==
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* [[Metonymy]]
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* [[Metaphor]]
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* [[Symbolic]]
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* [[Oedipus complex]]
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* [[Signification]]
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* [[Psychosis]]
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* [[Name-of-the-Father]]
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* [[Poetry]]
  
substitution of one signifier (the Name-of-the-Father) for another (the desire of
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==References==
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<references/>
  
the mother) (see Figure 13; E, 200).
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[[Category:Theory]]
 
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[[Category:Psychoanalytic theory]]
    The paternal metaphor thus designates the metaphorical (i.e. substitutive)
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[[Category:Symbolic]]
 
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[[Category:Terms]]
character of the OEDIPUS COMPLEX itself. It is the fundamental metaphor on
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[[Category:Concepts]]
 
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[[Category:Psychoanalysis]]
which all signification depends: for this reason, all signification is phallic. If
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[[Category:Jacques Lacan]]
 
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[[Category:Help]]
the Name-of-the-Father is foreclosed (i.e. in psychosis), there              can be    no
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[[Category:New]]
 
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[[Category:Dictionary]]
paternal metaphor, and hence no phallic signification.
 
 
 
Name-of-the-Father      Desire of the Mother                                            A
 
 
 
                                    ï                                        a Name-of-the-Father
 
 
 
    Desire of the Mother    Signified to the subject                                        Phallus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Figure 13      The paternal metaphor
 
 
 
  Source: Jacques Lacan, Ecrits, Paris: Seuil, 1966.
 

Revision as of 08:02, 26 June 2006


Lacan-paternalmetaphor.jpg

paternal metaphor (French: métaphore paternelle)

Paternity and Metaphor

When, in 1956, Lacan first begins to discuss the tropes of metaphor and metonymy in detail, the example he takes to illustrate the structure of metaphor is a line from Victor Hugo's poem, Booz endormi.[1]

This poem retells the biblical story of Ruth and Boaz; while Ruth sleeps at his feet, Boaz dreams that a tree grows out of his stomach, a revelation that he is to be the founder of a race.

In the line which Lacan quotes - "His sheaf was neither miserly nor spiteful" - the metaphoric substitution of "sheaf" for "Boaz" produces a poetic effect of signification.[2]

Paternity is thus both the theme of the poem (its content) and also inherent in the structure of metaphor itself.

All paternity involves metaphoric substitution, and vice versa.

Paternal Metaphor

The phrase 'paternal metaphor' is introduced by Lacan in 1957.[3]

In 1958, he goes on to elaborate the structure of this metaphor; it involves the substitution of one signifier (the Name-of-the-Father) for another (the desire of the mother).[4]

The paternal metaphor thus designates the metaphorical (i.e. substitutive) character of the oedipus complex itself.

It is the fundamental metaphor on which all signification depends: for this reason, all signification is phallic.

If the Name-of-the-Father is foreclosed (i.e. in psychosis), there can be no paternal metaphor, and hence no phallic signification.

See Also

References

  1. Hugo, 1859-83: 97-9
  2. Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book III. The Psychoses, 1955-56. Trans. Russell Grigg. London: Routledge, 1993. p.218-25; Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p.377-8; Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.156-8; Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre VIII. Le transfert, 1960-61. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p.158-9
  3. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p.379
  4. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.200