A Question of Jouissance

 


A
QUESTION ON JOUISSANCE



On Jouissance


Kimberly Robin Kay and Earl Jackson, Jr.


Recently, Kimberly Robin Kay from our class sent
me an
email letter
in response to one of the questions on the final, that
I believe should be read and
engaged with by everyone
in the class. I am grateful to her for giving
me permission to share her inquiry and my response with you all. Although
Kim was directly addressing only one of the questions on the final (#7),
I think both the issues she raises and the intellectual/disciplinary horizon
against which
she raises them (i.e. the various conceptual histories
of jouissance, their vicissitudes, and the pluralizing vertigoes
that jouissance represents ) encompass several of the questions,
and therefore before I preface Kimberly Robin Kay’s text with all of those
questions from the final whose interrelations are not only symptomatic
of the complexity of these issues but will hopefully serve to illuminate
those complexities productively.


Take Home Essay Questions on Lacan/Barthes/Japan for Alien/ations


The Questions:

4.

Discuss the relations between the western subject/Japan
encounter
, semiotics, and sexuality/desire in Barthes’s Empire of
Signs
and either 5.

How
is the cinematic subject „realized“ in Tsukamoto Shin’ya’s Tetsuo the
Iron Man
?

6.

Compare
Barthesian
jouissance
[and its potential inscribed with the „Japan“ of Empire of Signs]
with the target=window>jouissance in
Tetsuo the Iron Man.

7.

Do a reading of Ian MacDonald’s Scissors Cut
Paper Wrap Stone
which traces semiotic, ontological, and epistemological
discoherencies foregrounded in the West/Japan encounter within the
pilgrimage
that transform the narrating subject. [note use of first-
and third person].

****

Kim’s Missive:

Subj: jouissance

Date: Wed, Jun 5, 1996 21:16 EDT

From: robin (Kimberly Robin Kay)

To: Earl_Jackson. jouissance

Earl,

Hi. I’m confused about question six for the final paper.
As I understand it, Barthesian jouissance
in Empire of Signs.. It seems to me that there is no potential for
jouissance
in the „Japan“ Barthes has created if you are one of his „Japanese,“ and
that any other potential we see in the text is Barthes’s and our western
need to search for further meaning–


Also,
when I talked to [the other] Robin about this question,she suggested that
you also might have
Lacanian
idea of jouissance in mind for the second part of the question dealing
with Tetsuo.


Thanks,

Kim

From: Earl

To: Kim and Here
Comes Everyone


The ways in which Barthes’s conception of jouissance
differs from Lacan’s, I believe, lay primarily in the contexts
within which Barthes introduced and elaborated it, namely as one of two
textual typologies that have everything to do with the cultural fixing
and/or undoing
of the „subject“ or the „self.“


Click Here to put Barthes
into play.

Barthes on Myth

Another
conversation
continues

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