The horrors of subjectivity/the jouissance of immanence
in William Blake's Gothic imagination
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Mark Lussier explores the field of subject formation from both Deluzian and Lacanian perspectives. ‘Shaped more than most by the erotic, esoteric, and exotic elements of Gothic symbolic’, Blake’s Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Visions of the Daughters of Albion explore how the unconscious ‘confront[s] the phallic order that animates patriarchy’, casting subject formation as a Gothic drama. For Lussier, both texts explore how subject formation involves a sort of wounding that the action of symbolisation—especially when that symbolisation is comprised of Gothic forms—can never entirely suture: what the eye sees and what the heart knows will remain always slightly askew, just as the Lacanian ‘I’ will never perfectly coincide with itself. Stressing the specific psychoanalytic terrain of female subjectivity, Lussier focuses most of his attention on Visions, a work in which Oothoon ‘endure[s] dual forms of objectification: her embodiment as an object of use (for the rapist Bromion) and as an object of exchange (for her ‘beloved’ Theotormon)’.

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