Wim Matthys – Towards Lacan’s Approach of Subjectivity

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“Towards Lacan’s Approach of Subjectivity: On the Staging of Fundamental Fantasy,

Jouissance and Gaze in Stanley Kubrick’s Cinematography”

Wim Matthys

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Abstract

I deploy Lacanian theory on the fundamental fantasy to argue that the cinema of Stanley Kubrick and specifically A Clockwork Orange (1971), is propped up by the basic scenario “C observes: A overpowers B.” This scenario adds the third party of an observer to the basic script that underlies the different versions of the fantasy of fustigation described by Freud in his 1919 article “A Child is Being Beaten.” The scenario involved not only structures the narratives of Kubrick’s cinema, but also provides three positions for Symbolic-Imaginary identification (aggressor, victim, observer) to his films’ spectators. Secondly, we indicated that the three Symbolic-Imaginary positions of the scenario ultimately are underpinned by Real kernel of jouissance. Thirdly, it is on the level of the jouissance in staging and observing violence that we retrieve the ultimate indication of Kubrick’s subjective implication in the creative process. Moreover, by reference to Lacan’s theory on the gaze, we indicate that the ultimate effect aimed at by Kubrick is that also his spectators undergo a jouissance-related experience in observing his cinematographic depictions of violence.

**Look for Wim Matthys book to be published soon**

 Copyright © 2013 The Johns Hopkins University Press. The article “‘Observe All!’: On the staging of Fundamental fantasy, Jouissance and Gaze in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange” will appear in AMERICAN IMAGO, Volume 70, Issue 2, Summer, 2013, pages 225-247.