énoncé: index of topics

The subject of extimacy is closely related to the Lacanian distinction beween utterance (énoncé) and enunciation-enunciat-ING (the act of speech, in its entirety). In short, Lacan shows how the effect (the act) can be a cause. This invites a comparison to the system of three 'Aristotelian mathemes' relating the four classic causes (efficient, final, formal, material) and the two sources of chance, automaton and tuche, to the Lacanian discourses (hysteric, analysis, university, master) as well as to the operations of fantasy and the famous 'subjective object', the partial object-cause of desire. This master diagram offers a fill-in-the-blank option to relate Vico's logic of the 'imaginative universal', by which the first humans imagined the sky to be the body of a god and the thunder to be the first 'half-speech' word of god. For a more visual form, see the frame analysis that translates the terms of enunciation into the 'encacrement' of the double frame. See also a discussion of the theoretical involvements of stereognosis (left-right body considerations) and propriocept (awareness of body geometry).

Enoncé / Enunciation

This central analysis shows the close connection between Lacan's idea of extimacy and Giambattista Vico's 'imaginative universal'. Vico and Lacan 'go together' as if one were the reincarnation of the other — but in which historical direction? Each has a set of master keys to their ideas, and the locks, if not the keys, are identical: the extimate, the theory of discourse, mi-dire — these Lacanian geodesic points correspond to Vico's imaginative universal, ideal eternal history, and theory of reading. The benefit of this connection is indirect: no Lacanians or Vichians seem to have discovered this yet.

Enoncé: The Queer Feet

G. K. Chesterton's short story has it all: acousmatics, the suppressed 'a' element, architecture … all you need to go through the 'Aristotelian mathemes' with or without the help of Dr. Lacan. Make sure to read the short story before you try it yourself. A frame analysis of this story shows how encadrement (double framing) is used to blend acousmatic and spatial elements to construct the anamorphic field of fantasy within which the priest-detective literally applies the bi-polar qualities of enunciation.

Enoncé: Simonides' Invention of Artificial Memory

This analysis shows what has not been discovered before this point: that the method of mnemonic places is chiastic, and the story about its invention is itself chiastic. This is revealed not just through a placement of story elements along the Λ-shaped diagram but an analysis in terms of discourse/enunciation and the idea of the (Lacanian) extimate. The frame analysis of the Simonides tale reveals a striking role of Hegel's contention that 'spirit is a bone': phrenologists are, like the mechanical users of the art of memory, using an image of place, not the raw materiality of place that is spiritualized 'in retroaction'. The proof if this is that the really effective memory systems (Metrodorus of Scepsis, Ramón Llull) were empty and non-hierarchical, as opposed to the highly romanticized systems of the Renaissance (e.g. Fludd).

Enoncé: 'Mulholland Drive'

David Lynch's famous 2001 film employs the method of 'chiastic' mnemonic places, and the two stories created with its application are themselves chiastic. This is revealed not just through a placement of story elements along the Λ-shaped diagram but an analysis in terms of discourse/enunciation and the idea of the (Lacanian) extimate. See also the essay, 'Building of Rooks'. A graphic treatment, via 'frame analysis', is now available.

Enoncé: Poe's 'The Purloined Letter'

This famous short mystery by Edgar Allan Poe tells of a letter that is concealed by leaving it out in plain sight. Naturally, this attracted Lacan, who devoted a chapter of Ecrits to the story. The scholar Richard Kopley has discovered and desribed Poe's use of chiasmus in creating internal ciphers that match the 'odd' and 'even' sides of the narrative, making it grist for the matheme's mill.

Enoncé: Categories of Travel

In Henry W. Johnstone, Jr.’s identification of the ‘categories of travel’, travel is distinguished from other kinds of motion in terms of the ‘authenticity’ of the relationship between the traveler and the travel environment; travel is related to knowledge and representation and both are related in turn to pleasure as a surplus/lack or ‘gap’ that cannot be closed, because this gap is related to the home left behind. Travel requires a ‘construction’ of the representational experience, made by two ‘vectors’, one representing the artifacts that support representation, another standing for the structure and result of representation. The formal aspect of this representation is the construction of a self-guide, principles of travel that seem to be derived empirically but actually recovered, as implicit components of the apparent accidents of travel. Frame analysis of Johnstone's categories suggests a basis for even non-travel narrative, where action and exposition, (perspectival) planning and (contingent) local conditions, continually re-form the travel project in episodes of experiment to test the 'authenticity' of travel.

Enoncé: Vico

Vico and Lacan 'go together' as if one were the reincarnation of the other — but in which historical direction? Each has a set of master keys to their ideas, and the locks, if not the keys, are identical: the extimate, the theory of discourse, mi-dire — these Lacanian geodesic points correspond to Vico's imaginative universal, ideal eternal history, and theory of reading. The benefit of this connection is indirect: no Lacanians or Vichians seem to have discovered this yet.

Enoncé: Architecture

Architecture as experience calls for a theory of motion/movement that is directly addressed with Aristotle's idea of efficient cause. The three 'layers' of materiality and return through the unconscious of analepsis provide a new way of approaching architectural critique.

Frame Theory: Lacan

This analysis skips the enunciation analysis and applies the 'frame protocol' directly to Lacan's theory of the subject. Five elements (the double frame, the object-cause of desire, defect, anamorphosis, and acousmatic enclosure) attempt to set up a cipher language as a go-between connecting the evidence of the clinic (i.e. Freud and Lacan) to popular culture, the arts, literature, and landscape. This analysis defines a critical method involving an informal attitude of the Hegelian dialectic: that is, self-deconstructing in the sense that justificationalism is forbidden and polysemy formally endorsed.