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By Marianna Torgovnick

The Description for this publication, Closure within the Novel, can be forthcoming.

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The key issue, then, becomes whether a subject responds to the lack through the fantasy position of Woman, by structuring his/her libidinal economy around an active questioning of sexual identity. Or, by contrast, does the subject respond through the fantasy position of Man, by looking to confirm sexual identity through investing in the authority of the symbolic? ❖ In Ecrits, Lacan tells a story about sexual difference that highlights the significance of language in this process through which the child emerges as a sexuated subject.

Although, as the case study makes clear, Hans undoubtedly rejects his father’s “enlightenment” that “women have no widdlers,” he also appears to accept the more precise knowledge that girls do indeed have a different sort of “widdler” than boys. ” (31). At the conclusion of his discussion of the case, Freud gestures toward this ambiguity in Hans’ analysis, which was conducted by Hans’ father via correspondence with Freud: “If matters had lain entirely in my hands, I should have ventured to give the child the one remaining piece of enlightenment which his parents withheld from him.

Is not the content hidden behind the form . . but, on the contrary, the ‘secret’ of this form itself” (11). Rather than imply that there is a “deeper meaning” behind the dream detail, I follow Freud in saying that it is precisely in the meaninglessness of these superficial details that the void at the heart of our subjectivity is articulated. Meaning does not cause or motivate these details, but rather meaning is the result of contingent psychic attachments to meaningless details. Although such details may be the result of idiosyncratic associations, they are, nonetheless, general in their effects.

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