Friday, November 14, 2008

Before I start let me thank Ashley Shelden for her guest post on the central blog. It really helped break down the nearly impenetrable world of Lacan and "The Mirror Stage".

After reading the guest post, it was suggested that we draw parallels between the reality presented in John Fowles' Mantissa and Lacan's ideas about language. I was surprised that after a moment of contemplation I was able to see how compatible these two works were.
Mantissa centers around the creative process of Miles Green as inspired by his muse Erato. While the novel starts with a narrative and plot, the charade quickly dissolves when it becomes apparent that the helpless protagonist is actually the capable (but confused) author. Reality continuously shifts as Miles and Erato bicker and cooperate for the sake of constructing his next great work.
The writer shapes the world we read using language, and constantly shifts quickly from one imagined scenario to the other. There is no fixed center in the novel, no plot points to use as guide posts. In short, there is no stability. And Miles Green continues to promote this instability through constructing a world through language.

1 comment:

Mr. Ree said...

Yeah, Mantissa very much lends itself to these ideas I think. The constant search for something in the work, as well as its emphasis on sex in the creative process, as well as the lack of ability to arrive at something stable, as well as Miles and Erato's constant discussions about what is real, all fit very well into this Lacanian discourse.