Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger
. . . Objet a or objet petit a is Lacan's term for the trace that the archaic part object had left in my unconscious, after I had separated from it or lost the passionate contact with it (5). It hides behind the screen of phantasm, and it exercises fascinating or horrifying power when threatening to burst into consciousness. Objet a is no-more a part object. Worse then that, Objet a is even not-yet a part object. It stands "between thing and object" (to borrow an expression of Winnicott), it is a product of the archaic Real, a remains of its events, a non-sense, or else it is a lack, an imprint of a loss from the body in its passage into language, a remnant retroactively created by discourse. The objet a of the erotic field of vision is the gaze. But. It is precisely the objet a with its beyond-appearance vibrations that is structured by Lacanian theory in a phallic way. Only a phallic gaze is admitted, since even what escapes the phallus as its lack is still articulated in terms of an originating castrative rift on the on/off axis: the gaze stands for split, alienation and lack that grow on the graveyard of fusion, symbiosis and moments of existence and jouissance.
Copyright © 1999, Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger, all rights reserved