Avatar: An Exercise in Politically-Correct Ideology

Summary: Avatar combines the hyper-reality of a fantasmic “natural” life on a distant planet with the ordinary reality of military, imperialist neocolonism. The film reproduces several Hollywood genres: history is the stage for the Oedipal narrative of the production of the couple; a full thrust in a digitally enhanced fantasy is enacted; the white man marries the princess of the abori…

Slavoj Žižek
Avatars of Otherness

Summary: The author examines some recent sci-fi films – J. Cameron’s Avatar, N. Blomkamp’s District 9, the animated film Wall-E – insofar as they evoke how the dominant (American) mass culture of today thematizes our relation with the Other. Here, while the Other takes the form of “good” extra-terrestrials, it also picks up on the Western movies’ tradition, where the Other was usually …

Sergio Benvenuto
The Gaze on the Real: Marco Bechis’s Political Poetics

Summary: The author examines some features of the work of the Italo-Chilean film director Marco Bechis, in their relation to the Real. His peculiar talent for grasping and expressing the Real – antithetical to any form of spectacularization – makes use of a cinematographic language that could be regarded as a ‘degree zero’ of fiction.

Cristiana Cimino
The Analysis of the Real

Summary: The notion of the Real in Lacan is often very confusing, joining together the most intuitive and the most elusive characteristics. The paper offers to untie the knot of the Real by comparing it to irrational numbers. Like the Real, irrational numbers defy traditional notions. They are many and appear everywhere. Indeed, without them there is no continuity at all, anywhere in t…

Uri Hadar
Lacan, Subject, Object

Summary: A brief reconstruction of Lacan’s intellectual path in psychoanalysis. After an early phase, predominantly philosophical and centering on the problem of the subject of the unconscious, there followed a later one, potentially scientific, centered on the nature of the object of desire.

Antonello Sciacchitano
Book Review Essay: “The Evocative Object World” by Christopher Bollas

In the influential “Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena”, published in 1951, D. Winnicott introduced a concept that was destined to receive widespread acclaim; indeed, to a certain extent, it instigated radical changes in analytic technique and even in our conception of mental functioning. In that paper, Winnicott asserted that the object, the real – that is, what is outside of the subject – may be neither completely outer nor completely inner. Instead, it may occupy an intermediate space (hence transitional) in which it is both present and absent, real and imaginary, concrete and psychic, irreducible to the subject though assimilable to his or her inner life.

Antonello Correale
European Journal of Psychoanalysis