Not Saussure pp 131-163 | Cite as

The Mirror Stage: A Critical Reflection

  • Raymond Tallis
Part of the Language, Discourse, Society book series


Over twenty years after the publication of Ecrits1 the volume in which his major papers are collected, Lacan remains highly influential in certain academic circles on this side of the Channel. Catherine Belse’ s Critical Practice,2 Terry Eagleton’s Literary Theory3 and The Talking Cure (a collection of essays edited by Colin MacCabe and written mainly by literary critics)4 — to name only a few out of many recent articles and books — testify to the high standing Lacan still enjoys as a clinician and a thinker in academic departments of English Literature in the United Kingdom. In contrast, professionals in the fields in which he operated, or touched on, are in the main ignorant of his oeuvre. Those few who are aware of his writings for the most part consider them to be unnecessarily obscure, self-indulgent to the point of narcissism and even fraudulent. The consensus seems to be that they can be safely ignored. A similar situation prevails in the United States. In 1984, entire issues of Poetics and of Style were devoted to ‘psychopoetics’, an approach to literary criticism currently almost synonymous with the application of Lacanian psychoanalysis to texts. At the same time, Lacan the clinician and theoretician of the human psyche is neglected by psychologists and psychiatrists.5


Literary Critic Infant Development Oedipus Complex World Picture Mirror Stage 
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Notes to Chapter 5: The Mirror Stage

  1. 2.
    Catherine Belsey, Critical Practice (London: Methuen, 1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 3.
    Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Colin MacCabe (ed.), The Talking Cure (London: Macmillan, 1981).Google Scholar
  4. 30.
    R. Jacobson, Shifters, Verbal Categories and the Russian Verb (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1957).Google Scholar
  5. 46.
    Margaret Boden, Piaget (London: Fontana, 1977) p. 96.Google Scholar

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© Raymond Tallis 1988

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  • Raymond Tallis

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