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The normal mirror is a prosthesis which does not deceive.


                               —Umberto Eco


I can psoakoonaloose myself any time I want.


                               —James Joyce












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2.5  The Spectacles of the Other Spectator


 If Eco is correct, then to what do we owe our reflected deceptions? As he specs his “normal mirror” (flat, non­-tinted, etc.), its deceptive potential must be actualized in the reflexive subject—for do you not see what you want (or fear) to see, or what you must (or must not)? Lacan’s “pure difference” con-forms a redoubled negative determination (the difference between two differences); as such, it names those subject-positions that we cannot occupy. Conversely, his “alienating identifications” trans­-form a constitutive displacement (the negative lack turned into a positive condition); as such, it names those subject-positions we must occupy. If we single out “specular capture” and strip it of psoakoonalootic jargon, this is in fact a (deceptively) simple formula. I can only ‘see myself’ as one person, one apparently whole body, by way of my image as it initially captures me: in a mirror. This primordial specular image with which I identify internally (“that’s me”) is ipso facto alienated insofar as it stands external to my person (“that’s me”). 

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