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 As a male subject overdetermined by Indo­-European symbolic strictures, how are my desires inflected by sexual difference? For example (above): Despite being augmented by (or filtered through) specific cultural markers concretely affixed to her body, my imaginary engagement with the 12th­-century ‘Celestial’ statue is directly manifest; by contrast, my indirect engagement with the 21st­-century ‘Supermodel’ photo is mediated by my surrogate in M, who fix(at)es (on) F by supra-cultural mechanisms. The former’s upright Tribhanga (three­-bend) pose ‘captivates’ me (despite her post-facto dismemberment)—that is, her pose holds me in thrall by exaggerating her archetypal femininity (‘I may desire/admire her’). The latter’s interrupted supine presentation moves me (i.e., in ethological terms, she ‘presents’ her parts as to a prospective mate,) by appealing to my (violent, possessive) mimetic reactivity (‘I must save/take her’). As Alexandre Kojève put it, deftly abstracting from the concrete (generalizing the specific, from case to class), “in the relationship between man and woman, for example, Desire is human only if the one desires, not the body, but the Desire of the other…”

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 By re­-cycling fig.51 into fig.53 (above), we can follow Kojève through Hegel’s Independent and Dependent Self­-Consciousness: Lordship and Bondage (aka “Master­-Slave­ Dialectic”): ‘Herrschaft’ also connotes domination, just as ‘Knechtschaft’ also connotes thralldom; taken as phases of activity and passivity, the terms explicate a depth left implicit by translation. Kojève’s (Hegelian) intersubjectivity is fourfold: one, I want that which an other (‘you’) wants (“desire directed toward a natural object is human only to the extent that it is ‘mediated’ by the Desire of another”); two, I want you to want me (“he wants to be ‘desired’ or ‘loved,’ or, rather, ‘recognized’ … in his reality as a human individual”); three, your (‘­-jective’) desire for me reflects my own want (i.e., lack) of myself (“he wants ‘to possess’ or ‘to assimilate’ the Desire taken as Desire”); four, I recognize my self­-alienation in/as your lack (Hegel: “when it cancels itself as existing for itself, and has self­-existence only [in] the other”). Thus, we ‘work through’ (Freud: “Durcharbeit”) a rotary cycle that, as Lacan put it, “constitutes, as Hegel acknowledged once and for all, the very structure of the idea of labour.” 

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