“The lost object ..underpins symbolisation, cause of and stand-in for desire. What the man relates to this object … comes ‘down to fantasy’. As the place onto which lack is projected … and through which it is … disavowed, woman is a ‘symptom’ for the man.” – ..Reduced to being nothing other than this fantasmatic place, The woman does not exist. … It means, not that women do not exist, but that her status as an absolute category and guarantor of fantasy (exactly The woman) is false. Lacan sees courtly love as the elevation of the woman into the place where her absence or inaccessibility stands in for male lack. (‘For the man, whose lady was entirely, in the most servile sense of the term, his female subject, courtly love is the only way of coming off elegantly from the absence of sexual relation.’ ..The woman … is not, because she is defined purely against the man (she is the negative of that definition – ‘man is not woman’), and because this very definition is designated fantasy, a set which may well be empty…. As negative to the man, woman becomes a total object of fantasy (or an object of total fantasy), elevated into the place of the Other and made to stand for its truth. JACQUELINE ROSE CITING JACQUES LACAN


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