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Madder Stain: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Thomas Hardy (CA. 212 Pp.)



The “madder stain” imprinted on Tess d’Urberville’s arm is part of a motif which runs through Hardy’s fiction. Similar to Barthes’s punctum shooting out of the studium, the stain is a place where the Real erupts, a blind spot that eludes interpretation. In the diegesis of the tragic novels, it is a surplus object whose intrusion disrupts reality and spells disaster. This book attempts to approach that unknowable kernel of jouissance by using Lacan’s concepts of object-gaze and object-voice–sometimes revisited by Zizek.
The stain has a vocal quality: it is silence audible. In a world where sound cannot reverberate for lack of a structural void, voice is by necessity muted, stuck in the throat. Hence the peculiar quality of Tess’s voice, a silent feminine cry that has retained something of the lost vocal object. The sound of silence is what Hardy’s poetic prose allows us to hear.

Author: Ramel, Annie

Topic: Psychology
Media: Book
ISBN: 900429340X
Language: English
Pages: 182

Additional information

Weight 0.75 lbs
Dimensions 9.5 × 6.3 × 0.4 in


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