Reading Difference in Identity: Lacanian Reasoning in Paul Auster’s Invisible

Javad Momeni, Bahare Jalali Farahani


The prevailing motifs of Auster’s literary oeuvre such as chance, contingent events, writing and the binary opposition of reader and author are also noticeable in Paul Auster’s Invisible; however, in this article, we examine the novel in terms of the characters’ psychological attempts to form their different identifications within Lacanian theoretical framework. Born acts as both reified big Other and object petit a for Walker, while Walker, in his different encounters with Born, experiences disparate Zizekian parallax views. Holding such views, Walker stands in the middle of the various courses of subjectivities, thereby undergoing a complicated interwoven subjectivity. Furthermore, Born’s encounters with the Real, epitomized in Born, place him in the two concurrent positions of subjectivities both in the Imaginary and the Symbolic order. As a result, his constant Symbolic identifications with signifying traits of Born’s bring him nothing but an aporia of logical perplexities. Last but not the least, we emphasize that the fluctuation between lost object and the loss itself, as an object, plums the depth of the anxieties embedded in such interwoven subjectivity.  


identification, parallax, subjectivity, imaginary, symbolic

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