[Chapter 2, note 25, of the author's Carlyle and the Search for Authority, which the Ohio State University Press published in 1991. It appears in the Victorian web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright. not in print version indicates a link to material not in the original print version. GPL]

In formulating this discussion, I have in mind Lacan's discussions of the imaginary and symbolic realms, his associated oedipal theory of the nom du père, and his critique of ego psychology. Of course, Lacan's critique of ego psychology means that a writer's works cannot be traced to any origin in the individual; the notion that the self is constituted socially suggests, rather, a dialectic that undermines the opposition of self and society (see also Jameson, Lemaire, and Ragland-Sullivan).


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Last modified 5 October 2001