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Subjective identification in an encounter with ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. Exploration of the conception of subjectivity in reconstructed narratives - Lacanian discourse analysis

Mlodziniak, Marcin (2012) Subjective identification in an encounter with ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. Exploration of the conception of subjectivity in reconstructed narratives - Lacanian discourse analysis. Edinburgh Napier University.

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Abstract

In direct contrast to psychological views of the ‘self’ that claim the very possibility to ‘get inside’ the subject’s head, this project argues that there is no subject in the first place. It proposes that drawing on Lacan’s theorising on the imaginary, the symbolic and the real allows for experiencing glimpses of the fleeting subject. The central aim this project seeks to address is to trace the readers’ subjectivity through the Lacanian triad of orders. Six respondents aged 18 and above participated. An excerpt from ‘The Little Prince’ by de Saint Exupéry was identified as a literary example of the text, which can be psychoanalytically read and explored. There were two stages of the data gathering process. Task 1 involved retelling of the story by using their own words. Task 2 involved writing down their own reflections or thoughts related to the read excerpt. The project demonstrates that the inquiry into the human subject was marked by fundamental impossibility. In other words, what a particular reader is, that is not him/her, belongs to the realm of the real, which both escapes the imaginary and the symbolic. Lacan’s theorising on subjectivity is very intricate and cryptic, therefore, the findings of this project are open to challenge.

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