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Systematic Change: William Gibson, Monsters, Cyborgs, and Time

Justin Roby
The George Washington University


The trend of postmodern criticism is toward the recognition of unstable spaces and categories. The work of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, for instance, have already destabilized the foundations upon which "The fundamental codes of a culture" rest (Things xx) by doing away with language’s bid for transparency, and thus with Modernism’s bid to be able to precisely define the world and its laws through language. Current criticism maps these new instabilities: Laura Barrett, for example, assesses Don DeLillo’s Mao II in terms of how it "presents a world in which the negotiation of unfamiliar territory – labyrinthine urban centers, vexing architecture, ambiguous images, and technological communication--compromises notions of subjectivity" (789). Barrett finds that, in DeLillo’s work, a ". . . loss of subjectivity has plagued America" but cannot do anything else but observe, "The loss of individuality so tragic and comic in DeLillo is an enduring national phenomenon" (806). This leads me to assert that perhaps this observation, however correct, is not the most useful of possible conclusions a critic might draw.

In this paper I want to sketch out several possibilities for the study of the formation of identity in order to move beyond simply observing that the instability (or infinite duplication) of identity itself robs us of individuality (Barrett 796-797). Instead, I think that I might be able to take a note from Donna Haraway’s 1985 essay "A Manifesto for Cyborgs" and develop a hybrid view of the world in which identity depends upon instability for its survival. Haraway sees the cyborg as a deeply problematic, yet freeing, entity. Born of all the worst of capitalism, socialism, and heterosexism, it can subvert those very things at the same time (66). William Gibson’s novels enact such strategies, creating a hybrid view of the world that encompasses the body and its identity as human, individuality and its elasticity, and history as a map of change. This view may enable some critics to move beyond mourning the Enlightenment ideal of the individual and seeing new possibilities for action and change that, at first glance, do not seem to be available to a post-modern subject.

At a crucial moment in Gibson’s sixth novel, Idoru, he contrasts two different types of multiplicities. On the one hand, a protagonist, Colin Laney, staying in a hotel in Tokyo, has a view of some new housing: "He knew their sheer brutality of scale from constructs, but virtuality had failed to convey the peculiarity of their apparent texture, a streamlined organicism. ‘They are like Giger’s paintings of New York,’ Yamazaki had said, but the reference had been lost on Laney" (108). These buildings seem to shift and grow as they are constructed out of any and all available material by tiny, molecular machines, "nanobots." The buildings undergo continuous construction and renewal: "Part of a facade seemed to move, but it had to be his eyes" (109). Simultaneously Laney and an acquaintance discuss another building at which Laney had stayed.

"You know any Kathy Torrance, Laney? Sherman Oaks address? She’s up in the suite you had, with about two vans worth of sensing gear. Hans figures they’re trying to get a read on what you were doing up there, any dope or anything? "But Hans says there’s no way they can sort the residual molecules out in those rooms anyway. Place has too much of a history." (109) New buildings with no history stand against an ancient building with "too much" history: yet neither can be completely known or perceived: both shift over time in a multitude of ways, whether from the accumulation of trace molecules from previous inhabitants or from the very process of creation and maintenance itself: a history, on the one hand, of tiny machines continuously building, and, on the other, a history of human waste.

Gibson does not place these two buildings across from each other for the sake of mere dichotomy. If we look at what the buildings actually do, we might see that they are complex entities. The older hotel suite being swept with the epitome of high technology is too old for the high technology to make sense of, thus preserving, for a time, Laney’s reputation. The nanotech buildings carry with them a sense of vertigo and dread. Of the nanobots used to create them, another character, Maryalice, worries, "Machines too small to see. They can get into your body, you know?" (60). Here lies the potential for monsters, in the cusp between the old and the new, for just as the buildings-that-grow in Tokyo unsettle the casual observer, the hotel suite in Southern California stymies the search for information through its own, more subtle, accumulation of layers. These buildings become sites of incommensurability and excess: excess of technology and excess of time.

I would like to argue that such entities of excess are now more necessary than ever. I would like to go even further, to argue that the modern hybrids of technology, if we follow the development of Gibson’s philosophy and its resonances with Haraway's argument, ought not to be controlled or domesticated. First, however, I must construct a working definition of monstrosity, and perhaps make something of a monstrosity myself.

"Writing has nothing to do with signifying. It has to do with surveying, mapping, even realms that are yet to come."

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

Monsters are, first and foremost, sites of hybridity (Cohen 120, 132-33). They are excessive: outsized appetites, incomprehensible visages, and extreme size. These monsters share an "extimacy" with the Law that excludes them, however: there are tales of monsters who speak in the native tongues of travelers, using the language and the promise of society in order to kill and eat (Cohen 2-3). A set of Trolls in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit fulfill this role in that novel, as they prepare to eat a troop of several dwarves, and one hobbit, like roast mutton, conforming to a savage conception of the Other. Tolkien’s narrative proceeds, "But they were trolls. Obviously trolls. Even Bilbo, in spite of his sheltered life, could see that: from the great heavy faces of them, and their size, and the shape of their legs, not to mention their language, which was not drawing-room fashion at all, at all" (46). These trolls are hybrid subjects, at once monstrous and somewhat personable, Other and intimate (though their Cockney dialect marks them as an Other in terms of class, as well). That very hybridity needs to be suppressed, and may also be why cultures force Monsters outside their shelter. These Trolls are exposed to the sun and turned to stone, a turn of events that could be equated with being put before the King and sentenced to horrible death (Punish 3), an ultimate excommunication. Traditionally, however, these beings are beheaded (Cohen 39) as one of the final steps toward the founding of a nation.

The story of Sir Gowther further demonstrates the steps by which monstrosity may be controlled and put into place. Jeffrey Cohen places the tale in the context of the "identity romance," in which young men discover their true identities as the sons of kings or noblemen and thus find their true place in the world order (121). Such romances are usefully interrogated by the Lacanian concept of "The Name of the Father," because the young man's quest for his place in the world mirrors the process of socialization: the knight-errant learns to accept his place as subject to a Law of Family which puts him in a position to rule. Sir Gowther differs from this sort of tale in that the title character’s father is not merely unknown, but also a monster, making Gowther both illegitimate and a giant, a site of excess and monstrosity. After his birth, Sir Gowther exhibits inhuman voracity and vigor, sucking wetnurses dry and disfiguring his mother’s breast. "The evil deeds Gowther commits while still a youth cause the duke to sicken and die within a single line: no possibility of inheriting any identity-giving history from someone who has been, all along, a nonentity" (122). To whom, then, is Sir Gowther going to submit? His identity is wrapped up in multiplicity, and it must be brought under control (140).

For this reason, Sir Gowther becomes a tale of redemption after he discovers his true origins from his mother (who lied about who his father was), and vows repentance. On a pilgrimage to Rome, he is told by the Pope that he must only eat what has first been "snatched from dogs’ mouths, nothing else may come into your body" (128). Gowther continues to wander, and eventually finds his way to a castle at which he places himself in the company of an emperor’s hunting dogs and at the emperor’s service. While staying with the emperor, he learns the Christian ethos through a long process that resembles the masochistic chivalry of a more conventional knight. First, he places himself at the service of the emperor. Second, he finds in the emperor’s mute daughter an object of desire, and, finally, he defends her against the army of a Sultan who desires her as well (131). A three-day battle ensues during which he enacts all his previous violent excesses with the sanction of God and Emperor and undergoes a transformation symbolized by the armor God grants him: the first day, he wears black armor, the second, red, and the third, white. After the battle, he is told that he has gained his repentance and has been forgiven, gaining a new identity in which he recognizes that his true father is God. As "Goddus chylde," he overcomes his hybrid and monstrous origins (136-7).

This process, though presented as natural, or, one might say, after the order of God, is highly constructed:

Before it hardens into the armor of his final identity, Gowther’s plastic body illustrates well two of the most remarkable assertions of Deleuze and Guattari: that the body is a site of multiplicity, process, and becoming ("a discontinuous, nontotalized series of processes, organs, flows, energies, corporeal substances and incorporeal events, intensities, and durations") and that the unconscious is not a theater but a factory (Gowther’s body is the site of endless production that grinds to a halt only at the imposed limit of saintliness, at the transubstantial death that is the reward for a successful embrace of transcendentals). (140) I have rehearsed this medieval romance in order to arrive, finally, at the point Cohen mentions above: the re-inscription of Gowther’s body and identity as a servant of God ends his possibilities of (re)production. His wife (the emperor’s daughter) disappears from the narrative, he has no heirs, and, in fact, a whole world of violence is done to women. As penance for an abbey of nuns he raped and killed earlier in the story, he builds a monastery, banishing the feminine from this suddenly masculine, yet wholly spiritual world (138), and thus capping the abuse heaped upon women in this narrative, from Gowther’s mother on with annihilation. If read as a "fair unknown" or "identity romance," Cohen writes, "Gowther is Oedipalized into the celibate family of the church [rather than into a proper ancestral line], where the place of the feminine body in the triangle has been usurped by a pure and mysterious spirit" (139). Hybridity, and all it connotes, is contained, put away, compartmentalized.

How can hybridity be saved from this fate? How can I use Gowther, who renounces his previous life as a monster and seeks acceptance in a spiritually pure Holy Family, to recuperate a spirit of boundless change that might, as Haraway desires the cyborg to do, resist all overcoding narratives? I want to propose a technique that creates a temporal monstrosity or re-thinking of historicity. For example, Gowther should not be considered merely for his plot, in which he develops (or makes progress) toward spiritual cleansing. Instead, the images and identities he generates along the way create a composite portrait that combines the image with time, allowing a viewer or reader to step back and forth through Gowther’s story. While this is similar to DeLillo’s conception of photographs as powerful slices of time (Barrett 795) it goes further because it does not accept the notion that, as DeLillo and Barrett believe, photographs (or other reproducible art) "literally enact" the mutual, postmodern deaths of both the subject and the author (796). I would like to argue instead that new ways of organizing time and space (of which photography is only one) enable new conceptions of the subject, the author, and identity.

Reading Monsters in the (post)Modern World

Ratz was tending bar, his prosthetic arm jerking monotonously as he filled a tray of glasses with draft Kirin. He saw Case and smiled, his teeth a webwork of East European steel and brown decay . . . His ugliness was the stuff of legend. In an age of affordable beauty, there was something heraldic about his lack of it. The antique arm whined as he reached for another mug. It was a Russian military prosthesis, a seven-function force-feedback manipulator, cased in grubby pink plastic . . . He scratched his overhang of white-shirted belly with the pink claw. (Neuromancer 3-4)

This character has too much history. Ratz, in his "heraldic" and practically medieval lack of beauty, exhibits his body-altering history: decaying teeth bolstered by alloys, dismemberment in war repaired with an arm that is, by now, probably overdue for a tuneup. Yet, here he is, not a "Terminator" (despite his history as a veteran of some unknown war) but a bartender, a common businessman. The key to reading Ratz’s body is to map the alterations within the continuum of his past and present. The traces of Ratz’s past exist simultaneously on his body in the same way a telling of Gowther’s story allows the events to exist simultaneously with ours. The scars that surely wound their way round Gowther’s body suggested his past as monstrous brigand even as he accepted his place as God’s child. The capacity for coexisting, even superimposed images indicates a new way of thinking about postmodern space-time in favor of subjects who are capable of navigating such complex structures. Simultaneity and the flexibility of our memories are the keys to this new understanding, which is itself bound up in Haraway’s need to find new resources for feminism in the monstrosity of the cyborg.

Haraway, like Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari before her, insists on the importance of affinity rather than family (Haraway 67). We have seen the body become a site for affinity between the human or organic and the machine; now the argument must be made that Gibson sees space itself as allowing hybridity. The battlefield Gowther cleanses for the sake of God and Emperor remains littered with the bodies of Saracens, who become the silent ghosts of prior contention– body parts ignored in favor of spirituality. By the same token, the spaces Gibson describes in his novels are even more viscerally embattled. Neuromancer’s "Night City" underground is a cultural mélange: American and European expatriates mingle with Japanese black market surgeons and criminals. The body is destroyed and dismembered on Gowther’s battlefield– in Night City, the body gets recycled:

Stop hustling and you sank without a trace, but move a little too swiftly and you’d break the fragile surface tension of the black market; either way, you were gone, with nothing left of you but some vague memory in the mind of some fixture like Ratz, though heart or lungs or kidneys might survive in the service of some stranger with New Yen for the clinic tanks. (Neuromancer 7) The world Gibson develops in Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow’s Parties also depends on sites where laws don’t seem to apply. The Bridge (formerly the San Francisco Bay Bridge), is constructed out of artifacts with a time all their own, stitched together like Ratz. "[Yamazaki] found his way to a coffee shop whose interior had the texture of an ancient ferry, dark dented varnish over plain heavy wood, as if someone had sawn it, entire, from some tired public vessel. Which was entirely possible [. . . T]oward Oakland, past the haunted island, the wingless carcass of a 747 housed the kitchens of nine Thai restaurants" (Light 70-1). The spiritual, celibate purity Gowther achieves has been laid to rest here: everything is monstrous, not least in the way the new technologies accommodate domesticity, commerce, violence, the body, time, and space.

What is needed, again, is a technique for seeing multiple outcomes (for lack of a better term). An earlier short story of Gibson’s, titled "The Gernsback Continuum," ends with the main character, a photographer, hallucinating visions of a future that might have been. Told as a flashback, the story itself has to do with the simultaneous perception of both predicted, fictional histories and the real world:

Mercifully, the whole thing is starting to fade, to become an episode. When I do still catch the odd glimpse, it’s peripheral; mere fragments of mad-doctor chrome, confining themselves to the corner of the eye. There was that flying-wing liner over San Francisco last week, but that was almost translucent. And the shark-fin roadsters have gotten scarcer, and freeways discreetly avoid unfolding themselves into the gleaming eighty-lane monsters I was forced to drive last month in my rented Toyota. And I know that none of it will follow me to New York; my vision is narrowing to a single wavelength of probability. (Burning Chrome 23) At this point in the story, the photographer is piecing his life back together again after actively looking for architectural artifacts of too-perfect futures described in science fiction magazines published by Hugo Gernsback in second third of the twentieth century. Once he finds these specimens in the shapes of the old Art-Deco Los Angeles gas stations, diners, and factory buildings that ". . . [come] across with a kind of sinister totalitarian dignity, like the stadiums Albert Speer built for Hitler" (26), he suffers from double-vision, seeing at least two "wavelengths of probability." He is haunted by the memory of a false past that was supposed to be the future. The tale suggests a potential anthropology of the future– finding the "missing links" to Aryan futures that never will be (but might have been). Reading Gibson’s fiction has a similar effect, and not only because he writes about possible futures. As we have seen, Gibson writes of historical hybridity as well as physical hybridity.

This theme continues to receive ample development in Idoru in the character of Chia, whose obsession with the singer Rez puts into practice a sorting of time and information more successful than that illustrated in "The Gernsback Continuum." Chia is better at sorting wavelengths of probability (which could also be called wavelengths of information); her existence in the online environment, which she navigates adeptly, though without the extreme virtuosity of a hacker, may be evidence enough of this. While she does not focus on any one aspect of her world of information at the expense of others, she seems intensely aware of a single era in the career of the band Lo/Rez: the mid-nineteen-nineties, when their first album was released within a week of her own birth (17). She collects memorabilia from that era; however, she does not develop the temporal double vision from which the photographer suffers. Instead, the trope of simultaneity gets developed through the virtual environments through which Chia moves. The Tokyo chapter of the Lo/Rez fan club is a computer-generated pagoda, the surrounding environment designed to mimic the art on rice-paper screens, "twisted trees, their branches like quick black squiggles of ink" (127). The pagoda itself, "familiar [to Chia] from anime . . . was the sort of house that ninjas crept into in the dark, to wake a sleeping heroine and tell her that all was not as she thought . . ." (127). The history does not merely extend to the pop-culture representation of Japan’s feudal era: "Nearing the house, she saw that everything had been worked up out of club archives, so that the whole environment was actually made of Lo/Rez material . . . faint image-fragments, larger than life, came and went with the organic randomness of leaf-dappled sun and shadow: Rez’s cheekbone and half a pair of black glasses, Lo’s hand chording the neck of his guitar. But these changed . . . " (128). Feudal Japan gets mixed up with (and made out of) the history of the band: moving concert footage, photos, anything. Hybridity is no longer evidence that may be read as a disordered unconscious – it is now part and parcel of the way the world works and is represented.

Chia’s own computer contains groups of messy time fragments as well. She can trace her own growth as a young woman through the environments she has designed: her own room, as it currently exists (but neater), then the outdoors, rendered for a younger mind: trees with "Crayola-brown trunks, each supporting an acid-green cotton ball of undifferentiated foliage. If she looked at these long enough, the Mumphalumphagus would appear outside, wanting to play, so she didn’t" (Idoru 43). Among the programs on her computer are a perfect simulation of Venice, Italy, and a Music Master (who is set to appear in Venice at bridges). What is, perhaps, disturbing about this access Chia has to historical memory is an apparent inability to understand it: she has no knowledge of Hitler outside of song references, for instance (46). Yet it is perhaps this lack of a historical perspective that places her in the unique position of being able to bring about change in the novel: she becomes the axis around which events turn, a nexus of possibilities.

"As it turns out," I am attempting to prove that the order of Monstrosity has shifted, or has a need to shift, in Gibson’s fiction. Hybridity has become the norm, and attempts to make sense of it or control it are presented as intensely problematic in his novels. This becomes apparent when we examine the mechanisms of the obscenely rich, whether it’s Josef Virek of Count Zero (the sequel to Neuromancer) or the Tessier-Ashpool tribe in Neuromancer. Both entities are infinitely removed from humanity, having the power to maintain their lines indefinitely. Virek no longer has a body, his brain maintained in a tub of nutrients. He no longer has control over his own money, either ("The Virek Collection, you see, is a sort of black hole. The unnatural density of my wealth drags irresistibly at the rarest works of the human spirit." Zero 14-5). The Tessier-Ashpools use an even stranger mechanism to maintain their wealth:

. . . it’s hard to keep track of which generation, or combination of generations, is running the show at a given time . . . Got their own cryogenic setup. Even under orbital law, you’re legally dead for the duration of the freeze. Looks like they trade off, though nobody’s seen the founding father in about thirty years. Founding mama, she died in some lab accident . . . (Neuromancer 76) The system of filiation that governs the medieval "Fair Unknown" story is obscenely extended: in fact, the system of the family is completely bound and closed, a "fantastic tangle of powers of attorney" making it impossible for any Tessier-Ashpool not to know who they are. Creation has been taken out of the equation as well, since all that is required to maintain one’s fortune is to keep the cycle of thaws going, since no new clones are needed. Law itself has taken the place of God in this system, and, again, the chances for production and qualitative change have been done away with. Gibson injects a resistance to sameness through a dream by the hero of Neuromancer, Case. In this dream, he remembers an incident with wasps, but, like many dreams, important details are different: Horror. The spiral birth factory, stepped terraces of the hatching cells, blind jaws of the unborn moving ceaselessly, the staged progress from egg to larva, near-wasp, wasp. In his mind’s eye, a kind of time-lapse photography took place, revealing the thing as the biological equivalent of a machine gun, hideous in its perfection. Alien. He pulled the trigger, forgetting to press the ignition, and fuel hissed out over the bulging, writhing life at his feet . . . In the dream, just before he’d drenched the nest with fuel, he’d seen the T-A logo of Tessier-Ashpool neatly embossed on its side, as though the wasps themselves had worked it there. (Neuromancer 126-7) The image of the wasps’ nest plays on images of cloning and repetition in order to connect the wasps to the Tessier-Ashpools, othering them so that Case can carry out his job and disrupt this cycle of homogenized reproduction. However, the system of cells themselves encourage another reading in which the cells become part of infinite series, infinite multiplicity: the Tessier-Ashpools, like the wasps, are a pack or a swarm that is positioned against Case’s improvised, pack-like family. In Neuromancer, the invasion of the Tessier-Ashpool castle, Villa Straylight, serves to activate that suppressed hybridity by allowing a full Artificial Intelligence to form, finally creating something new.

Endings, Beginnings, and Becomings

Despite the prominence of the organization of the Tessier-Ashpools as an obstacle to change, Case becomes the true monster of Neuromancer, largely because of his own similarities to the Tessier-Ashpool clan and their attempts at the transcendence of mortal time. Case begins the novel a fallen man: having betrayed an employer, he "fell into the prison of his own flesh" (Neuromancer 6). He thus resembles Gowther; the main narrative arc of Neuromancer concerns the job Case must do in order to regain complete control of his body, and thus the ability to deny his own body, return to "the bodiless exultation of cyberspace . . ." (6). As part of this process, Case desires (and beds) the cyborg Molly, just as Gowther locates his object of desire in the emperor’s daughter. Gibson never fails to dismantle or complicate a potentially familial moment, however; the romantic arrangement is inextricably tied to the business arrangement. The temporary group formed by Molly, Case, the insane father Armitage, controlled by the rebellious AI, and the hallucination-projector Riviera is dysfunctional at best. This reverses the flow for Case: instead of learning to accept his place among the chosen, he instead learns his multitude of roles as part of a short-term, autonomous collective. The plot thus never becomes a tale of naturalization, as it does for Gowther. Instead, all the characters become particles that interact with and affect each other, and move on. Ultimately, Case learns of and begins to accept his own hybridity: that he is at once fleshly and divine, that the body has as much place in cyberspace as it does anywhere else.

. . . she pulled him down, to the meat, the flesh the cowboys mocked. It was a vast thing, beyond knowing, a sea of information coded in spiral and pheromone . . . and then he was in her, effecting the transmission of the old message. Here, even here, in a place he knew for what it was, a coded model of some stranger’s memory, the drive held. (239-40) In this strange moment, Case consummating a relationship with a woman who no longer exists, on a digital seashore with a finite number of grains of sand, the ending of the tale of Sir Gowther is reversed. Case is reintroduced to the body inside a system that was supposed to be an escape from the body. His "holy family" becomes, interestingly enough, the now complete AI and Linda Lee. He loses Molly, but starts new relationships ("a girl who called herself Michael") (270-1), and finally wonders what color Molly’s eyes were underneath the enhanced visors. Rather than learning, like Gowther, how to be God’s child, Case finds himself suddenly adrift again, but perhaps better equipped to deal with the multiple, overlapping possibilities of life. I find that Gowther and Case, however much I constructed them to oppose each other in this paper, also form connections between their stories. The members of their respective packs influence each other, and us, because, as Deleuze and Guattari write, "Sometimes the borderline is defined or doubled by a being of another nature that no longer belongs to the pack, or never belonged to it, and that represents a power of another order, potentially acting as a threat as well as a trainer, outsider, etc" (Plateaus 245-6).

I have come full circle, to finally use the stories William Gibson tells to pull Gowther’s story into a new focus, flattening two distinct images together in order to form a new picture. This retroactive re-reading of the tale of Sir Gowther through the lens of Gibson’s fiction allows Gowther, like Case, to accept the flesh again, or at least to become a new entity, constituted from not just his history, but how we as readers use his history and thus contribute to new change.


Barrett, Laura. "‘Here, But Also There’: Subjectivity and Postmodern Space in Mao II." Modern Fiction Studies. 45.3 (1999): 788-810.

Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. Of Giants: Sex, Monsters, and the Middle Ages. University of Minnesota Press, 1999.

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature. Dana Polan, trans. Réda Bensmaïa, foreword. Theory and History of Literature, Volume 30. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986.

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Brian Massumi, trans. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987.

Foucault, Michel. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. New York: Vintage, 1994.

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Alan Sheridan, trans. New York: Random House/Vintage, 1995.

Gibson, William. Neuromancer. New York: Ace Books, 1984.

Gibson, William. "The Gernsback Continuum." Burning Chrome. New York: Ace Books, 1987. 23-35

Gibson, William. Virtual Light. New York: Bantam Spectra, 1994.

Gibson, William. Idoru. New York: Berkley, 1997

Gibson, William. All Tomorrow’s Parties. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999.

Haraway, Donna. "A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s." Socialist Review. 15.2 (1985): 65-107.

Lacan, Jacques. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book XI. Jacques-Alain Miller, ed. Alan Sheridan, trans. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1998.

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