The editor of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Steven Levy, interviewed Mari Ruti regarding her article, “The Singularity of Being: Lacan and the Immortal Within,” winner of the Journal’s Best Essay Prize for 2010.
The article constructs a theory of subjective singularity from a Lacanian perspective, arguing that, unlike the ‘subject’ (who comes into existence as a result of symbolic prohibition), or the ‘person’ (who is aligned with the narcissistic conceits of the imaginary), the singular self emerges in response to a galvanizing directive arising from the real, a directive which summons his or her character beyond his or her social and intersubjective investments. Professor Ruti makes a thoughtful yet passionate argument for the unruly, unsocialized core of desire, the ecstatic and the immortal, what the Lacanians refer to as ‘jouissance’. as the constituents of what is authentic and singular about each of us.
Click here to listen to Mari Ruti and Steven Levy discuss the genesis of the article, the process of writing it, and Professor Ruti’s thoughts as she looks back on her work.