Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lacan vs Brighella






















Jacques Lacan


Mezzetin* by Watteau



I'll take the bearded one.

Brighella is a Commedia Dell' Arte character-- a crazy servant/ thief who wore a brown mask with a beard and a green suit. I found the coolest quote from Masks and Marionettes by J. Kennard in my reading today.

"... I am a great talker because my father was dumb and had left to me
an enormous number of new words which he never used. Also I am a
bastard. My shirt is a romance full of wandering soldiers; no one
will wash it for fear of soiling the river. My debts make me a star
never seen except at night."

p. 56 A quote from "Atanasio Zanoni of Ferrara... a famous
Brighella... was drowned in Venice in 1792." One of the things that caught my attention was the line about his father bequeathing him an "enormous number of new words" but since he is a "bastard," he presumably didn't get his father's name.

Which brings me to Jacques Lacan's idea of The Name of the Father. In The Unsayable, Annie writes about how when the infant starts to compromise her unconscious and acquire language, its the "father" who brings the words that differentiate the child from her mother. It is a good thing, otherwise the child would continue to think it is a part of the mother.

I also loved the line about his shirt being a "romance full of wandering soldiers." It is like his body is a book, a "romance" in the old sense of a story full of colorful characters and fantastic events. The soldiers aren't an army, they are "wandering," perhaps they are lost, or deserters.

I am starting to think that studying theater would be a lot more fun, and a little less stuffy than psychology, and I'd probably learn the same thing.

Or, studying philosophy would be a little more fun and a little less stuffy than studying theology, and I'd probably learn the same thing.

Or, studying theology would be a little more fun and a little less stuffy than studying theater, and I'd probably learn the same thing...

*Mezzetin is the French version of Brighella

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