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Title: “Gee! They’re All in Love with Phantoms!”: How the Fantasies Have Constructed the Love Triangle in Hardy’s “On the Western Circuit”
Authors: Huang, Billy Bin-feng
Keywords: love triangle;Lacan;Žižek;lack/castration;desire;fantasy;$ ◇ a;gaze;correspondence
Date: 2014-03
Issue Date: 2016-08-23 17:53:06 (UTC+8)
Abstract: In this paper, Lacan’s and Žižek’s theorizations about fantasy will be applied to examine how the fantasies of the leading characters in Thomas Hardy’s “On the Western Circuit” have constructed their love triangle. First, according to Lacan, the subject is barred/castrated because (s)he has internalized the lack, namely, the object a, from which the subject’s desire arises. When the subject misrecognizes something as the object a, (s)he will have a fantasy. If we apply Lacan’s formula of fantasy ($ ◇ a) to the case scenario of love in the text, we will discover that Raye desires both Anna and Mrs. Harnham, and that they both desire Raye. That is, they have become each other’s substitutes for the object a, or their fantasies. A close look at this love triangle will reveal that on the one side of Raye and Anna, the key lies in their gaze, which leads to the subject’s desire or fantasy. As for the other side of Raye and Mrs. Harnham, their correspondence is responsible for the developments of their fantasies. Last but not least, as Raye learns the truth at the end of the story, he is, according to Žižek, in a typical case scenario of “traversing the fantasy.” That is, his fantastic world as well as the love triangle disintegrates, and the remains of his reality have become a traumatic experience.
Relation: 文化越界,1(11),67-92
Cross-cultural Studies
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[文化越界 ] 期刊論文

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