The Threshold of the Visible World

Routledge (1996)
The Threshold of the Visible World advances a revolutionary new political aesthetic--Kaja Silverman explores the possibilities for looking beyond the restrictive mandates of the self, and the normative aspects of the cultural image-repertoire. She provides a detailed account of the social and psychic forces which constrain us to look and identify in normative ways, and the violence which that normativity implies. Accounting for these phenomena on both a conscious and an unconcious level, Silverman analyzes the psychic and textual conditions under which our "field of vision" can be expanded. The title of this book is taken from Lacan's essay on the mirror stage. In that text, Lacan writes that "the mirror-image would seem to be the threshold of the visible world." He thereby suggests that the visible world has no existence as such until the infant subject has access to an image of self. Lacan intimates that the mirror provides the frame through which one relates to others within the domain of vision, stressing the priority of narcissism and the ego over all other libidinal transactions. The Threshold of the Visible World provides a psychic, social and political specification of Lacan's claim, and most particularly of its implications for the subject's relations to the social other. This is accomplished through examination of the ego, as well as two other categories at the center of Lacan's account of the mirror stage: ideality and identification. This book is an ethical-political project which leads to the re-elaboration of a number of crucial theoretical categories--Silverman offers an account of the bodily ego, of identification, of idealization, of the gaze, of the look, and of the "photographic." The Threshold of the Visible World leads as well to the formulation of a fresh model for conceptualizing sexual, racial and class "difference," and the terms under which it might be dismantled. This book thus seeks to apprehend the field of vision through the frame of a different kind of bodily ego, and discover the pleasures to be derived from corporeal transport.
Keywords Love  Vision  Appearance (Philosophy  Psychoanalysis and philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book $17.83 used (62% off)   $34.00 new (19% off)   $39.03 direct from Amazon (16% off)    Amazon page
Call number BD436.S49 1996
ISBN(s) 0415910390   9780415910392
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    35 ( #41,670 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.