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Le complexe d’Erostrate: un Sartre rétro? in Plagiat et créativité II. Author: Sartre avec Baudelaire. DOI: Join us Tuesday, September 15th, for a discussion in French (though English is OK) of “LE MUR” (26 pages) and “EROSTRATE” (22 pages). Join us Tuesday, October 6th, for a discussion in French (though English is OK) of “EROSTRATE” (22 pages) and “LA CHAMBRE” (35 pages).

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Shortly into the story, it becomes clear that the crime is mostly an attempt to escape his mediocrity through an act of powerful self-assertion. We will look at this story not only through a traditional psychoanalytic lens, but also by applying important Lacanian principles. However, in many ways, we arrive at the deepest understanding of Hilbert and his motivations by bringing Lacanian theories into the discussion.

What strikes him is that while nobody knows the name of the man erostgate built the temple of Artemis, everyone remembers Erostratus, the man who destroyed it. In what follows, Hilbert buys a gun erostratf carries it around in public, becoming sexually aroused by the possibilities, and the power he now possesses. He becomes more and more obsessed with this power and even wartre a prostitute, commanding her to walk around naked at gunpoint he does this several times, each time ejaculating in his pants.

As the day of his crime draws nearer, Hilbert spends his life savings on expensive meals and prostitutes, and even mails letters of his murderous intent to famous French writers. Yet, in the end, Hilbert is incapable of following through. Hilbert must have others verify and be witness to his crime for the weight of his actions to seem real to him.

Hilbert no longer lives in a world where his actions and sarre hold any real weight or significance. This lack of self-determination plunges Hilbert into erstrate kind of moral nihilism, which only exacerbates his problems.

‘Le Mur’ and ‘L’Erostrate’ | Essay Writing Service A+

Another significant element to note is the rise in power Hilbert feels as he buys a gun and brings it around with him wherever he goes. Furthermore, one would not have to use queer theory, nor is it beyond any stretch of the imagination, to assert that Sartre uses the gun here as a phallic symbol.

For Hilbert, happiness truly is a warm gunas the gun symbolizes the power he has always lacked socially and sexually. The fact that Hilbert makes prostitutes walk around naked at gun point, without letting them touch or look at him, is another teller.


This voyeuristic behavior, according to Sartre, is a mechanism by which the individual avoids his or her own subjectivity—shirking responsibility—in order to live through the imagined subjectivity of another Sartre, What, then, is it motivated by?

In the letter, he congratulates the famous authors for being humanists, for loving men. He goes on to sarcastically praise the authors for relieving and consoling the masses.

Later in the letter, Hilbert explains his own hatred of humanity. Is it my fault I prefer to watch the sea-lions feeding? As Moliere notes in his Les Misanthrope: Hilbert, on the other hand, is not a misanthrope; he is a self-reflective watcher, a voyeur.

Hilbert, likewise, is too self-conscious to experience normal human emotions. He does not simply see things; but sees himself seeing things. As such, he has lost the unselfconscious grace and naturalness he so despises in others. This deep self-consciousness, this narcissism, is something that alienates Hilbert, and makes normal communication with others almost impossible.

For Lacan, this marks the emergence of the ego, as the child realizes it can control the movements of this new image. The subject will then try to develop a sense of its ideal-I by relying on others for reinforcement Sharpe, Web.

But what does this have to do with our protagonist?

Hilbert, it seems, illustrates an extended erostratd of this basic discord. There are many ways that the subject attempts to deal with the lack associated with this phenomenon. At the outset, we get a glimpse of Hilbert interacting with others the only way he knows how—by watching them from his seventh story window:. You really have to see men from above. I leaned on the window sill and began to laugh: On a seventh floor balcony: Though Hilbert claims he hates humanity: Again we see a fleeing of the ideal-I, as Hilbert explains his strange attraction to looking down at men: Superiority of position, nothing more: The symbolic order, according to Lacan, is the time when the child enters into language, and learns to adhere to the rules or the order of society Homer John Zeurn elaborates on this eartre In other words, an important part of the transition we discussed, and the subsequent relationship between the ideal-I and the social-I, is that the subject develop if not a healthy, then at least a working self-image or self-conception Lacan In this way, wrostrate Hilbert erlstrate himself to be a man above humanity, he is really only a subject that has been molded by humanity.


In plain terms, while Hilbert claims to be a being above humanity, his true being or lack of being is defined almost solely sarttre relation to the Other—which is fairly ironic.

Le complexe d’Erostrate : un Sartre rétro ?

Indeed, it is well known that Lacanian psychoanalysis and existential psychoanalysis sarrte not always see eye to eye. Nevertheless, the two systems work together quite well in this study—one locating the problem, and the other, in a sense, pathologizing it, or at least taking a normative stance on the matter.

The lonely Hilbert lives in and through others, yet hides from others; this creates a very interesting psychic dynamic. Much of it stems from the cognitive dissonance he experiences, but this mechanism itself seems to arise from events related to the mirror phase, and the transition erostrrate the imaginary to the symbolic order. In the end, however, we are left with one question: Is there any hope for our protagonist? In sartree final paragraph, thinking of the man he just shot, Hilbert shows us the first signs of any kind of moral conscience or awareness: Pointing the gun at his head, Hilbert desperately wants know if he has killed the big man.

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism.

Sartre, Jean-Paul, and Lloyd Alexander. The Wall, and Other Stories. It is the structure of language that speaks the subject and not the other way around. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Create a free website or blog at WordPress. At the outset, we get a glimpse of Hilbert interacting with others the only way he knows how—by watching them from his seventh story window: Sartre 41 Though Hilbert claims he hates humanity: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.

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