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The flight of (the) concord: Joan Copjec and Slavoj Žižek read ‘Irma’s Injection’

Cocks, N. (2021) The flight of (the) concord: Joan Copjec and Slavoj Žižek read ‘Irma’s Injection’. International Journal of Zizek Studies, 15 (2). ISSN 1751-8229

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In this article, I return to the ‘over-interpreted anxiety dream’ (Copjec, 2015) of ‘Irma’s Injection’ to make a wider claim concerning an unacknowledged investment in structure that I understand to return to Žižekian appeals to the disruptive structure of the Real. I begin with the analysis of Freud’s first specimen dream, and Lacan’s response to this, offered by Joan Copjec, Žižek’s fellow traveller in theory. My concern is with Copjec’s staging of the encounter with the Real, both in its imaginary and symbolic modes, and the extent to which a renewed focus on the narrational frames of psychoanalytic accounts of ‘Irma’s Injection’ can help bring to light their otherwise neglected appeals to structure. Rather than a simple deconstructive evasion of the Real, I argue that such a move enables a questioning the location of the limit within Copjec’s account of ‘Irma’s Injection’: a return of the Real to the Real. This discussion results also in a more straightforward reassessment of the understanding of structure in ‘Irma’s Injection’ as read by both Copjec and Žižek. I focus on one particular aspect, ‘flight’, understood to be: central to the structure of the dream; disruptive to this structure; a remaining and an escape; evasion and fidelity. Through the frame of ‘flight’, I re-evaluate the dream within/ across the work of Žižek and Copjec before, finally, contemplating how ‘flight’ might help to refigure the relationship between the two theorists, and the deconstructive practice that both question within their various responses to ‘Irma’s Injection.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Identities
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:99393
Uncontrolled Keywords:Joan Copjec, Slavoj Zizek, Psychoanalysis, 'Irma's Injection', death drive
Publisher:International Journal of Zizek Studies


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