Article published in:Grammar, usage and discourse: Functional studies offered to Kristin Davidse
Edited by Lieven Vandelanotte, Wout Van Praet and Lieselotte Brems
[English Text Construction 10:2] 2017
► pp. 323–344
Towards a new grammar of interiority
James Ramsay’s circuitous way To the Lighthouse
While critics commenting on To the Lighthouse usually focus on Mrs Ramsay, Lily and gender questions, this article traces the ways in which the mother-son relationship between Mrs Ramsay and James reflect the processes Christopher Bollas distinguishes as a child learns to use objects to develop his own personal idiom. These processes can be further nuanced by using Lacan’s three registers of the Real, the Imaginary and the Symbolic, which, stressing the rhythmical, iconic and verbal aspects of language respectively, each yield distinct object uses. First, James learns to deal with affects, then with emotions and finally with values, thus developing a grammar of interiority. This leads him to his final epiphany of the Lighthouse, linchpin of the three registers, which reveals his idea of self, reconciling paternal and maternal aspects of his internal objects.
Keywords: anamorphosis, Christopher Bollas, grammar of interiority, Lacan’s registers, To the Lighthouse
Published online: 19 October 2017
O’Hara, Daniel T.
Said, Edward W.
Van Pelt, Tamise
Cited by 1 other publications
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