The Real of the Body: Fantasies and Intimate Diagrams

  • Yuri Di Liberto
Part of the The Palgrave Lacan Series book series (PALS)


The topological side of Lacanian psychoanalysis opens up the possibility of configuring the Real of subjectivity as something neither restricted to the domain of recognition by the Other nor to the workings of symbolic inscriptions. This chapter describes this passage as having to do with the way signifiers find their places within and upon the body. The outcome of this possibility is what one might recognize as a metapsychology. Moreover, this chapter touches upon the issue of giving a satisfying account of the body as an entity that comprises material and linguistic entities. I build a dialogue between Anzieu’s category of the skin envelop as incarnated fantasy and Lacan’s own account of signifiers as entities hosted by portions of the body. By drawing on Gilles Châtelet’s notion of the diagram I then proceed to outline the Real of the body as the product of the diagrammatization of enjoyment: the Real is what manifests subjectively as the peculiar and arbitrary forms and shapes produced by the signifiers in conjunction with enjoyment. Furthermore, this chapter helps solving the problem of locating subjectivity within the realm of a non-reductionist materialism which is able to comprise both linguistic and corporeal manifestations.


Lacan Anzieu Châtelet Body Diagram Enjoyment Envelop Nudity Fantasy Proprioception Surface of inscription 


  1. Agamben, G. (2009). Nudità. Roma: nottetempo.Google Scholar
  2. Anzieu, D. (2017). L’Io-pelle. Milano: RaffaelloCortina.Google Scholar
  3. Baas, B. (2012). Y a-t-il des psychanalystes sans-culottes? Philosophie, psychanalyse et politique. Paris: ERES.Google Scholar
  4. Badiou, A. (2009). Logic of Worlds: Being and Event 2. London and New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  5. Braidotti, R. (2017). Per una Politica Affermativa. Milano and Udine: Mimesis.Google Scholar
  6. Brugger, P., Lenggenhager, B., & Giummarra, M. J. (2013). Xenomelia: A Social Neuroscience View of Altered Bodily Self-Consciousness. In U. Voss (Ed.), Frontiers in Psychology, 4(204) (online).Google Scholar
  7. Châtelet, G. (1993). Les Enjeux du Mobile. Paris: Le Seuil.Google Scholar
  8. Chemama, R., & Vandermersch, B. (2004). Dizionario di Psicanalisi. Roma: Gremese.Google Scholar
  9. Cohen, R. (2016). The Spatiality of Being: Topology as Ontology in Lacan’s Thinking of the Body. In M. Friedman & S. Tomšič (Eds.), Psychoanalysis: Topological Perspectives (pp. 227–249). Bielefeld: Transcript.Google Scholar
  10. Derrida, J. (2002). La scrittura e la differenza. Torino: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  11. Derrida, J. (2006). L’animale che dunque sono. Milano: JacaBook.Google Scholar
  12. Dubost, M.-D. (2003). De l’archaïque: un refoulement possible ou un refoulement manqué. Analyse Freudienne Presse, 8(2), 109–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eyers, T. (2012). Lacan and the Concept of the ‘Real’. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fontanille, J. (2011). Corps et Sens. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Friedler, J. (1995). Psychanalyse et neurosciences: La légende du Boiteux. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Golse, B. (2008). Les Signifiants Formels Comme un lointain écho du bébé que nous avons été. In D. Anzieu et al. (Eds.), Didier Anzieu: le Moi-peau et la psychanalyse des limites (pp. 103–122). Paris: ERES «Le Carnet psy».Google Scholar
  17. Grosz, E. (1994). Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Johnson, X. (1990). The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  19. Johnston, A. (2014). Adventures in Transcendental Materialism: Dialogues with Contemporary Thinkers. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Johnston, A., & Malabou, C. (2013). Self and Emotional Life: Phylosophy, Psychoanalysis, and Neuroscience. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Kafka, F. (2017). Il Tormento del Capofamiglia. La Metamorfosi e altri racconti (pp. 130–132). Milano: Garzanti.Google Scholar
  22. Khandker, W. (2014). Philosophy, Animality and the Life Sciences. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kiarina Kordela, A. (2017). Essere, Tempo, Bios: Capitalismo e ontologia. Verona: ombre corte.Google Scholar
  24. Lacan, J. (1992). The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book VII the Ethics of Psychoanalysis (1959–1960) (D. Porter, Trans.). New York and London: Norton.Google Scholar
  25. Lacan, J. (2002). Scritti. Torino: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  26. Lacan, J. (2003). Il Seminario Libro XI: I quattro concetti fondamentali della psicoanalisi (1964). Torino: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  27. Lacan, J. (2004). Il Seminario Libro V: Le formazioni dell’inconscio (1957–1958). Torino: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  28. Lacan, J. (2006). Il Seminario Libro II: L’io nella teoria di Freud e nella tecnica della psicoanalisi (1954–1955). Torino: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  29. Lacan, J. (2011). Le Séminaire Livre XIX: …ou pire (1971–1972). Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  30. Lacan, J. (2013). Altri scritti. Torino: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  31. Lacan, J. (2014). Il Seminario Libro I: Gli scritti tecnici di Freud (1953–1954). Torino: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  32. Lacan, J. (2016). Il Seminario Libro VI: Il desiderio e la sua interpretazione (1958–1959). Torino: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  33. Leclaire, S. (1971). Démasquer le réel: Un essai sur l’objet en psychanalyse. Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  34. Lunbeck, E. (2014). The Americanization of Narcissism. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mercier, C. (2012). L’intimité des diagrammes. L’Unebévue, 29, 179–206. Paris: L’unebévue.Google Scholar
  36. Miller, J. A. (2017). La signature des symptômes. In La Cause Du Désir, 2(96), 112–120.Google Scholar
  37. Robertson, B. (2015). Lacanian Antiphilosophy and the Problem of Anxiety: An Uncanny Little Object. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Roudinesco, É. (1995). Jacques Lacan: Profilo di una vita, storia di un sistema di pensiero. Milano: Raffaello Cortina.Google Scholar
  39. Rousselle, D. (2018). Lacanian Realism. London: Bloosmbury.Google Scholar
  40. Tyszler, J. J. (2013). Le fantasme pour la psychanalyse ou comment le corps se sexualise. In H. Guilyardi (Ed.), Qu’est ce que le corps dans la psychanalyse? (pp. 259–278). Association Psychanalyse et Médecine «Hors Collection».Google Scholar
  41. Vigano, C. (2009). Réalité virtuelle et réalité sexuelle. La Cause Freudienne, 73(3), 37–41.Google Scholar
  42. Watson, J. (2009). Guattari’s Diagrammatic Thought: Writing Between Lacan and Deleuze. London and New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  43. Wiener, S. (2001). Le tatouage, de la griffe ordinaire à la marque subjective. Essaim, 2(8), 35–49.Google Scholar
  44. Worringer, W. (1997). Abstraction and Empathy: A Contribution to the Psychology of Style (M. Bullock, Trans.). Chicago: Elephant Paperbacks.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuri Di Liberto
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CalabriaRendeItaly

Personalised recommendations