Symptomatic Time

  • Chenyang Wang
Part of the The Palgrave Lacan Series book series (PALS)


In this chapter, Chenyang Wang focuses on specific themes in Lacan’s theory that can be better illuminated with the introduction of multiple temporal registers. The term “symptomatic time” is used to designate the way time is experienced as a compromise formation that covers up the tension between different lived experiences. By working through the Freud–Rank debate and investigating the myth of primal repression, Chenyang Wang argues that there is not a linear, developmental order that can explain the process of subject formation. Instead, the origin needs to be located in between multiple temporal registers. Taking multiple temporal registers into account also offers a more comprehensive and conceptually rich understanding of the mirror stage and operations of alienation and separation.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chenyang Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychosocial StudiesBirkbeck College, University of LondonLondonUK

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