The Subject of Semiotics. Kaja Silverman. This provocative book undertakes a new and challenging reading of recent semiotic and structuralist. “[This book] is intended as a methodological guide to a group of semiotic writings frequently taught in advanced undergraduate courses in North America and. This provocative book undertakes a new and challenging reading of recent semiotic and structuralist theory, arguing that films, novels, and poems cannot be .

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The displacement of desire away from the memories of var- ious images of Balbec, Venice, and Florence onto the words themselves dramatizes what is probably the most interesting of all the primary kkaja secondary interactions, since it brings the latter process under the domination of the former, and re- verses the usual order of psychic events.

In SIZ Barthes semiohics equates connotation with cultural in- scription, but he formulates the equation quite differently.

The rest of the sentence then organizes itself around the viewer, locat- ing him or her in the narrative space soon to be inhabited by George Bailey, who will function thereafter as the chief signi- fier of his or her subjectivity. That consolidation was effected by Jacques Lacan.

What is a paradigm? The dream-work con- sequendy invested it with the cumulative affect of those discoveries and desires, making it the pivotal point in the dream. Since the publication of Problem in General Linguistics that rubric has been extended to a variety of other signifying formations, including cinema. I have aubject, that is, to denaturalize the con- dition of woman, and to isolate its cultural determinants. Freud provides a number of cryptic but consistent explanations, all of them having to do with the introduction of a linguistic structure into the psychic economy.

I said to her: Understanding how meaning evolves, changes, and can be controlled through artistic means. However, Saussure stresses that the signifi- semootics semiotic fact here is the conventionalization of the relation between the two terms, not their similarity.

Reality bumps up against us, impinges upon us, yet until we have found a way of representing that reality, it remains impervious to thought. Like a paradigmatic cluster, language finds its locus only in memory — not so much in any single memory as in the memory of a culture.


Language, for instance, serves constandy as a vehicle for expressing the priv- ileged status of one term over all others, as a means semotics attribut- ing to an object, sbuject memory, or a word a transcendental, extra- systemic value.

Nov 28, Alycia added it Shelves: That book not only reconceived linguistics along semiotic lines, but it called for the application of its semiotic principles to all aspects of culture: However, as Metz points out, the dif- ferences between the various pairs are as profound as their af- finities, and discursive analysis has much to gain from a careful discrimination between them. For purposes of clarification, we have maintained a fairly firm kja between them. Because the primary process engineers endless displace- ments, its discursive formations are characterized by what J.

In fact her character is chiefly defined, at least initially, through the code of nineteenth-century man- ners. Condensation joins together in an abbreviated and highly compressed form thee elements from the dream- thoughts, and more remote memories with which they have some feature in common.

An example from Sivanns Way may help to make this dis- silgerman less abstract. Some of these rela- tionships are sensory, others are linguistic, temporal, and logi- cal i. A drive strives to discharge the quantity of excitation which it car- ries.

And his Name swells my slender Oate. Little attention is paid to the logical relations between the thoughts.

The Subject of Semiotics

As we noted above, the affective intensity of those memories hinders the search for logical relationships between them, since only those conducive to pleasure could push their way to consciousness.

It is these hyper- cathexes.

It contains repressed ma- terials — forbidden impulses, taboo recollections, etc. More interesting than many others I’ve read. Confronted with need, it will invariably project an hallucinatory gratification. This hierarchy makes explicit the privileged position of the ideational register within the Saussurean se- miotics, the impulse of that semiotics always to subordinate the more material term to the less.


At the same time it is important to keep in mind that there is always a heterogeneity of conflicting ideologies concealed behind the dominant one. Once again we are reminded of the profound interconnections between linguistic semiotics and psychoanalysis, interconnections which result both from the fact that language can only be activated through discourse, within which the subject figures centrally, and from the fact that subjectivity is itself a product of two signifying activities, one unconscious and the other preconscious or conscious.

Stephanie Holman rated it liked it Mar 26, In later times the dominance of the pleasure principle is very much more secure, but it itself has no more escaped the process of taming than the other instincts in general.

For example, a proper name elicits the mental image of a living person, or one specific to a particular historical period, a work of literature, or a legal fiction.

The Subject of Semiotics – Kaja Silverman – Oxford University Press

The Interpretation of Dreams consistently approaches subjectivity as a staging-ground for two kinds of signification.

The Sign, The Signifier The division be- tween those spaces permits the subject to enter into two dis- courses alternately or even at the same time, discourses which are often in startling opposition to each other. Normally the word- presentation or linguistic signifier would function to dampen down the affective and sensory appeal of the thing-presenta- tion or signified, achieving a victory of the secondary process over the primary.

The famous story about his grandson, recounted both in The Interpretation of Dreams and Primary and. In fact, the unconscious only resorts to discourse — to dreams, par- apraxes, neuroses, fantasies — because its raw materials are ex- cluded from consciousness.

It is also important to stress once again that certain infantile wishes become the pivot of unconscious signification i.