ABSTRACT

Judith Butler writes: "if traumatic events make giving an account difficult or impossible, or if they produce elision or ellipsis within a narrative, then it would seem that precisely what is not spoken is nevertheless conveyed through that figure". Through a combination of illusion and reality, Georges Perec symbolises the kind of loss that those with Body Integrity Identity Disorder and Phantom Limb Syndrome experience. In the words of Lawrence Kritzman, "[t]he traumatic loss of Perec's parents fractures not only his life but also his memory and inscribes on his body a series of irreparable wounds. By materially and symbolically holding up the presence and absence of fragmentation and unity at once, it helpfully makes conscious a painful split related to a desire for original wholeness. The mirror-box presents a manifestation of the ellipsis, and of these reflections on rupture and wholeness, thus bringing these theories towards a lived reality, and the bodily conditions towards a linguistic, non-biomedical examination.