ABSTRACT

This chapter looks at physical, linguistic, and symbolic rupture. It begins with Jacques Lacan’s concept of the mirror stage and then moves on to Maurice Blanchot’s thoughts on literature and fractured language, as discussed through his essay “Orpheus’s Gaze”. Maurice Blanchot’s literary theory is not only abstract but corporeal, and can lend insight as to how the body is conceived of in Body Integrity Identity Disorder and Phantom Limb Syndrome. Maurice Blanchot continues, “literature’s ideal has been the following: to say nothing, to speak in order to say nothing”. Maurice Blanchot illuminates the way in which a text simultaneously contains the known and the unknown body of work. “Orpheus’s Gaze”, and the gaze into the mirror-box thus convey how seeing one’s fracture through a symbol of one’s simultaneous absence and presence may engender a release wherein one has “no self-identity to obey”.