Thursday, May 23, 2013

Borderline Personalities... and "Other" Disorders

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Hysteria has to be comprehended in the complexity of its strategy, as a radically ambiguous protest against the Master's interpellation which simultaneously bears witness to the fact that the hysterical subject needs a Master, cannot do without a Master, so that there is no simple and direct way out. For that reason, one should also avoid the historicist pitfall of rejecting the notion of hysteria as belonging to a bygone era: the notion that today, borderline disturbances, not hysteria, are the predominant form of 'discontent' in our civilization. 'Borderline' is the contemporary form of hysteria, that is, of the subject's refusal to accept the predominant mode of interpellation whose agent is no longer the traditional Master but the 'expert knowledge' of the discourse of Science. In short, the shift from the classic form of hysteria to borderline disturbances is strictly correlative with the shift from the traditional Master to the form of Power legitimated by Knowledge.
-Slavoj Žižek, "The Indivisible Remainder: On Schelling and Related Matters" (London: Verso, 1996 & 2007). The following citations are from the 2007 edition pp. 163-165.

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