Désir du sujet/sujet du désir: Melmoth réconcilié

Within the framework of communication theory the function of the prologue instituting the narrative and discursive models of competence actualized in Balzac's tale of fantasy is examined. A first section deals with the role of temporal and spatial deictics, and the tropes (metaphor, metonymy and synecdoche) that formally organize the text as unresolved enigma. Then, a psychoanalytical (Lacanian) study is made of the ways in which this text actualizes theories of narrative, writing, and reading by the displacement and condensation of the roles of the characters and the deferral of meaning (the symbolic, scene of the letter, letter and death, scene of the contract, ambiguity). Considered at the actantial level are the subject's incapacity to attain his objects of desire in spite of the unlimited extension of the modalities of competence granted him by the contract (knowledge, volition, power). Finally, are outlined the principles of displacement of the tale of fantasy, principally defined as a symbol, and not a sign, system, in which the signifying chain (gold and desire refer alternately to the Phallus and Death) symbolizes the shifting of signification preventing a fixed final meaning. (In French) (PJP)

Perron, Paul
Volume 1983-1984 Fall-Winter; 12(1-2): 36-53.