ai no korrida

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code as hidden texts.
as love letters.

<title>Ai no Korrida</title>
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	font-family: 'Courier New', Courier, mono;	font-size: 11px;"><FONT color="#ff2100"><I>Ai no
the Cutting Edge of<BR>
Feminine Eroticism</TD>
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<TD colSpan=10 style="line-height: 1.2pt;	Filter: Wave(Add=0, Freq=5, LightStrength=20, Phase=20, Strength=20);><A href=""
      target=_top><FONT color="#ff2100" size=+1>F<FONT
      color="#ff2100" size=-1>ABIEN<FONT color=#ff1200
      size=+1> T<FONT color="#ff2100" size=-1>RÉMEAU</A>


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<TD rowspan="2" valign="top" bgcolor="#082908" style="line-height: 1.2pt; Filter: Wave(Add=0, Freq=5, LightStrength=20, Phase=20, Strength=20); color: 'f7e1c1';	font-family: 'Courier New', Courier, mono; font-size: '13px';"><A 
      target=_top><IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/aino.jpg" width="200" height="108" border=0 align=left></A>
      <I>Ai no korrida</I> is the Japanese title of the movie, <I>In the Realm
      of the Senses</I>, by Oshima Nagisa. Even though Oshima preferred the
      French title <I>L'Empire des sens</I>, for its closeness to the title of
      Roland Barthes' book <I>L'Empire des signes</I>, we think that the
      Japanese title deserves more attention. <I>Ai no korrida</I>, whose
      translation is <I>Corrida of love</I>, contains the idea of kill; the kill
      of what? the kill of the hero, of course; yet why not the kill of
<IMG hspace=10 src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif" border=0><I>In
      the Realm of the Senses</I> became famous for its last scene — a scene of
      castration —, but I regard the turning point as the killing of the hero,
      Kichiso, leading the heroine to what Lacan calls the feminine
<IMG hspace=10 src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif"
      border=0>This article intends to show how Lacan's teaching can elucidate
      the movie's framework and conversely, perhaps above all, but also, how the
      movie illustrates some of Lacan's ideas about <I>jouissance</I>,
      especially those developed in the Seminar XX — <I>Encore</I> (1972-73). So
      far no other films have achieved this lacanian uniqueness.

At the movie's end, Kichi, after all their feats, lies completely
      exhausted; Sada, with her same appetite, is on the watch.<BR>
      hspace=10 src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif" border=0>The strangulation
      that occurred during their sexual intercourses has brought them close to
      death. Then, Kichi gives Sada this specific order regarding strangulation:
      "If you start, don't stop in the middle, it hurts too much afterwards."
      One can recognize the expression of the super-ego, "<I>jouis</I>!"
      addressed to Sada, where exactly it is only implied. There are three times
      in Kichi's imperative: the beginning, the middle, and "afterwards," which
      is in fact the final cause <I>a contrario</I> (the reason why she should
      not stop). Death and <I>jouissance</I> are indisputably present in this
      sentence. At the same time, their temporality, the very end of the act, is
      missing. In the following scene of Kichi's death, Sada is initiated to a
      new kind of <I>jouissance</I>. This is the only instance when Sada obtains
      <I>jouissance</I> detached from any sexual act; whereas previously, Sada
      strangulates Kichi during their love making, she now shows a complete
      disinterest in his penis. Initially the next scene appears enigmatic: Sada
      lies naked amid the benches of an open-air theater; a little girl running
      after an old man, playing hide-and-seek keeps asking: "Are you ready?" The
      old man answers: "Not yet," until he suddenly disappears. This scene may
      be understood as Sada's fantasy — the death, the killing of her
<div id="Layer2" style="position:absolute; width:100%; z-index:2; filter:invert; background-color: #F7E1C1; layer-background-color: #F7E1C1; border: 1px none #000000;">&nbsp;<br>

<TD rowspan="2" valign="top" style="line-height: 1.5pt;	Filter: Wave(Add=0, Freq=5, LightStrength=20, Phase=40, Strength=20);font-family: 'Courier New', Courier, mono;	font-size: 12px;">[...]

<IMG hspace=10 src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif"
      border=0>These scenes correlate with what Lacan taught about fantasy as
      the last defense against <I>jouissance</I>. Sada's fundamental fantasy
      arises at the same time it is passed over (one may refer to the
      <I>Aufhebung</I> here), leading her to a <I>jouissance</I> one should no
      longer call sexual, but rather "a glance at feminine <I>jouissance</I>."
      In the following scene Sada castrates Kichi's corpse. As Lacan points out,
      this scene conveys a certain strangeness and questions the psychoanalytic
      concept of castration: "Here we see clearly that castration is not a
      fantasy. Castration cannot be placed so easily in the function that it has
      in psychoanalysis, since it may be fantasized."<A
      href="#footnote"><FONT color="#ff2100"
      size=-2><SUP>1</SUP></FONT></A><A name=1><BR>
<TD valign="top" style="line-height: 1.2pt;	font-size:18px;Filter: Wave(Add=0, Freq=5, LightStrength=20, Phase=20, Strength=20);font-family: 'Courier New', Courier, mono;"><IMG
      hspace=10 src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif" border=0>She cuts his penis
      first, then his testicles. No question, her knife follows the anatomic
      section; she cuts the anatomic male organ. What value does it acquire
      then, far away from its sexual use? The emasculated corpse of Kichi, in
      its connection with the Other, the father of the fantasy, represents the
      barred Other (<IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/aia.gif">) and the useless
      genital organ she now possesses is the signifier of this <IMG
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/aia.gif">: S(<IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/aia.gif"
      border=0>). Sada reaches the other <I>jouissance</I>, the feminine
      <I>jouissance</I>, specified by its relation with S(<IMG
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/aia.gif" border=0>). 
<div id="Layer3" style="position:absolute; filter:alpha(opacity=55); left: 413px; top: 218px; background-color: #FFFFFF; layer-background-color: #FFFFFF; border: 1px none #000000;" class="movexy"><IMG width="200" height="108" src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif" border=0></div>
<IMG       src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif" hspace=10 border=0>The difference between the two
      <I>jouissances</I> is also evoked by the terminology of the script, when a
      voice-over states that Sada, holding his sex in her hand, roamed the
      streets of Tokyo for four days with a resplendent face: it is no longer
      question of happiness (<I>ureshii</I>) but of resplendence
      (<I>hareyakana</I>): which in Japanese first refers to a clear, cloudless
      sky. In that way, Sada approaches certain mystics .<BR>
In connection to what has
      gone before, I would like to make a few comments on Lacan's
      schema:<A href="#footnote"><FONT
      color="#ff2100" size=-2><SUP>2</SUP></FONT></A>



<IMG height=172 src="Ai_no_Korrida/ai1.gif"
      width=332 border=0 style="filter:alpha(opacity:500)">
The left side concerns the male inscription, and the right, the female
      inscription. For Kichi, sexual <I>jouissance</I> is associated with the
      fantasy that he responds to Sada's <I>demande</I> by giving himself over
      to Sada's sexual games.
<TD rowspan="2" valign="top" background="Ai_no_Korrida/aino.jpg" style="line-height: 1.2pt;	Filter: Wave(Add=0, Freq=5, LightStrength=20, Phase=20, Strength=20);
	font-family: 'Courier New', Courier, mono;	font-size: 11px;"><A name=2><IMG hspace=10
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif" border=0>His fantasy supports his
      <I>jouissance</I>, at the same time his <I>jouissance</I> builds up his
      fantasy. What Kichi grasps of the Other, incorporated in Sada, is his
      <I>objet a</I>: "It (<IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/ais.gif" align=bottom
      border=0> in the masculine position) can never reach its sexual partner,
      which is the Other, except by way of mediation, as the cause of its
      desire."<A href="#footnote"><FONT
      color="#ff2100" size=-2><SUP>3</SUP></FONT></A><A name=3>
      On the other hand, Sada shows this duality: she has a rapport to the
      sexual <I>jouissance</I>, <IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/la.gif" align=bottom
      border=0> —&gt; <IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/f.gif" align=bottom border=0>,
      and, as she is inscribed on the side of the "<I>pas-toute</I>," she has
      rapport to the feminine <I>jouissance</I>, demonstrated by the end of the
      movie, <IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/la.gif" align=bottom border=0> —&gt;
      S(<IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/aia.gif" align=bottom border=0>). From this,
      three points can be raised: 1 — The position of fantasy is very specific
      in the case of Sada: it plays the role of a defense against feminine
      <I>jouissance</I>. It would be the bar separating the phallic
      <I>jouissance</I> (for women) from the feminine <I>jouissance</I>:</TD>
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<div id="Layer1" style="position:relative; z-index:1"><IMG height=87 alt=schema src="Ai_no_Korrida/ai2.gif"
      width=155 border=0></div>
2 — The place of castration can be revised. For men, castration is a
      prerequisite: man can approach woman, because he is castrated; "...short
      of castration, that is, short of something which says <I>no</I> to the
      phallic function, man has no chance of enjoying the body of the woman, in
      other words, of making love."<A
      href="#footnote"><FONT color="#ff2100"
      size=-2><SUP>4</SUP></FONT></A><A name=4> Castration is,
      for man, the ratio of the paternal function, <IMG
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/exfx.gif" border=0>, with the phallic function,
      <IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/axfx.gif" border=0>. For Sada, castration
      comes last, as part of the real that constitutes S (A); and, in that
      sense, we can consider castration as part of the real that constitutes
      S(<IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/aia.gif" border=0>), and in that sense one
      can say that castration is her "anti-fantasy." Castration allows Sada to
      rid herself of her fundamental fantasy, <IMG
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/ais.gif" border=0> —&gt; a. Thus she reaches the
      feminine <I>jouissance</I>, <IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/la.gif" border=0>
      —&gt; S(<IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/aia.gif" border=0>) In that way,
      castration can be conceived of as the passing from the "<I>semblant
      d'être</I>" to S(<IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/aia.gif" border=0>):</TD>
<TD rowspan="2" valign="top" style="line-height: 1.2pt; 	Filter: Wave(Add=0, Freq=5, LightStrength=20, Phase=20, Strength=20);	font-family: 'Courier New', Courier, mono;
	font-size: 33px;">
<IMG height=23 alt=schema src="Ai_no_Korrida/ai3.gif"
      width=109 border=0>
<IMG hspace=10 src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif" border=0>3 — why
      does S(<IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/aia.gif" border=0>) lie below the
      female inscription in Lacan's schema? Should it not be exterior to the
      male and female inscriptions? One can say that it is the logical
      consequence of three lacanian propositions:<BR>
<IMG hspace=10
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif" border=0>a — woman is basically the
      Other in the sexual act<BR>
<IMG hspace=10
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif" border=0>b — the Other is the treasure
      of signifiers<BR>
<IMG hspace=10 src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif"
      border=0>c — there is no Other of the Other.<BR>
<TD rowspan="2" valign="top" style="line-height: 1.2pt;
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	font-size: 11px;"><IMG hspace=10
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif" border=0>The S(<IMG
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/aia.gif" border=0>) occupies a specific position in
      woman: a position of "extimity."<A
      href="#footnote"><FONT color="#ff2100"
      size=-2><SUP>5</SUP></FONT></A><A name=5> One encounters
      a further difficulty: woman considered as a subject cannot be called the
      Other, A, nor can she not be a divided subject, <IMG
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/ais.gif" border=0>. But with respect to
      <I>jouissance</I>, Lacan seems to say that one cannot disregard conceiving
      of woman as A, nor simply conceive of her as <IMG
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/ais.gif" border=0>. For this reason, Lacan writes:
      "<IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/la.gif" border=0>," which is neither A, nor
      <IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/ais.gif" border=0>. From this, one can
      understand that the question of the relation between woman and A leads
      Lacan towards the concept of God; and, the question of the relation
      between woman and <IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/ais.gif" border=0> leads
      Lacan towards the question of the unconscious in women. Moreover, the fact
      that <IMG src="Ai_no_Korrida/la.gif" border=0> —&gt; S(<IMG
      src="Ai_no_Korrida/aia.gif" border=0>) stays within the female
      inscription indicates that feminine <I>jouissance</I> is "<I>jouissance de
<TD rowspan="2" valign="top" style="line-height: 1.2pt; 	Filter: Wave(Add=0, Freq=5, LightStrength=20, Phase=20, Strength=20);	font-family: 'Courier New', Courier, mono;
	font-size: 11px;"><IMG hspace=10 src="Ai_no_Korrida/SINGLEP.gif"
      border=0>I could finish this article by congratulating the actress, Eiko
      Matsuda, for her exceptional performance, and Oshima Nagisa for his
      masterpiece. But discrediting the male role, as I have earlier, for
      example by simply labelling Kichi as obsessional, may be a pitfall of the
      film. His apparent passivity should not mask that it is Kichi who
      introduces strangling into their love games, and the one who asks Sada to
      kill him. One could say without a Kichi, no Sada (also, without a Sada, no
      Kichi). Kichi loses everything: his strength, his life, and even beyond
      death, his genitals. In fact, as the action progresses, one comes to
      understand his position as the same as Sada's: their refusal of the
      "<I>semblant</I>" associated with the sexual <I>jouissance</I>. He
      gradually erects it to an ethical position. He becomes conscious that
      there is no escape from sexual <I>jouissance</I> within the realm of love,
      conscious that he will not become what she is about to reach, or in other
      words, he becomes conscious of the inexistence of sexual relation.
      Therefore, he is the order addressed to Sada; "Jouis!," as the only chance
      to escape their <I>jouissance</I>. </TD>
<TD rowspan="2" valign="top" style="line-height: 1.5pt; 	Filter: Wave(Add=0, Freq=5, LightStrength=20, Phase=20, Strength=20);	font-family: 'Courier New', Courier, mono;
	font-size: 11px;">Notes<BR>
<FONT size=-1><A name=footnote>
1. Jacques
      Lacan, <I>Le Sinthome, Ornicar?</I> n. #9, p. 38; "C'est là qu'on voit
      bien que la castration, ce n'est pas le fantasme. Elle n'est pas facile a
      situer dans la fonction qui est la sienne dans l'analyse, puisqu'elle peut
      être fantasmatisée." <A href="#1"><FONT
      color="#ff2100">back up</FONT></A><BR>
2. In <I>Feminine Sexuality — Jacques
      Lacan and the École Freudienne</I>, W.W. Norton &amp; Co., New York, 1982,
      p.149. <A href="#2"><FONT color="#ff2100">back
3. ibid, p.151, <I>Encore</I>, p. 75. <A href="#3"><FONT color="#ff2100">back up</FONT></A><BR>
4. ibid, p. 143, <I>Encore</I>, p.67. <A
      href="#4"><FONT color="#ff2100">back
5. We refer the reader to Jacques-Alain Miller's seminar
      "L'Extimité," 1985-86, unpublished. <A
      href="#4"><FONT color="#ff2100">back
      up</FONT></A> </TD>
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