The Reflection Without The Vampire

Essays on technology, psycho­analysis, philosophy, design, ideology & Slavoj Žižek


July 11, 2011

The Reflection Without The Vampire

An excerpt from Žižek’s essay From objet a to Subtraction:

Is objet a, insofar as it lacks its mirror image, the vampiric object (vampires, as we know, do not generate their image in a mirror)? It may seem so: are vampires not versions of undead partial objects? However, perhaps, the exact opposite is more appropriate as an image of objet a: when we look at a thing directly, in reality, we don’t see “it”-this “it” only appears when we look at the thing’s mirror image, as if there is, in the mirror image, something more than in reality, as if only the mirror image can bring out the mysterious ingredient for which we search in vain in the object’s reality. Or, to put it in Deleuzian terms: the mirror image desubstantializes a thing, depriving it of its density and depth, reducing it to a flat surface, and it is only through this reduction that the purely non-substantial objet a becomes perceptible.