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versión impresa ISSN 2359-0769versión On-line ISSN 2359-0777


DANELINCK, Daniela. The role of shame in the lacanian theory of the four discourses. Rev. Subj. [online]. 2022, vol.22, n.1, pp.1-12. ISSN 2359-0769.

The aim of this paper is to understand why Jacques Lacan placed the affect of shame at the heart of his Theory of the four discourses, which is a purely formal theory of social bonding. Given that our time insists on denying or denigrating shame as a purely negative affect, and even as an obsolete affect that would tend to disappear in modern capitalist democracies, the present work intent to repeat the gesture of the Australian scholar Elspeth Probyn in her book Blush: Faces of Shame, and sustain that "something about shame is terrible important". Divided into three parts, the first argues that wherever our contemporary society openly invokes shame, as for example in political and sexual scandals, it is always an imaginary notion that is at stake: spectacular shame. In the second part, we move towards a different approach to shame, considered within the framework of the lacanian Theory of the Four Discourses as a privileged affect of the social link: shame of living. The third and last part focuses on Lacan's Seminar 17 to interrogate it only in relation to shame, from the point of view of his last words: "If there are some slightly less than ignoble reasons for your presence here in such numbers (...) it is because not too much but just enough I happen to make you ashamed". An ad-hoc conceptualization of shame is proposed for the final class of the seminar: shame as that privileged affect that reveals, to the talking beings, their split existence in a discourse.

Palabras clave : shame; spectacle; social link; theory of the four discourses; Lacan.

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