Lacanian Desire& Fantasy& Trauma in Paul Auster’s Man in the Dark

Document Type : Original Article


Islamic Azad University. Science and Research branch


Abstract: This paper aims to examine Paul Auster’s Man in the Dark (2008) under the light of Jacques Lacan’s theories including “Desire,” “Fantasy,” “Trauma”. In spite of various valuable works that have been done in all different areas, there has not been any attempts to examine the concept of desire, fantasy, and trauma together in one study. Moreover, the researcher attempts to prove that the juxtaposition of desire and fantasy result in trauma on some of the characters. The word, trauma, is concerned with the psychological and individual characteristics. In this sense, the researcher focuses on the psychological reading of trauma to examine how some characters combat with these traumatic experiences. Due to the fact that no traumatized characters can manifest the full image of trauma, the researcher claims that there is no master-signifier. That is to say, this reveals the infeasibility of categorizing the multiple layers of trauma impacts. Furthermore, Lacan asserts that the notion of desire causes the entire propensities in the characters' life. On the other hand, these tendencies lead to frustration as well as depression in some characters. By scrutinizing the main character, August Brill, the researcher aims to elucidate the unfulfillment of his desires which leads him to experience traumatic occasions. In this sense, this research demonstrates the sequence of notions like fantasy as well as the desire by evaluating his life. Although this character battles with own issues to remove his traumatic memories, it becomes apparent that the consequence of traumatization remains inevitable.