İdeal Ego Ego İdeal'e Karşı: Poe'nun "The Imp of the Perverse" Hikâyesinin Lacanyen Bir Okuması

Elzem NAZLİ
2021 Cankaya University journal of humanities and social sciences  
In Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The Imp of the Perverse" (1845), the narrator/protagonist gives us his account of how he commits a murder, but he does not provide a fully defined, convincing reason for his vile action. He speaks like a commonsensical man when he philosophizes on "perversity" in a clinically distanced tone of voice. He makes inferences and highlights the implications concerning perversity. With the same tone of voice, he also gives the readers a cold-blooded account of how he
more » ... killed an old man. The insanity in the act and the way he narrates it are complicated enough for us to make sense of his situation. However, to make the issue more complicated, he gives himself away and is imprisoned to be hanged. The co-existence of these triangular dynamics has triggered a zealous hermeneutic process by/for the critics. However, none of these readings can exhaust the narrative and hermeneutical implications embodied in the story. Each of them can cover some aspects of the narrative while leaving some others untouched like the psychodynamics of the main character. In that sense, this essay attempts to make a psychoanalytic interpretation of the story by giving a Lacanian hearing to it as it might offer an explanation for certain details which otherwise remain as a rupture like the narrator's drive to give himself away or his impulsive act of killing the old man. Using the Lacanian concepts of the ideal ego and the ego ideal, jouissance, perversity, the imaginary, and the symbolic as the conceptual backcloth, this essay claims that Poe fictionalizes Lacanian psychoanalytic concept of perversity, which refers to the partial accession to castration, in "The Imp of the Perverse".
doi:10.47777/cankujhss.816538 fatcat:5qe5hn6gnzhcxdd2qxuvaobolu