It is a concern recurrent in Freud, that of the Objektwahl, the object-choice. When Freud says Objekt, in no way is it to be translated as objet petit a. When he talks about the choice of the love object, the love object is i(a), it is the image of another human being. Sometimes we choose something other than a human being, sometimes we choose a material object: we call that fetishism… In this case we deal not with a love object but with an object of jouissance or cause of desire, not of love. Because to be able to speak of love it is necessary that the function a be veiled by the image, by the image of another human being, and perhaps by the image of another human being from another sex. (A New Kind of Love Jacques-Alain Miller















◆ジジェク”Less Than Nothing”(2012)より”fetish”をいくつか抜き出す(マルクスのコモディティフェチは多量にあるので除く)。ーー電子書籍からなので頁の表示はしない。

The key formula of semblance was proposed by J‐A. Miller: semblance is a mask (veil) of nothing. Here, of course, the link with the fetish offers itself: a fetish is also an object that conceals the void. Semblance is like a veil, a veil which veils nothing—its function is to create the illusion that there is something hidden beneath the veil.

One of the standard procedures of de‐fetishizing/de‐reifying critique is to denounce (what appears as) a direct property of the perceived object as the subject's (the observer's) “reflexive determination”: the subject ignores how her gaze is already included in the perceived content. An example from recent theory: post‐structuralist deconstructionism does not exist (in itself, in France), since it was invented in the US, for and by the American academic gaze with all its constitutive limitations.28 In short, an entity like “post‐structuralist deconstructionism” (a term not used in France) comes into existence only for a gaze that is unaware of the details of the philosophical scene in France: this gaze brings together authors (Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Lyotard, and so on) who are simply not perceived as part of the same episteme in France, just as the concept of film noir posits a unity which did not exist “in itself.”

the fetish is not only an object filling in the void: “The void carved by the missing object turns into a filling for itself: even absence provides its own bitter consolation.”

This brings us to the paradox of how sexual difference relates to the phallic signifier: the moment we conceive the phallus as signifier and not only as an image (“symbol”) of potency, fertility, or whatever, we should conceive it primarily as something that, due to the very fact that a woman lacks a penis, belongs to her (or, more precisely, to the mother). It is thus not that, in a first moment, man “has it” and woman does not, and, in a second moment, woman fantasizes about “having it.” As Lacan puts it on the very last page of his Écrits: “the lack of penis in the mother is ‘where the nature of the phallus is revealed.' We must give all its importance to this indication, which distinguishes precisely the function of the phallus and its nature.” And it is here that we should rehabilitate Freud's deceptively “naïve” notion of the fetish as the last thing the subject sees before it sees the lack of a penis in a woman: what a fetish covers up is not simply the absence of a penis in a woman (in contrast to its presence in a man), but the fact that this very structure of presence/absence is differential in the strict “structuralist” sense.

Far from being a symbol of power and fertility, the phallic signifier thus gives body to the structural fault of the system; that is, it stands for the point at which a fault can no longer be recast as a positive feature, the point of “What do you want? No system is without faults!” the point at which castration is inscribed into a system. This is why it has to be covered up: its disclosure equals the disclosure of castration. This covering‐up has “two essential recourses: the wall—which is the phobic solution—or the veil—which is the fetishistic solution.”

The “good” mother fills in her lack with a child‐fetish; the “evil” devouring mother fills it in with her phobic‐terrifying figure—again, two modes of obfuscating the void that is (feminine) subjectivity.

This difference between (fixed) structural places and the (variable) terms that occupy these places is crucial in order to break the fetishistic coagulation of a term with its place, to make us aware of the extent to which the aura emanating from an object hinges not on the object's direct properties, but on the place it occupies. The classic example of this dependency on place is, of course, Marcel Duchamp's well‐known urinal, which became an art object by being exhibited as such. Duchamp's achievement was not just to extend the scope of what counts as a work of art (even a urinal), but—as a formal condition of such universalization—to introduce the distinction between an object and the (structural) place it occupies: what makes a urinal a work of art is not its immanent properties, but the place it occupies (in an art gallery)—or, as Marx put it long ago apropos commodity fetishism, people do not treat a person as a king because he is a king, he is a king because people treat him as such.



In China, the local party bosses are popular targets of obscene jokes mocking their vulgar tastes and sexual obsessions. (Far from originating with ordinary people, these jokes mostly express the attitude of the higher nomenklatura towards the lower cadres.) In one joke, a small provincial party boss has just returned from the big city with a pair of shiny new black shoes. When his young secretary brings him tea, he wants to impress her with the quality of his shoes; so when she leans over his table he moves his foot just under her skirt and tells her he can see (reflected in his shoe) that her underpants are blue. The next day the flirting goes on, and he tells her that today her underpants are green. On the third day, the secretary decides not to wear any underwear at all; looking at his shoes for the reflection, the party boss desperately exclaims: “I've just bought these shoes, and already the surface is cracked!” In the final displacement, precisely when the boss is able to see the reflected “thing itself,” he withdraws from recognizing it and reads it as a feature of the mirror reflecting it. One might even detect here, beneath the surface of the boss's vulgar boastfulness, a gesture of hidden politeness: in a gentle misrecognition, he prefers to appear an idiot than to comment rudely on what he can see. The procedure is here different from that of fetishistic displacement: the subject's perception does not stop at the last thing he sees before the direct view of the vaginal opening (as in the fetishistic fixation), for his shoe is not his fetish, the last thing he sees before seeing the vaginal crack; when, unexpectedly and inadvertently, he does get the view of the crack, he as it were assumes it as his own, as his own deficiency.





ラカンはフロイトがあげた男性のフェティッシュの形成の例によく言及しています.その男は,女性に興味を持つためには「鼻のつや(Glanz auf der Nase)」を見つけることが必要でした.フロイトはこれを,この男性に英国人の乳母がいたことにまで歴史をさかのぼります.性的な興味から,男性はこの乳母の女性をちら見(glance)しようとしますが,乳母は許可されてもいないのにそんなことをしたら鼻が痛めつけられますよと彼に語ったのでした.それゆえ「つや(Glanz)」と「ちら見(glance)」が鼻に結び付けられます.このように,ある意味では意味はあるのですが,より深い意味では意味はないのです.言葉そのままなのであって,なぜこの男性の性的生活が英語からドイツ語への翻訳に捧げられているのかということは誰にも説明できません.ここには無意味の側面があり,これがまさにラカンがこの症例における「ちら見(Glanz)」という主人のシニフィアンを強調して取り扱った際に取り出そうとしたものなのです.

◆あるいはミレールは次のように語る(You Are the Woman of the Other and I Desire You )。

Glow in the Nose 

It is worth thinking about Freud’s example in his 1927 article, “Fetishism,” where we find the choice of what he called a fetish. He tells us about the accidental circumstances, contingent, which led the subject to that election, which is precisely the nose. That is, what Freud calls the choice of the fetish. It is a curious fetish the one Freud takes as a paradigm. He doesn’t take the shoe nor any material thing, but something rather unsubstantial: a gloss on the nose, the Glanz auf der Nase. This depends on many things, being something infinitely fugitive: it depends on the light or the time it takes women to get some mascara. And this is the paradigmatic example Freud takes. This fetish, our objet a as the cause of desire, is openly illustrated in this example where not only it is an almost pointless thing, or a substance almost immaterial, but it also depends on a “signifier” play. As you know, the fetishist presented by Freud was educated in England, and his opening sentence was “a glance on the nose,” and because of the homophony and the misunderstanding of the translation, happens what Freud called a fetish.

This demonstrates the Lacanian thesis that the signifier structures desire. The fetish is produced by a homophony between two languages. In the example, the fetish is the nose and, according to Freud, also a displacement of the nose under the skirt. Here the Freudian fetish is a screen memory and is what Freud called a penis substitute. Not any penis, however, this nose under the skirt is a displacement, a substitute for a penis that does not exist. This is the paradox: the nose under the skirt is a bat that, in the light of day exists only as displaced; in the light of day, the nose under the skirt does not exist as such. This means that it is something that lurks in the Other, something that cannot stand the light of day, something that exists only in hiding. And when an attempt is made to see it, it is nothing other than a shine.

This is not a symptom, a fetish is not a symptom, in that it does not do any wrong. A shine on the nose is not too hard to find in a woman. The Freudian fetishists should be quite happy because it easies the way for desire. For example, one needs only from a woman that she doesn’t put powder on her nose. I don’t know if Adam wanted Eve with a shiny nose. Besides, the Freudian fetish is produced in-between two signifiers, it is the structure of the misunderstanding which produces it. All that Freud, in “Contributions to the Psychology of Love,” presents as conditions for love is also exhibited in-between two signifiers, as something that emerges in the in-between.