My continued ramblings of Lacan’s mirror stage and a book

After trying to personify a book in class, I think I failed at explaining really what I was trying to get at; so here’s take two.  I don’t think the book actually goes through a realization of self, that’d be a little on the bizarre side; rather the union made between a book and reader does go through the mirror stage, as described by Lacan.  First, the reader acknowledges the book.  Much like the infant in the mirror stage, everything is new and ready to be explored.  The reader begins to make sense of the happenings within the book as related to the reader, and I think there is a sense of identity created for the book, by the reader (I think it’s getting a little slippery, but try to follow).  If the reader were asked about the identity of the book while its being read, or shortly after, answers would be fairly straightforward: That novel was about Oscar Wao, and his ill attempts at having sex.  But, much like the infant, the book cannot only be compared to itself.  Sense needs to be made concerning other books within the same genre, or written by the same author, or read at the same time by the reader.  As the reader continues to broaden his horizons, the book (or the content of the book, or the gaps within the book) takes on new identities; yet, I don’t think it leaves the old identities behind either.  Just as the infant must make sense of his surrounding reality, the reader of the book makes sense of the content of the book before and after reading must evolve, or change as well, without losing the initial content gained from reading the book.   Hopefully that didn’t muddy my explanation more.

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