A new translation by Peter Geoffrey Young, Legendre, Pierre. Lessons III : God at the Mirror – study on the institution of images

Navigating the texts of Ovid, Augustine, Roman jurists, medieval canon lawyers, Freud, Lacan, the notebooks of Leonardo de Vinci, and the paintings of Rene Magritte, this third volume of Lessons focuses on the relation of the subject to the institution of images. The image in the mirror is struck with an irreducible aspect of alterity, and constitutes the precise ground of the question of the subject, involving the necessity of a subjective void – a gap or separation which renders organization of identity as relational. For Legendre, this gap acquires status through the intervention of institutionality: for the subject as such, metaphorization of psychical alienation as ground of symbolic organization isn’t conceivable without the mirror’s reprise by culture. Legendre approaches this social reprisal or transposition as a phenomenon upon which the normative system – the law itself, as effect of representation – remains entirely dependent. Consequently, a society only exercises its anthropological function on the basis of implementing itself as mirror – offered to each subject as representation of this third element within the narcissistic relation, constructing identity as a discourse of separation and negati