ABEI journal: the Brazilian journal of Irish studies vol:9 pages:11-25
After having shown the three paradoxes of literature (the master being mastered by his literary tools, the reader’s identification versus her critical stance, the text combining thematic unity and vital inconsistencies) we look at how several Lacanian concepts have their impact on a narrator’s style: the twofold psychic system, three phases that mould our perception, the function of the father figure, the notion of the Other, the others and the “objects o”. It is in the relationship to the object o, where the two different energies of our psychic system meet, that we find out which type of person we are: neurotic, psychotic or perverse.
As it is mainly the hysteric neurotic and the paranoiac psychotic type who figure most often as narrators in literature, we look at how the former type is realized in Banville’s The Book of Evidence and in Deane’s Reading in the Dark while the latter, the psychotic type, permeates the narrative of Banville’s Mefisto. Indeed, the protagonist’s pathological narcissism which steers him now into megalomania, now into a death wish (unification with the Other he lost at birth), make him utterly confuse inner and outer worlds, literal and metaphorical meanings.