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Monday, April 11, 2011

Cosmopolis - Reading Eric Packer Through Lacan

Reading Eric Packer through Lacan:

Eric Packer is speculating on the yen. He has a yen. Not a real want, nor a desire, just a yen. You know like a yen for chocolate ice-cream, a day at the beach, something or other that you have a yen for but that is not really very important. As the day continues he buys-borrows-more and more yen. He wants all the yen there is. All that he can get. If he accumulates a huge pile of yen, will all that yen equal Desire, or even an honest to good want? In fact if he acquires all the yen available will that be enough? Maybe all it will ever be is yen? For what?

Lacan has taught us that desire is coupled with lack. Always. Desire/Lack are coupled. As soon as Lack has been quenched, satisfied, satiated, filled, fulfilled, it disappears, and with it disappears Desire. The paradox of consummation. Is yen then what's left? Then only  yen?  Is yen the Accursed Share, the remainder after the excess? No desire, no want, just a yen?

Eric Packer is packed. Packed with stuff: a shark tank; a lap swimming pool; a kennel of borzoi dogs; an atrium of modern art.  Excess Consumption as Schuster writes. The consummate consumer. One Rothko is not enough, he wants all the Rothkos in Houston, along with the entire chapel including its walls. Does he want the landscaping around it also? Old money (like Shifrin money) has endowed this spectacular chapel of Rothkos. Eric is packed with New Money. Cyber-money. Numbers.

His crotch is packed also. He has a New York pair of brass balls. Packer. Pack-her. Pack her with cock. Fuck her.

He rides around in a limo that is as self-contained as a home and office combined. The early US limos were Packards. They were usually black and illegal gangsters like Al Capone rode around in them and the early legal robber barons: Vanderbilt; J.P Morgan; Frick. Eric is packed in the limo. Is the limo a Packard? Customized of course.

And Eric. Air-ic. All will go into the air, the void, into nothingness, be disappeared.

Elise.  A tease.  A seductress. A lease, to please on command. A contract, a marriage contract that can be easily broken.

Shifrin. Shifting. Into hiding places, into shadows, into book stores, ephemeral, disappearing. Academic writers are giving Elise Shifrin short shrift. She is his estranged wife.  She is  one of the four women he fucks during the day. That sure marginalizes her. I'm not going to.

De Lillo does this. Former women:From his The Engineer of Moonlight in which the engineer of the title searches to find a scientific, mathematical language to make the world empirical, his wife Maya; And his ex Diana Vail.  The goddess of night, moonlight, the moon, the feminine, the hunt, veiled in illusion.  Seduction. Nabokov and Pynchon his student with all their amazing names. And of course, David Foster Wallace's Hal Incandenza and Don Gately.

Eric is packing with an old rusty gun. And then of course Eric Packer packs it in.

No doubt more can be excavated and I will appreciate that in the comments.

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