As I was reading through "No Future", I ran across the word "jouissance" and wasn't sure what it meant. I decided to just go with a rough context definition at first. I soon found it popping up all over the place, so I was forced to go to my old pal Merriam-Webster for a more clear definition, which turned out to be not-so-clear:
"jouis·sance: pleasure, sexual pleasure, orgasm"
While that sort of worked for the context, it didn't seem quite right. I moved on to Google after that, which led me to, as predicted, Wikipedia. There, I found out that the translation causes it to lose some of its connotations in English. It does mean pleasure, but Wikipedia says that it is pleasure that can be "too much to bear". As it is translated in English, it refers more to just sexual pleasure, but in French it has a more complex meaning. As the article states, "It is pleasure and pain together, a feeling of being at the edge. It can indicate a breaking of boundaries, a connection beyond the self. This can range from a mother feeling intense connection with a breast-feeding baby to meditative feelings of oneness with the universe." It goes even further into Lacan's definition, but after a few re-reads I still wasn't completely clear on its exact meaning, though what I found sufficed.
1 year ago