Good lacanians and bad hegelians: Sexual differences and the dialect of (Un)Happiness (Todd Solondz, USA, 1998)
Tuck, G. (2009) Good lacanians and bad hegelians: Sexual differences and the dialect of (Un)Happiness (Todd Solondz, USA, 1998). In: Emergent Encounters in Film Theory, Kings College, London, March 2009.
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This paper suggest Solondz’s film materialises Lacan’s claim that there is no (logical) sexual relationship between the sexes and then critiques this claim via a reading of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. The figures that emerge from the model of subjectivity offered by Hegel (namely the master, the slave, the stoic, the sceptic and the unhappy consciousness) can be mapped onto Solondz’s characters, particularly in terms of their promotion of a binary conception of gender and sexuality, with almost uncanny accuracy. Rather than a logical/sexual impasse I suggest these subjects are historical and class based.