DR. KHURSHEED AHMAD QAZI
SR. ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
NORTH CAMPUS, UNIVERSITY OF KASHMIR
Desire is always the desire of the Other. – Jacques Lacan
I had expected him to take me in his arms and stroke my hair, my hands and whisper loving words. – Kamala Das
Kamala Das is a delightful poet of love and sex, unraveling and mysteries of the finer sex in this matter. The ‘openness’ and the ‘honesty’ that we find in her is rarely witnessed in other Indo-English women poets, with the possible exception of Gauri Deshpandey in a lesser degree. In fact, many other contemporary Indian poets have sung songs in honour of Love – such poets as Shiv K. Kumar, Pritish Nandy, Nissim Ezekiel, R. Parthasarathy, Jayanta Mahapatra and A. K. Ramanujan – but in her emotional sweep and lyrical rapture Kamala Das surpasses them all. – A.N. Dwivedi
This paper intends to search for the presence of Post Freudian desire i.e., Lacanian notion of desire in Kamala Das’ powerful poetic discourses. A thorough reading of her poetry proves that itprimarily revolves around human desire particularly love and Sex. This Lacanian interpretation will enable us to trace that in Das’s poetic expressions desire is always the desire of the Other which constitutes Lacanian Philosophy. Lacanian Other refers to anything that contributes to the creation of our subjectivity or what we commonly refer to as our “Selfhood”.
Jacques Lacan believes that desire is central to all human endeavours or activities. His desire follows Sigmund Freud’s concept of Wunch it shapes almost all Lacanian concepts. He states that desire is named in the presence of the Other. He also believes that the subject must recognise his / her desire. It is generally believed that Kamala Das’ poetry is highly pregnant with Lacanian realm of desire or symbolic. She is critically considered to be a subjective poet and her poems are usually the outcome of uncontrollable emotions and feelings. From the psychoanalytical viewpoint, her poems appear evidently an attempt at exploration of the self and social assertion of individuality.
Key Words- Desire, Poetry, Love, Emotion, Symbolic, Jouissance, & object petit a