Pleasure in Understanding, Pleasure in Not Understanding


Tobe, R. 2016. Pleasure in Understanding, Pleasure in Not Understanding. Architecture and Culture. 4 (2), pp. 281-291.
AuthorsTobe, R.

This paper looks at Alain Resnais’ Last Year in Marienbad (1961) and Chris Marker’s La Jetée (1962). It rests on a premise of film as a constructed, ordered world that answers
only to itself. Both films address particular questions about time: what happens to our anticipation of the future if we move back and forth in time reinventing our past and present?
(Marienbad) or, can we escape our ruined present by moving into the future? (La Jetée). From Jacques Lacan, it borrows the concepts of the mirror stage by which we recognise
ourselves, and of the objet petit a, the looking for which (both in terms of ‘search’ and ‘seeing’) is that from which we derive our pleasure. From Jean-Luc Nancy it adopts descriptions of how film touches us, and the careful orchestration of the pleasure that is jouissance in being within this moment, not knowing where we are going.

KeywordsFilm; jouissance; Jacques Lacan; Jean-Luc Nancy; space; time
JournalArchitecture and Culture
Journal citation4 (2), pp. 281-291
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
Print02 Sep 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Nov 2016
Accepted09 Apr 2016
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Architecture and Culture on 02/09/2016, available online:
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