Conversion Disorder: 9

If there is a potential couple within the Cogito, there is a potential Cogito that can spring up between a couple.  In a passion stratified by subjectification, DG see the “doubling of a single virtual subject.”  The afflicted Le Roy girls as interpellated components of an extended (postsignifying) mind?

Conversion disorder is a machining of doubles.  A subject is always the double of another subject.  Moreover, empirical subjects that double for one another together double for one and the same transcendental subject, which is necessarily placed under erasure. The transcendental subject is perhaps the doubling machine itself.

Thera Sanchez and Katie Krautwurst mirror one another in their symptoms.  But their reciprocal mirroring is imprecise.  Each interprets in her own way the single virtual subject that interpellates them as doubles of itself.  Each betrays the contingency of the other’s interpretation with the contingency of her own.  The expression of conversion disorder in one girl may therefore stand as a kind of critique of its expression in her double.  “The subject you produced is not similar enough to the transcendental subject whose doubles we are.  Look, I am more similar.”

The machining of doubles works by mimesis.  Elsewhere in A Thousand Plateaus, DG cite Gabriel Tarde’s assertion that imitation is the propagation of a flow of belief or desire.  As “propagations,” beliefs and desires cannot be attributable to individuals.  Individuals contract or prehend beliefs and desires (Tarde’s “social quantities”) and in so doing they “become similar.” This is quite similar to Girard’s idea of mimetic desire as well.

Psychoanalysis intrudes with its temptations.  The man behind the couch declares that the transcendental object of mimetic desire is mommy-daddy.  Indeed it is rather disturbing to see how similar daughters and mothers appear (especially the Krautwursts!):

But the buck cannot be stopped arbitrarily at mommy-daddy.  They too have surrendered to the powerful compulsion to “become similar.”  They are not the authors of the desires and beliefs propagated to their prehending daughters. In any case, perhaps the outbreak can be considered weirdly anti-oedipal: a kind of unconscious alliance of the girls against their lines of descent?  And yet this seems problematic, especially considering the consequences of the outbreak: Thera Sanchez was taken out of school and is now being tutored at home.  (Not to mention the fact she’s been making the talkshow rounds with her mother.)  An intensification of oedipal relations, then.  A failed revolution and perverse reterritorialization…


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