melancholia the institutional symptomatology of inhibition and asymbolia
The retreat into asymbolia
is therefore a form of mourning for the lost maternal object.
Another disorder that must be ruled out is pain asymbolia
. Patients with this pathology have lesions in the anterior cingulate and insular cortex that produce a loss of the affective-emotional component of pain and lesions in the primary and secondary somatosensory cortex which generate loss of discrimination to the sensory-discriminative component of pain (5).
and Self-Loss: Narratives of Depression by Women in Contemporary German Literature." Monatshefte 99.1 (2007): 1-21.
Where Kristeva insists that melancholy writing tends towards 'asymbolia
' or blankness, Loffler finds a trajectory towards unreadability.
I shall call melancholia the institutional symptomatology of inhibition and asymbolia
that becomes established now and then or chronically in a person, alternating more often than not with the so-called manic phase of exaltation.
Instead, there is "a downfall...into the invisible and unnameable" (Kristeva 1989, 15), a "sinking into the blankness of asymbolia
" (Kristeva 1989, 33), as the heroine is sucked back into the masochistic jouissance of surrogate maternal subjection.
With this in mind, it is worthwhile remembering Kristeva's view that the speech of the depressed is 'repetitive and monotonous [...] they utter sentences that are interrupted, exhausted, come to a standstill [...] A repetitive rhythm, a monotonous melody emerge [...] on account of the pressure of silence, the melancholy person sink[s] into the blankness of asymbolia
' (BS, p.