Mirrors, Ships and Other Spaces

I just recently read F's piece in Diacritics Spring 86--Other Spaces--in
which he uses (introduces?) the word Heterotopia. This was apparently
originally a lecture give in 1967. I loved the piece--simple and
sophisticated and poetic. But I couldn't help but wondering what the
connection is between what he's talking about here and Baudrillard's
simulacrum and Lacan's mirror stage. Doesn't this predate Baudrillard's
work on this? Systeme des objets is 68...all the other books, at least, are

I'll quote--

The mirror is, after all, a utopia, since it is a placeless place. In the
mirror I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual [!] space
that opens up behind the surface; I am over there, there where I am not, a
sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to
see myself there were I am absent: such is the utopia of the mirror. But
it is also a heterotopia in so far as the mirror does exist in reality,
where it exestrs a sort of counteraction on the position that I occupy.
>From the standpoint of the mirror I discover my absence from the place
where I am since I see myself over there. Starting from this gaze that is,
as it were, directed toward me, from the ground of this virtual space that
is on the other side of the glass, I come back toward myself; I begin again
to direct my eyes toward myself and to reconstitute myself there where I
am. The mirror functions as a heterotopia in this respect: it makes this
place that I occupy at the moment when I look at myself in the glass as
absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it, and
absolutely unreal, since in order to be perceived it has to pass throught
this virtual point which is over there.

I love this little dythramb...thought I'd share it with you.

By the way...I think it would be fascinating if people would share their
favorite little F pieces.

Jorge Pedraza
Romance Languages
Williams College
Williamstown, MA 01267

ps. the best though is the last sentence--

The ship is the heterotopia par excellence. In civilizations without boats,
dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take
the place of pirates.


Partial thread listing: