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Political logic of numerical community: borromean ones in Lacan and Beckett

This paper reads the political logic of a numerical community in Lacan’s figurations on the One and in Beckett’s novel How It Is (1961). It offers a reading of the collective subject in Lacan’s Borromean logic which allows infinite knotting in the Borromean chain but the Borromean property of the “plus one” maintains a special status of the One. If any one of the rings is cut, the whole chain dissolves. While this focus on the One may appear to be undemocratic for the community, the emancipatory aspect lies in that it could be any one. The Borromean knot figures a coexistence of the One and the not-One and this speaks to Beckett’s novel that oscillates between solitude and company. The article finally situates this mathematically ordained community in terms of a split between the One and the All.