Letting the /Skyfall/ or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love James Bond
Nick Hocking is a PhD candidate at Birkbeck. He is studying various real, imaginary and symbolic fathers in the life and works of Djuna Barnes, from a tentatively Lacanian angle, as well as questioning Lacan's Real, Symbolic and Imaginary schema from a tentatively Barnesean angle.
'Sinthomosexuality' is Lee Edelman's coinage, combining 'homosexuality' with Lacan's concept of the 'sinthome': the "senseless jouissance" which ties a particular Subject together, binding their Real, Imaginary, and Symbolic aspects into a functional unity called 'I'. At the termination of a successful Lacanian analysis, a subject should have shifted their perspective fundamentally from "believ[ing] in" their sinthome, to simply "identifying with it", no longer expecting it to bear any Symbolic meaning (No Future, p.37). I read the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, through and against Edelman's work. Bond's symbolic death provides the occasion for a profoundly 'Queer' reinvention of the character – seen in the way that the villain, Javier Bardem's exuberantly 'Queer' rogue agent, holds up a mirror to Bond which Daniel Craig's blue eyes meet without a hint of disavowal. But if something like Edelman's sinthomosexual is embodied in the latest Bond, why does the film ultimately uphold profoundly reactionary fantasies of Britishness?