Writing interests me, since I think that, historically,
it is by little pieces of writing
that we have entered into the real.
Lacan. Seminar XXIII
I would like to start with a question: what does the writing of the ego in Joyce have to do with the new imaginary?
According to Lacan (1975/76 ), Joyce did a good job as a writer and writing is essential to his ego; the ego comes to fix something: he calls it mistake, lack, lapse. He fixes that lack of relation with his body; the relation we were talking about, one whose function is to provide imaginary consistency to a body.
Lacan considers that it is possible to notice in Joyce´s writings this particular relation or lack of it with his body. For example, there is a scene in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in which one of the characters, Stephen, is attacked by some of his mates; and he affirms, without any doubts, that it is not Stephen the one who is beaten up but Joyce himself. Lacan is interested in this descriptive passage when Joyce abandons his body: “there is something in Joyce that is begging to leave, to be removed like a peel” (Lacan, 1975/76,  p. 147)
This metaphor of something being removed like a peel refers to the relation that Joyce has with his own body. What is surprising is that Joyce does not feel anything when his mates hit him, he does not even try to defend himself. He says that it was quickly forgotten: the image fades away, it disappears.
This leads us to our first conclusion, Joyce´s relation with his body is not a relation that has to do with the image:
If the ego is said to be narcissistic, it is indeed because there is something at a certain level that supports the body as an image. However, in Joyce´s case the image is not concerned here; so, doesn´t this show that the ego has a very particular function on him? (Lacan, 1975/76,  p.147).
Laurent (2002) will state that this relation does not have to do with the image as in the mirror stage where it is linked to affection and from there the psychic is imagined. Joyce´s relation with the hole is a narcissistic one, that is, his relation with the lack of image and with that that makes a hole in the body. This is so, following what I was saying, the real of the language.
That relation which allows the parlêtre to take possession of his own body is one that Joyce achieves because of the construction of that ego turning to writing. Based on Joyce´s writings, Lacan postulates a new school, the school of the sinthome; a school that will aim at the creation of each individual in the first place.
The creation in Joyce, his knowledge of creating a body through writing, is what allows him to fix the lack of the Name of the Father. It allows him to have a fourth knot or component which Lacan calls sinthome, whose function is to tie the three structures (Symbolic, Imaginary, and Real). Moreover, regarding the new imaginary, it allows him to show consistency to that sense of belonging to a body, which gives rise to self-love.
Let me start with this paradigmatic example, the one of Joyce and his writing, in order to question the place that writing had in the life of the Argentinian poet, Alejandra Pizarnik. She was fond of psychoanalysis and she had James Joyce´s writings among her favorite ones on her night table. Over a period of time, Pizarnik was seeing the psychoanalyst León Ostrov to whom she dedicates one of her books, “La última Inocencia”, and to whom she sent letters when she was living in Paris.
Her constant search through writing allows us to suggest that it exists, in each of her poems, the desire to calm her feeling of death, a feeling that penetrates into her prose. However, she leaved us not only her collection of poems, but also her Diaries (2010) where she expresses her everyday experiences in a harsh way:
Sometimes, I would like to capture myself in writing with my body and soul; account for my breath, my cough, my fatigue, but in such a perfectly exact way that you will hear me breathing, coughing, crying, if only I could cry… (Pizarnik 2010, p.63)
In this book, the following topics come up: the complexes about her body, her difficulties in the sexual field, her yearning for writing a novel (something that she could never fulfilled), her thirst for knowledge, her loneliness and her existential angst that runs through each of her pages: “they don´t know what it is to cry in front of a blank piece of paper and, patiently, fill it with signs created by myself” (Pizarnik, Diaries, 2010, p. 57)
I ask myself what Alejandra was searching for; in comparison with Joyce, it looks like there is not a narcissist relation with writing in Pizarnik. Joyce writes about making holes in the body, about the real of the language. This assures him a relation with pleasure.
According to Laurent (2002), melancholy is the accentuation of sadness. There, we will find the death of the chain of the signifier, of a direct relation not with the body but with the chain of the signifier alone, “the signifier does not have any relation with the forms of pleasure and the living, while Joyce´s identification allows him to continue laughing when he writes” (Laurent, 2002, p.83).
Joyce shows us that it is possible to move from a lack to a sinthome through his writing. This “continue laughing” that allows Joyce to experience pleasure when he finds himself plunged into writing means the link between the chain of the signifier and the real of the body; this does not occur in the melancholy where the Name of the Father, which is a guarantee of pleasure, is foreclosed.
“A desire to write like James Joyce drunk” (Pizarnik, 2016, p.40) reads some of her lines in her writing books. We can see her frustrated longing to write a novel when she speaks of Joyce´s novel as “a kind of portrait of the young artist, novel that should reflect myself and my circumstances” (Pizarnik, Diaries, 2016, p.94).
I will take a risk and say, as a kind of hypothesis, that one of her quests through writing was “crashing” into the hole that emerges from the crash between the real of the language and an emotionally-driven body, crashing to leave a mark on that body that has passions and to possess it:
If only I could live in a continual state of ecstasy, shaping the body of the poem with my own, rescuing every phrase with my days and weeks, imbuing the poem with my breath while feeding the letters of its every word into the offering in this ceremony of living. (Pizarnik, 1971, p. 73).
“It is Necessary to Crash”, as I said, with the new imaginary that gives consistency to the body; Joyce did it, his know-how was that; maybe Pizarnik´s know-how did not carry the name of sinthome, if we understand it as a body event connected to narcissism and self-love; but without doubts with her writing she has exorcize more than one of her evils and also, with Joyce, it remains as an enigma that does not stop to question ourselves.