There, Karl Marx developed a theory of the phantomatic
, or a hauntology, that shows how the products of the human brain--our "spirits"--are projected into the world as animistic objects, then begin to behave as autonomous figures, acquiring a life and momentum of their own.
After an introduction, the study is divided into relevant chapters based around themes with the following subtitles: impossibility and loss; violent geographies; rage and hatred, chaos and ruin; the phantomatic
, the transcolonial; haunting the secret site; hallucination, dream, the exotic; shame and blindness, meat and monsters; mourning and melancholy, trauma and loss; becoming-animal, becoming-woman; diaspora and exile, arrival addicted; and delocalization and the alibi.
14) It is as a means of negotiating this collective, phantomatic
(15) conflict that rhetorical discourse generates the grand taxonomizing gesture of partitioning elocution (16) into the polarized categories of "trope" and "figure" (which have become synonymous in contemporary criticism and theory in a way that obstructs their symbolic genealogy) by acknowledging or even fore-grounding the materiality and symbolic femininity of the latter while building up the former as a vestige of masculinist narratives of forceful displacement and conquest.
We cannot, Burroughs tells us, trust the account of the addict; but this also implies, in a further phantomatic
reticulation, that we need to question to what extent we can trust ourselves in the moment of addiction to reading.