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By Slavoj Zizek

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Nowhere is this clearer than in Lars von Trier's films. In his remarkable intervention at the Krzysztof Kieslowski conference at UCLA in April 2001, Fredric Jameson violently protested against the unexpected death by drowning of a young boy, the traumatic event around which Kieslowski's Decalogue 1 turns: he emphatically claimed that Kieslowski should never be fOJ;'given for killing the boy, that he should be held accountable for his death - just as, according to some late medieval legislation, if an author kills a popular fictional character in his narrative, we should be allowed to prosecute him for murder.

So, far from being psychotic, her mindset was that of feminine obsessional neurosis: the object of her desire was the other's demand. She dedicated her life to serving others - she cared too much, she tried to be too good a mother, always thinking of other people, never of herself. Caught in this subservience to the other's demand , she was by definition unable to fulfil it: in accordance with the inexorable logic of the superego, the more she tried to comply with the demand to serve her neighbours, the more she felt inadequate, with attacks of depression and emotional detachment as the consequences of her predicament.

There is some truth in this statement: far from obliging me to be "respectful" and "considerate" - all signals of cold distance -love, in a way, allows me to dispense with these formalities. Does this mean that love gives me a kind of carte blanche, justifying every brutality? No, and that is the miracle of love: love sets its own standards, so that, within a love-relationship,. it is immediately clear when we are dealing with love and when we are not (as with Politically Incorrect terms, which can also be used as proof that I am a real friend of the person concerned).

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