For Lacan and Žižek, every word is a gravestone, marking the absence or corpse of the thing it represents and standing in for it. It is partly in the light of this that Lacan is able to refashion Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am” as “I think where I am not, therefore I am where I think not”.
This was precisely the point that struck me on completing Thoreau’s Walden.
The volatile truth of our words should continually betray the inadequacy of their residual statement. Their truth is instantly translated; its literal monument alone remains.