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quilting point

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A term introduced by Jacques Lacan to define the points along a signifying chain where the signifier is attached to the signified, at least momentarily. The term is taken from upholstery and refers to the attachment of buttons. A certain number of these quilting points are necessary to the ‘normal’ subject—their absence is in fact a symptom of psychosis. Without such quilting points the subject would be incapable of navigating their everyday life because they would be constantly questioning the meaning of every sign they encountered, from the most mundane to the very elaborate.

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