Genealogy of Stories: Constraction of the Subject by Vanishing Images

UDC 316.77+004.738.5]:159.97

Mariia Ternovska

National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv.

ORCID 0000-0002-1066-2396


Keywords: Stories, Snapchat, depression, pandemic, the mirror stage, sensor technology, social media.

Abstract. The article offers an essay on the genealogy of stories’ phenomenon from the self-eliminating pictures of private correspondence on Snapchat to “classic” public stories on Facebook and Instagram. Social media are usually associated with a space driven by the logic of the like economy or with the environment that nurtures a user to be a narcissistic subject. The survey proves stories to be an alternative mode of being online along with the way of depreciation of likes and other attributes of public recognition in the web (including comments and shares). In addition, the investigation points to the link between sensor technologies’ proliferation and a corresponding information structuring as a flow and stories’ emergence.
The separate part of the article is devoted to analyzing the mechanisms of the stories’ subject structuring. Applying Lacanian distinction between Symbolic, Imaginary, and Real, the author demonstrates how stories force a user to identify with a lost object and, consequently, how mechanisms of stories automatically reproduce a structure of a depressive disorder.

Author Biography.

Mariia Ternovska, PhD student in Cultural Studies, National University
of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv.


Baudrillard, J. (2000). Soblazn [De la Seduction]. Translation from French by Aleksey Garadzhi. Moscow: Ad Marginem. (in Russian)

Carter, B. (2011). The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook. Indianapolis: Que Publishing.

Chernoglazov, А. (2006). Ikonografija Realnogo [Iconography of the Real]. In V. Mazin (Ed.), Lakan i kosmos [Lacan and space] (pp. 136–162). Aletejja. (in Russian)

Depression. (2020, 20 January). Retrieved from

Freud, Z. (2016, 5 May). Skorb’ i melanholija [Trauer und Melancholie]. Retrieved from (in Russian)

Juran, А. (2013). Avtoportret v oreole «IP» [Self-portrait in a blaze of «IP»]. Lakanalija, 12, 18–22. (in Russian)

Kristeva, J. (2010). Chjornoe solnce: depressija i melanholija [The Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia]. Translation from French by D. Kralechkin. Moscow: Kogito-Centr. (in Russian)

Lacan, J. (1999). Seminary. Kniga 2: «Ja» v teorii Frejda i v tehnike psihoanaliza (1954/55) [Le Séminaire, Livre II: Le moi dans la théorie de Freud et dans la technique de la psychanalyse (1954/55)]. Translation from French by A. Chernoglazov. Moscow: Gnozis, Logos. (in Russian)

Lacan, J. (2002). Seminary. Kniga 5: Obrazovanija bessoznatelnogo (1957/58) [Le Séminaire, Livre V. Les formations de l’inconscient (1957/58)]. Translation from French by A. Chernoglazov. Moscow: Gnozis, Logos. (in Russian)

Leader, D. (2009). The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press.

Lovink, G. (2019). Sad by Design: On Platform Nihilism. London: Pluto.

Uzlaner, D. (2016). Pod vzgljadom Drugogo: selfi skvoz’ prizmu lakanovskogo psihoanaliza [Under the Other’s Gaze: The Selfie through the Lens of Lacanian Psychoanalysis]. Logos, 26(6), 189–218. (in Russian)

Zimovets, S. (2016). Odin ottenok fejsbuka [One Shade of Facebook]. Logos, 26(6), 21–56. (in Russian)

PDF (Ukrainian).

Published: August 10, 2020.

Vol 18 No 2 (2020).