Colgate University Libraries


Javier Padilla


On the 19th of April, 2008, after decades of seclusion and abuse, Elisabeth Fritzl and her six children were liberated from the basement of her father’s house in Amstetten, Austria. The kids had been born in confinement, and had never been out in the real world. The Police chief reported that “they communicated with noises that were a mixture of growling and cooing” that was unintelligible to others. The question this unsettling anecdote poses is why these children could not communicate. Had they been dislocated from their position to the Other? If so, what, who, or where is this Other? The Other is the place that interpellates the subject into the symbolic order of ideology.