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The sense that certain options have been ruled out before the idea of them can even be broached. Where that idea would have been is only an emptiness, not a memory or an inkling or a gesture toward a future. For Lacan it's not negation or denial or repression. It might or might not be disavowal. It's not melancholia, no not exactly. Exactly, it's the basis of psychosis. What are the foreclosed possibilities of our own psychotic world? If they're foreclosed, can they be aftopened? (For another boat metaphor - hell, metaphor itself might be about boats - as might hell - see BUNTING.)

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