Though the female body remains very much exposed to the male gaze (an exposure that is exaggerated, as suggested earlier, to the point of caricature), Femme piquee is ultimately unapprehensible
as an object of erotic delectation.
It issues "from all sides", whereas the (look) [sees] only from one point.' (27) For Lacan, the gaze, which 'exceeds' or 'triumphs' over the look, is 'unapprehensible
.' (28) The look, in contradistinction, 'foregrounds the desiring subjectivity of the figure from which it issues, a subjectivity which pivots upon lack, whether or not that lack is acknowledged.' (29) Thus for Lacan the gaze is comparable 'not to the male look, but to woman-as-spectacle.' He writes, 'At the level of the phenomenal experience of contemplation, this all-seeing aspect is to be found in the satisfaction of a woman who knows that she is being looked at, on condition that one does not show her that one knows what she knows.
The poet, a young boy, having climbed a ridge crest where, "Opening like joy, the unapprehensible
purity/Of afternoon flooded, in silver,/ the sky," apprehends an unnameable intensity in which all things--his name, his sense of the object world--are swept away by the All.
Beverly Voloshin makes this argument of dependence nicely: "Speculations about whether it is the mind that is not apprehending nature properly or whether nature is unapprehensible
" is the characteristic psychological issue of gothic fiction, she writes.