In the latest International Journal of Psychoanalysis (volume 94, 1215-30) Judy Gammelgaard argues that the traumatic event in many stories and films determines how Images, Words and Reality work together. All three start off linked and an unexpected trauma may cause the Imaginary to slip away while Words and Reality stay together.
She says you can see examples in James Joyce’s novels and von Trier’s films; these artists knot Words to the Reality without fantasy.
To help understand this, Gammelgaard compares these three factors, Image, Word and Reality, to Borrowmean Rings.
Gammelgaard suggests that a fourth ring representing the artist’s Ego may link to the slipped Imagination:
After a trauma the Word might be a working-out of the Real without the intervention of the Imaginary. In a masterpiece, the artist holds it all together
If you need help with this, you know where to go.