Pour que les signes restent discrets : 28th March 2016 : Dominique Holvoet

by Julia Evans on March 28, 2016

Unfortunately, I know of no English translation. Would anyone like to volunteer?

Published by New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis as : ‘nls-messager 2001.fr/ NLS Minute – 16′

Towards the XIVth Congress of Psychoanalysis, NLS : Discreet Signs in Ordinary Psychosis. Clinic and Treatment : 2nd & 3rd July 2016 in Dublin Ireland

Available at the NLS web-site/Publications/NLS Messager:


References to texts by Sigmund Freud

Civilization and its Discontents: 1929

References to texts by Jacques Lacan

Seminar XXIII: The Sinthome or Joyce and the Sinthome: 1975-1976: beginning on November 18th 1975 : Jacques Lacan : Information here : Cormac Gallagher’s translation available at wwwLacaninIreland.com : Here

Footnote 1 : Seminar III : p290 The phallus and the meteor : Session 4th July 1956 : Translated by Russell Grigg

So fundamental is this that if we try to situate on a schema what it is that makes the Freudian conception of the Oedipus complex cohere, it is not a question of a father-mother-child triangle, but of a triangle (father)-phallus- mother-child. Where is the father in this? He is in the ring that holds all this together.

The notion of father can only be supposed as provided with an entire series of signifying connotations which give it existence and consistency and which are a very long way indeed from merging with those of the genital, from which it is semantically different across all the linguistic traditions.

Seminar III: The Psychoses: 1955-1956: from 16th November 1955: Jacques Lacan : Information & availability here

Footnote 2 : Seminar VII : p141 – 142 Courtly love as anamorphosis : Session of 10th February 1960 : Translated with notes by Dennis Porter

Obviously, the notion of historicity should not be used here without great caution. The expression “history of art” is highly misleading. Every appearance of this way of proceeding consists in overthrowing the illusory operation so as to return to the original end, which is to project a reality that is not that of the object represented. In the history of art, on the other hand, by virtue [p142] of the necessity that supports it, there is only substructure. The relation of the artist to the time in which he appears is always a contradictory one. It is against the current, in opposition to reigning norms – including, for example, political norms, or indeed, systems of thought – that art attempts to operate its miracle once more.

With the anamorphosis I have here, we find ourselves faced with a game that may seem futile to you, when you think of the sophisticated operational techniques required for the success of such a little artifact. And yet how can one not be touched or even moved when faced with this thing in which the image takes a rising and descending form? When faced with this sort of syringe which, if I really let myself go, would seem to me to be a kind of apparatus for taking a blood sample, a blood sample of the Grail? But don’t forget that the blood of the Grail is precisely what is lacking.

Footnote 3 : Seminar VII : p143 Courtly love as anamorphosis : Session of 10th February 1960 : Translated with notes by Dennis Porter

At that point the function of myth becomes evident. In truth, this myth is nothing other than something that is inscribed in the clearest of terms in the spiritual reality of our time, namely, the death of God. It is as a function of the death of God that the murder of the father which represents it in the most direct way is introduced by Freud as a modern myth.

It is a myth that has all the properties of a myth. That is to say that it doesn’t explain anything, anymore than any other myth. As I pointed out in citing Lévi-Strauss and especially in referring to that which buttresses his own formulation of the issue, myth is always a signifying system or scheme, if you like, which is articulated so as to support the antimonies of certain psychic relations. And this occurs at a level which is not simply that of individual anguish and which is not exhausted either in a construction presupposing the collectivity, but which assumes its fullest possible dimension.

We suppose that it concerns the individual and also the collectivity, but there is no such opposition between them at the level involved. For it is a matter here of the subject insofar as he suffers from the signifier. It is in this passion of the signifier that the critical point emerges, and its anguish is no more than an intermittent emotion that plays the role of an occasional signal.

Freud brought to the question of the source of morality the invaluable significance implied in the phrase Civilization and Its Discontents : 1929 [1930] or, in other words, the breakdown by means of which a certain psychic function, the superego, seems to find in itself its own exacerbation, as the result of a kind of malfunctioning of the brakes which should limit its proper authority. It remains to be seen how within this breakdown in the depths of the psychic life the instincts may find their proper sublimation.

But to begin with, what is the possibility we call sublimation?

Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: Jacques Lacan : Information & availability here

Further texts:

Dominique Holvoet category : here

Ordinary Psychosis category : here