Shame, an old-fashioned affect? : (Paris) November 2009 : Jean-Luc Monnier

by Julia Evans on November 1, 2009

Given at ECF Study Days in November 2009

Published Hurly-Burly, No 4, October 2010

Translated by Adrian Price

Available [here]

7th December 2018 : To request a copy of any text whose weblink does not work, contact Julia Evans: je.lacanian@icloud.com : For fuller details, see Notice : Availability of texts from LacanianWorks by Julia Evans or here

 

References & their availability

1 Lacan, J., The Seminar, Book Vll, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, transt. By R. Grigg, New York, Norton & Co.. 2007. : See Seminar XVII: Psychoanalysis upside down/The reverse side of psychoanalysis: 1969-1970 : from 26th November 1969: Jacques Lacan or here for notes and information. The Cormac Gallagher translation is the more complete.

P220 : Seminar XX : See Seminar XX: Encore: 1972 – 1973: from 21st November 1972 : Jacques Lacan or here for notes and information. The Cormac Gallagher translation is the more complete.

7 Lacan, J.,Séminaire sur L’homme aux loups,1952-3, unpublished.
: The only fragment to survive is Seminario 1951- 1952 su “L’uomo dei lupi” (in Italian only) : Jacques Lacan : Availability here (dated 1st November 1951)

8 Lacan J., Le séminaire, Livre IV, La relation d’objet, Paris, Seuil, 1994, p193 : Seminar IV – 27th February 1957 : For availability of English translation see Seminar IV : The Object Relation 1956-1957 : from 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan or here

9 Lacan, J.. Séminaire Vl, Le désir et son interpretation, unpublished.
:

See Seminar VI: Desire and its interpretation: 1958-1959 : from 12th November 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here for details of translation to English. : From Cormac Gallagher’s translation, this could be a reference to Seminar VI : 10th December 1958 : p59 or much more likely – Seminar VI : 21st January 1959 : p110 : Quote :

Here in the measure that it is indeed the analytic discourse into which the subject enters. And it is literally a question about the other who is in him, about his unconscious. It is at this level of articulation which is always pressing in each subject, in so far as the subject asks himself ‘But what does it want?’, but which here is in no doubt about the distinction between the first verbal plane of the innocent enunciation, in so far as an enunciation that is made within analysis is not innocent. And that here the locus to which this interrogation points is indeed the one where we place what should finally be the shibboleth of analysis, namely the signifier of the Other in so far as he himself is marked by the signifier, but which is precisely what is veiled to the neurotic, and veiled to the precise extent that he is not aware of this incidence of the signifier on the other, and that in this case not only does he recognise it, but that what he is questioning himself about is far from being the response, it is the questioning. It is effectively: ‘What is this signifier of the Other in me?’

10 Lacan J, ., Le séminaire, livre Vlll, Le transfert, Paris, Seuil, 200l, pp.213-4:

See Seminar VIII : Transference : 1960-1961 : Begins 16th November 1960 : Jacques Lacan or here

Seminar VIII : 1st March 1961 : p151 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Socrates is no longer there anything but the envelope of what is the object of desire. And it is indeed to mark clearly that he is nothing more than this envelope, it is for this reason that he wanted to show that Socrates is with respect to him the slave of desire, that Socrates is subjected to him by desire, and that
 even though he knew it he wanted to see Socrates’ desire manifesting itself as a sign in order to know that the other object, agalma, was at his mercy.

Now for Alcibiades it is precisely the fact of having failed in this enterprise that covers him with shame and makes of his confession something so heavily charged. The fact is that the demon of Aidos, of Shame, of which I gave an account before you 
at one time in this connection is what intervenes here, this is what is violated. It is that before everybody there is unveiled in its most shocking trait, secret, the final mainspring of desire, this something which forces it to be always more or less dissimulated in love, the fact is that its aim is this collapse of the Other, capital O into the other, little o, and that, in addition on this occasion, it appears that Alcibiades failed in his enterprise, in so far as this enterprise was specifically to knock Socrates off his perch.

11 Lacan, J., “The Signification of the Phallus”, in Écrits, The First Complete Edition in English, transl by B. Fink, New York, Norton, 2006, p581. :

See The Meaning (or Signification) of the Phallus (Munich): 9th May 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here : p82 of Jacqueline Rose’s translation :

All these propositions merely veil over the fact that the phallus can only play its role as veiled, that is, as in itself the sign of the latency with which everything signifiable is struck as soon as it is raised (aufgehoben) to the function of signifier.

The phallus is the signifier of the Aufhebung itself which it inaugurates (initiates) by its own disappearance. This is why the demon of Αiδϖζ [Scham, shame] in the ancient mysteries rises up exactly at the moment when the phallus is unveiled (cf. the famous painting of the Villa of Pompei).

It then becomes the bar which, at the hands of this demon, strikes the signified, branding it as the bastard offspring of its signifying concatenation.

12 Lacan, J., “Lesson of 3 June 1959″, from Le séminaire Vl, op. cit. :

See Seminar VI: Desire and its interpretation: 1958-1959 : from 12th November 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here :

p290 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Seminar VI : 3rd June 1959 : But let us come back to our formula, our structure of desire, to see what makes of it no longer just the function of the object, as I tried to articulate it two years ago, nor yet that of the subject in so far as I tried to show it to you which is distinguished in this keypoint of desire by this fainting of the subject in so far as he has to name himself as such, but in the correlation which links the one to the other, which means that the object has this function precisely of signifying this point at which the subject cannot name himself, where modesty I would say is the royal form of what is translated in the symptoms as shame and disgust.

p223 : Seminar XVII: Psychoanalysis upside down/The reverse side of psychoanalysis: 1969-1970 : from 26th November 1969: Jacques Lacan :

See here for information and notes. Cormac Gallagher’s is the most complete translation.

13 Lacan, J., The Seminar, Book Xl, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, transl. By A. Sheridan, Penguin, 1994, p. 182 of Alan Sheridan’s translation. : Seminar XI : 13th May 1964 :

See Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts: 1963-1964 : beginning 15th January 1964 : Jacques Lacan or here for information and notes

14 Lacan, J., Le séminaire, Livre V, Les formations de l’inconscient, Paris, Seuil, 1998.

See Seminar V : The Formations of the Unconscious : 1957-1958 : begins 6th November 1957 : Jacques Lacan or here for notes & information.

P348 of French text is Seminar V : 23rd April 1958 : p267 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : It is in so far therefore as the phallus finds itself situated, always covered by something which is castration, the bar put on its accession to the signifying domain, namely on its place in the Other with a capital O, something by which in development, castration is introduced.

P384 of French text of Seminar V : 7th May 1958 : p281 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Here the ambiguous mortification appears very precisely under the form of the veil, of the veil which we see being reproduced every day in the form of the hysteric’s bodice, namely the fundamental position of woman with respect to man concerning desire, namely that above all you must not look behind the blouse, because of course there is nothing, there is nothing except the signifier. Which is precisely not nothing, but the signifier of desire.

Behind this veil, there is either something which must not be shown, and it is in this that the demon whom I spoke to you about the last time or the second last time in connection with the unveiling of the phallus in the antique mysteries, is presented and articulated, and is named as the demon of shame, and shame has a different meaning and import in man and in woman. I made an allusion to that, whatever its origin may be, whether it is the horror that the woman has of it, or whether it is something which arises quite naturally from the delicate soul of men. I alluded to this veil which in man very regularly covers the phallus. It is exactly the same thing which covers more or less normally the totality of the being of the woman, in so far as what there is a question of there being behind, what is veiled, is the signifier of the phallus. And the unveiling of something which would only show nothing, namely the absence of what is unveiled, it is very precisely to this that there is attached what Freud called in connection with the feminine sexual organs, the Grauen in connection with the head of Medusa, or the horror which corresponds to absence revealed as such (GW XVII 47; SE XVIII 273).  [Medusa’s Head : 1922 (1940) : Sigmund Freud]

When all is said and done, what is in question in this perspective, namely in this interplay of the subject of desire and the signifier of desire, is something which is not exhausted, at the point that we have got to, which has only begun, but you can see well, that it completely reverses a notion for example like that which obscures the whole dialectic of the contribution of the Other in the sexual relationship, and that supposedly matured by the sexual relationship, progress would be from a partial object to a total object.

15 Lacan, J., The Seminar, Book XVII, op. cit. : See Seminar XVII: Psychoanalysis upside down/The reverse side of psychoanalysis: 1969-1970 : from 26th November 1969: Jacques Lacan or here for notes and information. The Cormac Gallagher translation is the more complete. :

Seminar XVII : 14th January 1970 : p50 of Russell Grigg’s translation :

pIV 14 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation, quote : But the affinity between the mark and the enjoyment of the body itself, is precisely where there is indicated that it is only from enjoyment, and not along any other paths that there is established the division by which narcissism is distinguished from a relation to the object. There is no ambiguity about this. It is in ‘Beyond the pleasure principle : 1920g’ that Freud forcefully marks that what constitutes in the final term the true support, the consistency, of the specular image in the system of the ego, is that it is sustained within by, that it only clothes this lost object by which enjoyment is introduced into the dimension of the being of the subject. In effect, since enjoyment is prohibited, it is clear that it is only because of an initial chance, a contingency, an accident that enjoyment comes into play. The living being that operates normally, purrs with pleasure. If enjoyment is remarkable, and if it is ratified by having the sanction of the unary trait and of repetition, which establish it henceforth as mar, if that happens, it can only originate from a very slight gap in the meaning of enjoyment. These gaps, after all, will never be excessive even in the practices that I evoked earlier.

16 Lacan, J., The Seminar, Book Xl, op. cit., p.5 of Alan Sheridan’s translation :

See Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts: 1963-1964 : beginning 15th January 1964 : Jacques Lacan or here for notes and information.

‘Excommunication’ Seminar XI : 15th January 1964 : Quote : There was nothing particularly exceptional, then, about my situation, except that being traded by those whom I referred to just now as colleagues, and even pupils, is sometimes, if seen from the outside, called by a different name.

But if the truth of the subject, even when he is in the position of master, does not reside in himself, but, as analysis shows, in an object that is, of its nature, concealed, to bring this object out into the light of day is really and truly the essence of comedy.

P224 : Seminar XVII : 17th June 1970 :

pXV 1 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation begins : It has to be said : dying of shame is an effect that is rarely produced. Nevertheless, it is the only sign – I have been speaking to you for some time about how a signifier becomes a sign – the only sign whose genealogy we can be certain of, namely, that it is descended from a signifier. Any sign after all can always fall under the suspicion of being a pure sign, that is to say obscene, vinscène, dare I say, a good example that will make you laugh. :

Seminar XVII: Psychoanalysis upside down/The reverse side of psychoanalysis: 1969-1970 : from 26th November 1969: Jacques Lacan : See here  for notes and information.

17 Lacan, J., “Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the Psychoanalyst of the School” transl. by R. Grigg, in Analysis, Issue 6, 1995 p.12 :

See ‘Proposal of 9th October 1967 
on the psychoanalyst of the School’: Jacques Lacan or here :

From Cormac Gallagher’s translation : The third facticity, real, all too real, real enough for the real to be more prudish than the tongue in promoting it, is what the term concentration camp renders speakable, about which it seems our thinkers, in wandering from humanism to terror, have not concentrated enough.

Let me abbreviate by saying that what we have seen emerge from this, to our horror, represents the reaction of precursors as compared with what will go on developing as the consequence of reshaping social groups by science, and especially of the universalisation it introduces into them.

Our future as common markets will be balanced by an increasingly hardline extension of judicial acts of segregation.

18 Lacan, J., Le séminaire, Livre XVI, D’un Autre à I’autre, Paris, Seuil, 2006, pp.238-9. : See Seminar XVI: From an Other to the other: 1968-1969: begins 13th November 1968: Jacques Lacan and here  for notes and information.

Seminar XVI : 19th March 1969 : Quote from pXV 5 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : As a way of exemplifying, taken in the model given by what might motivate, in this supposition, your presence here, because obviously, from a certain angle, the reference that I found in the worker-boss relationship also has its prolongation here. The boss knows what the worker is doing, in the sense that he is going to bring him profits, but it is not sure that he has a clearer idea than the worker about the sense of what he is doing.

When you are dealing with the assembly line in Fiat or elsewhere, I am talking about that of Fiat because I already evoked it, here or elsewhere. I was there. I really had this feeling, in effect, of seeing people occupied with work and my absolutely not knowing what they were doing. That made me feel ashamed. It does not make you so, so much the better. But in any case, I was very embarrassed. I was precisely with the boss, Johnny, as he is called, as I call him. Johnny was also obviously…in any case, he too was ashamed. That expressed itself afterwards by the questions he asked me, which all had the obvious aim designed to dissimulate his embarrassment, the obvious aim of telling me that, to all appearances, they were happier there, with him, than in Renault.

I did not take this question seriously and I only interpreted it as you see, as a displacement, or perhaps as a way of avoiding on my part the question : “Finally, of what use is all of this?” Not that I am say that capitalism is of no use. No. Capitalism is precisely of use for something and we ought not to forget it. It is the things that it makes that are of no use. But that is a completely different affair. This is precisely its problem. In any case, what it is supported by, and it is a great force, ought to be clarified. It operates in the same sense as the one that I was telling you about earlier, it goes against power. It is of a different nature. And it causes great embarrassment to power. There also, it is obviously nachträglich, it is subsequently that we have to see the sense of what is happening. Capitalism completely changed the habits of power. They have perhaps become more excessive, but in any case they have changed. Capitalism introduced something that had never been seen before, what is called liberal power.

There are very simple things about which, after all, I can only speak from very personal experience.

P224 : See Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts: 1963-1964 : beginning 15th January 1964 : Jacques Lacan or here for notes and information.

Seminar XI : 4th March 1964 : p95 of Alan Sheridan’s translation : One day, then, as we were waiting for the moment to pull in the nets, an individual known as Petit-Jean, that’s what we called him – like all his family, he died very young from tuberculosis, which at that time was a constant threat to the whole of that social class – this Petit-Jean pointed out to me something floating on the surface of the waves. It was a small can, a sardine can. It floated there in the sun, a witness to the canning industry, which we, in fact, were supposed to supply. It glittered I the sun. And Petit-Jean said to me – ‘You see that can? Do you see it? Well, it doesn’t see you!

He found this incident highly amusing – I less so. I thought about it. Why did I find it less amusing than he? It’s an interesting question.

19 Lacan, J., The Seminar, Book XVII, op.cit.,pp.193. :

Seminar XVII: Psychoanalysis upside down/The reverse side of psychoanalysis: 1969-1970 : from 26th November 1969: Jacques Lacan : See here for notes and information. :

Seminar XVII : 17th June 1970 : pXV 15 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : I am not going to prolong any further today, in this heat, this discourse which is the last that I will give this year. It is clear that there are a lot of things missing in it but it is surely no harm to specify the following : if, to talk like Hegel, there are, for your presence here, in such numbers, which has so often perplexed me, reasons that are less than ignoble, this is obviously a question of tact, as Goethe would say. I do, it would seem, not too much but just enough – if this phenomenon takes place, which is frankly incomprehensible, given what I put forward, for the majority of you, it is just that : I manage to make you ashamed, not too much but precisely enough.

20 Fritz Karl Vatel was initially maitre d’hotel to Nicolas Fouquet, then to the Prince de Condé. The latter had entrusted him with organising a fête in honour of Louis XlV. Some organisational hitches marred the supper and the next day, when the seafood failed to arrive, Vatel declared: “l shall never survive this affront”, withdrew to his room, and ran himself through with a sword. Lacan cites Vatel on page 182 of Seminar XVll, op. cit. : Seminar XVII : 17th June 1970 : see footnote below p225.

p224 : Analyticon: Impromptu No. 1 : 3rd December 1969 : given at Vincennes: Jacques Lacan : See here for notes and information : p240 of Russell Grigg’s translation :

p128 of Jeffrey Mehlman’s translation : Jacques Lacan: I am liberal, like everyone else, only in so far as I am anti-progressive. With the single modification that I am caught in a movement which deserves to be called progressive, for it is progressive to see the discourse of psychoanalysis achieve its foundation in so far as it completes the circle that might perhaps allow you to situate what precisely is at stake, what it is that you are rebelling against. Which will not at all prevent it from continuing, smashingly well. And the first to collaborate with it, and right here at Vincennes, are you, for you fulfill the role of the helots of this regime. You don’t know what that means either? The regime puts you on display; it says: “Watch them fuck… .”

OR Analyticon ! : 3rd December 1969 : p 17 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : JL ; “I am a liberal, like everyone else, only to the extent that I am anti-progressive, except that I am caught up in a movement that deserves to be called progressive. Because it is progressive to see the psychoanalytic discourse established in so far as it completes the circle that could perhaps enable you to situate what exactly you are revolting against. Which does not stop it from continuing to function, and bloody well too. And the first people to collaborate with it, and in Vincennes itself, are yourselves. Because you play the role of serfs in this regime. You don’t know what that means either? The regime is showing you off. It says : “Look at them enjoying themselves!”

p225 : Seminar XVII : 17th June 1970 : p182 of Russell Grigg’s translation. :

See Seminar XVII: Psychoanalysis upside down/The reverse side of psychoanalysis: 1969-1970 : from 26th November 1969: Jacques Lacan : See here for notes and information.

pXV 3 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : For that, all you are lacking precisely is a bit of shame. That may come. Obviously it is not found under a horse’s hoof, and still less under that of a hobbyhorse, but the furrows of the alethosphère that, as I said, take care of you, and even Soyuz you alive as you are already, would perhaps already be enough shame to take on board. You should recognise why Pascal and Kant fluttered around like two valets playing Vatel to you. Truth has been missing up above for three centuries. The meals have nevertheless arrived, reheated a go-go, even a musician from time to time, as you know. Do not look so sour, you have been served, you can say that there is no longer any shame.

22 Miller, J.-A., “A Fantasy”, transl. by T. Sowley, in Lacanian Praxis, No. l, May 2005, pp. 7-8.

Lecture given at the IVth Congress of the World Association of Psychoanalysis in Comandatuba-Bahia, Brazil, in August 2004.

Original French text established by Monique Kusnierek and published as “Une fantasie” in Mental 15, February 2005.

Now published by the World Association of Psychoanalysis site (www.wapol.org/en or www.congresoamp.com/en : here

23 ibid., p.8.

24 Lacan, J., The Seminar, Book XVII, op. cit.. p. 182 of Russell Grigg’s translation. :

See Seminar XVII: Psychoanalysis upside down/The reverse side of psychoanalysis: 1969-1970 : from 26th November 1969: Jacques Lacan : See here for notes and information.

Seminar XVII : 17th June 1970 : pXV 3 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : quote : These pots which made you wonder what I was at, when I said they had no mustartd in them – well then, quickly, make provision in them for enough shame, so that when the festivities begin, there will be no want of seasoning. You will tell me : What is the benefit of shame? If that is the reverse of psychoanalysis it is of very little use to us. My reply to you is : you have enough of it to give it away. If you don’t know it yet, do a tranche, as they say. You will see this stale air of yours, at every step, coming up against the shame of upper-crust living. This is what psychoanalysis discovers. With a bit of seriousness you will see that this shame justifies itself by not dying of shame, that is, by maintaining with all your energy a perverted discourse of the Master, which is the University discourse.

P227 p189 of Russell Grigg’s translation of Seminar XVII : 17th June 1970 :

pXV 10-11 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Today, I brought you the dimension of shame. It is not easy to put forward. It is not one of the easiest things to speak about. That is perhaps what it really is, the hole from which the master signifier springs. If it were, it would perhaps be of some use for measuring how close you have to get to it if you want to have something to do with the subversion, indeed even just the circulation of the Master’s discourse. Be that as it may, one thing is certain, you have this introduction of the S1 within your reach in the least discourse – it is what defines its readability.

See Seminar XVII: Psychoanalysis upside down/The reverse side of psychoanalysis: 1969-1970 : from 26th November 1969: Jacques Lacan : See here for notes and information.

25 Lacan, J., “Remarks on Daniel Lagache’s Report”. in Ecrits, op. cit.,

p.558 of Bruce Fink’s translation. : Quote : In short, when Lagache comes closest by saying that “this absence of a coherent subject best characterizes the organization of the id” [page 21], I would say that the absence of the subject, which is produced somewhere in the unorganized id, is the defense that one might call “natural” – however artificial the circle may be that is cleared by burning the brush of the drives – because it offers the other agencies a place to camp in order to organize their defenses.

This is the very place to which each and everything is called to be washed of sin [faute], sin that this place makes possible since it is the place of an absence; for everything might not exist in the first place. It is not enough to note, with this very simple matrix of the first contradiction – to be or not to be – that the judgment of existence found reality; we must articulate that the judgment of existence can only found reality by raising reality up [relever] from the precarious status it has when this judgment receives it from a previously made judgment of attribution.

Remarks on Daniel Lagache’s Presentation: “Psychoanalysis and Personality Structure” (Royaumont) : 10th to 13th July 1958 : See Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here for notes and information.

27 Lacan, J., From Interpretation to the Transference” in The Seminar, Book Xl, op. cit.,

See Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts: 1963-1964 : beginning 15th January 1964 : Jacques Lacan or here for notes and information.

p.258 of Alan Sheridan’s translation : Seminar XI : 17th June 1964 : Quote : Up till the advent of psycho-analysis, the path of knowledge was always traced in that of a purification of the subject, of the percipiens. Well! We would now say that we base the assurance of the subject in his encounter with the filth that may support him, with the petit a of which it would not be untrue to say that its presence is necessary.

Take Socrates. The inflexible purity of Socrates and his atopia are correlative. Intervening, at every moment, there is the demonic voice.

 

 

Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Earl’s Court, London

 

7th December 2018 : To request a copy of any text whose weblink does not work, contact Julia Evans: je.lacanian@icloud.com : For fuller details, see Notice : Availability of texts from LacanianWorks by Julia Evans or here

 

 

Further texts

By Jean-Luc Monnier here

By Éric Laurent here

By Jacques-Alain Miller here

Of the clinic : here

Lacanian Transmission : here

Some Lacanian History : here

Topology : here

From LW working groups : here

Anxiety here

Clinic in the 21st Century here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here