Interpretation : From Truth to Event : 2nd June 2019 (Tel Aviv) : Éric Laurent

by Julia Evans on June 2, 2019

Speech delivered in Tel Aviv, 2 June 2019 at the NLS Congress. ‘Urgent!’

Circulated : by NLS-Messager [New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis’ Messager], as [nls-messager] 3168.en/ Argument of the 2020 NLS Congress by Éric Laurent – “Interpretation: From Truth to Event”, on 13th  June 2019 at 20:12:42 BST

This is the argument of the 2020 NLS Congress which was cancelled due to Coronavirus

Translated by Philip Dravers and Florencia F. C. Shanahan

Published here   or at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net    /éric laurent (2019)    

Index

-Related texts

-Availability of references

-Notes on the references

-Related texts

Other texts by Éric Laurent here  

Related audio : Lacanian Psychoanalysis Not Without the Body : 18th January 2020 (Dublin) : Bernard Seynhaeve (audio)  : Notes & Information  here       

-Availability of the references

[i] Lacan, J., Écrits. The First Complete Edition in English, tr. B. Fink, Routledge, London, 2006. p. 707. [The Position of the Unconscious (Bonneval Hospital): 31st October 1960: Jacques Lacan : Information here  : p263 of Bruce Finks’ translation, see Richard Feldstein, Bruce Fink and Maire Jaanus (eds), ‘Reading Seminar XI: Lacan’s Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis’, 1995, p259-282 or reproduced below.]

[ii] Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book I, Freud’s Papers on Technique, tr. J. Forrester, W.W. Norton & Co., New York/London, 1991, p. 8. [See Seminar I: Freud’s papers on technique: 1953-1954 : begins on 18th November 1953 : Jacques Lacan or here : p1 of John Forrester’s translation : Seminar I : 18th November 1953]

[iii] [T.N. The term ‘n’importe quoi’ was translated in Seminar I as ‘anything’, but could also be pushed further to ‘anything whatever’, ‘anything at all’ etc. Its sense is of something that has no import, that does not imply or signify anything. It also means, ‘rubbish’, ‘nonsense’, and even, in contemporary usage, ‘Whatever!’]

[iv] Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book I, Freud’s Papers on Technique, op.cit. [See Seminar I: Freud’s papers on technique: 1953-1954 : begins on 18th November 1953 : Jacques Lacan or here  : p1 of John Forrester’s translation : Seminar I : 18th November 1953]

[v] Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book X, Anxiety, tr. A. R. Price, Polity, Cambridge, 2014, p. 225.  [See Seminar X: The Anxiety (or Dread): 1962-1963: begins 14th November 1962: Jacques Lacan  or here  : Seminar X : 8th May 1963 : pXVII 156-157  of Cormac Gallagher’s translation]

[vi] Diény J-P., Paul Demiéville (1894-1979) in: École pratique des hautes études, 4ème section, Livret 2. Rapport sur les conférences des années 1981-1982, pp. 23-29.

[vii] Lacan, J., “On a Purpose”, Écrits, op. cit.p. 304 [T.N. quoted by Jacques-Alain Miller, in “The Space of a Lapsus”, TLR6, p. 70 (French) and p. 73 (English), where éclair is translated as ‘spark’.] : See Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here      

[viii] Lacan, J., Seminar XII, “The Object of Psychoanalysis”, unpublished. : See Seminar XII : Crucial Problems for Psychoanalysis : 1964-1965 : from 2nd December 1964 : Jacques Lacan  or here  : Seminar XII : 3rd March 1965 : p136-137 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

[ix] Cf. Heidegger M., “Logos”, tr. J. Lacan, pp. 59-79.

[x] Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book V, Formations of the Unconscious, tr. R. Grigg, Polity, Cambridge, 2017, pp. 433-434. : See Seminar V : 18th June 1957 : Seminar V : The Formations of the Unconscious : 1957-1958 : begins 6th November 1957 : Jacques Lacan or here  : p339-340 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

[xi] Lacan, J., Écrits, op. cit., p. 496.  The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here  : p9-10 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

[xii] Lacan, J., Seminar XIV, “The Logic of the Fantasy”, lesson of 21 June 1967, unpublished. : See Seminar XIV: The logic of phantasy: 1966-1967: begins 16th November 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here : Seminar XIV : 21st June 1967 : pXXIV 267 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

[xiii] Ibid.  : Seminar XIV : 21st June 1967 : pXXIV 267-268 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

[xiv] Ibid. : Seminar XIV : 21st June 1967 : pXXIV 268 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : See Seminar XIV: The logic of phantasy: 1966-1967: begins 16th November 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here  :

[xv] Lacan, J., “Direction of the Treatment…”, Écrits, op. cit., pp. 496-497. : See The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here : p10-11 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

[xvi] Ibid., p. 497. : See The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here : p10-11 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

[xvii] Ibid. : See The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here : p10-11 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

[xviii] Jacques-Alain Miller, “Interpretation in Reverse”, Psychoanalytical Notebooks, Issue 2, 1999. Available on-line: https://londonsociety-nls.org.uk/Publications/002/Miller-Jacques-Alain_Interpretation-in-Reverse.pdf  :  Information & references : Interpretation in Reverse : 1996 : Jacques-Alain Miller or here  

[xix] Miller, J.-A., “The Monologue of l’Apparole”, tr. M. Downing Roberts, Qui Parle, 9 (Spring/Summer 1996), p. 171. [T.N. translation modified; the reference to Encore, can be found on page 138.]

[xx] Ibid., p. 173.

[xxi] Ibid., p. 178-179.

[xxii] Ibid., p.180.

[xxiii] Ibid.

[xxiv] Ibid., p. 181.

[xxv] Ibid.

[xxvi] Ibid., p. 181 (translation modified).

[xxvii] Lacan, J., Seminar XXII, “R.S.I”, Lesson of 11 February 1975. Text established in French by J.-A. Miller, Ornicar ?, n° 4, pp. 95-97.

[xxviii] Miller, J.-A., “Introduction à l’érotique du temps” [“Introduction to the Erotics of Time”, excerpts published in Lacanian Ink, Issue 24/25], in La Cause freudienne, No. 56, Navarin, Paris, March 2004, p. 77.

[xxix] Ibid.

[xxx] Ibid., p. 78.

[xxxi] Ibid., p. 85.

[xxxii] Ibid., pp. 96-97.

[xxxiii] Ibid.

[xxxiv] Miller, J.-A., “Lacanian Biology and the Event of the Body”, Lacanian Ink, Issue 18, 2001, pp. 6-29.

[xxxv] Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VIII, Transference, tr. B. Fink, Polity, London, 2017, p. 372. Lacan speaks of “Pindar’s famous ejaculatory proclamation.”

[xxxvi] Lacan J., Seminar XIII, “The Object of Psychoanalysis (1965-1966), lesson of 1December 1965, unpublished.

[xxxvii] Lacan J., Seminar XII, “Crucial Problems for Psychoanalysis” (1964-1965), lesson of 27 February 1965, unpublished.

[xxxviii] Lacan, J., Seminar XIII, op. cit.

[xxxix] Demiéville, P., Entretiens de Linji, Fayard, 1972, quoted by Nathalie Charraud, “Lacan et le Buddhisme Chan” La Cause freudienne, No. 79 (2011/2013), p. 123.

[xl] Miller, J-A., XVIII, Nullibiété, Lesson of 11 June 2008, unpublished.

[xli] Miller, J.-A., “L’orientation lacanienne, Le tout dernier Lacan,” teaching delivered within the framework of the Department of Psychoanalysis Paris VIII, published as “En deçà de l’insconscient”, La Cause du Désir, No. 91, Navarin, Paris, 2015, p. 107.

[xlii] I am referring to the version of this testimony presented at the soirée of the pass, on 21 May 2019, which has yet to be published. Other published versions are available which bear out the reasoning.

[xliii] Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX, Encore, W.W. Norton & Co., New York/London, 1998, p. 145.

[xliv] Miller, J.-A., “Lacanian Biology and the Event of the Body”, Lacanian Ink, Issue 18, op. cit.

[xlv] Ibid.

[xlvi] Ibid.

[xlvii] Ibid.

[xlviii] Ibid.

[xlix] Lacan, J.,Seminar XXIV, “L’insu que sait de l’une-bévue s’aile à mourre”, lesson of 19April 1977, unpublished.

[l] Ibid.

[li] Ibid.

[lii] Ibid.

[liii] Ibid.

[liv] Ibid.

[lv] Ibid.

[lvi] Lacan, J., Seminar XXI, “Les non-dupes errent”, lesson of 18 December 1973, unpublished.

[lvii] Ibid.

[lviii] Lacan, J., “Presentation on Psychical Causality”, Écrits, op. cit., p. 153 

________________________________________

-Full quotes for the references by Julia Evans

Footnote i. Quote Laurent : A second proposition must be added to this: “Psychoanalysts are part and parcel of the concept of the unconscious, as they constitute that to which the unconscious is addressed.”

From The Position of the Unconscious (Bonneval Hospital): 31st October 1960: Jacques Lacan : Information here : p263 of Bruce Finks’ translation, see Richard Feldstein, Bruce Fink and Maire Jaanus (eds), ‘Reading Seminar XI: Lacan’s Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis’, 1995, p259-282 

Psychoanalysis thus underwrites it by furnishing an astrology that is more decent than the one to which our society continues to surreptitiously sacrifice.

I thus consider justified the prejudice psychoanalysis encounters in eastern Europe. It was up to psychoanalysis not to deserve that prejudice, as it was possible that, presented with the test of different social exigencies, psychanalysis might have proved less tractable had it received harsher treatment [elle s’y fût trouvée moins traitable d’être plus mal traitée]. I gauge that on the basis of my own position in psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis would have done better to examine its ethics and learn from the study of theology, following a path indicated by Freud as unavoidable. At the very least, its deontology in science should make it realize that it is responsible for the presence of the unconscious in this field.

This function was served by my students at this colloquium, and I have contributed thereto in accordance with the method that I have constantly adopted on such occasions, situating each in his position in relation to the subject. The main axis is sufficiently well indicated in the recorded responses.

It would be of some interest, if only to the historian, to have the transcripts of the talks actually given, even if they were cut where blanks appeared due to defects in the recording devices. They underscore the incompetence of he whose services designated him as the person who could highlight with the greatest tact and accuracy the detours of a moment of combat in a place in which ideas were exchanged – his connections, his culture, and even his social savvy [entregent] allowing him to understand better than anyone else the recordings with the intonations. His failings [défaillance] already ensconced him in the good graces of defection. [Lacan is apparently referring here to Jean-Bertrand Pontalis. See note at the end of this quote.]

I do not deplore the occasion that was missed, everyone having since taken ample advantage of a time-worn practice, carefully reworking his presentation. I will take advantage of the occasion to explain my present doctrine of the unconscious, as they constitute that to which the unconscious is addressed. I thus cannot but include my discourse on the unconscious in the very thesis it enunciates: the presence of the unconscious, being situated in the locus of the Other, is to be sought in every discourse, in its enunciation.

Notes

Jean-Bertrand Pontalis. From Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Bertrand_Pontalis  , A student of Jean-Paul Sartre, Pontalis became a professor of philosophy in the forties, before undergoing an analysis with his associate Jacques Lacan the following decade. He was, however, one of the minority group of disciples/analysands who did not follow Lacan into the École Freudienne de Paris, but rather stayed within the legitimist sphere as founding members of the Association Psychanalytique de France, of which he later became president.

Together with Jean Laplanche, he wrote the influential work The Language of Psychoanalysis in 1967; while among his later, more literary writings were ‘Windows’ and ‘Crossing the Shadows’. 

His 1993 autobiography, Love of Beginnings, was deliberately ahistorical, emphasising what he called “holes” in discourse, where the process of slipping through or evading set formats and ways of thinking opened up new beginnings: “When words fail, it is because, without realising it, one is about to touch a different earth”.

——————————————————————————-

Footnote ii : See Seminar I: Freud’s papers on technique: 1953-1954 : begins on 18th November 1953 : Jacques Lacan or here : p1 of John Forrester’s translation : Seminar I : 18thNovember 1953

Overture to the Seminar

The master breaks the silence with anything – with a sarcastic remark, with a kick-start. 

That is how a buddhist master conducts his search for meaning, according to the technique of zen. It behoves the students to find out for themselves the answer to their own questions. The master does not teach ex cathedra a ready made science; he supplies an answer when the students are on the verge of finding it. 

This kind of teaching is a refusal of any system. It uncovers a thought in motion – nonetheless vulnerable to systematisation, since it necessarily possesses a dogmatic aspect. Freud’s thought is the most perennially open to revision. It is a mistake to reduce it to a collection of hackneyed phrases. Each of his ideas possesses a vitality of its own. That is precisely what one calls the dialectic. 

Certain of these ideas were, at a given moment, indispensable to Freud, because they supplied an answer to a question that he had formulated previously, in other terms. Hence one only gains a sense of their value by relocating them in their context. 

But it is not enough to do some history, the history of thought, and to say that Freud lived in a scientistic century. Rather, with The Interpretation of Dreams, something of a different essence, of a concrete psychological density, is reintroduced, namely, meaning

—————————————————————————–

Footnote iv : Quote : When Lacan isolates this anything from the Zen master,[iv]  Lacan is not speaking about Zen technique in general – see Footnote ii

—————————————————————————-

Footnote v : Quote but in particular that of Linji, one of the founders of a school whose influence was central in the transmission of Chan Buddhism to Japan. This author was dear to the person Lacan used to refer to as his “good mentor,”[v] Paul Demiéville, who in 1947 published an important study, The Spiritual Mirror, which he used as reference : See Seminar X: The Anxiety (or Dread): 1962-1963: begins 14th November 1962: Jacques Lacan  or here : Seminar X : 8th May 1963 : pXVII 156-157  of Cormac Gallagher’s translation :

This is done to materialise before you that the monotheism-polytheism opposition is perhaps not something as clear as it is usually represented for you. For the thousand and one statues which are there are all properly and identically the same Buddha. Besides, by right, each one of you is a Buddha, I say by right because for particular reasons you may have been thrown into the world with some defect which may constitute a more or less irreducible obstacle to gaining access to it. 

It nevertheless remains that this identity of the subjective one in its multiplicity, its infinite variability, to a final one with its completed access to non-dualism, in its access to the beyond of every pathetic variation, to the beyond of every cosmic wordly change, is something in which we have less reason to interest ourselves in as a phenomenon, than the fact that it allows us to approach the relationships that it demonstrates by the consequences that it had historically, structurally in the thoughts of men.

In truth, I said that what is there under a thousand and one supports, in reality these thousand and one supports, thanks to the effects of multiplication inscribed in what you can see, the multiplicity of their arms and of some heads which crown the central head, ought to be multiplied in such a way that there are in reality here 33,333 of the same identical beings. This is only a detail. 

I told you what a Buddha was. It is not absolutely speaking a God, it is a bodhisattva, which means to go quickly and create a void, as I might say, an almost Buddha. It would be completely a Buddha if precisely it was not there; but since it is there, and under this multiplied form, which has demanded, as you see, a lot of trouble, this is only the image of the trouble that he for his part takes to be there. He is there for you. He is a Buddha who has not yet succeeded in disinteresting himself, no doubt because of one of these obstacles to which I alluded earlier, to disinterest himself in the salvation of humanity. That is the reason why, if you are Buddhists, you prostrate yourself before this sumptuous gathering. It is because in effect you owe, I think, recognition to the unity which has troubled itself in such a great number to remain within range of bringing you help. For there is also said – the iconography enumerates it – the cases in which they will bring you help. 

The bodhisattva in question is called in Sanscrit – you have already heard tell of him, I hope; his name is widely known, especially in our own day; all of this turns around this sphere vaguely called the element for anyone who does yoga – the bodhisattva in question here is Avalokitesvara. 

The first image, the one of the statue that I passed around among you, is a historical avatar of this Avalokitesvara. I thus took the right path before becoming interested in Japanese. Fate decreed that I should have elucidated with my good master Demiéville, in the years when psychoanalysis allowed me more leisure, this book, this book which is called The Lotus and the True Law which was written in Chinese to translate a Sanscrit text by Kumarajiva. This text is more or less the historical turning point at which there appears the avatar, the singular metamorphosis that I am going to ask you to remember, namely that this bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara, the one who hears the tears of the world, is transformed from the time of Kumarajiva, who seems to be a little responsible for it, is transformed into a female divinity. This female divinity with whom I think you are also ever so little in accord with, in harmony with, is called Kuan-yin or again Kuan-shih-yin, this is also the meaning that Avalokitesvara has: it is the one who considers, who goes, who is in agreement. That is Kuan; this is the word I spoke to you about earlier and that is her wailing or her tears. Kuan-shih-yin – the “shih” can sometimes be effaced – the Kuan-yin is a female divinity. In China there is no ambiguity: the Kuan-yin always appears in a female form and it is at this transformation and on this transformation that I would ask you to dwell for a moment. In Japan these same words are written Kannon or Kann-ze-non, according to whether one inserts there or not the character of the world. Not all the forms of Kannon are feminine. I would even say that the majority of them are not. And because you have before your eyes the image of the statues of this temple, the same sanctity, divinity – a term which is to be left in suspense here – which is represented in this multiple form, you can see that the characters are provided with little moustaches and with tiny outlines of beards. Here therefore they are in a masculine form, which corresponds in effect to the canonical structure these statues represent, the number of arms and of heads involved. But it is exactly the same being that is involved as in the first statue whose representations I circulated among you. It is even this form which is specified, can be seen as “Nio-i-Yin”, Kannon or Kann-ze-non. “Nio-i-yin” in this case, which is therefore to be remembered here – there is a character which is going to be a little stifled, but after all not too much so – “Nio-i-yin” means “like the wheel of desires”. It is exactly the meaning that its correspondent in Sanscrit has. 

Here then is what we find ourselves confronted with: what is involved is rediscovering in the most well-attested fashion the assimilation of pre-Buddhic divinities into the different stages of this hierarchy which thenceforth is articulated as the levels, the stages, the forms of access to the final realisation of beauty, namely to the final understanding of the radically illusory character of all desire. 

———————————————————

P2 Footnote vi   … Chinese subitism : From Wikipedia,  The term subitism points to sudden enlightenment, the idea that insight is attained all at once. The opposite approach, that enlightenment can be achieved only step by step, through an arduous practice, is called gradualism.

———————————————————

Footnote vii : Quote : Jacques-Alain Miller has insisted on this side of Lacan’s teaching, namely: “allowing oneself to be led in this way by the letter of Freud’s work, up to the spark [the lightning] that it necessitates, without selecting a destination in advance—and by not backing away from the residue, found anew at the end, of its enigmatic point of departure, and even by not considering that he had accounted, at the end of the proceedings, for the astonishment by which he entered into the proceedings… [vii] ” : On a Purpose : 1966 : Jacques Lacan : Written as an introduction to Jean Hyppolite’s commentary on Freud’s ‘Verneinung’  : See Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan   or here : p303 of Bruce Fink’s translation : The two samples of my seminar that follow inspire me to give the reader some idea of the purpose of my teaching. P304 of Bruce Fink’s translation : 

For it was by allowing himself [Jean Hyppolite] to be led in this way by the letter of Freud’s work, up to the spark that it necessitates, without selecting a destination in advance – and by not backing away from the residue, found anew at the end, of its enigmatic point of departure, and even by not considering that he had accounted, at the end of the proceedings for the astonishment by which he entered into the proceedings – that a tried and true logician brought me the guarantee of what constituted my request, when for the preceding three years already I had been legitimating my work as a literal commentary on Freud’s work.

The requirement to read does not take up as much space in the culture of psychoanalysts as one might think.

There is nothing superstitious in my privileging the letter of Freud’s work. It is in circles where liberties are taken with that letter that people render that letter sacred in a way that is altogether compatible with its debasement to routinized use.

Freud’s discovery shows the structural reason why the literality of any text, whether proposed as sacred or profane, increases in importance the more it involves a genuine confrontation with truth.

That structural reason is found precisely in what the truth that it bears, that of the unconscious, owes to the letter of language – that is, to what I call “the signifier.”

While this incidentally accounts for Freud’s quality as a writer, it is above all decisive in interesting psychoanalysis as much as possible in language and in what language determines in the subject.

———————————————————-

Footnote viii : Quote : “Everyone knows that a Zen exercise has something to do, though one doesn’t know what it means, with the subjective realization of a void.” [viii] : See Seminar XII : Crucial Problems for Psychoanalysis : 1964-1965 : from 2nd December 1964 : Jacques Lacan or here : Seminar XII : 3rd March 1965 : p136-137 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : What is involved is to interrogate what is at stake for us in this function of the other, how it presents itself to us, and it is this that I intend to introduce today, because undoubtedly the step has I think been taken, easily, facilitated by our last explorations, of what I always meant by introducing, precisely at the level of this question of the other, what is essential for us in order to know what identification means, by introducing the question which so horrified all those around me who preferred to find my message futile, indeed gone uselessly astray, the question described as that of the mustard pots. 

The question of the mustard pots, posed first of all as the fact that the mustard pot is characterised by this experiential fact that there is never any mustard in it, that the mustard pot is by definition always empty, the question of the mustard pots poses this question, the question precisely of the distinction between what is indiscernible. It is easy to say that the mustard pot here, is distinguished from the (22) one there, as Aristotle tells us, because they are not made of the same matter. 

Thus, the question is easily resolved, and if I chose mustard pots, it is precisely to avoid the difficulty. If it involved the body, as it did earlier, you would see that Aristotle would not have had such an easy answer, for the body, being what has the property, not only of assimilating to itself the matter that it absorbs but, as we have seen suggested by Freud, of assimilating something quite different with it, namely, its essence as body. There you would not have found it so easy to distinguish between the indiscernibles and you might, with the monk, I hesitate to say practising Zen, because you are soon going to spread it throughout Paris that I am teaching you Zen, and what might result from it, anyway, it is all the same a Zen formula and this monk is called Tchi Un. He tells you: “like this body” undoubtedly, at the level of the body, it is impossible to distinguish any body from all the other bodies, and it is not because there are two hundred and sixty of you here that this unit is less real, because moreover in the case of the Buddha, he was something like three hundred and three million, three hundred and thirty thousand, three hundred and three, and it was always the same Buddha. But we have not got that far. We take the mustard pots, the mustard pots are distinct but I think the question is, the hollow, the void that the mustard pot constitutes. Is it the same (23) void or are there different voids? Here the question is a little bit more thorny, and it is precisely rejoined by this genesis of one in zero, to which arithmetical thinking is constrained. 

In a word, these voids in effect are so much a single void, that they only begin to be distinguished from the moment that one fills one of them and that the recurrence begins because there is one void the less. Such is the inaugural establishment of the subject. 

Someone, before you, in the closed part of my seminar, was able to make coincide, intersect, so rigorously the deduction which coexists between a certain form of my introduction of the subject, that it is not by chance, but the apologue that I give you here about the void and its filling and of the genesis of a distinction of lack as it is introduced at the level of the pint; the “One Tuborg, one” (Une Tuborg, une) – I would be the first to have substituted the garçon de café for God the creator – “One Tuborg, one” means, introduces the possibility, that afterwards I may ask for another, and nevertheless it is always Tuborg, always similar to itself. 

The introduction of “one” is here the essential point at the level of lack. This other subsequently gives the measure or the cause of my thirst, that it also gives me the (24) opportunity to order it for another and, by bi-univocal correspondence, to establish as such this pure other, such is the level of operation where there is generated, where there is first introduced as presence the lack of the subject. 

It is starting from there, and uniquely from there, that there can be conceived the perfect bi-polarity, the perfect ambivalence, of everything that will subsequently be produced at the level of demand, it is in so far as the subject is established, is supported, as zero, as this zero which lacks its filling up, that there can operate the symmetry, I would say, of what is established and what, for Freud, remains enigmatic between the object that he can have and the object that he can be. 

It is precisely by remaining at this level that there can be pushed perhaps to its term, a quite particular conjuring farce, because it is not true that everything is exhausted for the subject in the dimension of the Other, that with respect to the Other, everything is a demand to have, into which there is transferred, there is established a semblance of being. 

The coordinates of the space of the Other do not operate in this simple dyedre[?]; in other words, the zero point, the origin of the coordinates from which we might establish it, is not a true zero point. 

———————————————-

Footnote x : quote : This is why, in the 1950s, Lacan became interested in the contribution of the heterodox English psychoanalyst Edward Glover, from the 1930s, referring to his comments on the effect of inaccurate interpretation as follows:

“An article that I advise you to read on the matter is one by Glover called “Therapeutic Effects of Inexact Interpretation,”… It’s a very interesting question, and it leads Glover to draw up a general situation about all the positions taken by whoever finds himself in the position of consultant in relation to every kind of disorder. Having done this, he generalizes and extends the notion of interpretation to every formulated position taken by whomever one consults and draws up a scale of the different positions of the doctor in relation to the patient.”[x]

Information & references : The therapeutic effect of inexact interpretation : a contribution to the theory of suggestion : October 1931 : Edward Glover or here   

Seminar V : 18th June 1957 : see Seminar V : The Formations of the Unconscious : 1957-1958 : begins 6th November 1957 : Jacques Lacan or here : p339-340 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : It is extremely important to articulate correctly the different lines on which analysis is situated. There is an article which I would recommend you to read, it is the article by Glover which is called: “The Therapeutic Effect of Inexact Interpretation” (October 1931, Vol. 12, Art. 4 of the IJP). 

It is one of the most remarkable and most intelligent articles which could be written on such a subject. It is really in fact the starting base from which the question of interpretation can be approached. 

In fact the basis of this article and of the problem that it poses, is something which can more or less be situated as follows: at the point in time that Glover wrote it, we are still at a time when Freud is alive, but at which the great change of analytic technique around the analysis of resistances and of aggressivity has happened. Glover articulates that this analysis of resistances and of the transference is something which with the experience and the development of notions acquired in analysis, is something which implies going over, covering as one might say, in the sense that ground must be covered by the analytic progress the totality of the systèmes fantasmatiques – let us translate “phantasy systems” in this way: the systems of phantasies – which we have learned to recognise in analysis. It is clear that at that time more had been learned, more was known than right at the beginning of analysis, and the question which is posed, is: what was our therapy when we did not know the whole extent, the whole range, of these phantasy systems? 

Does it mean that what we did at that time, were incomplete therapeutic treatments, less worthwhile than those which we are carrying out now? It is obviously a very interesting question, in connection with which he is led in a way to draw up a kind of general report on all the positions articulated, taken up, by the one who finds himself in the position of being consulted about any difficulties whatsoever. In a certain way he generalises, he extends the notion of interpretation to every articulated position taken by the person who is consulted, and he draws up a table of the different positions of the doctor with regard to the patient. 

————————————————

Footnote xi : quote : Glover is sensitive to the aporias inherent in interpretation but does not take account of the operative value of the place of the truth as such. The phlogistic fluid in question is in fact meaning as it appears as escaping the relationship between human beings spontaneously without any basis or principle.

“This importance of the signifier in the localization of analytic truth appears implicitly when an author holds firmly to the internal coherence of analytic experience in defining aporias. One should read Edward Glover to gauge the price he pays for not having the term ‘signifier’ at his disposal. In articulating the most relevant views, he finds interpretation everywhere, even in the banality of a medical prescription […] Conceived of in this way, interpretation becomes a sort of phlogiston: it is manifest in everything that is understood rightly or wrongly…”[xi]

The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan  or here : p9-10 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : To decipher the diachrony of unconscious repetitions, interpretation must introduce into the synchrony of the signifiers that compose it, something that suddenly makes translation possible – precisely what the function of the Other as harbouring the code allows, since it is in connection with it that the missing element appears. 

This importance of the signifier in locating analytic truth appears in filigree once an author holds firmly to experienced connections in the definition of aporias. You should read Edward Glover if you want to appreciate the price he pays for lacking this term: though articulating the most relevant insights, he find interpretation everywhere, finding nowhere to stop it, even in the banality of a medical prescription. He even goes as far as to say quite baldly – I am not sure whether he is aware of what he is saying – that symptom- formation is an incorrect interpretation by the subject [13]. Conceived of in this way, interpretation becomes a sort of phlogiston: manifest in everything that is understood rightly or wrongly, providing it feeds the flame of the imaginary, of that pure display, which, under the name of aggressivity, flourished in the technique of that period (1931 – recent enough to be still applicable today. Cf. [13].) 

It is only in as much as interpretation culminates in the here and now of this interplay that it is distinguished from the reading of the signatura rerum in which Jung tries to outdo Boehme. To follow it there would not suit our analysts at all. 

————————————————-

Footnote xii : quote : Because of the proliferation of meaning, Glover had the insight to grasp that the binary of the true and the false is not suited to psychoanalysis: 

“When Mr. Glover speaks about correct or incorrect interpretation, he can only do so by avoiding this dimension of the truth […] it is very difficult to speak about a ‘false’ interpretation […] of incorrect interpretation […] [for] sometimes it is not wide of the mark for all that. [..] Because truth rebels! And that however inexact it might be one has all the same tickled something.”[xii]

Seminar XIV : 21st June 1967 : pXXIV 267 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : See Seminar XIV: The logic of phantasy: 1966-1967: begins 16th November 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here : And if interpretation were only something that produces material, I mean, if one radically eliminates the dimension of truth, all interpretation is only suggestion. 

This is what puts in their place these very interesting speculations – because one clearly sees that they are only designed to avoid the word truth – when Mr. Glover speaks about correct or incorrect interpretation, he can only do so by avoiding this dimension of the truth and he does it, the dear man, ( a man who knows very well what he is saying) not simply to avoid the dimension – for you are going to see that he does not avoid it. Only look. The fact is that one can speak about the dimension of truth, but that it is very difficult to speak about a “false” interpretation. The bivalency is polar, but it leaves us embarrassed as regards the excluded third. And that is why he admits the eventual fruitfulness – I mean, Glover – of incorrect interpretation. Consult his text. Incorrect does not mean that it is false. It means that it has nothing to do with what is at stake at that moment, in terms of truth. But sometimes it is not necessarily wide of the mark for all that, because … because there is no way here of not seeing it re-emerge. Because the truth rebels! That however inexact it might be one has all the same tickled something. 

———————————————————————

Footnote xiii : quote : “In this analytic discourse designed to capture truth, it is the interpretative interpretation-response that represents the truth, the interpretation […] as being possible there […] the discourse that we have specified as free discourse has for its function to make room for it. It tends towards nothing else than to establish a locus of reserve in order that this interpretation maybe inscribed there as a locus reserved for the truth. This place is the one that the analyst occupies. I point out to you that he occupies it, but that it is not where the patient puts him! This is the interest of the definition that I give of transference […] He is placed in the position of the subject supposed to know.”[xiii]

Seminar XIV : 21st June 1967 : pXXIV 267-268 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : See Seminar XIV: The logic of phantasy: 1966-1967: begins 16th November 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here : So then in this analytic discourse designed to capture the truth, it is the interpretative interpretation – response that represent the truth, the interpretation … as being possible there – even if it does not happen – which orients the whole discourse. And the discourse that we have ordered as free discourse has as a function making room for it. It tends to nothing else then to establish a locus of reservation in order that this interpretation maybe inscribed there as a locus reserved for the truth. 

This place is the one that the analyst occupies. I point out to you that he occupies it, that is not where the patient puts him! This is the interest of the definition that I give of transference. After all, why not recall that it is specific? He is placed in the position of a subject who is supposed to know, and he knows very well that this only works because he holds that position, because it is there that the very effects of transference are produced, the ones, of course, on which he has to intervene to rectify them in the sense of the truth. [see next quote]

———————————————–

Footnote xiv : quote : The analytic interpretation is thus taken between the knowledge supposed about the mysterious link between the unconscious and jouissance and the actual emptiness which it is a question of producing: “In other words, he is between two stools, between the false position of being the subject supposed to know (which he knows he is not), and that of having to rectify the effects of this supposition on the part of the subject, and this in the name of truth. This is why the transference is the source of what is called resistance.”[xiv]

Seminar XIV : 21st June 1967 : pXXIV 268 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : See Seminar XIV: The logic of phantasy: 1966-1967: begins 16th November 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here : Namely, that he is between two stools. Between the false position, of being the subject supposed to know (which he knows well he is not) and that of having to rectify the effects of this supposition on the part of the subject, (8) and this in the name of the truth. This indeed is why the transference is the source of what is called resistance. 

———————————————

Footnote xv : quote : Interpretation thus finds its foundation as the resumption of the insertion in the signifier of what he calls, in a remarkable way, life.

“… signification no more emanates from life than phlogiston escapes from bodies in combustion. We should speak of signification rather as of the combination of life with the O atom of the sign [Lacan clarifies in a footnote: the “O” must be read as zero”], the sign insofar as it first of all connotes presence or absence, by essentially introducing the and that links them, since in connoting presence or absence, it institutes presence against a background of absence, just as it constitutes absence in presence.”[xv]

: See The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here : p10-11 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : My doctrine of the signifier is first of all a discipline in which those I form have to train themselves about the different ways in which the signifier effects the advent of the signified, which is the only conceivable way that interpretation can produce anything new.

For it is not based on any assumption of divine archetypes, but on the fact that the unconscious has the radical structure of language, that a material operates in it according to certain laws, those discovered in the study of positive languages, languages that are or were actually spoken. 

The phlogiston metaphor, which was suggested to me a moment ago by Glover, gets its appropriateness from the error that it suggests: meaning no more emanates from life than phlogiston escapes from burning bodies. We should speak of it rather as the combination of life with the atom O of the sign [Footnote 8], first and foremost of the sign in so far as it connotes presence or absence, by introducing essentially the and that links them, since by connoting presence or absence, it establishes presence against a background of absence, just as it constitutes absence in presence. 

[Footnote 8, O, which rather than being vocalised as the symbolic letter of oxygen, evoked by the metaphor being used, can be read, zero, inasmuch as this figure symbolises the essential function of place in the structure of the signifier. Here is an example: in the USA where Kris ended up, publication gets you tenure, and a teaching like mine would every week have to stake its claim to priority against the plundering it would not fail to occasion. In France it is by way of infiltration that my ideas penetrate a group, where people obey the orders that prohibit my teaching. Since they are accursed, they ideas can only serve as adornments for some dandies. No matter: the void that they make reverberate, whether I am quoted or not makes another voice heard there.] 

——————————————–

Footnote xvi : quote : And Lacan gives as the figure of this inaugural moment of conjunction, between the place of the Zero position of the subject included in the signifier with life, in the game of the Fort-Da: “This is the point of insemination for a symbolic order that pre-exists the infantile subject and in accordance with which he has to structure himself.”[xvi] : See The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here : p11 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : At the same time, there also appears in it the value of the object as in itself insignificant (what the child makes appear and disappear), and the subsidiary character of phonetic perfection in relation to phonematic distinction – and no one would dispute that Freud was right to translate it immediately by the Fort! Da! of the German he as an adult spoke [9]. 

This is the point of insertion [JE : Notice different translation, insemination (Bruce Fink’s)/insertion (Cormac Gallagher’s & p234 of Alan Sheridan’s translation)]  of a symbolic order that pre-exists the infantile subject and in accordance with which he will have to structure himself. 

4. I will spare myself the task of giving the rules of interpretation 

Further Reference

Quote : between the place of the Zero position of the subject included in the signifier with life, in the game of the Fort-Da. 

Beyond the Pleasure Principle : 1920g : Sigmund Freud : SE XVIII  p1-64 Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com see here    

SE XVIII p14-17, p283 of pfl : At this point I propose to leave the dark and dismal subject of the traumatic neurosis and pass on to examine the method of working employed by the mental apparatus in one of its earliest normal activities – I mean in children’s play.

 The different theories of children’s play have only recently been summarized and discussed from the psycho-analytic point of view by Pfeifer (1919), to whose paper I would refer my readers. These theories attempt to discover the motives which lead children to play, but they fail to bring into the foreground the economic motive, the consideration of the yield of pleasure involved. Without wishing to include the whole field covered by these phenomena, I have been able, through a chance opportunity which presented itself, to throw some light upon the first game played by a little boy of one and a half and invented by himself. It was more than a mere fleeting observation, for I lived under the same roof as the child and his parents for some weeks, and it was some time before I discovered the meaning of the puzzling activity which he constantly repeated

 The child was not at all precocious in his intellectual development. At the age of one and a half he could say only a few comprehensible words; he could also make use of a number of sounds which expressed a meaning intelligible to those around him. He was, however, on good terms with his parents and their one servant-girl, and tributes were paid to his being a ‘good boy’. He did not disturb his parents at night, he conscientiously obeyed orders not to touch certain things or go into certain rooms, and above all he never cried when his mother left him for a few hours. At the same time, he was greatly attached to his mother, who had not only fed him herself but had also looked after him without any outside help. This good little boy, however, had an occasional disturbing habit of taking any small objects he could get hold of and throwing them away from him into a corner, under the bed, and so on, so that hunting for his toys and picking them up was often quite a business. As he did this he gave vent to a loud, long-drawn-out ‘o-o-o-o’, accompanied by an expression of interest and satisfaction. His mother and the writer of the present account were agreed in thinking that this was not a mere interjection but represented the German word ‘fort’. I eventually realized that it was a game and that the only use he made of any of his toys was to play ‘gone’ with them. One day I made an observation which confirmed my view. The child had a wooden reel with a piece of string tied round it. It never occurred to him to pull it along the floor behind him, for instance, and play at its being a carriage. What he did was to hold the reel by the string and very skilfully throw it over the edge of his curtained cot, so that it disappeared into it, at the same time uttering his expressive ‘o-o-o-o’. He then pulled the reel out of the cot again by the string and hailed its reappearance with a joyful ‘da’. This, then, was the complete game – disappearance and return. As a rule one only witnessed its first act, which was repeated untiringly as a game in itself, though there is no doubt that the greater pleasure was attached to the second act.¹

 ¹ A further observation subsequently confirmed this interpretation fully. One day the child’s mother had been away for several hours and on her return was met with the words ‘Baby o-o-o-o!’ which was at first incomprehensible. It soon turned out, however, that during this long period of solitude the child had found a method of making himself disappear. He had discovered his reflection in a full-length mirror which did not quite reach to the ground, so that by crouching down he could make his mirror-image ‘gone’.

 The interpretation of the game then became obvious. It was related to the child’s great cultural achievement – the instinctual renunciation (that is, the renunciation of instinctual satisfaction) which he had made in allowing his mother to go away without protesting. He compensated himself for this, as it were, by himself staging the disappearance and return of the objects within his reach. It is of course a matter of indifference from the point of view of judging the effective nature of the game whether the child invented it himself or took it over on some outside suggestion. Our interest is directed to another point. The child cannot possibly have felt his mother’s departure as something agreeable or even indifferent. How then does his repetition of this distressing experience as a game fit in with the pleasure principle? It may perhaps be said in reply that her departure had to be enacted as a necessary preliminary to her joyful return, and that it was in the latter that lay the true purpose of the game. But against this must be counted the observed fact that the first act, that of departure, was staged as a game in itself and far more frequently than the episode in its entirety, with its pleasurable ending.

No certain decision can be reached from the analysis of a single case like this. On an unprejudiced view one gets an impression that the child turned his experience into a game from another motive. At the outset he was in a passive situation – he was overpowered by the experience; but, by repeating it, unpleasurable though it was, as a game, he took on an active part. These efforts might be put down to an instinct for mastery that was acting independently of whether the memory was in itself pleasurable or not. But still another interpretation may be attempted. Throwing away the object so that it was ‘gone’ might satisfy an impulse of the child’s, which was suppressed in his actual life, to revenge himself on his mother for going away from him. In that case it would have a defiant meaning: ‘All right, then, go away! I don’t need you. I’m sending you away myself.’ A year later, the same boy whom I had observed at his first game used to take a toy, if he was angry with it, and throw it on the floor, exclaiming: ‘Go to the fwont!’ He had heard at that time that his absent father was ‘at the front’, and was far from regretting his absence; on the contrary he made it quite clear that he had no desire to be disturbed in his sole possession of his mother.¹ We know of other children who liked to express similar hostile impulses by throwing away objects instead of persons.² We are therefore left in doubt as to whether the impulse to work over in the mind some overpowering experience so as to make oneself master of it can find expression as a primary event, and independently of the pleasure principle. For, in the case we have been discussing, the child may, after all, only have been able to repeat his unpleasant experience in play because the repetition carried along with it a yield of pleasure of another sort but none the less a direct one.

 ¹ When this child was five and three-quarters, his mother died. Now that she was really ‘gone’ (‘o-o-o’), the little boy showed no signs of grief. It is true that in the interval a second child had been born and had roused him to violent jealousy.

 ² Cf. my note on a childhood memory of Goethe’s (1917b).2

—————————————-

Footnote xvii : Quote : It is accompanied by a particular mark drawn from life and marks the place of a non-object which he will soon name object a. “I will spare myself the task of providing the rules of interpretation. It is not that they cannot be formulated, but their formalizations presuppose developments that I cannot presume to be known.”[xvii]

See The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here : p11 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : 4. I will spare myself the task of giving the rules of interpretation. It is not that they cannot be formulated, but their formulae presuppose developments that I cannot presume to be known, and it would be impossible to provide a condensed account of them here. 

I will confine myself to remarking that when one reads the classical commentaries on interpretation, one always regrets how little is made of the very data that are advanced. 

For example, everyone recognises in his own way that to confirm that an interpretation is well founded, it is not the conviction with which it is received that matters, since the criterion will be found much more rather in the material that emerges as a result of it. 

————————————

Footnote xviii : Quote : Jacques-Alain Miller has defined the problematic in an important article that opposes translation interpretation to asemantic interpretation, which aims only at the opacity of jouissance. The empty place is no longer “in reserve”, it is brought to the fore: “The question is not to know whether the session is long or short, silent or chatty. Either the session is a semantic unity, in which S2 comes to punctuate the elaboration – delusion in the service of the Name of the Father – (many sessions are like that), or the analytic session is an a-semantic unity bringing the subject back to the opacity of his jouissance. This supposes that it be cut before it closes on itself.”  : See Interpretation in Reverse : 1996 : Jacques-Alain Miller or here   

Let’s say that in the text S1 always absorbs S2. The words which would translate its sense into another language are as if devoured in advance by this very text, as if it was translating itself, and, by virtue of this, the relation of signifier and signified does not take the form of the unconscious. You will never be able to separate what Joyce wanted to say from what he said — integral transmission, but in a mode which is the reverse of the matheme. 

The zero effect of the elementary phenomenon is obtained here through an aleph effect, which opens to the infinity of the semantic, or, better, to the flight of sense. 

What we still call ‘interpretation’, although analytic practice is always increasingly post- interpretative, is revealing no doubt, but of what if not of an irreducible opacity in the relation of the subject to lalangue. And this is why interpretation — this post-interpretation — is no longer, to be precise, a punctuation. 

Punctuation belongs to the system of signification; it is still semantic; it still produces a quilting point. This is why the post-interpretative practice which, every day a little more, takes over interpretation, indexes itself not on punctuation but on the cut. 

Let us for the time being give an image to this cut, that of a separation between S1 and S2, the very one that is inscribed on the inferior line of the matheme of the ‘analytic discourse’: S2 -S1. 

The consequences of it are fundamental for the very construction of what we call the analytic session. 

The question is not to know whether the session is long or short, silent or chatty. Either the session is a semantic unity, in which S2comes to punctuate the elaboration — delusion in the service of the Name-of-the-Father — (many sessions are like that), or the analytic session is an a-semantic unity bringing the subject back to the opacity of his jouissance. This supposes that it be cut before it closes on itself. 

Here therefore I oppose the path of elaboration to the path of perplexity. Don’t worry about elaboration, there will always be too much of it. 

——————————————

Footnote xxvii : Quote : Lacan comes to oppose interpretation and speech. “Analytic interpretation […] is brought to bear in a way that goes much further than speech. Speech is an object of elaboration for the analysand, but what does it bear of the effects of what the analyst says – for he does say. It is not nothing to formulate that the transference plays a role there, but that does not clarify anything. It would be a question of explaining how interpretation is brought to bear and that it does not necessarily involve an enunciation.” : See Seminar XXII: R. S. I. : 1974-1975: from 19th November 1974 : Jacques Lacan  or here  Seminar XXII 11th February 1975 : p73-74 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : It is certain that it is brought to bear, analytic interpretation is brought to bear in a way that goes much further than the word. The word is an object of elaboration for the analysand, but what the analyst says – for he says – what the analyst says has effects about which it is not nothing to say that transference plays a role in it, but, it is not nothing but it does not illuminate anything. It would be a matter of saying how the interpretation is brought to bear, and that it does not inevitably imply a stating (enunciation).

—————————————-

Footnote xxxiv : Quote : This interpretation is not of the order of a translation by addition of a signifier two, S2, in relation to an S1, a signifier One. It does not aim at concatenation or the production of a signifying chain. It responds to the new aim of tightening the knot around the body event and the inscription that can be noted (a) in a renewed use: “The famous concept of the letter, which was made to overcome the dichotomy of the signifier and the object.”  : See Lacanian Biology and the Event of the Body : 12th & 19th May 1999 (Paris VIII) : Jacques-Alain Miller or here  :  This quotation has not been found. ‘Letter’ is used on p21 : Perhaps even more startling as a short circuit is Lacan’s analogy found on page 90 of Encore (See http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12423 for details) : “The function I give the letter is what makes it analogous to a germ.” Lacan reworks the following scheme, making the letter analogous to the germ. It has surpassed this term “germ” since he speaks of the germ separate from the bodies for which it is the vehicle for life and death together. [Diagrams omitted] This analogy of the letter and the germ is evidently made to give us the notion of a reproduction of the letter, but which supposes the exteriority of knowledge (savoir) in relationship to being, in relationship to body. It is transmission of the letter, but in a position of exteriority. Thus Lacan says : “Knowledge (savoir) is in the Other. It is a knowledge which is supported by the signifier and which owes nothing to the knowing (connaissance of life (vivant).”

———————————————-

Footnote xxxv : Quote : Lacan had already used this term ‘jaculation’ to account for the power of the poetic text, whether with reference to Pindare : See Seminar VIII : Transference : 1960-1961 : Begins 16th November 1960 : Jacques Lacan or here   [xxxv] Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VIII, Transference, tr. B. Fink, Polity, London, 2017, p. 372. Lacan speaks of “Pindar’s famous ejaculatory proclamation.”  : Seminar VIII : 21st June 1961: p316 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : I already announced to you the last time that I would begin again under the sign of the celebrated ejaculation of Pindar, in the eighth Pythian Ode composed for Aristomenes, the wrestler from Agina, the winner at the Games, “man, the dream of a shadow”. 

We will take up here again our reference to this relationship, the one to which, for your sakes, I tried to give the support of a model, between two concrete levels of identification – it is
not by chance that I am putting the accent on the necessary distinction between them, an obvious distinction, phenomenologically within everyone’s range. The ideal ego is not to be confused with the ego-ideal, this is something that the psychologist can discover of his own accord, and which moreover he does not fail to do. That the thing is just as important in the articulation of the Freudian dialectic, is indeed what will be confirmed for us, for example by the work to which I alluded the last time, that of M. Conrad Stein on primary identification. 

This work ends with the recognition that what still remains obscure, is the difference between the two series that Freud distinguishes, underlines and accentuates as being the identifications of the ego and the identifications of the ego- ideal . 

————————————————-

Footote [xxxvi] Lacan J., Seminar XIII, “The Object of Psychoanalysis (1965-1966, lesson of 1December 1965, unpublished.  : Quote : or Angelus Silesius and his mystic jaculations.[xxxvi]  :  See Seminar XIII: The Object of Psychoanalysis: 1965-1966 : from December 1st 1965: Jacques Lacan or here    or  Science and Truth: 1st December 1965 session of Seminar XIII: The Object of Psychoanalysis : Jacques Lacan or here : p14 of Bruce  Fink’s translation  : In the ego that Descartes accentuates by virtue of the superfluousness of its function in certain of his Latin texts (a subject of exegesis that I leave here to the specialists), one must grasp the point at which it continues to be what it presents itself as: dependent on the god of religion. A curious scrap of ergo, the ego is bound up with this God. Descartes’ approach is, singularly, one of safeguarding the ego from the deceitful God, and thereby safeguarding the ego’s partner—going so far as to endow the latter with the exorbitant privi­lege of guaranteeing the eternal truths only insofar as he is their creator. 

The lot shared by the ego and God that is emphasized here is the same as that rendingly proffered by Descartes’ contemporary, Angelus Silesius, in his mystical adjurations, upon which he imposes the form of distichs. [25]

Those who keep up with my work would do well to recall here the use I made of the cherubinic wanderer’s jaculatory prayers [26], taking them up within the trajectory of the introduction to narcissism I was working on, following my own bent, the year of my commentary on President Schreber. [27]

Now one can be a bit shaky at this junction, that is how beauty walks [c ‘est lepas de la beaute], but one has to shake it just right \ilfauty boiterjuste]. 

And first of all by realizing that the two sides do not fit together there [ne sy emboitentpas]. 

Footnote 25 : Angelus Silesius (otherwise known as Johannes Scheffler) was a German theolo­gian and poet, known especially for Der cherubinische Wandersmann (1674), written in the form of distichs, that is, rhymed couplets; see the partial English translation: Selections from the Cherubinic Wanderer, translated and intrduced by J. E. C. Flitch (London: Allen &
Unwin, 1932). 

Footnote 26 : ejaculation (jaculatory prayers) could also be translated in this context as “ejaculatory prayers” or simply “ejaculations”: “short prayers ‘darted up’ to God” (OED). 

Footnote 27 : The only reference I have been able to locate to Silesius in Seminar III is on page 361 where Lacan uses the words “ejaculatory speech” (parole jaculatoire); he refers to Silesius more directly in Seminar II, 160/131; his intended reference here, however, seems to be to Seminar I, 257- 58/231-33, a seminar in which one finds a long discussion of narcissism and a few lines of one of Silesius’ prayers

————————————————–

Footnote xxxvii : Lacan J., Seminar XII, “Crucial Problems for Psychoanalysis” (1964-1965), lesson of 27 February 1965, unpublished. : See Seminar XII : Crucial Problems for Psychoanalysis : 1964-1965 : from 2nd December 1964 : Jacques Lacan or here  : Quote : Or again, of Serge Leclaire’s Poordjeli– an expression outside meaning of different elements of the fantasy, he made “a secrete jaculation, a jubilatory expression, an onomatopoeia,”[xxxvii] as he made a jaculation out of the “Fort-Da”. : Seminar XII : 27th February 1965 : There is no session on the 27th February & an extended discussion of Leclaire’s paper on the 27th January 1965.  See The Dream with the Unicorn – Pôor(d)j’e-li : 30th October 1960 (Bonneval Hospital) [published 1966/68] : Serge Leclaire  or here : 

27th January 1965 : pVII 81of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Dr Lacan: I want to preserve for this first meeting all its austerity. I am going to ask someone whom I expressly asked to be present at this first meeting, Conrad Stein, who at the time when Leclaire for the first time went into the example that he took up today in a completed and perfectly articulated fashion, I am going to ask Conrad Stein who had raised a certain number of objections, of questions, who had put in doubt the exact relevance of the articulation at this moment of the first chain which goes from lit-la-corne, gathers together in the la licorne [the unicorn] its character, properly speaking, of ideational representative of the unconscious, whether there remains in suspense for him, some question about the relevance of what he had put forward, what he has been able since then, because of these very questions, as he has said himself, to specify. 

—————————————————————

Footnote xxxviii : Lacan, J., Seminar XIII, op. cit. : Quote : In the seminar on The Object of Psychoanalysis, he took up the first sentences from his first Seminar on the action of the Zen master: “Everyone knows, though one does not know what it means, that a Zen exercise has something to do with the subjective realization of a void […] the mental void that it is a matter of obtaining and which would be obtained, this singular moment, in an abruptness following a period of waiting, sometimes provoked by a word, a sentence, a jaculation, even a rude remark, a snub, a kick in the ass. It is quite certain that these kinds of slapstick moments or clownish behaviour have meaning only in the light of a long subjective preparation […].”[xxxviii]  : See Seminar XIII: The Object of Psychoanalysis: 1965-1966 : from December 1st 1965: Jacques Lacan or here   or  Science and Truth: 1st December 1965 session of Seminar XIII: The Object of Psychoanalysis : Jacques Lacan or here  : Seminar XIII : 15th December 1965 : pIII 18 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : But altogether essential to delimit this sort of trap-door of exteriority that I am trying to define with regard to the function of the dust-bin in its relationships with writing. 

This does not imply the exclusion of all hierarchy. Let us say that among the reviews that we are surrounded by, there are more or less distinguished dust-bins. But in looking carefully at things I have not seen any tangible advantages in the dust bins of the rue de Lille as compared to those of the surrounding area. 

So then let us take up our hole again. Everyone known that a Zen exercise has something to do, even though people do not know very well what that means, with the subjective realisation of a void. 

(15) And we are not forcing things in admitting that anyone, the average contemplative, will see this figure, will say to himself that there is something like a sort of high point which ought to have some relationship with the mental void that it is a matter of obtaining and that this singular high point will be obtained in an abruptness, succeeding a wait which is sometimes realised by a word, a sentence, an ejaculation, even a rudeness, a cocking of the snoot, a kick in the backside. It is quite certain that these kind of pantalooneries or clowning have no sense except with respect to a long subjective preparation. 

But again. At the point that we have got to, if the circle, however empty it may be, is to be considered by us as defining its holing value, if finding favour in it to depict what we have approached by all sorts of convergences, about what is involved in the o-object; that the o-object is linked qua fall (chute) to the emergence, to the structuring of the subject as division is what represents, I must say, the whole point of the questioning. What is involved in the subject in our field is this hole, this fall, this ptose, to employ here a Stoic term the quite insoluble difficulty of which for the commentator when it is confronted with the simple categoren seems to me is this with respect to a lecton, another mysterious term, let us translate it (produisons-le) with all sorts of reservations and in the crudest fashion (16) which is certainly inexact by meaning, incomplete meaning, in other words a fragment of thought. 

Note : If links to any required text do not work, check www.LacanianWorksExchange.net. If a particular text or book remains absent, contact Julia Evans

.

Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst,  London & Sandwich, Kent

.

Further texts

Of the clinic  here  

Lacanian Transmission  here  

Some Lacanian History  here  

Topology  here     

From LW working groups  here

By Éric Laurent  here   

By Sigmund Freud  here  

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud  here 

By Jacques Lacan here   

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan  here   

By Julia Evans here