Jouissance in the cure (Comments on La Troisième) : December 1997 (probably San Francisco, USA) : André Patsalides

by Julia Evans on December 1, 1997

Published in Anamorphosis, the Journal of the San Francesco Society for Lacanian Studies and the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis, December 1997

Available, published by , see   here  

Related text

La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan or here 


1. La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan or here  Page numbers in the Lettres de l’École Freudienne 16, Paris 1975

2. ‘The Subversion of the subject and the Dialetic of Desire: 19th to 23rd September 1960: Jacques Lacan  or here   

The Youth of Gide, or the Letter and Desire 

Time-line : This article was published in Critique CXXXI (1958): p291-315

In Memory of Ernest Jones : On His Theory of Symbolism 

Time-line : This essay was written in Guitrancourt, January to March 1959, and was published in La Psychanalyse VI (1960): pl-20.

All 3 published in  Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan: Information here  

3. In his seminar ‘Encore’ Lacan gave his most elaborate articulation of the first two jouissance:  the phallic jouissance and the jouissance of the Other : Seminar XX: Encore: 1972 – 1973: From 21st November 1972: Jacques Lacan  or here 

4. … the three basic pathological manifestations put forward by Freud in 1926 : Inhibitions, Symptoms & Anxiety : 1926d : Sigmund Freud,  SE  XX p75-175 : Download bilingual from at part 1 here,  &  Part 2  here 

5. Seminar XXII: R. S. I. : 1974-1975: from 19th November 1974 : Jacques Lacan  or here  

6. Conference Report, SIR : Inaugural meeting of SFP, Paris : 8th July 1953 : Jacques Lacan or here  

7 & 8 & 9. “Subversion…” reveals that the three jouissances are already implicitly alluded to, without yet being clearly distinguished. In this tet Lacan addresses jouissance in relationship to his new matheme “S(O+/)” which he defines as “the signifier of a lack in the Other.” [7] This matheme subsequently defined in this text, marks a turning point in Lacan’s teaching.

S(O+/) has multiple meanings: that within the Other a lack exists, that truth is never ultimate, and nothing is all. The Other lacks the signifier that would define the subject and tell him his truth – the Other is therefore castrated. S(O=/) thus signifies the “minus one (-1) in the whole set of signifiers,” [8] and denotes “that there is no Other of the Other.” [9] : ‘The Subversion of the subject and the Dialetic of Desire: 19th to 23rd September 1960: Jacques Lacan  or here,  p316 of Alan Sheridan’s translation

10 & 11 & 12. In relation to Descartes’ cogito, S(O+/) is “what the subject lacks in order to think himself … that which is unthinkable for him.” [10] …But Lacan tells us that something is “defective in the sea of proper nouns.” [11] What is defective is the very Being of the subject, defined as its “objet a.”  Jouissance is this place beyond designation that is in lack of a signifier and “makes Being itself languish.” [12] : ‘The Subversion of the subject and the Dialetic of Desire: 19th to 23rd September 1960: Jacques Lacan  or here,  p317 of Alan Sheridan’s translation

13.Freud explicitly mentions the “anticipated sexual enjoyment” : Freud published a couple of texts directly in French “L’Héréddité et L’étiologie des Nevroses” was published in Revue Neurologique, IV, 6, 1896 Freud writes “cette jouissance sexuelle anticipée.” J. Strachey translates : “this anticipated sexual enjoyment,”  SE III p155. The French text was published under Névrose, Psychose et perversion, P.U.F., Paris, 1973, p47-59. [Heredity and the aetiology of the neuroses. SE III, p143-156. Freud, S. (1896b).]

14. Freud seemed aware not only of the limits of his theory of homeostasis, but also of the fact that there was a “problem … how it can come about that an experience of pleasure can give rise to a need for greater pleasure.” : SE VII p210 : Sigmund Freud: Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality: 1905d : SE VII p123-245 : Published at see here  

15. In Essay III – “The Transformations of Puberty” when discussing the mechanisms of sexual forepleasure, Freud explicitly referred to the technique of joking in relation to sexual forepleasure. When Freud remarked he “was also able to go more deeply into the nature of pleasure” he further elaborated, in a footnote, that “the ‘forepleasure’ attained by the technique of joking is used in order to liberate a greater pleasure” : Op. cit. (Note 14) SE VII p211  

16 & 17. Lacan states that jouissance asks for more (encore!), that it goes beyond )the homeostasis of) the pleasure principle:  jouissance, he said, longs for the “infinitude that brings with it the mark of its prohibition.” [16]  … Lacan wrote that “it is pleasure that sets the limit on jouissance.” : ‘The Subversion of the subject and the Dialetic of Desire: 19th to 23rd September 1960: Jacques Lacan  or here  : p319 of Alan Sheridan’s translation

p5.  “The dream is the guardian of sleep,” says Freud.  : SE IV p233 : Chapter V  The Material and Sources of Dreams, Section (C) The Somatic Sources of Dreams in The Interpretation of Dreams: 1st November 1899 (published as 1900): Sigmund Freud  or here   

18. As jouissance can potentially threaten life and extinguish desire, desire itself must be seen as the second limitation on jouissance. To quote Lacan “Desire is a defense, a prohibition against going beyond a certain limit in jouissance.” : ‘The Subversion of the subject and the Dialetic of Desire: 19th to 23rd September 1960: Jacques Lacan  or here,  p322 of Alan Sheridan’s translation

19. Encore clearly elucidates this double function of the signifier – as material and final cuase of jouissance – which on the one hand permits jouissance (is “the cause of jouissance”), and on the other, “stops jouissance.”  Seminar XX: Encore: 1972 – 1973: From 21st November 1972: Jacques Lacan   or here,  p27 of French text : Seminar XX : 19th December 1972 : pIII 17 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

21. Let me now try to clarify how jouissance relates to sexuality. The lack of a sexual “instinct” that would determine the choice of our sexual object implies as Lacan would say, that “there is no sexual rapport,” [See Seminar XX : 16th January 1973 & 13th February 1973 & p4 of Jack W. Stone’s translation of L’Étourdit: 14th July 1972 : Jacques Lacan or here] It is because of this lack of “sexual rapport” that everything ends up being sexual in the Freudian unconscious. The body’s specular image is what channels libido toward the body as object, the body as locus of jouissance. : Seminar XIV: The logic of phantasy: 1966-1967: begins 16th November 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here  In Seminar XIV : 24 May 1967, Lacan states “there is only jouissance of the body.” (pXX 222 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation) In this session as well as in the following one of 31st May 1967, Lacan discusses in detail the relation of jouissance to masturbation to the detumescence of the erectile organ, and to the body.

22. But even the specular image fils to represent what is conveyed by the erectile organ through desire : “thus the erectile organ comes to symbolize the place of jouissance… as a part lacking in the desired image.” : ‘The Subversion of the subject and the Dialetic of Desire: 19th to 23rd September 1960: Jacques Lacan  or here   p320 of Alan Sheridan’s translation.

23. Orgasm, because it has an end, indicates also that jouissance is what is left languishing after the coitus is terminated. : L’Étourdit: 14th July 1972 : Jacques Lacan or here  – possibly p3 &/or p12 of Jack W. Stone’s translation and/or p55-56 of, see  here  

24. Freud’s anticipated sexual jouissance may be seen as a parallel to Lacan’s desired jouissance in “Subversion …” There Lacan indicatFes how the erectile organ “reduces all desired jouissance to the brevity of auto-eroticism.” : ‘The Subversion of the subject and the Dialetic of Desire: 19th to 23rd September 1960: Jacques Lacan  or here  p320 of Alan Sheridan’s translation.

25. Note that the three registers circle the “objet a” which Lacan defines as “the to-be-elaborated nucleus of jouissance.” : La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan or here p46 of see  here    

26. The phallic jouissance (FJ) is located at the intersection of the Symbolic and the Real and thus participates in both registers. While it is a part of the Symbolic and the Real and thus participates in both registers. While it is a part of the Symbolic and the Real, it lies outside the Imaginary which Lacan identifies with the body. Because this jouissance is caused by the signifier, Lacan calls it “the out-of-the-body jouissance.”   : La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan or here, p50 of see  here      

27. The jouissance of the Other (JO) that is, the jouissance of the body, is located at the intersection of the Real and the Imaginary, and participates in both registers. This jouissance lies outside the Symbolic, outside of language : it is therefore unspeakable. The jouissance of the Other is also called the feminine jouissance, but this does not imply that it is limited to women or that every woman “has” it. Lacan also identifies this jouissance as the mystic’s jouissance : “It is clear that the mystic’s essential testimony (regarding this jouissance) is precisely to say that they feel it, but that they know nothing about it.” : La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan or here, p79-80 (probably) of see  here     

28. This para-sexual jouissance (“beside” sexual jouissance) can only be suggested through poetry and words of love “parole d’amour”.    : Seminar XX: Encore: 1972 – 1973: From 21st November 1972: Jacques Lacan  or here        Seminar XX : 20th February 1973, pVII 20 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

29. … is the jouissance of life. The best idea we could have of this jouissance of a body closed on itself,  enjoying itself, is the jouissance of the animal. Both Lacan and Freud have proposed the cat – the self-enclosed and purring jouissance of the cat – as a paradigm of this jouissance. : On Narcissism – an Introduction : March 1914 : Sigmund Freud or here See at here : SE XIV p89

Lacan in La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan or here  p7 of see here  says : “purring is the jouissance of the cat … it looks to be coming from all of the body”

30.  Lacan has even wondered if the vegetable realm does not participate in this jouissance. :  La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan or here,  p54 of see  here    

31. Spoken language is far less consistent than linguistics would have us believe. The spoken language, the “language being Used” – the “U” language of H. Curry – is twisted, endlessly sliding, winding, self-referential and logically inconsistent. : Jacques-Alain Miller “U” ou ‘Il n’y a pas de méta-langage,’” : in French p12 of ‘1,2,3,4’, Jacques-Alain Miller’s  Cours du 14 novembre 1984  : See  

32. To utilize an example given in French by Lacan : lalangue is that which permits that “hole” and “whole” and “all” may be phonetic similes. Differentiation arises from the voice that speaks and from the letter that distinguishes. The letter, as it is deposited in writing, is the “unity element” of the lalangue. : La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan or here,  p56 of see  here  –  Let us note that within the analytical session a signifier is an “event” which happens through the “formations of the unconscious” (mistakes, slips of the tongue, etc.) and which relates to the associative chain of the analysand’s discourse. 

33. Every Lalangue is unique to a subject and carries traces and remains of unconscious experience. : Jacques-Alain Miller’s Théorie de Lalangue (rudiments), 1975 Ornicar? vol I – It has not been possible to trace this – help would be appreciated.

34. Alliterations, assonances and phonetic similarities are the elements that weave and animate lalangue. : We could find, in some of Freud’s basic texts, an illustration of what Lacan calls lalangue.

In The Psychopathology of Everyday Life : 1901 :  Sigmund Freud [SE VI p1-310 : published bilingual by : available  here], Chapter II, SE VI p9, we find Freud’s famous Aliquis example. When invited to freely associate to the word that had disappeared from his memory, namely Aliquis, Freud’s travel companion responded : “Good. There springs to my mind, then, the ridiculous notion of dividing up the word like this : a and liquis … what comes next is reliquim (relics), liquefying, fluidity, fluid.”

In  The Interpretation of Dreams: 1st November 1899 (published as 1900): Sigmund Freud  (See here) Chapter II, The Method of Interpreting Dreams” (SE IV p99) Freud gives us another example : “The oriental ‘dream-books’ (of which ours are wretched imitations) base the greater number of their interpretations of dream-elements upon similarity of sounds and resemblance between words. The extraordinarily important part played by punning and verbal quibbles in the ancient cvilizations of the East may be studied in the writings of Hugo Winckler [the famous archaeologist]. The nicest instance of a dream-interpretaion which has reached us from anient times is based on a play upon words. It is told by Artemidorus [Book IV, Ch 24; Krauss’ translation, 1881, 255]: ‘I think too that Aristander gave a most happy interpretation to Alexander of Macedon when he had surrounded Tyre [turox] and was besieging it but was feeling uneasy and disturbed because of the length of time the siege was taking. Alexander dreamt he saw a satyr [saturoz] dancing on his shield. Aristander happened to be in the neighbourhood of Tyre, in attendance on the king during his Syrian campaign. By dividing the word for satyr into sa and turoz he encouraged the king to press home the siege so that he became master of the city (sa turoz = Tyre is thine). Indeed, dreams are so closely related to linguistic expression that Ferenczi has truly remarked that every tongue has its own dream-language.”  SE IV p99 

35. Lalangue constitutes the woof of the unconscious and provides the foundation of the Symbolic. The jouissance of meaning which is the jouissance of the unconscious is located in lalangue. This is why in “La troisième” Lacan indicates that the voice as “objet a” is the carrier of lalangue. : In ‘The Subversion of the subject and the Dialetic of Desire: 19th to 23rd September 1960: Jacques Lacan  or here  (P315 of Alan Sheridan’s translation) Lacan enumerates the following “objet a” : the memilla, feces, the phallus (imaginary object), the urinary flow… the phoneme, the gaze, the voice, the nothing.”  In La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan or here, p32 of see  here  there are four : the mamilla, feces, the gaze and the voice. 

36. Lacan attributes little basic knowledge to the analyst. The analyst knows that the unconscious is a knowledge which does not know that it knows, a knowledge articulated and contained in lalangue, and revealed through lalangue. The analyst is aware that the subject’s unconscious lies hidden within lalangue. He has the ethical duty to “civilize” the jouissance of the objet a through lalangue.  : La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan or here, p45 of see  here     

37. In the cure and the practice of analysis, analysts have to use lalangue in order to draw something from the “objet a” toward a letter, a signifier: from unspeakable to the speakable, “from the littoral to the literal,” from a litter to a letter. : See Lituraterre: 12th May 1971: Jacques Lacan  or here. Note : the text gives p3-10 of the 1971 French publication.  Certainly reference to this starts on p3 of Jack W. Stone’s translation and may go to the end of the text.


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