Present without a body – absence, lack, & loss in the work of a cartel : 12th December 2020 (Zoom Intercartel Meeting) : Ganesh Anantharaman

by Julia Evans on December 12, 2020

Presented at an Intercartel Meeting on the 12th December 2020 via Zoom. Details of the meeting and locating the references are below.

Also available at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /authors a-z or authors by date or it follows

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Present without a body: absence, lack, & loss in the work of a cartel 

by Ganesh Anantharaman 

We are meant to be a cartel of 3+1 and are registered as such. In actuality we have only met as a cartel of 3 in the 7 meetings we’ve had thus far. One cartel member has not been present for six meetings in a row, caught as he is in a web of personal circumstances that have kept him away. Presciently and appositely enough, the title of the cartel we agreed upon is ‘Being a body versus having a body’. This presentation, an outcome of result of our work in the latest meeting of the cartel on what it means to have a member recurrently absent, is an attempt to reckon with the actuality of the absence of a speaking body by acknowledging the void (should I say lack?) effected thereby, without necessarily converting it into a loss. 

What constitutes membership of a cartel? Does a member who has been consistently absent continue to belong to the cartel? Who decides the membership of a cartel? Is it the role of the plus one to take a managerial decision to strike an absent member off from the cartel when the concerned member has himself not asked for it and his name remains inscribed on the cartel declaration? Can other cartel members determine the way a member’s desire to belong to a cartel ought to be demonstrated? 

Even more importantly, going back to the title of the cartel, we asked ourselves: is there a way of proceeding with the work of the cartel by encountering the loss of a speaking body; by giving absence its due place? Does absence constitute lack, and necessarily translate into loss for the cartel? 

In her paper ‘The Body in the Teaching of Jacques Lacan [i] Colette Soler writes: 

“As subjects of the signifier, we are disjunct from the body, as you can see from the fact that the subject is the one who is spoken about before he speaks. The subject, indeed, is there, in speech, before he has a body, before he is born, to put it bluntly. And he is still there, even when he no longer has a body, that is to say, after he is dead.” 

Can we extend that to say that in the context of the cartel’s work, the subject speaks even when he is absent? That he is there in speech even though his body is not present? That his absence is a ‘body event’ for the other cartel members, and that they can put it to work for pursuing their own question / topic? Florencia Shanahan, during a webinar reading of Civilization and its Discontents, remarked that “psychoanalysis is in the business of making loss count”. The question for this cartel then could well be: how do we make the loss of the 4th member count for our work? 

In his paper ‘The Realism of the Cartel: Some Reflections on Lacan’s Religions and the Real and Eric Laurent’s The Real and the Group’ [ii] Rik Loose writes: 

“… The ‘realism’ that Lacan refers to is not one of adapting the subject to the environment but allowing the subject to develop tools to struggle against the death-drive present in our culture. This real of the drive is not just present in our culture but also within each of us. Laurent lists what can happen as a defence against this real [iii]: “…there are people who do not come as soon as there is a cartel…” and so forth. Bion asserted that when you form small groups you invite trouble. With groups come crises and these crises must be allowed to surface so they can be interpreted. So Bion articulated Lacan’s idea that the group is treatable like the subject; “… what is true at the collective level is also true at the individual level”iv.

“…there is, as Laurent says, a pragmatic quest for homogeneity in a group. So, it is crucial not to understand this homogeneity as ‘we are all the same’. The homogeneity is in relation to the task to be done but for each under her name and in relation to her own questions. The latter also implies the real of the death-drive which requires the ‘realism’ of the cartel. The ‘realism’ of the cartel is predominantly related to the following aspects: The real of the death-drive of the individual cartelisand; the imaginary or defensive reaction against the collective, and the emphasising of the individual task or trait. But, no cartel without crisis, no psychoanalytic School without crisis”. 

Going back to this absent member’s chosen topic, I wondered whether we could read into it an early indication of the crisis that this cartel has had to face: Treating anorexia as a body event. Anorexia, considered to be situated in the absence of the oral drive, and again, a condition where a body wishes that it were not.

Availability of references given below.

i The Body in the Teaching of Jacque Lacan, Colette Soler, May 1984, Published Jcfar Vol 6 p6-38 Winter 1995 (Journal of the Centre of Freudian Analysis & Research)
ii The Realism of the Cartel: Some Reflections on Lacan’s Religions and the Real and Eric Laurent’s The Real and the Group, Rik Loose, published in 4+one (The NLS Cartels’ Newsletter)– n°1 – December 2016 

iii Laurent, E, (2000), The Real and the Group, in Psychoanalytical Notebooks, issue 4 (trans. V. Voruz). p. 36 

iv Lacan, J. (1960-1961), The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book VIII, Transference (est. J.-A. Miller, trans. B. Fink), Cambridge: Polity Press, 2015, p. 395. 

Details of the Intercartel Meeting

Presented at an Intercartel Meeting on the 12th December 2020 via Zoom. Two cartels of the New Lacanian School (http://www.amp-nls.org/page/gb/24/cartels )participated – members and their declared topic are

Meeting Participants

From Cartel 1 – Being a body & having a body 

Julia Evans (plus-un) Sandwich, Kent & London, UK, Topic Cutting as interpretation on a/the body. 

Ganesh Anantharaman, Chennai, India, Topic  Jouissance & body event? 

Lorena Rivero de Beer, Liverpool, UK. Topic  Zazen & the embodiment of emptiness – symptom/body event. 

Marcin Zaremba, London, UK  Topic  Treating anorexia as a body event. 

From Cartel 3 – Bodily Effects of Language

Nicolas Duchenne (plus-un), Rotherhithe, London, UK Topic The real father is an effect of language 

Giuseppe Covelli, Amsterdam, Netherlands Topic   The body at the place where a word should have been spoken 

Owen Hewitson, East London, UK, Topic   Idioms of Distress – Appeal, Nomination, and Other Ways to Say   

Greg Hynds,  North London, UK, Topic  Subject and body

Josephine Rostron   North West London, UK  Topic  An elaboration of the presence of the body in the psychic structure

Both these cartels areworking towards the NLS Congress, Ghent & Zoom,  22 & 23 May 2021 : Bodily Effects of Language

The NLS Congress Website is    https://www.nlscongress2021.com/congress  

Availability 

Available at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net /authors a-z or authors by date

Other texts on cartels here 

On Lacanian Transmission  here 

References & their availability

i The Body in the Teaching of Jacque Lacan, Colette Soler, May 1984, Published Jcfar Vol 6 p6-38 Winter 1995 (Journal of the Centre of Freudian Analysis & Research)  See The Body in the Teaching of Jacques Lacan : May 1984 : Colette Soler  or  here   

ii The Realism of the Cartel: Some Reflections on Lacan’s Religions and the Real and Eric Laurent’s The Real and the Group, Rik Loose, published in 4+one (The NLS Cartels’ Newsletter)– n°1 – December 2016 : see The Realism of the Cartel : 12th December 2016 : Rik Loose or here 

iii Laurent, E, (2000), The Real and the Group, in Psychoanalytical Notebooks, issue 4 (trans. V. Voruz). p. 36 : The Real and the Group : 2000 : Éric Laurent or here  

iv Lacan, J. (1960-1961), The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book VIII, Transference (est. J.-A. Miller, trans. B. Fink), Cambridge: Polity Press, 2015, p. 395. : See Seminar VIII : Transference : 1960-1961 : Begins 16th November 1960 : Jacques Lacan or here  http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=6124 : Seminar VIII : 28th June 1961 : p336 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation from unedited tapes : In order that collectively all the subjects, at least for an instant, should have this same ideal which permits anything and everything for a rather short time, what is necessary, he says to us? It is that all these exterior objects, äusseres Objekt should be taken as having a common trait, the einziger Zug

Why does this interest us? It is because what is true at the collective level is also true at the individual level.

Related Texts:

The Real Presence and Slipperiness of the Body (LRO 248) : 11th October 2020 : Catherine Lacaze-Paule  or   here    

Jacques Lacan’s sayings excavated by Julia Evans on 17th October 2020 or  here   

Lacanian Psychoanalysis Not Without the Body : 18th January 2020 (Dublin) : Bernard Seynhaeve   or   here     

Announcement of title for the 2020 NLS Congress, Interpretation, From Truth to Event : 18th June 2019 : Bernard Seynhaeve or  here   

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

Disruption of Jouissance in the Madnesses under Transference : 6th April 2018 (Barcelona) : Éric Laurent  or here  

The symptom in the perspective of the speaking body in civilisation (audio) : 19th May 2016 (London) : Éric Laurent or here 

The Unconscious and the Body Event : the full interview : July 2015 : Éric Laurent or here 

The Unconscious and the Speaking Body : Paris : 17th April 2014 : Jacques-Alain Miller or here 

On the origin of the Other and the post-traumatic object : 6th November 2004 (Lyon) : Éric Laurent or here  

Trauma in Reverse : 27th April 2002 (New York) : Éric Laurent or here 

Lacanian Biology and the Event of the Body : 12th & 19th May 1999 (Paris VIII) : Jacques-Alain Miller or here    

Interpretation and Truth : 1st July 1994 : Éric Laurent or here  

The Body in the Teaching of Jacques Lacan : May 1984 : Colette Soler  or  here   

See also Towards the cancelled NLS Congress, Ghent, May 2020,  See https://www.nlscongress2020.com/home-en  

“A Practice Without Value”[1] by Rik Loose  See https://www.nlscongress2020.com/new-blog/a-practice-without-value1  Some other texts by Rik Loose   here  

To Interpret Un-corps by Florencia F. C. Shanahan  See https://www.nlscongress2020.com/new-blog/to-interpret-un-corps  

An Easy Handle on the Real by Thomas Svolos   See https://www.nlscongress2020.com/new-blog/an-easy-handle-on-the-real  Some other texts by Thomas Svolos  here   

Towards New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis Congress 2021: Saturday May 22 & Sunday May 23 – Ghent : Bodily Effects of Language : See http://www.amp-nls.org/page/gb/363/nls-congress-2021  or  www.nlscongress2021.com

Daniel Roy : What do we call a body event? : 5th February 2021. – Published, towards the NLS Congress May 2021, see https://www.nlscongress2021.com/orientation-texts , Available here or here

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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

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Julia Evans    

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Sandwich in Kent & London

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Further texts

On cartels here 

Of the clinic  here

Lacanian Transmission  here 

Some Lacanian History  here 

Topology  here 

From LW working groups  here

By Ganesh Anantharaman  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