The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on July 10, 1958

This is the first of two papers given by Jacques Lacan at the Colloque International de Royaumont, 10th-13th July 1958, invited by the Société Française de Psychanalyse; 

Publication in English:

1) Translated by Alan Sheridan:

p226-280 Écrits: A selection: Jacques Lacan, Routledge, 1989 or Tavistock 1977 :

Available here

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

 

2) Translated by Bruce Fink:

p489 Écrits:The first Complete Edition in English: Jacques Lacan, W. W. Norton, 2006 : Information Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

3) Translated by Cormac Gallagher: www.lacaninireland.com : and available here

Publication in French:

1) By École lacanienne de la psychanalyse: pas tout Lacan  and available: ‘1958-07-10 : La direction de la cure et les principes de son pouvoir (43p)’ or here

2) Published as ‘La direction de la cure et les principes de son pouvoir’: La Psychanlyse: vol 6: P.U.F.: 1961 p149-206

Quote from Cormac Gallagher’s introduction

(Full available here) :

This trenchant and extensively documented critique of post-Freudian psychoanalysis condenses and articulates the themes that Lacan had dealt with in his seminars of the 1950’s e.g the graph of desire, the technique of operating with the signifier.  Its rejection of the accepted view of the analyst as master and teacher foreshadows later discussions on transference and the Four Discourses.

Reference

P29 (Section 7) of Cormac Gallagher’s translation Perversion sexuelle transitoire au cours d’un traitement psychoanalytique (French only) : July 1955 (Geneva) : Ruth Lebovici or  here

Commentaries & Background Information

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

1) Translator’s Note & Bibliography Note : Available Écrits, a selection (Jacques Lacan) : 1977 : Alan Sheridan or here

2) Classified index of the major concepts: 1966 : Jacques-Alain Miller : Page 326 – 331 Alan Sheridan’s translation : Availability given here

3) & Commentary on the graphs : 1966 : Jacques-Alain Miller : Page 332 – 335 of Alan Sheridan’s translation : Availability given here

4)  Ch 7: The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power : P263-331 of A Reader’s Guide to Écrits : available A Reader’s Guide to Écrits: 1982: John P. Muller and William J. Richardson or here

Translation Note

I thank Bruno de Florence  for his help in untangling this one.

In Vincente Palomera’s commentary of ‘Direction : July 1958’, on Saturday 5thApril 1997, in London, he queried the translation of ‘écartelé’. Details are given below.

Julia Evans notes that ‘cartel’ is included in this word. Jacques Lacan puts the ‘cartel’ as the basis for psychoanalytic institutions in see ‘Proposal of 9th October 1967 
on the psychoanalyst of the School’: Jacques Lacan  or here  & (Founding Act – 1964) “Each of the small groups (we have a name for designating the groups)” states Lacan, “will be composed of at least three individuals, five at most, four being the proper measure (or number is a possible translation). PLUS ONE charged with selection, discussion and the outcome….. After a certain period of functioning, the elements of a group will be invited to shift to a different group.”‘Founding Act’ 21st June 1964: Jacques Lacan  or here.

This current note follows study of Seminar IV : 19thDecember 1956 (See Seminar IV : The Object Relation & Freudian Structures 1956-1957 : begins 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacanor here) where the position & function of the fourth is put up for question using the card game, Piquet (paragraph 17 ‘function of the quart’) The quart has 4 cards, whereas in bridge there are 4 players, with one being the dummy.

The passage in French :

Allons plus loin. L’analyste est moins libre encore en ce qui domine stratégie et tactique : à savoir sa politique, où il ferait mieux de se repérer sur son manque à être que sur son être.

Pour dire les choses autrement : son action sur le patient lui échappe avec l’idée qu’il s’en fait, s’il n’en reprend pas le départ dans ce par quoi elle est possible, s’il ne retient pas le paradoxe de ce qu’elle a d’écartelé, pour réviser au principe la structure par où toute action intervient dans la réalité.

P5 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation, of the preceding paragraph :

One cannot regard the phantasies that the analyser imposes on the person of the analyst in the same way as the ideal gambler might guess his opponent‘s intentions. No doubt there is always an element of strategy, but one should not be deceived by the metaphor of the mirror, appropriate as it may be to the smooth surface that the analyst presents to the patient. An impassive face and sealed lips do not have the same purpose here as in a game of bridge. Here the analyst is rather bringing to his aid what in bridge is called the dummy (le mort) in order to introduce the fourth player who is here to be the partner of the analyser, and whose hand the analyst, by his play, will try to get him to divine; such is the link, let us say of abnegation, that is imposed on the analyst by what is at stake in the game of analysis.

One might pursue the metaphor by deducing his game according to whether he places himself ‘on the right‘ or ‘on the left‘ of the patient, that is to say, in a position to play after or before the fourth player, to play, that is to say, before or after him with the dummy.

But what is certain is that the analyst‘s feelings have only one possible place in the game, that of the dummy/dead; and that if it is revived the game will proceed without anyone knowing who is leading.

P5/6 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation :

6. Let us take this further. The analyst is even less free as to what dominates strategy and tactics, namely, his policy, where he would be better advised to take his bearings form his lack of being (manque à etre) rather than from his being.

To put it another way: his action on the patient, as well as the idea that he forms of it, escapes him, as long as he does not start again from what makes it possible, as [p5] long as he does not remember the paradox of its many-sidedness and revise from the beginning the structure by which any action intervenes in reality.

P230 of Alan Sheridan’s translation :

6. Let us take this further. The analyst is even less free as to that which dominates strategy and tactics, namely, his policy, where he would be better advised to take his bearings from his want-to-be (manque à être) rather than from his being.

To put it another way: his action on the patient escapes him through the idea that he forms of it as long as he does not grasp its starting-point in that by which it is possible, as long as he does not retain in the paradox of its four-sidedness, in order to revise in principle the structure by which any action intervenes in reality.

P493 of Bruce Fink’s translation :

6. Let us go further. The analyst is even less free in what dominates both his strategy and tactics – namely, his politics, where he would do better to take his bearings from his want-to-be than from his being.

To put it another way: his action concerning the patient will escape him along with the idea he forms of his action, as long as he does not reconsider its point of departure in terms of what makes his action possible and does not preserve the paradox of its quadripartition, in order to revise at the core the structure by which all action intervenes in reality.

_______________________

So écartelé is translated by ‘many-sidedness’, ‘four-sidedness’ and ‘quadripatition’ which is possibly the nearest.

Its etymology is given as to pull in pieces (1165) & for a condemned man to be pulled apart by four horses (1422) : See http://www.cnrtl.fr/etymologie/écartelé

An example of this punishment is of Robert-Francois Damiens who in 1757 became the last Frenchman to suffer the dreadful punishment of drawing and quartering. Damiens attempted to assassinate King Louis XV, inflicting, however, only a slight dagger wound.

He may be best-known today as the subject of the jarring opening passage of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, in which the full flower of this medieval torture is described in detail by way of contrasting it with the regimented penal institutions that would sprout up in a few decades’ time.

There are drawings available of this punishment being executed, on the web. Foucault’s text, as translated by Alan Sheridan, is available excerpt, Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish – Web.ics.purdue.edu…  or https://web.ics.purdue.edu/~felluga/punish.html

Further conversations: Écartèlement (substantive) was indeed a punishment reserved for those convicted of regicide. In French history, Damiens is the only known chap to have been convicted of regicide. Foucault (in Surveiller et punir) uses quotes from the archives of his trial.

Écartèlement is an attempt at breaking the unity of the body.

So perhaps Lacan’s use of Écartelé, links  an attempt at breaking the unity of the body with the attempt to kill the King, as in Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego : 1921 : Sigmund Freud. The killing of the leader brings about a transformation.

References

Jacques Lacan comments Dream ‘fresh brains’ in Seminars I, III, VI & X and Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis : 26th & 27th September 1953 & Direction of the Treatment : 10th to 13th July 1958 or here

Intervention on Siegfelt Bernfelt ‘Observations on Sublimation’ : Seminar VII, 2nd March 1960 : Pierre Kaufmann or here

Ego psychology and interpretation in psychoanalytic therapies (Case ‘fresh brains’) : December 1948 (New York) [1951] : Ernst Kris or here

Intellectual Inhibition & Disturbances in Eating (Dream ‘fresh brains’) : September 1933 [Published1938] : Melitta Schmideberg or here

P10 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : The therapeutic effect of inexact interpretation : a contribution to the theory of suggestion : October 1931 : Edward Glover or here

Other references given References to Jacques Lacan’s texts in LacanianWorks posts. Or here

 

Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst in Earl’s Court, London

 

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

 

Further posts:

Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan or here

Lacanian Transmission here

Some Lacanian history here

Of the clinic here

Topology here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

Jacques Lacan in English or here

Translation Working Group here

Use of power here