Television: 31st January 1974 : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on January 1, 1974

The original broadcast of Jacques Lacan being interviewed by Jacques-Alain Miller was on 9th & 16th March 1974.  It was edited and recorded in October and November 1973.  See below for details of this transmission.  This date may be wrong. In the prefatory note, (p1) Jacques-Alain Miller gives the end of January, which JE now uses:

Note 1. “A broadcast on Jacques Lacan,” was what the ‘Service de la Recherche de l’O.R.T.F.’ wanted. [Denis Hollier notes: O.R.T.F., at the time, named the French national broadcasting agency (Office de la Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française), a special department of which, the Service de la Recherche, is dedicated to cultural and experimental programs.)  Only the text here published was broadcast. To be aired in two parts under the title ‘Psychoanalysis’ at the end of January. Director : Benoît Jacquot.

Published in English:

Television: Jacques Lacan

Translated by Denis Hollier, Rosalind Krauss, and Annette Michelson

a) P1-46 in “Television: A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment”

Edited by Joan Copjec

New York: W.W.Norton & Company, 1990 : See here

Available (The scatchings are the remainders of notes I took during a series of seminars in 2000) at   /lacan

b) p5-50 of October: vol 40: 1987 : Available at   /lacan

c) Published at : Available here

Published in French:

Télévision:1973:  Jacques Lacan

Published in Paris: Éditions du Seuil: 1 Février 1974

 & p509-543 of Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan   or here   

Details of the transmission:

The TV programme is 90mns long, and has 2 parts:

1)Jacques Lacan : psychanalyse : 1ère partie, Un certain regard – broadcast


2) Jacques Lacan : psychanalyse : 2ère partie, Un certain regard – broadcast



For the TV programme itself (in French),click here

When  Télévision was put online, sometime in 1999 or 2000, the web was very slow, with a speed of 56Kb! The file was converted to the Real Audio format (hence its greenish aspect) and cut it in small pieces, so viewing would be more manageable.

INA (the French TV archive), , has a cleaner version, which can be bought and downloaded here.

Due to programming constraints, it is usual for programmes to be broadcast well after their final editing.  Television was recorded in October and November.

Section Titles

Jacques Lacan             Television       p3

I. [I always speak the truth] p3

II. [The unconscious, a very precise thing] p5

III. [being a saint]       p13

IV. [These faint gestures by which one tries to shield against my discourse] p17

V. [our jouissance going off the track] p27

VI. [Knowing, doing, hoping] p35

VII. [What is well-stated, one conceives it clearly]      p45

Quotations available

p16 of Dennis Hollier’s translation quoted in Discourses that kill : 1st December 2018 : Thomas Svolos  or here

p27, & 31-32 : “In Television, he will speak of the “curse on sex” [malediction sur le sexe],” : quote by Laurent Dupont, on 7th May 2020,  in Argument – Part 1, towards 50th Study Days of the École de la Cause Freudienne, Available 

Part V starts with the question (p27) : There’s a rumour afoot: if we have such bad sex, it’s because sex is suppressed, and that’s the fault, in the first place, of the family, and in the second, of society, and especially of capitalism. This requires and answer.”

P30-31 or p34-35 of October :

Jacques-Alain Miller’s comment in the margin : The impossibility of the Well-spoken sex, . . .

No amount of excitement – which it stirs up as well – can lift away the evidence of a curse on sex, which Freud evokes in his Discontents.

If I’ve talked of annoyance , of moroseness , in connection with the “divine” approach of love, how can one not recognize that these two affects are betrayed – through speech, and even in deed – in those young people dedicated to relations without repression – the most extraordinary thing being that the ana­lysts whom they claim as their impetus stare back at them tight-lipped.

Even if the memories of familial suppression weren’t true, they would have to be invented, and that is certainly done. That’s what myth is, the attempt to give an epic form to what is operative through the structure.

Jacques-Alain Miller’s comment in the margin : . . . it’s in the structure, . . .

The sexual impasse [impasse] exudes the fictions that ra­tionalize the impossible within which it originates. I don’t say they are imagined; like Freud, I read in them the invitation to the real that underwrites them.

Jacques-Alain Miller’s comment in the margin : . . . read the myth of Oedipus.

The familial order is nothing but the translation of the fact that the Father is not the progenitor, and that the Mother remains the contaminator of woman for man’s offspring; the remainder follows from that.

It’s not that I value the craving for order we find in this offspring, expressed when he says, “Personally (sic) I loathe anarchy.” The definition of order, as soon as there is the least little bit, is that you don’t have to crave it, since there it is: es­tablished.

The fact that it already happened somewhere is our good fortune, a fortune good for nothing more than demonstrating that things are going badly there for liberty even in its sketchi­est form. That’s simply capitalism set straight. Back to zero, then, for the issue of sex! since anyway capitalism, that was its starting point: getting rid of sex.

You’ve given in to leftism, but not, so far as I know, to sexo-leftism. [17] That’s because the latter relies solely on analytic discourse, such as it ex-sists at the moment. It ex-sists badly, managing simply to redouble the curse on sex. In which it shows itself to be in dread of this ethic that I located in being well-spoken.

Footnote 17. Four years after the May ’68 student riots, leftism was still quite strong among intellectuals. During his stay at the Rue d’Uim, J.-A. Miller was one of the founders of the Cercle d’epistemologie de l’Ecole Normale Superieure. The cover of their journal, Les cahiers pour l’analyse, bore Lenin’s phrase “Marx’s theory is omnipotent because it is true.” Lacan commented on this sentence in “La science et Ia verite” (his opening seminar for 1965-66), which was published in the journal’s first issue. [See Science and Truth: 1st December 1965 session of Seminar XIII: The Object of Psychoanalysis : Jacques Lacan or here]


Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, London


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