Seminar III: The Psychoses: 1955-1956: from 16th November 1955: Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on November 16, 1955

Originally published in French as

‘Le Séminaire, Livre III, Les Psychoses : Edited by Jacques-Alain Miller : Éditions du Seuil : Paris : 1981

Published in English

The Psychoses, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Edited by Jacques-Alain Miller : Book III 1955-1956 : Translated by Russell Grigg : Routledge : 1993

Introduction by John Forrester (p1 or i of book)

‘Psychoanalysis should be the science of language inhabited by the subject.

From the Freudian point of view man is the subject captured and tortured by the language.’

This was the concise definition of psychoanalysis given by Jacques Lacan in the third year of his famous seminar. Since psychosis is a special but emblematic case of language entrapment, Lacan devotes much of this year to grappling with distinctions between the neuroses and the psychoses. As he compares the two, relationships, symmetries and contrasts emerge that enable him to erect a structure for psychosis.

Freud’s famous case of Daniel Paul Schreber is central to Lacan’s analysis. In demonstrating the many ways that the psychotic is ‘inhabited, possessed by language,’ Lacan draws upon Schreber’s own account of his psychosis and upon Freud’s notes on ‘this case of paranoia.’ The analysis of language is both fascinating and enlightening.

‘A perusal of this seminar may well convince many that Lacan was the most original psychoanalyst since Freud.’

John Forrester, The Times Literary Supplement

From p4 or iv of the book:

The Psychoses 
The Seminar of Jacques Lacan

BOOK III 1955-1956

During the third year of his famous seminar, Jacques Lacan gives a concise definition of psychoanalysis: ‘Psychoanalysis should be the science of language inhabited by the subject. From the Freudian point of view man is the subject captured and tortured by language.’ Since psychosis is a special but emblematic case of language entrapment, Lacan devotes much of this year to grappling with the distinctions between the neuroses and the psychoses. As he compares the two, relationships, symmetries, and contrasts emerge that enable him to erect a structure for psychosis.

Freud’s famous case of Daniel Paul Schreber is central to Lacan’s analysis. In demonstrating the many ways that the psychotic is ‘inhabited, possessed by language’, Lacan draws upon Schreber’s own account of his psychosis and upon Freud’s notes on this ‘case of paranoia’. The analysis of language is both fascinating and enlightening.

By Jacques Lacan

Available here

General References

Introduction to ‘A bi-lingual edition of Schreber’s Memoirs of my mental illness/ Denkwürdigkeiten eines Nervenkranken’: August 2005: Richard G. Klein or available here

Presentation of the ‘Memoirs’ of President Schreber in French translation: November 1966: Jacques Lacan  or available here

Case history of Schreber: 1910: Sigmund Freud

Memoirs of my nervous illness: 1903: D. P. Schreber  or here

References by Session

Seminar III : Session of 16th November 1955 

p4-5 Psychoses of passion : 1921 : Gaétan Gatian de Clérambault or here

p4 of Russell Grigg’s translation : The prognosis of dementia praecox: the group of schizophrenias : 1908 : Eugene Bleuler  or available here

Seminar III : 23rd November 1955

p17-19 & 23 of Russell Grigg’s translation : Dementia Praecox : 1896 : Emil Kraepelin or here

p17-18 of Russell Grigg’s translation : Misinterpretative delusional states : 1909 : Paul Sérieux & Joseph Capgras or here

p18-19 : Psychoses of passion : 1921 : Gaétan Gatian de Clérambault or here

Seminar III : 21st December 1955

Jacques Lacan reads the article published in  Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan (See here) as The Freudian Thing or the Meaning of the Return to Freud in Psychoanalysis : (Vienna) 7th November 1955 : Jacques Lacan :

Information here

Seminar III : 11th January 1956 : Ch VI

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

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 by Julia Evans on January 30, 2014

Seminar III : 1st February 1956 

p125 of Russell Grigg’s translation : Dementia Praecox : 1896 : Emil Kraepelin or here

Seminar III : Session of 8th February 1956 : Ch X

P135 of Russell Grigg’s translation : The prognosis of dementia praecox: the group of schizophrenias : 1908 : Eugene Bleuler or here

p135 of Russell Grigg’s translation : Dementia Praecox : 1896 : Emil Kraepelin or here

Seminar III : 15th February 1956 : Ch XI

Letter from Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess: 6th December 1896 : Known as Letter 52 or here: Titled as ‘Periodicity and Self-Analysis’

Letter of 24th January 1895 and Draft H, Paranoia (The Emma Eckstein episode) : 24th January 1895 : Sigmund Freud or available here

Seminar III : 14th March 1956:  Ch XII 

A Man’s Unconscious Phantasy of Pregnancy in the Guise of Traumatic Hysteria—A Clinical Contribution to Anal Erotism : 1921 : Michael Josef Eisler or here

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

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 by Julia Evans on January 30, 2014

Seminar III : 21st March 1956 : Ch XIII

Letter from Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess: 6th December 1896 : Known as Letter 52 or here

Letter from Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess: 30th May 1896 : Known as Letter 46 or here

Seminar III : 11th April 1956 : Ch XIV 

p191 Psychoses of passion : 1921 : Gaétan Gatian de Clérambault or here

P192-193 (the ‘as if’ case) : Some forms of emotional disturbance and their relationship to schizophrenia: 1942 : Helene Deutsch : See here for a full quote of this reference.

Notes & Extracts

P191,192,193 : Extracts from Jacques Lacan’s Seminar III : 20th March 2016 : Yves Vandeveken or here

Seminar III: 25th April 1956: Ch XVI :

A Man’s Unconscious Phantasy of Pregnancy in the Guise of Traumatic Hysteria—A Clinical Contribution to Anal Erotism : 1921 : Michael Josef Eisler or here

Seminar III : 2nd May 1956 : Ch XVII

Letter of 24th January 1895 and Draft H, Paranoia (The Emma Eckstein episode) : 24th January 1895 : Sigmund Freud or here

Seminar III : 6th June 1956 : Ch

P269 : Psychoses of passion : 1921 : Gaétan Gatian de Clérambault or here

Seminar III : 13th June 1956

P274 of Russell Grigg’s translation : Dementia Praecox : 1896 : Emil Kraepelin or here

Seminar III: 27th June 1956: Ch XXIV 

Presentation of the ‘Memoirs’ of President Schreber in French translation: November 1966: Jacques Lacan  or available here

Translator’s introduction & analysis of D. P. Screber’s case: : 1955: Ida MacAlpine & Richard Hunter or available here

P307 : Psychoses of passion : 1921 : Gaétan Gatian de Clérambault or here

Seminar III: 4th July 1956 : Ch XXV

Presentation of the ‘Memoirs’ of President Schreber in French translation: November 1966: Jacques Lacan  or available here

Translator’s introduction & analysis of D. P. Screber’s case: : 1955: Ida MacAlpine & Richard Hunter or available here

Further texts at the end

________________________________

Contents & Editor’s titles:

Translator’s note        pvii

Abbreviations             pix

Introduction to the Question of the Psychoses

Seminar III: Session of 16th November 1955 : Ch I – Introduction to the question of the psychoses

Subheadings: Schizophrenia and paranoia, M. de Clérambault, The mirages of understanding, From verneining to verwerfung,  Psychosis and psychoanalysis

Seminar III: 23rd November 1955: Ch II – The meaning of delusion

Subheadings: Critique of Kraepelin, Dialectical inertia, Séglas and psychomotor hallucination, Président Schreber

Seminar III: 30th November 1955 : Ch III The Other and psychosis

Subheadings: Homosexuality and paranoia, The word and the refrain, Automatism and endoscopy, paranoid knowledge, Grammar of the unconscious

Seminar III : 7th December 1955 : Ch IV -“I’ve just been to the butcher’s”

Subheadings: What returns in the real, Puppets of delusion, R. S. I. in language, The erotization of the signifier.

Thematics and Structure of the Psychotic Phenomenon

Seminar III : 14th December 1955 : Ch V – On a god who does not deceive and one who does

Subheadings: Psychosis is not a simple fact of language, The dialect of symptoms, It really must be rather pleasant to be a woman … , God and science, Schreber’s God

Appendix: The following session: The discourse of the desk :

Seminar III : 21st December 1955

Jacques Lacan reads the article published in the Écrits as “The Freudian Thing, or the Meaning of the Return to Freud in Psychoanalysis.”  See Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

Seminar III : 11th January 1956  : Ch VI – The psychotic phenomenon and its mechanism

Subheadings: Certainty and reality, Screber is no poet, The notion of defense, Verdichtung, Verdrängung, Verneinung, and Verwerfung 

Seminar III : 18th January 1956 : Ch VII – The imaginary dissolution

Subheading: Dora and her quadrilateral, Eros and aggression in the male stickleback, What is called the Father, The fragmentation of identity

Seminar III : 25th January 1956 : Ch VIII – The symbolic sentence

Subheading: The notion of defense, The Patient’s testimony, The sense of reality, Verbal phenomena

Seminar III : 1st February 1956 : Ch IX – On nonsense and the structure of God

Subheadings: Principles of the analysis og delusion, Delusional interlocution, Being forsaken, Dialogue and voluptuousness, God’s politics

Seminar III : Session of 8th February 1956: Ch X – On the signifier in the real and the bellowing-miracle

Sub-headings: Psychiatry’s main fact; The discourse of freedom; The peace of the evening; Subjective topology

Seminar III : 15th February 1956 : Ch XI – On the rejection of a primordial signifier

Subheadings: A twin that is big with delusion, Day and night, Verwerfung,  Letter 52

On the Signifier and the Signified

Seminar III: 14th March 1956:  Ch XII of the translation: The hysteric’s question:

Sub-headings: On the preverbal world; Preconscious and unconscious; Sign, trace, signifier; A traumatic hysteria:

Seminar III : 21st March 1956  : Ch XIII – The hysteric’s question (II): What is a woman?

Subheadings: Dora and the feminine organ, The signifying dissymmetry, The symbolic and procreation, Freud and the signifier

Seminar III : 11th April 1956  : Ch XIV – The signifier, as such, signifies nothing

Subheadings: The notion of structure, Subjectivity in the real, How to locate the beginning of a delution, the between-Is

Seminar III : 18th April 1956 : Ch XV – On primordial signifiers and the lack of one

Subheadings: A crossroads, Basic signifiers, A new signifier in the real, Approaches to the hole, Identificatory compensation

Seminar III: 25th April 1956: Ch XVI Secretaries to the insane:

Sub-headings: A reading; Soul murder; The implications of the signifier; The little men; The three functions of the father

Seminar III : 2nd May 1956 : Ch XVII – Metaphor and metonymy (I): “His sheaf was neither miserly nor spiteful”

Subheadings: The truth of the Father, The invasion by the signifier, Syntax and metaphor, Wernicke’s Aphasia

Seminar III : 9th May 1956 : Ch XVIII – Metaphor and metonymy (II): Signifying articulation and transference of the signified

Subheadings: Sensory aphasia and motor aphasia, The positional link, All language is metalanguage, Detail and desire

Seminar III : 16th May 1956 : Ch XIX – An address: Freud in the century

The Environs of the Hole

Seminar III : 30th May 1956 :  Ch XX – The appeal, the allusion

Subheadings: The onset of psychosis, Speaking out, The madness of love, The evolution of delusion.

Seminar III : 6th June 1956 : Ch XXI – The quilting point (Point de capiton)

Subheadings: Sense and scansion, The full circle and segmentation, “Yes, I come into his temple…” , The fear of God, The Father – a quilting point (Point de caption)

Seminar III : 13th June 1956 : Ch XXII – “Thou art the one who wilt follow me”

Subheading: The Other is a locus, The you of the superego, devolution and observation, The voice, Interpellation of the signifier

Seminar III : 20th June 1956 : Ch XXIII – The highway and the signifier “being a father”

Subheading: Thou art the one who followest me the best.

Thou art the one who follows me like a little dog.

Thou art the one who did follow me that day.

Thou art the one who didst follow me through trials

Thou art the one who followest the law… the text.

Thou art the one who follows the mob.

Thou art the one who did follow me.

Thou art the one who art.

Thou art the one who is.

Seminar III: 27th June 1956: “Thou art” : Ch XXIV

Sub-headings: Forms of gaps, The verb to be, From the thou to the other, The tortoise and the two ducks, The onset of psychosis.

Seminar III : 4th July 1956 : Ch XXV – The phallus and the meteor

Sub-headings: Prevalence of castration, Ida MacAlpine, Natural symbolization and sublimation, The rainbow, Inserted in the father.

Further information:

 

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

By Sigmund Freud here

Case studies here

Of the clinic here

Topology and the clinic here

Dreams here

Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan or here