Translations of the German used by Jacques Lacan in Seminar VII : 18th & 25th November + 2nd, 9th & 16th December 1959 + 10th January 1960

by Jo Rostron on April 30, 2013

The version used is ‘Seminar VII: The Ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960’ : translated by Dennis Porter : Routledge, UK, 1992 :  First session: 18th November 1959 (Dates are given at the end of each chapter.)

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18 Nov 1959

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-Als ob

as if        

-Glück

luck, or happiness

-Gelück

(luck old German)

-Glücklich

lucky in games, or chance

-Traumdeutung

dream interpretation. (deutlich machen, to make clear)

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25 Nov 1959

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-Wunsch

desire, a particular wish

-Stimmungen

moods

-Stimmung

mood

-das Unangenehmste

unpleasantness, unacceptability.  angenehm = pleasant.  nehmen = to take, to accept

-Entwurf

design (ich entwerfe ein Haus = I design a building)  werfen = throw (throw together?)

-Formulierungen über die zwei Prinzipen des psychischen Geschehens

formulation on the two principles of the psychic event/happening

-Bahnung

routing, a preplanned destination (ie that a train or tram might take).   Strachey in Freud’s Project translates Bahnungen as the facilitations of sexual energy, or ‘Qn’ existing between the psy neurones that represent memory.  Memory is according to Freud generally without the qualities of perception.

-Wunschgedanke

thought process concerned with desire

-Erwartung

expectation

-feindliche Objekt

hostile object

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2 Dec 1959

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-Kultur

similar meanings to English i.e. as in planting a tree, cultural origins or activities – the ‘soil’ you grow in

-Verneinung

denial, negation, the process of denial.  Ich verneine = I deny (e.g. as used in court)

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9 Dec 1959

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-das Ding

Anything without a name. 

-die Sache

a thing that is specific or particular: an object.  Also court case or disputed thing.  e.g. the matter in question, the affair

-Volksversammlung

an assembly or gathering of people

-Unbewusste

Made unconscious, from wissen to know.  ?The repressed. (Unbekannte = the unknown, from kennen, to know)

-Sachvorstellungen

(re)presentation of an object

an imagining of an object

ich stelle mir vor = I imagine)

-Wortvorstellungen

introduction of, presentation of the word

vorstellen = to introduce or to present

-die Verdrängung

repression

drängen = to push away with force

-Dingvorstellung

presentation of an unnamed or undifferentiated, object or thing

-Not des Lebens

this is something drastic – an emergency or an agony of profound need encountered in life.  (Todes Not is death agony.)

-Reich

realm or domain

-Bewegung

movement (e.g. political, wave of human energy)

-Abfuhr

removal

-Vorstellung

presentation – or imagination

-Wortvorstellung

presentation of the word (then applied to the perception)  Naming?

-die Einführung des Ichs

the introduction of, the entry of, to become aware of, the ego

-Gleichbesetzung

equal engagement, occupation

-eine Gruppe von Neuronen, die konstant besetzt ist, also dem durch die sekundäre Funktion erforderten Vorratsträger entspricht

a group of neurons, that is constantly engaged (in a state of excitation), thus corresponds through the secondary function as the requisite transformer for the store (of Freud’s ‘Qn’)

(etwas auf Vorrat haben – to have something in reserve. erfordern to require, demand, call for.)

-Vorrat

stock, supply, provision, reserve (Freud’s store of ‘Qn’ maintained to meet the demand for action in the external world)

-Besetzung

occupation, engagement

-Gleichbesetzung

equal occupation, engagement

-Wahrnehmungsbewußtsein

recognition of, awareness of a perception

-Qualitätszeichen

traces/signs/marks of qualities.  Qualities are conscious perceptions that originate in Freud’s hypothesized omega system of neurons.  According to his ‘Project’ in the CNS quantities of energy are transformed into qualities of perception.

-Bewußtsein

awareness, consciousness

-Niederschriften

recording

-Wahrnehmung

perception

-Prägung

inscription, embossing, engraving

-Übung

practice

-Abfuhr

removal

-Vorratskammer

reserve or supply room, larder

-Vorratsträger

transformer of the supply (of sexual energy or ‘Qn’)

-Nebenmensch

the human being right next to you

(it is more impersonal and formal than ‘neighbour’)

-Lust

lust, longing, pleasure. 

Ich habe Lust zum tanzen – I’d like to dance

-Unlust

lack of desire or lack of enjoyment/pleasure in anything

-spezifische Aktion

this refers to a ‘specific action’ in the external world that is required to meet an exigency of life, and thus draws on Qn that has been stored for this purpose (Freud’s ‘Secondary Function’).  This is in contrast to the uninhibited and spontaneous divestment of Qn to muscular tissue in reflex action (Freud’s ‘Primary Function’).

-Befriedigungserlebnis

experience of satisfaction

-Mittel zur Reproduktion von Lust

a means for the reproduction of pleasure

-das ist er, der hysterische Anfall wenigstens in der Wurzel

That at least is the source (the root) of the hysterical attack

-sonst motiviert er sich vor dem Vorbewussten mit allerlet Gründen

otherwise it is motivated by the Pre-conscious for all kinds of reasons

-Versagen des Glaubens

breakdown of faith

-Neurosenwahl

choice of neurosis.  Freud has hypothesized that facilitations for the passage of ‘Qn’ through each neuron differ and are independent.   There may be one or several paths of connection between neurons and these determine choice.

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16 Dec 1959

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-Erscheinung

appearance

-Wahrnehmung

perception, recognition of the truth

-Vorstellungsrepräsentanz

representative of the imagination

                        of the (re)presentation

-Vorbewußtsein

Pre-conscious

-Jedermanding

anyone’s thing

-Großding

great thing

-Die Sache ist das Wort des Dinges

the object is the word of the Thing

(der Mensch wird zu Sache = man is reduced to or becomes an object)

-Wahrnehmungszeichen

perceptual traces, signs, tokens

-Lautwerden

to become noisy

-Verurteilung

condemnation, done away with

Urteil = judgement

-Verwerfung

dismissal (of someone’s opinion for example)

to throw away (verwerfen)

-Gleichzeitigkeit

simultaneously

-Über-Ich

superego

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10 Jan 1960

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-Sicherung

certainty

-Schwarmereien

Fanaticism, infatuation, zealotry

-Fixierarbeit

work of fixation, definition, specification, recording

-Haftbarkeit

responsibility or liability

-Trieb

Drive, drift, inclination

-gesammelte

collected

-Genitalprimat

Genital primacy

-Netz der Triebe

Network, web, pathways of the drives

-Regungen

Emotions, movements, dictates, stirrings

-Verschiebbarkeit

Shiftability, displaceability, mobility

-Flussigkeit

Fluidity, liquidity

-Reaktionsbildung

Formation

-Befriedigung

Gratification, satisfaction