Preface to the English-language Edition of Seminar XI : 17th May 1976 : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on May 17, 1976

Published in English

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NOTICE

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

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Pvii-ix of ‘The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis’ : translated by Alan Sheridan : London, The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis : 1977 :

Available [hereor reproduced below.

JE Notes : This is probably translated from Jacques Lacan’s original writings and unlike Seminar XI, has not been edited by Jacques-Alain Miller.  May 1976 is between Seminar XXIII: The Sinthome or Joyce and the Sinthome: 1975-1976: beginning on November 18th 1975 : Jacques Lacan ( See here)  & Seminar XXIV : ‘L’insu que sait de l’une-bévue s’aile à mourre’ : 1976-1977 : begins 16th November 1976 : Jacques Lacan  (See here- the texts of these seminars were not available at that time. Sheridan was translating without knowing how Lacan’s work had developed since 1964.

- Translated in 2018 by Russell Grigg : Available [here ]

JE notes : This seems to be a translation of the French text published in Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan (See here). Indeed, it is published with this French text alongside. Jacques-Alain Miller, who was also the editor of Autres Écrits, has renamed this text ‘L’esp d’un laps’.  There are additions to the first sentence, which seem to me to be editorial decisions. This is in comparison with Alan Sheridan’s translation. Further, the sense of the translation between the two versions, varies. This could be that in 1976, Seminar XI was 15 years in advance of English translations becoming available.  Russell Grigg’s translation may be closer to its sense.

You are advised to use both translations – side by side as in

– both Alan Sheridan’s & Adrian Price’s translations are available from Richard G. Klein’s site, www.Freud2Lacan.com, or here

Published in French :

a)  Ornicar ? : 1977 : vol 12/13 : p124-126

b)  École Lacanienne de Psychanalyse – Pas tout Lacan : here : available : Préface à l’édition anglaise des Écrits   or here

c)  p571-573 of  Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan  : index available here : Préface à l’édition anglaise du Séminaire Xl :

Notes

– Note : from http://jonathanleroy.be/2016/02/orientation-lacanienne-jacques-alain-miller/   :

Jacques-Alain Miller’s – Introduction to his Cours 2006-2007 Le tout dernier Lacan :

L’année 2006-2007 aura été entièrement consacrée au tout dernier enseignement de Lacan, c’est-à-dire celui qui débute avec son dernier article conséquent de 1978, renommé par J.-A. Miller « L’esp d’un laps » (Autres écrits, p. 571-73) pour se poursuive avec les Séminaires XXIII et XXIV, respectivement De l’insu que sait de l’une-bévue sait l’amour et du Moment de conclure (à paraître au Seuil).

– Note (referring to Sacha Nacht) from What is concealed by the so-called “Cht” and why? : 9th March 2019 : Réginald Blanchet or here  : Quote, Beyond that time, one cannot find a single mention of this proscribed name in the whole of the Lacanian corpus. Lacan will only make an exception to this on one single occasion, this being the hapax of the jaculation of disobliging consonants, “Cht,” used in the “Preface.”

P25 of Russell Grigg’s translation : That hierarchy could confirm that he is an analyst, give him a rubber stamp? What a Sht told me is that I was born. I repudiate this certificate: I am not a poet but a poem. One that is being written, despite giving the appearance of being a subject.

Pviii of Alan Sheridan’s translation : For no one can call anyone an analyst and Freud did not do so. Handing out rings to initiates is not to call by a name. Hence my proposition that the analyst hystorizes only from himself: a patent fact. Even if he is confirmed in doing so by a hierarchy.

What hierarchy could confirm him as an analyst, give him the rubber-stamp? A certificate tells me that I was born. I repudiate this certificate: I am not a poet, but a poem. A poem that is being written, even if it looks like a subject.

There remains the question of what could drive anyone, especially after an analysis, to hystorize from

It cannot come from himself; for he knows something about the analyst, now that he has liquidated, as they say, his positive transference. How could he contemplate taking up the same function?

The Preface – quoted from op. cit. :

PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE EDITION

Translated by Alan Sheridan

[Jacques-Alain Miller gives it this title ‘L’esp d’un laps’ – see note above]

When the space of a lapsus no longer carries any meaning (or interpretation), then only is one sure that one is in the unconscious. One knows.

But one has only to be aware of the fact to find oneself outside it. There is no friendship there, in that space that supports this unconscious.

All I can do is tell the truth. No, that isn’t so – I have missed it. There is no truth that, in passing through awareness, does not lie.

But one runs after it all the same.

There is a way of sorting out this muddle that is satisfactory for other than formal reasons (symmetry, for example). Like satisfaction, it is acquired only with use, with the use of an individual – who, in psycho-analysis (psych = fiction of), is called an analysand. And, as a matter of simple fact, there is no shortage of analysands, in our lands. That is a fact of human reality – what man calls reality.

It should be noted that psycho-analysis has, since it has ex-sisted, changed. Invented by a solitary, an incontestable theoretician of the unconscious (which is not what one imagines it to be – the unconscious, I would say, is real), it is now practised in couples. To be fair, the solitary was the first to set the example. Not without abusing his discipline (for they were disciples only because he knew not what he did).

This conveys the idea he had of psycho-analysis – a plague – except that it proved to be anodyne in the land where he brought it ; the public adopted/adapted it quite painlessly.

Now, a little late in the day, I add my pinch of salt : a fact of hystory, or hysteria : that of my colleagues, as it happens, a case of no importance, but one in which I happened to find myself implicated for concerning myself who introduced me to them as having imposed on myself Freud, the Beloved of Mathesis.

I would have preferred to forget that : but one does not forget what the public constantly reminds you of.

So one must take account of the analyst in psycho-analytic treatment. He would have no social standing, I imagine, if Freud had not opened up the way for him – Freud, I say, to call him by his name. For no one can call anyone an analyst and Freud did not do so. Handing out rings to initiatives is not to call by a name. Hence my proposition that the analyst hystoizes only from himself : a patent fact. Even if he is confirmed in doing so by a hierarchy.

What hierarchy could confirm him as an analyst, give him the rubber-stamp ? A certificate tells me that I was born. I repudiate this certificate : I am not a poet, but a poem. A poem that is being written, even if it looks like a subject.

There remains the question of what could drive anyone, especially after an analysis, to hystorize from himself.

It cannot com from himself, for he knows something about the analyst, now that he has liquidated, as they say, his positive transference. How could he contemplate taking up the same function ?

In other words, are there cases in which you are impelled by some other reason than the wish to set yourself up, that is, to earn money, to keep those who are in your care, above all yourself, according to Jewish morality (to which Freud remained attached in this respect).

One must admit that the question (the question of another reason) is necessary to support the status of a profession newly arrived in hystory. A hystory that I do not call eternal, because its aetas is serious only in relation to real number, that is to say, to the serial of limit..

Why, then, should we not put this profession to the test of that truth of which the so-called unconscious function dreams, with which it dabbles ? The mirage of truth, from whch only lies can be expected (this is what, in polite language, we call ‘resistance’), has no other term than the satisfaction that marks the end of the analysis.

Since the main aim of analysis is to give this urgently needed satisfaction, let us ask ourselves how someone can devote himself to satisfying these urgent cases.

This is an odd aspect of that love of one’s neighbour upheld by the Judaic tradition. But to interpret it in Christian terms, that is to say, as Hellenic jean-f..trerie, what is presented to the analyst is something other than the neighbour : it is the unsorted material of a demand that has nothing to do with the meeting (of  a person from samaria fit to dictate Christic duty). The offer is prior to an urgent request that one is not sure of satisfying, unless one has weighed it.

I have therefore designated as a ‘pass’ that putting of the hystorization of the analysis to the test, while refraining from imposing this pass on all, because it is not a question, as it happens, of all, but of scattered, ill-assorted individuals. I have left it at the disposal of those who are prepared to run the risk of attesting at best to the lying truth.

I have done so by virtue of having produced the only conceivable idea of the object, that of the object as cause of desire, of that which is lacking.

The lack of the lack makes the real, which emerges only there, as a cork. This cork is supported by the term of the impossible – and the little we know about the real shows its antinomy to all verisimilitude.

I shall speak of Joyce, who has preoccupied me much this year, only to say that he is the simplest consequence of a refusal – such a mental refusal ! – of a psycho-analysis, which, as a result, his work illustrates. But I have done no more than touch on this, in view of my embarrassment where art – an element in which Freud did not bathe without mishap – is concerned.

I would mention that, as always, I was entangled in urgent cases as I wrote this.

I write, however, in so far as I feel I must, in order to be on a level (au pair) with these cases, to make a pair with them.

Paris 17.5.76                                                                           J. L. 

Related texts

Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts: 1963-1964 : beginning 15th January 1964 : Jacques Lacan : Availability & notes here

Summary of Seminar XI, ‘The four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis’ : July 1965 : Jacques Lacan : Availability & notes here  

Postface to Seminar XI, ‘The four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis’ : 1973 : Availability  here

Also in Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan  or here : translation available here

 

 

NOTICE

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

 

 

Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Earl’s Court, London

 

Further posts:

Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan or here

Some Lacanian history : here

Dossier on the Institutional Debate, An Introduction : 1990 : Joan Copjec or here

Lacanian Transmission : here

Of the clinic : here

Topology & the Lacanian Clinic here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

Or by Jacques Lacan : here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here