Archive for November, 2009


November 18, 2009


The Rat of the Maze

I just got hold of an important book by an author named Bateson about which people had talked my ears off, enough to get on my nerves a bit.


I should say that it was given to me by someone who had been touched by the grace of a certain text of mine he translated into his language, adding something that went significantly further than ‘ the unconscious structured like a language.’


Now Bateson, not realizing that the unconscious is structure like a language, has but a rather mediocre conception of it.


But he creates some very nice artifices he calls “ metalogues.”


They ‘re not bad, insofar as they involve, if we take him at his word, some internal, dialectical progress, being produced only by examining the evolution of a term’s meaning.


As has always been the case in everything that has been called a dialogue, the point is to make the supposed interlocutor say what motivates the speaker’s very question, in other words, to incarnate in the other the answer that is already there.


It’s in that sense that dialogues,, classical dialogues—the finest examples of which are represented by the Platonic legacy—are shown not to be dialogues.


If I have said that language is what the unconscious is structured like, that is because language, first of all, doesn’t exist. Language is what we try to know concerning the function of Ilanguage.


Certainly, it is thus that scientific discourse itself approaches languages, except that it is difficult for scientific discourse to fully actualize language, since it misrecognizes the unconscious.


The unconscious evinces knowledge that , for the most part, escapes the speaking being. That being provides the occasion to realize just how far the effects of Ilanguage go, in that it presents all sorts of affects that remain enigmatic.


Those affects are what result from the presence of Ilanguage insofar as it articulates things by way of knowledge that go much further than what the speaking being sustains by way of enunciated knowledge.


Language is, no doubt, made up of Ilanguage. It is knowledge’s harebrained lucubration about Ilanguage. But the unconscious is knowledge, a knowing how to do things with Ilanguage.


And what we know how to do with Ilanguage goes well beyond what we can account for under the heading of language.


Llanguage affects us first of all by everything it brings with it by way of effects that are affects. If we can say that the unconscious is structured like a language, it is in the sense that the effects of Ilanguage, already there qua knowledge, go well beyond anything the being who speaks is capable of enunciating.


It is in that regard that the unconscious, insofar as I base it on its deciphering, can only be structured like a language, a language that is always hypothetical with respect to what supports it, namely, Ilanguage.


Language is what allowed me to turn my S2 into a question earlier and ask—is it truly a question of them-two in language.


Stated otherwise, it has become clear, thanks to analytic discourse, that language is not simply communication.


Misrecognizing that fact, a grimace has emerged in the lowest depths of science that consists in asking how being can know anything whatsoever. My question today regarding knowledge will hinge on that.




November 17, 2009


The rat of the maze

Thanks to someone who is willing to polish up what I tell you here, four or five days ago I received the nicely scrubbed truffle in my elocutions this year.


With this title, Encore, I wasn’t sure, I must admit, that I was still in the field I have cleared for twenty years, since what it said was that it could still go on a long time.


Rereading the first transcription of this Seminar, I found that it wasn’t so bad, especially given that I began with a formulation that seemed a tad trivial to me, that
The Other’s jouissance is not the sign of love.


It was a point of departure I could perhaps come back to today in closing what I opened at that time.


I spoke a bit of love. Yet the crux or key to what I put forward this year concerns the status of knowledge, and I stressed that the use ( exercise ) of knowledge could but imply a jouissance.


That is what I’d like to add to today by a reflection concerning what is done in a groping manner in scientific discourse with respect to what can be produced by way of knowledge.

To get right to the point–Knowledge is an enigma.

That enigma is presented to us by the unconscious, as it is revealed by analytic discourse.


That enigma is enunciated as follows: for the speaking being, knowledge is that which is articulated.

People could have noticed that a long time ago, because in tracing out the pathways of knowledge they were doing nothing but articulate things, centering them for a time on being.


Now it is obvious that nothing is, if not insofar as it is said that it is.

I call that S2. You have to know how to hear that—is it of them-two that it speaks?
It is generally said that language serves to communicate.

To communicate about what, one must ask oneself, about which them?

Communication implies reference.

But one is clear—language is merely what scientific discourse elaborates to account for what I call Ilanguage.


Ilanguage serves purposes that are altogether different from that of communication.

That is what the experience of the unconscious has shown us, insofaras it is made of Ilanguage, which, as you know, I write with two I’s to designate what each of us deals with, our so-called mother tongue, which isn’t called by accident.


If communication approaches what is effectively at work in the joussance of Ilanguage, it is because communication implies a reply, in other words, dialogue. But does Ilanguage serves, first and foremost , to dialogue? As I have said before, nothing is less certain.




November 16, 2009






November 4, 2009