• 拉岡講座243


The question of the Vorstellungsreprasentanz

Freedom, Representation, and the Hegelian lure

When I said, at the beginning of these talks— I do not seek, I find, I meant that, in Freud’s field, one has only to bend down and pick up what is to be found. The real implication of the nachtrdglich, for example, has been ignored, though it was there all the time and had only to be picked up. I also remember the surprise of someone who was on the same track as I, seeing one day what could be done with the einziger Zug, the single stroke.


Today I would like to show you the importance, already designated by my schema last time, of what Freud calls, at the level of repression, the Vorstellungsreprasentanz.

今天,我想要給你們觀看,佛洛伊德所謂的the Vorstellungsreprasentanz.「表象代表」,在表壓抑的層次,有多麼重要,雖然在上一次,我已經用我的構圖指明過。

Vorstellung involves a sort of defect that leads the German language to put unwarranted ss, which cannot be attached to the normal declension of the determinate, but which are necessary to it when forming composite words. There are therefore two terms— Vorstellung, Representan.

Vorstellung表象,牽涉到某種的缺點,導致德文的語言,沒來由地將Vorstellungs-reprasentanz 表象代表這個複合字,前後兩個字,各有複數的s跟z,這並非是的限定詞的語尾變化的正式用法。可是組成複合字時,卻又無法避免。因此,這裡有兩個術語:表象與代表。

I spoke to you last time about the form of alienation, which I illustrated with several examples, and which I told you could be articulated in a vel of a very special nature. Today we might try to articulate it in some other ways. For example—not something. . . without something else. The dialectic of the slave is obviously no freedom without life, but there will be no life for him without freedom. From one to the other there is a necessary condition. This necessary condition becomes precisely the adequate reason that causes the loss of the original requirement.


Perhaps this is something like what also happens among some of my followers. There is no way of following me without passing through my signifiers, but to pass through my signifiers involves this feeling of alienation that incites them to seek, according to Freud’s formula the small difference.


Unfortunately, this small difference makes them lose the full significance of the direction I pointed out to them. Heavens, I am not so touchy, I leave everyone to go his own way in the direction that I point out —but I could have done without having to take note of what seemed to a particular individual so worthy of rectification in the translation that I had first given of this Vorstellungsrepr&entanz. I had noted that Freud stresses the fact that repression bears on something that is of the order of representation that he calls the Vorstellungsreprdsentanz.

不幸地,這個小小的差異,使我對他們所標示出來的追尋途徑的意義,全部蕩然無存。我的天呀,我並不是多愁善感,我讓每個人根據我指出的方向各自努力,但是我本來大可自行其是,而不需要去注意,哪一位值得我去糾正他的誤解,我將Vorstellungsrepr&entanz. 「表象代表」這個德文字的翻譯。

As soon as I introduced this remark several years ago— which was also a way of reading what Freud writes under the heading of Verdrängung, the article that follows the one on the unconscious in the series of texts collected together under the term metapsychological—I insisted on the fact that Freud emphasizes that it is not the affect that is repressed. The affect —and we shall see what this means in our theory—goes off somewhere else, as best it can. There will always be enough professors of psychology to justify with the patient that its meaning is to be found precisely where it is no longer in its place. So I insisted on the fact that what is repressed is not the represented of desire, the signification, but the representative (it représentant) —I translated literally—of the representation (de la representation).


Here the function of alienation intervenes for this or that individual, who, more or less animated by a care for the privileges of university authority, and anxious to enter the lists, claims to correct the translation that I have given. The Vorstellungsreprosentanz is the representative representative (le reprCsentant reprIsentatif), let us say.


This doesn’t seem to amount to very much. But in a little book on psycho-somatics that has just appeared, one finds a whole passage arguing that there is some misunderstanding in something that must be called my theory of desire and, in a small note referring to some inaccessible passage taken from the text offered by two of my pupils, it is stressed that, following me, they make desire the representative representative of need.


I’m not questioning whether in fact my pupils wrote that—we have been unable to find the passage in question—the important thing is that the only pertinent remark in this extremely slight book is as follows—we would say rather that desire is the nonrepresentative representative.


Now, that is precisely what I mean, and say—for what I mean, I say—in translating Vorstellungsrepro.sentanc by representative of the representation.

現在,這確實是我的意思。我的意思是要將Vorstellungsrepro.sentanc「表象代表」 翻譯為「符號的代表物」

We can locate this Vorstellungsrepresentanz in our schema of the original mechanisms of alienation in that first signifying coupling that enables us to conceive that the subject appears first in the Other, in so far as the first signifier, the unary signifier, emerges in the field of the Other and represents the
subject for another signifier, which other signifier has as its effect the aphanisis of the subject. Hence the division of the subject—when the subject appears somewhere as meaning, he is manifested elsewhere as ‘fading’, as disappearance. There is, then, one might say, a matter of life and death between the unary signifier and the subject, qua binary signifier, cause of his disappearance. The Vorstellungsreprtisentanz is the binary signifier.


This signifier constitutes the central point of the Urverdrangung— of what, from having passed into the unconscious, will be, as Freud indicates in his theory, the point of Anziehung, the point of attraction, through which all the other repressions will be possible, all the other similar passages in the locus of the Unterdruckt, of what has passed underneath as signifier. This is what is involved in the term Vorstellungsreprdcentanz.


That by which the subject finds the return way of the vet of alienation is the operation I called, the other day, separation. By separation, the subject finds, one might say, the weak point of the primal dyad of the signifying articulation, in so far as it is alienating in essence. It is in the interval between these two signifiers that resides the desire offered to the mapping of the subject in the experience of the discourse of the Other, of the first Other he has to deal with, let us say, by way of illustration, the mother. It is in so far as his desire is beyond or falls short of what she says, of what she hints at, of what she brings out as meaning, it is in so far as his desire is unknown, it is in this point of lack, that the desire of the subject is constituted.


The subject—by a process that is not without deception, which is not without presenting that fundamental twist by which what the subject rediscovers is not that which animates his movement of rediscovery—comes back, then, to the initial point, which is that of his lack as such, of the lack of his aphanisis.


We will come back in greater detail to the consequences that flow from it for the analytic treatment itself, and we shall see that this twist effect is essential in integrating the emergence phase of the transference. For the moment, I would like to dwell on what is essential in the function of desire, namely, that it is in as much as the subject plays his part in separation that the binary signifier, the Vorsellungsrepr&sentanz, is untera’rilckt, sunk underneath.


The thing is essential if we are to articulate properly—it immediately throws some light on very different regions—what is the sign of interpretation.


It might be useful in passing to bring out—however metaphysical it may seem, but in any case our technique often makes use, as if it were self-evident, of the expression to free something
—it might be useful to remark that it is there that the whole business of this term freedom, which certainly merits the description of phantom, is played out. What the subject has to free himself of is the aphanisic effect of the binary signifier and, if we look at it more closely, we shall see that in fact it is a question of nothing else in the function of freedom.


It is not for nothing that having had to justify the term vel of alienation at the level of our experience, the two most obvious supports to occur to us were those two choices which, by their formula, structure, firstly, the position of the slave and, secondly, the position of the master. When the slave is confronted with the choice of his freedom or his life, he decides, no freedom without life–life remains forever deprived of freedom. And, when we stand back to look at things, we will see that the alienation of the master is structured in exactly the same way. For if Hegel shows us that the status of the masters is established in the struggle to the death of pure prestige, it is because it is to bring his choice through death that the master also constitutes his fundamental alienation.


Certainly, one can say that the master is no more spared by death than is his slave, that he will always die in the end, and that this is the limit of his freedom. But to say this is insufficient for this death is not the death that constitutes the alienating choice of the master, the death of the struggle to the death of
pure prestige. The revelation of the essence of the master is manifested at the moment of terror, when it is to him that one says freedom or death, and then he has obviously only death to choose in order to have freedom. The supreme image of the master is that character in Claudeian tragedy, Sygne de Confontaine, of whom I have spoken at length in one of my seminars. It is she who wished to abandon nothing of her register, the register of the master, and the values to which she sacrifices bring her, over and above her sacrifice, no more than the need to renounce, in all its depths, her very being. It is in so far as, through the sacrifice of these values, she is forced to renounce her essence, her very being, her most intimate being, that she illustrates, in the end, how much radical alienation of freedom there is in the master

的確,我們能夠說,主人跟奴隸一樣,都沒有被死亡所赦免,他最後還是難逃一死,這是他自由的極限。但是如此說法並不公道,因為這樣的死亡,跟構成主人的疏離的選擇的死亡,跟自始至終護尊嚴威望的死亡,迴然不同。在遭逢恐嚇的時刻,主人的本質顯示得最為明顯。因為是他在說「不自由,毋寧死」,然後,顯而易見地,他只有死亡可以選擇,為了要維護他的自由。主人的崇高意象,就是克勞地安悲劇小說「孔芬坦夫人」 的人物,在我以前的演講,我曾詳細描述過。這位女主角不希望放棄自己的尊嚴,作為主人的尊嚴,以及她願意犧牲一切來維護的價值,正如她不希望放棄生命最真實的存在。可是就在透過這些價值的犧牲,她被迫放棄她的本質,她生命的存在,她最親密的存在。最後,她發揮主人的自由的強烈的疏離,而成為最佳典範。


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