The Impotence of truth 1

The Impotence of truth 1
From The Other Side of Psychoanalysis
By Jacques Lacan

We are at that time of the year when final examinations happen. I am going to try to lighten things up a bit.


Fortunately, it’s drawing to a close, ca se tire , as we say, I would even be inclined to leave it at that, if I didn’t have to give you, all the same, two little complements that are intended to bring out the essential of what I hope to have got across this year—two little points for the future, which may give you a glimpse, by drawing you a bit closer to it, of the way in which there are perhaps notions that are fairly new, and that have, in every case, this mark that I am always emphasizing, which those who find themselves working with me at a more practical level can confirm, of operating on a level with an experience.


It is not impossible that this will be of use elsewhere, at the level of something that is taking place now, without, for the moment, our knowing quite what. Naturally, when things happen, one never quite knows at the time they are happening what they are, especially when one covers them over with the news. But ultimately something is happening in the university.


In various places people are surprised. What’s eating them, these students, the little dears, our favorites, the darlings of civilization? What’s up with them? Those who are saying this are playing the fool, this is what they are paid to do.


It should nevertheless be possible that something of what I am elaborating about the relationship between the analyst’s discourse and the master’s discourse should show people a way to enable them, in some way, to explain themselves to one another and to understand one another.


What is happening at the moment is that everyone is competing with everyone else in an attempt to minimize the seriousness of failed, suppressed little demonstrations, increasingly confining them to a street, a corner. To explain it, to make it understood at the very moment at which I say I could do it, I would like you to understand this, which is that to the extent to which I managed to do this, to the extent to which I succeeded in getting you to understand something, you could be certain that to that extent I would have made a big mistake. For it is ultimately limited to this.


Today I would like to spell out, as simply as I can, the relationship between what is happening and the things I have been daring to manipulate for a while, which, by virtue of this fact, gives a kind of guarantee that this discourse hangs together. I have dared manipulate them in a way which is, ultimately, completely wild.


I have not hesitated to speak about the real, and not for some time, since it is even where I took the first step in this teaching. Then, years later, this little formula emerged, the impossible is the real. Heavens knows that no one abused it at first. Then I happened to trot out some reference to truth, which is more common. There are nevertheless some very important observations to make, and I think I am under an obligation to make a number of them today, before leaving all that within the reach of innocents to use without rhyme or reason, which is really par for the course, sometimes, in my entourage.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: