Logic of Phantasy 59 Jacques Lacan

Logic of Phantasy 59
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 14

Seminar 14: Wednesday 8 March 1967

To introduce the consideration of this dimension, I had, in a seminar that is already old – indeed at a time when the seminar was a seminar! – I had to make use of Claudel’s well-known play, more exactly the trilogy, which begins with “The hostage”.


Are the loves of Turelure and of Sygne de Coufontaine an immature union or not?


What is admirable in it, is what, I believe, I amply highlighted in terms of the merits and the incidences of this tragic trilogy, without anyone, I should also say, to my knowledge, among my listeners, having perceived its import. It is not surprising, because I was not careful to put the accent expressly on this precise question and that in general the listeners – from any echo that I had of it – easily avoid this point.


There (6) are two kinds of them.


Those who follow Monsieur Claudel into the religious resonance of the plane where he situates a tragedy which is undoubtedly one of the most radically anti-Christian (in inverted commas) which has even been forged – at least with respect to a Christianity with the proper tone and emotional tenderness. Those who follow it in this atmosphere think that Sygne de Coufontaine, of course, remains intact in all of this. This is not what she, for her part, seems to articulate in the drama! But what matter! People hear through certain screens. It is a curious thing: the listeners who might seem not to have to be inconvenienced by this screen – namely, the non-religioused listeners in the first place – seem, in the same way, not to want to hear anything about what is very precisely involved.

这种反基督教的气氛, 则认为,寇房天在这个戏剧当中,始终保持完整。就她而言,这似乎不是她在戏剧中要表达的情境。但是,那又有什麽关系!人们照常看完某些的场景。耐人寻味的是,听众並不会对於某些的场景,有什麽费解。换句话说,首先是那些没有宗教成见的听众,同样不想要听到任何对於诬蔑宗教的胡言乱语。

In any case, since we do not have other references within our reach (I mean within hand’s reach, here, form the top of a rostrum). I leave the question raised all the same of whether a sexual act consummated in hatred is any less a sexual act with all its implications, I would say.


Raising the question to this level would lead to many approaches, which would not be unfruitful, but that I cannot get into today. Let it be enough for me to note, in the reigning theory concerning the genital stage, another trait, which seems to agree badly with those that people use. Namely, the limited, moderate, temperate in any case, character, as one might say, that the affect (affection) of mourning takes on in it.


The sign of genital maturity being that when this object is realised in the spouse, (since it is a matter, after all, of a formula which tends to adapt itself to morals that are as conformist as one might wish) it is supposed to be normal and a sign of the same maturity that one should be able to mourn this object, within a time-span that we will call decent.


There is here something, first of all, which makes one think that it is supposed to be within the norm of what one can call an affective maturity, that it should be the other who goes first! That makes me think of the story, which was undoubtedly told by somebody psychoanalysed, that Freud talks about somewhere. The gentleman – a Viennese, of course, it is a Viennese story – who says to his wife “If one of us dies, I’ll go to Paris”. It is curious – here I am only making remarks along this crude path of contrasting oppositions – that there should never be evoked in the theory either, anything about – as regards the mature subject – about the mourning that he for his part will leave behind him. This could, moreover, be a characteristic that one might very seriously envisage about the status of the subject! It is probable that this would interest the clientele less! So that, on this point, the same blank.


There are other remarks that this little incident makes me abbreviate because of the (7) time we lost on it.


I would simply say the following. Is not the insistence which is equally put, the burgeoning of developments about what is called the “situation”, or again the “analytic situation”, is this not designed also to allow us to elude the question about what is concerned in the analytic act?


The analytic act, of course, people will say, is interpretation. But since interpretation is undoubtedly, in a growing way, going in the direction of a decline – it is what seems most difficult in the theory to articulate anything about – we will do no more for the moment than take note (prendre acte), as we might put it, of this deficiency.


We will note that, in a fashion which does not fail to involve, I ought to say, some promise – we have all the same something present in the theory, which combines the function of the analyst (I am not saying “the analytic relation”, at which I have very exactly pointed my finger, in order to say that it has, on this occasion, a screening function) – that the analytic function then, is brought closer to something which is of the register of act.


This is not unpromising, as we are going to see, for the following reason. The fact is that, if the analytic act needs indeed to be specified at this point – naturally, for us, the most lively and the most interesting one to determine (which is the point on the lower left of the quadrangle, which concerns the level where it is a matter of the unconscious and the symptom) – the analytic act has, I would say, in a fashion rather in conformity and the symptom) – the analytic act has, I would say, in a fashion rather in conformity with the structure of repression, a sort of inexact position. A representative (if I can express myself in this way) of its deficient representation is given us under the name precisely of acting-out, which is what I have to introduce today.


All here who are analysts, have at least a vague notion that the axis, the centre of this term, is given by the following. That certain acts, having a structure on which all do not necessarily have to agree, but which one can all the same recognize, are likely to be produced, in analysis and in a certain relation of greater or lesser dependency, not with regard to the situation or the analytic relation, but to a precise moment of the intervention of the analyst, to something, then, which ought to have some relation with what I consider as not at all defined, namely, the psychoanalytic act.


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