Archive for August, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 49 Jacques Lacan

August 26, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 49
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉岡

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 12

Seminar 12: Wednesday, February 22, 1967

It is curious that it is necessary to recall these things which constitute the very soul of what I proposed to you to see in analytic experience.


That it can be the establishment of something that offers no way back for the subject, is what certain privileged sexual acts, which are precisely the ones that we call incestuous, make us literally put our finger on. I have enough analytic experience to affirm to you that a boy who has slept with his mother is not at all, in analysis, a subject like the others! And even if he himself knows nothing about it, this changes nothing in the fact that it is analytically as tangible as this table here! His personal Verleugnung, fact that this has the value of a decisive break-through, changes nothing in it.


(9) Naturally, all of this would deserve to be supported. My guarantee is that here I have listeners who have analytic experience and that, if I said something too gross, would be able, I think, to protest loudly. But, believe me, they will not say the contrary, because they know it as well as I do. Quite simply, that does not mean that people know how to draw out the consequences, for want of knowing how to articulate them.


In any case, this leads us to try perhaps, to introduce into it a little logical rigour.


The act is founded on repetition. What at first approach, could be more welcoming for what is involved in the sexual act. Let us remember the teachings of our Holy Mother the Church, huh! The principle: you do not do that together, you do not have it off, huh!, except in order to bring into the world a new little soul!


There must be people who think about it while they are doing it (laughter)! In any case, it is a supposition! It is not established. It could be that, however much in conformity this thinking may be with dogma – the Catholic one, I mean – it may be, where it happens, only a symptom.


This is obviously designed to suggest to us that there is perhaps room to try to circumscribe more closely – to see through what aspect there is admitted – the function of reproduction which is there behind the sexual act. Because when we are dealing with the subject of repetition, we are dealing with signifiers, in so far as they are the precondition of a thinking.


At the rate that this biology, that we leave so well to its own resources, is going, it is curious to see that the signifier is showing the wip of its note, there, right at the root, At the level of chromosomes, at the moment, there is a swarm of signifiers – convoying quite specified characters. We are told that the chains – of DNA or of RNA – are constituted like well ordered messages which come, of course, after being brewed in a certain fashion, is that not so, in a big urn, to make there emerge the new kind of eccentric that everyone in the family is waiting to acclaim.


Is this the level at which the problem is posed?


Well then, it is here that I would like to introduce something that, naturally, I did not invent for you today. There is somewhere, in a volume called my Ecrits, an article which is called “The meaning of the phallus” on page 693, on line 10 (I had some difficulty, this morning, in finding it), I write: the phallus as signifier gives the ratio of desire (in the sense that the term – I mean: “ratio” – is used as the “mean and extreme” ratio of harmonic division). This in order to indicate to you that, huh, obviously, it was necessary for time to pass, for me to be able to introduce what I am going to say to you today. I simply marked there the little white stone intended to tell you that it was already from this that the meaning of the phallus was taking its bearings.


In effect, let us try to put an order, a measure, into what is involved in the sexual act in so far as it has a relation with the function of repetition.


Well then, it leaps to the eye, not that it is not known, since the Oedipus complex is known from the beginning, but that people are not able to recognise what that means, namely, that the product of repetition, in the sexual act qua act, namely, in so far as we participate in it as subjected to what is signifying in it, has its impact, in other words, in the fact that the subject that we are is opaque, that it has an unconscious.


Well then, it should be pointed out that the fruit of biological repetition, of reproduction, is already there in this space, well defined for the accomplishment of the act, which is called the bed.


The agent of the sexual act knows very well that he is a son. And that is why the sexual act, in so far as it
concerns us psychoanalysts, has been referred to the Oedipus complex.


So let us try to see, in these signifying terms that define what I called just now “mean and extreme”, what results from it.


Let us suppose that we are going to have this signifying relation supported by the simplest support, the one that we have already given to the double loop of repetition: a simple line. And, for still greater ease, let us lay it out, quite simply as follows: (diagram)


A line to which we can give two ends. We can cut this double loop anywhere at all, and once we have cut it, we are going to try to make use of it.


Let us place on it the four points (points of origin), of two other cuts that define the mean and extreme ratio: (diagram) -(11)

small o; the agreeable product of a previous copulation, which, since it happened to be a sexual act, created the subject, who is here in the process of reproducing it – the sexual act. – capital O. What is capital O? If the sexual act is what we are taught, as signifier, it is the mother. We are going to give her …



(because we find her trace everywhere in analytic thinking itself, everything that this signifying term of the mother carries with it in terms of thoughts of fusion, of a falsification of unity – in so far as she only interests us, namely, a countable unit – of a passage from this countable unit to a unifying unit), we are going to give her the value One.


What does the value One mean as a unifying unit? We are dealing with the signifier and its consequences for thinking. The mother as subject is the thought of the One of the couple. “The two shall be one flesh”, is a thought of the order of the maternal capital O.

这个「一」的价值,作为一个一致化的单位,是什麽意思?我们现在要处理的,就是这个意符及其对於思想的结果。母亲作为生命的主体,是夫妻的这个「一」的思想。聖经上说:「我要你们两个肉身,结合成一体」。这就是以母亲作为大写字母O 的大它者的思想脉络。


Logic of Phantasy 48 Jacques Lacan

August 26, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 48
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉岡

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 11

Lacan Seminar 14:
TheLogic of Fantasy 12
Seminar 12: Wednesday, February 22, 1967

I pronounce the term at the very moment that it is going to be a matter taking our bearings about what is involved in this sublimation.


Freud, even though he in no way developed it, for the same reasons which render the developments that I added to it necessary, Freud affirmed, in accordance with the mode of procedure which is that of his thinking, which consists – as someone else said, Bossuet, first name Jacques-Benigne – which consists in holding firmly to the two ends of the chain. Firstly, sublimation, is zielgehemnt, and, naturally, he does not explain to us what that means! I already tried to mark for you the distinction already inherent in this term of zielgehemmt. I took my references in english, as being more accessible: the difference between the aim and the goal. Say it in French.


It is less clear because we are forced to take words already in use in philosophy. We can, all the same, try to say la fin, it is the weakest word, because it is necessary to re-integrate into it the whole journeying which is what is involved in the aim, the target. There is the same distance between aim and goal as there is in German between Zweck and Ziel. We are not told that Zweckmassigleit, sexual finality, is in any way gehemmt, inhibited, in sublimation. Zielgehemmt, and it is precisely here that the word is well made to detain us … what we gargle with this so called “object” of the blessed genital drive, is precisely what can without any inconvenience be extracted, totally inhibited, absent, in what nevertheless belongs to the sexual drive, without it losing anything of its capacity as Befriedigung, in terms of satisfaction.


You will see in the second of these articles – (there are three texts here, but what I am (7) calling the second, is the second that I named earlier, that of Heinz Hartmann. The first that I named being that of Fenichel, and Alexander is only a reference by Fenichel) – I mean the point designated by Fenichel, the major point of the introduction of the term acting-out in psychoanalytic articulation. Consult the article by Heinz Hartmann on sublimation. It is examplary. It is examplary of what, in our eyes, is not in any way obsolete in the position of the psychoanalyst.


The fact is that the approach to what he is dealing with, taking responsibility for a thinking, always drives him back in some respect to one of these two terms that I will designate in the most temperate way as platitude. And everyone knows that for a long time, I designated as its the most eminent representative, Mr. Fenichel. May he rest in peace! His writings have for us the very great value of being undoubtedly the very scrupulous gathering together of everything that can emerge as holes in experience. All that is lacking at the place of these holes is the necessary question mark. As regards Heinz Hartmann and the fashion in which he sustains – for some fourteen or fifteen pages, if I remember correctly – with an interrogative accent the problem of sublimation, I think that it cannot escape anyone who comes to it with a fresh mind, that such a discourse, the one I am asking you to consult in the text, designating for you where it is, where you can easily and it, is properly speaking a lying discourse.


The whole apparatus of a so-called “energetics”, around which there is proposed to us something which consists precisely in inverting the approach to the problem, by questioning sublimation – in so far as it is first proposed to us as being identical, and not displaced, with respect to something which is, properly, (with the quotation marks that the use of the word drive imposes at this level) all the same: the “sexual drive” – overturning this and questioning in the most punctuated manner what is involved in sublimation, as being linked to what is proposed to us.


Namely, that the functions of the ego – which in the most improper manner has been posited as being autonomous, even as coming from a different source to what is called, in this confused language, an “instinctual” source, as if there had ever been in Freud a question of that! – to know, then, how these completely pure functions of the ego, related to the measure of reality, and providing it, as such, in an essential fashion – re-establishing here then at the heart of analytic thinking, what the whole of analytic thinking rejects – that there is this isolated, direct, autonomous, identifiable relation, a relation of pure thinking to a world that it is supposed to be able to approach, without itself being completely shot through by the function of desire – how can it happen that there can come from what is then elsewhere, the instinctual focus, some reflection or other, some painting or other, some colouring or other, that is called, textually, “the sexualisation of the ego functions”!


(8) Once introduced like this the question becomes literally insoluble, or, in any case, excluded forever from everything that is proposed to the praxis of analysis.


To approach what is involved in sublimation, it is necessary for us to introduce this first term without which (moyennant quoi) it is impossible for us to find our bearings in the problem, which is the one from which I started the last time in defining the act: the act is signifying. It is a signifier which is repeated, even though it happens in a single gesture, for topological reasons which make possible the existence of the double loop created by a single cut. It is the establishment of the subject as such. Namely, that, from a true act, the subject emerges different.


Because of the cut, its structure is modified. And, fourthly, the correlate of misrecognition, or if you wish again, his Reprasentanz in the Vorstellung, to this act, is the Verleugnung. Namely, that the subject never recognises it in its truly inaugural report, even when the subject is, as I might say, capable of having committed this act.


Well then, it is here that it would be well for us to notice the following – which is essential for any comprehension of the role that Freud gives to sexuality in the unconscious – for us to remember something that the tongue already gives us, namely, that people speak about the sexual act.


The sexual act, this could at least suggest to us – something moreover that is obvious – since, once one thinks about it … in any case, you touch on it right away … the fact is that it is obviously not pure and simple copulation.


The act has all the characteristics of the act as I have just recalled them, as we manipulate it, as it has presented itself to us, with its symptomatic sediments and everything that makes it more or less stick and stumble. The sexual act clearly presents itself as a signifier, firstly, and as a signifier which repeats something. Because it is the first thing that was introduced to it in psychoanalysis.


It repeats what? The oedipal scene, of course!



Logic of Phantasy 47 Jacques Lacan

August 25, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 47
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉岡

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 11

Lacan Seminar 14:
TheLogic of Fantasy 12
Seminar 12: Wednesday, February 22, 1967

(4) This does not mean, of course, that we reject either the data or the experience. But that we submit what we are contributing in terms of new formulae to this test of seeing whether it is not precisely our formulae that will allow there to be defined not only the well-foundedness but also the sense of what has already been initiated.


The acting-out, then, that I am putting forward – you already sense perhaps the relevance of putting it forward in this situation of the field of the Other, which it is a matter for us of restructuring, as I might say, if only because of the following. That history, like experience as it is being pursued, indicates to us, at the very least, a certain global correspondence between this term and what analytic experience establishes. I am not saying that an acting-out occurs only during analysis. I am saying that it is from analysis and from what was produced in it, that the problem emerged. That there arose the fundamental distinction which lead acting-out to be isolated, to be distinguished, from the act, and from the passage a l’acte as it can pose us problems, as psychiatrists, and be established as an autonomous category. I have only put forward a correlate, then, the one that makes it like the symptom qua manifestation of truth. It is certainly not the only one and other conditions are necessary.


I hope then that at least some of you know – parallel to these statements that I am going to be led to put at your disposition – will be able to glance through at least what, at a certain date – which is more or less 1947 or 1948 – the Yearbook of psychoanalysis began to be published after the last war – and the formula that Otto Fenichel gave of it: “Neurotic acting-out”.


I continue … What is the term that you are going to see being inscribed at the fourth meeting-point of these operational functions that determine what we are articulating on the basis of repetition? Even if this surprises you – and I think I will be able to sustain it as broadly as possible for your appreciation – it is something which, singularly, has remained in a certain suspense in analytic theory and is undoubtedly the conceptual point around which most clouds and false appearances have accumulated. To name it, and moreover it is already written on this board (since it is to this note by Heinz Hartmann that I would ask you to refer to grasp a typical fruit of the analytic situation as such) it is, sublimation.


(5) Sublimation is the term – that I would not call mediating, for it is not that at all – is the term that allows us to inscribe the basis and the conjunction of what is involved in subjective stability, in so far as repetition is its fundamental structure aid that it involves this essential dimension about which there remains the greatest obscurity, in everything that has been formulated up to the present in analysis, and which is called satisfaction.


Befriedigung, says Freud. You should sense there the presence of the term Friede, whose usual sense is peace. I think that we live in a time in which this word, at least, will not appear to be obvious to you.
What is the satisfaction that Freud conjugates for us as essential for repetition in its most radical form?


Since, in fact, this is the mode in which he produces before you the function of the Wiederholungszang, in so far as it encompasses not alone a particular functioning of life, for its part quite locatable under the term of the pleasure principle, but that it sustains this life itself about which we can now admit everything, even up to the point, which has become a tangible truth, that there is nothing in the material that it stirs up which, in the final analysis, is not dead (I am saying of its nature inanimate). But which it is nevertheless clear will not surrender this material that it collects together to its domain of the inanimate, “except in its own way”, Freud tells us. Namely, everything being in this satisfaction which means that it has to repass and retrace, the same paths that it has – how? – constructed, and that undoubtedly it testifies to us that its essence is to retrace them. There is – let us be very modest! – a world between this theoretical illumination and its verification.


Freud is not a biologist and one of the most striking things – which might be disappointing if we believe that it is enough to give the chief place in his thinking to the powers of life, that it is enough to do anything whatsoever which resembles the construction of a science which might be called biology – we analysts have contributed nothing to anything whatsoever that resembles biology. It is all the same very striking!
But why, nevertheless, do we hold so firmly to the assurance that, behind the satisfaction that we have to deal with when it is a matter of repetition, there is something that we designate – with all the awkwardness, with all the imprudence that can be involved, at the point that we are at in biological research – this term that we designate …


(this is the sense, the attachment point that I would go so far as to call fideist in Freud) – that we call sexual satisfaction. And this for the reason that Freud advanced before an astonished Jung, to stave off the “black tide of mud”, which is how Freud judges it with respect to the thinking that he designates by the term to which one will not fail to come if one does not hold fast, that he designates as the recourse to occultism.


Does this mean that everything happens so simply, I mean that these affirmations (6) are enough to give an acceptable articulation? This is the question that I am trying to advance today before you and which makes me push forward sublimation as the locus which, since it has been up to the present left fallow or covered with common scribblings, is nevertheless the one which is going to allow us to understand what is at stake in this fundamental satisfaction, which is the one that Freud articulates as a subjective opaqueness, as the satisfaction of repetition.


This conjunction of a basic point for the whole of logic, because what we bring with us into this marginal place of thinking, which is the one – a place of penumbra, a twilight zone – in which there is developed analytic action, if we bring with us there the requirements of logic, which is something that we are lead to make a merit of so that we will be able to pinpoint it with what I think must be its best name: sub-logic.


This is what in this very place, this year, we are trying to inaugurate.



Logic of Phantasy 46 Jacques Lacan

August 24, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 46
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉岡

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 11

1967-02-22 Lacan Seminar 14: The
Logic of Fantasy 12
Seminar 12: Wednesday, February 22, 1967

We continue, by recalling what we are starting from – alienation.


Let us summarise, for those who have already heard us and especially for the others. Alienation – in so far as we have taken it as a start for this logical path that we are trying to trace out this year – is the e-limination, to be taken in the proper sense: a rejection beyond the threshold, the ordinary elimination from the Other. Beyond what threshold? The threshold in question, is the one determined by the cut in which the essence of language consists.


Linguistics is of service to us essentially in this, that it has provided us with the model of this cut.


This is why we find ourselves put on the side – approximately qualified as structuralist – of linguistics. And that all the developments of linguistics, specifically, curiously, what can be called semiology – what is described in this way, what designates itself, and what proclaims itself as such recently – does not interest us to the same degree.


Which may, at first approach, seem surprising.


Elimination then from the Other. From the Other. What does that mean, the Other, with a capital O, in so far as here it is eliminated? It is eliminated qua closed and unified field. This means that we affirm, with the best reasons for doing so, that there is no universe of discourse, that there is nothing that can be assumed under this term.


Language is nevertheless solitary, in its radical practice, which is what psychoanalysis is … (note that I could also say its medical practice. Someone that I am surprised not to see here today, in his usual place, asked me for this sign that I left as a riddle of the term that I could have given, more strictly, in Latin of the “I think”. If no one has found it, I am giving it today. I had indicated that this could only be conceived of by a (2) verb in the middle voice.


It is medeor, from which there comes both medicine that I am evoking just now and meditation.)
Language, in its radical practice is solidary with something that we now are going to have to reintegrate, to conceive of in some fashion under the mode of an emanation from this field of the Other, from the moment that we have had to consider it as disconnected (disjoint). But this something is not difficult to name. Its is what this field of the Other precariously authorises itself by and this is called – a proper dimension of language – the truth.

To situate psychoanalysis, one could say that it has been constituted everywhere the truth makes itself known only in the fact that it surprises us and imposes itself on us. An example, to illustrate what I have just said. There is no other jouissance given to me, or giveable, than that of my body. This does not impose itself immediately, but no one has any doubt about it and there is established, around this jouissance, which is indeed henceforth my only good, this protective grill of a law described as universal and which is called “Human rights”. No one can prevent me from disposing as I wish of my own body. The result, at the limit – we put our finger, our foot on it, we analysts – is that jouissance has dried up for everyone!


This is the other side of a little article that I produced under the title of “Kant with Sade”. Obviously this is not said there up front – it is at the back. It was not for all that less dangerous to say it as Sade said it. Sade is indeed the proof of that. But since all I was doing there was explaining Sade, it is less dangerous for me!


The truth is manifested in an enigmatic fashion in the symptom. Which is what? A subjective opaqueness, Let us leave to one side what is clear. The fact is that the enigma has already this much resolved, that it is only a rebus.


And let us base ourselves for a moment on the fact – which by going too quickly one may leave to one side – that the subject therefore can be non-transparent. The fact is also that what is obvious may be hollow, and that it would be better henceforth, no doubt, to make the word agree with the past participle, emptied (evide).


The subject is perfectly thingly (chosique. And is the worst kind of thing! The Freudian thing, precisely.
As regards the facts, we know that it is a bubble and that it can be burst. We have experience of it already on several occasions. Such is the plane on which modern thinking makes its way, Karl Marx, first of all gave it its tone, then Freud. If the status of what Freud contributed is less evidently triumphant, it is perhaps, precisely, that he went further. You pay for that.

生命主体完美地物化,成为最糟糕的一种物,準确地说,就是佛洛伊德的物。关於这些事实,我们知道,那是一个泡沫,它会爆裂开。我们在好几个场合,已经有过这样的经验。现代思想发展的层次,如卡尔、 马克思,首先表达对它的论述,接下来是是佛洛伊德。即使佛洛伊德贡献的地位,比较不那麽显而易见地空前胜利,确实地,他探讨的问题还比较深入。可是,付出的代价也不少。

You pay for that, for example, in the thematic you will find developed in the two articles that I am proposing for your attention, for your study if you have enough leisure for that. Because they ought here to form the foundation on which there will find its place what I am going to advance, to take things up again at the point I left them the last time, to complete, in this quadrangle that I began to trace out as having (3) to be articulated fundamentally around repetition.


Repetition. A temporal locus, in which there comes to act what I first left suspended around the purely logical terms of alienation, at the four poles that I punctuated of the alienating choice on the one hand, of the establishment on the other hand at two of these poles, of the Es, of the Id, of the unconscious, on the other hand, in order to put at the fourth of these poles, castration. These four terms, which may have left you in suspense, have their English correspondents in what I began, the last time, to articulate by showing you the fundamental structure of repetition on the one hand (by situating it on the right of the quadrangle), of the function, on the other hand, on the right-hand pole, of this privileged and exemplary mode of the establishment of the subject which is the passage a l’acte is.


What are the two other poles that I have to deal with now? One of them was already indicated to you the last time: acting-out, that I am going to have to articulate in so far as it is situated – at this place – in an elided way, in which something of the field of the eliminated Other, that I have just recalled, is manifested in the form of a truthful manifestation. Such is, fundamentally, the sense off acting-out. I am asking you, simply, to have the patience to follow me, since, moreover, I can only introduce these terms – what they refer to, the structure – without preliminaries (bille en tete), as I might say. By wanting to make our way by a progression, or indeed a critique, of what has already been outlined about such a formulation in the theories already expressed in analysis, we would, literally, only lose ourselves in the same labyrinth that thing theory constitutes.



Logic of Phantasy 45 Jacques Lacan

August 24, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 45
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉岡

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 11

There is repetition intrinsic in every act, which is only permitted by the effect of retroaction – which is exercised because of the fact of the signifying incidence which is put at its heart – and the retroaction of this signifying incidence on what is called “the case” in question, whatever it may be.


Naturally, it is not enough for me to proclaim that I am walking! All the same it is already a beginning of action. It is an operetta action: “Marchons, marchons…” It is also what is called, in a certain ideology, commitment, which is what gives it its well known comic character.


The important thing to detect about what is involved in an act, is to search where the logical structure gives us – and gives us qua logical structure – the possibility of transforming into an act what, at first approach, could be nothing other than a pure and simple passion. “I fall to the ground” or “I stumble”, for example. Reflect on this, that the fact of this signifying duplication, namely, that in my “I fall on the ground” there is the affirmation that I fall on the ground: “I fall to the ground” becomes, transforms by fall, into something signifying. I fall to the ground and by this I perform the act in which I demonstrate that I am, as they say, utterly crushed (atterre).


(14) In the same way,” I stumble” – even “I stumble” which bears in itself so manifestly the passivity of missing something – can be, if it is taken up and reduplicated by the affirmation, “I stumble”, the indication of an act in so far as I myself assume the sense, as such, of this stumbling.


There is nothing here which goes against the inspiration of Freud, if you remember that at a particular page of the Traumdeutung and very precisely on the one where he designates for us the first lineaments of his research on identification, he underlines very clearly himself – legitimating in advance the intrusions that I make of the Cartesian formula into the theory of the unconscious – the remark that Ich has two different senses in the same sentence, when one says “Ich denke was gesundes Kind Ich war” “I think” – or: Ich bedenke, as he said exactly: I meditate, I reflect, I gargle – “at the thought of what a healthy child – Ich bin … Ich war – I was”.


The essentially signifying character as such, is reduplicated by the act. The repetitive and intrinsic insistence of repetition in the act, is what allows us to connect up in an original fashion – and in such a fashion that it can subsequently satisfy in the analysis of all its varieties – the definition of the act.


Here I can only indicate in passing – for we will have to come back to it – that the important thing is not so much in the definition of the act, as in its consequences. I mean, what results from the act in terms of change of surface.


For if I spoke earlier about the incidence of the cut on the topological surface – that I designate as that of the Moebius strip – if after the act, the surface is of a different structure in such a case, if it is of a still different structure in another one or even if in certain cases it may not change, here is something that is going to propose for us models (if you wish) to distinguish what is involved in terms of the incidence of the act, not so much in the determination as in the mutations of the subject.


Now, there is a term which for some time I have left to the testing and the tasting of those who surround me, without ever frankly responding to the objection made to me – and which has been made to me for a long time – that Verleugnung – since this is the term in question – is the term to which there should be referred the effects that I reserve for Verwerfung. I spoke enough about the latter, since today’s discourse, not to have to go back on it. I simply highlight here that what is of the order of Verleugnung is always what is concerned with the ambiguity that results from the effects of the act as such.


I cross the Rubicon. That can be done … all by itself. It is enough to take the train at Cesena in the right direction, once you are on the train, you can do nothing more about it, you cross the Rubicon. But this is not an act. It is not an act either when you cross the Rubicon thinking about Caesar, it is an imitation of Caesar’s act. But you already see that imitation takes on in the dimension of the act, a quite different structure to the one that is usually supposed for it. It is not an act, but it can all the same be one! And there is even no other possible definition for the suggestions, otherwise so excessive, as those entitled the Imitation of Jesus Christ, for example.


Around this act – whether it is imitation or not – whether it is the original act itself, the one that the historians of Caesar tell us clearly the sense of is indicated by the dream, which precedes this crossing of the Rubicon – which is none other than the sense of incest – it is a matter of knowing, at each of these levels, what is the effect of the act.


It is the labyrinth proper to the recognition of these effects by a subject who cannot recognise it, because he is entirely – as subject – transformed by the act, it is these effects that are designated, wherever the term is correctly employed, by the rubric of Verleugnung.


The act then is the only locus where the signifier has the appearance – the function in any case – of signifying itself. Namely, to function outside its possibilities. the subject, in the act, is represented as pure division. The division, we will say, is his Reprasentanz. The true sense of the term Reprasentanz is to be taken at this level for it is starting from this representance of the subject as essentially divided, that one can sense how this function of Reprasentanz may effect what is called representation; which makes the Vorstallung depend on an effect of the Reprasentanz.


We are stopped by the time.. There is going to be question for us the next time of how it is possible for there to be presentified the impossible-to-choose element of alienation. The matter is well worth the trouble of being put off for a discourse reserved to it, since it is a matter of nothing other than the status of the Other, where it is evoked for us in the most urgent fashion, so as not to lead to precipitation and error, namely, the analytic situation. But this model that is given to us by the act as division and final support of the subject, a point of truth which – let us say it in parenthesis before separating – is the one which justifies the rise to the summit of philosophy of the function of existence, which undoubtedly is nothing other than the veiled form in which there is presented, for thinking, the original character of the act in the function of the subject.


Why has this act, in its agency, remained veiled, and this for those who knew best how to mark its autonomy – against Aristotle who had not and for good reason the slightest idea of this – I mean, St. Thomas?


(16) It is no doubt because the other possibility of cutting is given us, in the impossible-to-choose part of
alienation (put within our reach, nevertheless, from the angle of analysis) – the same cut intervening at the other vertex, the one designated here, which corresponds to the unconscious-I am not conjunction – this is what is called acting-out and its status is what we will try to define the next time.



Logic of Phantasy 44 Jacques Lacan

August 24, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 44
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉岡

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 11

The important thing is, what is the structure of the surfaces thus instaured.


The images on the left – and that I introduced the last time so that you could copy the drawing – represent for you what constitutes the most characteristic surface to image for us the function that we give of the double loop. It is (on the top left) the Moebius strip whose edge – namely, everything that is in this drawing (except this, which is a profile which is only inscribed there in a way to give rise in your imagination to the image of the support of the surface itself, namely, that here the surface turns the other side, but this does not form part, of course, of any edge) – there only remains then the double loop, which is the edge – the single edge of the surface in question.


We can take this surface as symbolic of the subject, on condition that you consider, of course, that the edge alone constitutes this surface. This is easy to demonstrate by the fact that if you make a cut through the middle of this surface, this cut itself concentrates in itself the essence of the double loop. Being a cut, which, as I might say, “turns back” onto itself, it is itself – this single cut – just by itself, the whole Moebius surface. And the proof is that in fact, when you have made this median cut there is no longer any Moebius surface at all! What I might call the “median cut”, removed it from what you think you are seeing, here, in the form of a surface.


This is what the figure on the right shows you. It shows you that once it is cut through the middle, this surface, which previously had neither a front nor a back, had only a single face, as it had only a single edge, now has a front and a back, which you see marked here in two different colors. It is enough, of course, for you to imagine that each one of these colours goes to the back of the other, where because of the cut they are continued. In other words, after the cut there is no longer a Moebius surface, but, on (12) the contrary, something which is applicable onto a torus.


Which is what the two other figures show you. Namely, that if in a certain way you make this surface – the one obtained after the cut – slide behind (a l’envers) itself, if I can express myself in that way, which is quite well imaged in the present figure – you can by sewing – as I might say – in a different way the edges in question, constitute in this way a new surface which is the surface of the torus, on which there is still marked the same cut, constituted by the fundamental double loop of repetition.


These topological facts are for us extremely favourable to image something, which is what is at stake.


Namely, that just as alienation is imaged in two senses by different operations – where one represents the necessary choice between the curtailed I am not thinking of the Es of the logical structure, the other – an element that one cannot choose, of the alternative – which opposes, which connects the kernel of the unconscious, as being this something in which it is not a matter of a thinking that is in any way attributable to the instaured I of subjective unity, and which connects it to an I am not, clearly marked by what I defined in the structure of the dream as the inmixing of subjects, namely, as the unfixable, indeterminate, character of the subject assuming the thinking of the unconscious – repetition allows us to put in correlation, in correspondence, two modes in which the subject may appear different – may manifest itself, in its temporal conditioning – in a way that corresponds to the two statuses defined as that of the I of alienation and as that which reveals the position of the unconscious in specific conditions, which are none other than those of analysis.


Corresponding to the level of the temporal schema, we have the following: that the passage a l’acte is what is allowed in the operation of alienation; that, corresponding to the other term – a term, in principle, impossible to choose in the alienating alternative – there corresponds acting-out.


What does that mean? The act, I mean the act and not some manifestation of movement. Movement, motor discharge (as it is put at the level of theory) is something that in no way is enough to constitute an act. If you will allow me a crude image, a reflex is not an act.


But after all, this arena of not-an-act (ne pas-acte) must be extended far beyond. What is being solicited in the study of the intelligence of a higher animal, conduite de detour for example – the fact that a monkey sees what he has to do to get at a banana when he is separated from it by a plate of glass – has absolutely nothing to do with an act. And in truth, a very great number of your movements, as you can well imagine – those that you will carry out between now and the end of the day – have nothing to do of course with an act.


(13) But how define what an act is?


It is impossible to define it otherwise than on the foundation of the double loop, in other words, of repetition. And it is precisely in this that the act is foundational for the subject.


The act is, precisely, the equivalent of repetition, by itself. It is this repetition in a single line (trait) that I designated earlier by this cut that it is possible to make in the centre of the Moebius strip. It is in itself the double loop of the signifier.


One could say, but this would be to deceive oneself, that in its case the signifier signifies itself. Because we know that it is impossible. It is nevertheless true that it is as close as possible to this operation.


The subject – let us say, in the act – is equivalent to its signifier. It remains nonetheless divided.
Let us try to clarify this a little and let us put ourselves at the level of this alienation at which the I is founded on an I am not thinking which is all the more favourable for leaving the whole field to the Es of logical structure.


“I am not thinking” … if I am, all the more in that I am not thinking (I mean: if I am only the I that the logical
structure instaures), the medium, the line, where there can be connected these two terms, is the : I act; this I act which is not, as I told you, a motor performance. In order that “I walk” should become an act, it is necessary for the fact that I am walking to signify that I walk in fact and that I am saying it as such.



Logic of Phantasy 43 Jacques Lacan

August 24, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 43
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉岡

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 11
Seminar 11: Wednesday, February 15, 1967

The Other as such – I am saying, this locus of the Other, in so far as the need for the assuring of a truth evokes it – the Other as such is, as I might say, if you will permit this word that I have improvised: fractured. In the same way as we grasp it in the subject itself – very precisely in the way in which the double topological loop of repetition marks it – the Other also finds itself under the impact of this finiteness.


(8) Thus division is found to be posited at the heart of the conditions of truth. A complication, let us say, brought to any exigency, of the Leibnizian type – of reservation of the aforesaid, I mean, of the truth. The salva veritate, essential to any order of philosophical thinking, is for us – and not simply because of psychoanalysis – manifest at all points of this development which is carried out at the level of mathematical logic – is for us a little bit more complicated. It completely excludes in any case, any form of intuitive absoluteness; the attribution, for example, to the field of the Other, of the dimension – described in as Spinozian a way as you wish – of the Eternal, for example.


This permanent downfall of the Other is ineradicable from the given of subjective experience. It is what puts at the heart of this experience the phenomenon of belief in its ambiguity, constituted by the fact that it is not by accident, by ignorance, that the truth is presented in the dimension of the contestable. A phenomenon, then, which is not to be considered as a happening due to a defect, but as a fact of structure, and that here, for us, is the point of prudence. The point that we are solicited to advance towards with the most discrete steps, I mean in the most discerning way, to designate the substantial point of this structure, in order not to lend to the confusion into which people precipitate themselves, not innocently no doubt, by suggesting here a renewed form of positivism.


We should much more rather find our motels in what remains so misunderstood and nevertheless so alive in the fragmentary things tradition has bequeathed us in terms of exercises of scepticism, in so far as they are not simply these brilliant jugglings between opposed doctrines, but on the contrary veritable spiritual exercises, which corresponded certainly to an ethical praxis, which gives its veritable density to the theory that remains to us under this heading and under this rubric.


Let us say that it is now a question for us of accounting, in terms of our logic, for the necessary emergence of this locus of the Other in so far as it is thus divided. Because, for us, it is here that we are asked to situate not simply this locus of the Other, the perfect correspondent of the fact that the truth is not deceitful, but much more precisely, at the different levels of subjective experience that the clinic imposes on us, how it is possible for there to be inserted into it – into this experience – agencies which cannot be articulated other than as demands of the Other – and this is neurosis …


And here we cannot fail to denounce how excessive is the use of such terms that we have introduced,
highlighted, like for example that of demand, when we see it taken up under the pen of some novice or other exercising himself on the plane of analytic theory and marking the degree to which it is essential (the youngster shows his perspicacity here) to put at the centre and at the start of the adventure a demand – he says – a “current requirement”. This is what has always been put forward, by making (9) analysis turn around “frustration and gratification”. The use here of the term of demand, which is borrowed from me, is only there to put us off the track of what is essential in it, which is that the subject comes to analysis not to demand anything whatsoever in terms of a current requirement, but in order to know what he is demanding. Which leads him, very precisely, to this path of demanding that the Other should demand something of him.


The problem of the demand is situated at the level of the Other. The desire of the neurotic turns around the demand of the Other and the logical problem is to know how we can situate this function of the demand of the Other, on this support: that the Other pure and simple, as such, is the O barred.


Many other terms are also to be evoked as having to find their place in the Other. The anxiety of the Other is the true root of the position of the subject as a masochistic position. Let us say again how we ought to conceive of the fact that a point of jouissance is essentially locatable as jouissance of the Other; a point without which it is impossible to understand what is at stake in perversion. A point, nevertheless, which is the only structural referent that can account for what in the tradition is grasped as Selbstbewusstsein. Nothing else in the subject really traverses itself, perforates itself, as I might say, as such – I will try to sketch out for you, one day, some childish model of it – nothing else, except this point which makes of jouissance, the jouissance of the Other.


We are not going to go into these problems immediately. We have today to trace the consequences to be drawn from the relationship of this graph of repetition, to what we have punctuated as the fundamental choice of alienation.


It is easy to see, from this double loop, that the more it sticks to itself, the more it will tend to be divided. By supposing that here (figure 1) the distance from one edge to the other is reduced, it is easy to see that it will be two rings (rondelles) that will come to be isolated.


What relationship is there between this passage a l’acte of alienation and repetition itself? Well then, very
precisely, what can and what ought to be called: the act.


Today, I want to put forward the premises of a logical situation of the act as such.


If this double loop of the drawing of repetition imposes a topology on us, it is because it cannot have its function as edge on just any surface whatsoever. Try to draw it on the surface of a sphere I showed it a long time ago – you can tell me how you get on! – (Figure 2). Bring it back here and try to close it in such a way that it is an edge, namely, that it does not cut itself. This is impossible. These things are not possible – I (11) already pointed out a long time ago – except on a certain type of surface (those which are drawn here, for example) such as the torus that I called on at one time, the cross-cap or the projective plane, or again the third (tierce) Klein bottle which you know, I think, if you still remember, the little drawing in which it can be imaged (it being clearly understood that the Klein bottle has nothing which especially links it to this particular representation.) The important thing is to know what, in each one of these surfaces, results from the cut constituted by the double loop.


On the torus, this cut will give a surface with two edges. On the cross-cap, it will give a cut with a single edge.



Logic of Phantasy 42 Jacques Lacan

August 23, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 42
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉岡

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 11

Seminar 11: Wednesday, February 15, 1967

A situation which is repeated, as a failure situation, for example, implies co-ordinates not of the greater or lesser tension, but of signifying identity of the plus or minus as sign of what must be repeated. But this sign was not carried as such by the first situation. You should clearly understand that this was not marked by the sign of repetition, otherwise, it would not have been the first! Much more, it must be said that it becomes – that it becomes – the repeated situation and that, by that fact, it is lost as originating situation: that there is something lost by the fact of repetition. And this is not alone perfectly articulated in Freud, but he articulated in Freud, but he articulated it well before having been brought to this statement of the “Beyond of the pleasure principle”.


From the Three essays on sexuality on, we see there arising, arising as impossible, the principle of rediscovery.


The simple approach of clinical experience had already suggested to Freud the discovery and the function of the fact that there is, in the metabolism of drives, this function of the lost object as such. It gives the very sense (6) of what emerges under the rubric of Urverdrangung. That is why it has to be clearly recognised that far from there being here, in Freud’s thinking, a jump or rupture, there is rather the preparation – through a meaning that has been glimpsed – the preparation of something which at last finds its final logical structure in the form of a law constitutive – even though again it is not reflexive – constitutive of the subject himself and which is repetition.


The graph – as one might say – of this function, I think that you all have seen passing the shape that I gave as an intuitive, imaginative support of this topology of return, for it to solidarise the part – which is just as important as its direct effect, as this effect that is itself imaged – namely, its retroactive effect, what I called, just now, what happens when by the effect of the repeating, what was to be repeated becomes the repeated.


The line (trait) by which there is sustained what is repeated, qua repeating, must close, must rediscover itself at the origin: the one (this line) which, because of it, henceforth marks the repeated as such.


This, this outline, is nothing other than that of the double loop, or again of what I called, the first time that I
introduced it, the “inverted eight” and that we write like this. Here it returns onto what it repeats and it is this which – in the first, fundamental, initiatory operation as such of repetition -gives this retroactive effect that cannot be detached from it, which forces us to think out the third relation, which – from the One to the Two which constitutes the return – comes back in closing itself towards this One in order to give this non-numeral element that I am calling the additional One (Un-en-plus), and which precisely – since it is not reducible to the series of natural numbers, succeed one another – still deserves this title of the additional One, which I designated as essential for any signifying determination and which is always ready, moreover, not simply to appear, but to be grasped, fleeting, detectable, in lived experience, once the counting (comptant) subject has to count himself among the others.


Let us observe that this is the most radical topological form and that it is necessary to introduce what, in Freud, is put forward in these polymorphous forms that are known under the term of regression – whether they are topical, temporal or formal, this is not a homogenous regression – their common root is to be found in this return, in the return effect of repetition.


Certainly, it is not for nothing that I delayed for so long the examination of these functions of regression. It would be enough to refer to a recent article, published somewhere on a neutral, medical terrain – an article on regression – to see the veritable gap it leaves open, when a thinking, used to not too much light, tries to connect the (7) theory with what analytic practice suggests to it. The sort of curious promotion that regression receives in certain of these most recent theoretical studies responds, no doubt, to something in the experience of analysis, through which, in effect, there deserves to be questioned the progressive effect that can be involved in regression, which, as everyone knows, is essential for the very process of the treatment as such.

的确,我拖延那麽久的时间,才来审查倒退的这些功用,並不是毫无理由。我不妨先提到最近的一篇文章, 某个地方出版的开放性的医学论坛,一篇有关倒退的论文。我们看到它所开展的真正的裂口,当一个默默无闻的思想,设法连接这个理论跟精神分析学的做法,发现到这个裂口。在某些最近的理论的研究,倒退的问题受到这种特别的关注,无可置疑地,回应精神分析经验的需求。事实上,应该被置疑的问题是进步的效应,它会牵涉到倒退的问题。众所皆知,这个进步的效应,在精神分析治疗的过程,是非常重要的。

But it is enough to see, to put your finger on, the distance, which in a way leaves veritably open everything that in this connection is re-evoked from Freud’s formulae, and what is deduced from it as regards practical use (you should consult this article which is in the last number of Evolution Psychiatrique) for one to sense the point to which the regression that is involved here is of a nature to suggest to us the question of whether it is anything more than a theoretical regression.


In truth, this indeed is the major mode of this rejection that I am designating as essential to one or other present position of the psychoanalyst.


By taking up such questions anew, at their origin, as if they had not already been settled somewhere, one makes the pleasure last! It is certainly not the business of those for whom I take responsibility. I will come back to this at the appropriate time, for if, of course, there is in all that to remove every possible reference to something of the order of dishonesty, if from such formulae there is connected and legitimated a finality of the treatment which finds itself covering the crudest illusions of the ego, namely, what is most opposed to analytical renewal.


What is meant by what we have contributed under the term of alienation, when we begin to clarify it by this system of signifying involution (if I can call it that) of repetition?


We have put forward at first that alienation, is the signifier of the Other, in so far as it makes of the Other (with a capital O) a field marked by the same finiteness as the subject himself: the S (O), S, open bracelets: O barred.


What finiteness is at stake? The one which defines in the subject the fact of depending on the effects of the signifier.



Logic of Phantasy 41 Jacques Lacan

August 22, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 41
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉岡

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 11

Seminar 11: Wednesday, February 15, 1967

What the Wiederholungszwang introduces is clearly in contradiction with this primitive law, the one stated in the pleasure principle. And it is as such that Freud presents it to us.


Immediately, we who – I suppose – have read this text, can go to its most extreme point, that Freud formulates as what is called the “death drive” (a translation of Todestrieb). Namely, that he cannot stop extending this Zwang – this constraint of repetition – into a field which not alone envelopes that of living manifestation, but overflows it, by including it in the parenthesis of a return to the inanimate. He solicits us then to make there subsist as living – and we really have to put this term in inverted commas – a tendency that extends its law beyond the duration of the living.


Let us look closely at it, because this is what constitutes the objection and the obstacle before which there rebels – as long, of course, as the thing is not understood – there rebels, first of all, a thinking that is used to giving a certain support to the term tendency. A support, precisely, which is the one that I have just evoked in putting the word “living” in quotation marks. Life, then, in this thinking, is no longer “the totality of forces which resist death”, to quote Bichat. It is the totality of forces in which there is signified that death will be for life its rail (rail).


In truth, this would not take us very far, if it were not a matter of something other than the being of life, but what we can, in a first approach, call its sense. Namely, something that we can read in signs which come from an apparent vital spontaneity – since the subject does not recognize himself in it – but where it is necessary that there should be a subject – since what is in question could not be a simple effect of the … fall-out, (as one might say), of the vital bubble which bursts, leaving the place in the (4) state in which it was previously – but of something which, everywhere we follow it, is formulated not as this simple return, but as a thinking of return, as repetition thinking.


Everything that Freud grasped on its trace in clinical experience, is – where he is going to seek it, where for him the problem is highlighted, namely, in what he calls “the negative therapeutic reaction”, or again what he tackles at this level as an effect (question mark) of primordial masochism, as that which, in a life, insists on remaining in a certain medium, (let us dot our i’s), let us say of sickness of failure – this is what we ought to grasp as repetition thinking.


Repetition thinking is a different domain to that of memory.


Memory no doubt also evokes the trace, but by what do we recognise the memory trace? It has precisely as an effect non-repetition.


(If we seek to determine in experience, the way in which a micro-organism is endowed with memory, we will see it from the fact that it will not react to a stimulus the second time, the way it did the first time. And after all, this will sometimes make us speak about memory, with prudence, with interest, with indecision, at the level of certain inanimate organisations…)


But repetition is something quite different! If we make of repetition in the directive principle of a field, in so far as it is properly subjective, we cannot fail to formulate what unites in material – in the style of a copula – the identical and the different.


This imposes on us again, to this end, the use of this unary trait, whose elective function we have recognised in connection with identification.


I will recall what is essential to it in simple terms, having been able to experience that such a simple function appears astonishing in the context of philosophers – or supposed ones, as I recently happen to have had experience of – and that people found obscure, even opaque, this very simple remark that the unary trait plays the role of symbolic reference point, precisely by ruling out that it should be either similarity or difference, which are posited at the principle of differentiation.


I already, here, sufficiently underlined that the use of the One – which is this One that I distinguish from the unifying-One, because of being the countable-One – is to be able to function, to designate as so much “One” such heteroclite objects as a thought, a veil or another object that is here within our reach – and since I enumerated three, to count that, three. Namely, to hold as null even their most extreme difference of a nature in instauring their differentiation from something else.


Here is what gives us the function of number and everything that is instaured upon the operation of recurrence, whose proof, as you know, is based on this unique (5) module: that everything having been proved to be true … for n … that what … It being proved as true that what is true for n + 1 is so for (, it is enough for us to know what is involved so that n = 1, for the truth of a theorem to be assured. This grounds a being of truth which is entirely slippery. This sort of truth is, as I might say, the shadow of the number, it remains without grasp on any real.


But if we descend, as I might say, into time, which is … what is demanded of you today, in order to take up the identificatory schema of alienation and see how it functions: we will remark that the basic One of the operation of recurrence is not already there, that it is only instaured from repetition itself.


Let us take things up again. We do not have to remark here that repetition could not, dynamically, be deduced from the pleasure principle. We are only doing it to make you sense the relief of what is in question. Namely, that the maintenance of the least tension, as pleasure principle, in no way implies repetition.


On the contrary, the rediscovery of a pleasure situation in its sameness can only be the source of operations that are always more costly, than simply following the angle of the least tension. By following it like an isothermic line, if I can express myself in this way, it will finish up indeed by leading, from pleasure situation to pleasure situation, to the desired maintenance of the least tension. If it implies some buckling or some return, this can only be along the path, as I might say, of an external structure, which is not at all unthinkable, since I evoked earlier the existence of an isothermic line. It is not at all in this way and from outside that the existence of the Zwang is implicated in the Freudian Wiederholung, in repetition.



Logic of Phantasy 40 Jacques Lacan

August 22, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 40
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉岡

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 11

Seminar 11: Wednesday, February 15, 1967

I have to advance and to demonstrate in its movement what the nature of analytic knowledge is; very exactly how this knowledge comes to pass into the real.


We posit that this – the fact that it passes into the real – happens all the more in accordance with the ever growing pretension of the I affirming itself as fons et origo of being. This is what we have posited. But this does not elucidate anything of course about what I have just called the passage of this knowledge into the real.


I am here alluding to nothing other that the formula that I gave of Verwerfung of rejection, which is that everything that is rejected in the symbolic reappears in the real.


This prevalence of the I, at the high point of something which is quite difficult to grasp without giving rise to misunderstandings … (to say “the epoch”, to say even as we have said “the era of science”, always means opening up some bias towards a note that one could pinpoint well enough by the term of “Spenglerism”, for example. The idea of “human phases” is not here, certainly, something that can satisfy us, and lends itself to many misunderstandings) … Let us start simply from the fact that it is true that discourse has its empire and that I believe I have demonstrated to you that psychoanalysis is only thinkable by putting among its predecessors the discourse of science.


It is a matter of knowing where it is placed in the effects of this discourse. Inside? Outside? It is there, as you know, that we are trying to grasp it as a sort of fringe which trembles, something analogous to these most tangible forms in which the organism reveals itself. I am speaking about what is a fringe.


There is nevertheless a step to be taken before recognising in it the trait of the animated, for thinking, as we understand it, is not animated. It is the effect of the signifier, namely, in the last resort, of the trace.


What is called structure, is that. We follow thinking by its trace (a la trace) and by (2) nothing else. Because the trace has always caused thinking.


The relation of this procedure to psychoanalysis can be sensed immediately provided one can imagine it, or indeed has experience of it.


That Freud, inventing psychoanalysis, is the introduction of a method of detecting a trace of thinking, where thinking itself masks it by recognising itself differently in it – differently to the way that the trace designates it – this is what I have promoted. This is something against which no deployment of Freudianism as an ideology will prevail. A naturalist ideology, for example. That this point of view, which is a point of view of the history of philosophy, is put forward in these times, by people who authorise themselves as having the quality of psychoanalyst, shows what is going to give more precision to the response that the question I first posed requires.


Namely, how does it happen that analytic knowledge comes to pass into the real.


The path through which what I am teaching passes into the real is none other, bizarrely, that Verwerfung, than the effective rejection – that we see happening in a certain generation – of the position of the psychoanalyst, in so far as it wants to know nothing about what is nevertheless his one and only knowledge.


What is rejected in the symbolic ought to be focused in the subjective field, somewhere, in order to reappear at a correlative level in the real. Where? Here, no doubt. What does that mean? It is what touches you here, namely, this point which is the one to which witness is borne by what the journalists have already located under the label of “structuralism” and which is nothing other than your interest; the interest that you take is what is said here, an interest which is real.


Naturally, among you, there are psychoanalysts. There is – it is already here – a generation of psychoanalysts in which there will be incarnated the correct position off the subject, in so far as it is required by the analytic act.


When this generation has come to maturity, you will measure the distance travelled – by reading the unthinkable things, printed luckily, so that they will be able to bear witness, for anyone who knows how to read – the prejudices from which it will have been necessary to extract the plan that this realisation of analysis requires.


Among these prejudices and these unthinkable things, there will be … there will also be structuralism, I mean: what is now entitled under this title to a certain value, quoted on the stock market of cogitation.


If those among you who have lived through what characterised the middle of this century, (or let us say its first part), the trials that we have gone through in terms of strange manifestations in civilisation – if you had not been put to sleep, subsequently, (3) by a philosophy which quite simply continued its noisy chatter, I would now be taking less time, to try to mark the necessary traits, for you not to be completely lost, for the phase of this century which is going to follow immediately.


When Freud introduced for the first time – in his Jenseits, Beyond the pleasure principle – the concept of repetition, as a forcing, Zwang – repetition, Wiederholung, this repetition is forced, Wiederholungszwang – when he introduces it in order to give its definitive state to the status of the subject of the unconscious, do we properly measure the import of this conceptual intrusion?


If it is called “beyond the pleasure principle”, it is precisely because it broke with what up to then gave him the module of a psychic function, namely, this homeostasis, which echoes the one that the substance of the organism requires, which reduplicates it and repeats it, and which is the one that, in the nervous system isolated as such, he defines by the law of least tension.