Archive for September, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 98 Jacques Lacan

September 30, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 98
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 21

Seminar 21: Wednesday, May 31, 1967

This is not the whole story, once we know that the unconscious is the discourse of the Other. From that moment on, it is clear that everything that brings into play the order of sexuality in the unconscious, only penetrates into it around the putting in question of: is the sexual act possible? Is there this knot, definable as an act, in which the subject grounds himself as sexed, that is, as male or female, being in itself, or, if not, proceeding in this act to something which can – even if only at its term – culminate at the pure essence of male or female? I mean, at the disentangling, at the distribution, in a polar form of what is
male and what is female, precisely in the conjunction that unites them in something – whose term I am not
introducing here, at this hour, nor for the first time – in something that I named as jouissance. I mean introduced a long time ago and, specifically, in my seminar on Ethics.


It is in effect required that this term jouissance should be put forward, and properly so, as distinct from pleasure, as constituting its beyond.


What indicates it to us, in psychoanalytic theory, is a series of converging terms, in the first rank of which is libido, which represents a certain articulation of it. And we must point out – at the end of these talks this year – point out how its use can be so slippery as not to sustain, but make slip away, the essential articulations that we are going to try to introduce today.


Jouissance, namely, this something that has a certain relation to the subject, as this confrontation with the hole left in a certain questionable register of act, that of the sexual act. This subject is suspended by a series of modes or states of dissatisfaction. This is what, just by itself, justifies the introduction of the term jouissance, which, moreover, is what, just by itself, justifies the introduction of the term jouissance, which, moreover, is what at every instant, and specifically in the symptom, is proposed to us as being indistinguishable from this register of satisfaction, since at every moment the problem for us is to know how a knot, which is only sustained by discontent and suffering, is precisely that through which there is manifested the agency of suspended satisfaction, the one, properly speaking, to which the subject keeps in so far as he tends towards this satisfaction.


Here the law of the pleasure principle, namely, of least tension, only indicates the necessity of detours from the path by which the subject is sustained along the path of his search – search for jouissance – but does not give us its end, which is this proper end, an end nevertheless entirely masked for him in its final form, in as much as one can also say that its completion, its completion is so questionable, that one can just as well start from this foundation that there is no sexual act, just as much as the fact that it is only the sexual act which motivates this whole articulation.


This is why I wanted to bring in the reference – which everyone knows I have used for a long time – the reference to Hegel, in as much as this process -this process of the dialectic of different levels of the certainty of oneself, of the Phenomenology of the Spirit, as he said – is suspended on a movement which he calls “dialectical” (and which undoubtedly, in his perspective, can be held to be only dialectical) of a relation that he articulates from the presence of this consciousness, in so far as its truth, its truth escapes it as regards what constitutes the operation of the relation of a self-consciousness to another self-consciousness in the relation of intersubjectivity.


Now it is clear, it has been proved for a long time – if only by the revelation of this social gap, in so far as it does not allows us to assimilate to a confrontation of one consciousness to another consciousness, what is presented as a struggle, specifically, (4) of the master and the slave – it is not even for us to criticise what is left open … what is left open by the Hegelian development. This has been done by others and specifically by one other, by Marx, to name him, and keeps the question of its outcome and of its modes in suspense.


The way in which Freud comes and takes things up at a point that is only analogical to the Hegelian position, is inscribed, is already sufficiently inscribed in this term, in this term of jouissance, in so far as Hegel introduced it.


The starting point, he tells us, is in the fight to the death between the master and the slave. After which there is established the fact that the one who had not been willing to risk, risk the stake of death, falls into a state of dependency with respect to the other, which for all that is not without containing the whole future of the dialectic in question.


The term jouissance comes into it. Jouissance, after the end of this fight to the death, of pure prestige, we are told, is going to be the privilege of the master, and for the slave the path then traced out will be that of work.


Let us look at things more closely and at this jouissance that is at stake. Let us see in Hegel’s text … (that, after all, I cannot produce here and still less with the shortening that we are constrained by today) … what the master enjoys?


The matter is very adequately seen in Hegel. The relation established by the articulation of the work of the slave means that if, perhaps, the master enjoys, it is not at all absolutely. At the limit and to force things a little, which is to our cost as you are going to see, we might say that he enjoys only his leisure. Which means, the disposition of his body.


In fact this is very far from being the case. We will indicate it again later, but let us admit that from everything that he has to enjoy as things, he is separated by the one who is charged to put them at his mercy, namely, the slave, of whom one can then say – and I do not have to defend it, I mean this crucial point, since already in Hegel it is sufficiently indicated – that for the slave there is already a certain jouissance of the thing, in so far as he not only brings it to the master, but he has to transform it in order to make it acceptable to him.



Logic of Phantasy 97 Jacques Lacan

September 29, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 97
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 21

Seminar 21: Wednesday, May 31, 1967

For those who find themselves, for example, returning today after having followed my teaching for a while, I have to signal what I have been able, these most recent times, to introduce into it in terms of new articulations.


An important one, which dates from our antepenultimate meeting, is undoubtedly to have designated, expressly, I would say – since, in fact, it was not inaccessible to those who understand me – expressly, the locus of the Other – everything that I articulated as such up to now (I mean since the beginning of my teaching) – designated the locus of the Other in the body. (“Voila”, murmurs a feminine voice.)


The body itself is, from the origin, this locus of the Other, in so far as it is there that, from the origin, there is inscribed the mark qua signifier.


It was necessary for me to recall it today, at the moment that we are going to take the next step, in this logic of the phantasy, which is found – you will see it being confirmed in the measure that we advance – which is found to be able to accommodate itself to a certain logical laxity. Qua logic of phantasy it pre-supposes this dimension described as fantasy, in the sense that, at the beginning, exactness is not required of it.


Moreover, we find that what is most rigorous in the exercise of an articulation that deserves the title of logic includes in itself a growing approximation. I mean a mode of approximation which involves in itself not alone a growth, but a growth that as far as possible is the best, the most rapid there is, towards the calculation of an exact value.


And it is because of this that … in referring to an algorithm of very great generality, which is none other than the one most proper to guarantee the relation of an ideal incommensurable, the most simple there is, the most spaced out also, by circumscribing what it constitutes in terms of the irrational by its very progress.


I mean that the incommensurability of this o … that I only image as being the golden number for the legibility of my text. Because those who know, know that this sort of number constituted by the very progress of its approximation is a whole family of (2) numbers and, as one might say, can start from anywhere whatsoever, from any exercise whatsoever of relation, on the single condition, that the incommensurable requires that the approximation should have no term, while being, nevertheless, perfectly recognisable at each instant as rigorous.


This then is what is at stake: to grasp what we are confronted with in the form of the phantasy as reflection of a necessity. In other words, the problem, which for a Hegel could be contained in this simple limit constituted by the certainty included in self-consciousness… (at this point a loudspeaker starts up in the room: “OK then five … four … three …”) … this certainty about oneself, with which Hegel can allow himself, can allow himself, given certain conditions that I will evoke later which are the conditions of history, to put in question the relation with a truth – this certainty, in Hegel – and this is how he concludes a whole process through which philosophy is the exploration of knowledge. He can allow himself to introduce into it the telos, the end, the goal, of an absolute knowledge. It is in so far as at the level of certainty, he finds himself being able to indicate that it does not contain its truth in itself.


(Another loudspeaker starts up)


This is the way that we find ourselves being able not simply to take up again the Hegelian formula, but to
complicate it. The truth with which we have to deal depends on this act through which the foundation of self consciousness, through which subjective certainty is confronted with something which of it nature is radically foreign to it and which is properly the fact that …


(”Dr. Lacan is interrupted once again. “The minister has insisted …”, says another loudspeaker.


Dr. Lacan – “Can nothing be done to stop this interruption?”


Madame Aubry – “Unplug the microphone!”

Murmuring and interruptions. One of the audience climbs up onto a window to try to unhook the microphone, without success … (That’s dangerous, someone says, anticipating his gesture). A lot of whispering goes on in the room.


“If there is an examination of perspective, there is an entrance examination.” continues another loudspeaker


Dr. Lacan – “Which loudspeaker seems to be speaking, at the moment? Are all of them?”


Dr. Falade heads towards the tape-recorder


Dr. Lacan – “Can anything be done?”


One of the audience: “Switch off the mains”?


Dr. Lacan (pointing at the emergency exit) … “Yes but it is closed!”


Madame Aubry – “It must be in the projection room.


Dr. Lacan, (to the official, who arrives and who is heading towards the emergency exit) … “It’s closed. You weren’t told? But I have just told you”)


The official – “Is it open down there?” (He points at the little room on the left, gets into it and fixes the problem without delay)).”


What it’s a matter of introducing today, then, and all the more rapidly since our time has been shortened, is the following: psychoanalytic experience introduces the fact that the truth of the sexual act gives rise to questions in experience.


Naturally, the importance of this discovery only takes on its relief starting from a positioning of the term sexual act as such. I mean, for ears already sufficiently formed to the notion of the prevalence of the signifier in any subjective constitution, to notice the difference between a vague reference to sexuality that – one can scarcely say as a function – as a dimension proper to a certain form of life, the one specifically most profoundly linked to death. I mean, intermixed, interlaced with death.



Logic of Phantasy 96 Jacques Lacan

September 29, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 96
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 20

Seminar 20: Wednesday, May 24, 1967

That if we had to leave deserted and uncultivated this central field, that of the One, of sexual union – in so far as we find slightly unsettling the idea of a process, whatever it may be, of partition, in so far as we find slightly unsettling the idea of process, whatever it may be, of partition, allowing there to be grounded what are called “the roles”, and that we, for our part, call the sigsifiersnio of man and of woman – that if what I left you on the threshold of the (10) last time, namely, a quite different conjunction, that of the Other, of the big Other, on the register, on the tablets of which there is inscribed this whole adventure,
and I told you that this register and these tablets, were nothing other than the body itself, that this relation of the Other, of the big Other, to the partner which remains to him, namely, what we started from – and it is not for nothing that I called it small o- namely, your substance, substance as subject, in so far as, as subject, you have none, except this object fallen from signifying inscription, except what ensures that this small o is this sort of fragment, belonging to big O, ”en ballade; namely, you yourselves, who are indeed here as subjective presence, but who, once I shall have finished, will clearly show your nature as o-object, from the aspect of a great clearance that will take place immediately in this room! Well then, I will leave in suspense the question of what is involved in the phallic object.


Because it is necessary – and it is not a necessity which is imposed only on me – for me to carefully examine the way in which it is supported as object. All of this, precisely, in order for me to perceive that it is not supported itself. This is what the castration complex means: there is no phallic object!


This is what leaves us our only chance, precisely, for there to be a sexual act.


It is not castration, it is the phallic object which is the effect of the dream, around which the sexual act fails!


To make you sense what I am in the process of articulating, there is no lovelier illustration than the one given us by the sacred book, by this unique book, by the Bible itself. And if you have become deaf to its reading, go to the narthex of what is called the Church of St. Mark, in Venice, in other words the Doge’s Chapel. It is nothing else, but its narthex is worth the trip. Nowhere, in an image, can there be expressed with more relief what is in the text of Genesis. And among others, you will see there, I must say sublimely magnified, what I would call “this infernal idea of God’s” when from Adam-cadmus, from the one who, since he was One, had to become two – he was man under its two aspects, male and female – “It is good”, said God (Lacan punctuates this with a laugh) “that he should have a companion”! Which would still be nothing, if we were not to see that, in order to proceed to this adjunct, all the more strange in that it seems that up to then, the Adam in question, a figure made o red earth, had done very well without it, God takes advantage of his sleep, to take from him a rib, from which he fashions, we are told, the first Eve!


Could there be any more gripping illustration of what introduces, into the dialectic of the sexual act, this fact that man, at the precise moment at which there comes to be marked on him a supplementary divine intervention, is found henceforth to have to deal, as object, with a piece of his own body?


Everything that I have just said, the Mosaic law itself and, moreover, perhaps the (11) accent added to it by underlining that this piece is not the penis, since, in circumcision it is in a way incised in order to be marked by this negative sign. Is this not designed to make there arise before us the perverse gate, I would say, there is in the establishment, on the threshold o what is involved in the sexual act, of this commandment: “They shall be one flesh”.


Which means that in a field interposed between us and what is involved, in what might be, something that can be called the sexual act, in so far as the man and woman valorise themselves in it for one another. First – and we would have to know whether this thickness can be crossed – there would be the autonomous relation of the body to something that is separated from it, after having formed part of it.
Such is the enigma, the sharp threshold where we see the law of the sexual act in its crucial datum. That the castrated man can be conceived of as never having to embrace anything but this complement, with which he can deceive himself – and God knows he does not fail to do so – by taking it as a phallic complement.


I pose today, in ending my discourse, this question: that we still do not know how to designate this complement.


Let us call it, logic.


The fiction that this object is other, undoubtedly requires the castration complex.


It is not astonishing that we are told, that we are told in the mythical asides of the Bible, these asides, curiously, that one finds in the little marginal additions by the rabbis, I am not the one who gets involved in these stories! – whom they call Lilith. That it was she, perhaps, who, in the shape of a serpent and by the hand of Eve has presented to Adam … what? The apple! The oral object, and which, perhaps, is there for no other reason than to awaken him to the true sense of what had happened to him while he was asleep! It is indeed in this way, in effect, that things are taken in the Bible. Since we are told what starting from there, he enters for the first time into the dimension of knowledge.


It is precisely because, this dimension of knowledge, the effect of psychoanalysis is the following: that we have located in it at least in two or three of its major forms and one could say also in two others, even though the link to it is not yet made, what the nature, what the nature and function is of this object completely concentrated in this apple. It is only along this path that we may be able to come to specify better, and, precisely, from a series of contrasting effects, what is involved in this object, the phallic object, of which I said that it would be necessary, in order finally to articulate it, for me to carefully examine it first.



Logic of Phantasy 95 Jacques Lacan

September 28, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 95
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 20

Seminar 20: Wednesday, May 24, 1967

And, from then on, that the smaller the evil is, the more it is reduced, the more perfect is the evasion. This is the mainspring that we put our finger on clinically, in everyday treatments, of everything that can come under the different modes of impotence, especially in so far as these are centred around premature ejaculation.


Therefore, there is no jouissance, in any case one that can be located, except of one’s own body. And what is beyond the limits that the pleasure principle imposes on it, it is not chance but necessity which associates it as such with the evocation of the sexual correlate, by making it appear only in this conjuncture of the sexual act, without our being able to say any more about it.


In other words, for all those who already have their ears open to the usual terms of psychoanalysis, it is on this plane and on this plane alone that Thanatos can be found to be in any way connected to Eros. It is in the measure that the jouissance of the body – I am saying of one’s own body, beyond the pleasure principle – is evoked, and is not evoked elsewhere than in the act, precisely in the act which puts a hole, a void, a gap, in its centre, around what is localised in hedonistic detumescence, it is from that moment on that there is posed a possibility of the conjunction of Eros and Thanatos. It is starting from there that the fact is conceivable, and is not a crude mythical lucubration, that into the economy of the instincts, psychoanalysis introduced what, not by chance, it designates under these two proper names.


Well then, all of that, as you see, it still only turning around it! God knows, nevertheless, that I am making an effort so that it will not be like that! We have to believe then that if we are still going around it, it is because it is not easy to enter into it!


We can, at least, retain, gather, these truths: that the sexual encounter of bodies does not pass, in its essence, by way of the pleasure principle.


Nevertheless, that to orient oneself in the jouissance that it involves (I am saying, that it involves, supposedly, because to orient oneself in it does not yet mean entering it, but it is very necessary to orient oneself with respect to it) … to orient oneself with respect to it, it has no other reference point than this sort of negating brought to bear on the jouissance of the organ of copulation, in so far as it is the one that defines the presumed male, namely the penis. And that it is from there that the idea arises, (these words are chosen), that the idea arises of a jouissance of the feminine object. I said, that the idea arises, and not the jouissance, of course! It is an idea. It is subjective.


Only what is curious and what psychoanalysis affirms – only for want of expressing it in a logically correct fashion, naturally, no one notices what it means, what it involves! – is that feminine jouissance itself can only pass by way of the same (9) reference point! And that this is what is called, in the case of the woman, the castration complex!


It is indeed because of that that the woman-subject is noted to articulate, and that at a certain level I propose to you the Homme-elle. That does not mean that every woman limits herself to that , precisely.


There is something of the woman somewhere … “odor di femina” … But she is not always easy to find! I mean, to put in her place!


Since, to organise a place there, a reference is necessary whose organic accidents mean that it is only found in what is called, anatomically, the male. It is only starting from this suspense posed on the male organ, that an orientation for the two, the man and the woman, is encountered, that the function, in other words, takes on the value of being, with respect to this hole, this gap of the castration complex, in a reversed (renversee) position.


A reversal is a sense. Before the reversal, it may happen that there is no subjectifiable sense! And after all, it is perhaps to this that there must be referred the altogether striking fact that I told you earlier, namely, that women psychoanalysts have taught us nothing more than men analysts had been capable of lucubrating about their jouissance. Namely, very little!


Starting from a reversal, there is an orientation, and however little it may be, if it is all that can orientate the jouissance involved, in the woman, in the sexual act, well then, you understand that until further notice we have to be content with it.


In short, this leaves us at a point that has its characteristic. We will say that as regards the sexual act, what can be currently formulated about it, is the dimension of what is called, in other registers, good intentions. A good intention, concerning the sexual act, here, at last in what can, at the point that we are in it, be formulated, this is what, reasonably, according to the psychoanalysts, here is what reasonably we can and we should be content with.


All of this is very well expressed in the myth, the fundamental myth. When the Father, the original Father is said to “enjoy all the women”, does that man that the women have any enjoyment, however little it may be? The subject remains intact. And it is not only with a humorous intention that I am evoking it at this point. The fact is, as you are going to see, this is a key question! I mean that everything that I am going to have to articulate, I am saying in our next meeting, concerning what I am going to take up again, namely, what I left open the last time.



Logic of Phantasy 94 Jacques Lacan

September 28, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 94
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 20

Seminar 20: Wednesday, May 24, 1967

(6) In short, the interest of introducing the word act is to open up the question, which after all is worth opening up – because I am certainly not the one who makes it circulate among you – of whether, in the sexual act (in as much as for any of you it has ever happened: a sexual act), whether it is related to the advent of a signifier representing the subject as text for another signifier, or whether it has the value of what I called in another register, the encounter, namely, the unique encounter! The one which, once it has happened, is definitive.


Naturally, people talk about all of that. People talk about it and – this is what is serious – people talk about it frivolously.


In any case, to mark that there are two distinct registers, namely, whether in the sexual act, man arrives at Man, in his status as man, and the woman in the same way, is a completely different question to whether one has, yes or no, encountered one’s definitive partner. Since this is what is at stake when people evoke the encounter.


Curious! It is curious that the more the poets evoke it, the less efficacious it is in the conscience of each one as a question, That it is the person, in any case, may make anyone who has had a little glimpse of feminine jouissance smile a little!


There is here, undoubtedly, a first point that is very interesting to put right in the forefront, as an introduction to any question that may be posed about what is involved in what is called feminine sexuality. When what is at stake is precisely her jouissance.


There is one thing very certain and which is worthwhile remarking. It is that psychoanalysis, without a question like the one that I have just produced, renders all the subjects installed in its experience – specifically the psychoanalysts – incapable of confronting it in the slightest way.


The males – the proof has been given superabundantly – this question of feminine sexuality has never taken a serious step, when it comes from a subject apparently defined as male by his anatomical constitution. But the most curious thing is that women psychoanalysts, then, for their part, in approaching this theme, manifestly show all the signs of a feebleness that suggests just one fact. That they are absolutely terrified by what they might have to formulate about it!


So that the question of feminine jouissance does not seem to be really going to be studied in the near future, since this is, good God, the only locus in which one could say something serious about it. At the very least, to evoke it in this way, to suggest to everyone, and especially the feminine part of those who are gathered here as listeners, the fact that one can express oneself in this way about feminine jouissance, is enough for us to place it, to inaugurate a dimension, which, even if we do no enter it, for want to being able to do so, is absolutely essential to situate everything that we have to say along another route.


(7) The object, then, is not at all given in itself by the reality of the partner! I mean the object involved in the normed dimension, described as genital, of the sexual act. It is much closer – in any case it is the first approach that is given to us – to the function of detumescence.


To say that there is a castration complex, is precisely to say that detumescence in no way suffices to constitute it.


This is what we have, rather dully, taken care to affirm at first. Now, of course, this fact of experience that it is not the same thing to copulate or to masturbate.


It nevertheless remains, that this dimension which ensures that the question of the value of jouissance is
attached, takes its point of support, its pivotal point, where detumescence is possible, ought not to be neglected!


Because the function of detumescence, whatever we may have to think about it on the physiological plane, (royally neglected by psychoanalysts, who on this point have not brought the slightest little clinical light that is new, which is not already in all the manuals , about the physiology of sex, I mean, which could not be found everywhere before psychoanalysis was born) but what matter! This only re-enforces what it is a matter of knowing: that detumescence is only there for its subjective utilisation, in other words, to recall the limit described as the pleasure principle.


Detumescence, by being the characteristic of the functioning of the penile organ, specifically, in the genital act -and precisely in the measure in which what it supports in terms of jouissance is kept in suspense – is there to introduce, legitimately or not (when I say legitimately, I mean, as something real, or as a supposed dimension), to introduce the fact that there is jouissance beyond. That the pleasure principle, here, functions as a limit at the edge of a dimension of jouissance in so far as it is suggested by the union described as the sexual act,


Everything that experience shows us, what is called premature ejaculation and what it would be better to call, in our register, premature detumescence, gives rise to the idea that the function, that of detumescence, can represent in itself the negative of a certain jouissance.


Of a jouissance which is precisely the following, and the clinic only shows us too much of it, of a jouissance which is …what the subject sets his face against. Indeed the subject makes off, in so far, precisely, as this jouissance is, as such, too consistent with this dimension of castration, perceived in the sexual act, as a threat.


All this precipitation of the subject with respect to this beyond allows us to conceive that it is not without foundation that, in these stumblings, these lapses of the sexual act, there is demonstrated precisely what is at stake in the castration complex. Namely, that detumescence is cancelled out as a good in itself, that it is reduced to the function of protection, rather, against a dreaded evil, whether you call it jouissance or (8) castration, as itself a lesser evil.



Logic of Phantasy 93 Jacques Lacan

September 28, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 93
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 20

Seminar 20: Wednesday, May 24, 1967

In any case, normed has a very precise sense in the breakthrough from affine geometry to metric geometry. In short, one enters into a certain order of measure, which is the one that I am trying to evoke with my golden number, which here, I repeat, is of course only metaphorical. Reduce it to the term of the most spaced out incommensurable there is with respect to the One.


The castration complex, then, – I am saying it, good God, I hope I only have to say it here for the ears of novices – can in no way content itself with the support of the little story of the kind: Daddy said “It’s going to be cut off … if you claim to succeed your father”. First of all, because most of the time, (as naturally everyone has been able to see for a long time, as regards this little story, this little remark), it is Mammy who says it. She says it at the precise moment when John, or Johnny, in fact, succeeds his father, but in the moderate measure that he fiddles with himself quietly in a little corner, as quietly as simpleton (Baptiste) … that he fiddles with his little gadget … obviously, the way Daddy had already done when he was his age!


This has nothing to do with the castration complex. It is an amusing little story which (4) is not made anymore likely by the fact that guilt about masturbation is encountered at every turn in the genesis of the troubles that we have to deal with.


It is not enough to say that masturbation is not physiologically harmful and that it is through its place in a certain subjective economy, we will say precisely, that it takes on its importance. We will even say, as I recalled one of these last times, that it can take on a quite clear hedonistic value, since it can, as I recalled, be pushed as far as asceticism. And that one or other philosophy can make of it, on condition of course of adopting behaviour completely coherent with its practice, can make of it a foundation for one’s wellbeing. Remember Diogenes to whom it was not alone familiar, but who promoted it as an example of the way one should treat what remains, in this perspective, of the tiny surplus of organic tickling: titillatio. It must be said that this perspective is more or less immanent in every philosophical position and even encroaches on a certain number of positions that can be described as religious, if we consider the retreat of the hermit as something that, of itself, involves it.


It only begins to take on its interest – thus on this occasion its guilty value – where one is trying to reach the sexual act. Then the following appears. The jouissance, sought for in itself, of a part of the body, and which plays a role – I am saying “which plays a role” because one must never say that an organ is made for a function. One has organs … (I am telling you that … if you generalise a little, if you make yourself from time to time into a mussel of some other little beast and if you try to reflect what would it be like if you were in what one can scarcely call their skin, then you would understand quickly enough that it is not the function that makes the organ, but the organ that makes the function.


But, in any case, it is a position that goes too much against the obscurantism described as transformist in which we bathe, for me to insist on it. If you do not want to believe me, go back into the main stream.) … It is therefore completely out of place to allege, in accordance with the moralising tradition … anyway, according to the way this is explained in the Divine Comedy … that masturbation is culpable and even a grave sin, because it not only deflects a means from its end … (the end being the production of little Christians, indeed – I come back to it, even though people were scandalised the last time that I said it – indeed, little proletarians) … well then, the fact that it raises a means to the rank of an end has absolutely nothing to do with the question as it should be posed, because it is that of the norm of an act, taken in the full sense that I recalled about this word act, and that this has nothing to do with the reproductive shoots that it can take on, with the end of perpetuating the animal.


On the contrary, we ought to situate it with respect to the following. The passage of the subject to the function of signifier, in this precise locus – completely outside the ordinary field in which we are at ease with the word act – which is called this problematic point that is the sexual act.


(5) That the passage from jouissance, where it can be grasped, should be … – by such an interdiction (to keep to the word that is used), by a certain negativing (in order to be more precise fashion) – that this passage, in any case, has the most manifest relation with the introduction of this jouissance to a value function, is what, in any case, can be said without being imprudent.


That experience – an experience, even, in which, as one might say, a certain listener’s empathy is not foreign – announces to us the correlation between this passage of a jouissance to the function of value, namely, its profound adulteration: the correlation between this and … (I have no reason to refuse myself what the literature gives here, since as I have just told you, the only way in here is an empathic one; this should be purified in a second moment, but after all we do not refuse ourselves this way in either, when we are on a difficult terrain) … should then, this castration, should have the closest relation with the appearance of what is called the object in the structure of orgasm, in so far – I am repeating it to you: we are still talking about empathy – as it is mapped out as distinguish from a jouissance that is – ah! what are we going to call it!, autoerotic! this is a concession … masturbatory, and that is all, given what is at stake, namely, an organ, and a quite specific one.

那个经验 (我们不妨说,某些听众的同理心,对於这样的经验並不陌生),对我们宣称,欢爽变成价值功用的过程,换句话说,它深深地受到掺杂,它个跟阉割之间有相互的关系。(我没有理由排斥同理心这个文学用词,如我刚刚所说的,仅有的方法就是透过同理心,这个同理心转用到精神分析用词时,可能会略失原义。但是我们並不排斥它的用法,当我们处於不好解释的平台。)阉割跟所谓器官高潮的结构的客体的外表,有最密切的关系。我再跟你们重复一遍,我们谈论到同理心,因为它被描绘,有别於「欢爽」的什麽。啊!我们要怎麽称呼它!自体性欲望!「手淫」是一种特许的专利,就是这样,假如我们考虑到,岌岌可危的地方是一个器官,一个相当明确的器官。

Since, like autoerotism … God knows what has already been made of it and therefore what is going to be made of it! And as you know this is precisely what is in question here, namely, that this autoerotism which has here, in effect, which can have, an altogether specific sense, that of a local and manageable jouissance, like everything that is local! is soon going to be made into the oceanic bath in which we are going to have to map out all of this!


As I told you: whoever, whoever grounds anything whatsoever on the idea of a primary narcissism and starts from there to generate what is supposed to be investment in the object, is quite free to continue (since it is with this that psychoanalysis functions throughout the world as a guilty industry) but can, moreover, be sure that everything that I am articulating here is designed to repudiate him absolutely.


Good! I said that, I admitted. I spoke about an object present in orgasm. There is something easier, from that, than to slip – and of course people do net fail to do so – towards simpering about the dimension of the person!


When we copulate, those of us who have arrived at genital maturity, we have a reverence for the person.


This is how it was expressed, twenty-five or thirty years ago, especially in the circle of French psychoanalysts, who have after all their interest in the history of psychoanalysis. Yes … Well then, there is nothing less sure. For precisely to pose the question about the object involved in the sexual act, is to introduce the question of whether this object is Man, or indeed a man, Woman or indeed a woman.



Logic of Phantasy 92 Jacques Lacan

September 25, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 92
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 20

Seminar 20: Wednesday, May 24, 1967

I am going to try to make you enter today into this arcanum, which, even though it is trivial in psychoanalysis, is nonetheless an arcanum. Namely, the following that you will meet at every turn: that if the analysed subject, if the analysable subject, adopts what is called a regressive, or again, pre- (pre-oedipal, pre-genital, anyway presomething or other …) position, which could be very desirable, and one might moreover be astonished, on this occasion, that it is not designated as post-, since it is in order to evade the operation, the impact of castration, that the subject is supposed to have taken refuge there …


If I am trying, this year, to sketch out before you a structure that presents itself as logical – a chancy, very
precarious logic, perhaps, in which also I am sparing you, not giving too quickly, the forms that I have come to trust in my own scribblings, but am trying to show you what is accessible in an articulation of such a kind, in this easy form that, after all, I chose among others, which consists very simply in taking what is most incommensurable to the One, specifically, the golden number – and this with the aim simply of making tangible for you how along such a path, in which, I repeat to you.


I do not claim at all either to have given you the definitive steps, nor even to have taken them myself, but how much more preferable is such a path, which is guaranteed by some truth concerning the dependency of the subject, rather than giving oneself over to these painful exercises of the usual analytic prose which distinguish themselves by these sort of prevarications, of senseless detours, which seem to be always necessary to account for the operation of libidinal positions: the bringing into play of a whole population of subjective entities, that you know well and which can be found everywhere, the ego, the ego ideal, the super ego, the id even, without counting the new and refined things that can be added to them by distinguishing the ideal ego from the ego ideal.

我也根本没有宣称曾经给你描述明确的步骤,我自己也甚至没有去从事这些步骤。但是这条途径是多麽让人爱不释手!因为生命主体依赖的真理,保证是经由这条途径通往。所以我们不要沉迷不拔於通常的精神分析技俩,这些令人痛苦不堪的摆弄。这些技俩的摆弄用一些没有意义的拐弯抹角,左右逢源般地炫耀展现,可是有关生命力比多立场,到底如何运作,却始语焉不详。生命主体的整个实体立场如何运作,你们知道的很清楚,到处都可以找得到:自我、自我的理想、超我、甚至本我 ,更不用说,后来填加的那些新颖而精鍊的词语,为了区别理想的自我与自我的理想。

Does not all of this carry in itself, indeed – as has been done in Anglo Saxon literature for some time – to add in the self, which, by manifestly being added to remedy this ridiculous multitude, nonetheless fails because it only (2) represents, in the way in which it is handled, a supplementary entity. Entities, beings of reason, always inadequate from the moment that we bring into play in a correct way the function of the subject as nothing other than what is represented by a signifier for another signifier.


In no case is a subject an autonomous entity. Only the proper name can give the illusion of it. The I, it is too much to say that it is suspect – since I have been speaking to you about it, it ought even no longer to be so! – It is only very precisely this subject that – as signifier – I represent for the signifier walk, for example, or for the couple of signifiers: la boucle: “I shut up” (je la boucle)!


You can sense that if I took this formula, it is to avoid the pronominal form “I keep myself quiet” (Je me tais) which undoubtedly would begin to take us very far if we were to pose ourselves the question of what the me means in such a form as in many others. And you would see the degree to which its so-called reflexive acceptation is displayed across a range which does not allow it to be given any degree of consistency. But I will not extend myself, of course, in this direction, which is here only a reminder.


There is therefore a function, a subjective function, called castration as regards which one ought to recall how striking it is that it is presented to us (and this had never been said previously, I mean before psychoanalysis) … that it is presented to us as essential to gain admission to what is called the genital. If this expression were appropriate to the highest degree – I mean that it is not so – one might marvel at this something which, in that case, might be expressed as follows.


That – let us say, in any case, how it might be presented if one tackled it from outside and after all we are, all of us, still there! – that the passage to the phantasy of the organ is, in a certain function – an undoubtedly privileged one, henceforth, the genital precisely -necessary for the function to be accomplished I do not see any way of getting out of the blind alley, here, except by saying – and a psychoanalyst of importance, one notable in the political topography, used this means. I mean at the turning point of a sentence, without even properly noticing the import of what he is saying, he affirms to us that, after all, castration … well it is a dream! This, used in the sense that it is one of the stories told by sick people.


Now it is nothing of the kind! Castration is a subjective structure – as I recalled just now – altogether essential precisely for something of the subject, however slim, to enter into this affair that psychoanalysis calls : “the genital.”


I have to say that I think I have made a little opening in this blind alley, changed – as they say – something in it, in as much as, good God, not too long ago – four or five of our meetings ago – I introduced the remark that it could not simply be a matter of introducing the subject into this function of the genital! … (If in fact we know that (3) we mean when we call it that). namely, about the passage from the function to the act, And the putting into question of whether this act may merit the title of sexual act. There is none? … There is? .. Chi lo sa? There is, perhaps …


We will know perhaps one day whether there is a sexual act – whether, I am going to give a commentary, sex (mine, yours) reposes on the function of a signifier capable of operating in this act.


In any case, one cannot in any way evade the fact, which is not alone affirmed by the doctrine, but that we encounter at every turn of our experience, that the only one who is capable of operating in the sense of the sexual act -I am speaking about something which resembles it and is not … (this is what I am going to try to refer myself to today, to introduce register of, properly speaking), namely, … perversion – the only one capable of operating in a fashion that is not fully (fautive) is, let us say, the subject who is castrated and – let us repeat ourselves like dictionaries, (a sense to add to the word “castrated”) – in order (en regle). (expressing ourselves in this way does not take us far), in order with this complex called the castration complex.


Which of course does not mean that one has a complex, but quite the contrary, as any literature worthy of this name (psychoanalytic, I mean), which is not the chatter of people who do not know what they are saying (which happens to even the highest authorities), which means well and truly, in any sound analytic literature, that one is, I would say, normed (norme with respect to the sexual act. This does not mean that one gets to it. It means, at the very least, that one is on the right path!



Logic of Phantasy 91 Jacques Lacan

September 24, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 91
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 19

Seminar 19: Wednesday, May 10, 1967

Moreover, it is not at all explanatory. Because it is not sufficient that terror should exist for it to explain anything whatsoever. It is rather it that should be explained. That is why it is better to direct oneself along the path of what I call a consistent, logical system for, in effect, it is necessary that we should now come to the following: why is there this Other (with a capital O)?


What is the position of this strange double that – you should note – the single takes on? Because the Other (with a capital O), for its part, is not two.


This position, then, of double that the single takes on, when it is a matter of explaining this curious One which, for its part, is tied together in the beast with two backs, in other words in the embrace of two bodies. Because this is what is at stake. It is not this funny One; that the Other, for its part, is still funnier. There is no link between them – I mean: this field of the One, this field of the Other. Quite the contrary. This is even the reason why the Other is also the unconscious. Namely, the symptom without its sense, deprived of its truth, but on the contrary always more responsible for what it contains in terms of knowledge. What cuts them off from one another, is very precisely what constitutes the subject.


There is no subject of the truth, unless it is of the act in general, of the act which, (17) perhaps, cannot exist qua sexual act. This is very specifically Cartesian; the subject knows nothing about itself, except that it doubts. Doubt … doubt, is the jealous man says when he has just seen through the keyhole hindquarters about to affront legs that he knows well. He asks himself whether it is not God and his soul!


The foundation of Descartes’ subject, its incompatibility with extension, is not a sufficient reason for identifying the body with extension. But its exis…its exclusion as subject is,on the contrary, grounded in that. And by taking it from the angle that I am presenting to you, the question of its intimate union with the body – I am speaking about the subject, not the soul – is no longer one.


It is enough to reflect on the fact that there is (attention, huh, those who are not used to it!) as regards the
signifier, namely, for the structure, no other support – of a surface, for example – than the hole that it constitutes by its edge. This is all that defines it. Raise this by a degree, take things at the level of volume.


There is no other support for the body than the sharp edge that presides over its cutting up.


These are topological truths as regards which I will not decide here whether they have or not a relation with the sexual act, but every possible development of what is called an algebra of edges, requires the following – which gives us the image of what is involved in the subject, at this joint between what we have defined as the One and the Other – the subject is always a structural degree below what constitutes its body.


This also explains why in no way, can its passivity, namely, this fact through which it depends on a mark of the body, cannot in any way be compensated for by any activity, even its affirmation in act.


So then, of what is this Other the Other?


I am very distressed. The time, a certain inordinate, perhaps also a certain paradoxical use of the cut – but in this case you can take it as intentional – means that I will leave you here, today, at the end of the hour.


The Other is only the Other of what is the first moments of my three lines: namely, this small o. This is where I started from during our last talks, in order to tell you that its nature is that of the incommensurable, or rather, that it is from its incommensurability that there arises every question about measure.


It is on this small o, object or not, that we will take up our conversation the next time.



Lacan Seminar 14: The Logic of Fantasy 19

September 24, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 90
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 19

Seminar 19: Wednesday, May 10, 1967

At the origin, one does not know where it comes from. It is nothing, as I told you the last time, but this stroke which is also a cut, starting from which the truth can be born.


The Other is the reservoir of material for the act.


Material accumulates, very probably, because of the fact that the act is impossible.


When I say that, I am not saying that it does not exist. It is not enough to say it. Since the impossible is the real, quite simply. The pure real. The definition of the possible always requiring a first symbolisation.


If you exclude this symbolisation, this formula will appear much more natural to you: the impossible is the real.


(15) It is a fact that the possibility of the sexual act has not been proved in any formal system. As you see, I am insisting, huh? am coming back to it!


What proves that one cannot prove it? Now that we know very well that non-computability, non-decidability do not in any way imply irrationality, that people define, that people circumscribe perfectly well, that whole volumes are written on this domain of the status of the non-decidability and that one can perfectly well define it logically.


At this point, then, what is it? What is this Other, the big one, there, with a capital O? What is its substance? Huh?


I allowed myself to say – for in truth, even though in truth, you must believe that I allow myself to say it less and less, because one no longer hears, anyway, I no longer hear it no longer comes to my ears – I allowed myself to say, for a time, that I camouflaged under this locus of the Other, what is called agreeably and, after all, why not, the spirit. The trouble is that it is false.


The Other, when all is said and done, and if you have not already guessed it, the Other here, as it is written, is the body!


Why would one call something like a volume or an object, in so far as it is subject to the laws of movement, in general, like that, a body? Why should one speak about falling bodies? What a curious extension of the word “body”! What relation is there between a little ball which falls from the tower of Pisa and the body which is ours, if not that it is starting from the fact that it is first of all the body, our presence as animal body which is the first locus in which to put inscriptions, the first signifier, as everything is there to suggest to us in our experience; except, of course, that things always impassion us. When one speaks about a wound, one adds narcissistic and one thinks right away that this ought to annoy the subject, who naturally is an idiot! Nobody imagines that what is interesting in a pound, is the scar.


The reading of the Bible could be there to remind us, with roses put at the bottom of the rushes where Jacob’s flocks are going to graze, that different devices to impose a mark on the body do not date from yesterday and are quite radical. That if one does not start from the idea that the hysterical symptom, under its simplest form, that of a “ragade” does not have to be considered as a mystery, but as the very principle of any signifying possibility. You do not have to rack your brains. The fact that the body is made to inscribe something that is called the work would avoid a lot of worries for everyone and the resifting of a lot of stupidities. The body is made to be marked. It has always been done. And the first beginnings of the gesture of love, is always to outline more or less this gesture a little bit.


There you are. This having been said, what is the first effect, that most radical effect of (16) this irruption of the One (in so far as it represents the sexual act), at the level of the body.


Well then, this is what gives us our advantage over a certain number of dialogued speculations about the relation of the One and the many. We, for our part know that it is not as dialectical as all that. When this One irrupts into the field of the Other, namely, at the level of the body, the body breaks into fragments.


The fragmented body; this is what our experience shows us to exist at subjective origins. The child dreams of dismemberment! He breaks the beautiful unity of the empire of the maternal body. And what he experiences as a threat, is to be torn apart by her.


It is not enough to discover these things and to explain them by a little mechanics, a little ball game: aggression is reflected, reflects back, comes back, starts again! What began it? Before this, it could well be useful to put in suspense the function of this fragmented body. Namely, the only angle from which it has interested us in fact, namely, its relation to what may be involved in truth, in so far as it is itself suspended on aletheia and on Verborginheit, on the hidden character of the sexual act.


Starting from there, of course, the notion of Eros, in the form that I recently railed against as being the force which is supposed to unite by an irresistible attraction all the cells and the organs that our sack of skin gathers together: a conception that is at least mystical, because they do not put up the least resistance to being extracted from it and the rest do not carry on too badly! It is obviously a compensatory fantasy of the terrors linked to this Orphic phantasy that I have just described for you.



Logic of Phantasy 89 Jacques Lacan

September 23, 2010

Logic of Phantasy 89
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 19

Seminar 19: Wednesday, May 10, 1967

I am coming back to it. What Freud lagged the “river of mud”, concerning the largest field of knowledge, this whole part of absolutely inundating knowledge from which we are scarcely emerging, to pinpoint it by the term of mystical knowledge. At the basis of everything that has manifested itself to the world, in this order, there is only the sexual act. The other side of my formula: there is no sexual act.


It is altogether superfluous to pretend to be referring to the Freudian position in any way whatsoever, if one does not take literally the following. At the basis of everything that (13) has been contributed, up to the present, my God, in terms of satisfaction, knowledge … (I am saying, knowledge. I pinpointed it as mystical in order to distinguish it from that has been born in our day in the form of science)…of everything that belongs to knowledge, there is nothing, at its source, except the sexual act.


To read, in Freud, that there are, in the psyche, desexualised functions, means – in Freud – that one must seek sex at their origin. This does not mean that there is what is called in one or other place, for political needs, this famous “non-conflictual sphere”, for example, an ego that is more or less strong, more less autonomous, that can have a more or less aseptic apprehension of reality.


To say that there are relations to the truth – I am saying: the truth – that do not involve the sexual act, is properly speaking not true, there are none such.


I apologise for these formulae, whose cutting edge, I suggest, may perhaps be felt in too lively a manner.


But I made this observation to myself. First of all, that all of this is implied in everything that I have ever stated, in so far as I know what I am saying. But also this remark: that the fact that I know what I am saying is not enough! That is not enough for you to recognise it there. Because, basically, the only sanction of the fact that I know what I am saying, is what I do not say! This is not a fate proper to me. It is the fate of all of those who know what they are saying.


This is what makes communication very difficult. Either one knows what one is saying, or one says it.


But, in many cases, we must consider that it is pointless, because no one notices that the core of what you have to get across is precisely what you never say! This is what the others say and what continues to make noise and, still more, involves certain effects. This is what forces us, from time to time, and even more often that our turn, to do a good sweeping out. Once one is engaged on this path one has no reason to finish. There was, formerly, someone called Hercules who, it appears, finished his work in the stables of someone call Augias. It is the only case that I know of stables being cleaned up, at least when it is a certain domain that is at stake!


There is only a single domain, it seems – and I am not sure about it – which has no relation with the sexual act in so far as it concerns the truth: it is mathematics, at its point of confluence with logic. But I believe that this is what allowed Russell to say that one never knows whether what one is putting forward is true. I am not saying, truly true! Quite simply, true.


In fact, it is true, starting from a definitional position of the truth. If such and such of some axioms are true, then a system develops, which one can judge to be consistent or not.


What is the relation of this with what I have just said, namely, with the truth, in so far as it requires the presence, the putting into question as truth of the sexual act?


(14) Well then, even after having said that, I am not sure, all the same, that this marvellous, this sublime modern deployment of mathematical logic, or of logical mathematics, is altogether without a relation with the hesitation about whether there is or not a sexual act.


It is enough for me to hear the groans of someone like Cantor. Because it is in the form of a groan that at given moment of his life he states that people do not know that the great difficulty, the great risk of mathematics, is that it is a place of freedom. We know that Cantor paid very dearly for this freedom!


So that, the formula that the true concerns the real, in so far as we are engaged in it by the sexual act, by this sexual act about which I am advancing, first of all, that one is not too sure that it exists – even though it is the only thing that interests truth -( appears to me the most correct formula, at the point that we are getting to in it.


The symptom, then, any symptom, is knotted together at this locus of the holed One. And this is why it always involves, however astonishing this may appear to us, its aspect of satisfaction. I am saying, for the symptom.


Sexual truth is exigent and it is better to satisfy it a little bit more than not enough.


From the point of view of satisfaction, we can conceive that a symptom, in this respect, may be more satisfying than reading a detective story.


There is a greater relation between a symptom and the sexual act, than between the truth and the fundamental “I am not thinning”, with which I reminded you at the beginning of these reflections, man alienates his “I am not”, which is not easy to tolerate. Compared to which, our earlier alibi of “to be rejected”, even though it is not all that agreeable in itself, may appear more tolerable.


So then? We are finished for the moment with the One. I had to indicate this. Let us go to the Other, as the locus where the signifier takes place. Because I did not tell you up till now that the signifier was there, since the signifier only exists as a repetition. Because it is what brings about the thing that is at stake as true.