Lacan Seminar 14: The Logic of Fantasy 19

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.



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