Logic of Phantasy 103 Jacques Lacan

Logic of Phantasy 103
Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Lacan Seminar 14:
The Logic of Fantasy 22

Seminar 22: Wednesday, June 7, 1967

What is common to what are being called lately the “structuralisms”! It is to make the function of the subject depend on signifying articulation.


This means that, after all, this distinctive sign can remain more or less elided, that in a sense it always is.
Naturally, I know that some of you may find that in this regard the analyses of Levi Strauss leave precisely this central point in suspense, leave us, in a word, before this question, in as much as, for some years, this analysis has been centred en myth. Are we to think, after all, that honey was expecting, I mean from all time, was awaiting, in tobacco, the truth of its relations with ashes!


In a certain sense … )a little cough from Lacan) … it is true! And that is why, the putting in suspense of the subject flows from any approach like this. And it is sufficient to make us contribute to something which is nevertheless not a doctrine, which is simply the recognition of an efficacy, which seems indeed to be of the same nature as the one which grounds science.


It nevertheless remains that a notion of class such that it would imply structuralisms, in the plural, that a minimum of characteristics cannot in any way connect into a whole a certain number of researches, in as much as, to take mine, for example: after all, it is not as an office, as a helping system, that it had to encounter, in order to articulate it, this necessity of subjective articulation in the signifier. It is only, in a way, the preface. Nothing can correctly be thought about it without that.


Nevertheless, it is not without good reason that we ought to produce, finally, what in the same field was
articulated too quickly, which is the fundamental relation of the subject thus constituted to the body.
What I am coming to – which accounts for the fact that symbolism always means in the last resort corporal symbolism – had to be set aside for years by me, precisely by reason of the fact that it is thus, from all time, that it is in this way, traditionally, that symbolism was articulated. Namely, in a fashion that lacked the essentials, as (2) happens, from being too precipitate.


The members and the stomach … I have for a long time, always, evoked at the horizon the fable of Menenius Agrippa. It was not too bad! To compare the nobility to the stomach is better than to compare it to the head! And then it puts the head back in its place, among the members! …


This all the same is to go a little too quickly. And if we know that, it is because of the fact that what is at the centre of turn research, we analysts, is something which, no doubt, passes along no other paths than those of structure, the incidences of the signifier in the real, in so far as it introduces the subject into it. But that its centre … and it is a sign that I can only recall it with this force at the moment when, properly speaking, I am installing my discourse in what I can legitimately call a logic, that it is at this moment that I can recall that everything turns, for us, around what is involved in what has to be called the difficulty – not of being, as someone said in his gold age – the difficulty inherent in the sexual act.


I suspect that one of the reasons why psychoanalysts prefer to hold that by putting the Thing, with a capital T, if you wish, that by putting the Thing in the centre, light is thrown on a whole zonal region, I suspect that – apart from something that I will have to signal later – it is, first of all, a logical difficulty.


One could, in this connection, take as an index, that the institution of marriage reveals itself to be all the more, I would not say solid, it is much more than that: resistant, as the right is given in our society, for there to be articulated all the “aspirations”, as the psychologists say, all the aspirations towards the sexual act. if it has been found that a break-through has been made in the clarification of the difficulty of social harmony, it is in effect quite striking that it is not especially where the right was most open to articulate aspirations towards the sexual act.


That marriage shows itself there – I would not say, more resistant, it did not resist – more established (institue) than elsewhere. And that, in the field in which the aspirations are articulated, in a thousand effective forms, in all the fields of art, of cinema, of the word, without counting in that of the great neurotic discontent of civilisation, marriage, of course, remains at the centre, not having budged by an inch in its fundamental status.


It is on this that there depends – and in all the forms in which this institution persists, at least for the moment – it is on this that there depends the inauguration of what we will call a couple, defined as productive. This is not quite to say, simply, that it is a matter of the couple in the sense of the sexual pair. Of course it is required, but it should be noted that we could say that its product, is something other than the child reduced to the biological offspring, to the effect of the function of reproduction.


And this is what we mean by designating as small o what we have to question, at the start, about its entry into the sexual act. This small o – and not simply as a biological offspring – is already its product, and I told you could very crudely, if you absolutely want to situate it in your philosophical boxes, identify to what the residue of this tradition has come to in the final term, after having raited to perfection the isolation of the function of the subject and having had to keep mum about the beyond, it nevertheless remains, that before signaling to us.


“Bye bye, sail away now”, on what succeeds me and into which you have plunged a little, into this world which is stirred up, which is going to be the last to emerge from its contradictions (it is beginning), at that moment also it told you that, all the same, a little residue remained, from the beneficial dialectic to which there was offered in advance total order, absolute knowledge, and which is called the Dasein. This residue of presence, qua linked to subjective constitution, is in fact the only point where we remain in continuity with the philosophical traditions. We receive it from its hand, we who discover it precisely as the sub-product of this something that had remained masked in the dialectic of the subject, namely, that it has something to do with the sexual act.


The subjective residue is already there at the moment when there is posed the question of the mode in which it is going to operate in the sexual act.



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