sinthome 07 Jacques Lacan

sinthome 07

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

Le Sinthome
II. Seminar 2: Wednesday 9 December 1975

If we start, in effect, from analysis, we affirm, it is something different to observing, one of the things that most struck me when I was in America, was my encounter which was certainly not by chance, which was altogether intentional on my part, it was my encounter with Chomsky. I was properly speaking, I will say stupefied by it. I told him so. The idea that I realised he held, is in short one that I cannot say can in a way be refuted. It is even (29) the most common idea, and it is indeed what before my very ears he simply affirmed, which made me sense the whole distance that I was from him. This idea, which is the idea, that in effect is common, is this, which appears precarious to me. The consideration, in short, of something that presents itself as a body, a body provided with organs, which implies, in this conception, that the organ is a tool, a tool for gripping, a tool for apprehending.


And that there is no objection in principle to the tool apprehending itself as such, that, for example, language is considered by him as determined by a genetic fact, he expressed it in these very terms before me; in other words, language itself is an organ.


It seems quite striking to me, this is what I expressed by the term stupefied, it seems quite striking to me that from this language, a return can be made back on itself like an organ.


If language is not considered from the angle, that it is, that it is linked to something which, in the Real, makes a hole, it is not simply difficult, it is impossible to consider how it can be handled.


The observation method cannot start from language without admitting this truth of principle that in what one can situate as Real, language only appears as making a hole.


It is from this notion, function of the hole that language puts into operation its hold on the Real. It is of course not easy for me to make you feel the whole weight of this conviction. It appears inevitable to me from the fact that truth as such is only possible by voiding this Real.


Language moreover eats this Real. I mean that it only allows this Real to be tackled, this genetic Real, to speak like Chomsky, in terms of sign. Or, in other words, of message which starts from the molecular gene by reducing it to what brought fame to Crick and Watson. Namely, this double helix from which there are supposed to start these different levels that organise the body throughout a certain number of stages. First of all the division of development, of cellular specialisation, then subsequently this specialisation of starting from hormones which are so many elements on which
there are conveyed, as many sorts of messages, for the direction of organic information.


This whole subtilising of what is involved in the Real by so many of these aforesaid messages, but in which there is only marked the veil drawn over what is the efficacity of language. Namely, the fact that language is not in itself a message, but that it is only sustained (30) from the function of what I called the hole in the Real.


For this there is the path of our new mos geometricus, namely, of the substance that results from the efficacity, from the proper efficacity of language, and which is supported by this function of the hole. To express it in terms of this famous Borromean knot in which I put my trust, let us say that it is entirely based on the
equivalence of an infinite straight line and a circle.


The schema of the Borromean knot is the following (Fig II-5).


I mean, to mark this just as much as my ordinary drawing, the one that is articulated thus (Fig II-6), this in so far as the ordinary drawing is properly speaking a Borromean knot. By this fact, by this fact, it is equally true that this is one (Fig II-7).

我的意思是,為了標示這一點,如同我平常的圖形,這個被表達的圖形 II-6。適當地說,這個平常的圖形就是波羅米因結。根據這個事實,這個圖形II-7,也是波羅米因結。

I mean that in substituting the couple of a supposedly infinite straight line and a circle, you get the same Borromean knot. There is something that corresponds to this figure three, which is the dawn, as I might say, of a requirement, which is properly speaking
the requirement proper to the knot. It is linked to this fact that in (31) order to account correctly for the Borromean knot, it is starting from three that a requirement especially originates.


It is possible, by an extremely simple manipulation, to make these three infinite lines parallel (Fig II-8). It will be enough, for that, to make more supple, I will say, what is involved in the already folded false circle, the circle in red, on this occasion. It is starting from three that we must define what is involved in the infinity point of the line as not lending itself, not lending itself in any case to making a mistake in what we call their concentricity (Fig II-9).


I mean that these three points at infinity, let us put them here, for example, must be, in whatever form we may suppose them, and we can moreover invert these positions, I mean ensure that, that this first line at infinity, as one might say, is enveloping with respect to the others instead of being enveloped. It is a characteristic of this point at infinity, not to be able to be situated, as one might express it, on any side.


But what is required starting from the number three, is the following. It is that
in order to display it in this imaged way (Fig II-10), one must state, specify, that
of these three lines, completed by their point at infinity, there will not be found
one – you clearly sense that if there I put all three in red, there are reasons why I
had to trace them out here in a different colour – there will not be (32) one of them which, because of being enveloped by another, will not find itself enveloping with respect to the other. For this is properly speaking what constitutes the property of the Borromean knot.



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