Anxiety 75 Jacques Lacan

Anxiety 75

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康



1962 – 1963

30.1.63 X 117
Seminar 10: Wednesday 30 January 1963

Here is the truth which in this opaque, gross form is the one
that analytic experience gives us, and which it introduces with its irreducible character into any reflection henceforth possible on any conceivable form of our condition. This point, it must be clearly said, involves enough of the intolerable for us to ceaselessly try to distort it, which has no doubt two aspects, namely that in this very effort we are doing more than sketching out its outlines and that we are always tempted, in the very measure that we approach this outline, to forget it in function of the very structure that this lack represents.


Whence it results, another truth, that we could say that every
turn of our experience rests on the fact that the relationship to the Other, in so far as it is that in which there is situated
every possibility of symbolisation and the locus of discourse, is connected with a structural flaw, and that we are obliged – this is the further step – to conceive that we are touching here on what makes possible this relationship to the Other, namely this point from which it emerges that there is signifier (du siqnifiant), is the one which in a way cannot be signified.


This (6) is what is meant by what I call the “lack of signifier”


And recently, I heard someone who does not understand me too
badly at all, responding to me, questioning me, whether this does not mean that we refer ourselves to that which in any signifier is in a way the imaginary material, the shape of the word or that of the Chinese character, if you wish, what is irreducible in the fact that it is necessary that every signifier should have an intuitive support like the others, like all the rest.


Well, precisely not. For of course, this is the temptation that arises in this connection. This is not what is involved as regards this lack. And in order to make you sense it, I will refer to definitions which I have already given you and which ought to be enough. I told you: “There is no lack which is not of the symbolic order. But privation, for its part, is something real.


” What we are speaking about is something real; what my
discourse turns around, when I try to represent for you this
decisive point, which nevertheless we always forget, not only in our theory, but in our practice of analytic experience, is a privation which manifests itself as much in the theory as in the practice, it is a real privation and which as such can be reduced. Is it enough to designate it in order to remove it?


If we manage to circumscribe it scientifically – which is perfectly conceivable – it is enough to work over the analytic literature, an example of which I will give you in a little while, namely a sample, to begin with – there is no other way of doing this – I took the first volume of the International Journal which came to hand and I will show you that almost everywhere we find the problem involved: whether one speaks about anxiety, about acting-out or about – since it is the title of the article to (7) which I will allude later – about R – I am not the only one who makes use of letters – the total response.


The total response of the analyst in the analytic situation, by someone whom it happens we rediscover, of whom I spoke in the second year of my seminar, Margaret Little by name, we will find this problem very well centered and we can define it: where is the privation situated, where obviously does she slip up in the measure that she attempts to get closer and closer to the problem that a certain type of patient poses for her? It is not this, the reduction, the privation, the symbolization, its articulation here which will remove the lack. This is what we have to keep clearly in mind from the start, and if it is only to understand what is signified from one point of view by a mode of appearance of this lack: as I told you, privation is something real.


It is clear that a woman does not have a penis. But if you do not symbolise the penis as the essential element to have or not to have, she will know nothing of this privation. Lack for its part is symbolic.


Castration appears in the course of analysis, in so far as this relationship with the Other, which moreover did not wait for analysis to be constituted, is fundamental. Castration, as I told you, is symbolic, namely it refers to a certain phenomenon of lack, and at the level of this symbolisation, namely, in the relationship to the Other, in so far as the subject has to constitute himself in the analytic discourse.



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