Anxiety 88 Jacques Lacan

Anxiety 88

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康



1962 – 1963

Seminar 13: Wednesday 6 March 1963

As long as this primary truth around which alone can turn a valid dialectic of love is put for you in the ranks of an Erniedrigunq an accident of love life, of an Oedipus complex which grows paws, well then, you will understand absolutely nothing about what is involved, about the way the question should be posed as regards what the desire of the analyst may be. It is because it is necessary to start from the experience of love, as I did in the year of my seminar on transference, to situate the topology in which this transference can be inscribed, it is because it is necessary to start from there that today I am bringing you back to it.


But no doubt my discourse will take on, from the fact that I am going to terminate it here, an interrupted appearance. What I produced there at the final term as a formula, can be taken as a pause, a chapter heading or conclusion as you wish.

After all it is permissible for you to take it as a stumbling block or if you wish as a banality. But it is here that I intend that we should take up the next time the rest of our discourse to situate in it exactly the indicative function of anxiety and what it will allow us subsequently to gain access to.


6.3.63 XIII 1
Seminar 13: Wednesday 6 March 1963

We are going then to continue our journey of approach to anxiety, which I would like you to understand is indeed of the order of an approach. Of course, you are already sufficiently advised by what I am producing here, that I want to teach you that anxiety is not what shallow people think. Nevertheless you will see, in rereading afterwards the texts on this major point, that what you have learned is far from being absent from them; simply it is masked and veiled at the same time, it is masked by formulae which are styles perhaps that are too cautious under their coating, as one might say, their carapace.


The best authors allow there to appear what I already put the accent on for you, that it is not objektlos, that it is not without an object.


The sentence which in Hemmung, Symptom und Angst precedes, in Appendix B “Ergänzung zur Angst”, “Supplementary remarks on anxiety”, the very sentence which precedes the reference that Freud makes, following in this the tradition of indétermination, to the Ob jektlosiqkeit of anxiety – and after all I would only need to remind you of the bulk of the article itself to say that this characteristic of being without an object cannot be retained – but the sentence just before, Freud says anxiety is “Die Angst …. ist Angst vor etwas”, it is essentially anxiety about something.


Can we be satisfied with this formula? Of course not. I think
that we ought to go much further, say more about this structure,
this structure which already, as you see, opposes it by contrast, if it is a fact that anxiety, being the relationship with this object that I approached which is the cause of desire, is opposed by contrast with this vor, how has this thing which I placed for you promoting desire behind desire, gone in front of it, this is perhaps one of the sources of the problem.


In any case, let us underline clearly that we find ourselves in the tradition before what is called an almost literary theme, a common place, the one between fear and anxiety which all the authors, referring to the semantic position, oppose at least at the beginning, even if subsequently they tend to bring them together or to reduce them to one another – which is not the case among the best of them. At the beginning undoubtedly one tends to emphasise this opposition between fear and anxiety by, let us say, differentiating their position with respect to the object.


6.3.63 XIII 2
And it is really tangible, paradoxical, significant of the error (2) thus committed that one is led to stress that fear, for its part, has one, has an object.


Breaking through a certain characteristic, there is here an
objective danger, Gefahr, dangeite, Gef “áhrdung, a danger
situation, the entry of the subject into danger, which would
after all deserve a pause: what is a danger? We are going to be told that fear is by its nature, adequate to, in correspondence with, entsprechend to the object from which the danger comes.


The article of Goldstein on the problem of anxiety on which we will pause, is in this regard very significant of this sort of slipping, of seduction, of capture, as one might say, of the pen of an author – who in this matter was able to gather together, as you will see, the essential and very precious characteristics of our subject – the seduction of the pen by a thesis, insisting in a fashion which one can say is in no way required by its subject in this respect – because it is anxiety that is involved – insisting, as one might say on the oriented character of fear, as if fear were already made up completely of the locating of the object, of the organisation of the response, of the opposition, of the Entgegendstehen between what is Umwelt and everything which in the subject has to face up to it.



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