Archive for December, 2010

Anxiety 92 Jacques Lacan

December 26, 2010

Anxiety 92

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康



1962 – 1963

Seminar 13: Wednesday 6 March 1963

For this, it would be necessary for him to be more personally
concerned, for him to be a sadist or a masochist, for example.
Once a true masochist, a true sadist is involved, which does not mean someone who can have phantasies that we pinpoint as sadistic or masochistic, provided they reproduce the fundamental position (8) of the sadist or the masochist, the true sadist, in so far as we can locate, coordinate, construct his essential condition, the true masochist, in so far as we find ourselves, by successive mapping out, elimination, required to push further the plan of his position than what is given to us by others as Erlebnis, an Erlebnis itself more homogeneous, the Erlebnis of the neurotic, but an Erlebnis which is only a reference, a dependence, the image of something beyond, which constitutes the specificity of the perverse position and with regard to which the neurotic takes
in a way his reference and his support for ends to which we will return.


Let us try therefore to say what we can presume about what this sadistic or masochistic position is, what the images of Lucy and Agatha may really interest: the key to it is anxiety.


But it is necessary to seek out, know why. The masochist – I told you the other day, the last time – what is his position? What masks his phantasy from him? To be the object of a jouissance of the Other which is his own will to jouissance; for after all, the masochist does not necessarily, as a humourous apologue already quoted here reminds you, meet his partner. What does this position of object mask, if it is not to rejoin himself, to posit himself in the function of human rag, of this poor scrap separated from the body which is presented to us here.


And this is why I tell you that the aim of the jouissance of the Other is a phantastical aim.


What is sought, is in the Other, the response to this essential
collapse of the subject into his final misery which is anxiety.
Where is this Other that is involved? Here indeed is the reason
why there was produced in this circle the third term always
present in perverse jouissance: the profound ambiguity in which there is situated an apparently dual relationship is rediscovered here.


Because moreover I have to make you sense where I intend
to indicate this anxiety to you. We could say – and the thing is sufficiently highlighted by all sorts of features of history – that this anxiety which is the blind aim of the masochist – for his phantasy masks it from him – is nonetheless really what we could call the anxiety of God.


Do I need to appeal to the most fundamental Christian myth to give substance to everything that I am advancing here, namely that if the whole Christian adventure is not engaged in this central, inaugural, attempt, incarnated by a man whose every word is to be reheard again as those of someone who pushed things to their final term of an anxiety which only finds its veritable cycle at the level of him for whom the sacrifice is set up, namely at the level of the father.


God has no soul. That is quite obvious. No theologian has ever
dreamt of attributing one to him. Nevertheless the total,
radical change of perspective of the relationship to God began
with a drama, a passion in which someone made himself the soul of God.


Since it is because the place of the soul is also situated
at this level o of the residue of the fallen object that is
involved, that is essentially involved, that there is no living conception of the soul, with the whole dramatic cortege in which this notion appears and functions in our cultural domain, unless it is accompanied precisely in the most essential fashion by this image of the fall.


Everything that Kierkegaard articulates is only a reference to these great structural reference points. Now then observe that I began with the masochist. It was the more difficult; but as a matter of fact it was the one which avoided confusions.


Because one can understand better what a sadist is; and the snare involved here in making of it only the reversal, the other side, the inverted position of the masochist, unless one proceeds – which is what is usually done – in the opposite sense.


In the sadist, anxiety is less hidden. It is even so little so that it comes to the fore in the phantasy, which, if one analyses it makes of the anxiety of the victim an altogether required condition.



Anxiety 91 Jacques Lacan

December 26, 2010

Anxiety 91

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康



1962 – 1963

Seminar 13: Wednesday 6 March 1963

And if you wish, to connote the three stages of this operation,
we will say that here there is an X which we can only name
retroactively, and which is properly speaking the approach of the Other, the essential line of sight where the subject has to pose himself and whose name I will give you afterwards.


We have here the level of anxiety in so far as it is constitutive of the apparition of the function o and it is at the third term that there appears the S as subject of desire.


To illustrate now, to bring alive this no doubt extreme
abstraction that I have just articulated, I am going to lead you to the obviousness of the image and this of course all the more legitimately in that it is an image that is involved, that this irreducible of o is of the order of the image.

He who possessed the object of desire and of the law, he who had enjoyed his mother, Oedipus to give him his name, takes this further step, he sees what he has done. You know what happens then.


How can we choose the word, how can one say what is of the order of the unsayable and whose image nevertheless I want to make emerge for you? The fact that he sees what he has done has as a consequence that he sees – this is the word before which I stumble – the moment afterwards his own eyes swollen with their vitreous humours on the ground, a confused pile of filth since – how can we put it? – because since he had torn his eyes from their sockets he had quite obviously lost his sight.


And nevertheless it is not that he does not see them, see them as such, as cause-object finally unveiled of the final, the
ultimate, no longer guilty, but beyond the limits, concupiscence, that of having wanted to know.


The tradition even says that it is starting from that moment that he really becomes a seer. At Colonus he sees as far as it is possible to see and so far ahead that he sees the future destiny of Athens.


What is the moment of anxiety? Is it what makes possible this
gesture through which Oedipus can tear out his eyes, make this
sacrifice of them, this offering, this ransom of blindness in which his destiny is accomplished? Is that what anxiety is, the possibility, let us say, that man has of mutilating himself? No.


(7) It is properly that which through this image, I am striving
to designate for you: it is that an impossible sight threatens
you of your own eyes on the ground.


Here I believe is the surest key that you can always rediscover
under whatever style of approach the phenomenon of anxiety
presents itself for you.


And then, however expressive, however provocative may be, as one might say, the narrowness of the locality that I designate for you as being that which is circumscribed by anxiety, you should notice that this image is found there as beyond the limits, not because of some preciousness in my choice, it is not an eccentric choice; it is, once I have designated it for you, well and truly frequent to encounter it.


Go to the first exhibition currently open to the public, at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs and you will see two Zurbarans, one from Montpellier, the other from somewhere else which represent for you I believe, Lucy and Agatha each one with their eyes on a plate, the match of their breasts.


Martyrs, let us say, which means witnesses of what is seen here moreover, that it is not, as I told you, what is possible, namely the fact that these eyes being denucleated, these breasts being torn off, which is anxiety. Because in truth, something which also deserves to be noticed, these Christian images are not especially badly tolerated, despite the fact that some people for reasons which are not always the best are a bit fastidious about them.


Stendhal, speaking about San Stefano il Rotondo in Rome finds
that these images which are on the walls are disgusting.
Undoubtedly in the place he names they are rather lacking in art so that one is introduced, I must say, in a more lively fashion to their signification.


But these charming persons that Zurbaran presents to us, by
presenting these objects on a plate, present us with nothing
other than something that could be on occasion – and we do not deprive ourselves of it – the object of our desire: in no way do these images introduce us, I think, for the majority of us, to the order of anxiety.



Anxiety 90 Jacques Lacan

December 23, 2010

Anxiety 90

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康



1962 – 1963

Seminar 13: Wednesday 6 March 1963

It is easy to give immediately its support to this vor. Etwas of Freud, of course, because Freud articulates it in the article and in all sorts of ways: it is what he calls the internal danger, Gefahr or Gefährdung, the one which comes from within.


As I told you: it is a matter of not contenting yourself with this notion of danger, Gefahr or Gefährdung. Because, if I already signaled earlier its problematic character when an external danger is involved – in other words, what warns the subject that it is a danger if not the fear itself, if not the anxiety – but the sense that the term internal danger can have is too linked to the function of a whole structure that must be preserved, of a whole order of what we call defence, for us not to see that in the very term defence the function of danger is itself implied, but is not for all that clarified.


Let us try therefore to follow the structure in a more step by step way and to designate clearly where we intend to fix, to locate this trait of signal on which indeed Freud dwelt as being the one which is the most proper to indicate to us, to us analysts, the usage that we can make of the function of anxiety.


This is what I aim at reaching along the path that I am trying to lead you.


Only the notion of the real, in the opaque function which is the one from which you know I begin in order to oppose to it that of the signifier, allows us to orientate ourselves and to say already that this Etwas before which anxiety operates as a (5) signal, is something which is let us say for man “necessary”- in quotation marks – an irreducible aspect of this real.


It is in this sense that I risked giving you the formula that among all the signals, anxiety is the one which does not deceive.


Anxiety then is the signal of the real and – as I told you – of an irreducible mode under which this real presents itself in experience, this is just now, at the point that we are at, the guide, the guiding thread that I would ask you to hold onto to see where it leads us.


This real and its place, is exactly what with the support of the sign, of the bar there can be inscribed the operation which,
arithmetically, is called division. I already taught you to
situate the process of subjectification in so far as it is at the locus of the Other, under the primary species of the signifier, that the subject has to be constituted; at the locus of the Other and upon the given of this treasury of the signifier already constituted in the Other and just as essential for any advent of human life as everything that we can conceive of in the natural Umwelt.


It is with respect to the treasury of the signifier which already awaits him, constitutes the deviation where he has to situate himself, that the subject, the subject at this mythical level which does not yet exist, which only exists
starting from the signifier, which is prior to it, which is constitutive with respect to it, that the subject carries out this first interrogative operation: in 0, if you wish, how many times S?


And the operation being posited here in a certain fashion which
is here in the 0 marked by this interrogation appears here, the difference between this response 0 and the given 0, something that is the remainder, the irreducible of the subject, it is o. o is what remains irreducible in this total operation of the advent of the subject to the locus of the Other, and it is from this that it is going to take on its function.


The relationship of this o to the S, the o in so far as it is precisely that which represents the S in a real and irreducible fashion, this o over S, o/S , this is what completes the operation of division, that which in effect since 0, as one might say, is something which has no common denominator, is outside the common denominator between the o and the S.


If we wish conventionally to complete the operation all the same, we put as numerator the remainder, o, as denominator the divisor, the S. $ is equivalent to o over S, o/S.

(6) This remainder, therefore, in so far as it is the end
(chute), as one might say, of the subjective operation, this
remainder, we recognise in it here structurally, in an analogy
from calculation, the lost object; this is what we have to deal with, on the one hand in desire, on the other hand in anxiety. We have to deal with it in anxiety, logically, as one might say, before the moment that we have to deal with it in desire.



Anxiety 89 Jacques Lacan

December 23, 2010

Anxiety 89

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康



1962 – 1963

Seminar 13: Wednesday 6 March 1963

It is not enough to evoke the first reference summoned to my
memory by such propositions: I remembered what I believe I had already underlined for you in a little, one cannot call that a short story, notation, impression of Chekov which was translated using the term “frights (frayeurs)”.


I tried it in vain to inform myself of the title of this short story in Russian; because, inexplicably, none of my Russian-speaking listeners were able to find for me this notation, which is perfectly well located with its year in the French translation, even with the help of this date, in the editions of Chekov which are nevertheless in general produced chronologically.


It is peculiar, it is upsetting and I cannot say that I am not disappointed about it – in this notation under the term of “Frights”, the frights that Chekov himself experienced – I already pointed out to you once, I believe, what
was involved –


one day, with a young boy who was driving his sledge – his droschka, I believe it is called, something like that – he is going along a plane, and, in the distance, at sunset, the sun already setting on the horizon, he sees in a church tower which appears, at a range that he could reasonably see its details, he sees flickering through a skylight on a very (3) high storey of the tower to which he knows, because he knows the place, one cannot gain entry in any way, a mysterious inexplicable flame which nothing allows him to attribute to any effect of reflection; there is here obviously the mapping out of something:


he makes a short reckoning of what can or cannot account for the existence of this phenomenon and, having really excluded every kind of known cause,” he is all of a sudden gripped by something which I believe in reading this text can in no way be called anxiety, he is gripped by what he himself calls moreover, for want obviously of being able to have at present the Russian term, which was translated by frights – I believe this is what corresponds best to the text – it is of the order not of anxiety, but of fear (peur); and what he is afraid of, is not anything that threatens him, it is something which has precisely this character of referring to the unknown in what is manifesting itself to him.


The examples that he gives subsequently under this same heading, namely the fact that one day, he sees passing
along the horizon, on the railway, a type of wagon which gives
him the impression, to hear his description, of a phantom wagon, because nothing is pulling it, nothing explains its movement: a wagon passes at full speed along the curve of the railway which is there at that moment before him. Where has it come from?


Where is it going? This sort of apparition torn away in
appearance from any determinism that can be located, here again is something that throws him for a moment into disorder, a veritable panic, which is well and truly of the order of fear: there is no menace there either and the characteristic of anxiety is undoubtedly lacking in this sense that the subject is neither seized, nor involved in this innermost part of himself which is the aspect by which anxiety is characterised, on which I am insisting.


The third example, is the example of a thoroughbred dog which
nothing allows him, given the fact that he has completely mapped out everything that surrounds him, whose presence nothing allows him to explain at this time, in this place; he begins to foment the mystery of Faust’s dog, thinks he can see the form under which the devil is approaching him; it is well and truly from the side of the unknown that fear develops here, and it is not of an object, it is not of the dog who is there that he is afraid, it is of something else, it is behind the dog.


On the other hand, it is clear that what is insisted on, that the effects of fear have in a way a character of adequation, in (4) principle, namely of unleashing a flight reaction, is
sufficiently compromised by what one must indeed put the accent on, that in many cases paralysing fear manifests itself in an inhibiting, even fully disorganising action, indeed can throw the subject into a disarray which is least adapted to the response, least adapted to the finality, which might be supposed to be the adequate subjective form.


It is elsewhere, therefore, that there must be sought the
distinction, the reference by which anxiety is to be
distinguished from it. And you can well imagine that it is not simply a paradox, a desire to play with an inversion, if I put forward here before you that anxiety is not without object, a formula whose form undoubtedly designates this subjective
relationship which is that of a halting-place, a starting-place from which I want to advance further today; because of course the term object has been long prepared here by me with an accent which is distinguished from what the authors have up to now defined as object when they speak about the object of fear.



Anxiety 88 Jacques Lacan

December 22, 2010

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.




December 22, 2010


王禎和是我早年頗為心儀的一位作家。他使用寫實主義的筆法,生靈活現地描繪三四年代經濟貧困時代的卑微人物。可是卻習慣在篇首套上一兩句不著邊際的引言。例如在「嫁妝一牛車」的篇首,他引用的是James Joyce 「人生終於也有修伯特的音樂無聲以對的時刻!」在「五月十三節」,他引用的是杜甫的「已忍伶娉十年事,但求棲息一枝安」。

美國劇作家尤金、奧尼爾的「長夜迢迢日漫漫」Long Day ‘s Journey Into Night,是我大學時期愛不釋手的劇本,我詳讀中英文的版本。有一年在師大進修暑研所的課程。我敬愛的C教授引述到它,評論說:「家庭之內爭吵到這等程度,實在是有夠悲慘。」




Anxiety 87 Jacques Lacan

December 22, 2010

Anxiety 87

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康



1962 – 1963

Seminar 12: Wednesday 27 February 1963

What does the desire of the Other represent qua coming from this angle? It is here that the signal takes on its value, the signal that, if it is produced in a place that one can call the ego topologically, clearly concerns someone else. The ego is the locus of the signal. But it is not for the ego that the signal is given. It is quite obvious that if this lights up at the level of the ego, it is in order that the subject – one cannot call it anything else – should be warned about something.


He is warned about this something which is a desire, namely a demand which does not concern any need, which does not concern
anything other than my very being, namely which puts me in
question – let us say that it cancels it out: in principle it is (24) not addressed to me as present – which is addressed to me, if you wish, as expected, which is addressed to me much more again as lost and which, in order that the Other should be able to locate himself (s’y retrouve) requests my loss.

他被警告有關這件事,那就是欲望。換句話說,一個跟任何需要無關的要求。這個要求跟任何其他事情無關,除了就是關係到我生命的實存。換句話說,它讓我受到質疑,(我們不妨說,它取消生命的實存)。原則上,它並不是針對著我,作為目前的實存。它是針對我,作為未來的期望,它是針對我,作為失落。這樣,大它者才能找出它自己的位置, 要求我的失落。

That is what anxiety is. The desire of the Other does not
recognise me, as Hegel believes, which renders the question quite easy.


For if he recognises me, since he will never recognise me
sufficiently, all that is left to me is to use violence.
Therefore he neither recognises me nor miscognises me. Because
that would be too easy: I can always escape from it by struggle
and violence. He puts me in question, interrogates me at the
very root of my own desire as o, as cause of this desire and not as object, and it is because he is aiming at this in a
relationship of antecedence, in a temporal relationship, that I can do nothing to break this grip except by engaging myself in it.


It is this temporal dimension which is anxiety, and it is
this temporal dimension which is that of analysis. It is because the desire of the analyst stimulates in me this dimension of expectation that I am caught in this something which is the efficacy of the analysis. I would really like him to see me as such and such, for him to make of me an object.


The relationship to the other, the Hegelian one here, is very convenient, because then in effect I have all sorts of resistances against that, and against this other dimension let us say a good part of the resistance slips. Only for that it is necessary to know what desire is and to see its function, not at all simply on the plane of the struggle, but there where Hegel – and for good reason – did not want to go looking for it, on the plane of love.


Now, if you go – and perhaps you will go with me, because after
all the more I think about it and the more I speak about it and the more I find indispensable to illustrate the things I am speaking about – if you read the article by Lucia Tower, you will see this story: two gentlemen (bonshommes) – to speak as one spoke after the war, when one spoke about ladies (des bonnes femmes) in a certain milieu – you will see two gentlemen with whom, what she recounts, what she recounts is particularly illustrative and efficacious, they are two love stories.


Why did the thing succeed? In one case when she was touched
herself, it is not she who touched the other, it is the other who put her on to the plane of love; and in the other case the other did not get to it and that is not interpretation, because it is written down and she says why.


(23) And this is designed to induce in us some reflections on the fact that, if there are some people who have said something sensible about counter-transference, it is uniquely women.


You will say to me: Michael Balint? Only it is rather striking
that he wrote his article with Alice. Ella Sharpe, Margaret
Little, Barbara Low, Lucia Tower.


Why is it that it is women who, let us already simply say, have dared to speak about the thing in an overwhelming majority and that they should have said interesting things?


It is a question that will be completely clarified if we take it from the angle I am talking about, namely the function of desire, the function of desire in love in connection with which, I think, you are mature enough to hear the following – which moreover is a truth which has always been well known, but to which its place has never been given, it is that in
so far as desire intervenes in love and has as I might say an essential stake in it, desire does not concern the beloved



Anxiety 86 Jacques Lacan

December 21, 2010

Anxiety 86

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康



1962 – 1963

Seminar 12: Wednesday 27 February 1963

This is obviously only a first approximation because everyone knows precisely that the traces are not effaced and that this is what constitutes the aporia of this affair, the aporia which is not one for you, since it is very precisely for this reason that there is elaborated before (22) you the notion of signifier, and that what is involved is, not the effacing of traces, but the return of the signifier to the state of trace, the abolition of this passage from the trace to the signifier which is constituted by what I tried to get you to sense, to describe for you by putting in the parenthesis of the trace, an underlining, a dam, a mark of the trace.


This is what is demolished with the intervention of the real. The real referring the subject back to the trace, abolishes the subject also at the same time: for there is no subject except through the signifier, through this passage to the signifier: a signifier is that which represents the subject for another signifier.


To grasp the source of what is involved here, not in the always
too facile perspective of history and of memory, because
forgetting appears to be a too material, too natural thing for it to be believed that it does not happen all by itself, even though it is the most mysterious thing in the world from the moment that memory is posited as existing. That is why I am trying to introduce you into a dimension which is transversal, not yet as synchronic as the other.


Let us take the masochist. The maso, as they say, it appears,
somewhere, namely the most enigmatic to be put in suspense from the point of view of perversion. He, you are going to tell me., for his part knows well that it is the Other who enjoys.


This would be then the pervert who has brought his truth to light. He would be the exception to everything that I said earlier about the pervert not knowing how to enjoy: of course, it is always the Other, and the maso is supposed to know it.


Well then I will no doubt come back to it. As of now I want to emphasise that what escapes the masochist and what puts him in the same position as all the perverts, is that he believes of course that what he is looking for, is the jouissance of the Other; but precisely, since he believes it, that is not what he is looking for. What escapes him, even though it is a tangible truth, really lying about everywhere and within everybody’s reach, but for all that never seen at its true level of functioning, is that he seeks the anxiety of the Other.


Which does not mean that he is trying to annoy him. Because for want of understanding what is meant by seeking the anxiety of the Other – naturally it is at its gross, even stupid level that things are brought to by a sort of common sense – for want of (23) being able to see the truth there is behind that, of course one abandons this shell in which something more profound is contained, which is formulated in the way that I have just told you.


This is why it is necessary for us to return to the theory of anxiety, of anxiety as signal, and for us to see the difference, or more exactly to the new thing that is contributed by the dimension introduced by the teaching of Lacan about anxiety in so far as not opposing Freud, but placed for the moment in two columns.


We will say that Freud at the end of his elaboration,
speaks about anxiety as signal being produced in the ego
about what? An internal danger. It is a sign representing something for someone: the internal danger for the ego.


The transition, the essential passage which allows this structure itself to be used by giving it its full meaning and this notion of internal, of internal danger to be suppressed: there is no internal danger because – as paradoxically to the eyes of distracted ears, I say, as paradoxically when I returned to it when I gave you my seminar on Ethics, namely to the topology of the Entwurf – there is no internal danger because this envelope of the neurological apparatus, in so far as it is a theory of this apparatus which is given, this envelope has no interior because it has only a single surface, that the Psi-system as Aufbau, as structure, as that which interposes itself between perception and consciousness, is situated in another dimension as other qua locus of the signifier; that henceforward anxiety is introduced at first, as I did it before the seminar of this year, last year, as a specific manifestation at this level of the desire of the Other as such.



Anxiety 85 Jacques Lacan

December 21, 2010

Anxiety 85

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康



1962 – 1963

Seminar 12: Wednesday 27 February 1963

Let us take things from the angle, through the way in, defined by this word which has a presentified meaning in the very times in which we live, erotism.


We know, that its Sadean if not its sadistic manifestation, is the most exemplary one. Desire presents itself as a will to jouissance from whatever angle it appears – I spoke about the Sadean angle, I did not say the sadistic one, it is just as true for what is called masochism.


It is quite clear that if something is revealed by analytic
experience, it is that even in perversion where desire in sum
appears by presenting itself as what lays down the law, namely as a subversion of the law, it is in fact well and truly the support of a law.


If there is something that we now know about the pervert, it is that what appears from the outside as satisfaction
without restraint is defence, is well and truly the bringing into play, into action of a law in so far as it restrains, it suspends, it stops, precisely on the path of this jouissance.


The will to jouissance in the pervert as in everyone else, is a will which fails, which encounters its own limit, its own restraint, in the very exercise as such of the perverse desire.


In a word, the pervert does not know, as was very well emphasized by one of the people who spoke today at my request, he does not know at the service of what jouissance his activity is exercised.


It is not in any case at the service of his own.


It is this which allows there to be situated what is involved at the level of the neurotic.


The neurotic is characterised by the following – and this is why he was the place of passage, the path to lead us to this discovery, which is a decisive path in morality – that the true nature of desire in so far as this decisive path is not taken except from the moment that here (21) attention has been focussed on what I am expressly in the process of articulating before you just now, the neurotic was this exemplary path in the sense that he shows us, for his part, that it is by way of the search for, the establishment of the law itself that he needs to pass to give its status to his desire, to sustain his desire.


The neurotic more than anybody else highlights this exemplary fact that he can only desire in accordance with the law.


He cannot for his part sustain, give its status to his desire except as unsatisfied for himself or as impossible.


It remains that I am giving myself the easier task in speaking to you only of the hysteric or the obsessional, because this is to leave completely outside the field of the neurosis ;that we are still embarrassed by along the whole path we have taken, namely anxiety neurosis about which I hope this year,
as regards what we have engaged on here, to make you take the
necessary step. Let us not forget that it is from this that
Freud began and that, if death, his death, deprived us of
something, it is not to have allowed him fully the time to come back to it.


We are therefore placed, however paradoxical this
may appear to you as regards the subject of anxiety, we are
placed, we are brought back to this crucial plane, to this
crucial point that I will call the myth of the moral law, namely
that any healthy position of the moral law is supposed to be
sought in the sense of an autonomy’ of the subject.


The very accent of this research, the always greater emphasizing in the course of the history of these ethical theories, of this notion of autonomy sufficiently shows what is involved, namely a defence, that what it is a matter of swallowing, is this first and obvious truth that the moral law is heteronomous;


this is why I insist on the fact that it proceeds from what I am calling the real in so far as it intervenes, as it intervenes when it intervenes essentially, as Freud tells us, by eliding the subject, by determining by its very intervention what is called repression and which only takes on its full meaning if we start from this synchronic function, in so far as I articulated it before you by pointing out to you, in a first approximation, what effacing traces means.



Anxiety 84 Jacques Lacan

December 21, 2010

Anxiety 84

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康



1962 – 1963

Seminar 12: Wednesday 27 February 1963

The fact is that effectively these remarks about anxiety can no longer be kept at a distance from a more precise approach to what has been present in an always more insistent fashion for some time in my discourse, namely the problem of the desire of the analyst.


For when all is said and done, this at least cannot fail to
escape the hardest-hearing ears: the fact is that in the
difficulty of the approach of these authors to
counter-transference, it is the problem of the desire of the
analyst which creates the obstacle, which creates the obstacle
because in short taken generally, namely not elaborated as we have done it here, every intervention of this order, however
surprising this may appear after sixty years of analytic
development, seems to share a fundamental imprudence.


The people involved, whether we are dealing with Szasz, or with Barbara Low herself, whether we are dealing still more with Margaret Little – and I will say later how things have been advanced in this respect in the extraordinary confidences in which Lucia Tower, the most recent author, has spoken about very profoundly on this subject, more specifically has made a very profound avowal of her experience – none of these authors can avoid putting things on the plane of desire.


The term counter-transference, as it is envisaged, namely, in general, broadly speaking the participation of the analyst, but let us not forget that more essential than the engagement of the analyst, in connection with which you see there being produced in the texts the most extreme vacillations from their hundred-percent responsibility to staying completely out of it (19) I believe that in this respect the final article, the one which you unfortunately know only under an indicative form, the one by Lucia Tower, highlights well, not for the first time, but for the first time in an articulated manner something that is much more suggestive in this order, namely that which in the analytic relationship can occur on the side of the analyst in terms of what she calls a small change for him, the analyst -this reciprocity of action is here something which I am not saying at all is the essential term, let us say that the simple evocation of it is well designed to reestablish the question at the level at which it should be posed.


It is not a matter in effect of definition, even of an exact definition of counter-transference, which could be given very simply, which is simply nothing other than the following which has only one drawback as a definition, which is that it abandons completely the question which is posed about its import, namely that counter-transference is everything that the psychoanalyst represses of what he receives as signifier in the analysis.


It is nothing else and this is why this question of
counter-transference is really not the question. It is from the state of confusion that it is brought to us in that it takes on its signification.


This signification alone is the one from which no author can escape precisely in the measure that he tackles it and in the measure that this is what interests him, it is the desire of the analyst.


If this question is not simply not resolved, but finally has not even begun to be resolved, it is simply because there is not in analytic theory up to the present, I mean up to this seminar precisely, any exact positioning of what desire is.
It is no doubt because to do it is not a small undertaking.
Moreover you can see that I never claimed to do it in one step.
For example: the fashion in which I introduced it of
distinguishing, of teaching you to situate desire as distinct
compared to demand. And specifically at the beginning of this
year I introduced something new, suggesting it to you first to see your response or your reactions, as they say, which were not lacking, namely the identity, as I put it, of desire and the law.


It is rather curious that something so obvious – because it is an obvious fact inscribed in the first steps of analytic doctrine itself – that something so evident can only be introduced or (20) reintroduced if you wish with such precautions.


This is why I come back today to this plane to show certain
aspects, indeed implications of it. Desire then is the law.

It is not only the fact that in analytic doctrine, with the Oedipus complex as its central corpus, it is clear that what constitutes the substance of the law is the desire for the mother, that inversely what normatives desire itself, what situates it as desire, is what is called the law of the prohibition of incest.