Desire 023 Jacques Lacan

Desire 023

Jacques Lacan

Desire and its Interpretation

1958 – 1959
Seminar 3 ; 26 November 1958

They are given as such, and as the fact that putting them in place, their adaptation in the text, gives the meaning of this text.


Please understand what I am saying. I am not saying that this is interpretation, and in effect it is perhaps interpretation, but I (26) am not saying it yet, I am suspending you at this moment where a certain signifier is designated as being produced by its lack.


What is the phenomenon of the dream that is in question?


It is by replacing it in the context of the dream that we accede right away to something which is given as being the understanding of the dream, namely that the subject finds himself in the familiar case, this reproach by which one reproaches oneself about someone who is loved, and this reproach leads us back in this example to the infantile signification of the death wish.


We are here therefore before a typical case where the term transference, Übertragung, is employed in the primitive sense that it is first used in the Interpretation of dreams. It is a question of carrying forward something which is an original situation, the original death-wish on this occasion, into some different, current thing, which is an analogous, homologous, parallel wish which is similar in some fashion or other, and
introduces itself to revive this archaic wish that is in question.


It is naturally worthwhile dwelling on this, because it is starting from there simply that we can first try to elaborate what interpretation means, because we have left to one side the interpretation of “wishful”.


To complete this interpretation there is only one remark to be made. If we are unable to translate wishful thinking by “pensée désireuse, pensée désirante” it is for a very simple reason: (27) It is that if “wishful thinking” has a meaning, of course it has a meaning, but it is employed in a context in which this meaning is not valid. If you wish to test every time that this term is employed, the suitability, the pertinence of the term “wishful thinking”, you only have to make the distinction that “wishful thinking” does not mean taking one’s desire for reality, as it is put, it is the meaning that thinking in so far as it slides, as it bends, therefore one should not attribute to this
term the signification: taking one’s desires for reality, as it is usually expressed, but taking one’s dream for reality, on this one condition precisely that it is quite inapplicable to the interpretation of the dream, because this simply means on this
occasion if my dream, is to this type of understanding of the dream, this simply means in this case that one has dreamed, in other words that one dreams because one dreams, and this indeed is the reason why this interpretation at this level is in no way
applicable at any time to a dream.

為了完成這個解釋,只有一個談論應該被從事。假如我們不能夠將「pensée désireuse, pensée désirante」,翻譯「一廂情願」,理由很簡單:假如「一廂情願」有一個意義,當然它就有一個意義。但是它被運用在某一個內容裏。在這個內容,這個意義並沒有根據。假如你們希望測試一下,每當這個術語被運用,「一廂情願」這個術語是否適合,是否中肯。你們所需要的,就是做這個區別,「一廂情願」並不意味著,將我們的欲望充當是現實界,如一般所說的。它的意思是:因為思想會滑溜,會彎曲,因此我們不應該將這個意義:將我們的欲望充當是現實界,如通常所表達的,歸屬於這個術語。而是要將我們的夢,充當是現實界。這確實是根據這個條件:它完全無法被運用到夢的解釋。因為在這個場合,這僅是意味著,假如我的夢,適用於這種夢的瞭解,這僅僅意味著,在我們作夢的這個情況,換句話說,我們作夢,是因為我們作夢。這確實是這個理由,為什麼這個層次的這個解釋,根本無法應用到任何其他時間的夢。

We must then come to the procedure described as the adding on of signifiers, which presupposes the previous subtraction of the signifier; I am speaking about what is presupposed in Freud’s text, subtraction being at that moment exactly the meaning of the term that he makes use of to designate the operation of repression in its pure form, I would say in its Unterdranqunq (28) effect.


It is then that we find ourselves brought to a halt by something which as such, presented for us an objection and an obstacle, which if we had not decided in advance to find everything good, namely if we had not decided in advance to believe, to believe as Monsieur Prevert says, one should all the same dwell on the following: that the pure and simple restoration of these two terms: “nach seinem Wunsch” and
“dass er es wunschte”, namely that the son wished for this death of his father, the simple restoration of two clausulae from the point of view of what Freud himself designates to us as the final goal of interpretation, namely the re-establishment of unconscious desire, gives us strictly nothing because in that case what is restored?

因此,我們發現我們自己被某件東西擋住。這個的東西的本身被呈現給予我們,作為一種反對,及一種阻礙。假如我們沒有事先決定,要找出每一樣好的東西,換句話說,假如我們沒有事先決定要相信,要相信,如變態狂先生所說的,我們仍然應該詳述以下的內容:這兩個術語,「nach seinem Wunsch」及「dass er es wunschte」,純粹而簡單地恢復。換句話說,兒子希望他的父親的死亡。從佛洛伊德自己跟我們指明,作為解釋的最後目標,這個觀點具有的兩個多聲喧嘩,簡單地被恢復。換句話說,無意識欲望的重新被建立,根本沒有給予我們任何東西。因為在那種情況,什麼東西被恢復?

It is something that the subject knows perfectly well. During the extremely painful illness, the subject had effectively wished for his father’s death as being the solution and the end of his torment and his pain, and effectively of course he did not show
him, he did everything to hide from him, the desire, the wish which was in its context, in its recent experienced context, perfectly accessible to him. There is no need even in this connection to speak about preconsciousness but of conscious memory, perfectly accessible to the continued text of awareness.


Therefore if the dream subtracts from the text something which is (29) in no way removed from the consciousness of the subject, if it subtracts it, it is, as I might say, this phenomenon of subtraction which takes on a positive value, I mean that this is
the problem, it is the relationship of repression, in so far as without any doubt it is a question here of Vorstellungs – reprasentanz, and even a quite typical one, because if anything merits this term, it is precisely something which is, I would say in itself, a form empty of meaning “as he wished”, isolated in itself. This means nothing, this means “as he wished”, that we have previously spoken about, that he wished what?


This also depends on the sentence which comes before, and this is the direction in which I want to lead you to show you the irreducible character of what we are dealing with compared to any conception which arises out of the sort of imaginary elaboration, even the abstraction of the objectal data of a field, when it is a question of the signifier and what is supposed to be the originality of the field which, in the psyche, in experience, in the human subject, is established by it and by the action of the


This is what we have, these signifying forms which in themselves cannot be conceived of, cannot be sustained excepted in so far as they are articulated with other signifiers, and this in fact is what is in question. I know that I am here getting into something which would suppose a much longer articulation than anything we are dealing with.



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