Desire 60 Jacques Lacan

Desire 60

Jacques Lacan

Desire and its Interpretation

14.1.59 116
Seminar 8: 14 January 1959

Because we have spoken a lot on the last occasions about desire, we are going to begin to tackle the question of interpretation.


The graph should be of some use to us. I want to introduce what I am going to say today about an example, namely about the interpretation of a dream, by some remarks on what results from the indications that Freud gives us precisely about the interpretation of dreams.


Here in fact is more or less the meaning of the remark of Freud that I am now concerned with. It is in chapter VI where he is interested in intellectual feelings about the dream. For example while the subject is reporting a dream, he has the feeling that there is something missing in it that he has forgotten, or that something is ambiguous, doubtful, uncertain.


In all these cases, Freud tells us, what is affirmed by the subject in connection with the dream, in terms of its uncertainty, its doubtfulness, its ambiguity: namely it is
either this or that, I no longer remember, I can no longer say, even its degree of reality, namely the degree of reality with which it was seen, whether it was something which is affirmed in the dream with such a degree of reality that the subject notices
it, or on the contrary that it was a ………. dream, all of this Freud tells us, in all these cases, should be taken as enunciating what Freud calls one of the latent thoughts of the dream.


What in short is said by the subject in a marginal note about the text of the dream, namely all the accents about tonality, that which in music is accompanied by annotations like allegro, crescendo, decrescendo, all of this forms part of the text of the dream.


I do not think that for the greater number of you whom I suppose to have already got to know the Traumdeutung, and the technique, (2) that this is new. This is something really fundamental as regards the interpretation of a dream. Therefore I am only
reminding you of it because I do not have the time to give the examples which are in Freud, and I refer you to the text of the Traumdeutung♦ You will see the use that Freud makes of this essential reminder.


He interprets the dream by integrating the feeling of doubt for example that there is in this dream at the moment that the subject recounts it, as one of the elements of the dream without which the dream could not be interpreted.


We begin then from the Freudian interpretation, and we ask the question of what this involves by way of implications. It is not sufficient to accept this fact, or this rule of conduct, as having to be religiously accepted as many of Freud’s disciples did, without trying to see any further, putting their trust in the unconscious in some way. What does it imply that Freud should tell us: it is not only the tension of your unconscious
(sic) that is there at the moment that your memory of the dream disappears, or on the contrary is placed under a certain rubric given a certain accent?


He says: this forms part of the latent thoughts of the dream itself. It is here therefore that what we have agreed to call the graph allows us to specify, to articulate in a more evident, a more certain fashion what is in question when Freud gives us a rule of conduct like this for the interpretation of dreams.


Here in effect is what we can say. What do we do when we (3) communicate a dream, whether this is done inside or outside analysis? (We did not have to wait for analysis in order to be able to give to the enunciating of a dream a formula which specifies it among the totality of possible enunciatings as having a certain structure with regard to the subject).


Within what we can put forward in a discourse as an enunciation of events we can legitimately distinguish the following that among the enunciations concerning events, there are some which have a value that is altogether worthy of being distinguished with regard to the signifying register.


They are enunciations that we can put under the general rubric of belonging to indirect discourse; they are the enunciations that concern the enunciatings of other subjects; they involve the reporting of the signifying articulations of someone else.


And many things are introduced because of this, including other enunciations, namely
hearsay, I was told, someone or other testified that this or that has happened, which is the form, one of the most fundamental forms of the universal discourse, most of the things that we ourselves can talk about being part of what we have gathered from
the tradition of others. Let us say therefore a pure and simple, factual, report of an enunciation for which we assume responsibility; and on the other hand this involving in a latent fashion the dimension of enunciating which is not necessarily highlighted, but which is highlighted once it is a question of reporting the enunciation of someone else.


It could also be something of our own that we are dealing with. We can say that
we have said such a thing, that we have given evidence before someone else, and we ourselves can even enunciate that we have produced an enunciation which is completely false. We can testify that we have lied.


One Response to “Desire 60 Jacques Lacan”

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