Desire 86 Jacques Lacan

Desire 86

Jacques Lacan

Desire and its Interpretation
欲望及其解釋 `

28.1.59 149
Seminar 10; Wednesday 28 January 1959

And you will see that these interpretations are in this regard extremely active, even brutal, suggesting that the root of the question is the aggressive character of his own penis. You will see that it is his penis qua aggressive organ, qua an organ which brings into play the dangerous and deleterious character of the water that it emits, namely the urination which you have seen evoked in this case, and to which we will have occasion to come back, since the analyst obtains an effect which we need not be surprised at in that an adult subject, and one who is rather old, wet his bed the following night. But let us leave this to one side.


What I mean is the following: I believe that this dream, if I may anticipate a little what I believe I am going to be able to (30) demonstrate for you by continuing this painful and slow work of line by line analysis of what is presented to us …. Where
is the question posed in what can be called the fundamental phantasy of the subject in so far as it is presentified? The subject imagines something, we do not know what, concerning his analyst – I will tell you what the analyst herself thinks about the point reached in the transference. This transference is at that moment a transference of a clearly imaginary type. The analyst is focussed, centred as something which is essentially, with respect to the subject, in the relationship of an other ego.


The whole rigid, measured, attitude of defence, as the analyst very well senses it, in the presence of Ella Sharpe, is something which indicates a very tight specular relationship with the analyst. And contrary to what Ella Sharpe says, it is very far
from being an indication that there is no transference. It is a certain type of transference from a dual imaginary source.


This analyst, in so far as she is the image of him, is in the process of doing what? This imposes itself already. It is quite clear that what the subject warns her against by his little cough, is that she is dreaming of masturbating. This is what she is thought to be in the process of doing. But how do we know it? We do not know it immediately, and this is very important. How could we know it: it is to the degree that in the dream the matter is then quite clear because it is precisely what the subject is saying: namely that there is someone masturbating.


The analyst recognises quite correctly that it is a question of (31) the subject masturbating, that it is he who is dreaming.


But that the dream is the manifested intention in the subject of masturbating her – adding that this is an intransitive verb – is enough to put us on the track of the following: that the signifying phantasy that is in question is that of the close link
between a male and female element taken along the theme of a sort of enveloping. I mean that the subject is not simply captured, contained in the other. In so far as he masturbates her, he masturbates himself, but also he does not masturbate.


I mean that the fundamental image that is in question, which is presentified there by the dream, is of a sort of sheath, a glove. They are moreover in fact the same words. Sheath (gaine) is the same word as vagina (vaqin)


Here are two linguistic encounters which are not without signification. There would be a lot to say from the linguistic point of view about the sheath, the glove, the scabbard (fourreau), because I think there is here a whole chain of images
which it is extremely important to locate, because they are much more constant you will see, and present, not just in this particular case but in many other cases.


What is in question is that the imaginary, signifying person is something in which the subject sees in a way, enveloped, captured, every sort of possibility of his sexual manifestation.


It is with respect to this central image that he signifies his desire and that his desire is in a way stuck.


I am going to try to show it to you because I must do a little (32) more to justify the following notion: in the sequence of associations there is going to appear an idea which crossed the subject’s mind, the analyst tells us, during the recent associations.


The subject in the course of his duties must go to a place where the king and queen are to be present. He is haunted by the idea of having a breakdown in the middle of the road, and by this of blocking the passage of the royal motor car.


The analyst sees here once more the manifestations of the omnipotence dreaded by the subject for himself, and even goes so far as to see in it – we will see this in detail the next time – the fact that the subject had the opportunity, during some primitive scenes of intervening in this fashion, of stopping something, the parents, during this primitive scene.


What on the contrary seems to me to be very striking, is precisely the function of the car to which we will return. The subject is in a car, and far from separating anything by this stopping – he no doubt stops the others; we know well that he stops everything because this is what is in question; that is why he is in analysis; everything stops, he stops the others, the royal, parental couple on this occasion in a car and well and
truly in a single car which envelops them like the hood of his car, which he evoked by his associations, reproducing the character of the covering cave.


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