拉康论移情 1123f

拉康論移情 1123f


Transference 論移情

1960 – 1961
Translated by Cormac Gallagher from unedited French typescripts
Cormac Gallagher 根據未編輯的法語錄音英譯

Seminar 2; Wednesday 23 November 1960

Since things can be written down, the things that must be remembered are for us in what I have called kilograms of language namely, piles of books and heaps of papers.


But when paper was rarer, and books much more difficult to fabricate and to diffuse, it was an extremely important thing to have a good memory, and – as I might say – to experience everything that had been heard in the register of the memory which conserves it.


And it is not only at the beginning of the Symposium but in all the traditions that we know that we can see the testimony that the oral transmission of science and of wisdom is absolutely essential there.


It is because of this moreover that we still know something about it, it is in the measure that writing does not exist that oral tradition functions as a support.


And it is indeed to this that Plato referred in the mode in which he presents to us…. in which the text of the Symposium comes to us. He has it recounted by someone who is called Apollodorus.


We are aware of the existence of this personage. He exists historically and this Apollodorus who is made to speak by Plato (because Apollodorus speaks) is supposed to come at a time dated at about a little more than thirty years before the appearance of the Symposium if one takes the date of about 370 for the publication of the Symposium.


It is before the death of Socrates that there is placed what Plato tells us is said at that moment that there is to be transmitted by
Apollodorus this account about what happened, again fifteen years
earlier than the moment when he is supposed to have received it
because we have reasons for thinking that it was in 416 that there took place this so called sumposion at which he assisted.


It is therefore sixteen years after that a personage extracts from his memory the literal text of what is supposed to have been said.


Therefore, the least that can be said, is that Plato takes all the measures necessary to make us believe at least in what was commonly practised and which is still practised in these phases of culture, namely what I called brain recording.


He underlines that this same personage, Aristodemus … that some of
(10) the tape had been damaged, that there may be gaps at certain


All of this obviously does not at all settle the question of historical veracity but has nonetheless a great verisimilitude.


If it is a lie, it is a beautiful lie. Since on the other hand it is obviously the work of love, and that, perhaps we will come to see there being highlighted for us the notion that after all only liars can appropriately reply to love, even in this case the Symposium would respond certainly to something which is like (this on the contrary is bequeathed to us without ambiguity) the elective reference of the action of Socrates to love.


This indeed is why the Symposium is such an important testimony.


We know that Socrates himself testifies, affirms that he really does not know anything (no doubt the Theages in which he says it is not one of Plato’s dialogues but it is all the same a dialogue of someone who wrote about what was known about Socrates and what remained of Socrates) and Socrates in the Theages is attested to have expressly said that he knew nothing in short except “this little bit of science, smikrou tinos mathematos” which is that of “ton erotikon, the things of love”. He repeats it in these very terms, in terms which are exactly the same at a point in the Symposium.


The subject then of the Symposium is this… the subject had been
proposed, put forward by a personage called neither more nor less


Phaidros will also be the one who has given his name to another dialogue, the one to which I referred last year in connection with the beautiful and in which there is also question of love (the two are linked in Platonic thought).


Phaidros is said to be pater tou logou, “the father of the subject” (177d),
in connection with what is going to be dealt with in the Symposium, the subject is the following: in short what use is it to know about love? And we know that Socrates claims to know nothing about anything else.


It is all the more striking to make this remark which you will be able to appreciate with its proper value when you refer to the text: you will see that Socrates says almost nothing in his own name.



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