Archive for March, 2012

Seminar IX :Identification 23

March 25, 2012

Seminar IX :Identification 23
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar IX :Identification 11
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar 5: Wednesday 13 December 1961

Monas esti kathen hekaston ton outon
Arithmos de to ek monadon synkeimenon plethos
Euclid – Elements 4 VII.


This sentence is a sentence borrowed from the beginning of the seventh book of Euclid’s Elements and appeared to me, taking everything into consideration, the best one I found to express, on the mathematical plane, this function to which I wished to
draw your attention the last time, of the 1 in our problem.


It is not that I had to search for it, that I had trouble finding among the mathematicians something which referred to it: the mathematicians, at least some of them, those who at every epoch have been in the forefront of the exploitation of their field, have concerned themselves a lot with the status of the unit (1’unite), but they are far from all having arrived at equally satisfying formulae; it even seems that, for some of them, in their definitions it went right in the opposite direction to the appropriate one.


In any case, I am not unhappy to think that someone like Euclid who all the same in the matter of mathematics cannot be considered otherwise than as from the right stock, should give this formula, which is precisely all the more remarkable because
it is articulated by a geometer, that what the unit is – because (2) this is the meaning of the word monas: it is the unit in the precise sense in which I tried to designate it for you the last time under the designation of what I called, I will come back again on the reason why I called it that: the unary trait; the unary trait in so far as it is the support as such of difference, this indeed is the meaning that monas has here. It cannot have a different one, as the rest of the text is going to show you.


Monas, namely this unit in the sense of the unary trait which I indicate here to you as cross-checking with, as highlighting in its function what we managed last year in the field of our experience to locate in the very text of Freud as the einziger Zug, that through which every being is said to be a One, with the ambiguity that is brought by this en, the neuter of eis which means One in Greek, being precisely what can be employed in Greek as in French to designate the function of unity in so far as it
is this factor of consistency through which something is distinguished from what surrounds it, makes a whole, a One in the unitary sense of the function; therefore it is through the mediation of unity that each one of these beings comes to be called One.


The advent, in the statement, of this unity as characteristic of each of the beings is here designated: it comes from the usage of the monas which is nothing other than the unary trait.


It was worthwhile picking up this thing precisely from the pen of a geometer namely of someone who situates himself in mathematics in such a fashion apparently that for him at least, we must say that intuition conserves all its original value. It is true that
he is not just any old geometer, because in short we can (3) single him out in the history of geometry as the one who was the first to introduce, as having absolutely to dominate it, the exigency for proof over what could be called experience, the
familiarity with space.


I will finish the translation of the quotation: “that number for its part is nothing other than this sort of multiplicity which arises precisely from the introduction of units”, monads in the sense that this is understood in Euclid’s text.


If I identify this function of the unary trait, if I make of it the unveiled face of this einziger Zug of identification, to which we were led by our path last year, let us highlight here, before going any further and so that you may know that contact is
never lost with what is the most direct field of our technical and theoretical reference to Freud, let us highlight that it is a question here of the second kind of identification, p.117, volume 13 of the Gesammelte Werke of Freud. It is indeed as a conclusion to the definition of the second kind of identification which he calls regressive, in so far as it linked to a certain abandoning of the object that he defines as the beloved object.


This beloved object goes from women to rare books. It is always in some measure linked to the abandoning or the loss of this object that there is produced, Freud tells us, this sort of regressive state from which there arises this identification which he underlines (with something which is for us a source of admiration, as each time the discoverer designates a trait derived from his experience which it might seem at first approach is not required by anything, that it has a contingent character, (4) moreover he does not justify it, except by his experience) that in this sort of identification where the ego sometimes copies the situation of the unloved object, sometimes that of the
beloved object, but that in both cases this identification is partial: “hochst beschrankt” extremely limited – but which is accentuated in the sense of narrowness, of restrictedness by the fact that it is “nur ein einziger Zug”, only a single trait of the objectified person, which is like the place borrowed from the German word.

这个被钟爱的客体范围从女人到珍本书籍。在某个程度上,它总是跟在那里被产生的这个客体的放弃,或丧失息息相关。弗洛伊德告诉我们,这种的倒退状态,认同从那里产生。他强调 (用某家对于我们是令人崇拜的来源,因为每一次,发现者指明一个他从经验获得的特征。乍然一看,那个特征并不是被任何东西所要求,它具有偶然性的特性,而且,他并没有证明它的合理性,除了用他的经验)。在这样的认同里,自我有时模拟这个没有被爱的客体的情境,有时是被钟爱的客体的情境。但是在两种情境里,这种认同都是部分的:极端受到限制。但是它被强调,根据这个狭隘性及限制性的意义。事实上,这是被客体化的这个人的仅有的单一特征。就像从德文字词借用过来的这个位置“ nu rein einzier Zug”。

It may therefore seem to you that to approach identification through this second type, is also to “beschrSnken” myself, limit myself, restrict the import of my approach; because there is the other, the identification of the first kind, the singularly
ambivalent one which is constructed on the basis of the image of assimilating devouring; and what relationship has it with the third, the one which begins immediately after this point which I am designating for you in Freud’s paragraph: the identification to the other through the instrumentality of desire, the identification that we know well, which is hysterical, but precisely which I taught you cannot be properly distinguished – I think you ought to be sufficiently aware of it – except when there has been structured – and I do not see anyone who has done it anywhere other than here and before it was done here – desire as presupposing in its underlay exactly as a minimum the whole articulation that we have given of the relationships of the
subject specifically to the signifying chain, in so far as this relationship profoundly modifies the structure of every relationship of the subject with each one of his needs.


(5) This partiality of the approach, this way in, as I might say, into a corner of the problem, I have the feeling that at the same time as I designate it for you, I should legitimate it today, and I hope to do it quickly enough to allow myself to be understood
without too many detours by recalling to you something that is a methodological principle for us: that, given our place, our function, what we have to do as we break new ground, we should be mistrustful, let us say – and take this as far as you wish –
of genus and even of class.



Seminar IX :Identification 22

March 25, 2012

Seminar IX :Identification 22
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar IX :Identification 11
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar 4: Wednesday 6 December 1961

A signifier is distinguished from a sign first of all in this which is what I tried to get you to sense: the fact is that signifiers only manifest at first the presence
of difference as such and nothing else.


The first thing therefore that it implies is that the relationship of the sign to the thing should be effaced:




something S these ones of the Magdalenian bone, it would be a very clever man who could tell you sign what they were the sign of.


And someone we, thank God, are advanced enough since Magdalenian for you to perceive the following – which for you has the same sort no doubt of naive obviousness, allow me to tell you that “A is A”, namely that, as you were taught in school, you cannot add up oranges and apples, pears with carrots and so on, is a complete error; this only begins to be true when one starts from a (21) definition of addition which supposes, I assure you, a number of axioms which would be enough to cover this whole section of the blackboard.


At the level at which things are taken in our own day in mathematical reflection, specifically to call it by its name in set theory, it is not possible in the most fundamental operations, such as, for example, a union or an intersection,
there would be no question of posing such exorbitant conditions for the validity of operations.


You can very well add up what you want at the level of a certain register for the simple reason that what is involved in a set, is, as was well expressed by one of the theoreticians speculating on one of these so-called paradoxes: it is not a matter of objects, or of things, it is a question of 1 very exactly in what one calls the element of sets.


This is not sufficiently remarked on in the text to which I allude for a celebrated reason: it is because precisely this reflection on what a 1 is is not well elaborated even by those who in the most modern mathematical theory nevertheless make of it the clearest, the most manifest usage.

这并没有充分地重新被标示在我提到的文本里,因为一个著名的理由: 确实是因为对于这个「一」的这个反思,并没有清楚地被建构,甚至那些在最现代的数学理论里,他们以最清楚,最明显的用途解释它。

This 1 as such, in so far as it marks pure difference, it is to it that we are going to refer to put to the test, at our next meeting the relationship of the subject to the signifier. It will first of all be necessary for us to distinguish the signifier from the sign and for us to show in what sense the step taken is that of the effaced thing: the different “effaçons” if you will allow me to use this formula, in which the signifier (22) comes to birth, will give us precisely the major modes of
the manifestation of the subject.


Already, to indicate to you, to remind you of the formulae under which I noted for you for example the function of metonymy, the big S function in so far as
it is in a chain which is continued by S ‘ , S * ‘ , S * ‘ ‘ , etc… this is what ought to give us the effect that:

已经跟你们指示,为了提醒你们这个公式。譬若,在这个公式下,我跟你们提醒换喻的这个功能,这个大写的S作为主体的功能,因为在锁链里,它后面继续著S ‘ , S * ‘ , S * ‘ ‘ , 等等。这是应该给予我们这个结果。

f S S’ S1′ s ‘ ” etc
f (S, S’, S’1…) = S( – ) s

I called that of the peu-de-sens, in so far as the minus sign designates, connotes a certain mode of appearance of the signified as it results from the putting into function of S the signifier in a signifying chain. S( – ) s

我称为啥「小意义」的效应,因为这个减号指明,指示「所指」定某种外表的模式,因为它是S这个能指发挥功能的结果,在一个能指化的锁链里。S( – ) s

We will put it to the test of a substitution for these S and S* of 1 in so far as precisely this operation is quite legitimate, and you know it better than anybody, you for whom repetition is the basis of your experience: what constitutes the core of repetition, of the automatism of repetition for your experience is not that it is always the same thing which is interesting, it is why there is repeated something of which precisely the subject from the point of view of his biological comfort has not – as you know – really any strict need as regards the repetitions
that we have to deal with, namely the stickiest, the most annoying, the most symptomogenic repetitions.


This is where your (23) attention should be directed in order to uncover in it as
such the incidence of the function of the signifier.


How can it happen, this typical relationship to the subject constituted by the existence of the signifier as such, the only possible support of what is for us originally the experience of repetition?


Will I stop there or will I already indicate to you how the formula of the sign must be modified in order to grasp, to understand what is in question in the advent of the signifier.


The signifier, as opposed to the sign, is not what represents something for someone, it is what represents precisely the subject for another signifier; my dog is on the lookout for signs and then she speaks, in the way you know, why is her speech not a language; because precisely I am for her something which can give her signs, but who cannot give her any signifier.


The distinction between speech (la parole), as it can exist at the preverbal level and language consists precisely in this emergence of the function of the signifier.


Seminar IX :Identification 21

March 24, 2012

Seminar IX :Identification 21
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar IX :Identification 11
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar 4: Wednesday 6 December 1961

Well then it is only much later that we find the trace of something which belongs unambiguously to the signifier.


And this signifier is all alone, because I do not intend giving, for want of information, a special meaning to this little increased gap that there is some place in this line of strokes; it is possible, but I can say nothing about it. What I mean, on the contrary, is that here we see arising something which I am
not saying is the first appearance, but in any case a certain (17) appearance of something which you see is altogether distinguished from what can be designated as a qualitative difference: each one of these traits is not at all identical to its neighbour, but it is not because they are different that they
function as different, but because the signifying difference is distinct from anything that refers to qualitative difference, as I have just shown you with the little things that I have just circulated before you.


Qualitative difference can even on occasion underline the signifying sameness. This sameness is constituted precisely by the fact that the signifier as such serves to connote difference in the pure state, and the proof is that at its first appearance the one manifestly designates multiplicity as such. In other words, I am a hunter because now we have been carried to the level of Magdalenian .


God knows that catching an animal was not any more simple at that epoch than it is in our own day for those who are called Bushmen, and it was quite an adventure! It seems indeed that after having wounded the beast it was necessary to track it for a long time in order to see it succumb to what
was the effect of the poison. I kill one of them, it is an adventure, I kill another of them, it is a second adventure which I can distinguish by certain traits from the first, but which resembles it essentially by being marked with the same general line.


At the fourth, there may be some confusion: what distinguishes it from the second, for example. At the twentieth, how will I know where I am, or will I even know that I have had twenty of them?


(18) The Marquis de Sade at the Rue Paradis in Marseille, locked up with his little valet, proceeded in the same way for the ejaculations (coups), even though varied in different ways, that he got off in the company of this partner, even with some confederates who themselves were varied in different ways.


This exemplary man, whose relationships to desire must surely have been marked by some unusual ardour, whatever one might think, marked on the head of his bed, it is said, by little traits each one of the ejaculations – to give them their name – that he managed to achieve in this sort of singular probationary retreat.


Undoubtedly one must oneself be well engaged in the adventure of desire, at least according to everything that ordinary things teach us about the most ordinary experience of people, in order to have such a need to locate oneself in the sequence of one’s sexual accomplishments: it is nevertheless not unthinkable that at certain favourable epochs of life something can become hazy about the exact point that one is at in terms of decimal enumeration.


What is in question in the notch, in the notched trait, is something of which we cannot help seeing that here there arises something new with respect to what one could call the immanence of any essential action whatsoever. This being whom we can imagine to be still lacking this method of location, what will he
do, after a time which is rather short and limited by intuition, in order not to sense himself simply solidary with a present which is always easily renewable where nothing allows him any longer to discern what exists as difference in the real.


It is not at all sufficient to say – this is already quite obvious -(19) that this difference is in the living experience of the subject just as it is not at all sufficient to say: “But all the same such and such a person is not me”. It is not simply because Laplanche has hair like that and that I have hair like this and
that his eyes are a certain way and that he has not got quite the same smile as me, that he is different.

这样说根本就不足够—这已经是显而易见—他的差异是在主体的活生生的经验里,正如这样说根本就不足够: 「但是仍然如此的一个人并不是我。」这不仅是因为拉兰奇拥有像那样的头发,而我拥有像这样的头发。他的眼睛是某种的方式,他并没有像我这样的微笑,所以他跟我不同。

You will say: “Laplanche is Laplanche and Lacan is Lacan”. But it is precisely there that the whole question lies, since precisely in analysis the question is posed whether Laplanche is not the thought of Lacan and if Lacan is not the being of Laplanche or inversely.

你们将会说,「拉兰奇是拉兰奇,而拉康是拉康。」但是整个的问题,确实就是在那里,因为确实在精神分析,这个问题被提出: 拉兰奇是否就是拉康的思想,以及拉康是否不是拉兰奇的生命实存,或是颠倒过来说。

The question is not sufficiently resolved in the real. It is the signifier which settles it, it is it that introduces difference as such into the real, and
precisely in the measure in that what is involved are not at all qualitative differences.


But then if the signifier, in its function of difference, is something which presents itself thus in the mode of the paradox of being precisely different because of this difference which would be based or not on similarity, of being something other which is distinct and as regards which – I repeat – we can very
well suppose, because we have them within our reach, that there are beings who are alive and tolerate


Very well completely ignoring this sort of difference which certainly, for example, is not at all accessible to my dog, and I will not show you immediately – because I will show it to you in greater detail and in a more articulated fashion – that it is indeed for that reason that apparently the only thing that she does not know, is that she herself is. And that she herself is, we ought to search for the mode under which this is appended to this sort of distinction which is particularly manifest in the unary trait in so far as (20) what distinguishes it is not at all an identity of resemblance, it is something else.


What is this other thing?


It is this: it is that the signifier is not at all a sign. A sign, we are told, is to represent something for someone: the someone is there as a support for the sign. The first definition that one can give of a someone is: someone who is accessible to a sign. It is the most elementary form, if one can express oneself
in that way of subjectivity; there is no object at all here yet, there is something different: the sign, which represents this something for someone.

它是这个: 能指根本不是一种符号。我们被告诉,符号是用来对于某人所代表的东西。这个某人在那里,作为一种对于符号的支持。关于某人是什么,我们能够给予的第一个定义是:某人是可让符号接近的。这是最基本的形式,假如我们能够表达我们自己,以那种主观性的态度。在此,还根本就没有客体存在,有某件不同的东西:符号是替某人代表这个某件东西。


Seminar IX :Identification 20

March 24, 2012

Seminar IX :Identification 20
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar IX :Identification 11
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar 4: Wednesday 6 December 1961

(13) This to introduce you to what constitutes the essence of the signifier and which it is not for nothing that I will illustrate best in its simplest form which is what we have been designating for some time as the einziger Zug. The einziger Zug which is what gives to this function its value, its act and its
mainspring, this is what makes it necessary, in order to dissipate the confusion that may remain here, for me to introduce in order to express it in the best and closest possible way this term which is not at all an neologism, which is used in what is called set theory: the word unary (unaire) instead of the word single (unique).

这是为了要跟你们介绍,是什么组成能指的本质。这并非毫无意义,我将以最简单的形式,跟你们详加说明。这个形式上我们一直在设计一段时间,作为这个「单一特征 einziger Zug」。这个单一特征就是给予这个功能它的价值,它的行动及它的原动力。这是让它成为必要的东西,为了驱散可能留在这里的混淆,为了让我介绍,为了以最佳及最尽可能地方式表达这个根本不是新被杜撰的术语。它在所谓的集合理论里被使用。「单一特征unary」这个字词,而不是「独特unique」这个词

At the very least it is useful for me to make use of it today in order to make you properly sense this core that is in question in the distinction of the status of the
signifier. This unary trait, therefore, whether it is vertical like here – we call that drawing strokes – or whether it is, as the Chinese do it, horizontal, it might seem that its exemplary function is linked to the extreme reduction, precisely with regard to it, of all the opportunités for qualitative difference.


I mean that from the moment when I must simply make a trait, there are not, it seems, many varieties nor many variations.


This is what gives it its privileged value for us, disabuse yourselves: just as it was not a matter earlier in order to discover what was in question in the formula: “there is no tautology” of pursuing tautology there precisely where it did not exist, so now it is not a matter here of discerning what I called the perfectly graspable character of the status of the signifier whatever it may be, A or another one, in the fact that something in its structure might eliminate these differences. I call them qualitative because it is this term that the logicians use when (14) it is a question of defining identity by the elimination of
qualitative differences by reducing them as one might say to a simplified schema: this is supposed to be the mainspring of this recognition characteristic of our apprehension of what is the support of the signifier, the letter.

这就是给予我们它的特权的价值,请你们破除这个观念。正如问题并不是早先的为了发现,这个公式受到质疑的是什么:追求同义反复里「没有同义反复」,确是在同义反复并不存在的地方。所以现在,在此的问题并不是觉察出我所谓的能指的地位完全可理解的特性,无论那个特性是什么,A 或是另外一个A。 事实上,在它的结构里的某件东西,可能减少这些差异。我称它们是数量的差异,因为逻辑专家使用的这个术语,当问题是要定义这个认同,凭借着数量差异的减少,将它们还原成为一个简化的基模,我们不妨说。这被认为是作为我们理解的这个特性的体认的原动力,理解能指,这个信息的支持是什么?

That is not it at all, this is not what is in question. Because if I make a line of strokes, it is quite clear that, however well I may apply myself, there will not be a single one like any another and I would say more: they are all the more convincing as a line of strokes in that precisely I have not applied myself so
much to make them rigorously alike.

这根本不是那样,这并不是所被质疑的东西。因为假如我将笔画列成一行,显而易见地,无论我多么地用心,不会有一行像任何其他一行。我不妨更进一步说: 它们都是令人信服的,作为一行笔划,因为确实地,我没有如此用心,使它们酷似相像。

Since I have been trying to formulate for you what I am in the process of formulating at the moment, I have questioned myself with the means at my disposal, namely those which are given to everyone, about something which after all is not immediately obvious: at what moment does one see appearing a line of strokes?


I was in a really extraordinary place whose emptiness perhaps after all through my remarks I am going to draw people to animate, I mean that some of you are going to rush over there, I mean the museum of Saint-Germain. It is fascinating, it is exciting and it will be all the more so if you try all the same to find someone who was already there before you because there is no catalogue, no plan and where and who and what, and to find out where one is in this series of rooms.


There is a room which is called La Salle Piette, from the name of the justice of the peace who was a (15) genius and who made the most fantastic discoveries about pre-history, I mean from some tiny objects, in general of a very small size, which are the most fascinating things that you could see.


And to hold in one’s hand the little head of a woman which is certainly about 30,000 years old has all the same its value, besides the fact that this head is full of questions. But you can see in a glass case – it is very easy to see, because thanks to the testamentary dispositions of this remarkable man they are absolutely obliged to leave everything in the greatest possible disorder with completely out-of-date showcards on the objects, they have succeeded all the same in putting on a piece of plastic something which allows to be distinguished the value of certain of these objects.

用一个人的手握住一个女人的小头颅,这个女人确实是在30,000年前,这仍然具有它的价值,除了这个事实; 这个头颅问题重重。但是你们能够从玻璃柜里看出—这很容易看出,因为由于这位杰出人物的遗传的性情,他们不得不绝对勉强地留下一切,在尽可能地失序,跟完全老旧的这些客体的展示柜。他们仍然成功地将某件东西套上一层塑胶,这让某些这些东西的价值能够被区别出来。

How can I tell you the emotion that I felt when bending over one of these glass cases I saw on a thin rib-bone, obviously the rib of a mammal – I do not really know which one, and I do not know whether anyone would know better than I, a type of Cervide deer – a series of little strokes: first two, then a little interval and afterwards five, and then it recommences.


There, I said to myself addressing myself by my secret or my public name, this is why in short Jacques Lacan your daughter is not mute, this is why your daughter is your daughter, because if we were mute she would not be your daughter.


Obviously, there is some advantage in this, even living in a world very like that of a universal asylum of madmen, a no less certain consequence of the existence of signifiers, as you are going to see.


These strokes which only appear much later, several thousand (16) years after men knew how to make objects of a realistic exactitude, when at the Aurignacian epoch bisons were made which are beyond anything from the point of view of the art of the painter that we have yet been able to achieve! But what is more, at the same epoch people made in bone on a very small scale, a
reproduction of something that it might not seem one should have taken so much trouble over because it is a reproduction of something else in bone but which is much bigger: a horse’s skull.


Why redo in bone on a small scale, when really one imagines that at that epoch they had other things to be doing, this matchless reproduction? I mean that, in le Cuvier which I have at my country house, I have extremely remarkable engravings of fossilized skeletons which are made by consummate artists, these are no better than this small reduction of a horse’s skull
sculptured in bone which is of such an anatomical exactitude that not only is it convincing: it is rigorous.



Seminar IX :Identification 19

March 24, 2012

Seminar IX :Identification 19
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar IX :Identification 11
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar 4: Wednesday 6 December 1961

This involves conditions of things which are a little bit different, this is what Peguy called that “the little pegs no longer fitted into the little holes”.


It is a Peguy-type definition, namely that it is not at all certain: one could even sustain the contrary, namely that it is precisely in order to put the little pegs back in their real little holes that war begins, or on the contrary it is to make new little holes for the old little pegs, and so on.


Moreover this has strictly no interest for us, except that this pursuit whatever it may be is accomplished with a remarkable efficacity by means of the most profound imbecility, something which ought equally make us reflect on the function of the subject with respect to the effects of the signifier.


(9) But let us take something simple, and let us finish with it quickly. If I say “my grandfather is my grandfather” you should all the same fully grasp here that there is no tautology: that my grandfather, the first term is an index usage of the term “my grandfather”, which is not tangibly different from his proper
name, for example Emile Lacan, nor of the “C”‘ either of the “C’est” when I point him out when he enters a room: “C’est mon grand’pere”.

但是先谈简单的东西,让我们很快完成它。假如我说「我的祖父是我的祖父」,你们在此应该充分理解,这并不是同义反复,我的祖父,第一个术语是「我的祖父」这个术语的一种索引用法,它实质上跟他的专有名词没有不同。譬如,拉康、阿米勒,也不是说C’est的C,当我指出他,当他进入房间:C’est mon grand’pere。

This does not mean that his proper name is the same thing as this “C”1, of this is my grandfather. One is stupefied that a logician like Russell was able to say that the proper name belongs to the same category, to the same signifying class as the this, that or it, under the pretext that they are susceptible to the same functional usage in certain cases.


This is a parenthesis, but like all my parentheses, a parenthesis designed
to be rediscovered further on in connection with the status of the proper name of which we will not speak today.


In any case, what is in question in “my grandfather is my grandfather” means that the execrable petit bourgeois that this gentleman was, this horrible personage thanks to whom I acceded at an early age to this function of cursing God, this personage is exactly the same as the one who is posted on the civil
register as being demonstrated by the bonds of marriage to be the father of my father, in as much as it is precisely the birth of the latter that is at stake in the act in question.


You see therefore the degree to which “my grandfather is my grandfather”
is not at all a tautology. This applies to all tautologies and this does not at all give their univocal formula, because here it is a question of a relationship of the real to the symbolic; in (10) other cases there will be a relationship of the imaginary to the symbolic, and you would have to go through the whole sequence of permutations in order to see which are valid. I cannot engage
myself along this path because if I talk to you about this which is in a way a method of excluding false tautologies which are simply the permanent current usage of the language, it is in order to tell you that this is not what I mean.


If I pose that there is no tautology possible, it is not in so far as the first A and the second A mean different things that I say that there is no tautology, it is in the very status of A that there is inscribed that A cannot be A, and it was on this that I ended my discourse the last time by designating for you in Saussure the point where it is said that A as signifier cannot in any way be defined except by not being what the other signifiers are.

假如我提出,同义反复并不可能,这并不是因为第一个A与第二个A意味着不同的东西,我才说同义反复并不存在。而是在A的这个地位,A 无法是 A被铭记。就是在这个地方,我上一次结束我的论述,凭借着索绪尔的语言学跟你们指明这一点: 据说,作为能指的A,无论如何无法被定义,除了就是成为其他能指的本质。

From this fact, that it cannot be defined except precisely by not being all the other signifiers, on this there depends this dimension that it is equally true that it cannot be itself. It is not enough to put it forward in this way in this opaque
fashion precisely because it surprises, it upsets, this belief suspended on the fact that this is the real support of identity: you must be got to sense it.


What then is a signifier?


If everybody, and not alone the logicians speak about A when it is a question of “A is A”, it is not after all by chance. It is because in order to support what one desires, a letter is necessary. You will grant me this, I think, but moreover I do
(11) not hold this leap to be decisive except for the fact that my discourse cross-checks with it, demonstrates it in a sufficiently superabundant fashion for you to be convinced of it; and you will be all the more convinced because I am going to try to show you in the letter precisely this essence of the signifier
through which it is distinguished from the sign.

假如每个人,不仅是逻辑专家谈论到A,当「A是A」的问题,毕竟并不是偶然存在的。那是为了支持我们所欲望的东西,一个字母是需要的。我认为你们将会给予我这个字母,但是我并将这种跳跃当著是决定性,除了这个事实: 我的论述跟它交叉核对,以过分丰富的方式证实它,为了让你们深信它。你们将会更加地深信,因为我将要尝试用这个字母,跟你们确实显示这个能指的本质。凭借这个本质,这个能指跟符号不同。

I did something for you last Saturday in my house in the country where I have hanging on the wall what is called a Chinese calligraph. If it were not Chinese, I would not have hung it on my wall for the reason that it is only in China that the
calligraph has taken on a value as an object d’art: it is the same thing as having a painting, it has the same price.


There are the same differences and perhaps even more between one writing and another in our culture as in Chinese culture, but we do not attach the same price to it. On the other hand, I will have occasion to show you what can mask from us the value of the letter which, because of the particular status of the Chinese character, is particularly well highlighted in this character.


What I am going to show you only takes on its full and most exact position from a certain reflection about what the Chinese character is: I already all the same made allusion enough on occasions to the Chinese character and to its status for you to know that to call it ideographic is not at all sufficient. I will show it to you perhaps in greater detail, this moreover is what it has in common with everything that is called ideographic, there is properly speaking nothing which merits this term in the sense in which one imagines it habitually, I would say almost specifically in the sense that de Saussure’s little schema, with arbor and the tree drawn underneath, still sustains it through a (12) kind of imprudence which is what misunderstandings and confusions attach themselves to.


What I want to show you here, I made two examples of. I was brought at the same time a new little instrument that certain painters make a lot of, which is a sort of thick brush where the ink comes from inside which allows the traits to be traced out with a worthwhile thickness and consistency.


The result is that I copied much more easily than I would normally have done the form that the characters on my calligraph have: in the left hand column here is the calligraphy of this sentence which means “the shadow of my hat dances and trembles on the flowers of Hai Tang”; on the other side, you see the same sentence written in the usual characters, those which are the most legitimate, those that the stumbling student makes when he makes his characters correctly: these two series are perfectly identifiable and at the same time they do not resemble one another at all.


Notice that it is in the clearest fashion in so far as they do not resemble one
another at all that there are quite obviously from top to bottom on the right and on the left, the same seven characters, even for someone who has no idea not alone about Chinese characters, but no idea up to now that there were things which were called Chinese characters.


If someone discovers that for the first time drawn somewhere in a desert, he will see that on the right and on the left it is the same characters that are in question and the same series of characters on the right and on the left.



Seminar IX :Identification 18

March 22, 2012

Seminar IX :Identification 18
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar IX :Identification 11
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar 4: Wednesday 6 December 1961

It is here indeed that something else forces us to question ourselves about the fact that the punctuation in which this presence to the world manifests itself is not simply imaginary, namely that already it is not at all to the other that we refer ourselves here, but to this most intimate part of ourselves which we try to make the anchoring point, the root, the foundation of what we are as subjects.


For, if we can articulate, as we have done, on the imaginary plane, that my dog recognises me as the same, we have not on the contrary any indication about the fashion in which she identifies herself; in whatever way we may (5) re-engage her within herself, we know nothing at all, we have no proof, no testimony about the mode under which she approaches this identification.


It is indeed here that there appears the function, the value of the signifier same (mew) as such; and it is in the very measure that we are dealing with the subject that we have to question ourselves about the relationship of this
identification of the subject with what is a different dimension to everything that is the order of appearance and disappearance; namely the status of the signifier.


That our experience shows us that the different modes, the different angles under which we are led to identify ourselves as subjects, at least for some of us, supposes the signifier to articulate it, even most often under an
ambiguous, improper, difficult-to-handle form subject to all sorts of reservations and of distinctions which the “A is A” is, this is what I want to draw your attention to and first of all without dallying any longer show you that if we have the good fortune to take a further step in this direction, it is by trying
to articulate this status of the signifier as such.


I am indicating it right away: the signifier is not at all the sign. It is with giving to this distinction its precise formula that we are going to busy ourselves; I mean that it is to show where this difference lies that we can see arising from the fact already given by our experience that it is from the effect of the signifier that the subject as such emerges.


Metonymical effect, metaphorical effect, we do not yet know and perhaps there is something already articulatable before these effects which allows us to see dawning, being formed in a relationship, in a link, the dependence of the subject as such with respect to the signifier.


(6) This is what we are going to see by putting it to the test. To anticipate what I am trying here to make you grasp, to anticipate it in a short image to which it is only a matter of giving again a sort of value as a support, as a apologue, you
should measure the difference between the following which is going at first perhaps to appear to you as a play on words – but precisely it is one – there is the footprint (la trace d’un pas).


Already I led you along this trail, strongly tainted with myth, precisely correlative to the time where there begins to be articulated in thinking the function of the subject as such:Robinson Crusoe in front of the footprint which shows him that on the island he is not alone. The distance which separates this pas from what the pas as instrument of negation has become phonetically, these are two extremes of the chain that here I ask you to hold onto before showing you effectively what constitutes it and that it is between the two extremities of the chain that the subject can emerge and nowhere else.

我已经引导你们沿着这条途径,强烈地染上神秘的色彩,确实是跟这个时间息息相关。诸如像鲁宾逊、克鲁索这样的主体的功用在思想中开始被表达。他面临的足迹跟他显示:在这个岛上,他并不是孤单的。分开这个存在 跟作为否定的工具的存在,在语音上已经变成的东西。这些是两个锁链的极端,在此我要求你们掌握的,在我有效地跟你们显示,是什么形成它。就在这个锁链的两个极端。主体能够出现,而不是在别的地方。

By grasping it, we will manage to relativise something in such a way that you can consider this formula “A is A” itself as a sort of stigma, I mean in its character of belief as the affirmation of what I would call an epoch: epoch, moment, parenthesis, historical term after all whose field we can glimpse – as you will see – as limited.


What I called the other day an indication, which will remain still only an indication of the identity of this false coherence of the “A is A” with what I called a theological era, will allow me, I believe, to take a step in what is at stake concerning the problem of identification, in so far as analysis requires that it
(7) should be posed, with respect to a certain accession to the identical, as the transcendent A [l1Autre?].


This fecundity, this sort of determination which is suspended from this signified of “A is A” could not repose on its truth, because this affirmation is not true.


What it is a question of reaching in what I am striving to formulate before you, is that this fecundity reposes precisely on the objective fact – I employ
objective there in the sense that it has for example in Descartes’ text: “when one goes a little further, one sees the distinction arising as regards the ideas between their actual reality and their objective reality”, and naturally professors
produce very learned volumes for us such as a Scholastico- Cartesian index in order to tell us something that seems here for the rest of us, since God knows we are very smart, a little confused, that this is a legacy of Scholasticism by means of which it is believed that everything is explained. I mean that one has spared oneself what is really involved, namely: why Descartes the anti-Scholastic, was led for his part to make use again of these old props.


It seems that it does not come so easily to the mind of even the better historians that the only interesting thing is what made it necessary for him to wheel them out again.


It is quite clear that it is not in order to remake anew the argument of St Anselm that he drags all of this out again into the forefront of the stage. The objective fact that “A” cannot be “A”, this is what I would first of all like to highlight for you; precisely in order to make you understand that it is with something which has a relationship with this objective fact that we are dealing and this up to the false signified- (8) effect which is only a shadow here and, as a consequence,
which leaves us attached to this spontaneity that there is in the “A is A”.

显而易见地,这并不是为了重新塑造圣安色姆的论点,他将这一切拖到舞台的前面。这个客体的事实:「A 无法是A」。这是我首先想要跟你们强调的,确实是为了让你们了解,用某件跟这个客体的事实有关的东西,我们正在处理这个,直到这个虚假的能指效应。在此这仅是一个阴影,结果,它让我们依附著存在于「A是A」的这个自动自发性。

That the signifier has a fecundity because it is never in any case identical to itself, understand clearly here what I mean: it is quite clear that I am not in the process, even though it would be worth the trouble in passing to distinguish it from it, of pointing out to you that there is no tautology in the fact of saying that “war is war”. Everyone knows that: when one says “war is war”, one is saying something, one does not know exactly what moreover, but one can seek it, one can find it and one finds it very easily within hand’s reach; that means: that which begins at a certain moment: we are in a state of war.



Seminar IX :Identification 17

March 22, 2012

Seminar IX :Identification 17
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar IX :Identification 11
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar 4: Wednesday 6 December 1961

Let us take up again our idea, namely what I announced to you the last time that I intended to make pivot around the notion of the 1 our problem, that of identification, it being already announced that identification is not just simply to make 1, I think that this will not be difficult to admit.


We are starting, as is normal concerning identification, from the most common mode of access of subjective experience: that expressed by what appears to be the essentially communicable experience, in the formula which, at first sight, does not appear to give rise to objections that A is A.


I said: at first sight because it is clear that, whatever may be the degree of belief involved in this formula, I am not the first to raise objections to it; you have only to open the smallest treatise on logic in order to encounter what difficulties the distinguo of this formula, in appearance the most simple, gives rise to of itself.


You could even see that the greater part of the difficulties which are to be resolved in many domains – but it is particularly striking that it should be in logic more than elsewhere – come out of all the possible confusions which may arise from this formula which lends itself in an eminent way to confusion.


If you have, for example, some difficulties, even some fatigue, in (2) reading a text as exciting as Plato’s Parmenides, it is in as much as on this point of “A is A” let us say that you lack a little reflection, and in as much precisely that if I said above that the “A is A” is a belief, you must indeed understand it in
the way I told you: it is a belief which has certainly not always reigned over our species, in as much as after all, the A indeed began somewhere – I am speaking about A, the letter A – and that it must not have been so easy to gain access to this kernel of apparent certainty that there is in “A is A”, when man did not the A at his disposition.

譬如,假如你们有一些困难,甚至是一些疲倦,当你们阅读一种文本,像柏拉图的巴门尼底斯那样令人興奋,那同样是在「A是A」的这个点。让我们说,你们欠缺一些反思。同样确实地,假如我以上说到,这个「A是A」是一种信仰,你们确实了解它,以我告诉你们的方式。这是一种信仰,它确实未必总是统治我们的人类。毕竟,这个A确实是从某个地方开始—我正在谈论有关A,这个字母A。当时这一定并不是那模容易,获得接近明显确定性的核心,在「A 就是A」,当人在他自己的性情上,并没有这个A。

I will tell you a little later the path onto which this reflection may lead us; it would be well all the same to be aware of the new thing that arrives with the A; for the moment let us content ourselves with something that our language here allows us to articulate well: it is that “A is A” appears to mean something: it makes a “signified” (cela fait “signifie”).

稍后,我将会告诉你们这条途径,这个反思可能引导我们进入的途径。这仍然是要注意到跟随这个A到达的这个新的东西,目前,就让我们满足于我们在此的语言容许我们清楚表达的某件东西。那就是「A就是A」似乎意味着某件东西: 它形成一个「所指」。

I pose, very sure that I will not encounter on this point any opposition from anybody, and on this theme in a position of competence which I put to the test through the testimonies of what can be read about the matter, as well as by challenging one or other mathematician who is sufficiently familiar with his
science to know where we are at at the present time for example, and then many others in all sorts of domains, that I will encounter no opposition in putting forward under certain conditions of explanation which are precisely those to which I am going to submit myself before you, that “A is A” signifies
nothing. It is precisely this nothing (rien) that is going to be in question, because this nothing has a positive value because it says what that signifies.


We have in our experience, indeed in our (3) analytic folklore, something, the image never sufficiently explored, exploited, which is the game of the little
child so shrewdly picked out by Freud, perceived in such a perspicacious fashion in the Fort-Da. Let us take it up on our own account since, from an object taken up and rejected – the child in question is his grandson – Freud was able to glimpse the inaugural gesture in the game.


Let us remake this gesture, let us take this little object: a ping-pong ball, I take it, I hide it, I show it to him again; the ping-pong ball is the ping-pong ball, but it is not a signifier, it is an object, it is an approach to say: this little o is a little o; there is between these two moments, which I indisputably identify in a legitimate fashion, the disappearance of the ball; without that there is no means for me to show it, there is nothing formed on the plane of the image. Therefore, the ball is always there and I can fall into a cataleptic state looking at it.


What relationship is there between the “is” which unites the two apparitions of the ball and this intervening disappearance?


On the imaginary plane, you sense that at least the question is posed of the relationship of this “is” with what seems indeed to cause it, namely the disappearance, and there you are close to one of the secrets of the identification which is the one to which I tried to get you to refer in the folklore of identification: this spontaneous assumption by the subject of the identity of two appearances which are nevertheless quite different. Remember the story of the dead farm owner whom his servant rediscovers in the body of the mouse.


The relationship (4) of this “it is him” with the “it is him again”, this is what
for us gives its model and its register to the most simple experience of identification. Him, then him again, there is here the being-perspective of the question; in “him again”, it is the same being who appears.


As regards the other, in short, it is all right like that, it is satisfactory; for my dog whom I took the other day as a term of reference, as I told you, it is all right; this reference to being, is sufficiently, its seems, supported by her sense of smell; in the imaginary field the support of being is easily conceivable: it is a matter of knowing if it is effectively this simple relationship that we are dealing
with in our experience of identification.


When we speak about our experience of being, it is not at all for nothing that a whole effort of a thought which is our own contemporary one, is going to formulate something whose centrepiece I never shift without a certain smile, this Dasein, this fundamental mode of our experience in which there must be designated the centerpiece giving every access to this term of being, as a primary reference.


Seminar IX :Identification 16

March 22, 2012

Seminar IX :Identification 16
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar IX :Identification 11
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar 3: Wednesday 29 November 1961

It is a matter of knowing why it is to the human being that these things happen; contrary to my dog, the human being recognizes, in the emergence of such and such an animal the personage he has just lost, whether it is a question of his family or of an eminent personage of his tribe, the chief or someone else, the president of one or other society of young people or somebody else; he is this bison, that is him, or in a particular Celtic legend which by pure chance comes to me here because I would have to speak for all eternity to tell you (16) all things that arise in my memory in connection with this central experience…


I take a Celtic legend which is not at all a legend, which is a piece of folklore taken from the testimony of someone who was a servant on a farm. On the death of the
master of the place, of the lord, he sees appearing a little mouse, he follows it, the little mouse goes all around the field, she comes back, she goes into the shed where the agricultural implements are, she walks on these implements: on the plough, the
hoe, the spade and the others, then she disappears.


After that the servant, who already knew what was involved as regards the mouse, has a confirmation for it in the apparition of the ghost of his master who says to him, in effect: I was in that little mouse, I made a tour of the property to say goodbye to it, I had to see the agricultural implements because these are the essential objects to which one remains attached longer than to any other, and it is only after having made this tour that I could free myself from them etc… with an infinite number of
considerations concerning in this regard a conception of the relationships of the dead person and certain instruments, linked to certain conditions of work, properly rural conditions, or more especially agrarian, agricultural conditions.


I am taking this example to centre the gaze on an identification of being concerning two individual apparitions as obviously and as strongly to be distinguished from the one which would concern the being who, with respect to the narrating subject, had occupied the eminent position of master with this contingent little animal going one knows not where, going nowhere.


There is something which, all by itself, deserves to be taken not simply to be (17) explained as a consequence, but as a possibility which deserves as such to be highlighted.


Does that mean that such a reference can engender anything other than the most complete opacity?


It would be a poor recognition of the type of elaboration, the order of effort that I am demanding from you in my teaching, to think that I could in any way content myself, even if one were to obliterate its limits, with a reference to folklore in order to
consider as natural the phenomenon of identification: because once we have recognized this as the basis of the experience, we know absolutely no more about it, precisely in the measure that this can only happen to those I am speaking to in the most exceptional cases.


It is always necessary to make a little reservation: you can be sure that this may perfectly well happen in one or other country area. That this cannot happen to you, you to whom I am speaking, is what settles the question: from the moment that this can no longer happen to you, you can understand nothing about it and, not being able to understand anything about it, do not believe that it is enough for you to connote the event under some chapter heading, which you may call with M Levy-Bruhl mystical participation, or whether with the same man you make it enter under the great whole of the pre-logical mentality, for you to have said anything that is of the slightest interest.


It remains that what you can draw from it, make more familiar with the help of more attenuated phenomena, will not be for all that any more valuable because you will have started from an opaque foundation. You discover again here a reference of
(18) Apollinaire: “Mange tes pieds a la Sainte Menehould”, says the hero of the heroine of Mamelles de Tiresias somewhere to her husband.

问题仍然是,你们能够从它所获得的,凭借着力量变弱的现象的帮忙,变的更加熟悉。但尽管那样,它将不会变得更有价值,因为你们将会从一个模糊的基础开始。你们在此再一次发现一首阿保里奈尔的诗句:”Mange tes pieds a la Sainte Menehould”, 马美丽斯的女主角泰瑞西亚斯对于她的丈夫说。

It is a matter for us of grasping the relationship between this possibility which is called identification, in the sense that from it there arises something that exists only in language, and thanks to language, a truth to which this is an identification which is not at all distinguished for the farm labourer who comes to tell you the experience that I spoke to you about earlier; and for us who found the truth on A is A: this is the same thing because what will be the starting point of my discourse the next time, will be this: why is it that A is A is an absurdity?


The strict analysis of the function of the signifier, in so far as it is through it that I intend to introduce for you the question of signification, starts with this: it is that if A is A, has constituted, as I might say, the condition of a whole era of thought of which the Cartesian exploration with which I began is the term – what one could call the theological era – it is no less true that linguistic analysis is correlative to the advent
of another era, marked by precise technical correlations among which is the mathematical advent, I mean the extended use of the signifier in mathematics.

能指的功用的严格的分析,通过它,我打算跟你们介绍意义的问题,开这里开始; 假如A 是 A, 我不妨说,它已经形成一整个时代的思想的情况。我用来开始的笛卡尔的探索的思想就是这个术语: 我们能够称这个神学的时代叫什么呢?这同样的真实的,语言的分析跟另外一个时代的来临息息相关,根据确实的技术的相关来标示,也就是数学的来临。我指的是能指在数学的延伸用途。

We can glimpse that if the A is A does not work, I would take further the problem of
identification. I indicate to you here and now that I will make my demonstration turn around the function of the one; and in order not to leave you completely in suspense and in order that perhaps each one of you would envisage beginning to formulate
something on the path of what I will say to you about it, I would (19) ask you to refer to the chapter in de Saussure’s Course in linguistics which ends on page 175. This chapter ends with a paragraph which begins on page 174 and I will read the following
paragraph of it:

我们能够瞥见,假如A是A 行不通,我将更进一步探讨认同的问题。我在此跟你们指示,我将我的证明环绕着这个「一」的功用,为了不要留下你们完全在悬疑当中,为了或许你们每一个将会拟想开始说明某件东西,在我将会跟你们谈论关于它的途径。我将会要求你们提到索绪尔的语言学通论的这个章节,在175页结尾的地方。这个章节结尾有一个段落,开始于174页,我将朗读以下的这个段落:

“Applied to units, the principle of differentiation can be stated in this way: the characteristics of the unit blend with the unit itself. In a tongue, as in any semiological system,” this would deserve a discussion, “whatever distinguishes one sign from the
others constitutes it.


Difference makes character just as it makes value and the unit”. [English translation, page 121].In other words, unlike the sign – and you will see it confirmed provided you read this chapter – what distinguishes the signifier, is simply being what the others are not; that which, in the signifier, implies this function of the unit, is precisely to be simply difference. It is qua pure difference that the unit, in its signifying function, structures itself, constitutes itself.


This is not a single trait. In a way, it constitutes a unilateral abstraction concerning the synchronic relationship for example of the signifier. As you will see the next time, nothing is properly speaking thinkable, nothing in the function is properly speaking thinkable, unless it starts from the following which I formulate as: the one as such is the Other.


It is starting from here, from this fundamental structure of the one as difference that we can see appearing this origin from which one can see the signifier constituting itself, as I might say: it is in the Other (1’Autre) that the A of “A is A”, the big 0, as one says the great word, is released.


(20) From the processes of this language of the signifier, from here alone can there begin an exploration which is fundamental and radical of how identification is constituted. Identification has nothing to do with unification. It is only by distinguishing
it from it that one can give it, not only its essential accent, but its functions and its varieties.

从能指的这个语言的这些过程,仅是从这里,一种探索开始。这是基本而激进的探索:认为如何被形成? 认同跟统一完全没有任何关系。仅是凭借着区别它们,我们能够给予它,不但是它的基本强调,而是是它的功用及它的多样性。


Seminar IX :Identification 15

March 21, 2012

Seminar IX :Identification 15
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar IX :Identification 11
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar 3: Wednesday 29 November 1961

There are many others who sing and the question is not still demonstrated whether for all that they have a language. People have always spoken about this, the Shaman whose representation I have on a very beautiful little grey bird fabricated by the Kwakiutl of British Columbia carries on his back a sort of human image who communicates in a tongue which links him with a frog: the frog is supposed to be communicating to him the language of animals. It is not worth the trouble to do all this ethnography because, as you know St. Francis spoke to the animals: he is not a mythical personage, he lived at a epoch incredibly illuminated already in his time by the full light of history.


There are people who have made very pretty little paintings in order to show him to us on a rock, and one sees out at the very edge of the horizon the mouths of fish emerging from the sea in order to hear him which is the all the same, you have to admit, quite something.


One might in this connection ask oneself in what tongue he spoke to them. This always has a meaning at the level of modern (13) linguistics, and at the level of psychoanalytic experience.


We have learned to define perfectly the function in certain beginnings of the tongue of what is called baby-talk, this thing which gets on the nerves of some people, me for example, this type of “gilly, gilly, what a lovely little baby”. This has a role which goes well beyond these manifestations which are noted for their inane dimension, the inaneness consisting on this occasion in the feeling of superiority of the adult.


There is nevertheless no essential distinction between what is called baby-talk and, for example, a sort of tongue like that which is called pidgin namely these sorts of tongues constituted when two types of language articulation enter into relationship, the users of one considering it to be both necessary and their right to use certain signifying elements which belong to the other region, and this with the aim of using them in order to make penetrate into the other region a certain number of communications which are proper to their own region, with this sort of prejudice which is in question in this operation of getting across to them, of transmitting to them categories of a higher order.


These sorts of integration between one language region and another are one of
the fields of study of linguistics, deserving then as such to be taken up as a quite objective value thanks to the fact that there exist precisely, with respect to language, two different worlds in that of the child and in that of the adult.


We can all the less avoid taking it into account, we can all the less neglect it in that it is in this reference that we find the origin of certain rather paradoxical traits of the constitution of signifying batteries, I mean the very particular prevalence of
(14) certain phonemes in the designation of certain relationships which are called kinship, the not universal but overwhelming majority of phonemes PA and MA to designate, to furnish at least one of the modes of designation of the father and of the mother; this irruption of something which is only justified because of developmental elements in the acquisition of a language, namely pure speech events, this is only explicable precisely starting from the perspective of a relationship between two distinct spheres of language.

我们仍然无法避免要考虑到它,我们仍然不能个忽略它,因为在这方面,我们发现能指化锁链的形成的某些相当矛盾的特征的起源。我的意思是,在所谓的亲属的某些关系的指明,某些音素具有特别的优势。这个并非是普遍性,但是具有压倒性的大多数的音素,PA 与MA来指明,来供应至少是父亲与母亲的其中一种指明的模式。因为一种语言的学习的发展的要素,仅能自圆其说的某件东西的爆发,换句话说,纯粹的言说的事件,这仅能够被解释,确实是从语言的两种清楚的领域之间的关系的观点开始。

And you see there being outlined here something which is again the outline of a frontier. I do not think that I am innovating here because you know what Ferenczi
tried to begin to highlight under the title of “The confusion of tongues ….. 11 very specifically at this level of the verbal relationship between the child and the adult.


I know that this long detour will not allow me to tackle today the function of the One, it will perhaps allow me to add to it, because when all is said and done all that is in question here is to clear the way, namely that you should not believe that where I
am leading you is a field which is exterior with regard to your experience, it is on the contrary the most internal field because this experience, the one for example which I evoked earlier specifically in the concrete distinction here between the other
and the Other, all we can do is go through this experience.


Identification, namely that which is able very precisely and also as intensely as possible, to imagine there being put under some sort of being of your relationships the substance of another, is something which can be illustrated to infinity in an “ethnographical” text because precisely it is on this that there (15) has been constructed, with Levy-Bruhl, a whole series of theoretical conceptions which are expressed under the term: pre-logical mentality, indeed later on mystical participation, when he was led to focus more especially on the function of identification the interest of what seemed to him to be the path to the objectification of the field he had taken as his own.


I think that here you know within what brackets, under what express reserve there can only be accepted relationships put under such a rubric. It is from something infinitely more common which has nothing to do with anything whatsoever which puts in question logic, or rationality, that one must start from in order to situate these facts (whether they are archaic or not) of identification as such.

我认为,在此你们知道在什么括弧里面,在怎样明显的储存之下,被摆放着如此一种组织之下的关系仅能够被接受。我们必须开始,从某件更加普遍的东西,它跟任何质疑逻辑,或理性的东西,没有丝毫关系。我们必须开始,为了定位认同本身的这些事实,( 无论它们过时与否)。

It is a fact which has always been known and can still be established for us when we address ourselves to subjects taken in certain contexts which remain to be defined, that these sorts of event – I am going to call them by terms which upset the barriers, which take things in a crude way in order to make it clearly understood that I do not intend here to stop at any dividing walls which are destined to obscure the primacy of certain phenomena – these phenomena of false recognition, let us say on the one hand of bi-location let us say of the other, flourish at the level of such experience, in the reports, in testimonies one hears.



Seminar IX :Identification 14

March 20, 2012

Seminar IX :Identification 14
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar IX :Identification 11
第九研讨班 :认同

Jacques Lacan

Seminar 3: Wednesday 29 November 1961

Let us rid ourselves of the problem by saying that it is her sense of smell which prevents it for her, and here we are only (9) rediscovering a classical indication, namely that the organic regression of the sense of smell in the case of man has a lot to do with his access to this Other dimension.


I am very sorry to appear, with this reference, to be re-establishing the cut between the canine species and the human species. I am saying this to signify to you that you would be completely wrong to believe that the privilege I give to language is some sort of pride which hides this sort of prejudice which would make of man precisely some sort of summit of being.


I would temper this cut by telling you that if my dog lacks this sort of possibility which was not separated out as autonomous before the existence of analysis which is called the capacity for transference, that does not at all mean that this reduces for her partner, I mean for myself, the emotionally expressive field of that which in the current sense of the term I call precisely human relations.


It is manifest, in the behaviour of my dog, concerning precisely the reflux onto her own being of the effects of comfort, of positions of prestige, that a large part, let us say it, if not the totality of the register of what constitutes the pleasure of my own relationship, for example, with a woman of the world, is there completely fulfilled.


I mean that, when she occupies a privileged place like the one which consists in climbing onto what I call my cot, in other words the marriage bed, the sort of look with which she fixes me on such occasions, suspended between the glory of occupying a place whose privileged signification she situates perfectly well and the fear of the imminent gesture which is going to dislodge her from it, is not at all of a different dimension to what can be seen in the look of what I called, in a purely demagogical way, a woman of the (10) world; because if she does not have, in what concerns what can be called the pleasure of conversation, a special privilege,


she has just the same look, when having taken off in a dithyramb about some film or other which appears to her to be the latest thing in technical achievement, she feels suspended over her a declaration from me that I was bored to the teeth with it, which
from the point of view of nihil mirari, which is the law of good society, already gives rise in her to the suspicion that she would have done better to let me speak first.


This by tempering, or more exactly by re-establishing the sense of the question that I am posing concerning the relationships of speech to language, is designed to introduce what I am going to try to separate out for you concerning what specifies a language as such; the tongue as it is called, in so far as, if it is the privilege of man, it is not immediately completely clear why it should be limited to him. I assure you that it is worthwhile spelling this out.


I spoke about a tongue: for example, it is not indifferent to note – at least for those who have not heard about Rousselot here for the first time, it is all the same very necessary that you should at least know how Rousselot’s reflexes are constituted – I allow myself to see right away the importance of something, which was absent from my earlier explanation about my dog, that I am speaking about something pharyngeal, something glottal, and then about something which was trembling all around here and there and therefore which is recordable in terms of pressure, of tension.


But I did not speak at all about the effects of the tongue: there is nothing here (11) which produces a click for example, and still less which produces an occlusion;
there is undulation, sighing, breathing, there are all sorts of things which are close to it, but there is no occlusion.


I do not want to go on about this too much today, this is going to push into the background things about the 1; too bad, one has to take the time to explain things. If I underline it in passing, you can be sure that it is not for the pleasure of it, it is because we will rediscover – and this we can only do retrospectively – its meaning. It is perhaps not an essential pillar of our explanation but this phase of occlusion will in any case take on its meaning at a particular moment; and the sketches of Rousselot, which perhaps you for your part will have consulted in the interval, since this will allow me to abbreviate my explanation, will perhaps be particularly expressive at that time.


In order to properly image for you for now what the solution is, I am going to give you an example of it; the phonetician encounters in the same step – and it is not without reason as you are going to see – the phoneme PA and the phoneme AP, which
allows him to pose the principles of the opposition between the implosion AP and the explosion PA and to show us that the consonance of P is, as in the case of your daughter, to be mute. The meaning of P is between this implosion and this explosion.


The P is heard precisely because it is not heard and this silent time in the middle, hold onto the formula, is something which, at the very phonetic level of the word, is what
might be called a sort of announcement of a certain point to which, as you will see, I will lead you after some detours. I am taking advantage simply of the passage through my dog, to indicate it to you in passing and to make you notice at the same (12) time that this absence of occlusives in the speech of my dog, is precisely what it has in common with a spoken activity which you know well and which is called singing.


If it often happens that you do not understand what the singer is saying, it is precisely because one cannot sing occlusives and I also hope that you will be happy to land on your feet again by thinking that everything is in order because in short my dog sings, which reinserts her into the concert of the animals.