The Psychosis

Jacques Lacan

The phallus and the meteor
第22章: 阳具与流星


I’m not sure what to begin with to end this course. On the off chance, I’ve
put two small schemas on the board for you.


The first is an old one. It’s a sort of grid which I used at the start of this
year to try to show you how the problem of delusion is raised if we want to
structure it insofar as it appears to be a relation in some way linked to speech.
The second of these schemas is entirely new and I will have occasion to refer
to it shortly.


What I have put forward this year has been centraUy concerned with placing
the emphasis back upon the structure of delusion. Delusion may be regarded
as a disturbance of the object relation and is therefore linked to a transference
mechanism. But I wanted to show you that all its phenomena, and I even
think I can say its dynamics, would be clarified in reference to the functions
and structure of speech. This will also free this transference mechanism from
all kinds of confused and diffuse object relations.


By hypothesis, whenever one deals with a disturbance regarded overall as
immature, one refers to a linear developmental series derived from the immaturity
of the object relation. Now, experience shows that this unilinearity
leads to impasses, to inadequate, unmotivated explanations that superimpose
themselves on one another in a way that does not enable cases to be differentiated
and, first and foremost, obliterates the difference between neurosis
and psychosis. The mere experience of partial delusion mitigates against
speaking of immaturity, or even of regression or simple modification of the
object relation.

根据假设,每当我们处理一种扰乱,全面性被认为是不成熟,我们提到一种直线的发展系列。这个发展系列从客体关系的不成熟获得。现在,精神分析经验显示: 这个单一直线性导致各种僵局,导致不充分,没有动机的各种解释。这些解释彼此预先涵盖,其方式并不能够让各种个案被区别。尤其重要的,它们抹除掉神经症与精神错乱的差异。光是客体谵妄动精神分析经验,就让不成熟之说难以成立,遑论倒退说或是客体的单纯修正说。

The same thing goes if one refers to the neuroses alone. Next year we shall
see that the notion of object relation isn’t univocal, when I begin by contrast-
ing the object of phobias with the object of perversions. This will be to take
up again, at the level of the category of object, the problem of the relations
between the subject and the other, two terms which, regarding the psychoses,
are opposed.


I left you last time with two opposed descriptions, Freud’s and that of a
psychoanalyst who is far from being without merit and, while representing
the most modern tendencies, has at least the advantage of doing so very intelligently.


Let’s briefly summarize Freud’s position on the subject of Schreber’s delusion
and the objections brought against him, and let’s see if anything like a
better solution has even begun to be outlined.


For Freud, we’re told, Schreber’s delusion is linked to the irruption of a
homosexual tendency. The subject negates it, defends himself against it. In
his case, which isn’t the case of a neurotic, this negation ends in what we
might call divine erotomania.


You know how Freud divides up the various denials [delegations] of the
homosexual tendency. He starts from a sentence that symbolizes the situation
– / love him, a man.1 There is more than one way of introducing denial into
this sentence. One may say for example, Its not I who love him or, Its not
him I love or again, For me there is no question of love, I hate him. Moreover,
he tells us, the situation is never simple and isn’t limited to a simple symbolic

你们知道弗洛伊德如何区分对于同性恋倾向的各种各样的否认。他从一个象征这个情况的句子开始:「 我爱他,一位男人」。有不仅一种的方式来介绍否认,进入这个句子。我们可以说,譬如,「并不是我爱他」,或是「我爱的并不是他」,或是「对于我而言,无所谓爱的问题,我恨他」。而且,他告诉我,这个情况从来就不是单纯的,它并不限制于一种单纯的符号象征的倒转。

For reasons that he takes to be implied sufficiently, but upon which
as a matter of fact he doesn’t insist, an imaginary reversal of the situation
occurs in only a part of the three terms, namely / hate him is for example
transformed through projection into He hates me. In our case, Ifs not him I
love, its someone eke, a big He, God himself, is inverted into He loves me, as
in all erotomania. It is clear that Freud is indicating that the final result of
defense against the homosexual tendency can’t be understood in the absence
of a very advanced reversal of the symbolic apparatus.

为了他认为是充分被暗示的理由,但是事实上,他并没有坚持这些理由。一种想象的情况的倒转发送,在这三个术语的仅是早先的部分。换句话说,譬若,「我恨他」,通过投射被转换成为「他恨我」。 在我们苏瑞伯这个个案,「我爱的并不是他,而是某个其他人。」一个大写的「他」,上帝本身,被倒转成为「他爱我」,如同在所有色情狂。显而易见,弗洛伊德正在指示: 作为防卫对抗同性恋倾向的最后结果,无法被了解,由于符号象征的工具的深度倒转并没有出现。

Everything may therefore appear to revolve around defence. It must
undoubtedly be very intense indeed to propel the subject into trials that extend
to nothing less than the derealization, not only of the external world in general,
but of the very people around him, even those he is closest to, including
the other as such. This necessitates an entire delusional reconstruction, fol- 351
lowing which the subject gradually resituates, though in a profoundly disturbed
way, a world in which he is able to recognize himself, in an equally
disturbed way, as destined – at a time projected into the uncertainty of the
future, at a date that is indeterminate but that certainly cannot be delayed –
to become the subject par excellence of a divine miracle, that is, to be the
support and feminine receptacle of the recreation of all humanity. Schreber’s
delusion in its final state presents with all the megalomaniacal characteristics
of delusions of redemption in their most highly developed form.


How do we account for the intensity of the defense? Freud’s explanation
looks like it is contained entirely within the reference to narcissism. The
defence against the homosexual tendency begins with a narcissism under threat.
The megalomania represents that by which the narcissistic fear expresses itself.
The ego’s enlargement to the dimensions of the world is a fact of libidinal
economy which is apparently located entirely on the imaginary level. Making
himself the supreme being’s love object, the subject can henceforth abandon
that which, of all that he was going to save, initially seemed most precious to
him – namely the mark of his virility.


But ultimately, and I stress this, the pivot, the point of convergence of the
libidinal dialectic that the mechanism and development of neurosis refer to
in Freud, is the theme of castration. It’s castration that conditions the narcissistic
fear. To accept castration the subject must pay as elevated a price as
this reworking of the whole of reality.


Freud stuck by this prevalence. In the material, explanatory order of
Freudian theory, from beginning to end, this is an invariable, a prevalent
invariable. He never subordinated or even relativized its place in the theoretical
conditioning of the subjective interplay in which the history of any psychoanalytic
phenomenon whatsoever is inscribed. It was around Freud, within
the analytic community, that one wanted to give it symmetrical or equivalent
things. But in his work the phallic object occupies the central place in libidinal
economy, in both man and woman.

弗洛伊德坚守这种的盛行。 在材料方面,弗洛伊德理论的解释性秩序,从头到尾,这是一个不变的东西,一个盛行的不变。他从来没有将它的位置隶属化,或相对化,在主体化的互相运作的理论制约。在这个互相运作里,任何精神分析现象的历史被铭记。就是环绕着弗洛伊德,在精神分析的社会里,我们想要给予它一些均称及相等的东西。但是在他的著作里,阳具的客体佔据这个中央的位置,在力比多的活动力,在男人与女人身上。

This is an altogether essential fact, characteristic of all the theorizing given
and maintained by Freud – whatever reworking he brought to his theorizing,
throughout all the phases of the schematization he was able to give of psychic
life, the prevalence of the phallic center was never modified.


If there is some truth in Mrs. Macalpine’s remarks – and this is however
352 the only thing that she doesn’t really make evident – it’s that, effectively, in
Schreber castration is never an issue. The Latin term that is used in German,
eviratio – Entmannung, means in the text transformation, with all that this
word conveys of transition, into a woman – it’s not castration at all.2 This
doesn’t matter, Freud’s analysis makes the entire dynamics of the subject
Schreber revolve around the theme of castration, of the loss of the phallic


We must remark that despite certain weaknesses in his argument, which
are due to the use of terms that only have their place in the imaginary dialectic
of narcissism, the virile object is the essential element at play in the conflict.
It alone enables us to make sense of and to understand the different
stages of the delusion’s evolution, its phases, and its final construction. Furthermore,
we may note in passing all sorts of subtleties that have not been
developed or completely explored.


Freud shows us for example that projection
alone cannot explain delusion, that it is not a matter of a mirror image
of the subject’s feeling, but that it is indispensable to determine stages in it
and, at a certain moment as it were, a loss of the tendency, which ages. Over
the course of the year I have greatly insisted upon the fact that what has been
repressed within reappears without, re-emerges in the background – and not
in a simple structure but in a position that is, as it were, internal, which
makes the subject himself, who in the present case happens to be the agent
of persecution, ambiguous, problematic. He is initially only the representative
of another subject who not only permits but undoubtedly acts, in the
final analysis. In short, the otherness of the other is spread out. It’s one of
the problems to which as a matter of fact Freud does lead us, but he stops


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