Archive for January, 2013

Ethic 277

January 30, 2013

Ethic 277
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis

Jacques Lacan


Antigone between two deaths




And it is to Antigone that we must now turn.


Is she, as the classic interpretation would have it, the servant of a sacred order, of respect for living matter? Is hers the image of charity? Perhaps, but only if we confer on the word charity a savage dimension. Yet the path from Antigone’s passion to her elevation is a long one.

依照古典的解释,她是神圣秩序的女儿,是对具有生命的物质的尊敬吗?她的意象是慈善的意象吗? 或许,只是我们要将慈善这个字词,赋予野蛮的维度。可是,从安提贡尼的激情到她的升华,是一条漫长的途径。

When she explains to Creon what she has done, Antigone affirms the advent
of the absolute individual with the phrase “That’s how it is because that’s
how it is.” But in the name of what? And to begin with on the basis of what?I must quote the text.


She says clearly, “You made the laws.” But once again the sense is missed. Translated word for word, it means, “For Zeus is by no means the one who proclaimed those things to me.” Naturally, she is understood to have said -and I have always told you that it is important not to understand for the sake of understanding – “It’s not Zeus who gives you the right to say that.” But she doesn’t, in fact, say that. She denies that it is Zeus who ordered her to do it. Nor is it Δίκη, which is the companion or collaborator of the gods below. She pointedly distinguishes herself from Δίκη. “You have got that all mixed up,” she, in effect, says. “It may even be that you are wrong in the way you avoid the Δίκη. But I’m not going to get mixed up in it; I’m not concerned with all these gods below who have imposed laws on men.” ωρκσαν, όρίξω, ορός means precisely the image of an horizon, of a limit. Moreover, the limit in question is one on which she establishes herself, a place where she feels herself to be unassailable, a place where it is impossible for a mortal being to ύπβρδραμ&ν, to go beyond νόμιμα, the laws. These are no longer laws, νόμος, but a certain legality which is a consequence of the laws of the
gods that are said to be άγραπτα, which is translated as “unwritten,” because that is in effect what it means. Involved here is an invocation of something that is, in effect, of the order of law, but which is not developed in any signifying chain or in anything else.

她清楚地说,「你制定法律。」但是再一次,意义被失漏。逐字地翻译,它的意思是:「因为宙斯天神绝非是对我宣佈那些事情的人。」当然,我们理解她的意思是说—我总是告诉你们,这是很重要的,不要为了理解而理解—「宙斯天神并没有赋予你这个权力那样说。」但是事实上,她并没有那样说。她否认,宙斯天神命令她这样做。也不是世间的众神的同伴或是共谋者命令。她尖锐地区别她自己,跟同伴或共谋者。「你把所有那一切都搞混了。」实际上,她是这样说,「甚至你是错误,当你避开那个同伴或共谋。」但是我不要在里面被搞混。我跟世界的这些众神没有关系,他们赋加法则在人们身上。ωρκσαν, όρίξω, ορός 确实是意味着地平线的意象,限制的意象。而且,受到质疑的这个限制是她用来作为自己基础的限制,在那个地方,她感觉自己是不会被攻击得了。在那个地方,作为人的生物,无法超越法则。这些不再是法则,而是有某种的合法性,作为众神的法则的结果。这些众神据说是άγραπτα,,可翻译成为「不成文法」。因为那就是它实际上的意涵。在此被牵涉的是某种东西的召唤,实际上,就是法律秩序的东西。但是它并没有被发展,在能指化的锁链或是任何其他东西。

Involved is an horizon determined by a structural relation; it only exists on the basis of the language of words, but it reveals their unsurpassable consequence. The point is from the moment when words and language and the signifier enter into play, something may be said, and it is said in the following way: “My brother may be whatever you say he is, a criminal. He wanted to destroy the walls of his city, lead his compatriots away in slavery. He led our enemies on to the territory of our city, but he is nevertheless what he is, and he must be granted his funeral rites. He doubtless doesn’t have the same rights as the other. You can, in fact, tell me whatever you want, tell me that one is a hero and a friend, that the other is an enemy. But I answer that it is
of no significance that the latter doesn’t have the same value below. As far as I am concerned, the order that you dare refer me to doesn’t mean anything, for from my point of view, my brother is my brother.”


That’s the paradox encountered by Goethe’s thought and he vacillates. My brother is what he is, and it’s because he is what he is and only he can be what he is, that I move forward toward the fatal limit. If it were anyone else with whom I might enter into a human relationship, my husband or my children for example, they are replaceable; I have relations with them. But this brother who is άθατττος, who has in common with me the fact of having been born in the same womb – the etymology of the word αδελφός embodies an allusion to the womb – and having been related to the same father – that criminal father the consequences of whose crimes Antigone is still suffering from – this brother is something unique. And it is this alone which motivates me to oppose your edicts.

那就是歌德的思想遭遇的悖论,他摇摆不定。我的兄长就是那个样子。因为他就是他那个样子,仅有他能够成为他那个样子。我向前移动,朝向那个致命的限制。假如那是某位其他的人,我可能跟他有人际的关系,譬如,我的丈夫或我的小孩,他们是可替换的。我跟他们有关系。但是这位兄长跟我有共通的关系,是这个事实:我们是同一位母亲的子宫所生。这个字词αδελφός 的字源具体地提到子宫,跟相同的父亲有关联。由于那个罪犯的父亲的结果,他的罪恶,安提贡尼依旧遭受痛苦。兄长是某件独特的东西。仅有这个,引起我的动机要反对你们的宣称。

Antigone invokes no other right than that one, a right that emerges in the language of the ineffaceable character of what is – ineffaceable, that is, from the moment when the emergent signifier freezes it like a fixed object in spite of the flood of possible transformations. What is, is, and it is to this, to this surface, that the unshakeable, unyielding position of Antigone is fixed.


She rejects everything else. The stance of the-race-is-run is nowhere better illustrated than here. And whatever else one relates it to, is only a way of causing uncertainty or disguising the absolutely radical character of the position of the problem in the text.


The fact that it is man who invented the sepulchre is evoked discretely.
One cannot finish off someone who is a man as if he were a dog. One cannot
be finished with his remains simply by forgetting that the register of being of someone who was identified by a name has to be preserved by funeral rites.


No doubt all kinds of things may be added to that. All the clouds of the imaginary come to be accumulated around it as well as the influences that are released by the ghosts who multiply in the vicinity of death. But at bottom the affair concerns the refusal to grant Polynices a funeral. Because he is abandoned to the dogs and the birds and will end his appearance on earth in impurity, with his scattered limbs an offense to heaven and earth, it can be seen that Antigone’s position represents the radical limit that affirms the unique value of his being without reference to any content, to whatever good or evil Polynices may have done, or to whatever he may be subjected to.


The unique value involved is essentially that of language. Outside of language it is inconceivable, and the being of him who has lived cannot be detached from all he bears with him in the nature of good and evil, of destiny, of consequences for others, or of feelings for himself. That purity, that separation of being from the characteristics of the historical drama he has lived through, is precisely the limit or the ex nihilo to which Antigone is attached. It is nothing more than the break that the very presence of language inaugurates in the life of man.


That break is manifested at every moment in the fact that language punctuates everything that occurs in the movement of life. Αυτόνομος is the word the Chorus uses to situate Antigone; it tells her, “You are going off toward death without knowing your own law.” Antigone knows what she is condemned to, that is, to take part, so to speak, in a game whose outcome is known in advance- It is, in effect, posited as a game by Creon. She is condemned to the sealed chamber of the tomb in which she will be put to the test, namely, that of knowing if the gods below will come to her aid. It is at this point in her ordeal that Creon pronounces his condemnation, when he says, “We’ll see how useful your loyalty to the gods below will be. You will have the food that is always placed next to the dead by way of an offering, and we’ll see just how long you last with that.”

那种断裂被表现在发生于生命的动作的每个时刻。Αυτόνομος 就是这个字词,合唱队用来定位安提贡尼的字词。合唱队告诉她,「你将会离开朝向死亡,而不知道你自己的法则。」安提贡尼知道她被判处什么徒刑。换句话说,参与事先就知道结果的遊戏。实际上,它被提出作为是克瑞恩的遊戏。她被判处被囚禁于封闭的墓室的房间。她将在那里接受考验,也就说,要知道世界的众神是否会来帮助她。就在她接受考验的这个时刻,克瑞恩宣佈对她的判刑,当他说,「我们将会看看,你对于世间谍众神的忠诚将会有多大用途。你将会拥有总是被放置在亡者旁边作为祭品的这些食物。我们倒要看看,你用那些食物能够支持多久。」

It is at that moment that the tragedy is illuminated with a new light, in the form of Antigone’s κομμός, her complaint or lamentation. And it is significant that certain commentators have been scandalized by it.



Ethic 273

January 30, 2013

Ethic 273
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis

Jacques Lacan


Antigone between two deaths





From then on things move fast. The guard comes and announces that the
brother has been buried. At this point I am going to draw your attention to something that reveals the importance of Sophocles’s work for us.
Some people have said, and I seem to remember that it is the name of one
of the many works that I consulted, that Sophocles is a humanist. He is found to be human since he gives the idea of a properly human measure between a rootedness in archaic ideals represented by Aeschylus and a move toward bathos, sentimentality, criticism, and sophistry that Aristotle had already reproached Euripides with.


I don’t disagree with the notion that Sophocles is in that median position,
but as far as finding in him some relationship to humanism is concerned, that would be to give a wholly new meaning to the word. As for us, we consider ourselves to be at the end of the vein of humanist thought. From our point of view man is in the process of splitting apart, as if as a result of a spectral analysis, an example of which I have engaged in here in moving along the joint between the imaginary and the symbolic in which we seek out the relationship of man to the signifier, and the “splitting” it gives rise to in him. Claude Levi-Strauss is looking for something similar when he attempts to formalize the move from nature to culture or more exactly the gap between nature and culture.

我同意这个观念; 索福克利斯处于那个中间位置。但是就在他身上找到跟人本主义的关系而言,那是给予这个字词完全崭新的意义。至于我们,我们认为我们自己处于人本主义的思想的脉络的末端。从我们的观念,人是处于分裂的过程,好像由于魅影分析的结果,其中一个例子,我曾经在此探讨,沿着想象界与象征界之间的结合前进。我们在那里找出人与能指的关系,它在他身上产生这种「分裂」。克劳德、列文、史特劳斯正在寻找某件类似的东西,当他企图要正常化这个动作,从自然到文化,或者更贴切地说,处于自然与文化之间的这个差距。

It is curious to note that on the edge of humanism it is also in this analysis, in this gap of analysis, of limits, in this attitude that the race is run, that the images rise up that turn out to be the most fascinating of that whole period of history which can be dubbed humanist.


I find for example the point in the text that you have in your hands, lines
360-375, very striking; it concerns the moment when the Chorus bursts forth just after the departure of the messenger whose comic responses and shuffling movements, when he comes to announce the news that may cost him dearly, I referred to earlier. It is really terrible, the Chorus says, to see someone so obstinate about believing he believes. Believing he believes what? Something that no one for the moment has the right to imagine, that is the play of SOKGI δοκήν. That’s the element I sought to emphasize in that line along with the other response: “You’re playing the fool with your stories about the δόξα.”

譬如,我在你们手中拥有的这个文本里发现这个点非常引人注意,在360-375行。它跟这个时刻有关系,当合唱队突然出现,在信差离开之后。信差的滑稽的反应与疾走的动作,当他前来宣佈可能让他付出代价的这个消息。我早先提到的消息。这确实是可怕的,合唱队说,看见某个如此固执的人,相信他相信。相信他相信什么?某件东西,目前没有人拥有权力想象,那就是δοκήν.的戏剧。那就是我尝试要强调的因素,在那一行,以及另外一个其他反应:「你们正在扮演那个傻瓜,用你们关于δόξα 的故事。」

That’s an obvious allusion to the philosophical games of the time that focused on a theme. The scene itself is quite ridiculous, for we are not really interested in whether the guard will be skinned alive or not on account of the bad news he bears, and he in any case gets out of it with a flourish. Immediately afterwards in line 332 the Chorus breaks out in the chant that I said the other day was a celebration of mankind. It begins as follows:


πολλά τά δανό κ’ ουδέν αν-
θρώπου δανότΐρον πέλβί•

The lines mean literally: “There are a lot of wonders in the world, but there is nothing more wonderful than man.”


As far as LeVi-Strauss is concerned, what the Chorus says about man here
is really the definition of culture as opposed to nature: man cultivates speech and the sublime sciences; he knows how to protect his dwelling place from winter frosts and from the blasts of a storm; he knows how to avoid getting wet. Yet there is a slippage here; there is, it seems to me, an undeniable irony in what follows, in the famous phrase ποντοπόρος άπορος, which has given rise to a debate on the subject of its punctuation. The accepted punctuation seems to be the following: ποντοπόρος, άπορος έπ’ ουδέν ίρχ^ται το μάλλον. Ποντοπόρος means “he who knows all kinds of tricks” – man knows a lot of tricks. “Απορος is the opposite; it means when one has no resources or defenses against something. You are, I suppose, familiar with the term aporia. Άπορος means one that is “screwed.” As the proverb from the Vaud region has it, “Nothing is impossible for man; what he can’t do, he ignores.” That’s the tone of the text.

就列文、史特劳斯而言 合唱队所说的关于人,在此确是文化的定义,作为跟自然对立:人培养言说与令人敬畏的科学。他知道如何保护他的住所,免于冬天的霜雪,免除暴风雨的侵袭。他知道如何避免被雨淋湿。可是,我觉得,在此有一个失误,有一个无可否认的反讽,在后面跟随的东西,在那个著名的ποντοπόρος άπορος,。它曾经产生一场争辩,对于它的强调的主题。这个被接受的强调似乎是以下; ποντοπόρος, άπορος έπ’ ουδέν ίρχ^ται το μάλλον. Ποντοπόρος .。意思是:「他知道各种的巧计」–人知道各种的巧计。”Απορος 的意思是相反。它意味着,当我们没有资源或防卫,对抗某件东西。我认为,你们对于aporia 这个术语耳熟能详。Άπορος的意思是「凭巧计赢人」。如同瓦德地区的谚语所表达,「对于人,没有一样事情是不可能的;他无法做到事前,他忽视。」那是文本的语调。

Next we have – έπ’ ουδέν epxerai το μέλλον.
Έρχεται means “he advances.” Έπ’ ουδέν means “toward nothing.” To
μέλλον can be translated quite innocently as “the future”; it also means “that which must happen,” but at other moments it signifies μέλλβιν, “to delay.” As a result, TO μέλλον opens up a semantic field that isn’t easy to identify precisely with a corresponding French term. The problem is usually solved by saying, “Since he is highly resourceful, he will never be without resources whatever he has to face.” The thought strikes me as a little petty bourgeois. It’s not clear that it was the poet’s intention to emit such a platitude.

然后,我们拥有έπ’ ουδέν epxerai το μέλλον.
Έρχεται 的意思是「他前进」。Έπ’ ουδέν 的意思是「朝向空无」。Μέλλον 则是能够相当纯真地被翻译成为「未来」。它也意味着:「必须发生的事情」,但是在其他时刻,它意味着μέλλβιν, 「拖延」。结果,TO μέλλον 展开一个语意学的领域。这领域并不容易确实地认同对应的法文术语。这个问题通常这样说来解决:「因为他聪慧过人,他将永远不会欠缺机智,无论他必须面对什么。」这个思想让我印象深刻,作为是有点小布尔乔亚阶级。 诗人的意图是否要发泄陈腔滥调,则是不得而知。

In the first place, it is difficult to disconnect the two terms that are joined at the beginning of the sentence, ποντοπόρος άπορος. I also note that later on in line 370 we find another conjunction, ύφίπολις άπολις, that is to say “he who is both above and outside the city.” And this is the definition of a character generally identified, as I will explain later, with Creon, with his deformation. At the same time I am not sure that άπορος έπ’ ουδέν έρχεται can be translated as “because he doesn’t approach anything without resources.”

首先,很困难中断句子开头被连接的这两个术语,ποντοπόρος άπορος.。我后来也注意到,在370行,我们发现另外一个连接,ύφίπολις άπολις,。换句话说,「他既是在城邦的上方,也是在外面。」这就是通常被辨认的特性的这个定义,如同我以后将会解说,用克瑞恩,用他的扭曲。同时,我并不确定,άπορος έπ’ ουδέν έρχεται能够被翻译成为「因为他没有接近任何东西,而不带机智。」

It isn’t at all in conformity with the genius of the Greek language in this case. Έρχεται requires that έπΌύδέν be attached to it. Έπ’ agrees with έρχεται, not with άπορος. We are the ones who find there someone who is ready for everything, whereas it is literally a question of the following: “He advances toward nothing that is likely to happen, he advances and he is ποντοπόρος, “artful,” but he is άπορος, always “screwed.” He knows what he’s doing. He always manages to cause things to come crashing down on his head.

这跟希腊语言的天才根本就不相一致。在这个情况,Έρχεται 要求,έπΌύδέν 应该被跟它连接。Έπ’ agrees 跟 έρχεται, 而不是 άπορος.连接。我们发现有某个人准备接受一切事情。虽然它实质上是以下的问题:「他前进朝向可能会发生的空无,他前进,并且是有机巧的ποντοπόρος」,但是他总是「凭借机智赢人 άπορος,」。他知道,他正在做的事情。他总是成功地引起事情崩塌在他头上。

You should respond to this turning point as to something in the style of Prevert. And I will confirm that such is the case. Just afterwards one finds the line Αΐδα μόνου ψεΰζιν ουκ έπάζεται, which means that there is only
one thing he can’t come to terms with and that has to do with Hades. Dying
is something he doesn’t know how to come to terms with. The important
point occurs in what follows, – νότων δ’άμηχάνων φυγάς. Having said that
there is one thing that man hasn’t managed to come to terms with, and that
is death, the Chorus says that he has come up with an absolutely marvelous
gimmick, namely, translated literally, “an escape into impossible sicknesses.”

你们应该回应这个转捩点,关于某件东西,以普瑞博的风格。我将会证实情况是如此。就在以后,我们发现这行Αΐδα μόνου ψεΰζιν ουκ έπάζεται,。它的意思是:仅有一件事情,他无法妥协,他跟阴府息息相关。死亡是某件他不知道如何跟它妥协的东西。重点发生在以下的事情–νότων δ’άμηχάνων φυγάς。当人说完那个,他并没有成功地妥协的一件东西。那就是死亡。合唱队说,他曾构想出一个绝对神奇的机智的设计,也就是,实质上翻译成为「逃避到不可能的疾病里。」

There is no way of ascribing another meaning to that phrase than the one I ascribe. The translations usually attempt to say that man even manages to come to deal with sickness, but that’s not what it means at all. He hasn’t managed to come to terms with death but he invents marvelous gimmicks in the form of sicknesses he himself fabricates. There is something extraordinary about finding that notion expressed in 441 B.C. as one of mankind’s essential dimensions. It wouldn’t make any sense to translate that as “an escape from sicknesses.” Sickness is involved here μηχανόεν. That’s quite a gimmick he has invented; make of it what you will.


In any case, the text repeats that man has failed relative to Hades, and we enter immediately afterwards into μηχανό^ν. There is something related to σοφόν in that, a term that isn’t so simple. I would just remind you of the analysis of the Heraclitean sense of σοφόν, “wise,” and όμολο-γβϊν, “to say the same thing,” that is to be found in the Heidegger text I translated for the first issue of La Psychanalyse. That σοφόν still has all of its primitive vigor.

无论如何,这个文本重复,相对应这个阴府,人曾经失败。随后我们立即进入μηχανό^ν 。有某件东西跟σοφόν息息相关。因为,一个术语并没有那么单纯。我仅是提醒你们,赫拉克利恩对σοφό「 智慧」与όμολο-γβϊν,「说同样的事情」的分析,应该在海德格的文本里能够被找到,我曾翻译这个文本,在La Psychanalyse.。那个 σοφόν 依旧拥有所有它的原始的活力。

There is something of sopkos in the mechanism, μηχανόβν. There is something imep έλπίδ’Ζχων, which transcends all hope and which ipirei. It’s this that directs him sometimes toward evil and sometimes toward the good. That is to say that this power or mandate, as I translated the word sopkos in the article I was talking about, which is laid upon him by this good, is an eminently ambiguous one.

在这个机械结构μηχανόβν. 存在着某件 sopkos ,某件imep έλπίδ’Ζχων。它超越所有的希望,它ipirei.。就是这个有时引导他朝向邪恶,有时朝向善。换句话说,在我谈论的那篇文章。mandate的这个力量,如同我翻译这个字词sopkos,受到善行的安排,意思很明显是暧昧的。

Right afterwards we find the passage beginning νόμους παρβίρων, etc.,
upon which the whole of the play is going to turn. For irapeipoiv means
undeniably “to arrange the laws wrongly, to weave them together wrongly,
to get them all mixed up.” Χθονός is “the earth,” and Beat» τ’ένορκον δίκαν
is “that which is formulated or told in the law.” That’s the thing we appeal
to in the silence of the analysand. We don’t say “Speak.” We don’t say
“Enunciate” or “Recount,” but “Tell.” But that’s exactly what we shouldn’t
do. That Δίκη is essential and constitutes the dimension of enunciation or evopKov, confirmed by an oath of the gods.

后来,我们发现这个段落开始νόμους παρβίρων,等等。整个的戏剧就是绕着它打转。因为irapeipoiv无可否认地「错误地安排法则,错误地将它们编织在一块,将它们都混淆一块。」irapeipoiv 就是大地;Beat» τ’ένορκον δίκαν 就是「在法则里被说明或被告诉的东西」。那就是我们诉诸于的东西,在分析者的沉默当中。」我们并没有「言说吧」。我们并没有是「请表达」或「请叙述」,而是说「请告诉」。那确实是我们不应该说做到。那个Δίκη是重要的,并且构成表达的维度,或是众神的誓言证实的evopKov。

There are two obvious dimensions that may be distinguished without difficulty: on the one hand, the laws of the earth and, on the other, the commandments of the gods. But they may be confused. They don’t belong to the same order, and if one mixes them up, there will be trouble. There will be so much trouble that the Chorus, which in spite of its vacillations does cleave to a fixed line, affirms, “In any case, we don’t want to be associated with so and so.” The point is to proceed in that direction is properly speaking τό μη καλόν or something that isn’t “beautiful,” and not, as it is translated, because of the very audacity of the idea, something that isn’t “good.” Thus the Chorus doesn’t want the character in question as its πάρεδρος, that is as its companion or immediate neighbor. The Chorus doesn’t want to be with him in the same central point we are talking about. It doesn’t want to have close relations with him, nor does it want to ίσον φρονών, to have the same desire. It separates its own desire from the desire of the other. And I don’t think I am forcing the issue when I find here an echo of certain formulas that I have given you.

有两个明显的维度可能轻易地被区别:一方面,大地的法则,另一方面,众神的命令。但是它们可能会被混淆。它们并不属于相同的秩序。假如我们混淆它们,将会有麻烦。将会有那么多的麻烦。合唱队尽管它的摇摆态度,并没有裂开到一条固定的线,肯定地说:「无论如何,我们并不想要跟某某有所关联。」重点是要继续朝那个方向前进,适当来说,那个方向并不是某件「美丽的」东西。如同它被翻译的,这并不是因为这个观念的大胆,某将并不是「善行」的东西。因此,合唱队并不想要受到质疑的这个特性,作为它的πάρεδρος 。也就是,作为它的同伴,或是它的近邻。合唱队并不想要跟它在一块在相同的中央的点,我们正在谈论的点。它并不想要跟他有密切的关系。它也并不想要有相同的欲望。它分开它自己的欲望,跟他者的欲望。我并不认为,我正在强迫这个问题,当我在此发现我曾经给予你们的公式,有某些的迴响。

Does Creon confuse νόμους χθονός with the Δίκη of the gods? The classical interpretation is clear: Creon represents the laws of the city and identifies them with the decrees of the gods. But it’s not as obvious as that, for it cannot be denied that Antigone is after all concerned with the chthonic laws, the laws of the earth. I haven’t stopped emphasizing the fact that it is for the sake of her brother who has descended into the subterranean world that she opposes κήρνγμα, that she resists Creon’s order; it is in the name of the most radically chthonian of relations that are blood relations. In brief, she is in a position to place the Δίκη of the gods on her side. In any case the ambiguity is obvious. And this is something that we will shortly see confirmed.

克瑞恩混淆νόμους χθονός 跟众神的the Δίκη吗?古典的解释是清楚的:克瑞恩代表城邦的法则,并且将它们认同时众神的命令。但是并没有那样明显。因为无法否认的,安提贡尼毕竟就是关心到心灵净化的法则,大地的法则。我并没有停止强调这个事实; 为了她的兄长已经沉沦到地下世界的缘故,她反对κήρνγμα,她抗拒克瑞恩的秩序。就是以这个名义,具有血缘关系的最强烈的心灵净化,总之,她处于这个立场,将众神的这个Δίκη,放置她的旁边。无论如何,这个暧昧是明显的。这就是某件我们不久将看见被证实的东西。

I have already pointed out how, after the condemnation of Antigone, the
Chorus emphasizes the fact that she went in search of her Ate. In a similar
vein, Electra says, “Why do you always plunge yourself into the Ati of your
house, why do you persist in referring to the fatal murder in front of Aegisthus and your mother? Aren’t you the one who brings down all kinds of evil on your head as a result?” To which the other responds, “I agree but I can’t help it.”


It is because she goes toward Até here, because it is even a question of going έκτος άτα?, of going beyond the limit of Até, that Antigone interests the Chorus. It says that she’s the one who violates the limits of Ati through her desire. The lines I referred to above concern this and especially those that end with the formula έκτος άτας, to go beyond the limit of Ate. Ate is not αμαρτία, that is to say a mistake or error; it’s got nothing to do with doing something stupid.

那是因为她朝向这里的悲惨命运Ate前进。因为问题甚至是要去έκτος άτα,去到超越悲惨命运Ate的限制,安提贡尼让合唱队感到興趣。合唱队说,她凭借她的欲望,违背悲惨命运的限制。我以上提到的这几行,跟这个有关。特别是跟έκτος άτας 这个公式结尾的那几行,超越悲惨命运Ate;那并不是αμαρτία,也就是错误或是失误。它跟做某件愚蠢的事情有关系。

When at the end Creon returns bearing something in his arms, lines 1259-
1260, and, as the Chorus tells us, it seems to be nothing other than the body of his son who has committed suicide, the Chorus then says, “If we may say so, it is not a misfortune that is external to him; it is αυτός άμαρτών, his own mistake. He’s the one who made the mistake of getting himself into the mess.” ‘Αμαρτία is the word used, that is “mistake” or “blunder.”

最后,克瑞恩回来,手臂抱著某件东西。在1259-1260行,当合唱队告诉我们,这实实在在就是他的自杀的儿子的尸体。合唱队因此说:「假如我们可以这样说,这并不是外在于他的命运。那是他自己的αυτός άμαρτών,他自己的错误。他是犯下让自己混乱的错误的这个人。」’Αμαρτία 就是被使用的这个字词,意思是错误或是失误。

That’s the meaning Aristotle insists on, and to my mind he’s wrong, for that is not the quality which leads the tragic hero to his death. It’s only true for Creon the counter- or secondary hero, who is indeed άμαρτών. At the moment when Eurydice commits suicide, the messenger uses the word
άμαρτάνβιν. He hopes, we are told, that she isn’t going to do something
stupid. And naturally he and the Coryphaeus stiffen in anticipation because no noise is heard. The Coryphaeus says, “That’s a bad sign.” The mortal fruit that Creon harvests through his obstinacy and his insane orders is the dead son he carries in his arms. He has been άμαρτών, he has made a mistake. It’s not a question here of αλλότρια άτη. Ati concerns the Other, the field of the Other, and it doesn’t belong to Creon. It is, on the other hand, the place where Antigone is situated.

那就是亚里斯多德坚持的这个意义。依我之见,他是错误,因为那并不是导致悲剧英雄死亡的特质。仅有针对克瑞恩,这位反英雄,或次要的英雄,才是真实的。他确实就是错误άμαρτών。在尤瑞迪斯自杀的那个时刻,信差使用这个字词「错误άμαρτάνβιν」。我们被告诉,他希望,她将不会做某件愚蠢的事情。当然,信差和科瑞费斯都惊吓呆了,因为没有噪音被听见。科瑞费斯说「那是不祥之兆」。克瑞恩由于他的固执与其疯狂的命令,收获导致死亡的结果,那就是他抱在手臂里的儿子。他曾经是错误άμαρτών,他曾经犯错误。在此的问题并不是αλλότρια άτη。悲惨命运Ate 跟大他者,大他者的领域息息相关,那个领域并不属于克瑞恩。在另一方面,那是安提贡尼被定位的地方。


Ethic 270

January 29, 2013

Ethic 270
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis

Jacques Lacan


Antigone between two deaths






I did recommend an interlinear edition of Antigone to those of you who know
enough Greek to get by, but it’s not available. Use the Gamier translation
instead, since it’s not bad at all.


The following lines of the Greek text are the ones that concern us: 4-7,
323-325, 332-333, 360-375, 450-470, 559-560, 581-584, 611-614, 620-
625, 648-650, 780-805, 839-841, 852-862, 875, 916-924, 1259-1260.

希腊文本的底下几行,是我们关心的几行:4-7, 323-325, 332-333, 360-375, 450-470, 559-560, 581-584, 611-614, 620-625, 648-650, 780-805, 839-841, 852-862, 875, 916-924, 1259-1260.

Lines 559-560 give us Antigone’s attitude toward life. She tells us that her soul died long ago and that she is destined to give help, ώγελεν, to the dead- we spoke about the same word in connection with Ophelia.

559-560行给予我们安提贡尼对待生命的态度。她告诉我们,她的灵魂很久以前就死掉,她注定要给予帮助,ώγελεν 给死者。我们谈论到相同的字词,跟奥菲莉亚。

Lines 611-614 and 620-625 have to do with the Chorus’s statements on the
limit that is Αύ、, and it is around this that what Antigone wants is played out.

611-614 行,跟 620-625行跟合唱队的陈述有关系,探讨悲惨命运Ate的限制。环绕着这个,安提贡尼想要的东西被扮演出来。

I already pointed out last time the importance of the term that ends both
of these passages, έκτος άτας. Έκτος signifies an outside or what happens
once the limit of Ati has been crossed. When, for example, the guard comes
and tells of the event that challenges Creon’s authority, he says at the end that he is έκτος ελπίδος, outside or beyond all hope; he no longer hopes to be saved. Έκτο? άτας has the meaning of going beyond a limit in the text.

我上次已经指出这个术语的重要性。这个术语用这两个段落作为结束 έκτος άτας. Έκτος 指示著外在,或是悲惨命运Ate 的限制被跨越所发生的事情。譬如,当卫兵前来告诉这个挑战克瑞恩的权威的事件,他在结尾时说,他是έκτος ελπίδος ,外在于,或超越于所有的希望。他不再希望被拯救。Έκτο? Άτας 拥有这个意义,超越文本的限制之外。

And it is around this notion that the Chorus’s song is developed at that moment, in the same way that it says that man goes toward προς άταν, that is, toward Ate. In this business the whole prepositional system of the Greeks is so vital and suggestive. It is because man mistakes evil for the good, because something beyond the limits of Ate has become Antigone’s good, namely, a good that is different from everyone else’s, that she goes toward, προς άταν.

就是环绕这个观念,合唱队的歌咏在那个时刻被发展。如同它说:人朝向προς άταν 前进。也就是,朝向悲惨命运Ate 前进。在这件事情,希腊人的整个的介系词系统非常重要而且具有暗示。因为人们将邪恶误认为是善行。因为某件超越悲惨命运Ate的限制的东西,成为安提贡尼的善行。换句话说,一件善行跟每一位其他人的善行不同。

So as to take up the problem in a way that allows me to bring my comments
together, I must return to a simple, clean, unencumbered view of the tragic
hero, and in particular of the one who concerns us, Antigone.


One thing has struck a commentator on Sophocles – commentator in the
singular, for I have been surprised to find that it is only in a relatively recent book on Sophocles by Karl Reinhardt that something important has been brought out, namely, the special solitude of Sophoclean heroes, μονσύμενοι,, which is a nice term used by Sophocles, along with άφιλοι and φρενος οίοβώται, that is to say, those who lead their thoughts to graze far off. But it is nevertheless certain that it is not this that is involved here, for in the end tragic heroes are always isolated, they are always beyond established limits, always in an exposed position and, as a result, separated in one way or another from the structure.

有一件事情让探讨索福克利斯的评论家感到印象深刻,具有独特见解的评论家。因为我曾经大为惊奇地发现,最近出版的卡尔、瑞哈德论索福克利斯,某件重要的事情被显露出来。换句话说,索福克利斯的英雄人物的特别的孤独μονσύμενοι。这是索福克利斯使用的一个很好的术语,再加上άφιλοι 跟 φρενος οίοβώται。换句话说,那些让他们的思想高飞远飏的英雄人物。可是,这是确定的,在此牵涉到的并不是这个。因为最后,悲剧的英雄人物总是孤独的,他们总是超越现状的限制,总是处于被暴露的立场。结果,他们以某种的方式跟结构分开。

It is strange that something very obvious has been overlooked. Let us
examine the seven plays of Sophocles that are extant of the twenty-five which he is said to have produced during a life of ninety years, sixty of which he devoted to tragedy. They are Ajax, Antigone, Electra, Oedipus Rex, The Trachiniae, Philoctetes, and Oedipus at Colonus.


A certain number of these plays remain familiar to us, but you are not
perhaps aware that Ajax is a very odd piece of work. It begins with the massacre of the Greeks’ flock by Ajax. Because Athena doesn’t wish him well, he goes crazy. He imagines he is massacring the Greek army, but it is their flock instead. Afterwards he awakens from his craziness, is overcome with shame, and goes and kills himself in a corner. There is absolutely nothing else in the play but that, which is, after all, rather peculiar. As I was saying the other day, there isn’t even the suggestion of a perepetia. Everything is there from the beginning; the trajectories that are set in motion have only to come crashing down one on top of the other as best they can.


We will leave Antigone aside for one moment, since we are discussing it.
Electra, too, is an odd play of Sophocles. In Aeschylus we find the Choephoroe and the Eumenides, where the death of Agamemnon gives rise to all kinds of things. And once his murder has been avenged, Orestes then has to deal with the avenging divinities who protect the maternal blood.


There is nothing comparable in Sophocles. Electra is in certain ways the very double of Antigone – “Dead in life,” she says, “I am already dead to everything.”


Moreover, at that climactic moment when Orestes is making Aegisthus jump
for it, he says to him, “Do you realize you are talking to people who are just like the dead? You are not talking to the living.” It is an extremely odd note and the whole thing ends abruptly just like that. There isn’t the least trace of anything superfluous. Everything ends abruptly. The end of Electra involves an execution in the proper sense of the word.


We can leave aside Oedipus Rex, given the perspective I am adopting here.
In any case, I am not claiming to promulgate a general law, since we know
nothing of the greater part of Sophocles’s work.


The Trachiniae has to do with the end of Hercules. Hercules has come to
the end of his labors, and he knows it. He is told he will be able to go and rest, that his work is over. Unfortunately, he mixed up the last of his labors with the desire for a female captive, and because she loves him, his wife sends him the delightful tunic that she has been keeping since the beginning in case of need, as a kind of weapon to be reserved for the right moment. She sends it to him and you know what happens. The whole end of the play is taken up with Hercules’s groans and roars of pain as he is consumed by the burning cloth.


Then there is Philoctetes. Philoctetes is a character who has been exiled on an island. He has been rotting away there for ten years, and then he is asked to render the community a service. All kinds of things happen, including the moving struggle with his conscience of the young Neoptolemes, who is dispatched to serve as bait in an attempt to deceive the hero.
Finally, there is Oedipus at Colonus.


You have no doubt noted the following. If there is a distinguishing characteristic to everything we ascribe to Sophocles, with the exception of Oedipus Rex, it is that for all his heroes the race is run. They are at a limit that is not accounted for by their solitude relative to others. There is something more; they are characters who find themselves right away in a limit zone, find themselves between life and death. The theme of between-life-and-death is moreover formulated as such in the text, but it is also manifest in the situations themselves.


One could even fit Oedipus Rex into this context. The hero has a characteristic that is both unique to him and paradoxical in relation to others. At the beginning of the drama he has attained the height of happiness. Yet Sophocles represents him as driven to bring about his own ruin through his obstinacy in wanting to solve an enigma, to know the truth. Everyone tries to prevent him, including especially Jocasta, who is always saying, “That’s enough; we already know enough.” Still he wants to know and in the end he does know. Yet I do grant that Oedipus Rex is an exception; it doesn’t fit the general formula of the Sophoclean hero, who is marked by a stance of the race-is-run.


Let us now return to Antigone, whose race is run in the most obvious of


On one occasion I showed you an anamorphosis; it was the finest I could
find for our purpose, and it is indeed exemplary, far beyond anything one
could have hoped for. Do you remember the cylinder from which this strange
phenomenon rises up? It cannot properly speaking be said that from an optical point of view there is an image as such. Without going into the optical definition of the phenomenon, one can say that it is because an infinitesimal fragment of image is produced on each surface of the cylinder that we see a series of screens superimposed; and it is as a result of these that a marvelous illusion in the form of a beautiful image of the passion appears beyond the mirror, whereas something decomposed and disgusting spreads out around it.


That’s the kind of thing that is involved here. What is the surface that
allows the image of Antigone to rise up as an image of passion? The other
day I evoked in connection with her the phrase, “Father, why hast thou
abandoned me?” which is literally expressed in one line. Tragedy is that which spreads itself out in front so that that image may be produced. When analyzing it, we follow an inverse procedure; we study how the image had to be constructed in order to produce the desired effect. So let’s begin.


I have already emphasized the implacable side of Antigone; the side that
shows neither fear nor pity is apparent at every point. Somewhere in order
to deplore this, the Chorus calls her, line 875, αύτόγνωτο•;. That should be heard alongside the γνώθι aeaxnov of the Delphic oracle. One cannot ignore the meaning of the kind of self-knowledge attributed to her.
I have already indicated her extreme harshness when she tells Ismene of
her purpose at the beginning. “Do you realize what is happening?” she asks.
Creon has just promulgated what is called a κήρυγμα – a term that plays an important role in modern protestant theology as a dimension of the revelation.

我已经强调安提贡尼的无法缓和的一面。这一面显示:在每个时刻既没有恐惧,也没有同情是明显的。在某个地方,为了要哀叹这个αύτόγνωτο•,,合唱队呼唤他,在875行。那应该被听见,沿着德菲克预言的γνώθι aeaxnov。 我们无法忽视归属于她的那种自我知识的意义。我已经指示她的极端的严酷,当她告诉艾斯门,她在开始的目的。「你体会到正在发生什么事情?」她问道。克瑞恩刚刚宣佈所谓的κήρυγμα—这一个术语扮演一个重要的角色,在现代的基督教的神学,作为是启示的维度。

Her manner is as follows: “Here’s the situation then. This is what he
has proclaimed for you and me.” Then she adds in the lively style of the text:”I speak for me.” And she goes on to affirm that she will bury her brother.


We will see what that means.


Ethic 266

January 28, 2013

Ethic 266
The Ethics of Psychoanalysia

Jacques lacan

The articulations of the play

Creon arrives and makes a long speech justifying his actions. But in reality
there is only a docile Chorus there to hear him, a collection of yes-men. There
follows a dialogue between Creon and the Chorus. The Chorus itself hasn’t
altogether given up the idea that there is something excessive in Creon’s statements,
but at the very moment when it is about to express the thought, that
is when the messenger arrives and narrates what has happened, it gets told
off in no uncertain terms.


The character of the messenger in this tragedy is a formidable one. He
turns up shuffling and mumbling, and he says, “You can’t imagine how much
I have been thinking things over on my way here, and how many times I
came close to taking off in a hurry. That’s how a short trip turns into a long
one.” He’s an impressive talker. He even goes so far as to say, “I am sorry to
see that you are of the opinion that it is your opinion that you believe in lies.”


In short, I am suspected of being suspicious. That style of δοκεϊ Ψευδή δοκέϊν
resonates with the discourse of the Sophists, since Creon answers him right
away, “You are in the process of making points on the subject of the δόξα.”

总之,我被怀疑是疑心病。那种δοκεϊ Ψευδή δοκέϊν的风格迴响着辩士的辞说。因为克瑞恩立刻回答他:「你正在表达这些观点,探讨δόξα.的主题。」

In brief, throughout a whole ridiculous scene the messenger engages in idle
speculations about what has happened, and in particular speculations about
their safety, in the course of which the guards are in a state of panic, in which
they nearly come to blows before they draw lots in order to decide which one
of them will be chosen to go as messenger. After having got it all out, he is
the object of a stream of threats from Creon, who is the person in power and
who on this occasion is excessively limited; Creon lets him know that they
can all expect the worst if the guilty person is not found in a hurry. “I’ve
come out of this in quite good shape,” the messenger comments, “since I
haven’t been strung up right away to the end of a branch. They won’t see me
again in a hurry.”


This scene is a bit like the entrance of the clowns. But the messenger is
quite subtle; he is very clever when he says to Creon, “What is offended just
now? Is it your heart or your ears?” He makes Creon turn around in circles;
Creon is forced to face the situation in spite of himself. The messenger then
explains, “If it is your heart, then it is the one who did the deed that offends
it; I only offend your ears.” We have already reached the height of cruelty
but we’re having fun.


And what happens immediately afterwards? A hymn of praise to mankind.
The Chorus sets out to praise mankind. I am constrained by the time, so I
can’t go on, but I will take up this praise of mankind next time.


Then right after the extraordinary tall tale that is this hymn of praise to
man, we see Antigone’s guard turn up without any concern for verisimilitude,
temporal verisimilitude at least. The guard is delighted. He’s had a rare
piece of luck; his responsibility in the case has been absolved once he has laid
hands on the guilty party. Then the Chorus sings its song on mankind’s
relation to Até. I’ll come back to that, too, another time.


Next comes Hemon, who is Creon’s son and Antigone’s fiance. He begins
a dialogue with his father. The only confrontation between the father and son
causes the dimension to appear that I began to discuss concerning the relations
of man to his good; there is a moment of doubt, a hesitation. This point
is extremely important if we want to be clear about Creon’s stature. We will
see later what he is, that is, like all executioners and tyrants at bottom, a
human character. Only the martyrs know neither pity nor fear. Believe me,
the day when the martyrs are victorious will be the day of universal conflagration.
The play is calculated to demonstrate that fact.


Creon doesn’t lose his nerve, far from it; his son leaves to the sound of the
most terrible threats. And what bursts forth again at that very moment? The
Chorus once more, and what does it have to say? “Ερως άνικάτε μάχαν, “Invincible love of combat.” I suppose that even those who do not know Greek have heard at one time or other those three words that have come down through the centuries with a number of melodies in their wake.

克瑞恩并没有丧失他的勇气。根本没有丧失。他的儿子离开,带着最可怕的威胁的声音。在那个时刻,什么东西再次突然出现?再一次是合唱队,合唱队必须说些什么?”Ερως άνικάτε μάχαν, “「不屈不桡的博斗之爱」。我认为,即使那些不懂希腊文的人们,都曾经在某个时刻听过那三个字词,它们已经流传了好几个世纪,随后还有许多的音乐歌咏。

That song bursts forth at the very moment when Creon decrees the punishment
Antigone will be made to undergo: she will be placed alive in a tomb
– something that doesn’t suggest too tender an imagination. Let me remind
you that in Sade it is number seven or eight on the list of ordeals to which
the hero is submitted – the reference is a useful one for you to realize the
significance of what is involved here. It is precisely at this moment that the
Chorus says in so many words: “This story is driving us mad; we are losing
our grip; we are going out of our minds; as far as this child is concerned we
are moved to . . . ,” what the text, using a term whose appositeness I ask
you to remember, calls ϊμβρος εναργή•;.

那首歌就在那个时刻突然出现,当克瑞恩命令:安提贡尼将被迫经历的惩罚。她将会被活生生地关进坟墓里面。这种事情,想像起来就很狰狞。让我提醒你们,在萨德的书,这位英雄被迫承受的考验名单的第七或第八项。为了让你们体会到在此所牵涉的东西的重要性,提一下是很有用的。确实就是在这个时刻,合唱队详细叙述:「这个故事正让我们发狂,我们正丧失我们的掌握;我们将丧失我们的理智;就这个小孩而言,我们被感动、、、」这个文本所谓的ϊμβρος εναργή•,使用一个术语,这个术语的适当性,我要求你们记住。

“Ιμίρος is the same term that in the Phaedrus points to what I am trying
to grasp here as the reflection of desire of the kind by which even the gods
are bound. It is the term used by Jupiter to designate his relations with Ganymede.
“Ιμβρος εναργής is literally desire made visible. This is what appears
at the moment when the long scene that leads up to the punishment takes place.

“Ιμίρος” 是相同的术语,在「费德拉斯」,它指向我正在此尝试理解的东西,作为是那种欲望的省思。即使是众神都受到那种欲望约束。这就是邱比特使用的术语,用来指明他跟甘梅笛的关系。”Ιμβρος εναργής” 则是实质上显露可见的欲望。这是出现在那个时刻的东西,当冗长的场景促成惩罚的执行。

After Antigone’s speech, in which is to be found the passage discussed by
Goethe that I talked about the other day, the Chorus starts up again with a
mythological song in which at three different moments it evokes three especially
dramatic destinies that are all on the boundary between life and death,
the boundary of the still living corpse. Antigone herself even refers to the
image of Niobe, who is imprisoned in the narrow cavity of a rock and will be
exposed forever to the assault of rain and weather. It is around this image of
the limit that the whole play turns.


At the moment when it is moving more and more toward a kind of explosive
climax of divine delirium, the blind Tiresias appears. He doesn’t simply
announce the future, however, because the revelation of his prophecy has a
role to play in the preparation of that future. In his dialogue with Creon he
withholds what he has to say until the latter – in whose rigid mind everything
is political or, in other words, a question of interest – is foolish enough to say
a sufficient number of insulting things for Tiresias to come out with his
prophecy. The value attributed to the words of a seer is, as in all circumstances
where tradition counts, decisive enough for Creon to give in and resign
himself to countermanding his own orders, which, of course, proves catastrophic.


The situation is heightened even further. In its penultimate appearance the
Chorus breaks out in a hymn to the most hidden and supreme god, Dionysos.
The spectators imagine that this is once again a hymn of liberation, that
everyone is comforted, everything will work out all right. Those, on the other
hand, who knew what Dionysos and his savage followers represent realize
that the hymn breaks out because the limits of the field of the conflagration
have been breached


After that there is hardly room for the final twist of the action, the one in
which the deluded Creon goes and knocks in desperation at the doors of the
tomb within which Antigone has hanged herself. Hemon kisses her and emits
a few final groans, but we do not know what happened in the sepulcre any
more than we know what goes on when Hamlet goes down into the sepulcre.
Antigone was after all walled in at the limit of Ate, and one is justified in
wondering at which moment Hemon entered the tomb. As when the actors turns their faces away from the spot where Oedipus disappears, we don’t know
what happened in Antigone’s tomb.

在此之后,行动的最后的转变几乎没有空间。在个行动里面,虚情假意的克瑞恩前去绝望地敲打坟墓的门。安提贡尼已经在里面上吊而死。赫门吻着她,发出几句最后的哀嚎。但是我们并不知道在坟墓里发生什么事。正如我们并不知道正在进行什么事,当哈姆雷特走进坟墓。安提贡尼毕竟被囚禁于悲惨命运Ate 的限制里面。我们很有理由想要知道,在什么时刻赫门进入坟墓。如同在伊狄浦斯消失的地点,演员们转过头,我们并不知道在安提贡尼的坟墓里,发生什么事情。

In any case, when Hemon emerges, he is possessed by divine μανία. He
shows all the signs of someone who has lost his reason. He attacks his father,
misses him, and kills himself. And when Creon returns to the palace where
a messenger has already preceded him, he discovers his wife is dead.


At that point the text shows us, in terms that are calculated to remind us
where the limit is situated, a Creon who is out of his mind demanding that
he be carried off – “Drag me out by my feet.” And the Coryphaeus manages
to find the strength to engage in a play of words in saying, “You’re right to
say that: the pain that one feels in one’s feet is the best kind of pain; unlike
other kinds, it doesn’t last long.”


Sophocles is no pedantic schoolmaster, but unfortunately he has been
translated by pedants. In any case, that’s how the corrida ends. Have the
arena raked over, the bull removed, and cut off his you-know-what, if there
is any left. That’s the style in which he has been rendered. May he go off to
the bright sound of little bells.


It is more or less in these terms that the play of Antigone has been translated.
Next time I will take a little time to point out a few essential points
that will enable you to link my interpretation directly to the very terms used
by Sophocles.


I hope that that will take no more than half of my time, and that I will be
able to speak afterwards about what Kant has to say on the subject of the
June I, I960

1960年 6月1日


Ethic 262

January 28, 2013

Ethic 262
The Ethics of Psychoanalysia

Jacques lacan

The articulations of the play

Antigone is the heroine. She’s the one who shows the way of the gods. She’s
the one, according to the Greek, who is made for love rather than for hate.
In short, she is a really tender and charming little thing, if one is to believe
the bidet-water commentary that is typical of the style used by those virtuous
writers who write about her.


By way of introduction, I would just like to make a few remarks. And I
will come right to the point in stating the term that is at the center of Antigone’s
whole drama, a term that is repeated twenty times, and that given the
shortness of the text, sounds like forty – which, of course, does not prevent
its not being read – άτη.

作为介绍,我仅是想要发表一些谈论。我将直接谈论这点,陈述作为安提贡尼的戏剧的中心的术语,这个术语曾经被重复二十次。考虑到文本的简短,它听起来像是四十次。当然,这并没有阻止它没有被阅读– άτη.

It is an irreplaceable word. It designates the limit that human life can only briefly cross. The text of the Chorus is significant and insistent – εκτος άτας.
Beyond this Ate, one can only spend a brief period of time, and that’s where
Antigone wants to go. It’s not a moving little journey at all. One learns from
Antigone’s own mouth testimony on the point she has reached: she literally
cannot stand it anymore. Her life is not worth living. She lives with the
memory of the intolerable drama of the one whose descendence has just been
destroyed in the figures of her two brothers. She lives in the house of Creon;
she is subject to his law; and that is something she cannot bear.

这是一个无可替代的字词。它指明这个限制,人类的生命仅能够简短地跨越。合唱队的文本很重要而是坚持–εκτος άτας。 超越这个法则之外,我们仅能够渡过一段简短的时期。那就是安提贡尼想要去的地方。那并不是感动人的小旅途。我们从安提贡尼到达的始刻,自己的嘴中证词获知:她实质上无法忍受它。她的生命是不值得活下去。她生活带着这个无法承受的戏剧的记忆,因为她的家族刚刚以她的两位兄弟的榜样被毁灭。她生活在克瑞恩的家中,她隶属于这个法则;那就是她无法忍受的东西。

She cannot bear, you tell yourselves, to live with someone whom she abhors.
But why not after all? She is fed and housed, and in Sophocles, she isn’t
married off like Giraudoux’s Electra. Don’t imagine by the way that Giraudoux
invented that. It was Euripides, but in his play she isn’t married off to
the gardener. So that’s the situation: Antigone cannot bear it, and it weighs
down on her in such a way as to explain the resolution, which is affirmed
from the beginning in her dialogue with Ismene.


This dialogue is of an exceptional harshness. Ismene points out that “Really,
given our situation, we don’t have much room to maneuver, so let’s not make
things worse.” Antigone jumps on her right away, saying, “Especially now,
don’t ever say that again, for even if you wanted to, I won’t have anything to
do with you.” And the term εχϋρα, emnity, is used in connection with her
relationship with her sister and what she will find in the other life when she
finds her dead brother again. She who later on will say, “I am made for love
rather than hate,” is immediately introduced with the word emnity.
In the course of events, when her sister comes back to her to share her
fate, and even though she hasn’t committed the forbidden deed, Atigone
will reject her also with a cruelty and a scorn that are consciously calculated.
She says to Ismene, “Go back to your Creon, since you love him so.”


This then is how the enigma of Antigone is presented to us: she is inhuman.
But we shouldn’t situate her at the level of the monstrous, for what
would that mean from our point of view? That’s all right for the Chorus,
which is present throughout the whole story, and which at a certain moment
after one of those breath-taking lines that are typical of Antigone, cries out,
“She is ωμός.” We translate that as best we can by “inflexible.” It literally
means something uncivilized, something raw. And the word “raw” comes
closest, when it refers to eaters of raw flesh. That’s the Chorus’s point of
view. It doesn’t understand anything. She is as ωμός as her father – that’s
what the Chorus says.


What does it mean to us if Antigone goes beyond the limits of the human?
What does it mean if not that her desire aims at the following – the beyond
of Ate?

假如安提贡那跨越作为人的这个限制,那对于我们意味着什么?它的意思难道不就是她的欲望目标朝着以下:悲惨命运Ate 的超越?

That same word Ate is to be found in “atrocious.” That’s what is involved
here, and that’s what the Chorus repeats at a given moment in its speech with an emphasis that is technical. One does or does not approach Ate, and when one approaches it, it is because of something that is linked to a beginning and a chain of events, namely, that of the misfortune of the Labdacides family.

悲惨命运Ate 相同的这个字,在「残酷atrocious」这个字被发现。「那是在此牵涉的东西。那是合唱队重复的东西,在某特时刻,在它跟技术性的强调的言词。我们确实接近或没有接近「悲惨命运Ate」。当我们接近它时,那是因为某件东西跟开始与一连锁的事件息息相关,换句话说,跟拉达西底斯家族的不悲惨命运息息相关。

As one starts to come close to it, things come together in a great hurry, and
what one finds at the bottom of everything that goes on at every level in this
family, the text tells us, is a μέριμνα, which is almost the same word as
μνήμη, with an emphasis on “resentment.” But it is very wrong to translate
it thus, for “resentment” is a psychological notion, whereas μέριμνα is one
of those ambiguous words that are between the subjective and the objective,
and that properly speaking give us the terms of signifying speech. The μέριμνα
of the Labdacides is that which drives Antigone to the border of Ate.

如同我们开始接近它,事情匆促地汇集在一块。我们所发现的,在这个家庭的每个层次进行的一切。文本告诉我们,这是一个μέριμνα 那跟 μνήμη 几乎是相同的字词。强调「怨恨」。但是这是错误的,将它这样翻译。因为「怨恨」是一个心理的观念,而μέριμνα 则是其中一个模糊暧昧的字词,处于主观与客观之间。适当来说,它们给予我们能指化的言说的术语。拉达西底斯的家族的Μέριμνα 就是驱使安提贡尼到达悲惨命运Ate的边界。

One can no doubt translate Ate by “misfortune,” but it doesn’t have anything
to do with misfortune. It is this meaning that is assigned by doubtless
implacable gods, as she might say, which renders her pitiless and fearless. It
is also this that, so as to have her appear in the course of carrying out her act,
causes the poet to create the following fascinating image, namely, that first
occasion when during the night she goes and covers her brother’s body with
a fine layer of dust, so that it is disguised enough to be hidden from view.
One cannot, of course, expose to the eyes of the world that carrion flesh
visited by dogs and birds, who come to tear off strips and carry them away,
as the text says, only to leave them on the altars in town centers where they
promote horror and pestilence.


Thus Antigone carries out the deed the first time. But what goes beyond a
given limit must not be seen. The messenger goes and tells Creon what has
happened, assuring him that no trace has been found, that there is no way of
knowing who did it. The order is given to scatter the dust once again. But
this time Antigone is caught in the act. Upon his return the messenger describes
what happened in the following terms: first, they removed the dust that was
covering the body, and then, they placed themselves up-wind so as to avoid
the awful smells, because it stank. But a strong wind began to blow, and the
dust started to fill the air and even, the text tells us, the heavens themselves.
And at the very moment when everyone tries to escape, to cover their heads
with their arms, and to go to earth at the spectacle of the change in nature,
little Antigone appears at the height of the total darkness, of the cataclysmic
moment. She appears once more beside the corpse, emitting moans, the text
says, like a bird that has just lost its young.


It’s a very strange image. And it is even stranger that it should be taken
up and repeated by other authors. I found in Euripides’ Phoenissae four lines
where she is also compared to the lonely mother of a lost brood, who emits
pathetic cries. That proves what the image of a bird always symbolizes in
classical poetry. Let us not forget how close pagan myth is to ideas of metamorphosis
– remember the transformation of Philomen and Baucis. It is the nightingale that appears in Euripides as the image of that which a human being is transformed into through his plaintive cries. The limit we have reached here is the one where the possibility of metamorphosis is located – metamorphosis that has come down through the centuries hidden in the-works of Ovid and that regains its former vitality, its energy, during that turning point of European sensibility, the renaissance, and bursts forth in the theater of Shakespeare. That’s what Antigone is.

这是一个奇怪的意象。更加奇怪的是,其他的作者竟然照本宣科。我在尤利披底斯的Phoenissae 发现有四行,描述她被比喻为丧失幼雛的孤单的母鸟,发出凄楚的哀嚎。那证明,鸟的这个意象总是象征的东西,在古典诗里。让我们不要忘记,异教徒的途径是多么靠近变形的观念。请记住费洛门与巴西斯。夜鹰出现在尤利披底斯笔下,作为是人类被转变成为的这个意象,通过他的哀伤的哭嚎。我们在此到达的限制,是变形的可能性被找到的位置。几世纪以来,隐藏在奥维德的著作的变形记曾经传留下来,重新恢复它先前的生命力,它的能源,在欧洲的启智的转捩点,文艺复兴。并且在莎士比亚的戏院,突然显现。那就是安提贡尼的本质。

The movement of the play toward its climax will from now on be obvious
to you.


I must clear the ground further, but it’s impossible not to point in passing
to a few lines spoken by Antigone. Lines 48, 70, and 73, where Antigone
expresses a kind of idiocy that is apparent at the end of a sentence in the word
μ£τά. Μετά means “with” or “after.” Prepositions don’t have the same function
in Greek as they do in French, in the same way that particles play a different
role in English from what we know in French. Μετά is, properly speaking,
that which implies a break. In response to Creon’s edict, she says, “But it
has nothing to do with my concerns.” At another moment, she says to her
sister, “If you wanted to come with me now and to carry out the sacred task,
I would no longer accept you.” She says to her brother, “I will lie down, my
loving friend, my almost lover, here with you.” Μετά is placed each time at
the end of the line in an inverse position, for normally this preposition like
the word “with” is placed in front of the noun. This feature implies in a
signifying form the kind of fierce presence Antigone represents.

我必须更进一步清理场地。但是我不可能不顺便指出,安提贡尼在48,70,73行,言说的几行。在那里,安提贡尼表达一种痴心妄想。在句子的结尾的这个字μ£τά.,这种痴心妄想,显而易见。Μετά 的意思是「跟、、一块」或是「以后」。在希腊文,这些命题并没有相同的功用,如同它们在法文的功用。同样地,在英文扮演的因素也不同于在法文我们所知道的。适当地说,Μετά 暗示着一种断裂。回应克瑞恩的敕令,她说,「但是这「跟」我的关怀没有丝毫关系。」在另外一个时刻,她对她的妹妹说,「假如你现在想要「跟」我一块,去执行那个神圣的工作,我将不再接纳你。「她对她的兄长说,「我将躺下来,我亲爱的朋友,我几乎的情人,在此「跟」你躺在一块。每次Μετά 被放置在这行的字尾,用倒转的方式,因为正常来说,像with这样的介系词都放置在名词前面。在能指化的形式,这个特征暗示安提贡尼代表的这种强悍的存在。

I will skip the details of her dialogue with Ismene. The commentary could
go on and on; it could take at least a year. I am sorry that I cannot contain
the extraordinary substance of the style and metre involved in the framework
of a seminar. I will pass on. After this opening, which demonstrates that the
die is already cast, we have the Chorus. This alternation between action and
the Chorus is something that, I believe, recurs five times.


But be careful. It is said that tragedy is an action. Is it άγειν? Is it πράτταν?
The signifier introduces two orders in the world, that of truth and that of the
event. But if one wants to retain it at the level of man’s relations to the
dimension of truth, one cannot also at the same time make it serve to punctuate
the event. In tragedy in general there is no kind of true event. The hero
and that which is around him are situated with relation to the goal of desire.
What occurs concerns subsidence, the piling up of different layers of the
Presence of the hero in time. That’s what remains undetermined: in the collapse
of the house of cards represented by tragedy, one thing may subside
before another, and what one finds at the end when one turns the whole thing
around may appear in different ways.

但是请小心。据说悲剧是一种行动。它是άγειν? 还是πράτταν?这个能指介绍世界的两个秩序,真理的秩序与事件的秩序。但是假如我们想要包留它,在人与真理的维度的关系的层次。我们也无法在相同的时刻让它用来强调这个事件。在一般的戏剧里,并没有这样的真实的事件。英雄与环绕他四周的东西,都被定位在跟欲望的目标的关系。所发生的事情,都跟跟崩塌息息相关,英雄在时间中的存在不同层级的累积。那就是由悲剧所代表的牌屋顶的崩塌中,始终保留没有被损坏的东西。某件东西可能存在于另外一件东西之前。我们最后所发现的东西,将整个事情倒转过来。结果出现的方式不同。

An illustration of that is the following: after having broadcast the fact that he will never yield an inch in his responsibilities as ruler, Creon starts to lose his nerve once old Tiresias has finished giving him a piece of his mind. He then says to the Chorus, “Shouldn’t I perhaps, after all. . . perhaps yield?” He says it in terms that, from the point of view of what I am arguing here, are extraordinarily precise, for Αte is used there again with a special appositeness. At that moment it is clear that if he had been to the grave before finally and belatedly granting the corpse its funeral honors, something that does after all take a little time, the worst might have been avoided.


Only there it is, it is probably not for nothing that he begins with the
corpse; he wants, as they say, to come to terms with his conscience. Believe
me, that is always the element that leads everyone astray whenever reparations
are to be made. I have only given you a little illustration, for at every
moment in the unfolding of the drama the question of temporality, of the
way in which the threads in place are joined together, remains decisive,
essential. But it is no more comparable to an action than what I referred to
earlier as subsidence, as a collapse back onto its premises.


Thus, after the first dialogue between Antigone and Ismene, the music,
the Chorus, the song of liberation, Thebes is beyond the power of those
whom one might well call the barbarians. The style of the poem, which is
that of the Chorus, represents Polynices’s soldiers and his shadow strangely
enough as a huge bird hovering above the houses. The image of our modern
wars as something that glides overhead was already made concrete in 441 B.C.


Once this first musical entrance is finished – and one cannot help feeling
that there is some irony involved on the part of the author – it’s over or, in
other words, things are about to begin.



Ethic 257

January 27, 2013

Ethic 257
The Ethics of Psychoanalysia

Jacques lacan

The articulations of the play

I would like to try today to talk about Antigone, the play written by Sophocles
in 441 B.C., and in particular about the economy of the play.


With the category of the beautiful, Kant says that only the example –
which doesn’t mean the object – is capable of assuring its transmission insofar
as this is both possible and demanded. Now, from every point of view,
this text deserves to play such a role for us.


As you in any case know, I am reopening the question of the function of
the beautiful in relation to that which we have been considering as the aim of
desire. In a word, it may be that something new on the subject of the function
of desire may come to light here. That is the point we have reached.


It is only a single point on our path. Don’t be astonished at how long that
path is, Plato says somewhere in the Phaedrus, which is itself a dialogue on
the beautiful: Don’t be astonished if the detour is such a long one, for it is a
necessary detour.


Today we need to make progress in our commentary on Antigone.
Read this truly admirable text. It is an unimaginable highpoint, a work of
overwhelming rigor, whose only equivalent in Sophocles’s work is his final
work, Oedipus at Colonus, which was written in 401.


I will now attempt to analyze this text with you so as to make you appreciate
its extraordinary stature.


As I said last time then, we have Antigone, we have something going on, we
have the Chorus.


On the other hand, as far as the nature of tragedy is concerned, I quoted
the end of Aristotle’s sentence on pity and fear effecting the catharsis of the
emotions, that famous catharsis the true meaning of which we will try to
grasp at the end. Strangely enough, Goethe saw the function of this fear and
pity in the action itself. That is, the action would provide us with a model of
the balance between fear and pity. That is certainly not what Aristotle says;
what he says is as inaccessible to us as a closed road on account of the curious
fate that has left us with so little material to confirm what he says in his text,
because so much of it has been lost down through the centuries.


I will tell you one thing right away. Please note, and this is my first point,
that at first glance, of the two protagonists, Creon and Antigone, neither one
seems to feel fear or pity. If you doubt that, it is because you haven’t read
Antigone, and since we are going to read the play together, I hope to point it
out to you in the text.


My second point is that it is not “seems,” but it is “certain” that at least
one of the protagonists right through to the end feels neither fear nor pity,
and that is Antigone. That is why, among other things, she is the real hero.
Creon, on the other hand, is moved by fear toward the end, and if it isn’t the
cause of his ruin, it is certainly the sign of it.


Let us now take up the question from the beginning.


It’s not even that Creon says the play’s opening words. As composed by
Sophocles, the play begins by introducing us to Antigone in her dialogue with
Ismene; and she affirms her position and her reasons from the opening lines.
Creon isn’t even there as a foil. He only appears later. He is nevertheless
essential for our demonstration.


Creon exists to illustrate a function that we have shown is inherent in the
structure of the ethic of tragedy, which is also that of psychoanalysis; he seeks
the good. Something that after all is his role. The leader is he who leads the
community. He exists to promote the good of all.


What does his fault consist of? Aristotle tells us, using a term that he
affirms falls directly within the province of tragic action, αμαρτία. We have
some trouble translating that word. “Error,” we say, and in order to relate it
to ethics, we interpret it as “error of judgment.” But perhaps it isn’t as simple
as that.


As I told you last time, almost a century separates the period of the creation
of great tragedies from their interpretation by philosophical thought. Minerva,
as Hegel has already said, takes flight at twilight. I’m not too sure, but I
think we should remember this formula, which has been so often evoked, to
recall that there is after all some distance between the teachings embodied in
tragic rites as such and their subsequent interpretation in the form of an
ethics, which with Aristotle is a science of happiness.


Nevertheless, it is true that we do note the following. And I would not
have any difficulty finding αμαρτία in others of Sophocles’s tragethes: it exists,
it is affirmed. The terms άμαρτάνειν and αμαρτήματα are to be found in
Creon’s own speeches, when at the end he succumbs to the blows of fate. But αμαρτία does not appear at the level of the true hero, but at the level of

可是,我们确实注意到以下。我将不会遭遇任何困难,在索福克利斯的其他悲剧发现 αμαρτία 。它存在,它被肯定。άμαρτάνειν 与 αμαρτήματα 的这些术语能够被发现,在克瑞恩的言说里。当最后,他屈服于命运的打击。但是αμαρτία并没有出现在这位真实英雄的层次,而是出现在克瑞恩的层次。

His error of judgment (and we come closer to it here than that thought
which is fond of wisdom ever has) is to want to promote the good of all – and
I don’t mean the Supreme Good, for let us not forget that 441 B.C. is very
early, and our friend Plato hadn’t yet created the mirage of that Supreme
Good – to promote the good of all as the law without limits, the sovereign
law, the law that goes beyond or crosses the limit. He doesn’t even notice
that he has crossed that famous limit about which one assumes enough has
been said when one says that Antigone defends it and that it takes the form
of the unwritten laws of the Δίκη. One thinks one has said enough when one
interprets it as the Justice or the Doctrine of the gods, but one hasn’t, in fact,
said very much. And there is no doubt that Creon in his innocence crosses
over into another sphere.

他的判断的错误(在此,比起以往,我们比较靠近喜爱智慧的这个思想),就是想要提升一切的善行。我的意思并不是崇高的善,因为让我们不要忘记,在纪元前441年是非常早期,我们的朋友柏拉图还没有创造那个崇高的善的幻想。提升一切中的善,作为没有限制的法则,这个统治性的法则,超越或跨越这个限制的法则。他甚至没有注意到,他已经跨越这个著名的限制。关于这个限制,我们认为我们已经说得足够,当我们说安提贡尼防卫它,它形成这个Δίκη 的不成文法则。我们认为我们已经说得足够,当我们解释它,作为是众神的信条的正义。但是事实上我们没有说的很多。无可置疑的地,克瑞恩纯然无知地跨越进入另外一个领域。

Note that his language is in perfect conformity with that which Kant calls
the Begriff or concept of the good. It is the language of practical reason. His
refusal to allow a sepulcre for Polynices, who is an enemy and a traitor to his
country, is founded on the fact that one cannot at the same time honor those
who have defended their country and those who have attacked it. From a
Kantian point of view, it is a maxim that can be given as a rule of reason with
a universal validity. Thus, before the ethical progression that from Aristotle
to Kant leads us to make clear the identity of law and reason, doesn’t the
spectacle of tragedy reveal to us in anticipation the first objection? The good
cannot reign over all without an excess emerging whose fatal consequences
are revealed to us in tragedy.


What then is this famous sphere that we must not cross into? We are told
that it is the place where the unwritten laws, the will or, better yet, the Δίκη
of the gods rules. But we no longer have any idea what the gods are. Let us
not forget that we have lived for a long time under Christian law, and in
order to recall what the gods are, we have to engage in a little ethnography.
If you read the Phaedrus I was talking about just now, which is a reflection
on the nature of love, you will see that we have changed the very axis of the
words that designate it.

那么,我们一定不要跨越进入的这个著名的领域是什么?我们被告诉,那是不成文法则统治的地方,这个意志,或更贴切地说,众神的这个Δίκη 统治的地方。但是我们不再知道众神是什么。让我们不要忘记,我们曾经长久生活在基督教的法则之下。为了回想众神在哪儿,我们必须稍微探讨一下民族学。假如你们阅读我刚才谈论到的「费德拉斯」,这是对于爱的特性的省思。你们将会看出,我们曾经改变指明它的那些字词的轴心。

What is this love? Is it that which, as a result of the fluctuations of the
whole Christian adventure, we have come to call sublime love? Is it, in effect,
very close, although it was reached by other paths? Is it desire? Is it that
which some people believe I identify with a certain central sphere, namely,
some natural evil in man? Is it that which Creon somewhere calls anarchy?
In any case, you will see that the way in which the lovers in the Phaedrus act
in relation to love varies according to the “epopteia” in which they have participated.
“Epopteia” here means initiation in the sense that the term has in
antiquity; it designates very detailed ceremonies in the course of which certain phenomena occur. One comes upon these down through the centuries –
and down to the present time, if one is willing to go to other regions of the
globe – in the form of trances or phenomena of possession in which a divine
being manifests itself through the mouth of someone who is, so to speak,
willing to cooperate.

这个爱是什么?它难道不是由于整个基督教的冒险的摇摆,我们渐渐称为崇高的爱?事实上,它难道不是非常靠近,虽然是凭借其他的途径到达?它是欲望吗?它难道不是某些人相信的东西吗?我认同某种的中央的领域。换句话说,人身上的某种自然的邪恶?它难道不是克瑞恩在某个地方称为是无法无天的地方?无论如何,你们将会看出,在「费德拉斯」,情人的行动跟爱相关的方式,会依照这个”epopteia” 而有差异。他们曾经参与那里。”Epopteia” 在此的意思意味着创始,这个术语在古代具有的意义。它指明非常详细的典礼。在这个典礼的过程,某些现象出现。几个世纪以降,一直到现在,我们遭遇到这些。假如我们愿意去到地球的其他地区—以狂喜的形式或是著魔的现象。在那里,神性的存在展现它自己,通过某人的嘴巴。换句话说,某个愿意合作的人。

Thus Plato tells us that those who have undergone an initiation to Zeus do
not react in love in the same way as those who were initiated to Ares. Just
replace those names with those who in a given province of Brazil stand for a
spirit of the earth or war or of a sovereign being. It is not our intention to
engage in exoticism here, but that is what is involved.


In other words, this whole sphere is only really accessible to us from the
outside, from the point of view of science and of objectification. For us Christians,
who have been educated by Christianity, it doesn’t belong to the text
in which the question is raised. We Christians have erased the whole sphere
of the gods. And we are, in fact, interested here in that which we have replaced
it with as illuminated by psychoanalysis. In this sphere, where is the limit?
A limit that has no doubt been there from the beginning, but which doubtless
remains isolated and leaves its skeleton in this sphere that we Christians have
abandoned. That is the question I am asking here.


The limit involved, the limit that it is essential to situate if a certain phenomenon
is to emerge through reflection, is something I have called the phenomenon
of the beautiful, it is something I have begun to define as the limit
of the second death.


I first brought this to your attention in connection with Sade as something
that sought to pursue nature to the very principle of its creative power, which
regulates the alternation of corruption and generation. Beyond that order,
which it is no longer easy for us to think of and assume in the form of knowledge
– and that is taken to be a reference point in the development of Christian
thought – Sade tells us that there is something else, that a form of
transgression is possible, and he calls it “crime.”


As I indicated, the form of the crime may only be a ridiculous fantasm,
but what is in question is that which the thought points to. The crime is said
to be that which doesn’t respect the natural order. And Sade’s thought goes
as far as forging the strangely extravagant notion that through crime man is
given the power to liberate nature from its own laws. For its own laws are
chains. What one has to sweep aside in order to force nature to start again
from zero, so to speak, is the reproduction of forms against which nature’s
both harmonious and contradictory possibilities are stifled in an impasse of
conflicting forces. That is the aim of Sadean crime. It isn’t for nothing that
crime is one boundary of our exploration of desire or that it is on the basis of
a crime that Freud attempted to reconstruct the genealogy of the law. The
frontiers represented by “starting from zero,” ex nihilo, is, as I indicated at
the beginning of my comments this year, the place where a strictly atheist
thought necessarily situates itself. A strictly atheist thought adopts no other
perspective than that of “creationism.”

如同我指示,犯罪的这个形式可能仅是一种荒谬的幻见,但是受到置疑的问题是,思想指向的东西。犯罪据说是并没有尊敬自然秩序的东西。萨德的思想甚至铸造这个奢侈得怪异的观念,凭借犯罪,人被给予这个力量,将自然从它自己的天性解放出来。因为它自己的法则就是锁链。我们所必需横扫一旁的东西,为了强迫自然再次从零开始1,换句话说,那是形式的复制。对抗这些形式的复制,自然的既和谐与矛盾的可能性,被闷住在各种冲突力量的僵局里。那是萨德的犯罪的目标。这并非是没有意义,犯罪是我们的欲望的探索的边界。或者说,根据犯罪的基础,弗洛依德企图重新建构法律的系谱学。如同我从今年我的评论的开始所指示的,由「从零度开始」ex nihilo所代表的边界。严格的无神论思想必须定位自己在那里。严格的无神论思想採用的观点不是别的,就是「创造主义」的观点。

Moreover, nothing demonstrates better that Sadean thought is situated at
that limit than the fundamental fantasm one finds in Sade, a fantasm that is
illustrated in a thousand or more exhausting images that he gives us of the
manifestations of human desire. The fantasm involved is that of eternal suffering.


In the typical Sadean scenario, suffering doesn’t lead the victim to the
point where he is dismembered and destroyed. It seems rather that the object
of all the torture is to retain the capacity of being an indestructible support.
Analysis shows clearly that the subject separates out a double of himself who
is made inaccessible to destruction, so as to make it support what, borrowing
a term from the realm of aesthetics, one cannot help calling the play of pain.
For the space in question is the same as that in which aesthetic phenomena
disport themselves, a space of freedom. And the conjunction between the
play of pain and the phenomena of beauty is to be found there, though it is
never emphasized, for it is as if some taboo or other prevented it, as if some
prohibition were there, which is related to the difficulty we are familiar with
in our patients of admitting something that properly speaking belongs to the
realm of fantasm.


I will point it out to you in Sade’s texts, where it is so obvious that one
fails to see it. The victims are always adorned not only with all kinds of
beauty, but also with grace, which is beauty’s finest flower. How does one
explain this necessity, if not by the fact that we need to find it hidden, though
imminent, however we approach the phenomenon, in the moving presentation
of the victim or also in every form of beauty that is too obvious, too
present, so that it leaves man speechless at the prospect of the image that is
silhouetted behind it and threatens it. But what precisely is the threat, since
it isn’t the threat of destruction?

我将跟你们指出,在萨德的文本,显而易见地,我们没有看出它。受害者总是被装饰各种的美丽,而且优雅。那是美丽的最精致的花朵。我们如何解释这个必要?难道不是凭借这个事实? 我们需要发现它被隐藏,虽然是即将出现在受害者的感人的呈现,无论我们用什么方式接近这个现象。美丽的每个形式是过于明显,过于存在,它让人哑口无言,想到在它背后呈现轮廓及威胁它的这个意象。但是因为这并不是毁灭的威胁,这个威胁确实是什么?

The whole question is so crucial that I intend to have you go over the
passages of Kant’s Critique of Judgment that are concerned with the nature of
beauty; they are extraordinarily precise. I will leave them aside for the moment
except to note the following: the forms that are at work in knowledge, Kant
tells us, are interested in the phenomenon of beauty, though the object itself
is not involved. I take it you see the analogy with the Sadean fantasm, since
the object there is no more than the power to support a form of suffering,
which is in itself nothing else but the signifier of a limit. Suffering is conceived
of as a stasis which affirms that that which is cannot return to the void
from which it emerged.


Here one encounters the limit that Christianity has erected in the place of
all the other gods, a limit that takes the form of the exemplary image which attracts to itself all the threads of our desire, the image of the crucifixion. If
we dare, not so much look it in the face – given that mystics have been staring
at it for centuries, we can only hope that it has been observed closely – but
speak about it directly, which is much more difficult, shall we say that what
is involved there is something that we might call the apotheosis of sadism?
And by that I mean the divinization of everything that remains in this sphere,
namely, of the limit in which a being remains in a state of suffering, otherwise
he can only do so by means of a concept that moreover represents the disqualification
of all concepts, that is, the concept of ex nihiôo.

在此,我们遭遇基督教竖立的这种限制,来代替所有其他的众神。这一个限制採取的是典范意象的形式。这个意象将我们欲望的所有线索吸引到它自己,耶稣钉上十字架的意象。假如我们胆敢,不是正面直视它,假如考虑到,神秘主义一直凝视它好几世纪了,我们仅能希望,它曾经仔细地被观察。但是直接地谈论到它。那会更加的困难。我们将会说,在那里所被牵涉的东西,是某件我们可能称为萨德主义的升华吗?我说这话的意思是,保留在这个领域的每样东西都神圣化。换句话说,限制的神圣化。在那里,人的存在始终是痛苦的状态。否则他仅能这样做,凭借一种观念。而且,这种观念代表所有的观念都除掉资格,从空无中创造ex nihilo的观念。

Suffice it for me to remind you of what you as analysts encounter directly,
in other words the extent to which the fantasm that guides feminine desire –
from the reveries of pure young virgins to the couplings fantasized by middleaged
matrons—may be literally poisoned by the favored image of Christ on
the cross. Need I go further and add that in connection with that image
Christianity has been crucifying man in holiness for centuries? In holiness.
For some time now we have discovered that administrators are saints. Can’t
one turn that around and say that saints are administrators, administrators of
the access to desire, for Christianity’s influence over man takes place at the
level of the collectivity? Those gods who are dead in Christian hearts are
pursued throughout the world by Christian missionaries. The central image
of Christian divinity absorbs all other images of desire in man with significant
consequences. From an historical point of view, we have perhaps reached the
edge of this. It is what in the language of administration is referred to as the
cultural problems of underdeveloped countries.


I am not as a result going to promise you a surprise here, whether it be a
good one or a bad one. You will come upon it, as Antigone says, soon enough.
Let us go back to Antigone.


Ethic 253

January 26, 2013

Ethic 253
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis

Jacques Lacan

The splendor of Antigone


What else can I tell you today? I am hesitating because it is late. What I want
to do is lead you from one end to the other to make you appreciate its scope.
There is nevertheless one thing that you could do between now and next
time, and that is read the play. I don’t suppose that alerting you last time by
telling you that I would be talking about Antigone was even enough to make
you glance at it, given the average level of zeal you display. It would, how
ever, not be without interest if you did so before next time.


There are a thousand ways of doing so. First of all, there’s Mr. Robert
Pignarre’s critical edition. For those who know Greek, I recommend the
interlinear translation, since a word by word rendering is amazingly instructive,
and I will be able to make you see the extent to which my points of
reference are perfectly articulated in the text by the signifiers, so that I don’t
have to search for them all over the place. If I find a word now and then
which echoes what I have to say, that would be a by no means arbitrary mode
of confirmation. On the contrary, I will show you that the words I use are
the words that are to be found running like a single thread from one end of
the play to the other, and that these words give it its structure.


There is one other thing I would like to point out.
One day Goethe in a conversation with Eckermann was in a speculative
mood. A few days previously he had invented the Suez canal and the Panama
canal. I must say that you have to be quite brilliant to have extremely clear
views on the subject of the historical function of these two pieces of equipment
in 1827. Then one day he comes across a book that had just come out
and has been completely forgotten since by a certain Irish, which is a nice
little commentary on Antigone, and that I know through Goethe.


I don’t see how it is so different from Hegel’s commentary; it’s a little more
simpleminded, but there are some amusing things in it. Those who sometimes
criticize Hegel for the extraordinary difficulty of his statements will
find their taunts ratified by Goethe’s authority. Goethe certainly rectifies the
Hegelian view that Creon is opposed to Antigone as one principle of the law,
of discourse, to another. The conflict is thus said to be linked to structures.
Goethe, on the other hand, shows that Creon is driven by his desire and
manifestly deviates from the straight path; he seeks to break through a barrier
in striking at his enemy Polynices beyond limits within which he has the
right to strike him. He, in fact, wants to inflict on him that second death that
he has no right to inflict on him. All of Creon’s speeches are developed with
that end in view, and he thus rushes by himself toward his own destruction.
If it’s not exactly stated in those terms, it is implied, intuited, by Goethe.


It is not for him a question of a right opposed to a right, but of a wrong
opposed to – what? To something else that is represented by Antigone. Let
me tell you that it isn’t simply the defense of the sacred rights of the dead
and of the family, nor is it all that we have been told about Antigone’s saintliness.
Antigone is borne along by a passion, and I will try to tell you which one it is.


But one thing is strange, and that is that Goethe tells us he was shocked,
rattled, by one point in her speeches. When every move has been made, her
capture, her defiance, her condemnation, and even her lamentations, and she
stands on the edge of the celebrated tomb with the martyrdom that we have
witnessed already behind her, Antigone stops to justify herself. When she
has already seemed to have been moved to a kind of “Father, why hast thou
forsaken me?”, she steps back and says, “Understand this: I would not have
defied the law of the city for a husband or a child to whom a tomb had been
denied, because after all,” she says, “if I had lost a husband in this way, I
could have taken another, and even if I had lost a child with my husband, I
could have made another child with another husband. But it concerned my
brother αύτάδεΚφος, born of the same father and the same mother.” The
Greek term that expresses the joining of oneself to a brother or sister recurs
throughout the play, and it appears right away in the first line when Antigone
is speaking to Ismene. Now that Antigone’s mother and father are hidden
away in Hades, there is no possibility of another brother ever being born:


μητρός 8’iv “Αώου και πατρός κ€Κ€υθότοιν
ουκ έστ’ αδελφός όστις &ν βλαστοί ποτέ

The sage from Weimar finds that all that is a bit strange. He’s not the only
one. Over the centuries the reasoning found in that extraordinary justification
has always left people uncertain. It’s important that some madness always
strike the wisest of discourses, and Goethe cannot help emitting a wish. “I
wish,” he says, “that one day some scholar will reveal to us that this passage
is a later addition.”


This is the truth of a prudent man, one who knows the value of a text, one
who always takes care not to formulate ideas prematurely – for isn’t that how
one exposes oneself to all kinds of risks? – and naturally when one makes
such a wish, one can always hope that it will be realized. But there were at
least four or five nineteenth-century scholars who said that such a position is


A story just like it is said to be in Herodotus, in the third book. In truth,
there isn’t too great a relationship apart from the fact that it is a question of
life and death and of a brother, father, husband and child. It concerns a
woman who as a result of her lamentations is offered the possibility of choosing
one person in her family to be pardoned, the whole family having been
condemned, as was possible at the Persian court. The woman explains why
she chooses her brother over her husband.


On the other hand, just because two passages resemble each other doesn’t
mean to say that one is copied from the other. Why, in any case, would the
copied lines have been inserted there? In other words, this passage is so little
apocryphal that these two lines are quoted roughly ninety years later by Aristotle
in the third book of his Rhetoric in a passage that explains how one
should explain one’s acts. It is difficult to believe the someone who was living
ninety years after Sophocles would have quoted these lines as a literary example,
if they carried with them the odor of a scandal. That seems to render the
thesis of a latter addition highly doubtful.


In the end, precisely because it carries with it the suggestion of a scandal,
this passage is of interest to us. You can already see why; it is only there so
as to furnish additional evidence to something that next time I will try to
define as the aim of Antigone.
May 25, 1960




January 25, 2013


Less Than Nothing

Slavoj Zizek



Lacan elaborated the inconsistencies which structure sexual difference in his
“formulae of sexuation,” where the masculine side is defined by the universal function and its constitutive exception, and the feminine side by the paradox of “non‐All” (pas‐tout) (there is no exception, and for that very reason, the set is non‐All, non‐totalized). Recall the shifting status of the Ineffable in Wittgenstein: the passage from early to late Wittgenstein is the passage from All (the order of the universal All grounded in its constitutive exception) to non‐All (the order without exception and for that reason non‐universal, non‐All).


That is to say, in the early Wittgenstein of the Tractatus, the world is comprehended as a self‐enclosed, limited, bounded Whole of “facts” which precisely as such presupposes an Exception: the mystical Ineffable which functions as its Limit. In late Wittgenstein, on the contrary, the problematic of the Ineffable disappears, yet for that very reason the universe is no longer comprehended as a Whole regulated by the universal conditions of language: all that remains are lateral connections between partial domains. The notion of language as a system defined by a set of universal features is replaced by the notion of language as a multitude of dispersed practices loosely interconnected by “family resemblances.”22

换句话说,在早期维根斯坦的「逻辑哲学论文Tractatus 」,这个世界被理解作为是各种事实的自我封闭,有限制,有边界的整体。它的本身确实预先假设一种「例外」:神秘的无法解释物充当是它的限制。相反地,在晚期维根斯坦,这个无法解释物的问题消失。可是,正因为那个理由,宇宙不再是可理解,作为一个「整体性」,受到语言的普遍性条件的规范:所有剩余的东西,都是部分领域的边缘联接。语言作为系统的观念,由一套普遍性特征来定义,现在被取代。由语言作为众多的散佈的实践的观念取代。这些散佈的实践则是受到「家庭的类似物」互相联结。

A certain type of ethnic cliché renders perfectly this paradox of the non‐All: the
narratives of Origin in which a nation posits itself as being “more X than X itself,” where X stands for another nation commonly regarded as the paradigmatic case of some property.

某种的少数民族的陈词让这个「并非全部」的悖论表现得最为淋漓尽致。起源的所有叙事,每次都伴随着不同的否定。在起源的叙事里,一个国家提出它自己,作为「比 X 的本身更加是X」。在那里,X代表另外一个国家。那个国家共同被认为是某种财产的典范案例。

The myth of Iceland is that it became inhabited when those who found Norway, the freest land in the world, too oppressive, fled to Iceland; the myth about Slovenes being miserly claims that Scotland (the proverbial land of misers) became populated when Slovenes expelled to Scotland someone who had spent too much money.


The point is not that Slovenes are the most avaricious or Icelanders the most freedom‐loving—Scots remain the most miserly, but Slovenes are even more so; the people of Norway remain the most freedom‐loving, but Icelanders are even more so. This is the paradox of the “non‐All”: if we totalize all nations, then the Scots are the most miserly, yet if we compare them one by one, as “non‐All,” Slovenes are more miserly. A variation on the same motif occurs in Rossini’s famous statement on the difference between Beethoven and Mozart: when asked, “Who is the greatest composer?” Rossini answered, “Beethoven”; when asked the additional question “What about Mozart?” he added, “Mozart is not the greatest, he is the only composer…”


This opposition between Beethoven (“the greatest” of them all, since he struggled with his compositions with titanic effort, overcoming the resistance of the musical material) and Mozart (who freely floated in the musical stuff and composed with spontaneous grace) points towards the well‐known opposition between the two notions of God: God as “the greatest,” above all Creation, the Ruler of the World, and so on, and God who is not the greatest but simply the only reality, who does not relate to finite reality as separate from him, since he is “all there is,” the immanent principle of all reality.23


The famous first paragraph of Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti‐Oedipus contains another unexpected example of universality grounded in an exception: it begins with a long list of what the unconscious (“it,” not the substantialized “Id,” of course) does: “It is at work everywhere, functioning smoothly at times, at other times in fits and starts. It breathes, it heats, it eats. It shits and fucks.”24 Talking is conspicuously missing from this series: for Deleuze and Guattari, there is no “ça parle,” the unconscious does not talk. The plethora of functions is in place to cover up this absence—as was clear already to Freud, multiplicity (of phalluses in a dream, of the wolves the Wolf‐man sees through the window in his
famous dream) is the very image of castration. Multiplicity signals that the One is


The logic of universality and its constitutive exception should be deployed in three moments: (1) First, there is the exception to universality: every universality contains a particular element which, while formally belonging to the universal dimension, sticks out, does not fit its frame. (2) Then comes the insight that every particular example or element of a universality is an exception: there is no “normal” particularity, every particularity sticks out, is in excess and/or lacking with regard to its universality (as Hegel showed, no existing form of state fits the notion of the State). (3)Then comes the proper dialectical twist: the exception to the exception—still an exception, but the exception as singular universality, an element whose exception is its direct link to universality itself, which stands directly for the universal. (Note here the parallel with the three moments of the value‐form in Marx.)


The starting point for Lacan’s formulae of sexuation is Aristotle—why? Aristotle oscillates between two notions of the relationship between form and matter: either form is conceived as universal, a possibility of particular beings, and matter as the principle or agent of individualization (what makes a table this particular table is the particular matter in which the universal form of Table is actualized), or matter is conceived as neutral‐universal stuff, a possibility of different beings, and form as the principle of individualization, as the agent which transforms neutral matter into a particular entity (the form of a table makes wood—which could have become many other things—a table). For
Hegel, of course, the first notion is that of abstract universality (universality as a neutral form shared by many particular entities), while the second notion already contains the germ of concrete universality: the form (i.e., universal concept) is in itself the principle or agent of its own individualization, of its concrete self‐articulation. It is in order to resolve or obfuscate this deadlock that Aristotle has to have recourse to sexual difference: being (a substantial entity) is the unity of form and hyle, of masculine and feminine, of active and passive.

对于拉康的性别公式的起始点是亚里斯多德—为什么?亚里斯多德摇摆于形式与物质之间的关系的两个观念之间:要就是,形式被构想成为普遍性,特殊的存在物的可能性,物质被构想成为个体化的原则与代理物(让桌子成为这个特殊的桌子的原因,是这个特殊的物质,桌子的普遍性形式在那里被实现)。要不然就是,物质被构想成为中立与普遍性的材料,不同存在物的可能性,而形式则是被构想成为个体化的原则,作为代理物,将中立的物质转变成为特殊的实体(桌子的形式使木材成为桌子—虽然木材本来能够成为许多的其他东西)。当然,对于黑格尔,第一个观念上抽象的普遍性的观念(普遍性作为中立的形式,受到许多特殊性的实体的分享)。而第二个观念已经包括具体普遍性的因子:形式(譬如,普遍性的观念)本身就是它自己的个体化的原则与代理物,它自己的具体的自我实现。为了要解决或模糊这个僵局,亚里斯多德必须诉诸于性别差异:存在作为一个实质的实体, 就是形式与物质的一致性,男性与女性的一致性,主动与被动的一致性。

This point is crucial to bear in mind: Lacan’s claim is not the rather obvious one that the Aristotelian couple of form and hyle is “sexualized,” that Aristotelian ontology remains in the lineage of the ancient sexualized cosmologies. It is, on the contrary, that Aristotle has to have recourse to a sexualized couple in order to resolve a strictly conceptual problem—and that this solution does not work, since the paradox of gender is that it disturbs the clear division into genus and species: we cannot say that humanity is a genus (gender) composed of two species, men and women, since a species is a unity which can reproduce itself—no wonder our everyday use of these terms turns this hierarchical
distinction around: we talk about the human species composed of (divided into) two genders.26 What this confusion indicates is that there is indeed “gender trouble,” but not in Judith Butler’s sense: the point is not only that the identity of each sex is not clearly established, neither socially nor symbolically nor biologically—it is not only that sexual identity is a symbolic norm imposed onto a fluid and polymorphous body which never fits the ideal—the “trouble” is rather that this ideal itself is inconsistent, masking a constitutive
incompatibility. Sexual difference is not simply a particular difference subordinated to the universality of the human genus/gender, but has a stronger status inscribed into the very universality of the human species: a difference which is the constitutive feature of the universal species itself, and which, paradoxically, for this reason, precedes (logically/conceptually) the two terms it differentiates between: “perhaps, the difference which keeps apart one [sex] from the other belongs neither to the one nor to the other.”27


So how do Lacan’s formulae of sexuation relate to Aristotle? Lacan proposes a
reading of the Aristotelian “logical square” different from the predominant one: he introduces a subtle change into each of the four propositions. First, in his reading (here Lacan follows Peirce), the truth of the universal affirmation does not imply existence: it is true that “all x are Fx” even if no x exists. Second, he does not read the particular affirmation (some x are Fx) in the standard “minimal” way (“at least some x—but maybe all x—are Fx”), but in the “maximal” way, that is, as excluding the universal affirmation, as in contradiction with it (“some x are Fx means that all x are not Fx”). Third, he changes the formulation of the universal negative statement into a double negation: instead of the standard “all x are not Fx,” he writes, “there is no x which is not Fx.” Fourth, he changes the
formulation of the negative particular statement, displacing the negation from the function to the quantifier: not “some x are not Fx,” but “not‐all x are Fx.”

拉康的性别的公式如何跟亚里斯多德扯上关系?拉康建议一种阅读亚里斯多德的「逻辑方块」的方式,不同于这个盛行的方法。他介绍一种微妙的改变,成为四种命题的每一个。首先,在他的阅读(在此,拉康遵循皮尔斯),普遍性肯定的真理并没有意味着存在:的确,在标准的「最小量」方式,「所有的X是X」(至少,有些的X—但是也许所有的X—都是X)。但是在「最大量」的方式,也就是说,作为排除普遍性的肯定,如同跟它的矛盾(「有些的X是fx,意味着并非所有的X 都是Fx」)。第三,他改变普遍性的否定的陈述的说明,成为双重的否定:非但不是标准的「并非所有的X是FX」,他写道,「没有不是Fx的X」。第四,他改变否定的特殊的陈述的说明,替代这个否定,从功用变成数量词:并不是「有些的X,不是Fx」,而是「并非全部的X是Fx」。

What immediately stands out is how contradiction is displaced. In the classic
Aristotelian logical square, contradiction is vertical, between the left side (“all x are Fx” and “some x are Fx”) and the right side (“all x are not Fx” and “some x are not Fx”): the two universal propositions are contrary (all x are Fx or not Fx), while the two diagonals are contradictory (“some x are nonFx” is in contradiction with “all x are Fx”; and “some x are Fx” is in contradiction with “all x are nonFx”). Furthermore, the relation between each universal and particular proposition is one of implication: “all x are Fx” implies that “some x are Fx,” and “all x are not Fx” implies that “some x are not Fx”; plus the relation between the two particular propositions is one of compatibility (“some x are Fx” and “some x are not
Fx” can both be true). The standard example: “all swans are white” and “all swans are not‐white” is contrary; “all swans are white” and “some swans are non‐white” is contradictory, as well as “all swans are non‐white” and “some swans are white”; “some swans are white” is compatible with “some swans are non‐white.”

立即突显出来的东西,是矛盾如何被替换。在古典的亚里斯多德的逻辑四方块,矛盾是垂直的,处于左边(所有的X都是Fx」与「有些的X是fx」;在右边则是「并非所有的X是Fx,或有些的X,并非Fx」:这两个普遍性的命题是相反的(所有的X都是Fx,或并非是Fx」。虽然这两个斜角线是矛盾 (「有些的X是并非Fx」,处于矛盾状态,跟「所有的X是Fx」。「有些的X是Fx」处于矛盾状态,跟「并非所有的X都是Fx」。这暗示着:「有些的X并非是X」。除外,这两个特殊的命题之间的关系,是和谐的关系(「有些的X是Fx」与「有些的X并非是Fx」,两者俱可是真实)。标准的例子是:「所有的天鹅都是白色」,与「所有的天鹅都是非白色」是相反的;「所有的天鹅是白色」与「有些的天鹅是非白色」;以及「所有的天鹅是非白色」与「有些天鹅是白色」是矛盾。「有些的天鹅是白色」与「有些天鹅是非白色」是和谐的。

In the square as rewritten by Lacan, contradictions are only between the upper and the lower levels (directly and diagonally): “all x are Fx” is in contradiction with “there is at least one x which is nonFx” as well as with “not‐all x are Fx,” and vice versa for “there is no x which is not Fx”; the relationship between the two horizontal couples, the upper and the lower, is, on the contrary, one of equivalence: “all x are Fx” is equivalent to “there is no x which is nonFx,” and “there is at least one x which is nonFx” is equivalent to “not‐all x are Fx.” This lesson is crucial: “there is no sexual relationship” means that there is no direct
relationship between the left (masculine) and the right (feminine) side, not even that of contrariness or contradiction; the two sides, set side by side, are equivalent, which means they just coexist in a non‐relationship of indifference. Contradiction only occurs within each of the sexes, between the universal and the particular of each sexual position (“all x are Fx” is in contradiction with “there is at least one x which is not Fx,” and “there is no x which is not Fx” is in contradiction with “not‐all x are Fx”).

在拉康重新改写的这个四方块,矛可仅存在于上方及下方的层次(直接或是斜角线):「所有的x 是fx」跟「至少有一个x是非fx」,以及跟「并非所有的x是fx,」彼此矛盾。反过来说也是一样,「没有不是fx的x」。在两个水平的配对之间的关系,上方与下方之间的关系,相反地是相等的关系:「所有的x是fx」相等于「并非所有的x 是fx」。这个教训是重要的:「性别关系不存在」意味着,在左边(男性)与右边(女性)之间,没有直接的关系。甚至没有相反或是矛盾的关系,这两边,并列存在,是相等的。这意味着,它们仅是共同存在于一个冷漠的非关系。矛盾仅是发生在每个性别内部,在每个性别位置的普遍性与特殊性之间(「所有的x是fx」,跟「至少有一个并非fx的x」之间,互相矛盾。「没有不是fx的x」与「并非所有的x是fx」互相矛盾。

Sexual difference is thus ultimately not the difference between the sexes, but the difference which cuts across the very heart of the identity of each sex, stigmatizing it with the mark of impossibility. If sexual difference is not the difference between the two sexes, but a difference which cuts from within each sex, how then do the two sexes relate to each other? Lacan’s answer is “indifference”: there is no relationship, il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel—the two sexes are out of sync. Recall that, on very last page of Seminar XI, Lacan defines the desire of the analyst not as a pure desire (a self‐critical remark, clearly—he had himself claimed this in Seminar VII), but as a desire to obtain absolute difference.28 In order for the difference to be “absolute,” it must be a
redoubled, self‐reflected difference, a difference of differences, and this is what the formulae of sexuation offer: the “dynamic” antinomy of All and its exception, and the “mathematic” antinomy of non‐All without exception. In other words, there is no direct way to formulate sexual difference: sexual difference names the Real of an antagonism which can only be circumscribed through two different contradictions.29


Let us take a closer look at the first antinomy: Lacan refers here to Peirce’s logical square of universal and particular positive and negative propositions, which implies that the truth of a universal affirmative proposition does not imply the existence of a term to which it refers, in contrast to a particular affirmative proposition (“all unicorns have one horn” is true even if there are no unicorns, but not “some unicorns have one horn”—for the second proposition to be true, at least one unicorn has to exist).30 What are the consequences for psychoanalysis of the purely logical point that the true of a universal affirmation does not imply that a particular element which exemplifies this truth exists? It is true that unicorns have only one horn, but there are nonetheless no unicorns… and if we
go by way of a little wild analysis insisting on the phallic value of the single horn growing out of the forehead, this brings us to the paternal phallic authority, to what Lacan calls the Name‐of‐the‐Father.


“All fathers are Fx” is true, but this means that no existing father is“really father,” that—in Hegelese—there is no father at the level of his notion: every father that exists is an exception to the universal notion of father: the order of the function which we introduced here as that of the name‐of‐the‐father is something which has universal value, but, simultaneously, puts on you the charge to control if there is or not a father who fits this function. If there is no such father, it still remains true that the father is God, it is simply that this formula is confirmed only by the empty sector of the square.31


The implications of this paradox for the individual’s psychic economy are crucial: the paternal function is universal, each of us is determined by it, but there is always a gap between the universal paternal function and the individual who occupies this symbolic place: no father is “really a father,” every “real” father is either not‐enough‐father, a deficient father, failing to play the role properly, or too‐much‐father, an overbearing presence which stains the paternal symbolic function with pathological obscenity. The only father who fully exists is the exception to the universal function, the “primordial father” external to the symbolic Law.32 Or, a more problematic example: one curious story about
Hitler reported in the (in)famous record of his “table conversations” is that, one morning in the early 1940s, he awoke terrified and then, with tears running down his cheeks, explained to his doctor the nightmare that had haunted him:

个人心灵的经济活动的这个悖论的暗示是关键性:父权的功用是普遍性,我们每个人都受到它的决定,但是总是有一个差距,处于普遍性的父权的功用,与个人之间。这个个人佔据这个象征的位置:没有父亲是「确实的父亲」;每个「真实」的父亲要不就是不足够充当父亲,一个不足的父亲,没有适当地扮演这个角色。要不然就是,太过强势的父亲,一个跋扈的存在,他污染父权的象征的功用,具有病态的卑下。充分存在的唯一的父亲,是普遍性的功用的例外,外在于象征法则。或是,更加棘手的例子: 一个耐人寻味的故事关于希特勒被报导,在那个著名(或恶名昭彰)的记载有关他的「餐会谈话」:1940年代,有一天早上,他惊骇地醒来,眼泪掉落他的脸颊。他对他的医生解释萦绕他的这个梦魇。

“In my dream, I saw the future overmen—they are so totally ruthless, without any consideration for our pains, that I found it unbearable!” The very idea of Hitler, our main candidate for the most evil person of all time, being horrified at a lack of compassion is, of course, weird—but, philosophically, the idea makes sense. What Hitler was implicitly referring to was the Nietzschean passage from
Lion to Child: it is not yet possible for us, caught as we are in the reflective attitude of nihilism, to enter the “innocence of becoming,” the full life beyond justification; all we can do is engage in a “self‐overcoming of morality through truthfulness.”33 So it is all too easy to dismiss the Nazis as inhuman and bestial—what if the problem was precisely that they remained “human, all too human”? But let us go further and move to the opposite end of the spectrum, to Jesus Christ: is not Jesus also a case of the singular exception (“there is one
God who is an exception to divinity, who is fully human”) which implies the inexistence of the universal God?

「在我的梦里,我看见未来的超人—他们是如此残酷无情,没有体谅到我们的痛苦,我发现它无法令人承受!」希特勒的这个观念,我们主要的候选人,充当自古以来最邪恶的人,他感到惊吓,对于欠缺同情心。当然,他的这个观念是古怪的,但是从哲学来说,这个观念具有意义。希特勒暗示提到的东西,是尼采的「从狮子变成小孩」的那个段落: 虽然我们被陷住于虚无主义的省思的态度,我们还没有可能进入「生成的纯真」,超越是非善恶的充实的生活。我们所能做的事参与「凭借真理,来从事道德的自我克服」。所以,我们轻易地就将纳粹排除为没有人性,而且野蛮—万一这个问题确实就是,他们始终是「人性,太过性」,那怎么说?但是让我们更加深入,并且移动到这个光谱的相反一端,移动到耶稣基督。耶稣基督难道不就是这个独特的例外的情况?(有一个是神性例外的上帝,他完全是人」)这暗示着,普遍性的上帝并不存在吗?

This affirmation of existence as an exception to (its) universal notion cannot but
appear anti‐Hegelian, Kierkegaardian even: is not Hegel’s point precisely that every existence can be subsumed under a universal essence through notional mediation? But what if we conceive it as the elementary figure of what Hegel called “concrete universality”? Concrete universality is not the organic articulation of a universality into its species or parts or organs; we approach concrete universality only when the universality in question encounters, among its species or moments, itself in its oppositional determination, in an exceptional moment which denies the universal dimension and is as such its direct embodiment. Within a hierarchical society, the exceptional element are
those at the bottom, like the “untouchables” in India. In contrast to Gandhi, Dr. Ambedkar “underlined the futility of merely abolishing Untouchability: this evil being the product of a social hierarchy of a particular kind, it was the entire caste system that had to be eradicated: ‘There will be out castes [Untouchables] as long as there are castes.’ … Gandhi responded that, on the contrary, here it was a question of the foundation of Hinduism, a civilization which, in its original form, in fact ignored hierarchy.”34


Although Gandhi and Ambedkar respected each other and often collaborated in the struggle to defend the dignity of the Untouchables, their difference here is insurmountable: it is the difference between the “organic” solution (solving the problem by returning to the purity of the original uncorrupted system) and the truly radical solution (identifying the problem as the “symptom” of the entire system, a symptom which can only be resolved by abolishing the entire system). Ambedkar saw clearly how the four‐caste structure does not unite four elements which belong to the same order: while the first three castes (priests,
warrior‐kings, merchants‐producers) form a consistent All, an organic triad, the
Untouchables are, like Marx’s “Asiatic mode of production,” the “part of no‐part,” the inconsistent element which, within the system, occupies the place of what the system as such excludes—and, as such, the Untouchables stand for universality.


Effectively, there are no castes without outcasts—as long as there are castes, there will be an excessive, excremental zero‐value element which, while formally part of the system, has no proper place within it. Gandhi obfuscates this paradox, clinging to the (im)possibility of a harmonious structure that would fully integrate all its elements. The paradox of the Untouchables is that they are doubly marked by the excremental logic: not only do they deal with impure excrement, their own formal status within the social body is that of
excrement. Hence the properly dialectical paradox: to break out of the caste system, it is not enough to reverse the Untouchable’s status, elevating them into the “children of God.” The first step should rather be exactly the opposite one: to universalize their excremental status to the whole of humanity.


But is there an inconsistency here?—First, the claim was that every particular entity is an exception, unfit as an example of its universality; then we posited the exception as the singular Master‐Signifier which holds, within a structure, the place of its lack. The solution lies in the redoubled exception: every particular entity is in the position of an exception with regard to its universality; with regard to the series of “normal” exceptions, the Master‐Signifier which represents the subject is the exception to the exception, the only place of direct universality. In other words, in the Master‐Signifier, the logic of exception is
taken to its reflexive extreme: the Master‐Signifier is totally excluded from the universal order (as its “part of no‐part,” with no proper place in it), and, as such, it immediately stands for universality as opposed to its particular content. (It is in this sense that Hegel characterizes Christ as an “example of example” and, as such, as the “absolute example.”)


Such “oppositional determination” subjectivizes a structure—how? To grasp this logic of subjectivization, one has to introduce the difference between the enunciated (content) and its process of enunciation, that is, Lacan’s difference between the subject of the enunciated and the subject of enunciation: the exception with regard to the universal order is the subject itself, its position of enunciation. To put it in somewhat simplistic terms, insofar as universality is in front of me, the object of my thought or speech, I occupy by definition a place of minimal externality with regard to it—no matter how much I locate myself as a res cogitans, as a determinate object within the reality I am grasping, that tiny
spot in my world is not me as the point of “self‐consciousness,” the point from which I speak or think. Of course, all my positive properties or determinations can be “objectivized,” but not “myself” as the singular self‐reflexive point of enunciation.


In this simple but strict sense, the subject is more universal than universality itself: it may be a tiny part of reality, a tiny speck in the “great chain of being,” but it is simultaneously the singular (stand)point encompassing reality as something that appears within its horizon.


We experience this exception in a pointed way apropos statements which concern our mortality: “every human is mortal” implicitly excludes me as mortal, excepts me from the universality of mortals, although I know very well that (as a human animal) I am also mortal. One should take a step further here: not only is the subject a crack in universality, an X which cannot be located in a substantial totality—there is universality (universality “for itself,” as Hegel would have put it) only for the subject: only from the minimally exempted subjective standpoint can an All, a universality (as different from its particular instantiations), appear as such, never to someone or something fully embedded in it as its particular moment. In this sense exception literally grounds universality.



Ethic 250

January 25, 2013

Ethic 250
The Ethics of Psychoanalysis

Jacques Lacan

The splendor of Antigone





What does one find in Antigone? First of all, one finds Antigone.


Have you noticed that she is only ever referred to throughout the play with
the Greek word ή παις, which means “the child”? I say that as a way of
coming to the point and of enabling you to focus your eye on the style of the
thing. And, of course, there is the action of the play.

你们曾经注意到,她是戏剧从头到尾唯一被提到,用这些希腊字ή παις。它的意思是「小孩」?我的意思是,作为一种谈到重点,并且让你们能够专注你们的眼光,看到这件事情的风格。当然,这戏剧有动作。

The question of the action in tragedy is very important. I don’t know why
someone whom I’m not very fond of, probably because he is always being
shoved under my nose, someone called La Bruyere, said that we have arrived
too late in a world that is too old in which everything has already been said.
It’s not something I’ve noticed. As far as the action of tragedy is concerned,
there’s still a lot to be said. It’s far from being resolved.


To return to Erwin Rohde, whom I complimented just now, I was astonished
to find that in another chapter he explains a curious conflict between
the tragic author and his subject, a conflict that is caused by the following:
the laws of the genre oblige the author to choose as frame a noble action in
preference to a mythic action. I suppose that is so that everyone already knows
what it’s all about, what’s going on. The action has to be emphasized in
relation to the ethos, the personalities, the characters, the problems, and so
forth, of the time. If that’s true, then Mr. Anouilh was right to give us his
little fascist Antigone. The conflict that results from the dialogue between the
poet and his subject is, according to Erwin Rohde, capable of generating
conflicts between action and thought, and in this connection, echoing a great
many things that have already been said before, he refers with some relevance
to the figure of Hamlet.


It’s entertaining, but it must be difficult for you to accept, if what I explained
last year about Hamlet meant anything to you. Hamlet is by no means a drama
of the importance of thought in the face of action. Why on the threshold of
the modern period would Hamlet bear witness to the special weakness of
future man as far as action is concerned? I am not so gloomy, and nothing
apart from a clichi of decadent thought requires that we should be, although
it is a cliché Freud himself falls into when he compares the different attitudes
of Hamlet and Oedipus toward desire.


I don’t believe that the drama of Hamlet is to be found in such a divergence
between action and thought nor in the problem of the extinction of his desire.
I tried to show that Hamlet’s strange apathy belongs to the sphere of action
itself, that it is in the myth chosen by Shakespeare that we should look for
its motives; we will find its origin in a relationship to the mother’s desire and
to the father’s knowledge of his own death. And to take a step further, I will
mention here the moment at which our analysis of Hamlet is confirmed by
the analysis I am leading up to on the subject of the second death.


Don’t forget one of the effects in which the topology I refer to may be
recognized. If Hamlet stops when he is on the point of killing Claudius, it is
because he is worried about that precise point I am trying to define here:
simply to kill him is not enough, he wants him to suffer hell’s eternal torture.
Under the pretext that we have already busied ourselves a great deal with this
hell, should we see it as beneath our dignity to make a little use of it in the
analysis of a text? Even if he doesn’t believe in hell anymore than we do, even
if he’s not at all sure about it, since he does after all question the notion –
“To sleep, perchance to dream …” – it is nevertheless true that Hamlet
stops in the middle of his act because he wants Claudius to go to hell.


The reason why we are always missing the opportunity of pointing to the
limits and the crossing-points of the paths we follow is because we are unwilling
to come to grips with the texts, preferring to remain within the realm of
what is considered acceptable or, in other words, the realm of prejudices. If
I were not to have taught you anything more than an implacable method for
the analysis of signifiers, then it would not have been in vain – at least I hope
so. I even hope that that is all you will retain. If it is true that what I teach
represents a body of thought, I will not leave behind me any of those handles
which will enable you to append a suffix in the form of an “-ism.” In other
words, none of the terms that I have made use of here one after the other –
none of which, I am glad to see from your confusion, has yet managed to
impress itself on you as the essential term, whether it be the symbolic, the
signifier or desire – none of the terms will in the end enable anyone of you to
turn into an intellectual cricket on my account.


Next then in a tragedy, there is a Chorus. And what is a Chorus? You will
be told that it’s you yourselves. Or perhaps that it isn’t you. But that’s not
the point. Means are involved here, emotional means. In my view, the Chorus
is people who are moved.


Therefore, look closely before telling yourself that emotions are engaged
in this purification. They are engaged, along with others, when at the end
they have to be pacified by some artifice or other. But that doesn’t mean to
say that they are directly engaged. On the one hand, they no doubt are, and
you are there in the form of a material to be made use of; on the other hand,
that material is also completely indifferent. When you go to the theater in the
evening, you are preoccupied by the affairs of the day, by the pen that you
lost, by the check that you will have to sign the next day. You shouldn’t give
yourselves too much credit. Your emotions are taken charge of by the healthy
order displayed on the stage. The Chorus takes care of them. The emotional
commentary is done for you, The greatest chance for the survival of classical
tragedy depends on that. The emotional commentary is done for you. It is
just sufficiently silly; it is also not without firmness; it is more or less human.


Therefore, you don’t have to worry; even if you don’t feel anything, the
Chorus will feel in your stead. Why after all can one not imagine that the
effect on you may be achieved, at least a small dose of it, even if you didn’t
tremble that much? To be honest, I’m not sure if the spectator ever trembles
that much. I am, however, sure that he is fascinated by the image of Antigone.
In this he is a spectator, but the question we need to ask is, What is he a
spectator of? What is the image represented by Antigone? That is the question.
Let us not confuse this relationship to a special image with the spectacle as
a whole. The term spectacle, which is usually used to discuss the effect of
tragedy, strikes me as highly problematic if we don’t delimit the field to
which it refers.


On the level of what occurs in reality, an auditor rather than a spectator is
involved. And I can hardly be more pleased with myself since Aristotle agrees
with me; for him the whole development of the arts of theater takes place at
the level of what is heard, the spectacle itself being no more than something
arranged on the margin. Technique is not without significance, but it is not
essential; it plays the same role as elocution in rhetoric. The spectacle here is
a secondary medium. It is a point of view that puts in its place the modern
concerns with mise en scene or stagecraft. The importance of mise en scene
should not be underrated, and I always appreciate it both in the theater and
in the cinema. But we shouldn’t forget that it is only important – and I hope
you will forgive the expression – if our third eye doesn’t get a hard-on; it is,
so to speak, jerked off a little with the mise en seine.


In this connection I have no intention of giving myself up to the morose
pleasure I was denouncing earlier by affirming a supposed decline in the
spectator. I don’t believe in that at all. From a certain point of view, the
audience must always have been at the same level. Sub specie aeternitatis
everything is equal, everything is always there, although it isn’t always in the
same place.


But I would just mention in passing that you really have to be a student in
my seminar – by which I mean someone especially alert – to find something
in the spectacle of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.

但是我仅是偶然提到,你们确实必须是我的研讨班的学生,(我的意思你们必须专注学习),你们才会发现某件东西,在费里尼的「甜密生活La Dolce Vita.」的景象里。

I am amazed at the murmur of pleasure that that name seems to have
aroused among a significant number of you here today. I am ready to believe
that this effect is only due to the moment of illusion produced by the fact
that the things I say are calculated to emphasize a certain mirage, which is,
in effect, the only one aimed at in the series of cinematographic images referred
to. But it isn’t reached anywhere except at one single moment. That is to say
at the moment when early in the morning among the pines on the edge of the
beach, the jet-setters suddenly begin to move again after having remained
motionless and almost disappearing from the vibration of the light; they begin
to move toward some goal that pleased a great many of you, since you associated
it with my famous Thing, which in this instance is some disgusting
object that has been caught by a net in the sea. Thank goodness, that hadn’t
yet been seen at the moment I am referring to. Only the jet-setters start to
walk, and they remain almost always as invisible, just like statues moving
among trees painted by Uccello. It is a rare and unique moment. Those of
you who haven’t been should go and observe what I’ve been teaching you
here. It happens right at the end, so that you can take your seats at the right
moment, if there are any seats left.


Now we are ready for Antigone.
Our Antigone is on the point of entering the action of the play, and we will
follow her.



Ethic 247

January 23, 2013


The Ethics of Psychoanalysis

Jacques Lacan





Tragedy – we are told in a definition that we can hardly avoid paying attention
to, since it appeared scarcely a century after the time of the birth of
tragedy – has as its aim catharsis, the purgation of the τιαθ-ηματα, of the
emotions of fear and pity.


How is one to understand that formula? We will approach the problem
from the perspective imposed on us by what we have articulated on the subject
of the proper place of desire in the economy of the Freuthan Thing. Will
this allow us to take the additional step required by this historical revelation?
If the Aristotelian formulation appears at first sight to be so closed, it is
due to the loss of a part of Aristotle’s work as well as to a certain conditioning
within the very possibilities of thought. Yet is it so closed to us after all as a
consequence of the progress made in our discussions of ethics here over the
past two years? What in particular has been said about desire enables us to
bring a new element to the understanding of the meaning of tragedy, above
all by means of the exemplary approach suggested by the function of catharsis
– there are no doubt more direct approaches.


In effect, Antigone reveals to us the line of sight that defines desire.
This line of sight focuses on an image that possesses a mystery which up
till now has never been articulated, since it forces you to close your eyes at
the very moment you look at it. Yet that image is at the center of tragedy,
since it is the fascinating image of Antigone herself. We know very well that
over and beyond the dialogue, over and beyond the question of family and
country, over and beyond the moralizing arguments, it is Antigone herself
who fascinates us, Antigone in her unbearable splendor. She has a quality
that both attracts us and startles us, in the sense of intimidates us; this terrible,
self-willed victim disturbs us.


It is in connection with this power of attraction that we should look for the
true sense, the true mystery, the true significance of tragedy – in connection
with the excitement involved, in connection with the emotions and, in particular,
with the singular emotions that are fear and pity, since it is through
their intervention, δι’ έλεου και φόβου, through the intervention of pity and fear, that we are purged, purified of everything of that order. And that order, we can now immethately recognize, is properly speaking the order of the imaginary. And we are purged of it through the intervention of one image among others.

关于这个迷人的力量,我们应该寻找悲剧的真实的理解,真实的神秘,真实的意义。关于牵涉到的興奋,关于这些情感,特别是,关于独特的情感,那就是恐惧与同情。因为凭借它们的介入,δι’ έλεου και φόβου,凭借同情与恐惧的介入,我们被清涤,被清涤那个秩序的一切。那个秩序,我们现在能够立即体认出来,适当来说,那就是想象界的秩序。我们被清涤它,凭借其他意象当中,一个意象的介入。

And it is here that a question arises. How do we explain the dissipatory
power of this central image relative to all the others that suddenly seem to
descend upon it and disappear? The articulation of the tragic action is illuminating
on the subject. It has to do with Antigone’s beauty. And this is not
something I invented; I will show you the passage in the song of the Chorus
where that beauty is evoked, and I will prove that it is the pivotal passage. It
has to do with Antigone’s beauty and with the place it occupies as intermediary
between two fields that are symbolically differentiated. It is doubtless
from this place that her splendor derives, a splendor that all those who have
spoken worthily of beauty have never omitted from its definition.


Moreover, as you know, this is the place that I am attempting to define. I
have already come close to it in previous lectures, and I attempted to grasp it
the first time by means of the second death imagined by Sade’s heroes – death
insofar as it is regarded as the point at which the very cycles of the transformations
of nature are annihilated. This is the point where the false metaphors
of being (I’etant) can be distinguished from the position of Being (I’etre) itself,
and we find its place articulated as such, as a limit, throughout the text of
Antigone, in the mouths of all the characters and of Tiresias. But how can one
also not fail to see this position in the action itself? Given that the middle of
the play is constituted of a time of lamentation, commentary, discussions,
and appeals relative to an Antigone condemned to a cruel punishment. Which
punishment? That of being buried alive in a tomb.


The central third of the text is composed of a detailed series of vowel gradations,
which informs us about the meaning of the situation or fate of a life
that is about to turn into certain death, a death lived by anticipation, a death
that crosses over into the sphere of life, a life that moves into the realm of


It is surprising that dialecticians or indeed aestheticians as eminent as Hegel
and Goethe haven’t felt obliged to take account of this whole field in their
evaluation of the effect of the play.


The dimension involved here is not unique to Antigone. I could suggest
that you look in a number of places and you will find something analogous
without having to search too hard. The zone defined in that way has a strange
function in tragedy.


It is when passing through that zone that the beam of desire is both reflected
and refracted till it ends up giving us that most strange and most profound
of effects, which is the effect of beauty on desire.


It seems to split desire strangely as it continues on its way, for one cannot say that it is completely extinguished by the apprehension of beauty. It continues
on its way, but now more than elsewhere, it has a sense of being taken
in and this is manifested by the splendor and magnificence of the zone that
draws it on. On the other hand, since its excitement is not refracted but
reflected, rejected, it knows it to be most real. But there is no longer any object.


Hence these two sides of the issue. The extinction or the tempering of
desire through the effect of beauty that some thinkers, including Saint Thomas,
whom I quoted last time, insist on. On the other hand, the disruption of any
object, on which Kant insists in The Critique of Judgment.


I was talking to you just now of excitement. And I will take a moment to
have you reflect on the inappropriate use that is made of this word in the
usual translation into French of Triebregung, namely, “έπιοί pulsionnel,”
“instinctual excitement.”1 Why was this word so badly chosen? “Emoi”
(excitement) has nothing to do with emotion nor with being moved. “Emoi”
is a French word that is linked to a very old verb, namely, “émoyer” or
“esmayer,” which, to be precise, means “faire perdre a quelqu’un ses moyens,”
as I almost said, although it is a play on words in French, “to make
someone lose” not “his head,” but something closer to the middle of the
body, “his means.” In any case a question of power is involved. “Esmayer”
is related to the old gothic word “magnan” or “mogen” in modern German.
As everybody knows, a state of excitement is something that is involved in
the sphere of your power relations; it is notably something that makes you
lose them.

刚才,我正在跟你们谈论到興奋。我将花些时刻让你们省思一下,关于对于这个字词的不适当使用,Triebregung, 这个字词通常被翻译成为法文,意思是”έπιοί pulsionnel,” 「本能的興奋」。为什么这个字词选择得很不恰当?”Emoi” (興奋)跟情感或被感动,没有任何关系。”Emoi”是一个法文字,跟一个古老的动词有关,也就是”émoyer” 或是 “esmayer,” 。贴切地说,它的意思是”faire perdre a quelqu’un ses moyens,” 。我几乎要说,虽然这是法文的文字遊戏,「让某个迷失」,不是迷失「他的头脑」,而是迷失某件靠近身体的中间,他的财富。无论如何,权力的问题被牵涉到。”Esmayer” 跟古老的的歌德语的字词有关。在现代德语,是 “magnan” or “mogen” 。如众所周知,興奋的状态是某件牵涉到你们权力的关系的领域。它特别是某件让你们丧失它的东西。

We are now in a position to be able to discuss the text of Antigone with a
view to finding something other than a lesson in morality.


A thoroughly irresponsible individual wrote a short time ago that I am
powerless to resist the seductions of the Hegelian dialectic. The reproach
was formulated at a time when I was beginning to articulate for you the
dialectic of desire in terms that I have continued to employ since. And I don’t
know if the reproach was deserved at the time, but no one could claim that
the individual involved is especially sensitive to these things. It is in any
case true that Hegel nowhere appears to me to be weaker than he is in the
sphere of poetics, and this is especially true of what he has to say about


According to Hegel, there is a conflict of discourses, it being assumed that
the discourses of the spoken dialogues embody the fundamental concerns of
the play, and that they, moreover, move toward some form of reconciliation.
I just wonder what the reconciliation of the end of Antigone might be. Further, it is not without some astonishment that one learns that, in addition,
this reconciliation is said to be subjective.


Let us not forget that in Sophocles’s last play, Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus’s
final malediction is addressed to his sons; it is the malediction that gives
rise to the catastrophic series of dramas to which Antigone belongs. Oedipus
at Colonus ends with Oedipus’s last curse, “Never to have been born were
best …” How can one talk of reconciliation in connection with a tone like


I am not tempted to regard my own indignation as particularly worthy;
others have had a similar reaction before me. Goethe notably seems to have
been somewhat suspicious of such a view, and so was Erwin Rohde. When I
went and looked up his Psyche recently, a work that I made use of to bring
together classical antiquity’s different conceptions of the immortality of the
soul, and that is an admirable work, which I strongly recommend, I was
pleased to come across an expression of the author’s astonishment at the traditional
interpretation of Oedipus at Colonus.


Let us now attempt to wash our brains clean of all we have heard about
Antigone and look in detail at what goes on there.