精神病 344

精神病 344

This is precisely the point at which this so singular phenomenon is located
that has had all the commentators on President Schreber scratching their
heads – the puzzling soul murder, as he calls it.


This phenomenon, which for him is the signal of the onset of psychosis,
may for the rest of us, the commentator-analysts, adopt all sorts of meanings,
but it cannot be placed anywhere else than in the imaginary field. It relates to the short-circuiting of the affective relation, which makes the other a being
of pure desire who henceforth can only be, in the register of the human
imaginary, a being of pure interdestruction. There is a purely dual relation
here, which is the most radical source of the very register of aggressiveness.
Freud didn’t miss this, moreover, but he discussed it in the homosexual register.
This text offers us a thousand proofs of what I am putting forward, and
this is perfectly coherent with our definition of the source of aggressiveness
and its emergence when the triangular, oedipal relation finds itself to be shortcircuited,
when reduced to its dual simplification.



Undoubtedly we lack the elements in the text that would enable us to get
a better grasp of Schreber’s relations with his father, with a certain presumed
brother, whom Freud also makes a great deal of. But we don’t need anything
more to understand that it’s necessarily via the purely imaginary relation that
the register of the you must pass at the moment at which it’s evoked, invoked,
interpellated from the Other, from the field of the Other, by the emergence
of a signifier that is primordial but excluded for the subject. I named this
signifier last time – Thou art the one who is, or who will be, a father. As a
signifier it can in no way be received, insofar as the signifier represents an
indeterminate support around which there is grouped and condensed a number,
not even of meanings, but of series of meanings, which come and converge
by means of and starting from the existence of this signifier.


Before the Name-of-the-Father there was no father, there were all sorts of
other things. If Freud wrote Totem and Taboo, it was because he thought he
could glimpse what there was, but before the term father was instituted in a
certain register historically there was certainly no father. I am only giving
you this perspective as a pure concession, for it interests me in no manner or
degree. I’m not interested in prehistory, except to indicate that it’s fairly
likely that Neanderthal man lacked a certain number of essential signifiers.
There’s no point in searching so far back, for we can observe this lack in
subjects within our reach.


Observe this crucial moment carefully and you will be able to pick out this
passage in the onset of every psychosis – it’s the moment at which from the
Other as such, from the field of the Other, there comes the interpellation of
an essential signifier that is unable to be received.


In one of my case presentations I happened to show a West Indian whose
family history brought out the problematics of the original ancestor. This
was a Frenchman who had gone and introduced himself over there, a sort of
pioneer, who had led an extraordinarily heroic life, involving all sorts of high-
points and lowpoints in his fortunes, and who had become an ideal for the
entire family. Our West Indian, extremely deracinated from the region of
Detroit where he had been leading quite a comfortable life as a craftsman,
found himself one day in possession of a woman who announced to him that
she was going to have a baby. It wasn’t known whether it was his or not, but
nevertheless within several days his first hallucinations declared themselves.
Barely had it been announced to him, You are going to be a father when a
character appeared to him telling him, You are Saint Thomas. It must have
been, I think, Saint Thomas the Doubter and not Saint Thomas Aquinas.
The annunciations that followed leave no room for doubt – they came from
Elizabeth, the one to whom it was announced very late in life that she was
going to bear a child.



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