如何言说真理 9

如何言说真理 9


And so verily (en verite), verily, I, truth (la verite), say unto you, it is in error, forgetting, slips of the tongue, bungled actions, deformation, and pretense that I reveal myself to you, you men who insist on pursuing me where I am not: “Our abortive actions are actions which succeed, those of our words which come to grief are words which own up. These acts, these words reveal a truth from behind” (1988a, 265/292). Such, according to Lacan, was the revelation made to Freud (“It is none other than Freud who had this revelation, and he called his discovery the unconscious”; 1977a, 159/509): faltering speech, false speech, is finally the true revelation, the only apokalupsis of desire—its Apocalypse, therefore, but in the precise sense that the Apocalypse takes place only in being avoided. Signor, Herr> the “absolute Master,” everything that an “apocalyptic wind” swept from Freud’s speech—none of it was true except as it was forgotten, covered over, transposed, failed, and there was nothing that could have been made conscious in order finally to unveil the unconscious desire.

所以,的确,的确,我,真理,跟你们言说。就在错误,遗忘,口误,搞砸的行动,畸形转变,伪装,我,真理,启示自己给你们,你们坚持在我并不存在的地方,追寻我:「我们半途而废的行动,是成功的行动,我们的话语的那些结果完全失败的行动,都是承认失败的行动。这些行动,这些话语从背后启示一项真理」(1988a,265/292)。依照拉康,弗洛依德获得的启示就是如此(「获得这个启示的人,确实就是弗洛依德,他称他的发现为无意识」;1977a,159/509)闪烁的言说,虚假的言说,最后成为真实的启示,欲望的唯一的启示录—因此,也是它的启示录。但是准确的意义是:启示录仅是发生在它被避免的地方。Signor, Herr, 「绝对的主人」,从弗洛依德那里,「启示录的风」横扫出来的一切。它们没有一样是真实的,除了它被遗忘,被掩饰,被调换,被挫败。而且,没有一样东西会让它意识到,为了最后揭露这个无意识的欲望。

On the contrary, it was in Freud’s mistake, in the ungraspable, fugitive moment of stammering, that the Apocalypse of desire had already taken place. In other words, the Apocalypse is not still to come; rather, it is we who, catastrophically, always come too late to receive it. The Apocalypse of desire is endless, as endless as the Word (Parole) in which it takes “place,” for repression is absolutely the Last Judgment of desire, and the resurrection of the flesh of truth therefore takes place only halfway (a mi-corps)—amputated, castrated, divided in speech. And so, verily, verily, I say unto you,


There is no error which does not present and promulgate itself as truth. In short, error is the habitual incarnation of the truth. And if we wanted to be entirely rigorous, we would say that, as long as the truth isn’t entirely revealed, that is to say in all probability until the end of time, its nature will be to propagate itself in the form of error. You don’t have to go much further to see in this a structure constitutive of the revelation of being as such [1988a, 263/289-290].


But here, by the same token, we are truly “burning”—and not only because the Revelation is written in letters of fire; as Lacan immediately objects, “How, from within speech, will error ever be discerned?” (1988a, 263/290) In fact, if the absolutely last revelation of being, of desire, and of the subject takes place in erroneous speech, what distinguishes it from that other “error”: the alienated and “miscognizing” speech of the imaginary ego} In other words, what distinguishes repression, as the revealing-absenting of desire in speech, from resistance, as the presenting-avoiding of desire in that same speech? Indeed, it is one thing to strictly separate the domain of the real (which is neither true nor false) from the domain of speech (which is simultaneously true and false); it is something completely different to separate, with equal precision, two types of speech—one of which, now baptized “symbolic,” is supposed to be more true than the other, which is reputedly “imaginary.”


This famous distinction between the symbolic and the imaginary cuts across the domain of speech, and thus we cannot be content with simply relegating the imaginary to the domain of specular vision: as we have seen, Lacan actually does describe the resistance of the imaginary ego in terms of alienated speech, just as, inversely, it is actually in terms of alienation that Lacan continues to describe true and revealing symbolic speech: “Speech is founded in the existence of the Other [capital O]” (1988b, 244/286), particularly when this speech lies, since then it “speculates on faith in testimony” (1977a, 43/252), on “the Other witness,” which permits it to “present itself as Truth” (1977a, 305/807). In short, truth still speaks itself through the mediation of the Other.


From that point on, from the perspective of truth, what difference is there between these two types of speech (speech of alienation, speech of mediation): between the speech of imaginary resistance, in which the subject avoids his desire by calling on the other (small o) “to bear witness,” and the speech of symbolic revelation, in which he manifests his desire in its absence by lying to “the Other [capital O] witness”? For instance, what is the difference between well-mannered speech, which permits Freud to forget the “absolute Master” (thanks to the alibi provided by his interlocutor), and apocalyptic speech, in which death reveals itself to him in his forgetting? Isn’t it the same speech in either case, still just as deceitful, still just as true? And is it enough, in this respect, to invoke the insidious violence of imaginary speech as opposed to the contract supposedly instituted by symbolic speech?


^ Indeed, Lacan alleges that imaginary speech avoids (the fight to the) death only at the price of an envious submission to the little master in whom the subject alienates his desire, and the peace that this seems to institute is therefore always pregnant with an “implicit violence,” a “degradation… of speech” (1988a, 51/62). Symbolic speech, by contrast, seals a pact with the other—a pact that Lacan calls “symbolic” because the subject, by agreeing to exchange speech, agrees to break the “sword” and transform it into a sign of recognition, a symbolic tessera, a sumbolon. Through speech, I recognize the Other (who is not me) as the very locus of truth (and of my truth), since it is actually necessary for me to call on him to witness the truth of my speech, even if I do this to lie to him and fool him. In other words, the game of truth presupposes a law, a rule of the game—and that, as Lacan clarifies in an astonishing rereading of the dialectic of master and slave, is why mortal violence is avoided here. Why does the slave accept submission to the master? From fear of death, according to Hegel; and yet, Lacan adds,


It is not sufficient for him to plead for mercy, he has to go to work. And when you go to work, there are rules, hours—we enter into the domain of the symbolic. If you look at it closely, this domain of the symbolic does not have a simple relation of succession to the imaginary domain whose pivot is the fatal intersubjective relation. We do not pass from one to the other in one jump from the anterior to the posterior, once the pact and the symbol are established. In fact, the [Hegelian] myth itself can only be conceived of as already bounded by the register of the symbolic. … In the Hegelian myth, death is not even structured like a fear, it is structured like a risk, and, in a word, like a stake. From the beginning, between the master and the slave, there’s a rule of the game [1988a, 223/248-249].


The origin of truth, in other words, is not imaginary violence but the symbolic contract (which also means that this origin, for Lacan, is no genesis: from the real to the symbolic, the imaginary inference is no good, for we get from one to the other only by way of a leap— the pact of truth—which hollows out the abyss that it straddles).28



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: