Seminar 12 (03)

Seminar 12 (03)
Crucial Problems

Jacques Lacan
雅克 拉康

What is the unconscious, if not precisely ideas, thoughts, Gedanken, thoughts
whose faded greenness, does not Freud tell us somewhere, that like the shades
summoned from hell and returning to the sunlight, want to drink blood, to recover
their colours. Is it the thoughts of the unconscious that are involved, that here
sleep furiously?


Well, all of that would have been a very pretty exercise but I did not pursue it, I
(11) would not say to the end, because I am cutting it short only to suggest that it
is quite simply completely idiotic.


The unconscious has nothing to do with these metaphorical meanings, however far
we may push them. And to search for meaning in a signifying, grammatical chain
is an undertaking of extraordinary futility.


For if, because of the fact that I am before this audience, I was able to give it that
meaning, I could just as well have given it a completely different one, and for a
simple reason, which is that any signifying chain whatsoever, provided it is
grammatical, always generates a meaning, and I would go further, any one


Because I commit myself, in varying, and one can vary to infinity, the surrounding
conditions, the situation, but what is more, the situations of dialogue, I can make
this sentence mean whatever I want, including for example in a particular case that
I am mocking you.


Pay attention! Does there not intervene here at this extreme point something other
than a meaning? That I am able, in a particular context, to make any meaning
emerge from it, is one thing, but is it really meaning that is involved. Because
why did I say that nothing guaranteed the meaning I gave earlier? It is in the very
measure that I had given it one with respect to what? With respect to an object, a
(12) referent, something that I have brought out there for the needs of the case,
namely the unconscious.


In speaking about context, in speaking about dialogue, I allow to disappear, to
vanish, to vacillate what is involved, namely, the function of sense. What it is a
question here of circumscribing more closely is the distinction between the two.
In the final analysis, how does it come about that its very author who chose this
sentence, drew comfort so easily from something that is so doubtful, namely that it
does not make sense.



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