Posts Tagged ‘雅克 拉康’

Unconscious 04 Jacques Lacan

October 21, 2010

Unconscious 04
Jacques Lacan

雅克 拉康


The Formations of the Unconscious
1957 – 1958

Seminar 1; Wednesday 6 November 1957

You will recognize my first line here, and the other hooked on to it after having
twice crossed over it. I would like to point out however that you cannot confuse what the two lines represent here, namely the signifier and the signified, with what they represent in this case which is slightly different, and you will see why.


In fact we are situating ourselves entirely on the plane of the (14) signifier. The effects on the signified are elsewhere, they are not directly represented on this schema. It is a matter of two states, of two functions of a signifying sequence that we can apprehend.


In the first moment of this first line, we have the signifying chain in so far as it remains entirely permeable to the properly signifying effects of metaphor and metonymy, and this implies the possible actualization of signifying effects at every level, in particular down to the phonematic level, to the level of the phonological element of what grounds the pun, the play on words, in short that which in the signifier is that something with which we analysts must continually operate, because I think that except for those of you who arrive here for the first time, you should be able to remember how all this happens in the play on words and in puns. Moreover it is precisely the way in which today we are going to begin our entry into the subject of the unconscious, by the witticism and the Witz.


The other line is that of rational discourse into which are already integrated a certain number of reference points, of things that are fixed, those things which as it happens cannot be grasped except at the level of what is called the usages of the
signifier, that is to say that which concretely in the use of discourse constitutes the fixed points which, as you know, are far from corresponding in a univocal way to a thing. There is (15) not a single semanteme that corresponds to a particular thing or to things which for the most part are very different.


We pause here at the level of the semanteme, that is to say at what is fixed and defined by a use.

我們暫停在語義的層次 換句話說,暫停在語詞約定成俗的地方。

This other line then is that of current, everyday discourse, as it is admitted into the code of the discourse, of what I would call the discourse of reality which is common to us all. It is also the level at which the fewest creations of meaning are produced, because the meaning is, in a way, already given, and because most of the time this discourse only consists in a rehashing of what are called received ideas. It is at the level of this discourse that there is produced the famous empty speech from which a number of my remarks on the field (parente) of language began.


You can see clearly then that this is the concrete discourse of the individual subject, of the person who speaks and who makes himself understood. It is the discourse that can be recorded on a record. The other is what all of that includes as a
possibility of decomposition, of reinterpretation, of resonance, of metaphorical or metonymical effects. One goes in the opposite direction to the other for the simple reason precisely that they slide over one another. But they do intersect with one another, and they intersect at two points that are perfectly recognizable.


(16) If we begin from the discourse, the first point at which the discourse meets the other chain which we shall call the properly signifying chain, is from the point of view of the signifier, what I have just explained to you, namely the collection of usages, in other words what we shall call the code; and this code must be somewhere if discourse is to be heard. This code is obviously in this capital 0 which is here, namely in the Other in so far as it is the companion of language. It is absolutely
necessary that this Other should exist, and I would ask you to note in passing that there is absolutely no need to call it by the imbecilic and delusional name of “collective consciousness”.


An Other is an Other, and a single one is sufficient for a tongue to be alive. And it is all the more sufficient that there should be just one, that this other can all by itself also be the first moment. If there is one who remains and who can speak his tongue
to himself, this is sufficient and not only an Other, but even two others, in any case someone who understands him. One can continue to produce witticisms in a tongue, even though one is the only person who knows it.


This then is the first encounter at the level of what we have called the code. In the other, the second encounter which completes the loop, which properly speaking constitutes the meaning, constitutes it in terms of the code which it (17) encountered first, is the culminating point. You see two arrows which end here, and today I will spare myself the trouble of explaining the meaning of the second arrow that ends here at this point gamma; it is the result of the conjunction of the
discourse with the signifier as a creative support of meaning – it is the message.


It is here that meaning is born; the truth that is to be announced, if there is any truth, is there in the message. Most of the time there is no truth enunciated, for the simple reason that the discourse in no way passes through the signifying chain, that it is the pure and simple droning of mere repetitiveness, of the word-mill (moulin k paroles), and that it passes through here in a sort of short-circuit between B and B’ , and that the discourse says absolutely nothing except to indicate to you that
I am a speaking animal. It is the commonplace discourse of speech that says nothing, but thanks to it you reassure yourself that you are not face to face simply with what man is in hisnatural state, namely a savage beast.


These two points B and B’ being the minimal nexuses on the short-circuit of discourse are very easily recognizable. One is the object precisely in the sense of the metonymical object that I spoke to you about last year; the other is the “I” in so far as it indicates in the discourse itself the place of the one who is speaking.