From No Subject - Encyclopedia of Lacanian Psychoanalysis
(Redirected from Pun)
When I began to teach something about Psychoanalysis I lost some of my audience, because I had perceived long before then the simple fact that if you open a book of Freud, and particularly those books which are properly about the unconscious, you can be absolutely sure -- it is not a probability but a certitude -- to fall on a page where it is not only a question of words -- naturally in a book there are always words many printed words -- but words which are the object through which one seeks for a way to handle the unconscious. Not even the meaning of the words, but words in their flesh, in their material aspect. A great part of the speculations of Freud is about punning in a dream or lapsus, or what in French we call calembour, homonymie, or still the division of a word into many parts with each part taking on a new meaning after it is broken down. It is curious to note, even if in this case it is not absolutely proven, that words are the only material of the unconscious. It is not proven but it is probable (and in any case I have never said that the unconscious was an assemblage of words, but that the unconscious is precisely structured). I don't think there is such an English word but it is necessary to have this term, as we are talking about structure and the unconscious is structured as a language. What does that mean?