In The Future of An Illusion, he writes:
"For the sake of a uniform terminology we will describe the fact that an instinct cannot be satisfied as a 'frustration,' the regulation by which this frustration is established as a 'prohibition' and the condition which is produced by the prohibition as a 'privation.'"
"Persecutory anxiety, therefore, enters from the beginning into [the baby's] relation to objects in so far as he is exposed to privations."
"Feelings of frustration and grievance lead to phantasying backwards and often focus in retrospect on the privations suffered in relation to the mother's breast."
Lacan's answer to the question concerning what is actually being deprived is that
"It is especially the fact that the Woman does not have a penis, that She is deprived of it. The very notion of privation, so tangible and visible in an experience such as that one, implies the symbolization of the object in the real. For in the real, nothing is deprived of anything. Everything that is real is sufficient unto itself. By definition, the real is full [plein]. If we introduce the notion of privation into the real, it is to the extent that we can already symbolize it adequately, or even completely. Indicating that something is not there means supposing its possible presence—that is, introducing into the real, in order to recover it and hollow it out, the simple symbolic order."
- Freud, Sigmund. The Future of An Illusion. p.10
- Klein, 1932/1952b, p. 199
- Klein, 1952a, p. 265
- Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre IV. La relation d'objet, 19566-57. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. pp.237-270