Talk:Seminar XIX

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12 janvier 1972 Séminaire XIX (1971-1972) "... Ou pire" mp3

A pseudo revolutionary man disturbs the beginning of this session. Lacan develops here some logical formulas that prove the non-existence of a sexual rapport (« there is no sexual rapport », i.e. between men and women, there is no rapport that can be formulated in the structure because an appropriate signifier is missing). This will be achieved the year after (Encore) in the sexuation formulas table.

1971-1972 (149 pp.)-SEMINAIRE XIX ••• OU PIRE (SEMINAR XIX: ••• OR WORSE)-PUBUSHED SUMMARY. ANONYMOUS VERSION, 1981 In 1971- 1972, Lacan taught in two places; he continued his regular seminar ( ... Ou pire) and, at the same time, he went back to the H6pital Sainte�Anne for a series of discussions (Le Savoir du psychanalyste 81), which was somewhat of a victory after his 1963 departure (53). The meetings alternated in an irregular way. So much of the audience in the two places was the same that, in June, the two audiences were united. It was obvious that the themes also overlapped. However, we separate the two series of addresses because lheir publications were separate. More importantly, the addressee, the inten�tion, and the tone remained different. The summary of the seminar ..• Ou pire, written by Lacan for the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, was published in Sdlicet. 5 (6 pp.); once again, this is a short written text, as opposed to a redundant and tortuous speech. In the written text one has to pick up elliptical formulations; in the oral speech, on the contrary, one's interest 'was often aroused by the detour of a digression or of a commentary made as if in passing. In English in the original. w. Litura-terre plays on "litura" and terre, the noun "land," Lituraterrir plays on "litura" and the verb "to land." , .. 228 DOSS I ER sallce of the mother's body? Is it on this account that "writing is the bone of which language would be the flesh"? Or is it on the account of the Name-of�the-Father, equivalent to the phallus (which has nothing to do with the penis, which, as he noted complacently, lacks bones)? What about the Law? One really gets lost, because logical writing too would be the right and the wrong sides of this "primary" discourse: is it for this reason that Lacan talked more and more about the logico-mathematical discourse as the order of the Real? If the audience pushed to get in, if the reader, upon a first reading, is under the spell, isn't it because Lacan mainly talked here about jouissance and the sexual relation? Where does the unavowed pleasure come from? Is it that the seriousness of the discourse allows him both to approach and to elude the issues between men and women? Or is it that these issues, so ordinary and so painful (unavowable?), suddenly find a noble facade? Or else is it that it is reassuring to realize that there is no sexual relation that can be written or said, hence lived? Is this what Lacan was about to say (and to write algebra�ically) when he claimed the nonexistence of a signifier of sexual difference and assertcd the place of the phallus as a third party, but not a "middle term," betwcen men and women: "if one links it to one of the terms" (man or woman), "it won't communicate with the other." This tragedy is fascinating and disarming, because it relies on so many texts, cultures, different disci�plines, not to mention the weight of the analytic position: Lacan positioned himself as an "analysand" in front of his audience, indeed, but it was because he told them that he could not occupy the position of the analyst "for lack of knowing." Still, rereading La Lettre votee (31) is worth the detour. The analysis, in Freud, of Totem and Taboo compared to the Oedipus myth, gives a new image to the figure of the original father and of the superego, a new image that sheds a disturbing shadow on the Name-of-the-Father, this master-signifier of psy�choanalysis, which is one and the same as the phallus (except that "if one calls it, somebody gets up to answer"). Numerous possibilities of reflection are opened up by what is said of the conjunction of jouissance and semblance in man (hence man's fear of confronting woman in the ordeal) and of their dis�junction in woman, and by the comments on the hysteric's desire for the "at least one" man II' "au-mains-un" homme, which provides the pun L' hommo�inzun] u in a patriarchal system grounded in the Pas-plus-d' un (no-more-than�one). We will encounter these issues again in the seminar Encore (84). 79

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