Talk:Seminar XVII

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18 mars 1970 Séminaire XVII (1969-1970) "L'envers de la psychanalyse" mp3

This Séminaire about the reverse of psychoanalysis is a kind of turning point in Lacan's teaching. First, that's the period where he formalizes his famous 4 discourses, writing and describing in that way 4 modes of social link. Then, the next 3 Séminaires are centered on developping the ideas of jouissance and non-existence of a sexual rapport with the help of formal logic. In this session, Lacan talks about the father's death as a condition of the jouissance for the subject ; that's what Oedipus myth or Freud's Totem and Taboo do illustrate. The real father is a structural operator and is the agent of the castration.

8 avril 1970 Séminaire XVII (1969-1970) "L'envers de la psychanalyse" mp3

An original session in the Séminaire : Lacan introduces and reads to his audience 3 answers he wrote to a belgian journalist (who had originally asked 7 questions). Later, he recorded for the radio the whole 7 answers, what will become Radiophonie.


1969-1970 (94 pp.)-SEMINAIRE XVII: L'ENVERS DE LA PSYCHANALYSE (SEMINAR XVII: THE NETHERSIDE OF PSYCHOANALYSIS)-ANONYMOUS VERSION, 1981 This seminar, whose title is enigmatic, is well known because it establishes the fundamental Four Discourses (the discourse of the Master, the discourse of the Hysteric, the discourse of the University, and the discourse of the Ana�lyst). Their study went on and was elaborated for at least two years, until S{I\'oir du psychanalyste (81). In this context, four seminar sessions (ad�dresses) were planned at the new department of psychoanalysis in Vincennes. In December 1969, the first session, Impromptu de Vincennes ("Impromptu at Vincennes"), was stormy, "memorable, and unique since Lacan did not come back," according to Le Magazine Litteraire, which published the text in 1977. However, in June 1970, Lacan came back to talk-with the title p. The pun plays on the split of censlIre (censorship) into censee (to be supposed to. which also sounds like sellsee. which makes sense) and pensllre (from pensee. thinking). q. A tranformation of Pascal's thought: "Truth on this side of the Pyrenees, error on that. " The Wortts of Jacques Lacan 21. "Psychanalyticon" -about the discourse of the University, the place that stu�dents have in it, and his own position as an analyst. The formulations of the four discourses were elaborated little by little, as he developed a speech in which the often very digressive commentary ex�tended far beyond the four algebraic schemas he wanted to promote. These digressions might be the most interesting part of this seminar, and there is enough variety to satisfy all tastes: the plus-de-jouir and jouissance; the mas�ter and the slave; Marx and the proletarian; knowledge, truth, and jouissance; the Father of Totem and Taboo who is all love (or all jouissance) and whose murder generates the love of the Dead Father, a Father to whom Lacan op�posed both the Father presiding over the first idealization, the one who de�serves love (50), and the Father who enters the discourse of the Master and who is thereby castrated from the origin. For Lacan, indeed, "the death of the father is the key to supreme jouissance, later identified with the mother as the aim of incest." According to him, psychoanalysis "is not constructed on the proposition 'to sleep with the mother' but on the death of the father as primal jouissance." The real father is thus not the father of biological (or daily) reality, but he who upholds "the Real as impossible." From the Oedi�pus complex, the theoretician only saved "the paternal metaphor" and "the Name-of-the-Father," which "is positioned where knowledge acts as truth." Hence, he asserted-against M. C. Boons according to whom analysis frees us from the law (in L'/nconscient, 5)-that, on the contrary, "psychoanalysis consolidates the law." Lacan stated that he was neither a libertarian, nor an anarchist, nor a protester, nor a "progressist." However, the novelty here was the forceful (and glorious?) return of the hysteric, with Dora (20) and la Belle Bouche erre (the Beautiful Mouth wan�ders, an allusion to the dream of the beautiful butcher's wife analyzed by Freud and carried on in La Direction de la cure 40). Three questions arose: the question of the relation between jouissance and the desire for unfulfilled desire; the question of the hysteric who "makes the man" [fail/' homme] (or the Master) in the sense that she "constructs" him as "a man prompted by the desire to know"; and a new conception of the analytic treatment as a "hystericization of discourse," which the analyst must introduce through "in�genious devices" at the structural level. Lacan was now far from the "directed paranoia" of 1948 (16). However, this left untouched the problem of hysteria as attributed to woman (the only discourse where sexual difference openly comes into play) and as valorized in Socrates and here in Hegel. Don't forget that castration is the "deprivation of the woman" (with the ambiguity of the of) , insofar as "she would fulfill herself in the smallest signifier." In short. woman is absent from the field of the signifier, nobody can do anything about it, and furthermore everybody is unhappy! Let us come back to the algebraic schemas. Their elaboration can be fol�lowed step by step. It is helpful, in order to follow the evolution. to read 1 1- 220 0088\ ER Radiophonie (77) at the same time, which was recorded at the time that this scminar was taking place. The end of the text published in Scilicet (2/3) and the notc (p. 99) summarizing the definitive schemas are enlightening. It is also relevant to read this seminar in conjunction with the Seminaire XVII/, D'un Discours qui ne sera it pas du semblant (78). We shall come back to it later; at this point, let us sketch the steps. First, "a fundamental starting re�lation" functions as a postulate: ~~52. ~ S I refers to "the marked circle of the field of the big Other," it is the Master�Significr. S2 is the "battery of signifiers," which "is already there" at the place where "one wants to determine the status of a discourse as status of the statement" -that is, knowledge. S 1 thus comes into play in a signifying bat�tcry that alrcady forms the "network of knowledge." 5) is the subject, marked from the origin by the "unbroken line" [trait unaire], which represents him and is, therefore, very different from the living individual who is not the locus of this subject (for the "unbroken line," see L'/dentification 50). Add to this the objet a, the object-waste or the loss of the object that occurred when the originary division of the subject took place, the object that is the cause of his desire, but that is, since seminar XVI (71), his plus-de-jouir. These four terms are "fi xed elements." How is it possible to turn "a quarter way around" the "succession of letters of this algebra," and so, while avoiding the (horrible) "imaginary incidence," to arrive at the famous four structures of discourse (which are, of course, in a position to govern, without our knowing it, all our words)? The response: it is possible through algebra, and here are the results:

Discourse of the Master: 51 52 -~- ~ a Discourse of the Hysteric: ~ 51 -~�a 52

Discourse of the University: 52 a -~- 51 ~ Discourse of the Analyst: a ~ -~- 52 51

This algebra is also concerned with the positions which, like the four terms, are also fixed:

The agent truth

the other production

It is now up to you to play with this and to interpret! But, in order to do so, the elements need to move; so, the arrows allow for the circular permutation of the four elements. How can on go from one discourse to the other? "TIle The Works of Jacques Lacan Z21 discourse of the analyst loops the dizzying loop of the three other discourses but does not resolve it." Furthermore, at the end Lacan added the opposition between "impossibility" and "impotence" [impuissance]: "the impossible is the real where speech, as the objet a. functions like a carrion" and "impo�tence, on the other hand, protects truth." Let us stop here; maybe the Semi�naire XVIII (78) will enlighten us. Let us end with a paradox. As he stated in his new translation of Wo Es war, solilch werden. work is for the analyst and "~e plus-de-jouir is for you": "Where it was the plus-de-jouir of the other, it is there, where it was, that I, insofar as I utter the psychoanalytic act, must come." But why not rather end on this story of the three Congolese, psychoana�lyzed after World War II: "Their unconscious functioned according to the rules of the Oedipus complex, it was the unconscious that had been sold to them at the same time as the laws of colonization, an exotic form of the discourse of the Master, a regression before imperialist capitalism." Then, why are there only four discourses, which moreover can turn a quarter way around very quickly? Are the "capitalistic" or "imperialistic discourses" mentioned here only metamorphoses of the discourse of the Master; a term whose ambiguity (or whose plurality of meaning) always remained? Aren't we too a little bit Congolese? What is "the netherside of psychoanalysis"? Sometimes, it is the discourse of the Master, insofar as it functions as a foil. Sometimes, it is unconscious discourse as the knowledge located where wrong and right sides (analytic discourse) cannot be separated, according to the figure of the Moebius strip. "The netherside is assonant with truth," "one moves to the netherside," in�deed, "but the netherside does not explain any right side." The end of the text belongs to Lacan's pessimistic inspiration: "To die of shame is not easy" because "death needs to be deserved, at least in order to die of shame," otherwise all that remains is "life as shame-to-drink" because "it does not die and one does not die from it." "This shame is justified by not dying of shame, that is, by maintaining the discourse of a perverted world": "The more ignoble you will be, the better things will go." 74






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