The Neurotic's Individual Myth

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22 1953 (19 pp.)-LE MYTHE INDIVIDUEL DU NEVROSE OU POESIE ET VERITE DANS LA NEVROSE (THE INDIVIDUAL MYTH OF THE NEUROTIC OR POETRY AND TRUTH IN NEUROSIS)

After Dora, Lacan dealt here with The Ra/man. Invited by J. Wahl, Lacan talked to the students of the College de Philosophie. In order to present to them-in the midst of the crisis of the S.P.P.-his "attempt to renew and analyze more in depth the fundamental reality of analysis." he chose this diflicult text of Freud and linked it with Goethe's Dich/ung und Wahrhei/. Indeed, the juxtaposition of these two life stories raises the question of fiction and truth. But, beyond this, by emphasizing the most particular aspects of the two stories and because of their similarities. the study ends up "formalizing. that is, universalizing 'the individual myth of the neurotic.'" Curiously. this fascinating talk, which sheds light on FOlic/ion e/ Champ (24), has remained unknown to many Lacanians until J.-A. Miller finally produced a readable transcription of it in 1979.

The extremely subtle analysis plays between Freud, Heidegger (on Speech), and Levi-Strauss. Although the structural analysis of myth is essen�tial in this text, Levi-Strauss is not mentioned here. Lacan, however. ac�knowledged his debt to him in 1956. For the obsessional patient, "the original constellation" is not the Oedipal triangle but a quartet formed by the splitting in two of the father or of the mother, a splitting that Lacan analyzes as nar�cissistic. Either the male subject manages to be recognized in the social world, and the sexual object is then split in two (this is deadly love-passion) or his "sensitivity" is unified around a single object, and then a man appears in social life with whom he has a deadly relation. In spite of the ideal picture of the normal man, who would peacefully enjoy the fruits of his social activity and of his only wife, this structure seems to portray the masculine condition as opposed to the feminine condition illustrated by Dora. Through it, it de�picts the tragedy of human condition since the fourth element in the quartet is linally death. What is the way out? It is the reunion. in the person of the father, of the "function of speech" and the "function of love." Such a mes�sage is what Goethe would have aspired to and what Freud would have man�aged to indicate.