A la mémoire d'Ernest Jones sur sa théorie du symbolisme

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1959 (21 pp.)-A LA MEMOIRE D'ERNEST JONES: SUR LA THEOniE DU SYMBOLISME (IN MEMORY OF ERNEST JONES: ON THE THEORY OF SYMBOLlSM)-1960 The decorum of this memorial tones down the attacks against Jones who had been called the "little child of psychoanalysis." After a few personal and historical reminders, Lacan tackles the theoretical divergences. If he pays homage to Jones for choosing Freud against Jung, he also stresses his numer�ous mistakes, especially concerning the function of language. For symbolism one must substitute Symbolic: "As the need is submitted to the demand, it is the concrete incidence of the signifier that, by repressing desire into the po�sition of being misknown [meconnu], gives its order to the unconscious." Many pages address the question of the phallus. The author attacks Jones's articles on sexual difference (1927 and 1932) and his address to the Society of Vienna (1935), in which, joining "Melanie Klein's genetism of fantasies," he would have largely contributed to misleading all psychoanalytic thought in the direction of symbolism. Only Lacan's 1953 Discourse in Rome would have finally broken the malevolent spell. The seminars often present Jones as "the champion of English feminists": he is accused of practicing "figure skating" in order to take the opposite view of Freud's positions on the phallic phase, while claiming to be in perfect agreement. Elsewhere, his Protestantism seems to be responsible for his "misconstructions" [meconnaissances]. In any case, he did not see that "the only notion that allows understanding of the symbolism of the phallus is the specificity of its function as signifier" and "as signifier of lack" (39, 41). However, in the end he is saved in spite of himself. His study on Punchinello truly reveals the winged phallus, the "un�conscious fantasy of male desire's impossibilities, the treasure in which wom�an's infinite impotence [impuissance] is exhausted."