Below is a brief chronology which lists some of the major events in Lacan's life. This chronology has been compiled on the basis of the information provided by Bowie (1991: 204-13), Macey (1988: ch. 7) and, above all, Roudinesco (1986, 1993). Those who are interested in more detailed information are advised to consult these three sources, as well as Forrester (1990: ch. 6), Miller (1981), and Turkle (1978). For more anecdotal accounts see Clément (1981) and Schneiderman (1983).
- Jacques-Marie Émile Lacan born on 13 April in Paris, the first child of Alfred Lacan and Émilie Baudry.
- Birth of Madeleine, Lacan's sister (25 December).
- Birth of Marc-François, Lacan's brother (25 December).
- Freud founds the International Psycho-Analytical Association (IPA).
- Lacan finishes his secondary education at the Collège Stanislas.
- Lacan is discharged from military service because of thinness. In the following years he studies medicine in Paris.
- Lacan's first collaborative publication appears in the Revue Neurologique. The Société Psychanalytique de Paris (SPP) is founded.
- Lacan begins his clinical training in psychiatry.
- Lacan studies under Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault at the special infirmary for the insane attached to the Police Préfecture.
- Lacan's brother, Marc-François, joins the Benedictines.
- Lacan publishes his first non-collaborative article in Annales Médico-Psychologiques.
- Lacan becomes increasingly interested in surrealism and meets Salvador Dalí.
- Lacan publishes his doctoral dissertation (On paranoiac psychosis in its relations to the personality) and sends a copy to Freud. Freud acknowledges receipt by postcard.
- Two articles by Lacan are published in the surrealist journal Minotaure. Alexandre Kojève begins lecturing on Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit at the Ecole des Hautes Études.
Lacan attends these lectures regularly over the following years.
- Lacan, who is already in analysis with Rudolph Loewenstein, joins the SPP as a candidate member. He marries Marie-Louise Blondin in January, who gives birth to their first child,
Caroline, the same month.
- 1935 Marc-François Lacan is ordained priest.
- 1936 Lacan presents his paper on the mirror stage to the fourteenth
congress of the IPA at Marienbad on 3 August. He sets up private practice as a psychoanalyst.
- 1938 Lacan becomes a full member of the SPP, and his article on the
family is published in the Encyclopédie Française.
annexation of Austria, Freud leaves Vienna to settle
in London; on
his way to London he passes through Paris, but Lacan
decides not to
attend the small gathering organised in Freud's honour.
- 1939 Thibaut, the second child of Lacan and Marie-Louise, is born in
August. On 23 September Freud dies in London at the age of eighty-three. After Hitler's invasion of France the
SPP ceases to
function. During the war Lacan works at a military
hospital in Paris.
- 1940 Sibylle, third child of Lacan and Marie-Louise, is born in August.
- 1941 Sylvia Bataille, estranged wife of Georges Bataille, gives birth to
Judith. Though Judith is Lacan's daughter, she
receives the surname
Bataille because Lacan is still married to Marie-Louise. Marie- Louise now requests a divorce.
- 1945 After the liberation of France, the SPP
Lacan travels to England where he spends five weeks studying the situation of psychiatry during the war years. His
Marie-Louise is formally announced.
- 1947 Lacan publishes a report o his visit to England.
- 1949 Lacan presents another r on the mirror stage to the
congress in Zurich on uly.
- 1951 Lacan begins giving weekly seminars in Sylvia Bataille's apartment
at 3 rue de Lille. At this time, Lacan is
vice-president of the SPP. In
response to Lacan's practice of using sessions of
the SPP's commission on instruction demands that he
practice. Lacan promises to do so, but continues to
vary the time of
- 1953 Lacan marries Sylvia Bataille and becomes president of the SPP. In
June Daniel Lagache, Juliette Favez-Boutonier and Françoise Dolto resign from the SPP to found the Société Française de
(SFP). Soon after, Lacan resigns from the SPP and joins the SFP. Lacan opens the inaugural meeting of the SFP on the 8 July, where he delivers a lecture on 'the symbolic, the imaginary
and the real'.
He is informed by letter that his membership of the IPA
has lapsed as
a result of his resignation from the SPP. In September
the sixteenth Conference of Psychoanalysts of the Romance Lan- guages in Rome; the paper he writes for the occasion
and field of speech and language in psychoanalysis') is
too long to be
read aloud and is distributed to participants instead.
Lacan begins his first public seminar in the Hôpital Sainte-Anne. These seminars, which will continue for twenty-seven years, soon become the principal platform for Lacan's teaching.
- 1954 The IPA refuses the SFP's request for affiliation. Heinz Hartmann
intimates in a letter to Daniel Lagache that Lacan's
presence in the
SFP is the main reason for this refusal.
- 1956 The SFP renews its request for IPA affiliation, which is again
refused. Lacan again appears to be the main sticking-point.
- 1959 The SFP again renews its request for IPA affiliation. This time the
IPA sets up a committee to evaluate the SFP's application.
- 1961 The IPA committee arrives in Paris to interview members of the SFP
and produces a report. On consideration of this report,
the IPA rejects
the SFP's application for affiliation as a member
society and grants it
instead 'study-group' status pending further investigation.
- 1963 The IPA committee conducts more interviews with SFP members
and produces another report in which it recommends that
the SFP be
granted affiliation as a member society on condition
that Lacan and
two other analysts be removed from the list of training
report also stipulates that Lacan's training activity
should be banned
for ever, and that trainee analysts should be prevented
his seminar. Lacan will later refer to this as his
Lacan then resigns from the SFP.
- 1964 In January Lacan moves his public seminar to the École Normale
Supérieure, and in June he founds his own organisation, the École Freudienne de Paris (EFP).