From No Subject - Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis
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1971 (8 pp.)-L1TURATERRE-1971 This was the opening text of the third issue of the new journal of Vincennes, Litterature, devoted to "Litterature et psychanalyse" (Literature and psycho- u. L'hommuiTlZIIII sounds like au-moins-un. at least one, and like /'homme moins un, man minus one. The Wom of Jacques laceR 221 analysis). Enigmatic because it is so elliptical, it consists of a succession of short paragraphs without any apparent link, aphorisms, plays on words, tor�tuous syntax. As in 1956, Lacan stilI enjoyed being "the Gongora of psycho�analysis" (32), even if, in 1970, he had a lot of competition. Indeed that is the effect of this text if it is read separately. However, the themes of Seminaire XVlll (78) shed some light on it, notably the session of May 12, 1971, also entitled "Lituraterre"; it shows how, to Lacan, "speech" [/a parole] becomes "writing" [ecrit] .... The title, which plays on "litura" and "littera," is justified by Joyce who slides from "a letter" to "a litter."· This sliding was already present in the 1956 analysis of The Pur/oined Letter (31). Poe's short story was studied again during the 1970-1971 seminar; here, we only find bits and pieces of it. However, let us acknowledge the elegance of Lacan's gesture of deleting the following attack against Marie Bonaparte: "A psychoanalyst who has scoured Poe's other texts withdraws here with her mop." As for the pun on "literal" and "littoral" (hence litura-terre, IituraterrirW), the seminar explains it: "Isn't the letter the literal, which grounds itself in the littoral [ ... ]. The littoral is what establishes an entire domain as bordering another, but pre�cisely from the fact that they have absolutely nothing in common, not even a reciprocal relation. [ ... ] Between jouissance and knowledge, the letter would make the littoral." 80