Real castllano

Xth Meeting - PRE-TEXTS
The advents of the real in the psychoanalytic clinic and in civilization >> Silvia Migdalet PDF
Advents of the real>> Diego Mautino PDF
Pre-text 3 >> Rithée Cevasco PDF
Trauma: event and advent of the real >> Sandra Berta PDF
Advent of the real >> Colette Soler PDF
Twenty years...(presentation) R. Escapa y R. Miralpeix  
Related texts

– Avènements du réel (french)
– Advenimientos de lo real
Colette Soler's presentation in Gijón
(27 May 2017)

– Sur la politique
. (french)
(english) Reflections by Colette Soler (November 2017)

VIth E Scholl - The School and the Discourses  
initial development of this theme >> Marc Strauss PDF

The advents of the real in the psychoanalytic clinic and in civilization
Silvia Migdalet, Pre-text 5 for Internationals Meeting IF-SPFLF in Barcelona, September 2018

The conference entitled La troisième [The third] took place in Rome, in 1974, within the VII Congress of the Freudian School of Paris. In addition to this conference, Lacan spoke at the opening and the closure of the Congress. The Congress lasted four intense days, and some of the papers presented there were selected to be published in the Actes of the Freudian School of Paris (1).

For many of us the 1970s were years full of political events that marked us significantly. Just a few years before the start of that decade, the French May of 1968 infiltrated the delivery of Seminar XVII, when university students strongly interpellated Lacan, who not only did not avoid the incisive questions addressed by the ‘rebellious ones’ to him, but also answered them resolutely: ‘... I would tell you that, always, the revolutionary aspiration has only a single possible outcome—of ending up as the discourse of the master. This is what experience has proved. What you aspire to as revolutionaries is a master. You will get one’. (2)

In my country, Argentina, during those years – to be precise, the 24th March of 1976 – the darkest period of our history started: a military coup that established a dictatorship that implemented a sinister plan of disappearance of people, kidpnappings, torture, the illegal appropriation of children who were then given to friends of the régime and some times to individuals who ‘innocently’ chose to adopt a position of denial, as they did not want to know anything about the horror... of the advent of a real that nested in social, collective life for many years and which even today maintains the features of something that does not cease in its effects.

Simultaneously, during the same years, in Argentina Lacanian psychoanalysis expanded with great vigour, which fortunately continues to have. With many colleagues we share the thought that the study groups on Freud and Lacan that proliferated at that time became the almost only shelter where it was possible to discuss matters about which one could not talk in any other place. As it is natural in a dictatorial state, the prevailing climate was one of fear and generalized suspicion. Many had to eventually find refuge through political asylum or forced exile, after spending long years underground.

I regard these brief temporal references as important in our approach of the common theme for our work in Barcelona in 2018, ‘The advents of the real and the psychoanalyst’. The relation between an advent and time is evident: it always induces a rupturing effect in the homeostatic temporality of a series – one could say like a sort of temporal funnel that in a deferred action would emerge with ‘an undesired fidelity’, both in the transference and outside it, that is to say, in the life of a subject. After some terrorist actions dominated by terror and the surprise factor it has been observed that a few subjects who were close to the event of an explosion, and who miraculously escaped alive, then fell into a state akin to temporo-spatial disorientation and roamed around, lost, for several hours, without being able to refer to the usual coordinates of their reality.

The advent is always of the order of emergency (emergencia). In Spanish this word has two meanings. On the one hand, it refers to something that has a relation with the verb emerger (to emerge); for example, ‘to rise from the water’, and also ‘to sprout’. On the other hand, the noun emergencia refers to an accident or event that happens unexpectedly; for example, un estado de emergencia (‘a state of emergency’). As Colette Soler has indicated, an advent may be something that is expected or not predicted, new, unexpected.

In relation to the circumstances that surrounded La troisième – a text that has been regarded as an introduction to the seminar of 1974-75, RSI – Lacan held a press conference that concerns directly one of the axes of our theme, the advents of the real. He emphasized at the time the dimension of the real of science and its consequences for subjectivity. His answers were sharp, and at certain moments they induced an awakening affect, to which today we could adscribe a striking anticipatory value. To the series of the Freudian impossibles – educating, governing and analyzing – he added the position of the scientist: ‘Science has a probability. Its position is also totally impossible, but it so happens that it does not have the slightest idea of it.’ (3) The only ‘little emergence’ that we have is that sometimes scientists become anxious, and this provides us with a clue. Psychoanalysis appeared in correlation with a certain advance of the discourse of science, and referring to Civilization and its Discontents, Lacan affirmed that psychoanalysis is a symptom that is part of the discontents, and then added: ‘The symptom is what is the most real among the things that exist’ (4).

Lacan also said that the psychoanalyst was al a time of mutation, since ‘for a brief moment we were not able of giving an account of what the intrusion of the real was. The analyst remains there. He is there as a symptom, and he can only last in his capacity as a symptom. But you will see that they will cure humankind of psychoanalysis – by insisting on drowning it in sense...’ (5).

Psychoanalysis, as from the event Freud-in-Culture since the discovery of the unconscious, offers us a new mode of treatment of the real: Freud and his saying [decir], which injdicates that ‘that must come to be’.

I propose a scansion of the title of our X Rendezvous and consider, on the one hand, the syntagm ‘advents of the real’, in the plural, as pointed out in the pretexts that have already been published; and on the other hand, the psychoanalyst, who finds himself involved with such advents in his clinical practice as well as in what is transmitted in the discourses of culture and its discontents.

Let us list then – not exhaustively, and merely as indications – some of the modes of advent of the real that our clinical practice fatally convokes: the marks of the fixation of traumatic jouissance in its irreducibility; the viscosity and inertia of the libido in the symptom; anxiety; the irruption of repetition in its dimension of Tuché; the questioning and positioning as cause [la puesta en causa] of the object a in the place of the agent of the analytic discourse, making the veils of identifications fall, to which paradoxically transference itself had provided a veil in its moment of installation as the subject supposed to know; and finally S1 in the place of production, to which by way of the analyst’s desire, as a desire to obtain absolute difference, confronted with the primordial signifier ‘the subject is, for the first time, in a position to subject himself to it.’ (6) As Lacan suggests in Seminar XI, analysis requires a certain courage, as it leads, like no other praxis, to the bone of the real. Psychoanalysis depends on the real: the real that emerges in an analysis, as well as the real that is the effect of science and technology in civilization. It falls on us, practitioners of psychoanalysis, to sustain the analyst’s discourse in this era of capitalism whose real is such that does not promote social bonds. Our politics/policy [política] must give an answer to it without ignoring its consequences, thus continuing the wager for the unprecedented social bond that Freud invented, the analyst-analysand bond that induced the advent of something that does not follow any model of the usual relations we maintain with our fellow human beings. Perhaps it was also along this path that Lacan aspired to psychoanalysis having something new to say about love, as he postulated the advent of a new love that would not disavow the impossibility of the writing of the sexual proportional relation.

Let us remark that, in the same way as in 1974 Lacan evoked the twentieth anniversary of his ‘first’ – the Rome conference of 1953 – our Rendezvous at Barcelona will mark the twenty years of the creation of the International of the Forums of the Lacanian Field, that is to say, of the highlighting of the clinic of jouissance and the real that traverses it. The foundation of the Forums had its origins in the questioning of the improper use of the One, and consequently of a policy inclined towards a single mode of thinking in the analytic institution. These signifiers still represent us. We shall have the opportunity of remembering it, but we shall also devote half a day to a debate on the politics/policy of the Lacanian Field today: the effects it has had; its results and this – which is not of less importance – paying attention to the particularities it has assumed in the different zones of our international ensemble. The intense political, social and ideological crises that prevail today in our world of global capitalism may be read – in part – with the powerful conceptual tools of psychoanalysis. Freud and Lacan devoted themselves significantly to the relation between psychoanalysis and politics. For us, analysts of the Lacanian field, the question concerns the politics of jouissance in its different knottings. In its entropic nature, jouissance constitutes a kind of political economy and the segregation that is intrinsic to the structure of the parlêtre – jouissance segregates and separates. This is not the same as racism or discrimination. Lacan said that the unconscious is politics. This means that in his consulting room the analyst works with it and with the object a as semblant. Outside his consulting room he may adopt any ideologico- political position, even a more or less extreme one, under the condition that it does not interfere with his listening. Today a colleague told me that an analyst had said that she would not take any patient who was a gorilla (a slang term that nowadays is employed to designate someone very much to the right). I think that our politics concerning the treatment of the real of segregation in the analytic institution must be subordinated to the politics of being separate while together, ill assorted disperse individuals.

The real of science and segregation

In quite a few places Lacan gives a warning about what could emerge from the real. In the ‘Proposition’ of October 1967, addressed to the analysts of the School, he refers to this matter and warns about the real of science. Fifty years have passed recently since the publication of this founding text of our principles, and we continue to be struck by the anticipatory power earlier mentioned. I quote: [...] The real of science [...] destitutes the subject very differently in our epoch, when alone its most eminent supporters, an Oppenheimer, are infatuated by it. (7)

Today we have the neurosciences, which in their more radicalized versions discard the dimension of the subject completely and represent a powerful ally of the ‘bullish’ capitalist market of the pharmaceutical companies. Lacan also comments on this in the ‘Proposition’, where we read: ‘Our future as common markets will be balanced by an increasingly hardline extension of the process of segregation’ (8). In relation to the effects of universalization of science, Lacan makes out certain re-orderings of social groupings as a consequence.

Finally, Lacan refers to three ‘points of exist’ as a kind of projection of our horizon. This concerns what as psychoanalysts we must keep in perspective, that about which we cannot not get involved, making psychoanalysis in extension play a part, but linked to the gap of psychoanalysis in intension.

Lacan then refers, as a third incidence, that which comes from the real, and relates it to the concentration camps and segregation. He summons the psychoanalysts to take an interest in it without deviating the gaze. The real in question concerns the segregation within the analytic group and within civilization. As regards segregation, it is interesting to note that Lacan recognizes in fraternity one of its purest forms: if it is necessary to be reminded that we are brothers and sisters it is because at some point we are not so... We must keep in our horizon the real of science and technology in our era, so as to get to know its new forms and to be able to operate on the new reals in their subjective impact through the new jouissances on offer and the proliferation of gadgets to be consumed. In Civilization and its Discontents, Freud expressed the view that the uncritical submission to the advances of science and technology does not automatically imply the advancement in humankind’s wellbeing.

The aggiornamento and dialogue with the existing discourses is a task for psychoanalysis, as it is our duty not to ignore them. Science advances inexorably, although its destination is not exactly known. As Lacan points out, its effects are generally regarded as providential; that is to say: one adopts the premise that it moves in the direction of providing wellbeing to the human being. It is not a question of opposing it and claiming the benefits that could be derived from a return to the Stone Age. It is rather a question of reflecting about its effects, as Freud and Lacan did, since they transform the subjectivity of our times, and the subject must assume in their regard an ethical position, and consequently they entail an intimate judgement, a decision and an election. It is at that point that the analyst’s discourse may have an impact.

Is the real that science produces the same as the real of psychoanalysis? This could be debated. At any rate, we may agree that jouissance is the real of psychoanalysis, on which we operate and intervene, producing mutations, transformations, mutating beings, inhabitants in a world that has the privilege or the misfortune of a certain condition of extraterritoriality...

Translated by Leonardo Rodríguez
(1) J. Lacan (1975). Lettres de l’École freudienne de Paris, 16:177-203.
(2) J. Lacan (2007). The Seminar, Book XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis. New York & London, Norton, p. 207.
(3) J. Lacan (1975). Conférence de presse, 29 octobre 1974. Lettres de l’École freudienne de Paris, 16:2-26.
(4) Ibid.
(5) Ibid.
(6) J. Lacan (1977) The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis. London, Tavistock, p. 276.
(7) J. Lacan (1995). Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the Psychoanalyst of the School. Analysis 6, p. 8.
(8) Ibid, p. 12.

Advents of the real
Diego Mautino, Pre-text 3 for Internationals Meeting IF-SPFLF in Barcelona, September 2018
Rome, september 8th 2017.

«Anxiety is, after all, the symptom-type of all advent of the real.»[1]

In the epigraph above, “all” is to be understood in the sense of “each” advent of the real, advents then, in the plural. The real, therefore, is not universal, is not one, each one of its elements is identical to itself, but without the possibility of expressing them as “all”– there are only sets to be determined in each case. This expression raises various issues and I commence with two: which are those advents of the real in today’s discourses? And, with what symptoms do subjects respond? One of the first definitions of the real written by Lacan in 1954 is: “what subsists outside symbolisation”,[2] that is to say, outside language. What is it that subsists outside language? Following an indication from Colette Soler[3] we could say it is matter, in its two manifestations: the inanimate and the living, each one constituting the object of two great sciences, physics and biology.

There is not the least hope of reaching the real by representation – since it remains outside the symbolic and the imaginary-, eppur [and yet it moves (Galileo)]…there are ways to gain access to it. Which are the access lines? Freud gives testimony of one: confronted by the discovery of the first jouissance outside language, trauma, he passes the event to the signifier and that constitutes a first element of the Ucs-language to which others are added, and this is a condition for the invention of the unconscious. Colette Soler indicates that the use of the word advent to refer to the access to the real by means of the trauma is debatable and she would rather say that the event of a real does not constitute an advent until the signifier is added to it. Then the advent itself would be the Freudian invention of the Ucs and the advent of psychoanalysis as a new discourse.[4] The first example that proves “the efficacy of the subject”,[5] that is not only the effect of language or discourse – negativities the structure – but also the fertility of invention, of the One-saying.

Lacan uses the expression “advents of the real”[6] in relation to the effects of science; he writes that it is necessary to take the real into account because “the facts of the unconscious”[7] become located in the body and indicate that “the analyst lodges another knowledge, in another place”,[8] while the facts of science take the matter as “knowledge in the real […] and it is the scientist who has to lodge it there”.[9] What real is he talking about? He says it right away: “Namely, that which is the mainspring of our experience of knowledge: There is knowledge in the real, although it is not the analyst but the scientist, who lodges it there. The analyst lodges another knowledge, in another place, one that has to take into account the knowledge in the real.”[10] The indication that it is the scientist who has to lodge it, evokes the place… and the place refers to the four places in which the discourses are constituted by the permutation of the four terms implicated by the structure of language. The affirmation: “There is knowledge in the real”, makes it necessary to interrogate that knowledge: what is it that characterises it? It is necessary to say something more, and he continues: “the analyst lodges another knowledge” – not the same then. Lacan talks frequently about the knowledge of science, as a knowledge that rests entirely on the One. “The one and the number, with the idea that the formulas of science are inscribed in the real […] from which it can be deduced that by means of mathematical formulas, techniques may be constructed, which enable the control of the physical real. At any rate, the knowledge of science is a knowledge that forecloses the subject.”[11]

Number, the most real of language?

Lacan talks about advents of the real – in Television and in “The Third” – starting from considerations of the effects of science: on one side the moon landing and on the other, the production of new forms of surplus jouissance. With respect to the first, the real that subsists outside symbolisation, matter reveals itself attached to number, as if nature was written in mathematical language. He says: “This is expressed through the fact that scientific discourse was able to bring about the moon landing, where thought becomes witness to an irruption of the real. […] political discourse – this is to be noted – once it enters the picture, you have the advent of the real, that is, the moon landing […].[12] This entails effects of jouissance for the power of domination and expansion, and introduces considerations about jouissance, which remains “one”; it doesn't form a couple. Lacan returns to this One introducing the letter – identical to itself – necessary because “only from there we have access to the real”.[13] With respect to the use of the term advent for the access to the real through the coalescence of number and matter, maybe we could apply to science what we said for psychoanalysis, that is, to consider it an “advent of the real”, and it will be necessary to also add the coalescence of number and the enjoying substance [substancia gozante]. Then, the advent itself would be: the coalescence number-matter plus the coalescence of the number and the enjoying substance.

The symptom and the real

From this division between two reals, from the perspective of two different forms of access, and considering that science is not without effects in the field of jouissance, our International Rendezvous will allow us to open questions such us: with what symptoms do the subjects respond? The knowledge of science is in the service of power – political and economic – and, although far from achieving its goal, it finances the production of new forms of surplus jouissance. Lacan makes the diagnosis that it is far from achieving its goal, for the impossible suture of the speaking-body, which places itself crosswise[14] to the program of “the apathy of the universal good”[15] of science – at the same time makes room for the analytic discourse. Science makes us dream and Lacan evokes science fiction in order to show its other side, meaning that when the biologists themselves are taken by anxiety when confronted by an achievement like that of producing bacteria so strong that they could “sweep away all sexed experience, sweep away the parlêtre.”[16] Paradoxically, biology would achieve its goal on the condition of destroying life itself. The scientific advances in times of war give evidence of a problematic route for human fecundity that, when faced with such atrocities, does not give any assurance that science is synonymous with progress. With respect to impossibility – in the face of the power of a certain real, to be specified in each case – Lacan predicts the failure of science, while, he advances by considering the achievements and failures of psychoanalysis, emerging as the symptom, which means as a resource to treat what is not working in the life of… each one.

“The anxiety, symptom” in the epigraph could then be understood as the sign of the “advent of the real”. The moon landing, the missiles or the gadgets, find the limit of what can be calculated when it is a matter of sex; there is no equation for the couple, “[…] in the field of desire […] there is no object with more value than any other”,[17] nor of the opaque jouissance proper to the symptom of each one. The symptom of jouissance – for a parlêtre that is already in language – comes from the real,[18] in a double sense: 1) from the real of the non-relation caused by taking speech over the body and 2) from the real of the Ones of opaque jouissance of the symptom, which supply it.

The One and the field of bipartition

The advent of the real with respect to the symptom defined as “the way in which each one enjoys its unconscious”[19] – is a One of jouissance or a One enjoyed [Uno gozado], not any one, which sense doesn't count. From a first advent of the real Freud launched psychoanalysis, in itself an advent, a new knowing-how-to-do with the irruption of jouissance. What does psychoanalysis do when confronted by the real of the symptom? It appeals to sense, that means to the signifier; but each signifier, besides having sense, is also a one of pure difference, cipher 1 [cifra 1], outside sense. The two dimensions: sense and the cipher, are present in each signifier, linked and heterogeneous. Then, when we talk about the enjoyed signifier [significante gozado] through this coalescence, which jouissance are we talking about? Two jouissances are linked: that of sense – because words have a sense – and that of the One, of the cipher that each signifier is, which Lacan calls phallic jouissance. Each signifier doesn't have the same sense, but they have the same real as a one of pure difference. Then the enjoyed signifier implies a double jouissance, a bipartition of jouissance between enjoyed sense and jouissance of the cipher that supports the signifiers, outside sense, real. Lacan locates the two distinct jouissances in the flattening of the Borromean knot, but they are linked in each signifier, because each one carries, at the same, time jouis-sense and the jouissance of the One outside sense. From this perspective, the jouissance of the phallic One is the vehicle of the jouissance of sense.

The advent would suppose then the conjunction of a real outside the symbolic with language and its Ones. For psychoanalysis, the real outside the symbolic that concerns it, is the part of life affected by the jouissance of the living being as sexed. At the level of the species spoken of as superior, the enjoyed substance is bipartite, distributed according to the sex ratio, which is a datum of life linked to reproduction by way of sex and leads to the impossibility of establishing the relation of “them two”;[20] when the One is articulated there are not two. “There is something of the One” [“Hay del Uno”] insists Lacan and thus, besides evoking the “there is no” of the sexual relation, he notes that the question of existence turns around the One. Colette Soler[21] indicated the One-saying [Un-decir] as the One “superior to the subject”, that constitutes each subject as a set, each one unique in its genre. One-saying of the One that, only in an analysis, has the chance to demonstrate that “there is no” jouissance of the two. What could be expected from an analysis? The satisfaction that marks the end with a change of taste? A singular satisfaction, a change of weight on the scale of satisfactions between the truth and the real? Doesn’t the perspective of an advent of the real from an analysis, introduce the necessity of the procedure of the Pass and the School that, by this means, brings together what Lacan calls “scattered, ill-assorted individuals”?

Translated by Ofelia Brozky
[1] Lacan J., “The Third” constitutes the text of Lacan’s exposition in Rome on November 1,1974, on the occasion of the VII Congress of the Ecole Freudienne de Paris (29/X-3/XI.1974). A first version was published in the Lettres de l’Ecole Freudienne, 1975, nbr 16, pp.177-203.
[2] Lacan J., “A Spoken Commentary on Freud’s ‘Verneinung’ by Jean Hyppolite, in Écrits: The first complete edition in English, translated by Bruce Fink. W.W Norton & Company, NY. London, 2006, p. 324
[3] Cf. Soler C., Avènements du réel, de l’angoisse au symptôme, Cours CCP-Paris 2015-2016, Éditions du Champ lacanien, Collection Études, Paris 2016, p. 169.
[4] Cf. Soler C., Avènements du réel…, cit., p. 170, §2.
[5] Lacan, J.,“Let us … recognize the subject’s efficacy in the gnomon he erects, a gnomon that constantly indicates truth’s site to him”. In Science and Truth, in Écrits, p. 745.
[6] Lacan, J., Television, cit., p. 123. Otros escritos, cit., p. 562.
[7] Lacan J., Psicoanálisis Radiofonía & Televisión, Traducción y notas de Oscar Masotta, Editorial Anagrama, Barcelona, 1977, p. 123. Otros escritos, Paidós, Buenos Aires, 2014, p. 563. Fuentes: Radiophonie, en Scilicet 2/3, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1970, Télévision, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1974.
[8] Lacan J., “ Note Italienne” [Italian note], in Autres Ecrits, p. 308.
[9] Ibidem.
[10] Ibidem.
[11] Soler C., Commentaire de la «Note Italienne» de Jacques Lacan, Edizioni Praxis del Campo lacaniano, Roma, 2014, p. 40.
[12] Lacan J., Television, p. 36. Translation modified.
[13] Lacan J., «La tercera», cit., p. 106.
[14] Lacan J., «[…] lo real es lo que anda mal, lo que se pone en cruz para estorbar ese andar», en «La Tercera», cit., p. 81.
[15] Lacan J., «La Tercera», cit., p. 88.
[16] Ibidem, p. 87.
[17] Lacan J., «[…] dans le champ du désir […] il n’y a pas d’objet qui ait plus de prix qu’un autre» [[…] in the field of desire […] no object has a greater price than another »], Le séminaire, Livre VIII, Le transfert [1960-1961], Éditions du Seuil, 1991, 2001, p. 464.
[18] Lacan, J., «La Tercera»: «Llamo síntoma a lo que viene de lo real», en Lacan J., p. 84. [“I call symptom that which comes from the real”].
[19] Lacan, J., “The symptom cannot be defined otherwise than by the way in which each one enjoys the unconscious so far as the unconscious determines it”. Seminar XXII, R.S.I., Lecture of 18 February 1975, trans. Cormac Gallagher.
[20] Homophony between deux (two) and d’eux (of them).
[21] Soler C., «L’UN tout seul et ses liens», Cita internacional de la IF, Medellín, Colombia, 15 julio 2016, Heteridad n° 17, en preparación. [This paper, “The One all alone and its links” will appear in the English versión of Heterity, no. 17.

Pre-text 3
Rithée Cevasco, Pre-text 3 for Internationals Meeting IF-SPFLF in Barcelona, September 2018
June 2017

The expression “advent” of the real raises some questions. What distinction can we make between “advent” in the singular or in the plural. Event(s) and why not “manifestations of the real”? How not to evoke Lacan’s counterpoint, frequently made, between “the symptom as event of the body” and anxiety as “advent of the real”?

I refer to what Colette Soler has pointed out, since it is to her that we owe the introduction of the subject for our Rendezvous. She has made clear on several occasions that advent has the sense of something expected and rather desirable. The term can thus take on a positive value.

I am putting forward the following question: what advent of the real can we expect from a psychoanalysis? Lacan spoke of his expectation of a possible advent at the end of the analysis: that of a new signifier, an invention – removing all pretension from this term – a signifier that comes from each one, and is thus, singular.

We find the expression “advents of the real” in Television and in “La Troisième”. However Lacan uses it in other contexts as well. To cite but one: “the advent of the real subject” that he mentions in the course of his Seminar VI, Le désir et son interpretation…” a subject with which we are confronted in experience as “having already happened” [déjà advenu] in the past, having the same origin as its production.

As for “of the real” [du réel], I hear the “du” as a partitive in French. The use of the neuter article “lo” in Spanish is welcome here, it seems to me, for it avoids speaking “of THE real”.

And that is for several reasons.

In the first place, it seems to me that we are referring to a “field of the real”, thus larger than the real circumscribed by analytic practice: the real of science, of art, of politics and even sometimes the real of the jouissance of the living being.

Thus the term “real” is bearer of a differential sense. It depends on the practices that circumscribe (a term that could be refined with Borromean writing) it. Whether it is a matter of elucidated practices or not, they are always grasped within a particular discourse. We approach the real as that which excludes all sense. Without any doubt! But could we speak of a real that could not be circumscribed by a practice/discourse? The real, in this or that field, through this or that practice, is circumscribed by the impossible (Freud perceived this when he spoke of the impossible practices of governing, educating and analysing). The real could thus be approached more precisely as that which constitutes the proper limit to all practices and all discourses. Bumping against these limits could induce a movement towards other discursive turning points, the real being revealed in the interstices of the “round” of one discourse to the other.

This is valid for science itself for it does not abandon its impossibles. The ideology of science alone – not the order of its reasons – in its alliance with the capitalist discourse is at the origin of the promotion of the idea that “everything is possible” in the market of the illusions of consumption.

In addition, Borromean writing allows us to circumscribe the real at stake in the field of psychoanalysis. We can define it on the basis of the One (that of number, obviously not that of the unification of two into one).

There is a double writing of the real in Lacan. The One of the real as a simple ring of string (the minimum expression of which is called a “trivial knot” in the language of knots) equivalent to that of the symbolic and of the imaginary, each trivial knot having its consistency, its hole and its ex-sistence. The ring of string is then the “most eminent representation of the One, in the sense that it encloses but a hole”,[1] Lacan says in Encore, at the very start of his adventure with Borromean knots.

He also affirms with insistence that “his knot” is real. This is no longer a matter of the trivial knot, but of the Borromean knot, formed with a minimum of three rings of string, and beyond that, the knot of the sinthome (with an “h”) in so far as that accomplishes a function of knotting.

So it concerns the structure of the real of the parlêtre (a real that Lacan tries to write outside any “erring” of the metaphor, and which, in so far as it is real, cannot be considered as a model that would be applied to …).

Thus the real is one of the three dit-mensions[2] of the parlêtre, which, with the symbolic and the imaginary, are the generic elements of every speaking being. But the real of the knot is supported by the modality of knotting, by the sinthome (with an “h”): singular real, proper to each one, so one by one.

Without any doubt the clinic constructs typologies, for that is its function. But this is a clinic that must be forgotten with every new case, the orientation by the real aiming at the singular proper to each analysand.

So the real is conjugated with the One and with the “at least three…”, thereby removing the two which contradicts the axiom of exclusion (there is no sexual relation that can be written). Only the analytic discourse allows it to be unveiled, there where all the other discourses veil it.

What “advent of the real” could we expect from psychoanalysis that is not bound to this impossible real of the sexual relation? That is to say, under the form of the letter of the symptom or as a manifestation of affects and, primarily, the as privileged affect that anxiety constitutes.

We know that the impossible real specific to analysis is situated in the negativities of the structure of language: not meta-language, not the universe of discourse, not the Other of the Other on the plane of language. We could add: not truth which is but half-said, and also taking into consideration the “not-all” of the object a, which is necessarily partial. There are statements of “there is not” anterior to the formulation, in 1967, of the axiom that concerns the negativity of the real of sex: “No sexual relation that can be written” (“the great secret of psychoanalysis”, Lacan tells us). Jouissance and language are thus knotted in its formulas of negativity. Negativities that on the other hand find their positive responses in sinthomatic (with an “h”) variations which, in responding to them, function in a supplementary way [suppléance].

Based on the practice of psychoanalysis, “advents of the real” pose a question: are the variations of the sinthomatic (with an “h”) solution differentiated according to the modalities of sexual jouissance: phallic and not-all phallic – this jouissance other than phallic … if it existed? The other jouissance is not to be confused with the jouissance of the Other… which does not exist and which is only manifested in the imaginary of fantasmatic significations, incarnated in the primordial figures of the Father and The Woman.

Can the choice of sex (liberated from the fantasmatic signification of jouissance) be awaited as an advent of the real of sexuated jouissance? If we speak of choice, there is an expectation of something new that would happen [adviendrait], different from the symptom of jouissance that has already happened [advenu] and is fixed from childhood in its double-sided “traumatic” dimension: the entry of sexual trauma and the trauma of language in coalescence.

The Freudian imperative, often commented upon, “Wo … war … werden”[3] – I have put ellipses, on purpose, at the “locus” of what was already and what must come to be [advenir] – to echo something of the order of “advents of the real” aimed at by the politics of a psychoanalysis oriented to the real.

These advents emerge as the effect of a saying (neither deduced nor induced, but inferred based on the statements of the analysand in the course of the treatment[4]). This “saying” that remains forgotten behind what is said.

With regard to the sinthome (with an “h”) as function of Borromean knotting, could we expect a possible choice in the treatment? Colette Soler makes this suggestion: if there is a choice, if we are not condemned to a destiny already traced by the forced choices of the formations of childhood symptoms of jouissance, this choice would be situated without doubt at the level of the sinthome (with an “h”). So that is what could be expected in an analysis.

This is what we question as a consequence, and in a manner that concerns us particularly with regard to the “advent” of the sinthome (with an “h”) of the analyst and his relation to the real. We can question ourselves on the whys of this choice, a classic subject studied under the forms of the “advent of the desire of the analyst”.

It is a saying of this order that can be inferred in the dispositif of the Pass and, consequently it would accompany a nomination of AS [Analyst of the School].

In considering the “advents of the real” in an analysis, could we not question ourselves also about the modalities, or modulations of the “not-all” in the traversing of the impossibilities of signification, of sense, of the sexual relation (according to L’étourdit) and, very particularly, of what a saying of “not-all” infers with regard to this jouissance that is other than phallic jouissance.

The formulas of sexuation invite us to make this step starting with this “something” that can circulate between these four positions: of the necessary and of the possible which are in contradiction (foreclosed negation: yes or no) and of the contingent and the impossible which confront us with an undecidable (yes or no; yes and no; yes, but not all … it is that, but not all … nearer to what would be conflicting negation in French grammar).

I want to be precise in what I am saying: in this context it is not a matter of once again picking up the old debate about the specificity of feminine writing, for writings by women, together with their testimonies of the Pass, are not necessarily those from which can be expected a saying that is “not-all”. Nor is it about the “feminisation” of the analytic world or of the whole world, and still less – it goes without saying – of a supposed “feminisation” of the male analyst.

It is about the circulation between the left side and the right side of the formulas of sexuation that shatter any anchorage in the “touthomanie” of the universal norm (a male norm, Lacan tells us) and of inferring the Saying of the “true hole” of the structure of the parlêtre.

Every Saying is existential and contingent, but the Saying of The One, the saying of the One-sinthome (with an “h”) can come in various forms according to other modalities of sayings. It is not about affirming that there would be a ONE-SAYING-OTHER, of this other jouissance that responds to a logic of the not-all, for we would certainly return to the closing of the discourse about sexuality that would lead once more to the “two” that is the complement of the relation that does not exist.

So the question could be formulated thus: what is the connection between the ONE-Saying of the sinthome (with an “h”) and the not-all?

I have simply wished to raise some possible stopping points among the multiple questions that we summon with the subject “advents of the real” for our next Rendezvous in Barcelona.

We do not expect the advent of the messiah from an analysis! On the other hand, can we not expect from it the advent of an ethic (it would also be emptied of all pretention) of a saying of the not-all to which it invites us? Advent that could have effects beyond our practice if we succeed (vain hope?) in producing an echo of our discourse in other “advents” of the real that are announced rather from the side of a totalitarianism of the all. More particularly, in the political field … and that without dwelling on the capitalist discourse, promoter of certainly non-traditional forms of “touthomanie”, but not ceasing to extol a universe of the not- impossible, associated with the all-powerful ideology of science which does not take responsibility for the consequences of its treatment – indubitably efficacious – of the real.

Translated by Susan Schwartz
1. Translator’s addition: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX, On Feminine Sexuality, The Limits of Love and Knowledge, Encore 1972-1973, ed. J-A Miller, trans. B. Fink, New York and London, W.W. Norton & Company, p. 127.
2. Translator’s note:“Dit-mension” introduces “dit” (“say”) – into the word “dimension”.
3. The well-known Freudian expression is “Wo es war, soll ich werden”.
4. In L’étourdit, Lacan situates the saying [dire] as the effect of a cut. With Borromean writing, he puts the accent on a saying that knots and names. However, later (Seminar 24, L’Insu) he again takes up the function of the cut on one or more toruses made from rounds of string through the operation of their possible reversal.
5. In her book Lacan, lecteur de Joyce (Paris, PUF, 2015).
6. It seems to me that our colleague Florencia Farias defended a doctoral thesis in which she approached this problem. Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to read it. Certainly other colleagues in our community will have had access to it and this will be an important reference on this question.
7. See Chapter XIV of Seminar …ou pire, the class at St Anne on “The knowledge of the psychoanalyst” of June 1, 1972. Lacan mentions something of the order of a circulation (which evokes without doubt the “circle” of discourse) induced by the unstable logic that grounds the logical partition of sexual jouissance between jouissance that is all phallic or not-all phallic.
8. Translator’s note: “touthomanie” is an “invention” of the author’s: “tout” meaning “all” in the sense of “all phallic”; “h” for “Homme” meaning “Man” as in the left side of the formulas of sexuation; “manie” meaning “mania”. Thus: the all phallic mania of masculine jouissance.

Trauma: event and advent of the real
Sandra Leticia Berta, Pre-text 2 for Internationals Meeting IF-SPFLF in Barcelona, September 2018
May 2017

From the moment we decided to work on the theme of the advent of the real for the next International Rendezvous, I wondered about the clinical inplications of the expression. As I have researched on trauma for years, a question immediately emerged for me: if we consider the tuchic factor of the trauma, is there any difference between the traumatic event and the advent of the real? I present my reflections here.

In the history of psychoanalysis, the traumatic event enabled not only the discovery of the unconscious but also the differentiation between the traumatic event and the structure of the trauma, understood as a hole (trou), written S (A/) [signifier of the lack in the Other], as Lacan proposed towards de end of his teaching. The passage fro the traumatic event to the troumatism orientates the direction of the treatment in every analysis. The elaboration of a knowledge about the tuchic moment makes of the trauma the index of an undecidable real.

Within the itinerary that goes from the trauma to the troumatism we distinguish between several conceptions of temporality: that of the deferred action (nachträglich), that of the act, which assigns a privileged position to the topological cut, and finally the moment of the Borromean knotting. All of them partake of the logical temporality proposed by Lacan: the moment of seeing, the time for understanding and the moment to conclude.

Speaking of ‘the advent of the trauma’ instead of ‘traumatic event’ may serve the purpose of highlighting the traumatic moment and of marking its differences with its elaboration. I will refer to this aspect of the question later. In our community we have spoken of the event of the S1, the signifier 1, of the passing of the tuché as an event of jouissance and of the ones of repetition. It seems to me that taken in this sense event and advent are synonymous – which we can read in the dictionary. But the advent emphasizes the arrival and not only the different traits of the event.

On the other hand, if we refer to the advent, we need to discriminate between two acceptations that appear in Lacan’s teaching: the advent of the subject and the advent of the real. These are not the only acceptations; but they are the most relevant ones.

The notion of ‘the advent of the subject’ has its origins in the developments on the symbolic and was formalized as the operations of causation of the subject: alienation and separation.[1]

I briefly point out that in the alienation through the vel of exclusive disjunction the subject chooses between either petrification or sense. According to the logical anteriority of the subject’s causation, the second operation concerns separation, whose effect is object a,[2] the subject thus entering into the metonymy of the signifying chain (S1–S2).

It may be added that at at ulterior moment the vel of exclusive disjunction is used to indicate the division between the subject and jouissance. Here the accent is on the enjoyed signifier – the enjoying substance which is what finally what comes [adviene] from the real, if we take the S1 into consideration.

In fact, we can read the contingency of the advent of the real by means of a signifier S1 both in the operations of causation of the subject and in the writing of the Borromean knot.

The advent of the real as irruption of S1 appears in the references to the subject and in the developments on the parlêtre. Both share the same logic, but it seems to me that as far as temporality is concerned the causation of the subject emphasizes the traumatic a posteriori, as it refers to a real that remains as an extimate limit, whereas in the case of the knot, given its cardinal nature, the advent of the trauma is knotted. The 1 of the traumatic is 3: real, symbolic and imaginary. In this sense, ‘the advent of the real’ may well suit the Borromean trauma, as it indicates that the trauma comes to be [adviene] as knotted.

In the years 1974 and 1975 we find a differentiation beetween the advent of the real and the event of saying [decir] which requires the temporality of the knot. In Seminar XXI, Les non-dupes errent, Lacan refers to the event of saying as a writing of the knot, and discriminates between the symbolic, the real and the imaginary events.[3] A certain passage came to my attention: ‘The event as such only occurs in the symbolic order. There is no other event than in the saying [decir]’.[4] Time is needed to write the knot of the saying, the knot of the parlêtre done around the Borromean trauma.

We can now move forward, towards the expression ‘advent of the real’ in La Tercera [The Third].[5] In this conference, which is contemporaneous with Seminar XXI, Lacan says that the analyst depends on the advent of the real, as Colette Soler has already underlined in her book Avènements du réel, de l’angoise au symptôme[6] and in the firt Pre-text of the Barcelona Rendezvous, 2018. Following that, Lacan refers to interpretation as equivoque and to lalangue which, as detritus of the unconscious, becomes the sediment of an experience that leaves knowledge as a remnant. The intepretation operates with lalangue, which does not prevent that the unconscious be structured like a language. This means that the interpretation operates with the Ones of jouissance, so that the parlêtre becomes Borromean.

If the trauma is the knotted advent of S1, an irruption of the real, that is the clinical proof that the trauma is the knotting of a real. Although from the perspective of the trauma advent and event are synonymous, we also find a differential trait. The emphasis on the advent of the real involved in the traumatic signifier is not without consequences, as it transforms the a posteriori into an act and into knotted logical time. Furthermore, the considerations on the moterialité that is proper to the Borromean knot have implications for the nagträglich sense. In the clinic it is necessary to force (mathematical forcing[7]) the word in its moterialité so as to read in what is heard to then produce a writing. Therefore, searching for the sense of an event is not the same thing as aiming at the enjoyed-sense of knowledge. This does not mean discarding the fantasy, as that would not be possible in the clinic; but it means being at the service ‘of what functions as real in knowledge’[8] . The statements [dichos] of the traumatic event allude to the event of a saying [decir] and evoke the knotted real that ex-sists to sense (absense).

Lastly, the advent of the real of the trauma calls for a reflection on the Borromean clinic, bearing in mind the real unconscious and the hole in knowledge. Once again, to speak of trauma in psychoanalysis is to speak of psychoanalysis. It is not a mere coincidence that Freud’s questioning of the trauma led to the discovery of the unconscious.
São Paulo, 26th May, 2017
Translated by Leonardo Rodríguez

1. Lacan, J. (1977). The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis [Seminar XI]. London, Tavistock.
2. Lacan, J. The Seminar, Book XIV, The logic of fantasy, 1966-1967. Session of 16 November 1966. Unpublished transcript.
3. Lacan, J. The Seminar, Book XXI, Les non-dupes errent. Session of 18 December 1973. Unpublished ranscript.
4. Lacan, J. The Seminar, Book XXI, Les non-dupes errent. Session of 15 January 1974: '[...] l´événement lui, l´événement ne se produit que dans l´ordre du Symbolique'.
5. Lacan, J. La tercera (1 November 1974). In Intervenciones y textos 2. Buenos Aires, Manantial, 1993, pp. 73-113.
6. Soler, C. (2016). Avènements du réel, de l´angoisse au symptôme. Cours 2015-2016. Paris: Éditions du Champ lacanien. Collection Études, p. 170.
7. Lacan, J. (1976-1977). The Seminar, Book XXIV, L’insu que sait de l’une-bévue s’aile à mourre. Session of 19 April 1977. Unpublished transcript.
8 Soler, C. (2009). Lacan – The Unconscious Reinvented. London, Karnac, Paris, p. 19.

Advent of the real
Colette Soler, Pre-text 1 for Internationals Meeting IF-SPFLF in Barcelona, September 2018
April 2017

I will take advantage of this first pre-text, which the two organisers of the RV 2018 have asked me to write, to reflect on the problematic of the theme that we have chosen.

The word “advent” designates a moment of emergence, a moment of the appearance of something unprecedented, which might be foreseen, for example Louis XIV’s advent to the throne or the advent of a new political regime, or it could also simply be awaited as in the messianic usage, the advent of the saviour or of the end of the world, but it could also happen [advenir] by surprise. For example, isn’t that the case with the advent of Freudianism at the end of the nineteenth century? The nuance there is interesting: we would not speak of the advent of Freud, but of Freudianism, and he was hardly foreseen and even less expected.

So the advent of the real? The common idea, even one received by Lacanian transmission, is not that the real can happen [advenir]. Rather, isn’t it thought of as impossible to avoid for speaking beings who are moulded by the imaginary and the symbolic. The definition, “impossible to avoid”, as broad as it is, already divides the real into two parts. On one side, there is the real that owes nothing to the symbolic, a Tsunami, for example, and the sex ratio about which Lacan was so emphatic, are of that order, generally speaking, that of the real of nature or of life. But “impossible to avoid” is not reducible to that for on the other side there is also destiny – this is the word used in our civilisation for the impossible to avoid – that language makes us.

Since always we have defined it in terms of mis-fortune [mal-heur], impotence and impossibility, and we have imputed it to the gods and to sin. Lacan himself recognised in it the effect of the structure of language on the living being, what I have called the negativities of the structure. But this is to forget that the gaps introduced into the speaking being by language are great due to something completely different from this curse: all the possibilities of invention and creation that we have for a long time subsumed under the term “sublimation” and which humanity takes glory in. From the time of “On a question prior to any possible treatment of psychosis”, Lacan was saying nothing other than “the function of derealisation is not entirely located in the symbol”.[1]

Now when he employs the expression “advent of the real” – he does not say “of real” or “of reals” – in both Television and “La troisième”, he speaks about the effects of science. The moon landing on the one hand, and on the other, the production of novelties of surplus jouissance conditioned by science under capitalism. We are certainly in the problematic of human fecundity, of its capacity to make the new happen [advenir], to change being and its entourage jointly and at the same time. Certainly, today we are no longer so sure that this capacity is synonymous with progress, as was the case with the enthusiasm of the Enlightenment in the 18th century, and also with the expectation of the “new man” of the 19th century. Today, history has shown the dark face and the lawlessness of this fecundity. Lacan, always up to date, indubitably touches its effects … biopolitical for the collective, beyond the specifically individual effects that psychoanalysis treats. This was already being questioned at the end of Seminar XI: what will happen when the whole book of science is eaten? Without doubt, the final chapter is not yet written, but we can do no less than to take up the question in Barcelona in 2018.

This will only be one aspect of our theme, for we will have to also ask ourselves how this real that makes our unconscious – destiny, as it was called for so long – happens [advient] for each of us. Will we speak of an advent of destiny, of a curse in its darkest form? That is the question. The two terms appear to be in contradiction, since advent is event, while destiny is spoken of in terms of “it was written”. And in fact, it is experienced as something to be endured. For the main part, repetition and symptom, two Freudian notions, are those where Lacan reads the two major effects of the language-unconscious, namely the inexorable missed encounter, and the unmoveable fixation of jouissance and of these conditions.

Advent of repetition, then? Yes, since repetition is less automaton than tuchè. It needs the accidental encounter that comes at the whim of life’s events, in order for the law of the missed encounter to appear [advenir] as necessary, as what does not cease. Appear [Advienne] through what motivates it: the insistence of the signifiers of the unconscious. I recalled the 1955 text, saying that the function of derealisation of the symbol is not all, but I left in suspension the rest of the sentence, which said, speaking of the symbol: “For in order for irruption in the real to be incontrovertible, the symbol need but present itself, as it commonly does, in the form of a broken chain”.[2] And Lacan wanted it to prove nothing less than the words of love at the approach of the partner thing. In Television, almost twenty years later, he will say “good fortune” [bon heur],[3] “the subject is happy [heureux], that’s its definition”, ironic. It is always the happiness [heur] of repetition. In the interim Lacan produced the unconscious as knowledge [savoir], made of enjoyed-signifiers [signifiants-jouis] the insistence of which, in the approach to the Other, is indeed an advent of the real, that of “there is no sexual relation”.

As for the advent of the real in the symptom, we can see it in its nascent state in phobia, this first signifier that is excepted from the signifiers of demand coming from the Other. Hans’s signifier, the horse, is not an object – Lacan hammered it enough – but it is not an offer from the Other either, it is properly speaking an advent, an invention, the here-it-is-again invention, of a signifier that “incarnates” the jouissance of the “traumatic penis”.[4] It guarantees a first coalescence of jouissance and the signifier. And for Lacan to say that Freud invented the unconscious – the unconscious that he deciphers in signifiers – based on the discovery that certain beings have in their encounter with their own erection,[5] starting with the first traumatic enjoyment that the phobia raises to the signifier by using some imaginary elements of perception. It is very exactly the advent of the ciphering of jouissance, for the infantile phobias disappear but the ciphering, that is, the substitution, continues from dream to lapsus, in the said formations of the unconscious.

The “fixions” of the jouissance of the symptom remain. They are less ephemeral, where the cipher appears [advient] as letter, the only one to be identical to itself, namely outside the chain and non-substitutable, thus an exception. Their advent is without law, contingent, being excepted from the programs of the discourse of the Other and this is, if we believe Lacan, what LOM[6] – which he writes in three letters and who is made between the symbolic and the imaginary – has that is most real. In all the cases where there is an advent of the real, whatever this might be for the collective or for the individual, it is a product of this strange capacity LOM has to make everything into language, from the mysteries of a nature that go beyond him and that science seeks to master, as much as from the jouissance thing that embraces him in the particular of cases and that is precisely the motor of languages [langues] in constant evolution. The psychoanalyst makes use of it, but to what end? Translated by Susan Schwartz
1. Lacan, J., "On a Question Prior to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis". Ecrits, The First Complete Edition in English. Trans. B. Fink. New York and London, W.W. Norton & Company. p. 449. Translation modified.
2. Ibid.
3. There is a play on words around “heur” which means “happiness” and heure, with which it is homophonic and which means “hour”, thus suggesting time and the moment of the good encounter.
4. Lacan, J., "Geneva Lecture on the Symptom", trans. R. Grigg, Analysis No 1, pp. 5-26.
5. Ibid. p. 15
6. LOM is homophonic with l’homme, (the) man.


Twenty years have passed since the creation of the International Forums of the Lacanian Field following the initiative taken by some of us in July 1998. This creation constituted a new path, a path in accordance with the one Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan opened up, a path that emerged as a movement of counter-experience, with the aim of creating a School of Psychoanalysis. That School was effectively born in 2001.

Twenty years later, we – the founders and many others – will meet again in Barcelona on the occasion of the Xth Meeting of the IF-SPFLF and the VIth International Encounter of the School. We have some essential elements at our disposal: the impetus of the desire of the International Community, the compromise between the Forum of Barcelona and the other Spanish forums in order that the organization could proceed smoothly and, the title of the Meeting which will serve as an axis for structuring the work of that Community in the meantime.

The Advents of the Real and the Psychoanalyst. This is an enigmatic title because of the semantics of the term “advent”, the use of the plural to express the plurality of the elements that can be real, and also the plurality of the meanings of that term, from “what comes back to the same place” and constitutes an obstacle to well-being, to the real of what can overflow. It is enigmatic also because of the complex relationship between the two terms and the dependence of the second one upon the first. But there is not only that…

If, as Lacan affirmed in “La Troisième”, the future of the analyst depends upon what of the real happens (and not the other way around), what consequences do these advents have on social links and in particular on the analytic discourse, the one that binds the analysand to the couple analyst-analysand?

Therefore, it is a title that makes us question, that keeps us awake and that will put us to work. There does not exist any advent of the real that will not cut the illusory and wished for experience of continuity in the speaking-being, whether that be the trauma of the Other as constitutive, or the real of the jouissance of the body, or the accident or, again, the progress of science. This is to say that every advent of the real implies an effect, an immediate effect that is affect – anxiety – and also other effects, albeit more silent, that remain incalculable. They spread through the social sphere and, as we can see, they do not cease to produce new forms of segregation. It is not up to the psychoanalyst to reduce the advents of the real, but the psychoanalyst can respond. He can, as Lacan says, counter the real.

Rosa Escapa and Ramon Miralpeix, General Coordination

VIth E Scholl - The School and the Discourses

The School and the Discourses
Initial development of this theme
Marc Strauss (September 9th 2017)

“... For you, there is – you have to want it – another way of thinking about your revolt of the privileged: mine, hrough example. I only regret that so few people who interest me are interested in what interests me.” J. Lacan, Ornicar 49, p. 7.

Lacan’s founding of his School of psychoanalysis is inscribed in a history of discourses. It is the latter that gives it its place in the social space, and assigns its responsibilities to it.

Certainly Lacan’s founding of his School is anterior to his writing the mathemes of the discourses. But it is not anterior to his effort to realise the analytic experience in a discourse that was unprecedented until the time of Freud. His appearance responded to a reality, also unprecedented, in which a form of symptom became untreatable. Indeed, the symptom does not date from Freud; it is correlative to the very existence of speech. It must be recognised as such, in order to be able to retrospectively clarify its historical avatars.

Thus, the discourses of the master and the hysteric are united in their confrontation. The signifying order imposes this division, which responds to an irremediable cut between the representation and the represented. As a result, the discourse of the master, which rests on consenting to the One that is excepted, never goes without the shadowy part of the subject with which the hysteric attires herself in order to complete it.

At one time, these two were enough to organise the world, but in the face of the decomposition of the empire of the One, in order for the master to continue to speak in the name of all of us, he had to take refuge behind knowledge.

The university discourse is thus a “regression” in relation to the effort for truth that hysteria calls for. The subject is found there, cut off from the truth, in a suffering that is inarticulable and therefore, inaudible. Delegitimised, truth becomes more convincing to the extent that science, having become countable calculation, outdid its possible interlocutors, the priest and the doctor.

It is at this point that a new interlocutor is born for the subject – the psychoanalyst, of course. Suffering like the hysteric from the new master’s forms of violence, the psychoanalyst knew how to hear the subject, and to restore his reason.

Freud’s project was to make civilisation’s new forms of violence more bearable, even to attenuate them. We could say that he succeeded in changing the way his epoch looked at human kind, its motivations and realisations, and in so doing producing attacks, perhaps excessive. Today, the discourse of the triumphant market increasingly undoes traditional links.

In reaction, Lacan never, in the name of Freud, promoted an ideal of the collective. On the contrary, he insisted that the link be one by one, but even so, he founded a School. A collective, thus, that he wanted to be unprecedented due to the novelty of the analytic discourse, integrating its experiences into its practices and procedures, including the selection and the guarantee of analysts.

This attention to coherence was aimed not only at its internal functioning, but also at the function that it assigned to psychoanalysis: an operation against the malaise in civilisation, for which the School would be the base. But whether it is to defend and preserve its field, or conquer a larger one, whether the School is limited to the perpetuation of the experience or whether it wants to influence the choices of the city, its recourse must be to making itself heard.

Now, we know about the contemporary malaise: “thirst from the lack of enjoyment”. Indeed, the originality of the capitalist discourse, hailed by Lacan as a performance, is to propose its own treatment in a course without end. Whether they know it or not, the subjects that it determines are in its grasp. How then can the analytic discourse point to a different solution for them? Why would anyone what to give up the thirst from the lack of enjoyment and its intoxicating torments, and in the name of what?

It is clear that today we are in a particular moment for psychoanalysis, and that we lack the models to respond to it. After having created an almost beatific credulity with the opinion makers, psychoanalysis is once again the object of a strong suspicion, if not a rejection, for charlatanism. Now neuro-behaviouralism with its methods based on the chemistry of molecular interactions and statistics disputes psychoanalysis’s place in the market.

The call for psychoanalytic intervention certainly suffers from this devaluation.

Some questions arise from this:

— What, in our function as a School, pertains to each of the discourses?
— How do we control our processes of selection and guarantee in the School?
— How do we situate them in the order of discourses, it being understood that none go without the other three with which it closes the orderly round of desire?
— How does the fifth discourse, that of capitalism, intervene there when it undoes this round in order to impose itself alone?
— How can psychoanalysis offer to treat the impasses of the subject if contemporary discourse is sustained by not allowing it in?
— Between monastic retreat, with its threat of fragmentation, and imposture destined for collective retaliation, what strategies can be adopted to keep the reconquest of the Freudian and Lacanian fields alive?

Translated by Susan Schwartz