The Unbearable of Childhood
Interview with Éric Laurent by Raquel Cors Ulloa – Part 1
RCU: We are with Éric Laurent, who has kindly accepted the invitation for the XI NEL Study-Days, to be held on October 23, 24 and 25 in Bogota, whose title is “The Unbearable of Childhood”
Firstly, thank you for honoring us with your presence at the NEL and secondly, I’d like to take the opportunity to ask you: what does the title of these Study-Day evoke for you? Because, in my view, it proposes a re-reading of the concept of childhood, which is not always limited to the clinical work with children, but refers too to the drive demands [exigencies] proper to childhood sexuality. That is, the childhood sexuality that inhabits the speaking-being and which psychoanalysis is responsible for dignifying.
EL: Good. In this question there are already the elements of the answer that you give to it, distinguishing the two aspects. On the one hand, childhood as a moment, a time that a subject goes through and, on the other hand, as something that never gets traversed, that remains, that is deposited; a mode of demand [exigency] of what was at that time and which does not disappear, which remains as a demand. So, in these two slopes we have versions of the unbearable.
What I expect from this Congress is precisely a kind of aggiornamento, a way of thinking again about these two aspects, childhood as a moment and childhood as this insurmountable exigency of what childhood sexuality was.
To re-read all this with Lacan’s later teaching, of course without forgetting everything that came before, but with this interesting play of re-reading what it was, with Jacques-Alain Miller’s fundamental article on “The Paradigms of Jouissance” as model; in so far as it is precisely a fundamental instrument to approach childhood, a way of reading childhood as a time, a moment, and how jouissance is localised, the famous, let’s say, polymorphous jouissance, which in childhood takes on the form of not being centred in phallic jouissance but descentred. Childhood as, precisely, the reminder that jouissance is never finally unified, there is no ganze Sexualstrebung (whole/total sexual tendency) as Freud said, re-read by Lacan. There is no unification; there are these drives called (you said it) partial drives and there is phallic jouissance that actually comes to have an incidence on them, but never on the side of unification.
An effort must always be made to re-read, let’s say, the children’s clinic or the clinic of childhood, based on this necessary dispersion of jouissances, in the plural. This allows us to make a further effort to read what was ordered on the side of the symbolic, of the relationship of the infans subject with the symbolic and his encounter with the symbolic Other. At the same time, this is done on the imaginary side. To emphasize the three consistencies of the Real, the Symbolic and the Imaginary, but in a more egalitarian way, approaching the children’s clinic from the perspective of the knots is fundamental. Indeed, the title “unbearable” emphasizes, of course, this touch of Real that must always be reintroduced in our approach to the clinic of childhood.
Transcription: Alejandro Góngora (NEL-Santiago) Translation: Florencia F.C. Shanahan
XXthClinical Conversation of the ICF-E
Beginnings of Analysis With the participation of Jacques-Alain Miller
Barcelona, 7th and 8th March 2020 / Chaired by: Gustavo Dessal and Estela Paskvan
Directing one’s steps towards the consulting room of an analyst opens the possibility of inserting and lodging the body in a new circuit. This will no doubt be a memorable event in one’s life if the encounter proves to be, retroactively, the moment of incorporation into the analytical discourse through the “painful mystery for himself” , his symptom, the authentic impulse for formulating a demand.
The reception by the one who embodies the symbolic function inaugurated by Freud must be respectful of the only fundamental precept that should orient his responses, the principle of abstinence. In this way he will be able to put in suspense everything that could compromise the preservation of the empty place where someone can make his voice heard without being compared to anyone else.
Psychoanalysis promotes the right of one alone, says Miller. It is the right to a deviation experienced as such, not measured against any norm. A dividing line between false or true psychoanalysis is thus established, depending on whether one takes norms into consideration or not, whatever reason might be invoked to justify them: experience, orthodoxy, psychopathology, any norm leads to psychotherapy.
The formation required to provide that singular hollow able to lodge the speech of the sufferer has been obtained by a “severe asceticism” through which the analyst deciphered his own mystery, the mystery of the speaking body. But talking about mystery could induce the idea that it is hidden somewhere and should be revealed. Hence Lacan’s insistence: There is no initiation!, understood as the science of jouissance. Moreover, Lacan states, analysisis is an anti-initiation.
 Jacques-Alain Miller, Un comienzo en la vida [A beginning in life]. Synthesis. Madrid. 2003. p. 13.
The Feminine Uncanny Saying the Unsayable
by Esthela Solano-Suárez
Towards “Question d’Ecole” - Paris, 1st February 2020 Register here: https://www.causefreudienne.net/event/puissance-de-la-parole-clinique-de-lecole/ Published in French in L'Hebdo-Blog 189, New Series, 19th January 2020.
The Unbearable of Childhood
[…] During our next NEL Study-Days, childhood [infancy] will not be limited to the challenges that the clinic with children confront us with, since if we refer to its etymology, infans means without voice and, in this sense, the resonances with the muteness of the drive are clear; a drive which psychoanalysis is however responsible for listening to in its insistence, as well as for dignifying the ways in which each one lives it.
Thus, the unbearable of childhood finds a fundamental reference in the unbearable satisfaction of the drive associated with displeasure. It is on this unpleasant drive jouissance that the superegoic jouissance will come to settle, initially linked to disgust and shame. Sigmund Freud, at the beginning of the second of his “Three essays on Sexuality”, formulated a universal law that would be present “for all” children: the existence of a sexual drive. In the face of this universal – according to their drive exigency, typical of child sexuality – the singularity of the real of the drive of each one will be inscribed, one by one.
If psychoanalysts are interested in childhood –which is not always correlative to the period of childhood–, it is because the clinic teaches us that what disturbs the chronological and integral idea of the adult, is precisely because something of that infans –which does not yet have words – embodies the real. Consequently, the investigation of infantile neurosis disturbs: the old, the young, the adolescent, the child, and why not the psychoanalyst too, if he clings, as a subject, to the idea that the child is the structure, as Lacan points out. Indeed, once childhood emerges in the analytical experience, that which escapes the Symbolic, the Real, is verified.
On the other hand, helplessness (Hilflosigkeit), the helplessness that determines the absolute dependency of the human cub on the Other of language, leaves indelible marks on the parlêtre, which as such constitute himself as a response to the founding trauma, trauma inscribed in the meeting between the body and lalingua. If the trauma is the incidence of lalingua on the speaking being, where rather than the specular body what is at stake is the body as an surface for the inscription of jouissance, then it is from that trauma that the traces lalingua which language fails to name will be detached.
Excerpt of the Argument by Raquel Cors Ulloa, President of the XIth NEL Study-Days 2020
28th Study-Days of the EOL
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE UNCONSCIOUS… STILL
“The supposition of the unconscious is necessary and legitimate, we possess numerous proofs of its existence … parapraxes, dreams and psychic symptoms” (Freud, “The Unconscious”, 1915, SE 14, p. 159, translation modified)
Gabriela Basz and Mónica Gurevicz Directors of the Study-Days
Translated by Roger Litten
Daniela de Camargo Barros Affonso Orientation Committee Translated by Gary Marshall
The Discordance Between the Sexes in the Light of Psychoanalysis
Translated by Roger Litten
“WOMEN IN PSYCHOANALYSIS” 49th Study-Days of the ECF
Translated by Janet Haney and John Haney
Text established by Hervé Damase with Frédérique Bouvet, read by the author. Translated by Janet Haney and John Haney
New Lacanian School (NLS) / World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP) presents:
The 7th Issue of The Lacanian Review: ‘Get Real’
CONTACT thelacanianreviews.com Orders: firstname.lastname@example.org / Attention: Pascale Fari Subscribe: https://www.ecf-echoppe.com/categorie-produit/revues/the-lacanian-review/ Marie-Hélène Brousse, Editor in Chief / Cyrus Saint Amand Poliakoff, Managing Editor
Thursday, 14 March
The “Preface to the English-Language Edition” of Seminar XI is a three-paged text that Lacan wrote in 1976 as an extension of his Seminar, The Sinthome; Miller even considers it to be this seminar’s last lesson. This short text is a new way of taking up his “Proposition” on the pass. It is for this reason that Miller considers it to be, in some way, Lacan’s last will and testament.
When he brings up the pass again at the end of his teaching, Lacan no longer uses the signifier “subjective urgency”, but that of “urgent cases”.
Other signifiers are also not found in this text. While “transference” finds its algorithmic definition in the 1967 “Proposition”, this signifier is nowhere to be found in the later text. And for good reason, for in his very last teaching, the subject supposed to know is itself thrown into question. The subject supposed to know is the hypothesis of the Freudian unconscious, the transferential unconscious. In this final text, the signifiers “knowledge”, “subject supposed to know” and “transference” no longer appear. In this regard, Miller points out that he prefers that we say that we come back from one session to the next because ça pousse, “it pushes”, ça urge, “it urges” rather than because of transference.
Knowledge is no longer there because Lacan no longer believes in it. He considers knowledge to be only a semblant, a hare-brained lucubration about lalangue.
On the other hand, while knowledge produces nothing but lies, we find another signifier, that of “lying truth”. And instead of the signifier of transference we find “these urgent cases”.
Admittedly, urgency here is, on the one hand, just as in 1967, what presides over the analysis, what presides over transference. In the analytic situation, the psychoanalyst is this person, this quelconque or “whomsoever” who embodies this place of address for analysands – these speaking beings that “run” after the truth – the one who agrees to “pair” with these urgent cases. We meet an analyst when we are in a state of urgency. But, on the other hand, Lacan takes an additional step that goes beyond transference; there is another urgency. In analysis, there is always urgency, there is always something that pushes, that urges, that presses and that is beyond transference, even if one takes one’s time or lets it drag on. Urgency is something that presses the parlêtre. Something of the order of “the urgency of life”, as Dominique Holvoet magnificently emphasized in his teaching as an AS.
“This indicates that there is a causality operating at a deeper level than the transference, one that Lacan characterizes as a level of satisfaction insofar as it is urgent and analysis is its means.”
We run after the truth, says Lacan; this is what happens in free association, but truth cannot be caught by the signifier.
What is urgent for Lacan at the end of his teaching – the analytical urgency, that which pushes theparlêtre – consists therefore of running after truth, of pursuing the truth that harbours the real. But this truth cannot be captured with words. The urgency in question is the attempt to catch hold of a truth that can never be reached. This race to pursue the truth that we never can catch is what provides the satisfaction of these urgent cases, of the speaking bodies. This is why one can say that analysis is the means for this urgent satisfaction.
Satis, etymologically the Latin “enough”, constitutes the root of the signifier “satisfaction”, the “it is enough” of the pass. Consequently, satisfaction comes in two modalities: that of satis – “it is enough”, and that of a new way of knowing how to do with one’s real, with the non-resorbable jouissance.
In this final text, Lacan no longer says “the psychoanalyst derives his authorisation only from himself”, because the subject produced by free association is thrown back into question. Instead, he emphasizes what is urgent, the impulse that pushes the subject to “hystoricize himself” [“s’hystoriser de lui-même”], namely to hystoricize himself without making a pair with his analyst. As you can see, in the very last Lacan, at the Archimedean point of the pass, what is at stake is urgent. The pass is done via the urgency of life.
Translated from the French by Philip Dravers
From the Argument towards the NLS Congress 2019