Lacan’s desire for a school of psychoanalysis went beyond Freud, beyond Oedipus, beyond the structure of “the all” and its antinomic element. This was the logic of “all men” born of a father who stands as the exception, guarding jouissance and enjoying all women. Impossibility and prohibition of jouissance are inherent in this structure, which leads to rigid classifications. Yet in the Lacanian School “there is no exception, but rather an ensemble, or rather a series of exceptions, of solitudes incomparable to each other” and as such the school is “not-all in the sense that it is logically inconsistent, and presents itself in the form of a series in which a law of formation is missing.”[1]

In the “Founding Act” of Lacan’s School in 1964 what is most striking is the absence of a definition of what a psychoanalyst is. Instead, the word “work” permeates the text and what is specified is the School’s basic organ, the cartel. The anti-segregative, anti-didactic mechanism of the cartel provides a social link whereby everybody works together and at the same level around a project called psychoanalysis. It is the transference to psychoanalysis and to the analytic discourse, rather than an ideal, that “allows singularities to hold together.”[2] Work transference encourages each member to participate actively in psychoanalysis, to think about theory and practice, and not simply to remain in a position of consuming texts and various teachings without implicating oneself, one’s own question and one’s own body.

The School is “the organism in which there is work to be accomplished.” It is “inseparable from the training to be dispensed.”[3] The contribution Lacan makes to the formation of analysts is to assert that analysts are not taught and trained by other analysts. There is nothing universal about the analytic discourse. The analytic discourse cannot be taught. Instead, analysts are formed by their own analysis, as Lacan made clear in the “Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the Psychoanalyst of the School.”[4] One becomes a psychoanalyst through the experience of encountering the real through one’s symptom.

Nevertheless, how to teach what cannot be taught is a question throughout Lacan’s teaching: how can psychoanalysis be taught, how can a knowledge be taught to all, when this knowledge emerges from the intimacy of the analytic situation where, for example, interpretation aims at a momentary act of saying and knowledge is acquired only by means of going through an experience which is singular and incomparable. How can one transmit something without falling prey to either the traps of mastery, thinking oneself as univocal, or to the snares of the university discourse, where the ideal I prevails?

Lacan’s response to the question of how to demonstrate a formation based on the principle of self-authorisation is the pass. “The event of the pass is the act of saying on the part of a sole person, the Analyst of the School, when he puts his experience into order,”[5] when he or she testifies in front of an audience to his or her analytical path.

We are privileged to publish in this issue of the Psychoanalytical Notebooks a series of texts by psychoanalysts of the World Association of Psychoanalysis who have gone through the procedure of the pass and been nominated and who, one by one, tell us something about the formation of the analyst and its three pillars analysis, supervision and the cartel (i.e. the study of psychoanalysis). Right now, in the New Lacanian School, there is a dynamic interest in the end of analysis, in the production of analysts and in the transmission of psychoanalysis itself, and this was testified to in the inaugural event on The Pass in Our School, the Teaching of the AS, held in Ghent, in September 2019. This was a response to the nomination of Florencia F.C. Shanahan – the first Analyst of the School to have gone through the procedure of the pass within the NLS.

The first four papers of the current issue (Laurent Dupont, “Formation of the Analyst, the End of Analysis”; Bruno de Halleux, “The Rhinoceros and the Desire of the Analyst”; and Patricia Tassara, “Supervision” and “From Dreams to Body Event”) have all been taken from presentations recently delivered in London during a series of events on the Formation of the Analyst organised by the London Society of the NLS. The last two papers (Florencia F.C. Shanahan, “Present”; Véronique Voruz, “Bodies Captured by Discourse”) were given in online events organised by our NLS colleagues in Berlin (Lacanian Orientation in Berlin) and Dublin (Irish Circle of the Lacanian Orientation) respectively. This testifies to an ongoing interest in and desire for the question of formation in the members of our community at large.

The formation of the analyst is at the foundation of the School of Lacan. “The analytic discourse exists because it is the analysand who supports it.”[6] There cannot be an analyst without being an analysand, just as there cannot be an Analyst of the School without the School. The permanence of formation of the “analyst-analysand,” as Laurent Dupont puts it in the first paper of this issue, as the underlying principle of the Lacanian orientation means a continuous ascesis of working to become an analyst.


December 2020


Editorial of Issue #36 of Psychoanalytical Notebooks, December 2020

[1] Miller, J.-A., “The Turin Theory of the Subject of the School” (2000), trans. H. Chamberlain and V. Dachy, Psychoanalytical Notebooks, No. 33, 2019.

[2] Laurent, E., “The Pass and the Guarantee in the School” (1992), trans. P. Dravers and V. Dachy, available online.

[3] Lacan, J., “The Founding Act” (1964), trans. J. Mehlman (modified), Television: A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment, ed. J. Copjec, London/New York, Norton, 1990, pp. 97-106.

[4] Lacan, J., “Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the Psychoanalyst of the School,” trans. R. Grigg, Analysis, No. 6, 1995, pp. 1-13.

[5] Miller, J.-A., “The Unconscious and the Speaking Body” (2014), trans. A.R. Price Hurly-Burly, No. 12, 2015, p. 129.

[6] Lacan, J., “Columbia University: Lecture on the Symptom” (1975), trans. A.R. Price and R. Grigg, Culture/Clinic, No. 1, 2013, p. 8.