In our world today – determined by the market, science and technology – the signifier ‘hero’ as an emblematic figure of the financialized managerial discourse questions the difference between the common man and the hero. From the function of the mythical hero to that of the ephemeral hero promoted by cybernetics, [1] Lacan provides us with a compass to tighten the effects of the real articulated to jouissance, that is to say, at the juncture of the imaginary and the symbolic.

The Solitude

The hero as ‘demigod’, attested to in ancient Greek by the signifier ‘hêrôs’, [2] indicates: “a man raised to the rank of demigod after his death.” In other words, the mythical hero is distinguished by his exceptional value. But let’s follow Lacan on the role of the hero in Sophocles: “the hero of the tragedy is reared in social isolation, he is always out of [….] and therefore torn from some side of the structure.” In our times, the Olympic athlete, raised to the rank of hero seems to support an image of the idealized body. All of the objectifiable data of which he is the subject during his training targets performance as manque-à-être articulated with the unlimited. As such, the question of doping, as Caroline Carron [3] reminds us, “introduces what it is about the sacrifice that makes the athlete ready to accept staying in this seemingly fleeting heroism.”

The competitive athlete has “no other choice but to line up, even if it means serving as a guinea pig.” This is the côté à bout de course [until death] of all heroes, Lacan recalls. [4] Carried to an extreme, these heroic figures are immediately situated between life and death.

A Writing of Jouissance

During my analysis, an experience of jouissance in the aftermath of two public interventions arises. Two very discreet phenomena question the instant before the moment when the body is affected by the hole. Between image and voice as a treatment of the real, the first appearance of the gaze object and the voice object indexes the symbolic flaw.Convened, exposed to the gaze of the other, the object gaze put into circulation passes into the real. It becomes an object outside of the body by the emergence of an image of Un-Père. As Éric Laurent[1]  points out: “in contrast […] the function of the ego ideal, the big I of neurosis, is a sublimation of the glance. From the point of view of admitting the clinical equality of parlêtre, the gaze is fundamentally in the real in psychosis whilst neurosis makes it possible to put it in the register of the Ideal.”

By extracting the jouissance which comes to be located in the Other, the experience of un bout de langue which struck the body with the breath of the phoneme ‘a’ assumes the function of a sign, here the body as the Thing. This treatment of the real is not an elementary phenomenon, strictly speaking, because it is not a signifier excluded from the signifying chain. It is an inexpressible object as the logical consequence of the primacy of the symbolic, i.e. a hole which escapes nomination. When the Un-Père arises, what stands out from the symbolic as an index of the flaw returns to the real. It is a presence where there is a real and symbolic absence as an effect of otherness.

A Sinthomatic Solution

The speech effect that hurts the body: “you have no father”, uttered by the maternal Other, has fixed the relationship with the other in the Other. A dead end on the side of being makes the gaze object an invocatory drive. By completing the Other, the object is summoned to descend and to ascend, thus taking the figure of an ephemeral hero. On the other hand, the creation of a website dedicated to contemporary art promotes reference to the aesthetic register. From Lacan’s standpoint, this is a way of resisting the death drive. Beauty in its function is a decoy, illustrated by phantasma. A way of defending oneself against the death drive identified by Freud as primary masochism. The encounter with the impossible to say in front of what has not been named is the real side of the symptom, as an organized side. A real lived as loneliness, that is to say an excess of jouissance. Sublimation through the aesthetic register functions as a presence. A partner for veiling the hole, which indexes the furrow of desire to the revival of the signifying chain.


If the function of the ephemeral hero, compared to the ideal of a human subject of the cybernetic type, is equal to the prescribed performance models, the common man reduced to the field of goods is in contempt of the other and of himself. Psychoanalysis, as such, gives us access to a compass in the field of the direction of ethics. However, there is a price to pay for access to desire as the only good, the metonymy of our being; by isolating the outside of meaning that marked the subject and allowing it to do something with it; that is to say, a sinthome. It is from this pound of lost flesh that he can orient himself towards the soll ich werden wo es war of Freud, in other words, by not giving up on his desire.


[1] Geneviève Bouché, LH Forum Le Havre – futurologue cyberneticienne – Présidente du Forum Atena. : Become a hero, a heroine: a person who acts to achieve the next goal, 2013.

[2] Alain Rey, Dictionnaire Historique de la langue française, Le Robert, Paris, 1992.

[3] Caroline Carron, L’Envers de la Médaille, 13è Journée d’Echanges et d’Etude de L’EPOC, “Désangoisser”, Paris, France, 10.12.2019.

[4] Jacques Lacan, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VII, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (1959-60), ed. J.-A. Miller, transl. D. Porter, Routledge/Norton 1992.

[5] Éric Laurent, Clinique et pragmatique du corps parlant, L’envers de la Biopolitique : Une écriture pour la jouissance, Navarin/Le Champ Freudien, 2016, p. 22.

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