Argument (Original in Spanish: https://fapol.org/blog/portfolio-items/xi-enapol-argumento-y-ejes-tematicos/?portfolioCats=64)

The forthcoming American Encounter of Psychoanalysis of the Lacanian Orientation (ENAPOL) approaches a fundamentally clinical matter, related to a temporal dimension, which opens onto at least four main lines of research.

1. The first one follows from these questions: What drives a subject to look for an analyst nowadays? How do analyses begin today?

Lacan argued that “in the beginning of psychoanalysis, is the transference (…) It exists at the outset; but what is it?” This foundation introduces time as an unavoidable variable to account for the analytic experience. Nevertheless, it is also an invitation to think about what this mysterious love called transference is, and how it is installed today, at a time when knowledge is devalued, “self-suggestion” encouraged and the fluidity of love ties promoted, all leading to “self-perception”, the ultimate version of the denial of the unconscious.

J.-A. Miller states that in Freud’s time “psychoanalysis had uncles and aunts, cousins and ancestors of all kinds, grandchildren, and now it is widowed, orphan…” The current loneliness of psychoanalysis is also an opportunity to prove its radical difference regarding other discourses.

Our next Encounter will allow us to expose how that which we call “orientation by the real” is present from the first consultation; even when dealing with the excesses and disruptions of jouissance. At this point, if they do not turn into an essential question for the speaking being, could they open per se onto an analytical experience?

Lacan said, “the only exception is analytic discourse”, and that “there is nothing universal about it.”

Psychoanalysis excludes domination and it does not pursue the norm. Transmitting this in our dialogue with the social Other is a way to enable the contemporary subject and its new ways of symptomatic presentation, to find a favorable space to be accommodated. Here lies a fundamental incidence of psychoanalysis in civilization, one by one. As Lacan said in Louvain: “…something that is established from the analysand to the analyst is the initial cell of something that must go much further, that will go or not, but which, if it does, this position of the analyst will have an essential place in the world of civilization and its discontents.”

Therefore, ENAPOL will be the occasion to say what we do and how we do it, from the first encounter with a subject in consultation; and also, to explore the new kinds of clinical presentation emerging these days.

2. The second line of investigation is based on the following question: When does an analysis begin? 

To speak of “entry into analysis” means to point out the moment and the indexes of a transformation that divides a before and after. At this point, the intersection of two different logical times takes place: the moment of concluding the preliminary interviews, and the instant of seeing, which implies subjective implication and coincides with the opening of the time to understand.

This temporal intersection, produced by the analytical act that ratifies the entry, already provides an approximate reading of the fundamental traces of jouissance, and includes significant coordinates of the case, which will be elucidated during the analysis. For this reason, we state that the clinic of the end of analysis orients the preliminary sessions.

Also, we know that pure psychoanalysis has a Möbian connection with applied psychoanalysis, they are two sides of the same strip. According to this logic, we intend to explore what can an analyst do when he is called to operate within a time limit. Or how can he act in variable settings such as schools and hospitals, places where urgent demands take place and where just a few meetings, or even only one, will be the sole opportunity for someone in need of assistance for his or her distress to get a response different from those provided by the therapeutical market.

How can we operate psychoanalytically in such a brief lapse of time and within disadvantaged conditions for the analytical discourse, in order to leave the door open towards a “beginning”?

3. The third line of investigation of the XIth ENAPOL is opened by this question: How has the clinic of the entry into analysis changed in the past few years?

Traditionally, we have thought of the entry into analysis as “a shake-up to the fundamental fantasy,” that took away consistency from the assurance the subject obtained from it. A logic for the preliminary interviews was deduced from it. Such logic corresponded to a time with a still stable Other, of which the analyst’s prestige was subsidiary at the moment of the first consultation. However, we cannot always count on these conditions at present.

Moreover, the formation of analysts has also varied. Since we concentrate on studying Lacan’s latest teaching, thanks to J.-A. Miller’s elucidation, we understand that the beginning of an analytic experience could make legible how lalangue writes on the body the letter of the traumatic encounter with an unknown jouissance, the traces of trauma, the fixation of jouissance, the fundamental misunderstanding. Keeping these forms of opacity of meaning in perspective puts the orientation by the real in act from the very beginning of an analysis, and singularises the analytic listening, distinguishing it from other therapies.

How have these changes in the conditions of our practice altered the beginnings of analyses? How does the analyst position himself in the first encounter with subjects increasingly reactive to the unconscious and more disturbed by the jouissance of the body? What is the incidence of the popularization of virtual consultations and technology in the decision of addressing an analyst for the first time? How can we precise the use we make of the category “ordinary psychosis” in the diagnostic process?

These are some of the questions that invite us to make our clinic live up to civilization, and, also, to Lacan’s later teaching.

4. Finally, the title is a call to practitioners: Beginning an analysis!

It is an invitation to keep the analysand’s position alive, and to account for it, as it is expected from those who incarnate the analytical discourse day-to-day. It is a proposal before certain political dilemmas of psychoanalysis, and at the same time, it could orientate a response to impasses within formation, ethical crossroads and contemporary clinical challenges.

We follow Lacan in his Seminar 24: “The one who knows is, in analysis, the analysand.” How does the practitioner consent to this condition of analytical practice during the initial consultations? How can he take the logical step towards the “rupture with his or her anchor in supposition” to enable the analysand’s knowledge to unfold?

We are especially implicated in this fourth line, because it goes beyond the questions brought about by our practice, the epoch, or the study of texts. It aims directly at the relationship that each practitioner has with psychoanalysis itself.

Thus, in the end, the research lines that open up for our next American Encounter produce a torsion whereby we are involved and questioned. The XIth ENAPOL opens the door to this fundamental ethical issue: Beginning an analysis!

We are waiting for you!

Jorge Assef, President XIth ENAPOL
María Cristina Giraldo (NEL)
Sergio Cordeiro de Mattos (EBP)
Oscar Zack (EOL)
Scientific Committee XIth ENAPOL


  • Today, “in the beginning is transference”? And if not, then how?
  • From demand to entry into analysis: impasses, jouissance, the One, possible formalizations
  • Current modes of presentation: identities, virilities, symptoms and character.
  • How do we prove, from the first interview, that psychoanalysis is not a therapy like others?
  • Singular solutions, and what place for differential diagnosis?
  • Analytic act and interpretation at the beginning, to disturb the defense, still?
  • Initial sessions in diverse care settings.
  • The analyst’s formation and the relation to its unconscious.

Translation: Ana Cecilia González
Revision: Silvina Molina


Argument (updated edition)

The Return of Patriarchy

If the theme of patriarchy had become obsolete, today it is making a strong comeback and is even held responsible for contemporary malaise. It has emerged in the studies that come to us from American universities, and within the media that echo it. But it is also heard in the discourse of analysands. It is from this clinical angle that we will approach this question in order to broaden it to current societal issues.

Considered as a social, cultural and economic system built for the domination and exploitation of women by men; of racial, class or gender minorities by the white, colonialist, bourgeois and heteronormative majority; patriarchy brings together feminist struggles, so-called woke ideologies and the activism of the LGBTQIA+ community against it.

Psychoanalysis has participated in challenging the patriarchal order since its invention by Freud. Paradoxically, today it would be accused of being complicit in maintaining it by placing the father at the centre of human subjectivity. Lacan noted this in 1971 – it was the second wave of feminism –  Oedipus “supposedly […] establishes the primacy of the father, who would be a kind of patriarchal reflection.” (1)

The Father’s Deficiency

Yet, as early as The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud indicates the father’s “antiquated” (2) potestas.  Already in The Family Complexes, Lacan relates the very appearance of psychoanalysis to the decline of the father whose personality is “always absent, humiliated, divided or a sham.” (3)

The figure of the all-powerful, jealous and enjoying father who keeps all the women for himself is only found at the level of myth, the one that Freud invented with Totem and Taboo (4), a dead father, moreover one who is killed by his sons. From now on, they will be able to transmit only one sin and the veneration of the totem to locate the omnipotence of the dead father. Freud saw this as the origin of religion and the figure of an eternal God, God the father. (5)

Lacan maintained this fundamental fault of the father throughout his teaching, for it is only on this condition that he can limit and civilise jouissance in order to give access to desire, that is, to transmit castration. In deciphering the elementary structures of kinship, Claude Lévi-Strauss formalised what Freud had discovered with Oedipus as the vector of the fundamental and universal law of the prohibition of incest.

The decline of the father was elaborated by Lacan in diverse ways in the course of his teaching. From the lack of power linked to the imago, it was reduced to a signifier, the Name-of-the-Father. If the latter was at first the guarantor of the symbolic order, it then took on the status of fiction, of semblance, plugging the hole of the symbolic, to finally be pluralised by becoming a purely logical function, that of the exception.

The Father’s Maladies

In the time of the discourse of science and capitalism, overwhelmed by objects of consumption that saturate lack and impede castration, what can we demand of the father? How can he still “é-pater” us? (6) Lacan will say by transmitting in a “happy unspoken” (7) the way in which he manages with jouissance in the link to his partner. This version of the father that responds to the fact that there is no relation written between the sexes is always symptomatic.

Thus, Oedipus does not give access to any normality but rather produces neuroses. These are the father’s maladies – phobia, hysteria and obsessional neurosis with their litany of symptoms. If a father takes himself for the father, the one who has a rule for everything without fault; if he wants to equal himself to the Name serving a universal and disembodied ideal, he falls into imposture by excluding “the Name-of-the-Father from its position in the signifier.” (8) It is then foreclosure.

Beyond the Symbolic

The civilising deficiency that the father carries with him – his own castration – and which he transmits as lack is therefore fundamental. But if it is rejected, refused or denied, then the father’s power can return via violence in a place beyond the symbolic. For there are also “the sins of patriarchy.” (9) Let’s  consider masculinism, harassment, sexual abuse or even feminicide. They are confined to the father connected to the fixity of his jouissance, which crosses the barrier of modesty [pudeur] (10) to reach the unbearable real. (11)

At a societal level, reactions to the decline of the father are also becoming increasingly harsh. Religious trends are becoming radicalised. Women’s rights are being violated in some Islamic countries. But in our Western societies too – for example, women who have been raped are denied abortion in the name of religion, or this right which has been acquired for almost fifty years in the “greatest democracy in the world” is abolished.

Populist patriarchal leaders rely on the ferocity of the superego while placing themselves outside the law, endangering the very foundations of democracies. Some autocrats, nostalgic for lost empires do not hesitate to drag countries into war causing death, exodus and desolation.

Generalised Segregation

As early as 1968, Lacan predicted that “the mark, the scar left by the father’s disappearance […] [produces] a complex, reinforced and constantly overlapping form of segregation that only manages to generate more and more barriers.” (12) The legitimate fight against injustices related to race, gender or social status is marked by a paradox. While it is meant to be inclusive, it is clear that there is “a turning point.” (13) Discourses in the name of the good take a vehement and intolerant turn without any possible dialectic. A veritable language police is being set up whereby everyone watches everyone else, and everyone cries foul as soon as a statement is deemed not to correspond to the arbitrarily decided standards by self-proclaimed groups.

The evaporation of the father, his pulverisation beyond pluralisation according to J.-A. Miller’s expression, produces so many signifiers of identity that make communities and try to impose themselves on all the others. The struggle against patriarchy which could bring people together, on the contrary causes segregation.

What Can Psychoanalysis Do?

At a time when ideological discourses are clashing, J.-A. Miller points out that it is important to not forget the suffering that the decline of the symbolic order can cause for each subject, one by one. (14) And, if it is difficult to debate with a desire as he indicated – for example of trans-identity because at this level no-one is neither right nor wrong – it is from the clinic that psychoanalysis can act. Of what is patriarchy the name for each one, singularly? What is it that makes a hole, a trauma for a subject? How does it inscribe a programme of jouissance that is both singular and extimate to the subject at the same time? How does a subject bricolage a symptom, what knotting can be built that allows each one to respond to the real?

In order to be able to live up to the address that is made to her/him, the psychoanalyst, the practitioner – whether s/he works in a practice or an institution, must incarnate an object that is “surprisingly versatile, receptive and, if I may say so, multi-functional […], to not want a priori for the good of the other, to be without prejudice as regards the good use which can be made of him […]. For that, he must have cultivated his docility to the point where he knows how to occupy the place from which to act for any subject. (15) This will be the challenge of the PIPOL 11 Congress Clinic and Critique of Patriarchy.

Guy Poblome
Director, PIPOL 11 Congress
EuroFederation of Psychoanalysis

Translation: Caroline Heanue

  1. Lacan. J., Seminar XVIII, On a Discourse that Would Not be a Semblant, text established by J.-A. Miller, Paris, Seuil, 2006, p. 173, (unpublished in English).
  2. Freud. S., The Interpretation of Dreams, SE, Vol. IV (1900): p. 257.
  3. Lacan. J., The Family ComplexesAutres écrits, Paris, Seuil, 2001, p. 61, (unpublished in English).
  4. Freud. S., Totem and Taboo, SE, Vol. XIII (1913-1914).
  5. Cf. ibid., p. 154-155.
  6. Lacan. J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XIX, …or Worse, text established by J.-A. Miller, transl. A.R. Price, Cambridge/Medford, MA, Polity Press, 2018, p. 184.  Note: “It’s the function of l’é-pater. People have been wondering a great deal about the function of the paterfamilias.  What we may require of the function of the father needs to be better focused. [..] It’s a fact that there is a crisis. This is not completely false.  L’é-pater ne nous épate plus. His wowing us is a thing of the past.  This is the only genuinely decisive function of the father.”
  7. Lacan. J., “Seminar of 21st January 1975” in Feminine Sexuality, Jacques Lacan and the École freudienne,  edited by Juliet Mitchell and Jacqueline Rose, transl. J. Rose, London/New York, W.W. Norton, 1982, p.167. Note: Lacan refers to the happy unspoken as the happy me-deum [le juste mi-dieu] – substituting dieu (god) in the expression le juste milieu (the happy medium).  There is an equivocation with dieu and dit.
  8. Lacan. J., “On a Question Prior to any Possible Treatment of Psychosis,” Écrits, transl. B. Fink, London/New York, W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 2006, p. 483.
  9. Miller. J.-A., “Current Conversation with the Spanish School of the Freudian Field, 2 May 2021 (I),” La Cause du désir, No. 108, July 2021, p. 54.
  10. Lacan. J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VI, Desire and Its Interpretation, text established by J.-A. Miller, transl. A.R. Price, Cambridge/Medford, MA, Polity Press, 2019, p. 413.
  11. Cf. Miller. J.A., ”We can’t stand the father anymore!” La Règle du jeu, available online https://laregledujeu.org/2013/04/26/13161/nous-nen-pouvons-plus-du-pere.
  12. Lacan. J., “1968 Note on the Father and Universalism,” transl. R. Grigg, The Lacanian ReviewNo. 3/Spring, p. 11.
  13. Miller. J.-A., “Current Conversation …,” op. cit., p. 54.
  14. Cf. ibid.
  15. Miller. J.-A., “Contraindications to Psychoanalytical Treatment,”  transl. B. Wolf, Psychoanalytical Notebooks,  No. 4, 2000, p. 4. Available online https://londonsociety-nls.org.uk/Publications/psychoanalytical-notebooks/004/Miller-Jacques-Alain_Contraindications-to-Psychoanalytical-Treatment.pdf

A New Title from Lacanian Press: “Returning to Lacan’s Seminar XVII”

We now read Jacques Lacan’s seventeenth seminar from “the other side” of a fifty-year gap separating us from its initial delivery, at the Place du Panthéon, in the academic year 1969-1970. This is factually the case, yet viewing it this way is akin to looking down the wrong end of a telescope: the seminar appears to recede away from us into a distorted distance, as if of interest primarily to historians.

This volume aims to do the reverse (l’envers): namely, to return to Seminar XVII by turning the lens it provides us with onto our present, bringing it—and ourselves as contemporary readers of Lacan—into critical and clinical focus. It does so by bringing together, for the first time anywhere in English, twelve members of the New Lacanian School whose systematic readings of each unfolding session of Seminar XVII are rooted not in social, cultural, or political history, but in the living clinic of the present with which analytic practice is necessarily involved.

More information


I AM what I SAY: Contemporary Denials of the Unconscious

19-20 November 2022

52nd Study Days of the ECF (France)
3rd Argument, by Alice Delarue
Available in French: https://journees.causefreudienne.org/argument-3/

The Cogito and the Unconscious

“I am what I say.”[1] With this formula, which is the title to the 52nd Study Days of the École de la Cause freudienne, Jacques-Alain Miller sheds light on a contemporary twist of the Cartesian “I think, therefore I am.” This new paradigm pinpoints a trait of the subjectivity of our time, a trait that, at the highest point, concerns the relationship to speech and to the unconscious. It concerns, therefore, the praxis of psychoanalysis. Lacan demonstrated that the moment of the cogito was correlative to a decisive mutation of science and that it signaled the appearance of a new subject. This new subject is specified by its having first shed all subjective knowledge in order to be able to produce the certain knowledge of science. Although science is “an ideology of the suppression of the subject,”[2] the subject of science is paradoxically the one on which psychoanalysis can operate, insofar as it is possible for the subject to allow himself to be divided by consenting to separate himself from his intuitions, beliefs, affects, identifications. It was this Cartesian moment that opened up the possibility of the invention of psychoanalysis and its object, unconscious knowledge––for which scientific discourse has no cure.

An Annoying Knowledge

Under the guise of the search for knowledge, the pre-Freudian subject was not without a sustained relationship of love for the unconscious. Since the invention of psychoanalysis, there have always been those who orient themselves via established discourses, who do very well without unconscious knowledge. There are also people for whom something has gone so wrong that they need to go through the experience of the analytic cure. However, as Lacan points out, due to the success of psychoanalysis, for “the first time in history, it is possible for you […] to refuse to love your unconscious, since, at last, you know what it is: a knowledge, an annoying knowledge.”[3] This knowledge annoys the subject, because it implies “no forgiveness, and even no extenuating circumstances”[4] as to the subject’s responsibility before the truth, once he has caught a glimpse of it in its dimension of horror. If the analytical discourse remains scandalous, it is because it goes against the common drift, which is that of the refusal or the crushing of the real.

New Denials of the Unconscious

Freud and Lacan taught us about the different ways in which the speaking being can defend himself from unconscious knowledge: repression, foreclosure, denial. But there is also misrecognition, resistance, forgetting, and beautiful indifference… The subtitle of these Study Days emphasizes these new forms of denial, among which we could place: refusal, hatred, and disenchantment with the unconscious. As well as self-affirmation, insofar as it plugs the gaps of this knowledge in the intervals of speech.

Among those who think they can be what they say, there are some who, fundamentally, refuse to be dupes of the Father. They refuse to be duped by this figure of the Other who can orient the subject’s destiny by saying no to his jouissance––saying no while supporting this limitation of love. However, as Lacan points out, les non-dupes errent in the sense that their refusal makes them even more dupes of the locus of the Other that they reconstitute in the imaginary. Their error, which is not the “common error,”[5] is to imagine that their life is only a journey and that they can move through the world as they please––as long as they stay off the main road.

It is clear that, in the field of sexuation, more and more subjects are refusing to be “signified phallus by the sexual discourse, which […] is impossible”[6] and think they have free rein to determine themselves. If Lacan was able to say that the “sexed being only authorises himself […] and a few others,”[7] he opposes the non-dupes with “What you do […] knows what you are.”[8] Discourse can be asserted loud and clear, speech can be deployed over and over again, a real that the speaking being has to deal with insists on, and can be read in, his acts, in his relationship with others and in what he does with his body.

The encounter with the desire of the Other always takes place under the aegis of misunderstanding. It marks the subject’s body and traps it in a certain knot that gives it no essence, no identity. But it determines a mode of jouissance and creates a disharmonic knowledge where there is a hole. The non-dupe is the one who does not consent to the misunderstanding, insofar as it is “the proper form of the understanding of unconscious knowledge.”[9] Psychoanalysis bets that if the speaking being has the courage to let himself be interpreted by this knowledge that is a canker, if he agrees to be fooled by it, to love it, then it can offer him the chance to err less.

Translated by Janet Rachel

Translation reviewed by Peggy Papada

[1] Miller, J.-A., intervention during “Question d’École”, École de la Cause freudienne, Paris, 22 January 2022, unpublished.

[2] Lacan, J., “Radiophonie”, Autres écrits, Paris, Seuil, 2001, p. 437.

[3] Lacan, J. Seminar xxi, “Les non-dupes errent”, lesson of 11 June 1974, unpublished.

[4] Ibid., lesson of 11 December 1973.

[5] Lacan, J., Seminar xix, …or Worse, text established by J.-A. Miller, trans. A.R. Price, Cambridge, Polity, 2018, p. 9.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Lacan, J., Seminar xxi, op. cit., lesson of 9 April 1974.

[8] Ibid., lesson of 11 December 1973.

[9] Miller, J.-A., “Commentaire du ‘Séminaire inexistant”, Quarto 87, June 2006, p. 14.

21st Study Days: “Everyone is in Their Own World: Clinic of the Singular Inventions”

5-6 November, 2022 | World Trade Center, Barcelona

Available in Spanish: https://todoelmundo.jornadaselp.com/to-presentacion-de-las-jornadas/

Listened to in their singularity, no human being can be normal on the basis of the thwart that the contingent encounter with that which precedes him, language, entails in his instinctive program. Thus, troumatized by the collision of words with an undergrowth of unorganized drives, a gap will open in him that will irremediably mark a destiny, that of having to deal with the signifiers that determine him as a subject.

The parlêtre -as Lacan named this singularity of the being that speaks- will evolve into a captive of words to which he will remain more or less subjugated. Sometimes he will remain an instrument to them. Some others, he will be able to find ways to do with this matter, his lalangue, and with the affections that it generates.

In this way, shadows, reflections, and mirages will proliferate, subordinated to that primitive, original and traumatic relationship between the signifier and jouissance, which will allow him to do with that hole based on the particularity of his symptom. Fictions that feed dreams, fantasies that dwell in the intimacy…attributions of meaning with which he will inhabit his body, as well as the social bond with the others.

Everyone is in their own world, each one twitching, when not tyrannizing, between the universalization of the signifiers and the particularization of the forms of jouissance. Yes, it is about a madness that, being universal, is not what is clinically distinguished as psychosis, but the delusion that already begins with the word, with knowledge, with the truth that “has the structure of fiction”; with the most common or more singular ghosts; with the very language that Lacan after all defined as “a lucubration of lalangue”.

In the same way, it is from the place of the Other of language, that established discourses are constituted (laws, religions, ideologies, fashion, etc.) which, in their claim to regulate the diversity of jouissance, offer collective solutions that guide modes of coping with the body and with others. These will be, for some subjects, an aid. Those who are not able to make use of them will be urged by the presence of the world and/or the body to build up original delusions “truly” invented.

Confronting psychoanalysis, which subverts every discourse that promotes supposed normality, we find diagnostic classifications that, starting from a generalized standardization, seek to house the subject in an “everybody the same”, which erases their differences at the risk of ignoring the most singular aspect of their suffering, and to silence their symptoms.

We can say then that “everyone is in their own world” is the verification of the profoundly anti-segregative position of psychoanalysis, being an “everyone” that underlines the singular and incomparable mark of every subject. And it is especially so in his pathos (πάθος), that which he suffers from, but which is also the opportunity to walk the path that summons him to an invention following the vestiges of his peculiar functioning, his unique way of trying to get by with the jouissance that inhabits him.

Thus, following the orientation of Lacan´s latst teaching, the clinic of singular inventions invites us to go beyond the division of preceding concepts, such as symptom and fantasy united in that of Sinthome, without thereby losing sight of the fact that we find orientation in the structural clinic that precedes it.

In this way, numerous questions arise: what use do we make of the formations of the unconscious when orienting ourselves by the body events? How are the structural clinic, organized by the signifier of the Name-of-the-Father, and the Borromean clinic, which pluralizes it in singular ways of knotting, articulated? What are the conditions of possibility of finding a common place, if each one is in his own world, in the one that his symptom fosters? How, on the other hand, can the subject come to constitute his partner-symptom? How, too, can a delusion sometimes become a social bond, even a religion that brings together its believers?

It is what we will go through together in the preparation for the Study Days, and at our meeting in Barcelona.

Laura Canedo and Ruth Pinkasz, Chairs of the XXIst Study days

Translated by Mila Ruiz

I AM what I SAY
: Contemporary Denials of the Unconscious

19-20 November 2022

52nd Study Days of the ECF (France)
2nd Argument, by Anaëlle Lebovits-Quenehen, Vice President of the ECF
Available in French: https://journees.causefreudienne.org/argument-2/

Racialised, whites, straight, gay, cis, trans, etc., the era is one of identity affirming itself, laying claim to, even declaring itself, on occasion, as if life depended on it. In this sense, Jacques-Alain Miller has pointed out that the Cartesian cogito “I think, therefore I am” has been replaced today by a dico(*): “I say, therefore I am.”[1] According to this dico, it would suffice to say what one is to be what one says. 

Moreover, let us note that there is no gap in this dico, between the thing said and the being supposed to be deduced from it, no place for the subjective division that the unconscious brings out. It is as if, once a subject states his identity, the hiatus that lies at the heart of the speaking being by the mere fact that language affects it, were completely assimilated.

Without modesty

This is how subjects present themselves, effects of their own dico, so identified with themselves, so full of themselves, that they exhibit themselves without modesty or shame. Reality TV actors and their incessant testimonies, which are supposed to attest that they are what they say they are, are exemplary of such a tendency to exhibition, which in turn invites voyeurism. In fact, modesty attests to the fact that between a subject and what he identifies with, between a subject and the real of jouissance with which he is dealing, the gap that opens up calls for a certain restraint and the imposition of a veil. Only a being who perfectly coincides with itself can step forward, like Yahweh, affirming: “I am what I am.”[2]

But if the subject of the dico is completely himself on one level —to the point that he thus exhibits himself without restraint — he is, on another level (very much in keeping with the Woke ideology), totally absent from himself, unlike Yahweh. He is then all the more what he is because he has nothing to do with what he is. Far from considering himself as implicated in his mode of jouissance, the identity affirmed by the dico sustains itself as the result of pure external determinations. Subjective responsibility has no place here, which further reinforces the push-to-exhibition to which the subject testifies. Indeed, since he does not find himself implicated in his being, what would the subject of the dico be ashamed of? Over what would he throw the veil of modesty, since it is not himself that he is displaying by exhibiting himself?

In the field of the Other

The I am is often affirmed all the more vigorously when it goes against evidence — for example when a subject claims to be something other than what is perceived at first sight. This identity which he affirms, and in which he recognises himself, is certainly first imposed on the subject of the dico himself, but he must then impose it on the Other whom he institutes as a witness to what he is. His own certainty must become that of the Other, and this to the point of dissuading this Other from questioning him: “Insofar as I have said it, you have nothing to say.

Why such an injunction to silence?  Why must the declaration of identity be the last word, if not because the identity that is thereby affirmed is experienced as a wounded identity (by racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, etc.)? Actually, the being that emerges from the dico readily couples with its potential offender. This is why the dico aims first of all at the neutralisation of any word that could not only deny its identity, but even just question it or interpret the statements from which it proceeds. It thus takes note of the potentially striking, even hurtful effects of speech, but it extends this to any speech that would not be limited to confirming the statement from which the affirmation of identity proceeds.

Ève Miller-Rose recently noted that “to make a wound, an offence of any statement that is not supplementary to these identity-based discourses, is to preach that words are blasphemous”.[3] It is precisely to this extent that the proponents of the dico shelter themselves from these ‘hurtful’ words. Because this wound, no doubt, reminds them of another. As Lacan indicates, indeed lalangue leaves its imprint on the body from the outset and its effects are more or less hurtful according to the way it has been conveyed to a particular subject. And we can suppose that lalangue has especially affected and wounded these supporters of the dico, so quick to see blasphemy wherever speech may emerge, Therefore any forthcoming word bears the burning trace (and always ready to be revived) of this impact, which must be guarded against.

However, reducing the Other to silence is indeed a way of neutralizing the effects of his speech, and the most radical way there is.  Another way is to attempt to reform language as we see it done today with, among other things, the introduction of new terms and a new way of relating to grammatical gender.  But in such a perspective, reforming language seems to constitute an endless quest, as no newspeak [novlangue] will ever be new enough to see its potential effects neutralized.

The unconscious denied and its return 

Since the unconscious is not a substance, since it is not localisable in the body, and does not constitute a part of the soul or the mind, but one grasps its emergences through  language itself and only insofar as someone interprets such unconscious, the diktat of the dico, which imposes silence, constitutes indeed a negation of it. However, psychoanalysis, which is based on the unconscious, is the very place – and the only one – where there is a chance to deal with lalangue and its past, present and future subjective effects.

So, the unconscious may well be denied, but its effects are felt – and perhaps all the more so because it is denied. This is especially noticeable at the level of jouissance, which is never what it should be.[4] Exiled from a harmonious relationship with the world, others and with itself, the speaking body, whether it relies on the unconscious or denies it, remains subjected to this exile. But the denial of the unconscious condemns a subject to venture into existence weighed down by this “thorn in the flesh”[5] of which he is sometimes reminded by its exquisite pain, and from which no dico, however assertive it may be, will ever succeed in removing it except illusorily, and only for as long as roses last.

Thus, the real unconscious also insists on being recognised as existing.

Translated by Peggy Papada 

Translation reviewed by Florencia F.C. Shanahan

1] Miller J.-A., intervention at « Question of School », École de la Cause freudienne, Paris, 22 January 2022, unpublished. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tqb9T134Ws
[2] Exodus, chapter 3, verse 13-14. And cf. Lacan J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, text established by J.-A. Miller, trans, R. Grigg, Norton& Co., New York:London, p. 139.
[3] Miller-Rose È., Intervention during  “The Great Conversation of the School One”, World Association of Psychoanalysis,  Paris, 20 April 2022, unpublished.
[4] Cf. Lacan J., The Seminar of J. Lacan, Book XX, Encore, text established by J.-A. Miller, trans, B. Fink, Norton& Co., New York: London, 1998, p. 58.
[5] Lacan J., “The Youth of Gide, or the Letter and Desire”, Écrits, trans, B. Fink, London / New York, Norton, 2006, p. 637, cited by Miller J.-A. during his presentation of Ornicar ? Lacan Redivivus at the Mollat library, ACF en Aquitaine, 5 February 2022, unpublished.

(*) In Latin, first person singular indicative mode of the verb “to say”.

31st EOL Annual Congress: “The Body I Inhabit: Between Consent and Rejection”

Your Body Is Yours

The title chosen for the 31st EOL Annual Congress is an invitation to articulate theory, clinic and politics around the current controversies that involve human body and its treatment. The body I inhabit could synthesize a contemporary uneasiness “corresponde a un hecho: las palabras y los cuerpos se separan en la disposición actual del Otro de la civilización”[1] [[…] In the modern-day disposition of the Other of civilization, words and bodies are separated from each other].

From this first approach the phrase could imply the consequences of the master’s discourse, where an identitarian ideology, most of the time with segregative effects, “se presenta como la posibilidad de prescindir del inconsciente”[2] [is presented as the possibility of dispensing with the unconscious], a sort of self-awareness, that sacrifices a body inhabited by lalangue, which always means a way of Otherness for itself. From this perspective, The body I inhabit, somehow paraphrases the new cogito pointed out by Miller “yo soy lo que digo” [3], [I am what I say], the current way of closing up the unconscious subject.

When Lacan draws our attention towards Sade´s assertion “Tu cuerpo es tuyo”[4] [Your body is yours], he does it to emphasize that this phrase had been vulgarized at the beginning of the XXth century, ever since the law started considering the body as property. It becomes liberalism’s adage, sustained nowadays without shame: there is property.

We are aware of the consequences of this contemporary axiom. We will no longer have pathologies, we will have “lifestyles” freely chosen by subjects of the law.[5] Although it is true that psychoanalysis embraces depathologization in favor of the singularity of each one’s symptom, the contemporary tendency to erase a clinical perspective, commands an intent to treat the human body leaving aside the words, absolutely disconnected from the Other, and even damaging the rights that were intended to be preserved.

Our next Congress establishes a royal road to catch the spirit of a time which tries to take away from speaking beings the link between their bodies and their jouissance as otherness.

Even When He Does Not Know Where

Now then, our issue also confronts us with a topological difficulty that we must approach. The Lacanian body, is it inhabited, is it inhabited[6] or is it an inhabitant of something else? Anyway, it is never home sweet home.

“Tan pronto un hombre llega a alguna parte, a la selva virgen o al desierto, empieza por encerrarse”[7] [As soon as a human being gets somewhere, in the virgin forest or in the desert, he starts by locking up]. Indeed, for Lacan to inhabit is a human custom, “the human inhabits”[8] –he says – even when he does not know where. For him, the human body has the peculiarity of inhabiting language, however, that lodging is always uncomfortable, no one is never entirely at ease there.

The issue of inhabiting is resumed in “L’étourdit”, where he introduces two neologisms: stabitat and d’labiter[9], translated respectively as estábitat and abitarlo[10]. In a footnote[11] it is pointed out that in both cases these writings contain the phrase la bite, an ordinary way to signify the penis in French, which would give us a brief clue to investigate about the function of the phallus in the way that the parlêtre inhabits language. There, exile is the figure to refer to the particular relationship that humans have with dwelling.

Discomfort. Displeasure. Exile. Possible names of the traces of lalangue that question the contemporary aspiration to bodily harmony.

The body, That Stranger

Since the first Freud to the very last Lacan, it is possible to situate different ways in which the body introduced its mysteries. The body trimmed by the representations and the satisfaction of the drives, the first unification of the self and the body image from narcissism, the erogenous body and the objects a, the parasitized body, the one that is built by incorporating the symbolic, the parlêtre, the speaking body; these are some of the answers to the riddle, never quite solved. The mystery always remains: “el punto de real, la unión de la palabra y el cuerpo.”[12] [the point of real, the junction of word and body].

We believe that a sequence of key concepts of Lacan’s last teaching can work as milestones to relocate the lost clinical dimension and read the era.

In this way, it will be essential to explore the term parlêtre as a connection between the subject and the body set –a set that is not a whole– taken by the three dimensions R, S and I, “como máquina de goce.”[13] [as a jouissance machine].

At the same time, we should resume the idea that the parlêtre adores his body because he believes he has it, he adores it because it is his single consistency-mental consistency, because every time his body “levanta campamento”[14] [breaks up camp]. Having a body, as far as psychoanalysis is concerned, means to experience the jouissance that is inscribed on a surface and has no subjective correlate, except through the phantasmatic scene.

For psychoanalysis there is no body except the one mistaken by speaking, with respect to which the answers of each one will be played out, between consent and rejection.

A Dark Problem

How do the modulations of consent and rejection play out in the relationship of each subject with their body, with that Other body that they think they inhabit?

We know the relevant place that the term consent acquires in the analytic experience from Lacan’s syntagm: “de nuestra posición de sujetos somos siempre responsables”[15] [we are always responsible for our position as subjects]. Miller calls it Lacan’s terrorism formulated in the midst of a structuralist boom [16]. It is a terrorism that returns to the subject his responsibility beyond any determinism.

Now, regarding the problem of freedom, so in vogue these days, we can state that in psychoanalysis –and starting with Lacan– “se pone en juego un existencialismo a la inversa […] que consiste, no en asumir mi libertad sino mi causalidad”[17] [an inverse existentialism is at stake […] which consists, not in assuming my freedom but my causality].

Therefore, it is not about the common consent of conscience, nor about identity affirmation pushed by the rigid identity politics which ignore that the frantic search for the I=I has its deadly face. If everything that comes from the Other is discarded, and what comes from the Other is the only substance of the subject, it is only possible to approach I =I in the field of death[18]. On the contrary, the consent that concerns us is that which has its place in the relationship of the subject with its signifying marks and with jouissance.

The analyst’s position is a position of reception, to interrogate the ways in which the dark problem of consent and rejection is presented in the different manifestations and symptoms of the times.

 Remembering the Real

When Lacan is asked if the ideas he receives from psychoanalytic practice bring him something that cannot be found outside of it, he answers affirmatively, and adds that precisely for this reason he is opposed to his name being added to” la lista de los filósofos”[19]. [the list of philosophers]. Indeed, since Freud, what the psychoanalyst has to say is extracted from his practice, and it is from there that he sustains his enunciation in debate and in conversation with other discourses.

Just as what is specific to his position in the analytic experience is “not to be suggested”[20] by the discourse of the analysand, he shouldn´t let himself be carried away by the “siren songs” of his time either. In this regard, an idea of Jacques-Alain Miller serves as an orientation: “en este paisaje apocalíptico –un apocalipsis cómodo, al menos para algunos–, el papel que el psicoanálisis debe sostener no permite ambigüedad: le toca recordar lo real…”[21] [in this apocalyptical landscape –a comfortable apocalypse, at least for some–, the role that psychoanalysis must play does not allow for ambiguity: it is up to him to remember the real…].The 31st Congress of the EOL is presented as a new opportunity to investigate and talk – this time about the body as a “lugar de debate”[22] [place of debate] – about the role of psychoanalysis as a partner of the civilization.

Thematic Axes –       Freudian bodies – Lacanian bodies-       Transformations of the body-       To be or to have a body-       Symptoms of the other body  –       Presence and virtuality-       Rejection of the unconscious, rejection of the body-       Identification and identity-       Madness and narcissism-       The body in the analytic experience-       Science and body-       Art and body-       Religion and body

Traducción: Karen Edelsztein, Ludmila Malischevski y Cecilia Rubinetti

Referencias: Lucía Benchimol y Gimena Sozzi Uboldi

Revisión: Cyrus Saint Amand Poliakoff (Member of the New Lacanian School)

Establecimiento: Marisa Moretto – Virginia Notenson

[1] Laurent, E., “Speaking through one´s symptom, speaking through one´s body,” Hurly Burly, Issue 11, The international lacanian journal of psychoanalysis, New Lacanian School, May 2014.

[2] Brousse, M.-H., “En direct d’Identity Politics,” L’Hebdo blog, no. 100, March 26, 2017.

[3] Miller, J.-A., Intervention during the “Question d’École”, École de la Cause Freudienne, París, January 22, 2022, unpublished.

[4] Lacan, J., “Address on child psychosis,” Hurly Burly, Issue 8, The international lacanian journal of psychoanalysis, New Lacanian School, October 2012.

[5] Miller, J.- A., Conference during AMP Congress 2022, París, April 3, 2022, unpublished.

[6] N de la T. Spanish version: “¿se habita, es habitado…?”

[7] Lacan, J., Formations of the unconscious, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book 5. Translated by Rusell Grigg. Edited by Jacques Alain-Miller, Cambrigde (UK), Polity Press, 2017.

[8] Lacan, J., Television. Translated by Denis Hollier, Rosalind Krauss, and Annette Michelson. Edited by Joan Copjec, New York – London, Norton & company, 1990.

[9] Lacan, J., “El Atolondradicho,” Otros Escritos, Buenos Aires, Paidós, 2012, p. 479.

[10] N de la T. In spanish translation.

[11] Ibid., p. 521.

[12] Laurent, E., El reverso de la biopolítica, Buenos Aires, Grama, 2016, p. 12. [the underlining is ours]

[13] Ibid. p. 59.

[14] Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book 23, The sinthome. Translated by Rusell Grigg. Edited by Jacques Alain-Miller, Cambridge (UK), Polity Press, 2018.

[15] Lacan, J., “La ciencia y la verdad”, Escritos, Siglo Veintiuno, Buenos Aires, 2009, t. 2, p. 816.

[16] Miller, J.-A., Causa y consentimiento, Buenos Aires, Paidós, 2019, p. 19.

[17] Ibíd., p.38.

[18] Ibíd., p.64.

[19] Lacan, J., El Seminario, Libro 17, El reverso del psicoanálisis, Buenos Aires, Paidós, 1992, p. 155.

[20] Miller, J.-A., Todo el mundo es loco, Buenos Aires, Paidós, p. 12.

[21] Miller, J.-A., El Otro que no existe y sus comités de ética. Seminario en colaboración con Éric Laurent, Buenos Aires, Paidós, 2005, p. 15.

[22] “La evolución de la psiquiatría hoy”, Gran conversación de la Escuela Una, AMP-WAP, París, 20 de marzo de 2022, p.14.

I AM what I SAY
: Contemporary Denials of the Unconscious

19-20 November 2022

52nd Study Days of the ECF (France)
1st Argument, by Éric Zuliani, President of the ECF
Argument in French: https://journees.causefreudienne.org/argument-1/

Recently, someone just engaged in gender transition testified on social media: “I was treated like I was crazy, as if I didn’t know what I was saying. My right to self-determination was immediately violated.” These words are paradigmatic. In this statement, the question of madness and its denial, the gap between what is said and what is heard and a strong reference to the right to self-determination are all bound up together.

Being and saying

Jacques-Alain Miller, recently exploring what Lacan calls “the ‘democratic’ anarchy of the passions” [1], which today are especially linked to race and sex, has brought to light an equivalent of the cogito at the level of the saying: “I am what I say” [2].” With a focus on a will to identity, the so-called Woke discourse produces new master words and a new morality. This statement also becomes a precious means of questioning many other registers of human existence. How does the subject, a living and speaking being, caught up in social relations, traversed by the impasses of civilization, come to terms with this new cogito? By what paths does he come to meet an analyst, and how is the connection to the unconscious made?


Without doubt, we have to think about these new forms of the autonomous ego which bear the name of self-determination and which are inscribed in this madness that belief in the ego constitutes. At the beginning of the fifties, Lacan opposes the “it’s me” [« c’est moi »] of modern man to “it is I” [« ce suis-je »] of François Villon [3]. However, this it’s me is heard as a possible response to a question put to the subject about his identity. Today’s  I am what I say goes further, to the extent that it is an affirmation with imperative accents that erases any possible interlocution. It reduces being to the statement, confusing them and eclipsing enunciation: the subject is then spoken more than he speaks. On the side of the Other, these incidences of knowledge, of desire, even of jouissance, are refused: self-determination is substituted for interlocution, from which the mainspring  of speech is increasingly absent, as demonstrated by its uses on social networks. The Other is reduced to listening and brought back to the level of the counterpart [semblable], hence relational choices based on the criterion of the same. Without this Other, we readily reduce the subject to his behaviours, his cognition, even his neurons, and especially to his body.

Right of the subject and freedom of the Other

I am what I say testifies to a push-to-the-One, to the identity that speculates on the fact that the human condition is precisely specified by a structural defect of identity. This movement is accompanied by a refusal, even a rejection of the attribution of the Other, for being too universalizing, suffocating the singularity of each One. It indexes in this movement the contemporary forms of denial of the unconscious, denial of the Other that is expressed in terms of rights. But right to what? Right to jouissance, answers Lacan, who unveils its true source: behind the denial of the Other is revealed in fact that “the discourse of the right to jouissance clearly posits the Other qua free—the Other’s freedom—as its enunciating subject, in a way that does not differ from the Tu es which is evoked out of the lethal depths [fonds tuant] of every imperative [4]”. The apparent freedom of the subject thus has its reverse side: an Other that takes the form of a ferocious superego.

Listening and interpretation

Now, as the distinction which Lacan makes from the beginning of his teaching between the ego and the subject points out, “the point is not to know whether I speak of myself in a way that conforms to what I am, but rather to know whether, when I speak of myself, I am the same as the self of whom I speak [5]”. Introducing the function of speech, he demonstrates that it operates a division, and consequently a phenomenon which consists in not knowing what one is saying, as any speaking subject testifies. In a certain way, I am what I say is nothing other than a defiance of language, its power, its interpretative value and its effects. The unconscious which we do not want to hear about, is all the more present: the modalities of its denial are as many modalities of its return in the subject. But for this speech to operate, listening must be supplemented by interpretation.

With regard to this new cogito, it is therefore a question of taking up afresh the function of speech in the analytic experience and that which it distributes in terms of desire, demand and jouissance; to make explicit clinically the distinction between ego and subject, but to also explore the contemporary denials of the unconscious in what of it is real. How are these negations manifested in the analytic experience and what are the implications for the direction of the treatment?

Translated by Peggy Papada 

[1] Lacan J., Aggressivity in Psychoanalysis, Écrits, trans, B. Fink, London / New York, Norton, 2006, p. 99.
[2] Miller J.-A., intervention during the “Question of School”, École de la Cause freudienne, Paris, 22 January 2022, unpublished. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tqb9T134Ws
[3] Lacan J., Function and Field of Speech Language in Psychoanalysis, Écrits, op. cit., p. 233.
[4] Lacan J., Kant avec Sade, Écrits, op. cit., p. 650.
[5] Lacan J., The Instance of the Letter in the Unconscious or Reason Since Freud, Écrits, op. cit., p. 430.

The WAP’s Great Conversation: Review

The street about me roared with a deafening sound.
Tall, slender, in heavy mourning, majestic grief,
A woman passed, with a glittering hand
Raising, swinging the hem and flounces of her skirt;


A lightning flash… then night! Fleeting beauty
By whose glance I was suddenly reborn,
Will I see you no more before eternity?[1]

The Great International Online Conversation of the World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP) took place between 31 March and 3 April in a new format. “How to find another way” was the motto that gave the rhythm to its board of directors composed of Christiane Alberti (director and incoming president of the WAP), Anaëlle Lebovits-Quenehen (Vice-president of the ECF) and Laurent Dumoulin (co-directors of the Great Conversation). Indeed, the new hybrid format adopted for the plenary sessions gave the opportunity for the work to reach a much larger audience from all four corners of the world, where the Lacanian orientation is embraced and received. As for the parallel clinical sessions, a mere glance at the programme was a testimony of the “experience of languages” that the WAP constitutes, as Angelina Harari, past president of the WAP described it. Seven Schools, five official languages, one language in common: psychoanalysis. This is the collective of the School One which came together for its biennial gathering, the theme of which for this year was “Woman does not exist”.

First pronounced by J. Lacan, in 1973, during his seminar Encore ‘Woman does not exist’ points to the singularity that orients our School and its practice. “Far from being a negativity, a reduction,” Christiane Alberti told us in her introduction to the Great Conversation, “it opens up, on the contrary, to an increased questioning of all false evidence in matters of gender. This affirmation of the real of sex led Lacan on the path of a new paradigm, with contemporary resonances, that gives us tools to think about our time, a politics, as well as an ethics.” The not-all of the feminine opens up to the path beyond the universal, to the non-universal possibilities each one finds to deal with the real.

Through the analysis of a series of literary, cultural and historical figures–from ‘Freudian women’ and ‘Lacanian heroines’ to Anna Karenina, Frida, Mafalda, the girl from Ipanema, Alice and Almodovar’s women, Dante’s Beatrice and Flaubert’s Emma, the emblematic figures of the prostitute and the star–we learned how women exist in their historical context–sometimes through the eyes and words of men–and in a unique way. The 180 clinical presentations by psychoanalysts of the WAP across the world were organised into tables based on a plethora of current themes capturing today’s Zeitgeist.

By way of a closer glance at what went on – by no means comprehensive…

We heard about famous women of the British school of psychoanalysis who turned psychoanalysis into matriarchy (G. Brodsky, EOL); about Freud’s young homosexual who we couldn’t say she was a neurotic nor a psychotic, but père-versely oriented (F. Biagi-Chai, ECF). We learned that certain about her theory, Melanie Klein never doubted she was right, and even though The analyst like The woman does not exist, she made the analyst–and consequently Woman–exist (L. Sokolowsky, ECF). We also learned that every woman has a Medea in her in so far as she is cause of desire for a man to the detriment of maternal benevolence and that it is not about being everything, but Other for a man and for herself (A.L. Santiago, EBP). The portrait of the Three Witches from Macbeth was painted as ‘masks of nothing’, figures of a jouissance that go beyond the phallic order (P. Dravers, NLS) while that of Anna Karenina as a woman who resorted to a suicidal act in an attempt to kill the –always discordant with social semblances –volatile excess in her (G. Napreenko, NLS). With Flaubert we were reminded of the inherent solitude in women and the antinomy between love and the real (P. Hellebois, ECF).

Alongside the sharp interventions by the presidents of the plenary sessions, we had the joy and privilege to listen to Jacques-Alain Miller’s extended commentaries and questions. Armed with notebook, papers, pencil, phone looking for references online and the mic –it was clear, he was there to learn and participate in this global conversation. To name just a few examples, questions were posed to D. Laurent and F. Leguil (ECF) respectively, as to how to distinguish between feminine jouissance and hallucinatory jouissance–both characterized by the limitless, whether the latter can be inscribed on the structure of supplementary jouissance when it comes to erotomania. He sketched out the “fugitive existence” of woman for a man as glimpsed in the triptych he proposed made of the Garota de Ipanema, Baudelaire’s Passer-by and Dante’s Beatrice. As for the nature of ‘Feminism today’, J.-A. Miller observed that while women are in the register of the Other, they aspire to the register of the One with the upshot being that Woman exists more and more while man, with the decline of the masculine ideal, tends to disappear. At the same time, the Woke ideology, with its aspiration for justice tends to abolish the past in favour of the present. “Is time destined to disappear? Why not?,” he proposed.

J.-A. Miller also chaired the off-series sequence entitled “For Ukraine”, which he clarified was not under the auspices of the WAP as not everyone shared what would be discussed. A panel with Philippe Hellebois, Daniel Roy (WAP representative for Eastern Europe) Éric Laurent and French political philosopher Blandine Kriegel, helped us to construct knowledge faced with this real that “silences all speech and has the power to destroy all semblances. We have to teach ourselves about it”, Daniel Roy told us, “because its destructive power is entering what we thought was our common shared world.”

As is tradition Jacques-Alain Miller closed these four intense days of work by presenting the theme of the 2024 WAP Congress: “Everyone is Mad”. This is another aphorism of Lacan’s, which he brought out of the shadows and gave it the place it deserved to such a degree that it has acquired the quality of a slogan, he told us: “There will no longer be any pathology”, but “lifestyles, freely chosen”… a freedom which is “imprescriptible because it is that of the subject of the law”; a subject whose jouissance cannot be questioned. In his handwritten, hot-off-the-press generous and precise speech, J.-A. Miller developed the consequences of today’s egalitarian claims for the clinic, and invited us to respond “without nostalgia, without bitterness and without a spirit of revenge”. Yet he went on to argue that this aphorism/ slogan goes beyond the question of depathologisation. If we can save the clinic from this kind of levelling, it is precisely by reinserting the phrase, “Everyone is Mad” back into the original context of the article from which it was drawn – which concerned the defence of psychoanalysis and its place within the University, notwithstanding the difference and even the incompatibility between the discourse of the university and that of psychoanalysis… regarding the question let’s say of transmission and of knowledge…

So the next rendez-vous for the WAP is in two years, live from Paris relayed again via a virtual modality: “from now on, everywhere”. From Lacan’s “all women are mad”, that is “not-all”, “not-at-all-mad-about-the-whole” (pas folles-du-tout), to “everyone is mad”, the compass has been given. Meanwhile, the 9th volume in the Scilicet series, Scilicet: Woman does not exist, which constituted the preparatory work for the Great Conversation, has just been published and made available via Amazon in digital version only to match the style of the congress. Scilicet literally means “You can know” so it is addressed to each one who dares to want to know more about this provocative aphorism of Lacan “Woman does not exist”.

Peggy Papada

[1] Charles Baudelaire, “À une passante” (To a passer-by), as cited by J.-A. Miller on the first day of the WAP’s Great International Online Conversation, on 31st March 2022, available online.


Question of School: “The Pass and the Interpretation of the School” & “Everyone is Mad: The Depathologization of the Clinic”

22 January, 2022 | Virtual

This year, Question of School (Question d’École) will address two distinct but not unrelated themes.

The morning session will be held under the title: “The pass and the interpretation of the School”. Lacan, introducing the pass[1], puts the emphasis on ‘the psychoanalyst of the School’. Let us say that, of the School, is distinguished from a psychoanalytic ‘society’, and let us note that the of (de) makes its equivocation clear. Lacan makes this choice of School explicit: “There may be something at stake, which for some is worth so much as to be essential to them, and that is my teaching.” We assume this choice today: Lacan’s School is the School of the pass where, since the beginning of his teaching, there exists for the analysand an endgame which can be accounted for in the procedure of the pass. A simplicity of principle – the best able to testify to his/ her experience is the analysand himself/ herself – sits alongside a procedure which makes the AS the analyst of the experience of the School. Hence the continual reinvention of the pass which aims to preserve the real at stake. The conception of the end of an analysis varies according to the moments of Lacan’s teaching: Jacques-Alain Miller was able to make them explicit, until Lacan’s last teaching, introducing in 2011 the notion of outrepasse and the reduction to the sinthome beyond the traversal of the fantasy. Where are we ten years later? He was recently able to say that the psychoanalyst did not have to keep quiet in the public debate. What about the function of the AS in this perspective? The functioning of the pass will be examined by its college in the first days of January. The morning will be the occasion for a return of the college of the pass.

The afternoon will mobilise us around one of Lacan’s sayings, “Everyone is mad”, in order to explore the depathologisation of the clinic. J.-A. Miller recently underlined[2] the power of this phenomenon, indicating that the substitution of a subject of rights for the subject of the unconscious threatens interpretation, and inviting us to explore this field of reflection and work.

Taking Lacan’s statement seriously allows us to follow a triple thread in Lacan’s teaching. First, that of madness, a term from the beginning of his teaching that remains present until the end, in the questions he poses with Joyce. It exceeds that of “psychosis” and subverts the distinction between the latter and neurosis. To the question What is a madman?, Lacan answers: Someone perfectly normal. But then, how can one not be mad?[3] How does this conception of madness impact on our practice? Then comes the thread of a renewed conception of language centered on two questions: how to touch the real with words? How do we deal with language and its spontaneous inclination towards delusion? A perspective if we distinguish delusion, debility and dupery. Finally, the third thread: analytical discourse participates in its own way in a depathologisation; how does it then play its part with the new forms of segregation?

J.-A. Miller says that this statement is like a condensed version of Lacan’s last teaching.[4] Madness, between semblant and real, is read against the background of a “liquid psychoanalysis” that he introduces in this course. From then on, a question common to the morning and the afternoon takes shape: what happens to the solids of the structure?

Argument: “Question d’École 2022”, videoconference, 22 January 2022.

Originally published in French: https://events.causefreudienne.org/img/cms/QE/ARGUMENTQE2022.pdf

[1] Cf. Lacan J., “Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the Psychoanalyst of the School”,Analysis 6 (1995): 1-13. Also available online: https://londonsociety-nls.org.uk/index.php?file=The-School/The-Proposition-of-the-Ninth-of-October-1967-Jacques-Lacan.html

[2] Miller J.-A., “Conversation on current matters with the Spanish School of the Freudian Field”, La Cause du désir, n° 108, juillet 2021, p. 37 & sq, not available in English.

[3] Miller J.-A., “Teachings from the patient presentations”, La Conversation d’Arcachon, Paris, Agalma, 1997, p. 285-304, not available in English.

[4] Miller J.-A., “ Lacanian Orientation. Everyone is mad (Tout le monde est fou),” teaching delivered under the auspices of the Department of Psychoanalysis Paris 8, lesson of 12 March & 28 May 2008, unpublished.


XII NEL SYMPOSIUM February 26th and 27th, 2022



In order to keep up with the times, the analytical discourse is called upon to reflect on the impact to subjectivity brought on by the transformations taking place in our 21st century societies.

How do the speaking-beings of our time manage to sustain sexual difference, to be able attain a sexed position and self-authorize themselves in doing so, when sexual difference has shifted from being binary to being pluralized through different nominations, self-nominations or is even being erased?

Psychoanalysis postulates that “there is nothing in the unconscious that assures us that the difference between a male-being and a female-being is therein inscribed. The unconscious behaves as if there were only one sex, and the whole problem is to know which one it is”[1].

Freud had already expressed that there is no “genital” primacy, rather a “primacy of the phallus”[2], thus showing that there is nothing biological in the functioning of the unconscious. The signification of the phallus that emerges from this unique representation does not ensure that the speaking-being is free from the disruptive condition of sexual jouissance.

Phallic forms of jouissance are anomalous to the body and therefore do not cease to introduce traumatic events. No code enables the Subject to decipher what is happening to them, nor why it is happening, nor what it means. And yet, they assume responsibility. It is in the face of this failure that infantile sexual theories are constructed and the various identifications built.

This signification of the phallus is not enough to account for the Other jouissance, the feminine jouissance that leads Lacan to affirm: “There is no sexual relation”. “In regards to jouissance, and especially sexual jouissance, we are addressing the sphere of the One, devoid of the Other. Every one unaware the score that ciphers it. Sex is an Other body, a foreign body that procures the known body. From these interior and exterior spaces, simultaneously, sex is the One of jouissance, without a possible Other to represent”[3].

In this sense, clinical experience teaches us that for the speaking-being, assuming a sexed being is not free of uncertainties, discomforts and concerns. Anatomy does not easily allow to hold on to a sexual identification, nor does it guarantee a sexed position. In reality, when it comes to sexuality and forms of jouissance, when it comes to resolving the question of the most intimate part of sexual identity, one fails.

The syntagm “anatomy is not destiny” indicates that biology does not determine the speaking-being as male or female, it says nothing about the desire or the drive that are unavoidably tied to every sexed position. The difference between genders does not function as a compass to transit this desert, the desert of jouissance, in which there are no oases, only mirages.

Binary logic merely explains the representable part of sexuality, that which today is commonly called “gender”. Gender theories and ideologies make us forget the function of sexual difference while promoting: The One is dead, long live the Multiple! They favor the belief that the sexed position of each speaking-being results from the free choice of one’s own will, a conscious decision-making prerogative that must be promoted from the earliest age.

That “the sexed being is only authorized by himself and by some others”,[4] supposes a certain choice that does not imply free choice. When Lacan formulates the concept of “sexuation”[5] he does so in close relation to the unconscious. Thus, the process of sexuation links the natural difference of the sexes with semblants of sexual discourse, jouissance, the real of sex and the subject’s forced choice, for it is he who is ultimately chosen.

The theme of the XII NEL Conference summons each one of the members of our analytic community to authorize themselves to reflect upon the social and subjective implications of the pluralization of the forms of jouissance and the call for the promotion of a supposed freedom of choice that leaves subjects increasingly lonely and alienated.

We do not attempt a definition of sexuality, the parenthesis in the title (IES) indicates that answers remain suspended and the Conference will be a privileged space to place tension on diverse arises, oriented by the perspective conferred to us by Lacan, that goes beyond gender identities, gives singularity a place and opens up to the infinity of feminine jouissance that is not contemplated in the binary logic that divides the waters between men and women.

Scientific Commission:

Fernando Gomez

Gloria Gonzalez

Maria Elena Lora

Ricardo Torrejón

Ana Viganó

Website of the Study Days: https://jornadasnel2022.com/

[1] Bassols, M. The difference between sexes does not exist in the unconscious. In https//books.google.com.pe>books

[2] Freud, S. ‘The Infantile Genital Organization’ “La organización genital infantil”, Obras completas, Vol. XIX, Bs. As. Amorrortu, 2012, p. 146.

[3] Bassols, M. The difference between sexes does not exist in the unconscious. In https//books.google.com.pe>books

[4] Lacan, J: L: Les nom-dupes errent, Lesson 11, April 9, 1974. (unpublished).

[5] J. Lacan begins to develop the concept of sexuation in Seminar, Book XIX, …Or Worse [1971-2] and in Seminar, Book XX, Encore [1972-3].

20th Study Days: “Marks of Trauma”

27-28 November, 2021 | Virtual

“Trauma”, “traumatic effects”, “trauma prevention”, “post-traumatic stress” (DSM)… The explanation of trauma is lost in the generalisation of its definition and its modes of treatment.

How can we deny trauma in these times in which we are living with the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic? It is urgent for us to intervene as analysts by asserting our political and ethical competence in responding to the use of this concept in the social Other, in the Other of healthcare or in the political Other.

The term “trauma” has been linked to the history of psychoanalysis from the start. Events similar to this pandemic that took place at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century helped Freud to pursue his investigation into trauma, which he had already begun some time before in relation to its sexual origin.

For psychoanalysis trauma is the name of the encounter with a real that unexpectedly intrudes. It is a sign, a mark, a wound provoked by an inevitable injury to the speaker-being: “Because the body, if we take it seriously, is the first to bear the mark which orders it in a series of signifiers.”(1)

The marks of trauma thus take on value as a support for the subject’s relationship with the body, which bears them despite the fact of subtracting itself from them. These marks at times signal a before and an after in the life of an individual, because they will remain inscribed forever. For this reason, during an analysis, the subject is invited to explore these marks via the different life events that might or might not turn out to be traumatic, given that the traumatic effect is produced to the extent that the contemporary event touches on an earlier real.

The reading and the treatment of trauma in psychoanalysis of the Lacanian orientation therefore differs from other practices that we find in common discourse which aim to eliminate, anaesthetise, forget, prevent, control, and so on. For psychoanalysis, the marks of trauma have an inaugural value and are related to existence.

For Freud, trauma refers to an enigmatic first experience of sexual excitation which remains repressed and could be symbolised in a second moment. Nevertheless, in both Freud and Lacan a subject’s jouissance is always linked to a first event with traumatic value.(2)

But what is the status of trauma, of this “sexual wound”, since that is what trauma signifies?(3) The classical approach in psychoanalysis consists in seeking out the old wound within the order of what has already happened. Lacan’s approach – which refers back to Freud – towards the end of his teaching is to treat trauma as a trouma, a neologism that unifies trauma and hole. The ultimate version of sexual trauma is, according to Lacan, that “there is no sexual relation”. This axiom says that in any case there is always a traumatic point and that the dimension of the sexuality of the subject advances “in fits and starts”.(4)

When Lacan considered the unconscious structured like a language, he put the emphasis on the bite of the signifier on the living, a first effect of castration understood as traumatic. With the concept of the Unary trait, the “einziger zug“, as the support of the primordial identification, Lacan will make the relation of the subject to the signifier his fundamental mark. Later on, there will be a shift in his teaching with regard to different concepts: from the subject to the parlêtre, from language to lalangue, and he will also formulate the axiom mentioned above, “there is no sexual relation”, thus providing the synchronic formula of trauma.(5)

The immersion of the parlêtre in lalangue, the percussion of lalangue in the body, sinks its roots in the one-all-alone, which is a signifier, a mark, a trace, or a cut.(6) It thus produces a body event that corresponds to the order of traumatism, of shock, of contingency, of pure chance.(7) In the new clinical paradigm of knotting that inaugurates the last period of Lacan’s teaching, trauma and its marks are that knotting between language and body, as opposed to trauma considered in the common discourse, which refers to an event that is supposedly traumatic for everyone.

Thus, faced with the different events of life, psychoanalysis offers to explore the marks of each person and their destinies, their troumatism(8), that is to say, that which made a hole where the subject has not found the words, and also what each one was able to invent with these marks.

Scientific committee:

Lucía D’Angelo, Blanca Fernández, Eugenia Insúa, Silvia Nieto and Ruth Pinkasz.

Translated by Roger Litten

(1) Lacan J., “Radiophonie” in Otros escritos, Paidós, Buenos Aires, 2014, p. 432.

(2) Miller, J.-A., “El estatuto de lo real”, Freudiana nº 63, Barcelona, 2011, p. 28.

(3) Miller, J.-A., Causa y consentimiento. Los cursos psicoanalíticos de J.A. Miller, Paidós, Buenos Aires, 2019, p. 138 et seq.

(4) Miller, J.-A., Causa y consentimiento, op. cit., p. 139.

(5) Miller, J.-A., Causa y consentimiento, op. cit., p. 138.

(6) Lacan, J., The Seminar, Book XXIII, The Sinthome, Polity, 2016, p. 216.

(7) Miller, J.-A., L’Orientation lacanienne, L’Un tout seul, lesson of 2nd February 2011. Unpublished.

(8) Lacan, J., Seminar XXI, Les non-dupes errant, lesson of 19th February 1974. Unpublished.

30th EOL Annual Congress: “The Feminine Out-of-Gender”

3-4 December, 2021 / Virtual

The Lacanian Feminine

The feminine is a notion forged by Jacques Lacan, resulting from a path that began with Sigmund Freud but did not stop with him. Freud named the “rock” against which the analysis of every speaking being crashed, “rejection of the feminine”. Lacan elucidated this Freudian impasse, driving psychoanalysis to the field of jouissance: beyond the Oedipus, the phallus, the father.


The Name-of-the-father, on which the male-female binary was supported, has “vanished”, the multiplicity of genders has entered the field of sexuality. Gender is not a psychoanalytical concept; it is not accountable as one of its shibboleths. The analytical discourse clarifies the logic of the signifier multiplication at stake, which is the print of its march. Culture inspires techniques of life that emanate from its discontent, one of them, always valid, is to classify. How does the notion of gender take part in this?

Out of is a broken bridge between the feminine and gender. A Lacanian expression that introduces a new space, neither interior nor exterior, that refers to another topology.

From the Other of Classifications to the One-of-the-Body

From a Lacanian perspective, both the classical binary male-female and the never-ending list of genders offered by the Other of language, are signifiers, semblants, failed attempts to symbolize the real of sex. Lacan proposes to elucidate this failure of language putting it in relation with the jouissance of the body. In the ‘70s, he approaches the issue of sexual difference in a distinct way, as compared to other disciplines, but also different from psychoanalysis itself, when he displaces sex: from the field of the Other of language and his classifications to the Lacanian field of jouissance.

With his “formulaes of sexuation”, Lacan distinguishes two sides marked by two logics: the universal of All-phallic and that of the not-all; with two regimes of jouissance, the phallic and the feminine. The feminine jouissance, ‘supplementary’ to the phallic (but not complementary), cannot be symbolized, it cannot be measured, and doesn’t respect boundaries. The bodies of the speaking beings are distributed on these two sides, regardless of their anatomy and gender.

The Real of Motherhood

Lacan is the first psychoanalyst who highlighted the gap between the signifiers mother and woman. His position is clear: “being a mother” is not all of the phallic order. His formalization of the “Desire-of-the-Mother”, as well as his illuminating reading of Hamlet, make it possible to locate the actual crime of this tragedy, that a woman may desire something beyond her husband and child, or even more, that motherhood may not be a wish. The analytic practice discovers the effects of the Lacanian feminine on maternal love. What maternities could be invented in each analysis?

Gender-Based Violence

The Lacanian feminine evades the signifying logic and makes it possible to locate the hatred of otherness. Lacan did not cease to reveal that the supposed “feminine masochism” is a masculine fantasy. At one extreme, we can verify this thesis in the expansion of feminicides, a trait of our time. What is the impact of the analytic operation on the multiple forms that they the rejection of the feminine takes?

The Feminine, the Language and Lalangue

To elaborate the feminine, out of the symbolic and the imaginary, Lacan makes a passage from the signifier to the letter. Such passage values “the function of writing” and the analytic operation of reading. At the same time, it introduces a radical disjunction between language and his notion of lalangue. From this perspective, we are interested in elucidating the operations introduced by the “inclusive language”.

For Lacan, at the end of his teaching, it is about going against language in favor of lalangue, aiming to the particular poetics of the unconscious. What are the transformations that language and the relationship with writing undergo throughout an analysis, for each analysand?

The Anti-Segregative Sinthome

The feminine produces major consequences for psychoanalysis. It constitutes a direct antecedent to the Lacanian concept of the sinthome. In an analysis, the perspective of the sinthome allows each speaking being to leave the dream of the universal, to access their sinthomal identity, incomparable and singular, different from the so-called “gender identity”.

Going through the second century of existence of psychoanalysis, and with thirty years of annual Congresses at the Escuela de la Orientación Lacaniana, on the way to the Great International Conversation of the WAP, we set out to investigate the Lacanian conception of the feminine and its consequences in analytic practice, in the reading of the impossible of the analytic group, and also, in the possible contribution of psychoanalysis to the discourse of civilization.

Organizing Cartel

Adela Fryd, Miguel Furman, Marta Goldenberg, Raquel Vargas, Daniela Fernandez (Plus One)

Translated by Cecilia González& David González

Read the original untranslated argument at http://jornadaseol.ar/argumento-a/

Argument for the 51st Study Days

20-21 November, 2021 / Paris, France



From the spontaneous revolt of the #MeToo movement, to the new fields of academic study that deconstruct the “normative identity” of the universal human (detecting therein “male, white, heterosexual hegemony”), head-on attacks on “the norm-mal(e)” have taken over public space and debate. This insurrection is a sign of the unbearable that patriarchy now inspires. It should be noted that Lacan had made it clear, as early as 1972, that the “norm” was above all ” norm-mal(e)” [1]. Are we in the process of seeing the agony of the patriarchal and phallic order, whose decline Lacan had already diagnosed in 1938, come to an end before our eyes [2]?


This norm-mal(e) corresponds to what psychoanalysis has articulated as the Law of the Oedipus complex and Lacan pinned down as Name-of-the-Father, operator of the normalisation of the subject’s desire through the effect of castration. But following the thread of jouissance that overflows all norms, Lacan soon moved beyond the Oedipal fiction whose prohibition strives to cover the impossible linked to what, in sexuality, makes a “hole in the real” [3].


If the Name-of-the-Father is the principle of order and norm for a subject, we understand better why Lacan comes to pluralise the Names-of-the-Father: there exists a variety of modes of treating jouissance and of Borromean knotting. The so called “normality” is purely relative to the way in which each subject defends against the real, by his recourse to the established discourses or by his own inventions. Thus, in modernity, we witness a “lesser effectiveness” of the male norm and a “pluralisation of S1s” that goes as far as “their pulverisation” [4].


The famous Freudian primacy of the phallus, at the heart of misunderstandings with the feminists, is a way to say that nothing inscribes in the unconscious an essence of the masculine or the feminine. The only marker of sex is the phallus, which is the same for all speaking beings, although it functions differently in different cases. The definitions and usages of the phallus are multiple: image, object, signifier, semblant, function. It is the discourse that sets up this part of the body as a symbol of power, and confers on the phallic meaning a scope that extends far beyond the male organ as the seat of a privileged jouissance.


According to Lacan, in terms of situating themselves in sexuation subjects have a choice: either totally inscribed in the phallic function, on the side of the closed set of men or not-all, on the side of women, with access to an Other jouissance, infinite and supplementary.

The male norm thus refers to the universalist and uniformising logic of the “for all x”, that of the army of similarities outlined by Freud. Phallic jouissance, model of the jouissance of the One, at its core autoerotic and disjointed from the Other [5], is far from being exclusive to men, because “women are free” [6] to devote themselves to it. The refusal of femininity and the defences against the hole of the feminine can be found in any speaking being. Virility is a fantasy that seeks to fill in castration (-φ) with the object a [7].

Conversely, the one whom the phallus “encumbers”, “can also situate oneself on the side of the not-all” [8]. This flexible distinction between “the so-called man or woman portion” [9] of speaking beings will lead Lacan to go beyond all binarism, by orienting himself towards the sinthome as a purely singular mode of enjoyment.


Our egalitarian and democratic era is characterised both by the masculinisation of women within an all alike and by a devaluation of the masculine induced by the crisis of the paternal function [10]. In the era of the “Other who does not exist” [11], virilities are now conjugated in the plural. The contemporary upheavals of the symbolic order produce “a growing disorder of sexuation” [12], a colour chart of men, more or less women’s colours [13].


Our century is also the century of the feminisation of the world, of the not-all and of the generalised and claimed a-normality. The singular solutions of the Ones-all-alone and the arrangements by communities of jouissance crystallised into identities prevail over a universal mode of treatment. In response, the senseless multiplication of normative regimes engendered by science and capitalism imposes a new order, “made of iron” [14], where the numerical norm prevails.

The deconstruction of traditional reference points has given rise to a revival of masculinist movements, whose fiercely misogynistic hatred and totalitarian ambitions are unleashed, sometimes violently, against the undisciplined not-all.


Lacan situated psychoanalysis on the reverse side of the master discourse as a radically subversive praxis, foreign to whatever standards they may be. The 51st Study Days of the School of the Freudian cause (École de la Cause freudienne) propose to put to work these questions that run through our daily clinic, where each subject, with or without the male norm, tries to symptomatise jouissance outside the norm. We will be able to hear how the experience of an analysis pushed to its conclusion allows the traversing of the aspiration to virility constitutive of any fantasy, leading each speaking being to isolate and re-seize his intimate programme of jouissance, opening him up to the dimension of the not-all.

By Damien Guyonnet & Aurélie Pfauwadel, Directors of the Study Days 51

Translated by Peggy Papada

Originally published here: https://journees.causefreudienne.org/les-quatre-arguments/

1. Lacan J., “L’Étourdit”, Autres écrits, Paris, Seuil, 2001, p. 479. Not available in English

2. Lacan J., “The Family Complexes,” Semiotext(e) 4, no. 1, 1981.

3. Lacan J., “Spring Awakening,” Analysis 6, 1994, p. 33.

4. Miller J.-A., “Lacanian Orientation. The disenchantment of psychoanalysis” (2001-02), course taught under the auspices of the Department of Psychoanalysis, the University of Paris VIII, lesson 22 May 2002, unpublished.

5. Cf. Lacan J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX, Encore, Edited J.-A. Miller, Trans. B. Fink, New York & London, Norton, 1999, p. 9.

6. Ibid., p. 71.

7. Cf. Miller J.-A.,“Lacanian Orientation. The One all alone (2011), course taught under the auspices of the Department of Psychoanalysis, the University of Paris VIII, lesson 9 February 2011, unpublished.

8. Lacan J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX, Encore, op.cit. p. 76.

9. Ibid., p. 80.

10. Cf. Miller J.-A., « Bonjour Sagesse », La Cause du désir, n° 95, 2017, p. 84.

11. Cf. Laurent É., Miller J.-A., “Lacanian Orientation. the Other that Does not Exist and its Ethical Committees.” [1996-97], course taught under the auspices of the Department of Psychoanalysis, the University of Paris VIII, unpublished.

Anchor12. Miller J.-A., “Presentation of the Theme of the IXth Congress of the World Association of Psychoanalysis”, A real for the 21st century, Scilicet, NLS, Paris, 2014, p. 34.

13. Cf. Lacan J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XXIII, The Sinthome, Edited J.-A. Miller, Trans. A.R. Price, Cambridge: Polity, 2016, p. 97.

14. Lacan J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XXI, « Les non-dupes errent », lesson of 19 mars 1974, unpublished.


February 4-6, 2022 / Miami, USA / In person


“The real invented by Lacan is not the real of science,
it is a contingent real, random,
in as much as the natural law of the relation
between the sexes is lacking.
It is a hole in the knowledge included in the real.” 

Jacques-Alain Miller
“A Real for the 21st Century”

Here we are again!  Preparing ourselves for the next Clinical Study Days 14, this time the invitation is to work on that Lacanian notion that we call the Real . . . but which one?

We used to have the reference to truth as a counterpart to the real.  Later in his work, however, Lacan oriented us in a direction in which we no longer need the notion of truth as a counterpart to make the real exist.  The real ex-sists on its own, and—as Clotilde Leguil indicates—Lacan called it “the real of psychoanalysis, which is not that of science or history, but that of trauma and the drive.” [1]

The pluralization and fall of the Name-of-the-Father compelled us to rethink our own clinic, our principles and our ethics.  Jacques-Alain Miller invited us to explore another dimension of psychoanalysis in “A Real for the 21st Century,” and our proposal is to keep that invitation open.  This time we have been forced, by another real, to reinvent our practice and do reinvent our way to make a School.

What language reveals once and again is its impossibility regarding the real.  Even though the real at stake will depend on the singular coordinates of each subject, we do know that the real is expressed by what is not absorbed into discourse, falling under the modality of the impossible. The real is always unbearable, but how does it present itself?

That is the question that we invite you to work on. When someone knocks at our door and asks for analysis, it is not because they have everything in order, or they are in the happiest moment of their lives, usually it is quite the opposite.  In some singular way for each subject presenting to a psychoanalyst, the real has come up in its own way to the speaking being:

  • Is it about a trou-matic event?
  • Is it a real related to the experience of the body, or something at the level of lalangue?
  • Is it a real coming from the Other that doesn’t exist?
  • Is it about the particularity of a moment in which something was touched, disorganized or fractured at the level of the symptom, or the fundamental fantasy, or even at the level of jouissance?
  • What about the real in psychoanalysis with children?
  • What could be said about the real of science expressed in the effects of technology versus the real in nature, and how the speaking being is affected by it in one way or another?
  • During the contingency of COVID-19 or any other circumstances in which a psychoanalytic session takes place through a device: How do you manage to touch the real, when the session is conducted with a technological device and not in person? What inventions and maneuvers must the analyst make in order to maintain the analytic experience as psychoanalytic, and not just on the therapeutic level?

We, psychoanalysts, are aware of the real, aware of its lawless condition, as the real “implies the absence of any law. The real has no order.”[2]  One could say it has a meaningless core, always un-grasped by language, as Lacan points out when he says “language is not itself a message, but rather is only sustained by the function of what I’ve called the hole in the real.”[3]

Jacques-Alain Miller states that “The real, understood in this way, is neither a cosmos nor a world, it is also not an order: it is a piece, an a-systematic fragment, separated from the fictional knowledge that was produced from this encounter.  And this encounter of lalangue and the body does not respond to any prior law, it is contingent and always appears perverse.”[4]

These are some of the questions that will guide our work over the next year in preparation for our Clinical Study Days.  We invite you to hold these questions to orient the case presentations, as well as other submissions related to these issues, and the following discussions that we will have during the Clinical Study Days 14.  These coordinates will be our guideline and will help to orient our work when trying to distinguish: What Real at Stake?

By Isolda Alvarez, CSD14 Chair
& Council of the Lacanian Compass


[1] Leguil, C. (2019) “Truth, Post-Truth, Real” The Lacanian Review, Issue 7/Spring. New Lacanian School, Paris, p. 52.

[2] Miller, J-A. (2014) “A Real for the 21st Century” Scilicet. New Lacanian School, Paris, p. 33.

[3] Lacan, J. (1975-1976) “On What Makes A Hole in the Real” Section I: The Spirit of the knots. Seminar XXIII, The Sinthome. Ed. Polity, USA. 2016, p. 22.

[4] Miller, J-A. (2014) “A Real for the 21st Century” Scilicet. New Lacanian School, Paris, p. 33.

Escuela de la Orientación Lacaniana – EOL – Córdoba Section XXIXth Study Days:

Other Sex



Freudian Impact

Psychoanalysis caused a scandal in its time – as Freud himself acknowledged – by questioning popular opinions on sexuality. Not only did it unequivocally separate sex from genitality and reproduction, but it also stated that the object is what is most variable about a drive. “The object is not necessarily something extraneous: it may equally well be a part of the subject’s own body, something fitted to make satisfaction possible.”[1] As Freud stated in his early works, the sexual drive and the sexual object are not welded together. “The sexual drive is in the first instance independent of its object: nor is its origin likely to be due to its object’s attractions.” [2]. In fact, Freud did not believe that there was an innate disposition in human beings towards a predetermined object in the sexual bond. From this starting point, it was necessary to explain how someone became fetishist, homosexual, heterosexual, etc.

Based on the prevalence of the father and the logic of the phallus, Freud approached the Other sex by considering that in all speaking beings it [the Other sex] eludes both the logic of the phallus and the paternal incidence. He did so by emphasizing what he called “bisexuality”, which, he says, “comes to the fore much more clearly in women than in men”, even though it concerns both.[3]

However, and here lies the Freudian dilemma, this phallic-castrated logic leaves out that which concerns separation, which involves not only the fantasy and the object a, but also that Other from whom we are radically separated.

Lacanian Impact

Lacan soon focuses his formulations on the fall of patriarchy, which has prevailed in the West for a long time. He asked women analysts about this silent jouissance, rebellious to the Name of the Father, because he considered (and he was speaking to psychoanalysts) that “there is no hope for an Occidentalized. [4]

The “Occidentalized” subject is he who has interpreted the contingency of trauma in the Western way. This happens after Lacan comes back from the East. Now he proposes other ways of interpreting trauma. In fact, he finally breaks away from the Freudian and patriarchal unconscious and moves towards a real unconscious. He ends up attributing to Freud a “prostration before the phallus” and religion.

At the same time, Lacan anticipates the fall of the patriarchal conception and its effects on sexual practices and on the identity each person adopts with regards to gender. A transition from the binary prêt-à-porter gender of the Oedipal structure to the multiplicity of subjective and singular decisions regarding sex. Singularity that differs from the jouissance of today’s civilization at a social level. As J.-A. Miller clearly stated recently: “The One is dead, long live the Multiple!” this dynamic, according to Lacan’s logic of the “not-All”, pertains to the feminine position, and prevails everywhere in civilization, at least in ours.

Gender issues “play an important role in the evolution of traditions… they breathe inspiration into the legislation in several countries…they say something very profound about our present day.”[5]

The enigma of feminine jouissance, opaque to meaning, confronted psychoanalysts with the “rejection of femininity”, which is woven into its specific entanglements. Thus, when Lacan approaches the issue in the seventies, he draws from Freudian texts what he calls “Freud’s saying”, including its oscillations, and situates his own saying within the borders of a Real which makes a hole: “There’s no such thing as a sexual relation.” There’s no such thing as a sexual relation, but there is a relation that is sexuated, a signifying relations between parlêtres.

Given that language impacts and leaves its marks on the body, this is no longer about the Freudian “bisexuality”, but that the other sex is always the Other, feminine, both for men and women. “Facts of discourse.”[6] They are not founded on biological sex, but on modalities of jouissance. Moving away from Freud, Lacan states that to be oriented by the “not-All phallic”, we need to grasp “the antagonism between jouissance and semblant,[7] and that sex does not define any relationship between speaking beings. In his Seminar XX, Lacan will say: “The Other, in my terminology, can thus only be the Other sex.”[9]

In order to stress the disjunction between jouissance and semblant (phallus, Name of the Father), we need to place the littoral between knowledge and jouissance, between center and absence[10] so there is a chance to take a turn towards the literal: the letter of the sinthome.

Miller, in his Course of 2011[11] stresses the Lacanian “Oneism”, because Lacan overturns binarism by affirming that “the two of them do not merge into One, nor is One founded by the two of them”[12], and highlights the abyss that separates the One from the Other. That Other that does not exist, “a Real of the One-all-alone, there where the relation would be said.”[13]

“There is only One,”[14] Lacan compellingly affirms. He will follow this notion in his latest seminars drawing on the nodal nature of the Borromean knot.

The Other of the opposite sex remains the Other, a hole. And it is because of this Real that jouissance “as such” ex-sists. Every analysand knows well enough how each one fills this hole, and he may or may not consent to what there is not and adjust to what there is.

Finally, J.-A. Miller will say that the concept of gender has touched a sensitive aspect of our current culture and its discontents. Moreover, he stresses the value of the master signifier because it names such discontent. However, this concept is constructed – especially by Butler – with the use of a deformed psychoanalytic vocabulary. This is “a misuse of terms borrowed from Lacan and many others.” Thus, we have the challenge of placing what psychoanalysis of the Lacanian Orientation proposes, and the contribution it can make to the current debate in our civilization.

Scientific Committee: Cristina M. de Bocca – Fabián Naparstek – Mariana Gómez

Translated by Veronica Lassa

Source: https://eolcba.com.ar/blog/2021/04/19/otro-sexo-xxix-jornadas-anuales-de-la-eol-seccion-cordoba/

[1] Freud, S. (1915 [1995]) Instincts and their Vicissitudes. “The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud.” Volume XIV. London. The Hogarth Press, p. 122.

[2] Freud, S. (1905 [1920]) Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, “The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud.” Volume VII. Second edition. Second reprinting. London. The Hogarth Press, p. 148.

[3] Freud, S. (1927 – 1931). Female Sexuality, “The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud.” Volume XXI. London. The Hogarth Press, p. 225.

[4] Lacan, J. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XVIII: On a Discourse that Would Not Be a Semblant.” Unpublished.

[5] Miller, J.-A. (2021). Ouragan sur le «gender»! https://lacanquotidien.fr/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/LQ-925.pdf

[6] Ibidem, p 135.

[7] Ibidem, p 34.

[8] Lacan, J. …Or Worse: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XIX (1971-1972). Edited by J.-A. Miller. Translated by A.R. Price. Cambridge: Polity, 2018.

[9] The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: On Feminine Sexuality. The Limits of Love and Knowledge. Encore 1972-1973 (1999), Book XX, New York and London, W. W. NORTON & COMPANY, p. 39.

[10] Lacan, J. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XVIII: On a Discourse that Would Not Be a Semblant.” Unpublished.

[11] Miller, J.-A. (2014). What is the real? Translated by A. Alvarez. Lacanian Ink 43/44, 14-29.

[12] Lacan, J. …Or Worse: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XIX (1971-1972). Edited by J.-A. Miller. Translated by A.R. Price. Cambridge: Polity, 2018.

[13] Ibidem.

[14] Ibidem.


6th Study-Day of the Psychoanalytic Institute of the Child
13th March 2021


The origins of modesty by Morgane Léger


Can we speak of an emergence of modesty in a subject? Where does modesty have its origin?

In Seminar “RSI”, Jacques Lacan evokes a film brought  by Jenny Aubry which  illustrates the concept of the mirror stage. He is interested in the gesture of the child which facing the mirror passes his hand in front of the “phallus, or perhaps its absence,” [1] a gesture which produces an elision. “There is something here whose link is somehow primordial in relation to what will later be called modesty, but which it would be excessive to mention at the so-called “mirror” stage. [2]

Lacan already evokes this gesture, a prelude to modesty, in his seminar Anxiety: “If there is something that concretises this reference to the non-specularizable dimension that I pointed up last year, that it’s this little girls’s gesture, her hand quickly passing over the gamma of the junction where her belly meets her thighs, like a moment of giddiness faces with what she sees.”[3] Modesty as a veil placed on the phallus or its absence, finds its origin in this giddiness and this movement of elision which makes a hole in the jubilatory image of the mirror.

A few months later, the child begins to experience an affect different from that of jubilation. Around two and a half, three years old, s/he becomes sensitive to the gaze of the Other, to his presence, to a remark he might make. The child may blush, show embarrassment, want to hide. The phallic lure begins to take shape.

This new affect seems to be concomitant with the emergence of articulated language and with the use of the “I”. The child begins to experience “the dimension of shame” as “the hole from which the master signifier arises” [5]. By creating the neologism of “(h)ontology” [6], Lacan indicates to us that being and shame do not go one without the other. If shame is first – fundamental shame of being – modesty thus comes second, to corporise shame by localising it on the phallus, which will then have to be veiled.

Romans distinguished between modesty of body (pudor) and modesty of feeling (pudicitia). Pudor and pudicitia are related to each other. Modesty is not only modesty of the body, a veil that hides the phallus at the same time as it phallicizes the body. Modesty also concerns speech: its efficiency leads the subject to not say everything that comes to mind.  It is at the same time an effect of repression and also a semblant adopted by the society, a semblant by which the subject accepts or not to be duped.

Contrary to the contemporary superegoic push-to-say, which Jacques-Alain Miller underlined with the term “complex of saying it all” [7], modesty is situated on the side of well-saying, taking into account the fact that there is no relation between the two sexes which could be said. Modesty is a veil over a real impossible to say.

Working in a crèche, I witnessed the embarrassment of a three-year-old girl. Having recently become the older sister of a baby who was breastfed by her mother, this little girl was playing on the section with a baby she was discreetly pretending to breastfeed. A childcare worker said to her: “I saw you breastfeeding your baby”. The little girl immediately stops playing and goes into hiding. The adult’s statement produces shame by revealing the secret place that this little girl was beginning to develop in order to go through the questions about sex, the birth of a baby, maternal desire…

In his seminar Desire and its Interpretation, Lacan returns to the constitution of the subject of the unconscious as correlative to the distinction between the “I” [je] of the statement and the “I” of the enunciation. The subject puts to the test [the dimension of not wanting to know anything about it] against the backdrop of the idea that the Other knows all about his thoughts, since at the outset his thoughts are, by their very nature and structure, this Other’s discourse. The discovery that the Other knows nothing about his thoughts, which is factually true, inaugurates the pathway by which the subject develops the opposite requirement that lies within the unsaid. From there, he will have to find the difficult path by which he must implement the unsaid in his being, going so far as to become the sort of being with which we deal – namely, a subject who has the dimension of the unconscious”. [8]

These three logical times overlap in the young child: 1) the child has the idea that the Other knows everything about his or her thoughts. 2) Contingency leads the child to discover that this is not the case and that the Other ignores the content of his or her thoughts. It is there that the first unspoken words, “lies” and precious secrets will emerge. We are at the beginning of modesty. 3) By that which Lacan calls a difficult trick, the young child will have to make the unsaid, the secret space, pass onto the unconscious. This is the stage where the distinction is made between the  “I” of the statement and the “I” of the unconscious, that is, the advent of repression and the establishment of modesty.

Lacan indicates in this session: “The object is something that props the subject up at the precise moment at which the subject has to face, as it were, his existence. The object, is something that props him up in his existence in the most radical sense – namely, in the sense in which he exists in language. […] for what is propped up by this object is precisely what the subjects cannot reveal even to himself.”[9]

Can we hypothesise that the small objects with which the young child around the age of three or four secretly fills his or her pockets are an attempt for him to support his being in what is most intimate to him or her?

The beginnings of modesty are in the child the secret and the hiding place, but also the choice of small objects, precious for the child, sometimes judged incongruous by the adult: these are so many ways, for the young child, to build little by little his private space which will pass later on onto the unconscious. It is up to the adult to acknowledge this space, by respecting the child’s intimacy and not devaluing the precious dimension of this little veiled nothing.


Translated by Peggy Papada

Originally published in https://institut-enfant.fr/zappeur-jie6/origines-de-la-pudeur/ on February 9th, 2021.

1 Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XXII, RSI, lesson of 11th March, 1975, unpublished.

2 Ibid.

3 Lacan J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book X, Anxiety, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. Adrian R. Price, Polity, Cambridge, 2014, p. 202.

4 Lacan J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. R. Grigg, Norton, NY, London, 2007, p. 189.

5 Ibid.

6 Ibid., p. 180.

7 Miller, J-A. “Vous avez dit bizarre ?”, Quarto, n°78, February 2003, p. 11.

8 Lacan J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VI, Desire and its Interpretation, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. Adrian R. Price, Polity, Cambridge, 2019, pp. 83-84.

9 Ibid., pp. 84-85.




9th & 10th October 2021 / Santigo, Chile / On-line


During extraordinary moments of life, the possibility arises of putting to the test the unsuspected force of the desire to meet. The American Schools of the WAP account for this by calling this desire ENAPOL X. We will materialize it, starting from a title that calls upon and invites the investigation of those indicators that point at verifying the transformations, more or less subtle, of the social bonds that emerge and are observed in the discontinuity of our time. And, of course, as psychoanalysts we believe that the new is not without love, since we know, love is a hinge that allows the inertia of jouissance condescend to the novelty of desire.

Preparation is part of the meeting. Just like with a romantic date, the best is carefully chosen: the place, the images, the colors, the theme. That which will be memorable for those attending.

In the image of the poster we present to you, threads are intertwined, tightrope walkers holding on to the edges, they travel the rope on their unicycles over and over again; and in between, they meet others who as well, come or go, but of course, all aware that the journey as such has consequences. The analyst-funambulist, why not.

The city of Santiago de Chile, adorned by the imposing Andes mountains as backdrop, will be the meeting place. Our colleagues from the NEL Santiago, together with the Scientific and Organizational Committees, have already stepped into the loop and begun the juggling and cartwheels to prepare our meeting.


Lizbeth Ahumada Yanet
President of the 10th ENAPOL

Translator: Carolina Vignoli / Reviewed by: Aliana Santana


On the theme of the XVIII Congress of the SLP
The Real of Sex
Loretta Biondi

Two words, two extraordinary concepts of psychoanalysis for the theme of SLPCF 2021.

Sex: Sigmund Freud approaches it via childhood, thus inciting a cultural scandal. Of course.

On the other hand, in the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality he points out the “polymorphously perverse disposition” [1] of infantile sexuality. Sex and sexuality are disjointed and articulated using a new logic. The genital, already evident in Freud’s theories, points to the new, an opening, with the culture that informs the subject of the unconscious, to the transmission of the psychoanalysis itself.

Its baton will be given to the female, introducing a new setback to science and, with it, to the real. Binary sexuality increasingly in crisis with the advent of the manipulation of bodies on both the scientific and the capitalist sides requires everyone, as Ones-All-Alone, to make do with their subjective solution regarding sexuality.

Real: another concept forged by Lacan, beyond the meaning it takes from common language, in which real and reality are mostly equivalent. The Real unfolds from reality: it is placed on the side of jouissance, whereas reality is ordered on the Imaginary and the Symbolic side.

Throughout his teaching, Lacan, rereading Freud, works to give him a place in the Real, Symbolic, and Imaginary ternary. He goes so far as to say that it, the real, is without law and, being devoid of sense, “… has no order” [2]. He also states: “It is to the very extent that Freud truly made a discovery … that it may be said that the real is my symptomatic response. To reduce this response to being symptomatic is also to reduce any and every invention to the sinthome” [3]. In Seminar XXV, The Moment to Conclude, at the time of his last teaching, he will say: “… the Real does not cease to be written. It is indeed by writing that forcing is produced [… ] , it must be said, how would the Real appear if it were not written?” [4]. Then the real produces “the hole […] this is what we are reduced to, as regards what it is, this sexual relationship, to realise it all the same” [5].


Today, more than ever, in the pandemic condition that has affected all of us, without exception, no one excluded, the theme is given so that the community of psychoanalysts of the SLP will do something to articulate it, each from their place, close to the foreign intimacy that inhabits them and according to their style. The clinic is the compass that compels us to write and testify. It will be knotted with the political and epistemic declinations.


Sex: it refers us to Lacanian biology, not without Freud. Lacan, in this regard, precisely in Seminar XIX, which the Italian analytical community of SLPCF is celebrating in its recently published Italian translation, states: “That sex is real is not to be doubted in the slightest [..] What is at issue when sex is involved is the other, the other sex, even when one prefers the same [6]”.

Real: Lacan, in his interview with Emilia Granzotto for the magazine “Panorama”, said: “I call a symptom everything that comes from the real. And the real is everything that doesn’t work out, that doesn’t function, that gets in the way of man’s life and the affirmation of his personality. The real always returns to the same place, and that’s where you’ll always find it, with the same semblances. Scientists assert that nothing is impossible in the real […] they […] are unaware that their position is untenable” [7]. In the same interview, Lacan responds to the interviewer’s question about the nature of anguish: “It is something that is situated outside our bodies, a fear, but a fear of nothing that the body, the mind included, can provide a reason for. In short, the fear of fear! A lot of these fears and anxieties, at the level at which we perceive them, have something to do with sex” [8].

“The real of sex” is the theme that puts us to work in these times, between 2020 and 2021. We left behind a theme: “Fears?”, without being able to celebrate the XVIII Congress 2020.

Certainly, it will be included in this year’s work, not without leaving a hole, working in the analytical training of each to get rid of the plugs that never cease being produced in order to plug the hole imprinted by the lack of the sexual relationship, we can…  scilicet.

After all, doesn’t the subject arise precisely from the fault, from the interval between S1 and S2? An intermittence, indeed, that arises from a lost object. The flash that Lacan makes us imagine in his 1966 conference in Baltimore [9]: the neon of a luminous sign that marks time, that comes and goes in the mist of dawn. I love this photo he gives us!

It will be a sustained work for SLPCF. Let them light up and turn off so many little ones that indicate the time that flows in the dense mist, to be fended with determined desires for the making of a new day for the transmission of psychoanalysis, both at the level of speech and of the analyst’s desire.

Let us be sustained by our intimate, subjective, real cause, by the Analysts of the School in function.

The teachings of the Pass will support this instrument of transmission that is the School, decomposing it permanently, with the hole of knowledge surrounded by those edges of the real of which they testify.

We know that Lacan underlined, to those who told him he was a poet, that he was a poem.
I read as a poetic verse the passage that Lacan leaves in the interview with Emilia Granzotto, and thus I make a point: “Analysis pushes the subject towards the impossible. It tries to get the subject to consider reality as it really is, in other words imaginary and entirely devoid of sense. While the real, like a voracious bird, does nothing but feed on meaningful things, actions that have a meaning” [10].
This passage gives me the taste of poetry that is erased, written on the edges of shoreline on which, intermittently, the wave washes off its signifiers, its metaphors and metonymies, its verses; remains of jouissance: nothing.

Loretta Biondi
President of the SLP

Translated by Valentina Lucia La Rosa


[1] S. Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume VII (1901-1905): A Case of Hysteria, Three Essays on Sexuality and Other Works, p.191.
[2] J. Lacan, The Sinthome. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book XXIII, Polity Press, Cambridge 2016, p. 118.
[3] Ibid, p. 113.
[4] J. Lacan, The Moment to Conclude. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book XXV, lesson of 10 January 1978, unpublished.
[5] J. Lacan, Les non-dupes errant. The Seminar. Book XXI, lesson of 12 February 1974, unpublished.
[6] J. Lacan, … or Worse. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book XIX, Polity Press, Cambridge 2018, p. 134.
[7] J. Lacan, Freud Forever: An Interview with Panorama, in «Hurly-Burly», n. 12, 2015, pp. 18-19.
[8] Ibidp. 21.
[9] J. Lacan, Of Structure as the Inmixing of an Otherness Prerequisite to Any Subject Whatever. Available at: https://www.lacan.com/hotel.htm
[10] J. Lacan, Freud Forever: An Interview with Panorama, op. cit., p. 18.

The Psychoanalytic Approach Oriented by the Autistic Rim

by J.-C. Maleval


The hypothesis of R. and R. Lefort on the existence of a specific subjective autistic structure, different from that of psychosis, the introduction of the concept of rim by E. Laurent, the developments advanced on in the books The autist and his voice[1] and The battle of autism,[2] all these works have contributed in the Lacanian field to initiating an approach to the treatment of the autistic suffering by taking support on the evolutions of the rim. This is a radically new perspective since it considers the autistic objects as dynamic inventions and not as pathological objects. Self-therapies of autistic people frequently testify to the intense investment of one or more objects, concrete or imaginary, thanks to which they constructed themselves and opened up to others. For many of them it was a double (animal, imaginary companion, brother, sister, etc.), for some other it was cartoons, in some cases it was a specific interest, and in others an original invention, etc.

In the more severe forms of autism, the transference is hindered, while attempts to induce it often trigger aggressive reactions, especially if these attempts are too direct. However, it is now well established that the autist does not seek to cut himself off from the world by shutting himself up in a shell, he strives to go towards the world and towards others, but by following his own way, which passes through the mediation of a securing object. The handling of the transference must take this into account. The developmental pathway within the spectrum of autism regularly involves a fall of the first autistic objects, and a distancing from the doubles, so that the emptying of the rim leads to its reduction to a specific interest. This logic, punctuated by successive losses, does not correspond to that of an increase in information, but to that of a treatment of jouissance by means of cuts.


The ACF in Midi-Pyrénées continues on Saturday February 6, 2021, as part of its Exchange Seminar, the cycle of conferences of Jean-Claude Maleval, with a videoconference on the question of “The Psychoanalytic Approach Oriented by the Autistic Rim” . J.-C. Maleval is a psychoanalyst, member of the ECF and the WAP, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Rennes 2. The debate will be moderated by Jean-François Cottes, psychoanalyst member of the ECF and of the WAP, Director of CERA, and members of the cartel of the Exchange Seminar, Cécile Favreau (ECF, Director ACF-MP), Eduardo Scarone (ECF), André Soueix (ECF), Vanessa Sudreau (ECF), Florence Nègre (ACF-MP).

[1] J.-C. Maleval, L’autiste et sa voix, Seuil, 2009.
[2] E. Laurent, La bataille de l’autisme, Navarin, 2012.

The Fake

In just a few years the Fake has invaded the concrete language that people speak [1]. It denounces a truth, marking its inconsistency, and refers to the idea of a counter-truth in a system of denunciation like a set of Russian dolls: each truth would be a Fake in which another truth, also Fake, would hide, and so on… The Fake then testifies to an immoderate need to give meaning, an ultimate meaning, an absolute truth, to tell truth upon truth which leads to the most delusional conspiracy theories.

We must recognise that the truth is suspect. How can we forget all the massacres that have been carried out in the name of Truth? There is therefore a paradox: the truth that the word ‘Fake’ covers. On the one hand, there is the idea of the purity of truth, a truth One, which would exclude all the others and lead to the worst. On the other, there is absolute relativism: there is no truth, there is the temptation to eliminate every notion of truth, returning us to an inconsistency of the Other.

This paradox is heard in what Jacques-Alain Miller said: “As soon as one assumes the Other’s shenanigans, there is no fact that cannot be explained, including the absence of fact. You object that the evidence is lacking? Well, it’s because it has been subtracted. Even with delirious interpretations, the conspirator dispels the mysteries. He shows you in his own way that the real is rational. In other words, he simulates scientific knowledge.” [2]

Lacan held both ends of this paradox in order to give a reading of the truth in a way that can orient us today. For psychoanalysis, truth, the love of truth is first of all support of transference and allows the establishment of the subject supposed to know. It takes a long analysis for the subject to hear his own truth as lying, or as a beyond of the truth, locating its fictional status in the analysis and the importance of the semblants as a response. Therefore, for psychoanalysis, Truth, like Woman, does not exist. It is constructed one by one, singularly, in a work of elaboration under transference, so that at the end of analysis, these fictions are detached. There is therefore an ethics of truth. “The beginning, which is organized in the psychoanalysis of the subject, finds its end diagonally, in the psychoanalysis of the parlêtre. The question of the meaning of desire and truth finds its answer of satisfaction, which supposes that the shimmering of truth is extinguished and its mirage vanished.” [3]

Lacan does not orient himself from the true, but from the sexual non-relation in light of which meaning, the object a, language itself… are semblances, elucubrations: the truth is lying truth. So it is not the same delusion, the one triggered by the inconsistency of the Other, and which can be identified, at the end of analysis, by the encounter of a subject with this point of the non-existence of the Other.

The Question of School (Question d’École) invites you to question the status and paradoxes of truth in the age of the Fake.

Laurent Dupont, President of the ECF

Argument: “Question d’École 2021”, videoconference, 23 January 2021.

1.Cf. Lacan, J., “Of Structure as an Inmixing of an Otherness Prerequisite to Any Subject Whatever” (1966), The Structuralist Controversy, ed. Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1970, p. 188.

2. Miller J-A., “As soon as we speak we plot”, Le Point, 15 December 2011; available online at https://tinyurl.com/y3c73olu

3. Miller, J.-A, “Psychanalyse en immersion” (2008), La Cause du désir, no. 106, November 2020, p. 30.

Conversation EOL 2020: TRAUMAΣ


The trauma has already happened and there is no going back. We analysts give it a place, both in psychoanalytic  treatment and also in specific encounters that we sometimes offer in particular circumstances.

The theme that guides the work of our Conversation, navigates through the waters of psychoanalysis in intention as well as in its extension. These notions, as Lacan points out, maintain a horizon of knotting among themselves, [1] that is, the position obtained in the intention also makes it possible to orient oneself in the extension.

The signifier trauma‒whose diffusion was driven by psychoanalysis itself‒ has permeated contemporary discourse: it is used to explain as much as it is imagined that it prevents.

The broadening of the scope of scientific discourse has precipitated the generalized use of the dimensions of cause and effect with the consequence of determining what will become traumatic.

As it becomes a more transparent and commonsense notion, what we call trauma in psychoanalysis becomes more enigmatic.

Therefore it is essential to locate what it is for us that makes an event acquire the value of trauma.

In its various aspects, it is a theme that runs through the history of psychoanalysis. This was founded at its birth, before 1900. Lacan continues to evoke it until the end of his teaching in 1980. [2] The last teaching from which we still have to continue to draw consequences to orient ourselves today to a problem that is more than current.

Whereas Freud reads trauma diachronically, Lacan uses the axiom of the sexual non-rapport to establish his synchronic formula. “Somehow this gives us the axiom of trauma, and does not allow us to know when, how or with whom the trauma occurred or will occur …” [3]

It was Freud who introduced him to psychic traumatism. From the trauma of seduction as an incident that actually occurred and its abandonment—which gives rise to the foundation of psychoanalysis as such—to the traumatic dreams of repetition as an example of the failure of the pleasure principle and the location of the death drive as an intrinsically human horizon, trauma is linked to the irruption of a jouissance.

Of course, one might ask what kind of jouissance it is; is jouissance itself traumatic?

Once detached from psychic causality, Lacan operates by wrinkling the trauma and articulating it with the signifiers hole (trou), human and symptom. He then speaks of troumatisme, [4] of troumains [5] and of what sintraumatizes. [6] We have here three aspects, which at the same time articulate with each other, and can guide our task.

This year, the totally unprecedented global phenomenon has a name: COVID-19. It produced an unprecedented perforation in all discourses.

We are faced with an event that, on the one hand, questions us about the current status of the concept of trauma, and on the other, about the tools that we have to read the different modes of response that are appearing, both collectively and individually.

It is precisely on the hole of the trauma, in the place of that real, that the fundamental fantasy as a screen tries to cover that very first traumatizing encounter and, at the same time, the founding of the parlêtre. In a second round, something will be traumatic when its impact is such that it breaks or tears apart that screen. This fantasmatic screen functions as a veil and, at the same time, as an obstacle to make use of what each person finds there as an answer, since it is from that gap that the symptom will emerge as a response to the trauma of the real. [7] This point opens up a renewed interest in the notion of the symptom as a singular invention in the face of the structural hole. A place where “one invents what one  can.” [8] The testimonies of the AS [Analysts of the School] can be a privileged place to seek out traces of the singularity of these inventions.

There is, of course, no pre-established treatment in the clinic in intention, but neither is there in extension. Faced with the hole created by the trauma, it can be healing to be able to restore the fabric of meaning that was present in its irruption. However, at the same time that it is proposed to the parlêtre to communicate the traumatic experience, we know that by structure he will experience the limits of communication, barred S.

At this point, we ask ourselves: if it is not by way of meaning, how does the analytic act play its part with respect to trauma? In what way does the notion of trauma deeply question how we are to understand the analytic operation?

We await, then, the contributions of each analyst, one by one, from which we can carry out a work of collective elaboration.

Nicolás Bousoño, Irene Greiser, Esteban Klainer and Débora Rabinovich
Mirta Berkoff (Plus one)

Translated by Isolda Arango-Alvarez
Reviewed by Maria Cristina Aguirre & Jeff Erbe

Image by Alicia Leloutre

This argument appears in the original in Spanish at: http://uqbarwapol.com/conversacion-eol-2020-trauma%cf%83/

1. Lacan, J.: “Proposition of 9 October, 1967 on the Psychoanalyst of the School,” trans. Russell Grigg, Analysis, no. 6 (1995): 1-13.
2. Lacan, J.: “Le malentendu : Dissolution, séminaire du 10 juin 1980,” Ornicar? no. 22/23 (1981) : 11-4.
3. Miller, J.-A., Causa y consentimiento, Paidós, Bs. As., 2019, p. 138.
4. Lacan, J., Les non-dupes errent: Seminar XXI, lesson of 19 February, 1974, unpublished.
5. Lacan, J., Le moment de conclure: Seminar XXV, lesson of 17 January, 1978, unpublished.
6. Lacan, J., The Sinthome: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XXIII, ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. A.R. Price (Cambridge: Polity, 2016), 124.
7. Miller, J.-A., “On die wege der symptombildung” in: Freudiana 19, ELP, Barcelona, ​​2001, pp. 7-56.
8. Lacan, J., Les non-dupes errent: Seminar XXI, unpublished.

The Feminine Uncanny. Saying the Unsayable

23rd Brasilian Encounter of the Freudian Field / 20th to 22nd November 2020 – Itaigara – Salvador / Guest Speaker: Christiane Alberti (ECF – Paris)

A feminine fable

By Marcelo Veras

Increasingly waking up to the sensitivity of Korean culture, I invite you to read the three-part fable by writer Han Kang, The Vegetarian. South Korea seems to me to be one of the countries that most represents the shock of two ways of living the jouissance of the object in the same culture, as emptiness and as excess. What Korean artists seem to insist on revealing is precisely the remains of the miraculous Korean transformation of the last decades. These remains are explored, as everyone could see, in the excellent film Parasite.
Kang’s fable brings another aspect of Korean contradiction, the loneliness of the sexes in the decline of traditions. What happens when a completely submissive woman, after a dream, suddenly refuses to eat meat. Although small, the book brings an explosion of possibilities for possible readings. In an Asian country with an enormous contingent of Christians, the decision to refuse meat in a scene where the father violently forces his daughter to eat, does not cease to raise the question of incorporation and refusal of the sacred body and blood.
However, if the radical refusal of this woman leads to an explosion of violence and madness in the first part, it is in the second part that the most intense eroticism found in current books erupts. This is the part which impressed me the most, due to its proximity to many Lacanian texts on the feminine. It is when the lovers, each in their own way, find eachother sexually after having renounced something. While the woman destroys her marriage and relationship with her father by refusing to eat meat, the man, a brother-in-law who has always been fascinated by a birthmark, a fetishist trait, her Mongolian birthmark, finally manages to love her for the paintings he makes on this woman’s naked body. For her, a love beyond Oedipus, for him, a woman beyond fetish, a woman-sinthome.
Naked, both fuse together as bodies that are just surfaces for drawing prints on their own skins. They become a work of art.
This is not the hysterical body of a woman, nor the fetishist body parts for a man; the two characters exile themselves from the lures of symbolic castration in a field where nothing else seems to make sense, they become bodies of pure letter.
Kang, through the letter, makes the sexual relation exist, but it is ephemeral as a beating structure, an eclipse in the phallic universe. The third and last part shows the drift of the characters, lost in a world whose phallic imposture no longer makes sense, the social semblants seem like caricatures, the master, represented by the medical discourse, tries to impose his truth, just as the father and husband did, but what seemed impotence finally reveals its impossibility.
The book is short, a few pages. I spent a long time trying to understand where its depth came from. Then I realized that it was precisely because the whole plot is not in the words, but in its form. As always, it is art teaching psychoanalysts.


The Future in Times of Coronavirus – The New Normal?


26th June 202019h [Spain]

The beginning of the pandemic caused by the coronavirus has placed the authorities in the position of decreeing the State of Alarm, which has implied the restriction of rights and a situation of confinement that has been dragging on for more than two months. The certain possibility of getting sick and of dying, together with the demand for social distancing due to the possibility of being infected or infectious -which turns the other and each one into potential contagion- introduce modifications in the social bonds, plunging citizens into bewilderment and anguish. On the other hand, the inability to go to the workplace and the loss of jobs have increased poverty and exclusion. One of the worst economic crises is looming, envisaged to be even greater than that of 2008.

Although at the moment deconfinement has begun, nothing suggests that it will be simple and that it will not involve setbacks. Sustained and globalized uncertainty is another of the feelings that hits the bodies given the difficulty for words to give a credible meaning to the situation. The bet is placed on science finding a vaccine and a treatment that prevents the virus from attacking. But subjective times do not coincide with those of science. You have to wait longer than you wished.

In this context, voices emerge that predict a post-pandemic world very different from the current one. Authors like Zizek think that the virus has placed a bomb on the waterline of capitalism, a question that is unclear and therefore central for us to think about. For her part, Naomi Klein estimates that the defenders of an absolutely cyber world, where bodies and presence would no longer be necessary, are finding their golden opportunity. Let’s be attentive to what happens in education and medicine where this idea gains maximum strength. And in teleworking. Do not lose track either of what the alarm / exception States have shown to lovers of population control: it is possible to impose the monitoring of people through mobile phones in order to end the pandemic: totalitarianism blossoms? In turn, the attack on the planet by the voracity of “always more” could be at the origin of the situation we are living.

All these questions, which introduce new forms of discontent in civilization, are framed by the concern for the future and in this new born signifier: “the new normal” which, like a mantra, we hear every day coming out from the screens. If we tune our ears and isolate it from the common sense imposed on it, we can hear its sinister tint. Hence the questions that arise from the title of the debate that we propose: what is to come? What is the “new” that is announced? What is it that it’s trying to be “normalized”?

Gustavo Dessal, psychoanalyst
Carlos Fernández Liria, philosopher
Mónica García, physician and and regional deputy (CAM)
Luis García Montero, poet and director of the Instituto Cervantes
Joaquín Caretti Ríos, psychoanalyst
Free Registration via Zoom: https://bit.ly/debatezadig
Organising Committee: Dolores Castrillo, José Luis Chacón, Elisa Giangaspro and Oscar Strada
Zadig España


50th Study Days of the École de la Cause Freudienne

Argument – Part 4

By Caroline Leduc

The current feminist debates are crystallised around a difficulty proper to our time which concerns the alterity of the sexuated bodies, whatever their gender. As Jacques-Alain Miller already discovered in 2004, the sexual non-relation became a common truth in the current discourse: “the relation between the two sexes is going to become more and more impossible [1]”; “the non-existence of the sexual relation has precisely, today, become obvious,” to the extent that “the master signifiers no longer manage to make it exist.” [2] Therefore, it is also a crisis of semblants and more specifically a crisis of the phallic semblant. The phallic trait once operative between the sexes appears broken and phallic desire becomes a monster. The phallic gift which could be a consolation to castration no longer has its symbolic effect but it henceforth tends to take the colouring of abuse. It is the break-in of jouissance for all – revealing for each his jouissance One separated, isolated, orphaned, that is to say, without Other. The phallus, once instrument of a singular desire subjectivising the signifying alienation, is reduced to being nothing more than an index of the contingent violence through which the registers of the Other and the One are originally separated. A rejection of the Other agitates our times.

Sexual abuse exists, and it has always existed. Psychoanalysis of the Lacanian orientation claims that the emergence of sexual desire in the body of a subject has a structural effect of traumatic otherness, whether or not an abuse has occurred in reality. The sexual always separates something with a crash. It is the ravaging otherness of the sexual desire of an other which prematurely sexualises the body; and this can be the disturbing otherness of one’s own body moved by an always premature sexual desire. Psychoanalysis bets that it is from this very point of real of which it appeared that one is the object, that a response can be invented – that of the subject itself.

The structural abuse that sex inflicts on our bodies was previously hidden. It was not talked about. Censorship had the function of maintaining the established order, of veiling this scandal by means of the fictions that ordered and regulated the rapport between the sexes. With the metoo phenomenon and its still very powerful consequences, it turns out that the feminist discourse of our time meets the deductions of psychoanalysis. There are nevertheless differences between these two discourses. Psychoanalysis proposes to free oneself from the mortifying consequences of the abuse by taking into account an impossible which is discovered and experienced in a long analytical treatment; long because discovering it and then using it first requires to have exhausted the suffering. It is indeed impossible to enjoy the body of an other. This is the meaning of Lacan’s aphorism: there is no sexual relation. Even within a consensual relationship, the partner is added to a jouissance which is that of one’s own body. This addition is a fiction – for example, that of love. If we can desire the participation of a partner, it will nonetheless be a “means”[3] to our jouissance; if the jouissance of an other is imposed on us, the horror resides in what is revealed to us in being reduced to a means of the other’s jouissance without the support of a fiction.

So what remains are the blows of this real of the jouissance One on the imaginary, the stakes of which swell, producing the scattering of the old imaginary and symbolic categories of sexual roles, as well as the sign of solitude of each turning in circles around the symptomatic capture of his or her jouissance. It is therefore understandable how sexual abuse precipitates into the ravages of an incestuous imaginary: “sexual rapport, there is none, but it is not obvious, there is none, except incestuous one.”[4] The way out through speech in a psychoanalysis is to consider one’s “symptom as a question mark in the sexual non-relation.” [5]

The work on the theme of our Study Days aims to obtain an Aufhebung of what these contemporary phenomena denote as impasse, which restores their precise place in what is transformed in discourse. Which are the effects of this modernity on the politics of treatments? To orient oneself, it is about situating in a differential way the bad encounter with the sexual in terms of structure and in its contingent appearance.

Translated by Peggy Papada
1 Miller, Jacques-Alain, “A fantasy”, in Mental 15, February 2005, Available in English online, p. 11.
2 Ibid, p10.
3 Miller, Jacques-Alain, “The Lacanian Orientation. The partner –symptom” (1997-1998). Teaching delivered within the framework of the department of psychoanalysis of the University Paris-VIII, course of 27 May, 1998, unpublished: “the relationship of the couple at the level of the sexual supposes that the other becomes […] a means of his jouissance”; the body of the partner, “ is a means of jouissance […] of my own body […] it is a mode of enjoying the body of the other, and by body of the other, it is necessary to understand both one’s own body, which has always a dimension of otherness, and also the body of others as a means for the jouissance of one’s own body”.
4. Lacan, Jaques, Seminar XXIV, lesson of 15 March 1977, published in Ornicar?, no 17/18, Paris, Navarin, printemps 1979, pp. 8-9.
5. Cf. Miller, Jacques-Alain, “A fantasy”, in Mental 15, February 2005, Available in English online, p. 14.


50th Study Days of the École de la Cause Freudienne

Argument – Part 3

By Angèle Terrier

The verification of the real of the drive exigency in infantile sexuality is at the core of Freud’s invention of psychoanalysis. There is no unconscious without the encounter with a first experience of jouissance, Lacan states in the “Geneva lecture on the symptom” [1]. By putting the accent on the effect of this encounter, he emphasises, with the support of the clinic of little Hans, the exterior and foreign character of this jouissance hétéro that breaks-in. Even though the little one encounters the sexual reality in his own body, by no means is this jouissance autoerotic. This is evidenced by the heartbreaking invasion which little Hans experiences in this phobic symptom, which condenses this jouissance which assails him and which he rejects with all his strength. The symptom is formed at the point where sexual reality erupts, in the context of the intimacy little Hans knows with his mother and of the type of the father he has. The subject’s response is an effect of the contingency of an encounter with an external jouissance as well as of the structural necessity of language which confronts him with an unsayable.

A hundred and twenty years after the birth of psychoanalysis, women testify -by means of a sharp a well-saying- to the unassimilable of a sexual trauma. If psychoanalysis shows that the introduction of sexuality is structurally traumatizing,[2] the violence of trauma is something different when a bad encounter comes to embody this jouissance in the locus of the Other.

When the veil of the fantasy which covers the real is torn, the subject is confronted with the obscene jouissance of the Other. Thus, what is experienced as the foreignness of one’s own body in the emergence of sexuality, becomes confused with the position of object that the subject incarnates for the jouissance of an other.

An analysis may allow someone to grasp something of this position of object which is constitutive of every subject that comes into the world, and to read the symptom formed in response to this initial trauma. It can also allow the subject to exit the abyss in which he or she has been precipitated following a sexual trauma.

We live in a world which is no longer exclusively dominated by an aspiration to virility; the Lacanian orientation allows psychoanalysis to lodge the real as it arises in our time. The 50th Study-Days of the ECF will be the occasion for us to take stock of the issue of sexual trauma, and to gather -by means of the clinic- a new knowledge about what constitutes sexual assault today.

Translated by Peggy Papada

[1] Lacan, J., Geneva lecture on the symptom, In Analysis, No. 1, 1989: pp. 7-26.
[2] Lacan, J., Seminar XI, The four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis (1964), edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, Seuil, 1973, translated by Alan Sheridan, London, The Hogarth Press, 1977, p. 64.

Argument – Part 2

By Éric Zuliani
Sexual assault haunts the first steps of Freud’s discovery. Researching for a cause that can account for the symptoms -firstly hysterical -, his letters to Fliess and his first writings establish the observation that something is wrong with the sexuality of speaking beings: impotence, premature ejaculation, frigidity are already inscribed in the portraits of patients who speak to him. However, unraveling the thread of the causality of symptoms, Freud only finds one memory replacing an other, one scene substituted by an other scene, forming as many signifying chains which invariably lead to a domain where sexuality and trauma form a knot concerning a real. He deduces an original causality from it, where something assaults the subjective constitution of the speaking being, who is implicated, in its defending body, by the intrusion of the Other, “its knowledge, its desire and its jouissance.” [1] The body, precisely, is permanently marked by an excess of senseless sexual excitation which exiles the subject into a forever symptomatic sexuality. How does psychoanalysis operates on this “implication”?
His Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality explore the way by which men and women, equal in relation to the instance of a sexuality no longer linked to biology, are the seat of a sexual activity guided by the imperative of the drive, without including the sexuated Other. Lacan illuminates the baroque montages of the drive, a mixture of the imaginary and the symbolic, and the part which escapes the drive, piercing the sexual encounter with his aphorism: there is no sexual relation. Yes, but there is this jouissance, absolute, outside the body, which harasses you: demanding its rights, it confines you to solitude and puts an obstacle to sexuality. The speaking being is caught between the insistence of the drive and that which pushes him to a yes or a no in his rapport with the Other. Hence Vanessa Springora’s subtle interrogation on the question of consent, which illuminates this non-place of the love encounter where the enjoying body and language attempt to get knotted by means of desire and love. What are these knots? And when the knot is undone, what are the consequences? Sexual assault is lodged in this zone where encounters are invented instead of the non-rapports: sexual non-relation and non-relation of speech. It is also the place where women and men are engaged in unconscious ties without guarantee. The sexual is only there as a horizon, where a man does not enjoy the body of a woman but only his own body, where a woman, in the name of a wanting to be loved (which can at times be ravaging), gives herself to the sexuality of her partner, where the hurtful is never too far away.
The contemporary questions of feminist movements – including #metoo– on the violence towards women and the denunciation of a “rape culture” for example, are addressed to men and remain to be explored. The Lacanian orientation can become its addressee. In 1969 Lacan gives an indication which can guide us: “that the whole theory of analysis, as it is sometimes said, has developed along an androcentric channel, is certainly not the fault of men, as is believed. In particular, it is not because they dominate. It is because they have lost their way. From then on, it is only women, and especially hysterical women, who understand something about it.”[3]
Starting from the analytical experience, what do women have to teach us about sex; what is the actuality of men in analysis, of their desiring conditions (which Freud pinned down as neurotic in his time), and of the destinies of these conditions during and at the end of an analysis?

Translated by Peggy Papada

[1] Miller, Jacques-Alain, “The Child and Knowledge”, Psychoanalytical Notebooks 24, 2012.
[2] Springora, V., Le consentement, Paris, Grasset, 2020.
[3] Lacan J., Seminar XVI, From an Other to the other, Lesson of 5th March 1969, Unpublished.


50th Study Days of the École de la Cause Freudienne

Argument – Part 1

By Laurent Dupont
Sexual assault, the expression comes from Freud. We quote the passage which concerns Emma: “On two occasions when she was a child of eight she had gone into a small shop to buy some sweets, and the shopkeeper had grabbed at her genitals through her clothes. In spite of the first experience she had gone there a second time; after the second time she stopped away. She now reproached herself for having gone there the second time, as though she had wanted in that way to provoke the assault.[1]” Freud employs the word assault (attentat)[2] to name the violence and the explosion of that which comes to be inscribed in the body of the subject confronted by the irruption of the sexual as a traumatic encounter. The body is marked by it. In Emma’s case, years later, it is by an inhibition, trace in the subject’s body of the first attack. The inhibition is therefore a response to the assault. But where is what causes the assault really situated? Freud’s quoted phrase demonstrates also that there is an element of reproach of the subject addressed to itself; the assault is not solely attributed to the other, but the subject itself is situated at the heart of a psychical conflict from which Freud will try to extract the stakes of the trauma. We have here the premises of that which Freud will develop later, beyond the theory of seduction: it is the sexual itself which is an assault, which is traumatic due to not being inscribed anywhere in the human being as an instinct.
This is what Lacan will point out with his scandalous aphorism: There is no sexual rapport, meaning that the sexual encounter is always traumatic. In a firm response to Françoise Dolto, Lacan gives a concise definition: “the copulatory fact of the introduction of sexuality is traumatizing […] The central bad encounter is at the level of the sexual.”[3] In Television, he will speak of the “curse on sex” [malediction sur le sexe], [4] which we can hear as “the saying it bad on the sexual”. This non-meeting, we cannot but say it badly. The consequence of this bad is diction, is that there is no signifying articulation which can say the sexual rapport. From this fundamental trauma, which Lacan will call troumatisme, is deduced the string of all discoveries of the unconscious of a subject in order to bring into existence that which does not exist and one of them, the fantasy, is what will permit Lacan to think of the end of the analysis. The fantasy allows to make the bet that if we cannot articulate anything about the sexual assault, we can testify, say something, about the traversal of the fantasy.
Certainly there is an infantile sexuality, this no longer needs to be demonstrated, it is taken in the dimension of the fantasy of the child. But the adult hand landing on the child, breaking the taboo, comes to tear up the veil of the fantasy or, at least, operates a violence of unveiling. That which is unveiled, like in Freud’s Emma, is the other’s sexual jouissance without brake, which reveals that which of ours remained veiled. Of that, Vanessa Springora, Adèle Haenel and the others have testified with rigour.
Le’t bet that our Study Days, the 50th, forty years after the creation of the École de la Cause Freudienne, will find a well-saying for that which in the encounter with the sexual makes a break-in, trauma for each one, most often under the veil of the fantasy, there where, for others, it is exactly in the lifting of the veil that the sexual encounter is assaulted.
Translated by Peggy Papada
[1] Freud, S., Project for a Scientific Psychology (1950 [1985]), In J. Strachey (Ed.), Standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (vol. 1. p.354), London: Hogarth.
[2] Freud, in the German edition, writes: Attentate (Assault)
[3] Lacan, J., Seminar XI, The four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis (1964), edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, Seuil, 1973, translated by Alan Sheridan, 1977, Karnac, p64.
[4] Lacan, J., Television (1976), translated by D. Hollier, R. Krause & A. Michelson, 1990, Norton, p.30.



Still Dreaming? / La Cause Du Désir

Tu rêves encore ? La Cause Du Désir 2020/1 (N° 104) / Editor : L’École de la Cause freudienne



The title of this issue highlights the place we give to the interpretation of dreams, 120 years after the invention of psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud. What use do psychoanalysts make of the dream, since Jacques Lacan taught us to consider the unconscious in its real dimension, as the one-blunder [l’une-bévue] which is neither to be deciphered nor interpreted?

The dream and its interpretation do not occupy the same place at the beginning and at the end of an analysis – this is the common thread running through this issue, like the one that the artist Salvatore Puglia could sew on the Roman ruins of the cover. There where it is a question of first giving consistency to the meanings present in the dream so that the subject hears the equivocation of the signifiers which determine it, the progress of the cure reveals behind these same linguistic articulations a real element present in the ‘One’ of the surplus-jouissance that is satisfied in it.

The dream thus approached as an accident, a cut, no longer harbors meanings to be revealed in the signifiers that give it body; it limits itself – like the haikus studied by Roland Barthes in The Empire of Signs – to show something that is taking place, a phenomenon: to indicate “that”.

Freud’s drive-based unconscious [inconscient pulsionnel], present in his second topography, is reduced at the end of an analysis to the radical and impossible to reabsorb cut produced by the encounter with jouissance in its pictorial formations. Some dreams evoked here by the Analysts of the School testify to this. The signifiers of the dream come to dress the reality of the One of jouissance, whether it is the traumatic jouissance that marks the body, or that of the troumatisme that sexuality implies for all speaking beings. The cases published in the clinical section demonstrate in an original way what use can be made of dreams in clinical practice, even and especially with young speaking beings! The intervention of the analyst is modified, as is the place of interpretation, reduced to the equivocations that homophony, grammar and logic – as Lacan indicates in L’Étourdit – allow to produce. It is the unconscious itself that becomes interpreter, deciphering the enigma of the pure contingency involved in the encounter of the body with jouissance.

“We don’t wake up: dreams keep desire alive,” Lacan tells us in the 1974 note published in this issue. This statement has its weight and thwarts the initial idea, developed in his first seminars, that one wakes up to continue sleeping. In this same note, Lacan situates death on the side of awakening, as being a dream of life: “Life is something quite impossible which can dream of absolute awakening. It is on the side of awakening that death is situated.”

An original reading of the interpretation of dreams is offered to us by Marie-Hélène Brousse who approaches it as a text which covers -with its signifiers- that which escapes language and marked the body in its traumatic eruption. More otherness therefore, but the manifestation of the jouissance of the body which makes itself heard through the signifiers of the dream. A new orientation thus takes shape thanks to this text, which places the One-all-alone of jouissance in the contingency that supposes “the random accident that is the living body without the Other.”

This perspective allows us to define the “bit of real” present in the symbolic differently than the Freudian Unnerkannt, the unknowable of the dream, found by Freud at the bottom of Irma’s throat: it is no longer an inlay of the real in the signifier of the narrative, but rather of how this real shows its nose in the dream. This perspective then adds a new articulation between the symbolic dimension of the narrative of the dream and the real which it comes to cover over, going beyond the more well-known Freudian perspective of the “navel of the dream.”

The testimonies occurred at the end of the analysis and in the “beyond the Pass” turn out to be invaluable here to verify this relation that the dream has with the real. The dream bordering the real of jouissance, giving it form, giving it body through its signifiers, while metamorphosing it: this is indeed the dream from the perspective of the real unconscious, of the one-blunder.

The event that was the 49th Study-Days of the School of the Freudian Cause finds an echo in this issue, with Delphine Horvilleur’s intervention, who brilliantly demonstrated to us that the practice of reading and the letter does not just belong to the domain of ​​psychoanalysis; with the interview that took place, after reading his manifesto, between Paul B. Preciado, François Ansermet and Omaïra Meseguer; and finally with a fascinating article by Éric Laurent on the failed encounter between feminism and Lacan’s proposal “There is no sexual relation.”

Like “th’Esp of a Rev,”[1] art is not to be interpreted, it makes it possible to border the real that inhabits the one who creates it, through a fictional or pictorial construction, thus the drawings of François Matton by which these pages are scanded. The approach of an analysis resonates with that of the artist, this is what is heard in the voice of Jeanne Balibar who intensely circumscribes her “knowing-how-to-do with the hole” in her acting profession, and in “that voice that speaks to us,” watched over by composer Betsy Jolas.

It is clear that the reveries proposed by the civilization of excess and its behavioral regulations do not succeed in silencing this other approach to the dream opened by the Freudian practice, re-enlightened by Jacques Lacan. So, are you still dreaming?


[1] Laurent É., “The Réveil (Awakening) from the Rêve (Dream) or th’Esp of a Rev”, orientation text for the 12th Congress of the WAP “Dream. Its Interpretation and Use in Lacanian Treatment”, Buenos Aires, 14-18 December 2020, available online.


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


Vilma Coccoz

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” [1], 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.


[1] Jacques-Alain Miller, Un comienzo en la vida [A beginning in life]. Synthesis. Madrid. 2003. p. 13.

The Feminine Uncanny Saying the Unsayable

23rd Brasilian Encounter of the Freudian Field / 20th to 22nd November 2020 – Itaigara – Salvador / Guest Speaker: Christiane Alberti (ECF – Paris) encontrobrasileiro2020.com.br
The feminine is one of the names for our contemporary discontent. This isn’t the first time it elicits our attention and it certainly won’t be the last. The stuff of our gathering is inspired by a research programme that stirs and rouses our community and its many littorals. We always start from an unknown and, on this occasion, we’ll also have to factor-in an unknowable. This time we were interested in stretching the boundary of the sayable about the feminine, beyond our everyday ‘disance’.
In doing so, we wanted to cross the feminine with that quality of feeling, embodied in what Freud called Das Unheimliche, an experience that’s been unpacked for one hundred years. The link has already been made by several authors in the littorals of our field. We would like to say it in Other way, to get to this affaire – as per Joyce’s Witz– “where the hand of man never set foot”[1].
The phenomenon of the uncanny in Freud seems to date from his approach to his female hysterical patients and their symptoms, who exhibited fantastical bodies, remarkable for their strange effects on subjectivity. The feminine appears linked to the impossibility of symbolically representing the subjects’ experience of their body –so intimate and strange it cannot be shared.
More specifically, women appear in Freud’s 1919 The Uncanny, when he argues on the factor of repetition as a source of the “uncanny feeling”[2], which he considers will not be easily recognisable to everyone.
The context is Freud’s ‘random’ walk, “As I was walking, one hot summer afternoon, through the deserted streets of a provincial town in Italy which was unknown to me”. He comes across “a quarter of whose character I could not long remain in doubt.” We cannot but quote it, to distill the essence of our inquiry. “Nothing but painted women were to be seen at the windows of the small houses, and I hastened to leave the narrow street at the next turning”. Freud fails, unable to flee, going around in circles, ultimately condemned to what he terms an involuntary return to the same place, the colorful, feminine windows. Helplessness and uncanniness, the feelings of the norm/male. Fumbling for the light switch in a darkened room, like the stone in mid-path intimately familiar to the Freudian Field in Brazil, he trips over a piece of furniture.
What is Freud fleeing? The depths of a throat, a Medusa, a devouring, female praying mantis? The easy way out is an oedipal, phallic reading, invoking the second condition and secretly familiar proximity Dirne-Mother, to Dirnenhaftbarkeit, the “status of whore” and to substantiate a rejection of femininity; a Freud who unhesitatingly leaves. We’re already familiar with the Trem das onze[3] syndrome.
What fire do these open windows and Boquitas Pintadas[4] signal, this exhibitionist quarter[5] what does it provoke? Is it enough to point out the knot of desire and defence in the Other scene? Or is there something in these women that won’t submit to castration?[6] What opaque thing draws him back? Why does he come back again and again, making of this return an example of an uncanny experience?
The walk in thespace between two worlds […] indicates the passage from the closed world to the infinite universe”[7]. In this walk, Freud illuminates the experience of what doesn’t exist, what ek-sists. Feminine jouissance and the uncanny experience occur within the body and “parlêtres in general have trouble dealing with the feminine body”[8]. Generally, regardless of their chosen door to urinary segregation, jouissance as such, theorised starting from feminine jouissance “is [gender] neutral”, was Miquel Bassols’ recent Witz.
As we go, we will establish whether the uncanny feminine may lead us to an entire field that psychoanalysis approaches – in the clinical, in epistemics and in relation to other fields.
So let’s grab our lanterns, candles, and why not our mobile phones, to plunge, not so randomly, bearing maps, breadcrumbs, roadside graffiti, into the overly proximate, uncanny feminine. The challenge is to say what we find there.
Marcela AnteloIordan Gurgel
Salvador, Bahia, January 2020
[1] Joyce, James, Finnegans Wake, Penguin UK, 2000. p.203.
[2] Freud, Sigmund, “The ‘Uncanny”, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVII (1917-1919), 217-256.
[3] The 1964 samba song Trem Das Onze (The 11pm Train) song by Adoniran Barbosa is the lament of a man who has to leave his date to catch the last train and go and look after his mother.
[4] TN: Little Painted Mouths, the original title of Manuel Puig’s 1969 novel, translated into English as Heartbreak Tango.
[5] Lacan, Jacques, [1964] The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book XI. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, New York: W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1998. p. 75. «The world is all-seeing but it is not exhibitionist – it does not provoke our gaze. When it begins to provoque it, the feeling of strangeness begins too.».
[6] Miller, Jacques-Alain, “L’être et l’Un” [Being and the One]. Lacanian Orientation III, 13, Course n. 5. Lesson 2/3/2011. «[…] ça dit qu’il y a quelque chose chez les femmes qui n’est pas pris dans la castration. Et c’est pourquoi Lacan pouvait dire, écrire, d’une façon qui a pu surprendre, que c’est de ce côté -là que gît le mystère, ce qui fait mystère de la jouissance féminine ». p. 10
[7] Vieira, Marcus André, “A inquietante estranheza do fenômeno à estrutura” [The Uncanny, from the phenomenon to the structure]. Published in Latusa, n. 4, Rio de Janeiro, EBP-Rio e Contra Capa, 1999.
[8] Brousse, Marie-Hélène, Mulheres e discursos [Women and Discourses]. Rio de Janeiro: Contra Capa, 2019. p. 37.

Beyond Ontology

by Esthela Solano-Suárez
“To interpret, here the word fails, and it should be substituted with another, such as to circumscribe, to attest”[1]. This proposition by Jacques-Alain Miller invites us to consider the limits of the concept of interpretation when the analytic experience aims at the real of jouissance.
Taking into consideration the upheaval introduced by Lacan in his later teaching, including his own experience as analyst, he finds himself moving away from a practice of interpretation aimed at thenon substantial, barred subject, and therefore conceived as related to the lack-of-being [want-to-be]. In this view, interpretation is resolved at the level of desire, to make it “come into being”[2]. From this derives the creationist power of the analyst’s words.
Yet the problematic of being proves inappropriate when it is a question of aiming not only at the insistence of the fleeting being of desire but also at the irremovable permanence of jouissance. This stopping point, J.-A. Miller indicates, will lead Lacan to extract psychoanalysis from the ontological register, suddenly displacing the operation of the analyst from being that of a meaning-giving word, towards taking into account the the signifier as disjointed from the effects of the signified. Aiming at the signifier out of meaning, Lacan will cut off the issue of sense and of the fictions of being: this is what is condensed in his jaculation: “There is something of the One”.
J.-A. Miller indicates that this renunciation of ontology leads Lacan towards the category of the hole, which is not unrelated to the lack-of-being. It displaces nevertheless the accent from the ontological towards the ex-sistence of the jouissance of the One, which affects the body.
In this register, he points out, the analyst cannot profit from the creationist power of words, of speech, on the side of meaning. He is summoned to operate in a dimension where the term interpretation fails. And this is why he wonders if it shouldn’t be substituted with another term, such as “to circumscribe or to attest.” That being said, he admits that he is not satisfied with such vocabulary, clarifying that he would like “to find the vocabulary which would better say that which concerns the analyst, with regards to the term jouissance which goes beyond ontology.”[3]
On this point, both the A.S. [Analysts of the School] who will give their testimonies about their experience as analysands at at “Question of School”, as well as the Α.Μ.S. [Analysts Members of the Scholl] who will articulate the teaching they derive from the practice of supervision, will give us the opportunity to put into work this crucial question posed earlier by J.-A. Miller.
Translated by Peggy Papada
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.
[1] Miller J.-A., « Lacanian Orientation. The One all alone », teaching presented in the context of the department of psychoanalysis of the university of Paris VIII, course of 11 May 2011, unpublished.
[2] Ibid., course of 23 March 2011.
[3] Ibid., course of 11 May 2011.

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.

Hole in the body and in language, which our XIth NEL Study-Days propose to border, departing from the unbearable of childhood. Could it be the case that that impossible to bear, that which remains outside, ex-ists in each psychoanalyst? […]
Excerpt of the Argument by Raquel Cors Ulloa, President of the XIth NEL Study-Days 2020 

28th Study-Days of the EOL


30th November & 1st December 2019 – Hotel Panamericano, CABA, Argentina


“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)

The title of our XXVIII Annual Study-Days is an invitation to practitioners of psychoanalysis: “Let us talk about the unconscious, encore…”.[1] This is a title that seeks to articulate the epistemic, the clinical and the political, both inside and outside the School. We consider that the unconscious, in its different manifestations, is the foundation of our practice and what differentiates it from any (other) therapy. A wager: let us talk about the unconscious, since “it is up to us to trace a path that takes into account the powers of the signifier and, at the same time, the contingency of the real”.[2] A real that, for Lacan, is “the mystery of the speaking body, is the mystery of the unconscious”.[3] In the Lacanian orientation we oppose both the “delirium of an unconscious without symptom” and the “delirium of a symptom without unconscious”.[4]
Of which unconscious must one speak, still? How do we situate the supposition of the unconscious today? In the register of language or in that of lalangue? How to approach its formation and its laws going from the last teaching to the transferential unconscious?
We know that in a first moment of his teaching, the unconscious for Lacan is structured as a language. This is how he reformulates the Freudian clinical structures, the fundamental compass of our orientation. He renews the validity of the hypothesis of the unconscious, stating that its status is ethical: “Starting with Freud, the unconscious becomes a chain of signifiers that repeats and insists somewhere (on another stage or in a different scene, as he wrote), interfering in the cuts offered it by actual discourse and the cogitation it informs.”[5] Evanescence, stumbling, fissure… at the center of the structure of the unconscious, the causal fault. We are at the level of the sexual reality of the unconscious as a pulsation that opens and closes.
The unconscious also manifests itself at the level of the master’s discourse: it is a question of the unconscious grasped as that which orders, manages, works, weaves, and interpellates us.
Regarding the unconscious at the level of lalangue, Lacan states: “Language is no doubt made up of lalangue. It is knowledge’s hare-brained lucubration about lalangue. But the unconscious is knowledge, a knowing how to do things with lalangue. (…) Lalangue affects us first of all by everything it brings with it by way of effects that are affects. If we can say that the unconscious is structured like a language, it is in the sense that the effects of lalangue, already there qua knowledge, go well beyond anything the being who speaks is capable of enunciating.”[6] Consequently, “the unconscious, if extended to the enigmatic affects, includes the events of the body, which do not have the same structure as the formations of the unconscious”.[7]
Martyr or Unsubscribed?
“The psychotic is a martyr of the unconscious, giving this term martyr its meaning, which is to be a witness. It’s an open testimony. The neurotic is also a witness to the existence of the unconscious, he gives a closed testimony that has to be deciphered. The psychotic, in the sense in which he is in a first approximation an open witness, seems arrested, immobilized, in a position that leaves him incapable of authentically restoring the sense of what he witnesses and sharing it in the discourse of others.[8] This is Lacan’s position in his seminar on the psychoses. Now, we know that many years later, in his elaborations on Joyce, he will propose the expression “unsubscribed from the unconscious”. What are the differences and similarities between martyr and unsubscribed in the field of the psychoses? How do these positions play out in relation to the unconscious in the neuroses? And finally, which unconscious are we speaking about at the end of analysis?
The analyst’s relationship to his unconscious
In his course Analytical Subtleties, Miller says that what should not be forgotten is the relationship of the analyst with his unconscious. “The analyst – whether nominated, self-instituted, experienced or debutant – is in no way exempt from trying, as exemplified by Freud, to clarify his relationship with the unconscious. I do not say to love it… “[9]
On the other hand, unconscious and sinthome are two nonhomogeneous orders. This is what Lacan explores with the knot, for example when in “Joyce the Symptom”, he says that “The unconscious is knotted to the sinthome” [10].
The big question is to know how these two orders are present in our practice of analysis, in our conception of the unconscious. The testimonies of the AEs at our Study Days will give an account of the fact that where it speaks is the singular of the jouissance where it does not speak to anyone.
“We are spoken, and, because of this, from the hap­penstances that drive us, we form something textured.” [11]
Being non-dupe of the unconscious as Freud was, allowing himself to be led by the discourse of his times in relation to the occult, he discovered the unconscious and reached the navel of the dream.[12] What Lacan reveals is that it is not a question of something hidden, but rather that the unconscious is on the surface, causing us to stumble again and again when speaking, making present the absence of sexual relationship.
A psychoanalysis is an experience that consists in weaving a fiction, but at the same time or subsequently, it is an experience that consists in undoing this fiction. It is not a question of the triumph of the fiction, since this lying truth is put to the test in its impotence to resolve the opacity and the weight of the real.
Dear colleagues, we are called on, as we proposed at the beginning of these lines, to trace a path that takes into account the powers of the signifier and, at the same time, the contingency of the real. The unconscious speaks still!
Gabriela Basz and Mónica Gurevicz Directors of the Study-Days
Translated by Roger Litten



10th Study Days of the EBP-SAO PAULO
18th and 19th October 2019
That a poet has much to say about loneliness, there can be no doubt. And if, for the poet, solitude is the lava that covers everything, what would psychoanalysis have to say about it?
One can’t necessarily affirm that loneliness figures directly as a concept in either Freud or Lacan. However it is often implicit in their teachings. We are attempting to extract from these teachings the boundaries that situate loneliness, of which we hear a lot about in our clinical practice, and to fundamentally explore how it concerns the unconscious.
The loneliness of which so many patients complain, appears as a substratum of an ethic appropriate to neoliberalism which valorizes the “I” to an extreme. It engenders the frenetic search for self-sufficiency, self-transformation and self-realization, leading Eric Laurent to call it “the democratic individualism paradox of the masses”[1]. We are reminded that for Lacan, the capitalist discourse does not establish a social bond.
In Mass Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Freud affirms that although the individual is the result of many identifications, one can also “elevate oneself above others, the measure of which has a fragment of independence and originality” [2]. To that end, Le Bon contrasts this with the behavior of the subject in a group as a “state of isolation.” It leads us to say that great intellectual discoveries “are only possible for the individual who works in solitude” [3]. We could infer from that, something like an “ethic of solitude”. How do we distinguish an ethic of solitude from the loneliness of the neoliberal subject, one of self-sufficiency?
The problematic of loneliness is present in Freud. On Narcissism: An Introduction [4] approaches the difference between the withdrawal of the libido in the world of the paraphrenic and of the neurotic. If the first does it in such a way that it is effective, the second removes its relationship with others and with the world in spite of it being a form that is apparent and maintained only at the level of fantasy.
Even the loneliness of a religious hermit, says Freud, doesn’t imply libidinal de-sexualization, but rather, a change in the mode of satisfaction, a sublimation. In this way, there are two forms of loneliness: one grounded in the fantasy and the other wherein the social bonds disappear completely.
Staying within the field of psychosis: if, in the case of the paraphrenic, one can speak of a “true loneliness”, what shall we say of the loneliness of the paranoiac, in that a certain relationship with the Other is maintained and is transformed into a delusion of persecution, and thus a withdrawal of the libido of everyday life? Or even, the isolation of the Other experienced by the autistic, who, nevertheless, is also not totally exiled from language? Fabian Naparstek, writing in an issue of Scilicet entitled A Real for the 21st Century [5], names it the “loneliness of the crazed”, and describes it as “an unbearable freedom with regard to the Other”.
It is also, the structural dimension of loneliness that addresses the constitution of the subject, as a result of the experience of separation or castration. We can think of it essentially as the symbolic, the experience of presence or absence. Lacan, returning to the fort-da game, described by Freud, understands that the subject makes the object appear and disappear, destroying it as such. The object is required when absent and its absence is evoked in presence. Hence, in relation to the subject, there is the lack of the object. As Lacan says “(…) it is already in its loneliness that man’s desire became the desire of another, an alter ego, that dominates and whose object of desire is, from then on, its own pity”[6]. In Seminar XI Lacan affirms that “there is no fort without da” [7]. In this sense, the feeling of loneliness would be linked to the supposition that there could be a presence where something is absent.
The structural logic of loneliness is well demonstrated by the fort-da game, wherein the subject upon entering the field of language is divided thus becoming a desiring subject. Such loneliness inherent in the constitution of the subject, is, in the final analysis relative to the impossibility of the subject as a One with the Other.
Naparstek observes the unbearable character of this structural loneliness and that it results in the rejection of the Other. This rejection is the necessary fruit of the barring of the subject’s own existence. Perhaps, here we can add that Lacan, in Seminar X, emphasizes that most of the subject’s anxiety is the lack of absence: “The possibility of absence here, is the assuredness of presence” [8]. Anxiety, and the presence of the object, is certainly, a mark of our time, invaded as it is by countless objects imposed on the subject. We are experiencing a dual form of loneliness: the imposition of presence resulting in the deterioration of the social bond, as well as, the necessity of absence, which generates an “I” that is both isolated and phobic [9].
It is also important to highlight the act of loneliness itself. In the Lacanian paradigm it is encountered in the founding act of the School where in Lacan comments: “I establish it—as alone as I have always been in my relation to the analytic cause…”. The moment of the act occurs without the Other and thus leaves the subject with its solitude. Nonetheless, the Other remains someplace on its horizon. There is however, an act that implies a definitive rupture, the consequence of which is the inexorable disappearance of the subject and of the Other: the act of suicide. Suicide would be the act that reaches a paroxysm of loneliness.
An inexhaustible field of investigation opens up when we consider the perspective of the speaking being and of jouissance rather than of the subject and the Other. When the symbolic loses its prevalent role, as it does in the last teachings of Lacan, the reference to the One of jouissance comes unexpectedly: There is One. It is the essence of this jouissance with its autistic and solitary character. Would it be appropriate to speak about solitude and a jouissance premised on radical alterity? Would it be a feminine jouissance that operates beyond phallic jouissance and puts the woman in the position of the “not-all”? How should the solitude of the feminine position be differentiated from the loneliness of the masculine position? This jouissance not covered by phallic jouissance, also expresses itself in mystical experiences, devastation, and, many times, at the end of an analysis. Which form of solitude accompanies it?
In the final analysis, there is much that one can say about loneliness. The testimonies of the Pass bring an immense amount of material about the singular ways found to reckon with the absence of sexual rapport and the way in which the sinthome comes to order the subjectivity of each, one by one. Certainly, it addresses another solitude, not the loneliness evident in the complaints of patients at the beginning of an analysis. How should we differentiate among them?
In addition, how should we think about solitude, in this collective, in this psychoanalytic School? Miller teaches that “the School is the sum of subjective solitudes” where each one alone rallies around “the one-more”, the analytic cause. The founding of the School sustains itself like this, through a collective logic that has, as its base, the subjective loneliness of each one alone in relation to the analytic cause.
As one can see, there are innumerable lines of research that open up to this universe of loneliness. Better stated, the solitudes (plural), that impose themselves on all facets of what has been alluded to here, as well as so many other facets yet to be explored. It is for this reason that we invite you to the Study Days of the EPB-SP, and together [to paraphrase the words of Paulinho da Viola] we will dance the dance of loneliness.
Daniela de Camargo Barros Affonso
 Orientation Committee

Translated by Gary Marshall
[1]LAURENT, É, O avesso da biopolítica. Uma escrita para o gozo [The Other Side of Biopolitics. A Writing for Jouissance]. Rio de Janeiro, Contra Capa, 2016, p. 13
[2]FREUD, S. (1921) “Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego”, SE, Vol. XVIII.
[3] Ibid.
[4]FREUD, S. (1914), “On Narcissism. An Introduction”. In: Op. Cit., Vol. XIV.
[5]NAPARSTEK, Fabián. “Solitude”. In: Scilicet A Real for the 21st Century, 2014, p. 337.
[6]LACAN, J. “Function and Field…”, in Ecrits. The First Complete Edition in English, Routledge, 2006.
[7] LACAN, J. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book 11, “The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis”, W.W. Norton &Co.
[8] LACAN, J. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book 10, “Anxiety”, Polity, 2017.
[9] LA SAGNA, Philippe. “Do isolamento à solidão pela via da ironia” [From Isolation to Solitude through Irony]. In: Revista Curinga, nº 44.
[10] MILLER, J.-A. “Turin Theory of the Subject of the School”, http://iclo-nls.org/wp-content/uploads/Pdf/Turin.pdf

The Discordance Between the Sexes in the Light of Psychoanalysis

Thursday, 9 May 2019
XVIII Study Days of the ELP – 23rd and 24th November 2019 – Palau de la Musica, Valencia


Etymologically, discordance refers to sentimental dissension, hearts that are in disaccord, in conflict. It is a word that accommodates itself to the immense variety of complications proper to the relation between the sexes for those who inhabit language. In contrast to other sexuated living beings, those who inhabit language do not have a natural programme that would indicate in a certain and definitive manner the object that corresponds to them. On the other hand, neither is the real of their anatomy sufficient to conclude about the sex that each one might end up attributing to themselves.
Of course it is on the basis of anatomy that boys and girls are identified at birth, but as Lacan says “sexuated beings are authorised only by themselves”[1], that is, the classification of the Other does not prevent them choosing, but even when they accept to align themselves with one of these signifiers nothing implies that they will take as partner someone from the opposite category.
In the absence of instinctual determination, speaking beings resort to language to organise their sexuality. Freud thus conceived the phallus – fruit of the cooperation between the imaginary of the difference between bodies and the symbolic of the paternal law – as the operator that orders the real of sex and orients the choice of partner: men aspiring to use theirs like the father – but submitted to the fear of losing it in an imaginary or symbolic sense – and women wanting to obtain one by right – but with envy and resentment on account of their supposed inferiority. Any prior real remained forever lost.
In this way the man would incline towards the woman and the woman towards the man, but exclusively due to the relation that each maintains with the phallus, which is declined between having it and being it, with the support of semblants to construct a seeming to present to the world. From this phallic angle there is no sexual relation but instead a relation to the phallus.
Nonetheless, Freud already perceived that the woman escaped in part from this logic of the phallus; she had something mysterious about her, something that fluctuated between disturbing and malign.
In reality, his intuition took up something that comes to us from the origin of time: whether in the Olympus of the gods, where Eris cast the apple of discord into the world, triggering the Trojan war, or in the terrestrial paradise where Eve bit into the apple, tempting Adam to breach the law that God had instituted with speech, pushed by a jouissance beyond the signifier.
Reprising the Freudian intuition and renouncing it in favour of the symbolic, Lacan formulated that there is an indomitable real that cannot be grasped with the signifier and that satisfies the body. With the added particularity that this jouissance is always and exclusively of one’s own body, as a result of which it too entails no pairing between two, it does not cause a relation between two. In consequence, it is also from this perspective that we stumble upon the sexual non-relation, the non-complement between the sexes.
If this jouissance of the body is more accessible to the woman it is because being less phallic she is closer to the real, while the man is, in general, bloated by the phallus, submitted to it. The not-all phallic that femininity implies is presented as disturbing for the power of the symbolic, for the phallic power that the man supposedly has in being the possessor of the organ of copulation. The rejection of femininity, in all its manifestations – violence, depreciation, subjugation, annulment, degradation – thus turns out to be, simply, the rejection of the real. The discordance is ready to be served.
From this point of view, the relation of the couple with respect to the encounter of bodies consists in each of them approaching their partner as means of jouissance, that is, putting them in the place of the symptom. And we are well aware that relations with one’s own symptom are neither peaceful nor necessarily pleasant.
Fortunately, there is the recourse of love, to which Lacan attributed the dignified function of being supplement to the relation that does not exist. Because making love transcends procreation and coupling, and above all, purports to transcend autistic jouissance. With love, two bodies can see themselves led to overcome the contingency of an occasional encounter in order to believe themselves necessary to each other.
Lacan asked whether the speaking being was like this on account of what happens with sexuality or whether, on the contrary, whether this is what happens with sexuality because he is a speaking being. He never gave an answer to this question. He left us with the paradox involved in inhabiting language: it permits a margin of manoeuvre much greater than that available to other living beings but at the same time introduces a relational complexity without parallel. We parlêtres are in this sense a unique species.
What can one expect from an analysis in regards to all this? A psychoanalysis is the experience in which a speaking being can elaborate, isolate and make legible the writing of the mode of jouissance that prevails for him, thus opening up a certain degree of liberty.
It can also facilitate the access to a new love – different from the narcissistic and absolute love that leads discordance to take the form of ravage, of sacrifice or of homicide – an unprecedented love that takes lack and difference into account.
The XVIII Study Days of the ELP will treat these and other questions on the basis of the psychoanalytic clinic as symptoms of our civilisation.
Translated by Roger Litten
[1] Lacan, J., Seminaire XXI, Les non-dupes errant, Lesson of 4th April, 1974, unpublished.

“WOMEN IN PSYCHOANALYSIS” 49th Study-Days of the ECF

Monday, 24 June 2019


Analysts, analysands, protagonists of analysands’ stories… In psychoanalysis, there are women! They have a particular affinity with this science of love, sexuality, desire and jouissance. An analysis is oriented towards femininity for those who seek how to say-well the jouissance that encumbers them. Freud, the first to have taken into consideration the truths of hysterical women, found that the “rejection of femininity” was the stumbling block of an analysis, another name for the “bedrock” of castration.[1]This rock is the last bastion that resists the effects of the cure.
Advancing closer to the wall that encloses man in the phallic logic, Freud wanted to lend an ear to the other side, to the dark continent.[2] Except that, behind this wall, no essence of The woman is grasped. That’s what Lacan summed up in a single formula: The woman does not exist. This formula, which was considered scandalous, reveals the place behind the wall to be void of meaning and essence, resistant to universal statements – “they are all… this or that.”
Women are not “all”. More precisely, each one is not-all, but a unique and incomparable version that comes to live in the empty place of The woman. They add up in an open series of singular elements that tends towards infinity. If the question “What does a woman want?” remained intact for Freud, it is because there is no answer concerning the desire of a woman that could be true for each one.
Unsayable, experienced
Displacing the question from desire to jouissance, Lacan invites us to approach femininity beyond the phallic limit. Feminine jouissance is experienced from time to time, he says, but it is impossible to put into words.[3] By forcing it into words, by putting woman into words, one defames her.[4]He had, however, explicitly requested women analysts to speak about the experience of that inexpressible something; he was banking on a “saying-well” without which psychoanalysis has no reason to exist. Even though feminine jouissance cannot be said, its experience as body event can be testified to.
This supplementary jouissance is what, in a woman, is not really concerned with the threat of castration, and is therefore marked by infinity.[5] A woman can take refuge on the side of “the phallic having” in order to border the unlimited of this jouissance and thus wear the costume of ownership. However, she can meet a loving partner who embodies a relay and makes her “Other for herself, as she is for him.”[6] Then there will open up for her an infinite love addressed not to an object of love, but to an absolute otherness with respect to this object. From this Other beyond the partner, a woman will expect what she does not have, a word or a sign, giving this love an erotomaniac tinge. Because feminine eroticism does not go without love. Many incidents of feminine love can be read from the address to this Other that Lacan calls the castrated lover.[7] For a woman, a man can be the cause of a ravage, an affliction, an unhindered jouissance: sacrifice and absolute gift, identification with the ‘object nothing’, a plunge into the abyss of eternal waiting, unlimited rage and revenge to make a hole in the all-man.
Fascinations, misogynies
On the side of the man, feminine jouissance as experienced but not being able to be put into words, is unbearable up to the point of torment: woman is considered as a captivating mystery and the relation to the feminine can be declined in multiple aspects ranging from fascination to hate. The little boy, marked by the discovery that his mother is a woman, seeks to reduce this infinite enjoyment to the contours of the fetish object. He can become the maladroit who thinks “that to have two [women] does the trick,”[8] the fundamentalist insisting that women conceal themselves, the Hamlet who is predestined to make the passage to the act, the deaf man who hears in the demand for love the sign of a certain frigidity, the fool translating this unspeakable, this inconsistency, as masochism, aberration or caprice.
Our world is becoming more and more feminized, but it is also masculinized, as evidenced by the rise to the zenith of the fetishistic and pornographic object. Ordinary misogyny sometimes passes to the act. The violent hatred unleashed against women can be inflamed by the totalitarian will to succeed in bending the resistance of the feminine not-all to the universal all. Today, the response of women can no longer wait, and the limitlessness of the feminine position sometimes translates into an unprecedented power to act and to fight.
The very last teaching of Lacan, as Jacques-Alain Miller transmits it to us, extends the not-all singularity of feminine jouissance to the parlêtre as such, that is, to all bodies parasitized by language. The distinction between the side of the man and the side of the woman is not erased for all that. For if feminine jouissance is also found on the man’s side, “it is hidden under the sabre-rattling of phallic jouissance.”[9] A priori, men have a more rigid attachment to the pre-established structures of the Other, while women move more easily in the liquid world of the Other that does not exist. This unmediated relationship to the experience of jouissance in its singularity makes women more inclined and accommodating to the creation -without the father if necessary- of flexible, improvised and invented sinthomatic solutions.[10] It is in this respect that women in psychoanalysis can be more able to embody a compass for the world of the future that we have described as after-Oedipus.[11]
If the 49th Study Days of the École de la Cause freudienne aim at speaking-well about women in psychoanalysis, they also bet on demonstrating that psychoanalytic research on femininity offers a relevant reading of the malaise in civilization. We hope that they allow the extraction of new knowledge. But you will have to be there to experience it.
Gil Caroz, Director of J49
with Caroline Leducand Omaïra Meseguer, Co-directors
Translated by Janet Haney and John Haney
[1] Sigmund Freud, “Analysis Terminable and Interminable” (1937), SE Vol 23, p. 252.
[2] Cf. Sigmund Freud, “The Question of Lay Analysis” (1925) SE Vol 20, p. 212.
[3] Cf. Jacques Lacan, Seminar 20, Encore (1972-3), edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, transl. Bruce Fink, London/NY, Norton, 1998, p. 74.
[4] Ibid., p. 85. [TN: Bruce Fink notes that dit-femme and diffâme are homonyms in French; the latter also contains âme, ‘soul’.]
[5] Cf. Jacques Lacan, “Guiding Remarks for a Convention on Female Sexuality”, Écrits. The First Complete Edition in English, transl. Bruce Fink, 2006, p. 617.
[6] Ibid., p. 616.
[7] Cf. ibid., p. 617. [TN: To account for woman’s “duplicity” regarding men, Lacan distinguishes between “l’homme châtré” and “l’homme castré”, a distinction that is not possible to render in English.]
[8] “That by having two women he makes her whole” [TN]. Jacques Lacan, “L’étourdit”, Autres écrits, Paris, Seuil, 2001, p. 469.
[9]Jacques-Alain Miller, “L’orientation lacanienne. L’Être et l’Un”, delivered at the Department of Psychoanalysis, University of Paris VIII, lesson of 23 March 2011, unpublished.
[10] Cf. Lacan J., “Television”, in Television, ed. Joan Copjec, transl. Jeffrey Mehlman, New York, Norton, 1990, p. 40.
[11] Expression forged by Jacques-Alain Miller for the title of the PIPOL 6 Congress (2013), “After Oedipus Women are Conjugated in the Future”

by Marie-Hélène Brousse
Daniel Roy accomplished a tour de force by organising successive advances, since Freud up to Lacan, on this theme of “sexual difference”.[1]He drew the picture as it emerges today in the Lacanian Orientation deployed by Jacques-Alain Miller with the help of the blurry concept of jouissance as a compass. He did so by introducing in his approach the important changes that took place in the discourse of the master and its other side, the analytic discourse. He showed us how Lacan, so sensitive to the changes in modernity, manages to anticipate movements in the discourse of the master even before they appear, thereby demonstrating the predictive power of psychoanalysis when the clinic allies itself with logic and topology. I was therefore free to begin to introduce some additional lines of research for the next two years.
The Difference: Power of the Binary
Sexual or not, big or small, the difference is one of the fundamentals of the linguistic order. It operates because it is first of all an operation for separating and linking at the same time. It constitutes pairs that allow, either metonymically or metaphorically, an ordering of signifiers, words, concepts, images, sounds. When one reads Jacques-Alain Miller one comes to realize the power of this difference, and the power, therefore, of binaries to put order into the symbolic. This is how the social bond operates and all human affairs boil down to this.
The discourse indeed extends the operationality of the difference to the social order, firstly to the family, but more generally to all the institutional structures: the living/the dead, the rich/the poor, the oppressed/the oppressors, the good guys/the bad guys, and, last but not least, men/women.
But the difference is also a mode of satisfaction that produces jouissance as much by asserting itself, because each parlêtre enjoys its difference, as by effacing itself. It is then the jouissance of uniformity [mêmeté], that of the “us” against “them”, the fraternity that Lacan has shown is at the root of racism.[2]Uniformity [mêmeté] is also the foundation of machismo. From the differential order, we slide towards the segregative order. There is no segregation that does not hook itself to a difference attributed to modes of enjoyment. The difference, which founds the symbolic order and feeds imaginary satisfactions, has real effects.
The sexual difference, classically binary, is experiencing an unprecedented upheaval. A certain number of movements of opinion try to wrench it away from the binary S1-S2 in order to pluralize it – LGBT – or to erase it: a refusal of gender or a demand for the neuter. One of the trends of the time is to privilege the inclusive or– either a, or b, or both – over the exclusive or – or a, or b, not both. But binary forces correlative to these emancipatory movements are also deployed, in reaction, by a conservative movement that asserts itself as contrain the political life of the world: Bolsonaro, Trump, and the rise of religions and sects. In France we have seen this movement manifest itself against the so-called “marriage for all,” returning to representations of the traditional sexual difference within patriarchy.[3]
All of Lacan’s teaching deals with the question of sexual difference in speaking beings, and it does so not on the basis of nature but on that of language and the subject. This radical change in point of view differentiates the phallus from the penis and, therefore, the signifier from the organ, and culminates in Seminar 20, Encore. Moving from the subject to the speaking body, the difference ceases to be organized by the binary order and gives way to a non-binary opposition between the All, including all the speaking beings of whatever gender, and the not-all, which precisely no longer allows the binary difference to hold together.
But not so fast! Let’s start from the clinic of the child, who is still often born within the traditional family structure. Daniel Roy finishes his text with this comment made by Jacques-Alain Miller during his speech at the first Study Day of the Institute of the Child: “It belongs to the Institute of the Child to restore the place of the child’s knowledge, that is, what children know.”[4] I orient myself by this recommendation, which here gives the genitive its revolutionary meaning in the proper sense and, consequently, gives the Institute of the Child its power. Not what we – the psys, the adults – know about children, but what we learn from the mouths of children. This is the psychoanalytic revolution operated by Freud with the hysterics. Throughout his trajectory, Lacan applied this formula of extraction of knowledge by the analytical clinic to the letter.
Changes in Kinship Structures – or the Second Death of Laius
An analysand, during a session, says what has just happened to him. One Sunday morning, he was in bed with his wife, in the intimacy of their room, talking in a relaxed way, when their youngest son came in and stood at the foot of the bed and said: “You! You will have a surprise!” The boy then went back to his own room. Then he came back with his plastic sword and, without saying a word, struck the duvet as hard as he could just where his father’s genitals were. A modern version of Oedipus, foundation of the Freudian psychical structure and of psychoanalysis. Big surprise for Laius – even when he’s in analysis!
Let us add another element: in the early 1980s, the analyst working with those who were not yet called nursery school teachers and who had brought drawings of their young students as working papers, noticed that “man “and “woman” were not the words used by these young children to designate the difference between the sexes – today we would say genders – because language, if we pay it the precise attention that is required in the practice of psychoanalysis, is unconscious knowledge. The difference that appeared was between “father” and “mother”: there were dads and mums, not men and women.
These two clinical vignettes lead me to consider that the speech of the master changed. On the one hand, gender has taken precedence over sex; on the other hand, as Lacan repeatedly points out, father and patriarchy have experienced a certain decline in societies now uniformly and globally organized by the capitalist economy, subjugating the name to the object. At the legal level, for example, the law has replaced “father” and “mother” with “parent,” and the notion of “parenthood” has changed the distribution of authority in the family – not to mention the “rights of the child.”
“Parenthood”, as well as marriage “for all”, shows a change in the structures of kinship and thus family ties. We have moved to a universal that can be expressed by the formula “for any parent”, of whatever sex or gender. What new knowledge arises in the child who is confronted with these mutations?
In the Era of an Iron Social Order, Where Does Sexual Difference Lie?
In “Television”, Lacan affirmed in 1973 that “the familial order is nothing but the translation of the fact that the Father is not the progenitor, and that the Mother remains the contaminator of woman for man’s offspring;”[5] is this still the case? Do the children of 2021 still cover the man with Father and the woman with Mother? As Lacan anticipates it in Seminar 21, “Les non dupes errent”, using “the Borromean knot as an algorithm”, “the strict social order” has replaced the patriarchal family order.[6] Farewell father and mother, hello parenting: castration has been displaced. The phallic function is paradoxically submitted, on the side of identifications, either to the organ – imaginary identification – or to gender – new versions of the nomination, which has become self-nomination. The only thing that remains stable is the difference itself as a function engendered by language, and therefore the real of choice which is the minimal definition of castration.
It remains for the child to become the foundation and no longer the effect of the family, to choose its place in a difference that has become pluralised. Which one to choose? How does the child do it? Am I a bi-man or bi-woman? A female to male, male to female trans or a cis? Hetero male or hetero female, a homo? … etc.
Two remarks. The first on this point of language, because, in the end, there is only that which is not subjected to a choice: today, the accepted formulation is no longer transsexual, but transgender. “Trans” marks the being of speech and not the lack of being, which is the consequence of the grip of language on the body as it speaks. Second point: Lacan’s thesis that minorities are responsible for mutations of the modes of enjoying of the parlêtres is validated. The term ‘heterosexuality’ arose in language after ‘homosexuality’, and ‘cisgender’ after ‘transgender’. The child as a ‘polymorphic pervert’ is therefore quite the inventor.
Entanglements of the Phallus and Singular Satisfactions
Henceforth, it is not easy to use the term “phallic function”. The sexual difference has been, since Freud, in a more or less happy way, approached from the term of phallus, when it is not simply reduced to the anatomy of the male, that is to say to the penis. In this case, it is based on a foreclosure of the anatomy of the female. Ernest Jones and others struggle from these premises.[7] Pierre Naveau devoted an important study to this period of analytic theory.[8]
Jacques-Alain Miller’s 2008-2009 course entitled “Things of finesse in psychoanalysis” rigorously puts things in order.[9] He concretizes the expression of Lacan in the Écrits[10]: “The heteroclite castration complex”, a term he prefers, at this period of his teaching, to the classical term of Oedipus complex. The phallus is a “meta-signifier” that refers pell-mell to the “vital flow”, to an “imaginary signifier”, a “symbolic signifier”, a signified, a meaning, a sacrifice, a symbol, a sign, an organ, and so on. As Miller notes, “the libidinal world that Lacan created, he turned it around a signifier: the phallus. It spoke for everyone. And how! It is all the more telling that this signifier is imaginary.”[11] The phallus speaks to everyone and gives the psychoanalysts the shivers. From the point of view of clinical work, it is at best the exploitation of the principle of misunderstanding, which is foundational to speech, and, at worst, a veil of ignorance. This is why Miller reduces the heteroclite nature of this meta-signifier to a value: the value “minus,” which limits jouissance and thus makes desire possible. This is clearly the reason why Lacan opted for “castration complex” rather than “Oedipus complex.”
The so-called complexes and the phallus with a heteroclite definition were and are the occasion of slippages and prejudices at work in the passé and even reactionary positions of Freudian, post-Freudian and even Lacanian psychoanalysis. Lacan has always guarded against such slips in the discourse of the master, unlike some of his students, such as Françoise Dolto. Thus, he has always differentiated the subject from the individual and the ego. He dehumanized the father by reducing him to the name – the Name-of-the-Father – and in assimilating him to the metaphorical function, and he has dehumanised the mother in reducing her to desire. He never fails to recall that this operation, which touched the basis of the symbolic in psychoanalysis, was one of the reasons for his excommunication by the analytic world of the time, and the reason why he never returned to this Seminar entitled “Names-of-the-Father”, interrupted by PIPAAD and its “air of heritage”.[12]
If, as Miller does, we reduce the phallus to the minus sign, to this common value which allows the speaking bodies to enter into commerce and exchange, how are we to approach sexual difference, if not by the singularity of modes of enjoyment? At a time when the status of the child in the family has changed, where the child has become the foundation rather than a product, how does the child approach the lack, this “minus”, the inevitable consequence of language on the body and the link of discourse? How does the child speak about the choice of his or her singular mode of enjoyment?
Mutant or Hybrid? Infantile Sexual Theories
Two other clinical vignettes show the power of knowledge invented by children. A little girl, from the age of two, had impressed her family by the fact that, to assert her femininity, she demanded to put several dresses on top of each other, in the logic of making herself the fetish, and received as a gift for her six birthday a small notebook with a padlock – Diary of a Princess – a capitalist takeover of the fairy tale. A year or two later, the object, abandoned, fell into the hands of a curious adult. Some drawings, but, written on pages and pages, the following sentence: “Prince Charming is a cretin.” Damn! I didn’t know, but I should have. It is obvious. He only serves to wake the Sleeping Beauty. This is reminiscent of the film Kill Bill by Tarentino, in which the name of the heroine is scrambled on the soundtrack: while she is asleep in a deep coma, after being hit in the head by a bullet fired by the man she loves, her “favours” are monetised by the nursing staff. One day, the sleeping beauty suddenly wakes up and makes a transformation to this capitalist version of Prince Charming, a cretin as I later understood. These tales, these myths, what structures do they reflect?
In Seminar 19, Lacan begins developing his formulas of sexuation, and, in Chapter 7, which Jacques-Alain Miller titled “The Vanished Partner”, he affirms, in speaking of his exchanges, or rather his refusal to exchange, with Simone de Beauvoir about the title she had chosen – The Second Sex – that “there is no second sex.”[13]He defines sexuality as a function: “The function called sexuality is defined, to the extent that we know anything about it – we do know a bit about it, if only from experience – by the fact that the sexes are twain […] From the moment language starts functioning, there is no second sex. Or, to put it differently, concerning what is called heterosexuality, the word heteros, which is the term that in Greek is used to say other, is in the position – for the relation that in the speaking being is called sexual – of emptying itself of its Being. This emptiness which it offers to speech is precisely what I call the locus of the Other, namely the locus in which the effects of the said speech are inscribed.” So two or not two? Is the law of difference, which is the law of articulation S1-S2, still valid?
This same little girl, talking to her brother, sprung this on him one day: “You know, there are not only boys and girls.” The brother is surprised. “There are also ‘girlboys’, and ‘boygirls’. Me, I am a ‘girlboy’.” The brother replied, dryly, that it was out of the question for him to be classed as ‘boygirl’. The dialogue was at an end. There is no relation between the sexes, even if one multiplies the cases and tries to enlarge the categories. Why? I have an idea. It is not, it seems, in a reiteration of the formula “The woman does not exist” that we have to seek it out, because it is clear that “The man does not exist.” No one escapes the fact that, as soon as we begin to talk about sexual difference, we are led by discourse to speak in universal terms: ‘the’ men, ‘the’ women, and ‘the’ others. In short, we do not exit the universal, characterised by the lying truth and meaning, alas the most common, which is to say dominant. In and through language, sexuality passes via the pathways of speech and any speaker finds themselves in the table of sexuation, which appears in Seminar 20, Encore, with its two formulas of sexuation on the side of the man: there exists an x such that not phi of xand for all x, phi of x.[14]
To characterize the effects of sexual difference on speech and language, we can use the model of the black hole as defined by astrophysicists in the context of the theory of relativity. Everything that enters the interior of the black hole – all information, all material – is assimilated to the black hole, which is characterized by only three elements: its mass, its speed of rotation, and its electric charge. All the objects that fall into it become inaccessible. As soon as one enters into the field of sexual difference, everything that defines the singularity of the modes of enjoyment and subjective positions becomes inaccessible. The man/woman binary neutralizes all other differences and makes the speaking bodies inaccessible in the contingency and non-universality of their organization. The so-called feminine side, highlighted by Lacan, is an attempt to make accessible what is not accessible to the man, governed by the regime of the one of exception, and the all of the universal. On the feminine side, sexual difference becomes totally “asymmetrical”.[15] The feminine is thinkable only if we exclude any idea of ​​complementarity, inclusion or even contradiction.
Admittedly, sexual difference can only be formulated in the field of identification and fantasy. To be gendered is only possible on the side of the logic of the all and of the phallic exception. “Man, the male, the virile […] is a creation of discourse.”[16]Let’s add, The woman is one also, as a function of Phi, understood as a measure of value. In passing, we can generalize the formula The woman does not exist for the Man. Sex is the effect of a saying. What words today do children choose to say their affiliation? Do they have new sexual theories?
The Difference Is (a)Sexuated: Differences Linked to Contingency
Sexual difference on the side of jouissance is related to the objects plus-de-jouir, or object a. This diversifies it in the function of dominance of this or that object, a dominance whose origin is due to contingent marks in the history of the subject, but which, precisely, in being dominance and fixation, engenders a repetition and thus a necessity.
These objects have one element in common, which psychoanalysis has traced since Freud. They are linked to the orifices of the body, to the passage apprehended first as a passage from the inside to the outside of the body. Objects allow the imaginary to become again a surface with an edge.
The consequence is that, linked to the orifices of one’s own body, sexuality is essentially autoerotic, even if these objects are placed in the Other. We can read the current rise in the social link of discourse where jouissance of one body is submitted to stricter conditions by another body, while, at the same time, the traditional ban on masturbation has disappeared. Fantasy, motor of autoeroticism, yes; act, no. Does the spread of porn, the empire of the image on social networks, modify ­– and if yes, how – children’s approach to sexuality? Does greater puritanism, combined with greater crudeness of images and liberation of words, bring about a modification of the subject’s relation to his or her (a)sexuality? Are children today polymorphously perverse or, rather, puritanical?
And Love?
In 1978, Seminar 26, “Topology and time,”[17] Lacan, speaks of the possibility of a third sex, on the basis of his choice of the “generalized Borromean”: “There is no sexual relation, it is what I stated because there is an Imaginary, a Symbolic and a Real, that’s what I did not dare to say […] What makes up for the sexual relation,” he continues, “is that people make love. There is an explanation for this: the possibility of a third sex.” Enigmatic, making it difficult for himself, he returns to say that “this third sex does not survive in the presence of the other two,” which concern forcing and domination. It is therefore only about love.
Does love make fun of sexual difference? Is it, as with hatred, the place of the possible where it ceases to be written, where it abolishes itself in absolute difference? Does it, in the field of love, cease to be, and dual, and classificatory, therefore segregative? What can children teach us about love as access to the third sex?
Text established by Hervé Damase with Frédérique Bouvet, read by the author. 

Translated by Janet Haney and John Haney
[1] For the presentation of the forthcoming Study-Days of the Institute of the Child by Daniel Roy see: http://institut-enfant.fr/2019/05/02/quatre-perspectives-sur-la-difference-sexuelle/.
[2] Lacan J., Seminar 19, …Or worse (1971-2), ed. J.-A. Miller, transl. A.R. Price, Cambridge, Polity, 2018, p. 211.
[3] Cf. Du mariage et des psychanalystes, ed. Jacques-Alain Miller and Bernard-Henri Lévy, Paris, Navarin/Le Champ freudien, La règle du jeu, 2013. See also Psychoanalytical Notebooks No. 29, Sexual Orientation, London Society of the NLS, February 2015.
[4] Miller J.-A., “Le savoir de l’enfant”, Peurs d’enfants, Paris, Navarin, Nouvelle collection La petite Girafe No. 2, 2011, p. 18
[5] Lacan, J., “Television” transl. D. Hollier, R. Krauss, A. Michelson, in Television/A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment, ed. J. Copjec, London/New York, Norton, 1990, p. 30.
[6] Lacan, J., Seminar 21, Les non dupes errent, lesson of 19 March 1974, unpublished.
[7] Jones, E., “The Early Development of Female Sexuality” (1927), International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 8, pp. 468-9; “The Phallic Phase,” International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 14, pp. 1-33.
[8] Naveau, P., “The quarrel of the phallus: 1920-1935”, thesis realized under the direction of Jacques-Alain Miller in 1988 at the Department of Psychoanalysis of the University Paris 8, unpublished.
[9] Miller, J.-A., “The Lacanian Orientation: choses de finesse en psychanalyse,” teaching given as part of the Department of Psychoanalysis of the University Paris 8, 1 April 2009, unpublished.
[10] Lacan, J., “Subversion of the subject and dialectic of the desire in the Freudian unconscious”, Écrits, London/New York, Norton, 2006, p. 696.
[11] Miller, J.-A.,” The Lacanian Orientation, Things of finesse … “, op. cit.
[12] Lacan’s acronym is SAMCDA: society of mutual assistance against analytic discourse, translated by D. Hollier, R. Krauss, A. Michelson as PIPAAD (Professional Insurance Plan Against Analytic Discourse), “Television”, op. cit., p. 29.
[13] Lacan, J., Seminar 19, … Or worse, op. cit. p. 80.
[14] Lacan, J. Seminar 20, Encore, On Feminine Sexuality, The Limits of Love and Knowledge (1972-3), ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, transl. Bruce Fink, New York/London Norton, 1998, p. 78 et seq: the phallic universe is supported by an element that is excluded from being subjected to the function of castration.
[15] Lacan, J., Seminar 12, “Critical Problems for Psychoanalysis,” lesson of 16 June 1965, unpublished.
[16] Lacan, J., Seminar 17, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis (1969-70), ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, transl. Russell Grigg, New York/London, Norton, 2007, p. f62.
[17] Lacan, J., Seminar 26, “Topology and time”, lessons of 19 December 1978 and 16 January 1979, unpublished.


Thursday, 25 April 2019
New Lacanian School (NLS) / World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP) presents:

The 7th Issue of The Lacanian Review: ‘Get Real’ 
There are no words for the real in psychoanalysis, there are only letters. Yet the symptoms of our era do not stop being written of the real. With new translations of Jacques Lacan, Jacques-Alain Miller, and a dossier on quantum physics, The Lacanian Review takes on the impossible question: What is real in psychoanalysis?
Presentation: The Lacanian Review 7 ‘Get Real’
In our Post-Truth era, reality is under attack. The contemporary moment is disoriented by fake news, chatbots, conspiracy theories and a digital flood of leaks, lies and revelations. On hold with automated phone answering services, one pleads to just talk to a real person.But we are also complicit, enjoying online avatars, virtual reality, augmented reality and cryptocurrency fueled binges.
Over a century ago, psychoanalysis learned from psychotic subjects that chasing after reality is folly. Reality is just another delusion in the service of the fantasy. To find an orientation amidst the proliferating loss of belief in reality experienced today, psychoanalysis must shift the question to find an exit from the reality trap. In its 7th issue, The Lacanian Review interrogates what is real in psychoanalysis.
TLR7 introduces a landmark translation by Philip Dravers of the late Lacan’s momentus and polyphonic address, “The Third,” followed by texts exploring the Borromean clinic. Marie-Helene Brousse curates a dossier that approaches the subject of the real through dialogue with quantum physics and new work by Philippe de Georges and Clotilde Leguil. Interviews with Matteo Barsuglia, astrophysicist at the National Center for Scientific Research in France and Catherine Pépin, researcher at the Institute of Theoretical Physics (IPhT) of the Atomic Energy Center at Saclay (France), advance a critical conversation between two discourses that delineates what we call reality and real.
Three new translations of Jacques-Alain Miller, published for the first time in English, examine truth, fiction and science in relation to the real as the impossible, but also the contingent. These lessons question whether we are in a Post-Truth era or the era of the Lying-Truth.
Attesting to the singular experience of the real in psychoanalysis, TLR 7 presents three testimonies of the pass of current Analysts of the School. Clinical cases, the politics of the real, biotechnology, and Lady Gaga with Hamlet are all assembled in this issue of The Lacanian Review, a journal which might not be of a semblant. Get Real!

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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.[7]
On the other hand, while knowledge produces nothing but lies, we find another signifier, that of “lying truth”.[8] 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”[9] 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.[10] 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[11].
“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.”[12]
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”,[13] 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”][14], 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.

Bernard Seynhaeve
Translated from the French by Philip Dravers
From the Argument towards the NLS Congress 2019