The Feminine Uncanny. Saying the Unsayable
A feminine fable
By Marcelo Veras
The Future in Times of Coronavirus – The New Normal?
26th June 2020 – 19h [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”?
Carlos Fernández Liria, philosopher
Mónica García, physician and and regional deputy (CAM)
Luis García Montero, poet and director of the Instituto Cervantes
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 ”; “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.”  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” 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.” The way out through speech in a psychoanalysis is to consider one’s “symptom as a question mark in the sexual non-relation.” 
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
Argument – Part 2
Translated by Peggy Papada
Argument – Part 1
Still Dreaming? / La Cause Du Désir
EDITORIAL – FABIAN FAJNWAKS
THE ONE-BLUNDER OF THE DREAM
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,” 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?
 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
Directing one’s steps towards the consulting room of an analyst opens the possibility of inserting and lodging the body in a new circuit. This will no doubt be a memorable event in one’s life if the encounter proves to be, retroactively, the moment of incorporation into the analytical discourse through the “painful mystery for himself” , his symptom, the authentic impulse for formulating a demand.
The reception by the one who embodies the symbolic function inaugurated by Freud must be respectful of the only fundamental precept that should orient his responses, the principle of abstinence. In this way he will be able to put in suspense everything that could compromise the preservation of the empty place where someone can make his voice heard without being compared to anyone else.
Psychoanalysis promotes the right of one alone, says Miller. It is the right to a deviation experienced as such, not measured against any norm. A dividing line between false or true psychoanalysis is thus established, depending on whether one takes norms into consideration or not, whatever reason might be invoked to justify them: experience, orthodoxy, psychopathology, any norm leads to psychotherapy.
The formation required to provide that singular hollow able to lodge the speech of the sufferer has been obtained by a “severe asceticism” through which the analyst deciphered his own mystery, the mystery of the speaking body. But talking about mystery could induce the idea that it is hidden somewhere and should be revealed. Hence Lacan’s insistence: There is no initiation!, understood as the science of jouissance. Moreover, Lacan states, analysisis is an anti-initiation.
 Jacques-Alain Miller, Un comienzo en la vida [A beginning in life]. Synthesis. Madrid. 2003. p. 13.
The Feminine Uncanny Saying the Unsayable
by Esthela Solano-Suárez
Towards “Question d’Ecole” - Paris, 1st February 2020 Register here: https://www.causefreudienne.net/event/puissance-de-la-parole-clinique-de-lecole/ Published in French in L'Hebdo-Blog 189, New Series, 19th January 2020.
The Unbearable of Childhood
[…] During our next NEL Study-Days, childhood [infancy] will not be limited to the challenges that the clinic with children confront us with, since if we refer to its etymology, infans means without voice and, in this sense, the resonances with the muteness of the drive are clear; a drive which psychoanalysis is however responsible for listening to in its insistence, as well as for dignifying the ways in which each one lives it.
Thus, the unbearable of childhood finds a fundamental reference in the unbearable satisfaction of the drive associated with displeasure. It is on this unpleasant drive jouissance that the superegoic jouissance will come to settle, initially linked to disgust and shame. Sigmund Freud, at the beginning of the second of his “Three essays on Sexuality”, formulated a universal law that would be present “for all” children: the existence of a sexual drive. In the face of this universal – according to their drive exigency, typical of child sexuality – the singularity of the real of the drive of each one will be inscribed, one by one.
If psychoanalysts are interested in childhood –which is not always correlative to the period of childhood–, it is because the clinic teaches us that what disturbs the chronological and integral idea of the adult, is precisely because something of that infans –which does not yet have words – embodies the real. Consequently, the investigation of infantile neurosis disturbs: the old, the young, the adolescent, the child, and why not the psychoanalyst too, if he clings, as a subject, to the idea that the child is the structure, as Lacan points out. Indeed, once childhood emerges in the analytical experience, that which escapes the Symbolic, the Real, is verified.
On the other hand, helplessness (Hilflosigkeit), the helplessness that determines the absolute dependency of the human cub on the Other of language, leaves indelible marks on the parlêtre, which as such constitute himself as a response to the founding trauma, trauma inscribed in the meeting between the body and lalingua. If the trauma is the incidence of lalingua on the speaking being, where rather than the specular body what is at stake is the body as an surface for the inscription of jouissance, then it is from that trauma that the traces lalingua which language fails to name will be detached.
Excerpt of the Argument by Raquel Cors Ulloa, President of the XIth NEL Study-Days 2020
28th Study-Days of the EOL
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE UNCONSCIOUS… STILL
“The supposition of the unconscious is necessary and legitimate, we possess numerous proofs of its existence … parapraxes, dreams and psychic symptoms” (Freud, “The Unconscious”, 1915, SE 14, p. 159, translation modified)
Gabriela Basz and Mónica Gurevicz Directors of the Study-Days
Translated by Roger Litten
Daniela de Camargo Barros Affonso Orientation Committee Translated by Gary Marshall
The Discordance Between the Sexes in the Light of Psychoanalysis
Translated by Roger Litten
“WOMEN IN PSYCHOANALYSIS” 49th Study-Days of the ECF
Translated by Janet Haney and John Haney
Text established by Hervé Damase with Frédérique Bouvet, read by the author. Translated by Janet Haney and John Haney
New Lacanian School (NLS) / World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP) presents:
The 7th Issue of The Lacanian Review: ‘Get Real’
CONTACT thelacanianreviews.com Orders: firstname.lastname@example.org / Attention: Pascale Fari Subscribe: https://www.ecf-echoppe.com/categorie-produit/revues/the-lacanian-review/ Marie-Hélène Brousse, Editor in Chief / Cyrus Saint Amand Poliakoff, Managing Editor
Thursday, 14 March
The “Preface to the English-Language Edition” of Seminar XI is a three-paged text that Lacan wrote in 1976 as an extension of his Seminar, The Sinthome; Miller even considers it to be this seminar’s last lesson. This short text is a new way of taking up his “Proposition” on the pass. It is for this reason that Miller considers it to be, in some way, Lacan’s last will and testament.
When he brings up the pass again at the end of his teaching, Lacan no longer uses the signifier “subjective urgency”, but that of “urgent cases”.
Other signifiers are also not found in this text. While “transference” finds its algorithmic definition in the 1967 “Proposition”, this signifier is nowhere to be found in the later text. And for good reason, for in his very last teaching, the subject supposed to know is itself thrown into question. The subject supposed to know is the hypothesis of the Freudian unconscious, the transferential unconscious. In this final text, the signifiers “knowledge”, “subject supposed to know” and “transference” no longer appear. In this regard, Miller points out that he prefers that we say that we come back from one session to the next because ça pousse, “it pushes”, ça urge, “it urges” rather than because of transference.
Knowledge is no longer there because Lacan no longer believes in it. He considers knowledge to be only a semblant, a hare-brained lucubration about lalangue.
On the other hand, while knowledge produces nothing but lies, we find another signifier, that of “lying truth”. And instead of the signifier of transference we find “these urgent cases”.
Admittedly, urgency here is, on the one hand, just as in 1967, what presides over the analysis, what presides over transference. In the analytic situation, the psychoanalyst is this person, this quelconque or “whomsoever” who embodies this place of address for analysands – these speaking beings that “run” after the truth – the one who agrees to “pair” with these urgent cases. We meet an analyst when we are in a state of urgency. But, on the other hand, Lacan takes an additional step that goes beyond transference; there is another urgency. In analysis, there is always urgency, there is always something that pushes, that urges, that presses and that is beyond transference, even if one takes one’s time or lets it drag on. Urgency is something that presses the parlêtre. Something of the order of “the urgency of life”, as Dominique Holvoet magnificently emphasized in his teaching as an AS.
“This indicates that there is a causality operating at a deeper level than the transference, one that Lacan characterizes as a level of satisfaction insofar as it is urgent and analysis is its means.”
We run after the truth, says Lacan; this is what happens in free association, but truth cannot be caught by the signifier.
What is urgent for Lacan at the end of his teaching – the analytical urgency, that which pushes theparlêtre – consists therefore of running after truth, of pursuing the truth that harbours the real. But this truth cannot be captured with words. The urgency in question is the attempt to catch hold of a truth that can never be reached. This race to pursue the truth that we never can catch is what provides the satisfaction of these urgent cases, of the speaking bodies. This is why one can say that analysis is the means for this urgent satisfaction.
Satis, etymologically the Latin “enough”, constitutes the root of the signifier “satisfaction”, the “it is enough” of the pass. Consequently, satisfaction comes in two modalities: that of satis – “it is enough”, and that of a new way of knowing how to do with one’s real, with the non-resorbable jouissance.
In this final text, Lacan no longer says “the psychoanalyst derives his authorisation only from himself”, because the subject produced by free association is thrown back into question. Instead, he emphasizes what is urgent, the impulse that pushes the subject to “hystoricize himself” [“s’hystoriser de lui-même”], namely to hystoricize himself without making a pair with his analyst. As you can see, in the very last Lacan, at the Archimedean point of the pass, what is at stake is urgent. The pass is done via the urgency of life.
Translated from the French by Philip Dravers
From the Argument towards the NLS Congress 2019