From Impetus to the Complex : 25th October 1938 : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on October 25, 1938

On 25thOctober 1938, Jacques Lacan presented at the sessions of the Psychoanalytic Society of Paris, a communication entitled “From impetus to the complex”. The summary as published in the Revue Française de Psychanalyse n ° 11 pages 137‐141 is presented as being that of Jacques Lacan.

In French & English

Translated by Richard G. Klein, Edited by Anthony J. Chadwick

Available at, or here

Jacques Lacan’s interlocutors


M. Odier

M. Borel


M. Loewenstein – See here. Rudolf Loewenstein was Lacan’s training analyst from 1932 to 1938. Born in Poland, Loewenstein would emigrate to New York during the War, where he would be a principal proponent of ego psychology.

M. Cénac


M. Parcheminey

M. Laforgu


M. Hartmann See here


According to Elisabeth Roudinesco the SPP (Société Psychanalytique de Paris) before World War II consisted roughly of 4 groups (Jacques Lacan & Co.; page 4.)

She does not mention which group Eugénie Sokolnicka, Jacques Lacan, René Allendy, Georges Parcheminey or Michel Cénac fall into.

In 1938, after the Anschluss (March 12), Heinz Hartmann moved to Paris and joined the SPP. Later he went to Switzerland and arrived in New York City in 1931.


The Chauvinist group – Angelo Hesnard, Edouard Pichon, Adrien Borel, Henri Codet

The orthodox faction, allied with the IPA (International Psychoanalytical Association) – Princess Marie Bonaparte, Raymond de Saussure, Rudolf Loewenstein, Charles Odier

The neutralists, partisans of an articulation between psychoanalysis and psychiatry – Paul Schiff, Eugène Minkowski

A dissidence group – René Laforge


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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Sandwich in Kent & London


Further posts:

Lacanian Transmission here

Some Lacanian history here

Of the clinic here

Topology here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

Jacques Lacan in English or here

Translation Working Group here

Use of power here

By Julia Evans here