The Neurotic’s Individual Myth (The Rat Man) : 4th March 1953 (Collège de Philosophique, Paris) : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on March 4, 1953

Part of Jacques Lacan’s Seminar on the ‘Rat Man’ – 1952 to 1953. He gave this paper to the Collège de Philosophique, Paris, at the invitation of Jean Wahl  on 4th March 1953


Lacan’s main ambition during the 1950s consisted in the recovery of the roots of psychoanalysis, in order to tailor its contemporary practice to the sphere of the subject. This ambition was initially realized through a detailed re-reading of Freud’s case-studies and his papers on technique (See Seminar I: Freud’s papers on technique: 1953-1954 : begins on 18th November 1953 : Jacques Lacan or here)

Between 1950 and 1953, Lacan conducted seminars on Freud’s case-studies of Dora (Freud : 1901). The Wolf Man (Freud :1914) and the Rat Man (Freud :  1909) at his house in Paris, the text of which remains unpublished except for a small excerpt from the Wolf Man seminar originally published in Italian (Lacan 1951- 1952 : Seminario su “L’uomo dei lupi” : translated by Alberto Turolla : La psicoanalisi : Vol 6 : 1989 : p9 – 12 : Available here : Published by or at  /lacan or published in two languages at /Lacan  (78. Lacan’s Wolfman Seminar 1951-1952—bilingual). Lacan’s seminar on Dora did provide the backdrop for his 1951 paper ‘Intervention on Transference’ (See Intervention on the Transference (Paris): October 16th 1951: Jacques Lacan or here), and his seminar on the Rat Man informed his 1953 text ‘The Neurotic’s Individual Myth’ : Adapted from p1 & 5 of Jacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of Psychoanalysis : 2000 : by Dany Nobus : Routledge

Availability in English

Translated by Martha Noel Evans

Published The Psychoanalytic Quarterly : Vol 48(3) : p405-425 : 1979

Available at   /lacan    


Published at   /Lacan (80. Le mythe individual du névrosé—bilingual)

For Commentary see below

Availability in French

1) Text edited by Jacques-Alain Miller. The French text appeared in Issue No. 17 of Ornicar? Periodical Bulletin of the Champ Freudien. : 1979 : p289 – 307

2) Published at : Le mythe individuel du névrosé ou poésie et vérité dans la névrose (version transcription) (14 p.) : Available here


Introduction to Jacques Lacan’s Lecture: The Neurotic’s Individual Myth, by the translator, Martha Noel Evans, Ph.D. : 1979 : Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Vol 48 : p386-404 – Published at  /Lacan (80. Translator’s Notes)

Related texts:

– Sigmund Freud: Notes upon a case of Obsessional Neurosis (The ‘Rat Man’) :1909d: SE X : p155-249 or Penguin Freud Library (PFL) : Vol 9 : p31

Published bilingual at homepage of /go down the page to NOTES UPON A CASE OF OBSESSIONAL NEUROSIS [The Ratman] & click

– Addendum: Original Record of the Case (The Ratman)/Bemerkungen über ein Fall von Zwangsneurose: begins 1stOctober 1907 to 9th October 1907 [Sessions 1-7] : Sigmund Freud

Not in Standard Edition – Original Record of the Case.
These notes of the case were written down by Freud in the evening in a kind of shorthand, where Freud abbreviated certain words—like using ‘u’ for the word ‘und’.

The Strachey Translation from the Addendum:

Strachey only translated this one “Preliminary session”. Sessions 1‐7 were not translated by him. The sessions that followed session 7 were translated by him.

Strachey generally uses the past tense for what Freud writes in the present tense.

Bilingual : German from the G.W. Nachtragsband, pp. 509‐526/ English translation by Richard Klein : from  /Home Page / SESSIONS 1-7 OF FREUD’S ORIGINAL RECORD OF THE CASE [bilingual] not in the S.E. 

– Original Notes of the Case (The ‘Rat Man’) : 1907-1908 [1st October 1907 & from 10th October 1907 to 20th January 1908-Sessions 1-7] : Sigmund Freud

SE X : p253-319,  published bilingual at the home page of / home page /ADDENDUM: ORIGINAL RECORD OF THE CASE. [The Ratman] & click on it. 


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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst 


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