Rome Discourses – to introduce his report (Rome) : 26th September 1953 : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on September 23, 1953

There are two published items from the Rome Congress held at the Istituto di Psicologia della Università di Roma
 on 26th and 27th September 1953.

1) Rome Discourses.

Jacques Lacan delivered this text on 26th September 1953 to introduce his report ‘Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis’.

See Richard G. Klein’s site, www.Freud2Lacan, for the French & English translation by Anthony Chadwick, available here

Note : It may be that only the Introduction and not Jacques Lacan’s responses that are translated.  JE has not checked Anthony Chadwick’s translation against the following.

In French published as ‘Discours de Rome et réponses aux interventions’ :

Les “Actes du congrès de Rome” furent publiés dans le numéro 1 de la revue ‘La Psychanalyse’ parue en 1956, Sur la parole et le langage.

On y trouve notamment un compte rendu de l’intervention de J. Lacan et une réponse de Lacan aux interventions.

Available, published by : here

Or at  /lacan

Also P145 of Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan : Information here

2) Rome Report

The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis (Rome) : 26th September 1953 : Jacques Lacan : Availability here

& also Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

3) Cited by Jacques Lacan

Seminar IV : 19th December 1956 : see See Seminar IV : The Object Relation & Freudian Structures 1956-1957 : begins 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan or here

4)  Jacques Lacan & Congrès des Psychanalystes des Langues romanes

See  Le Congrès des Psychanalystes des pays romans: quelques éléments d’histoire : 1991 : Alain de Mijolla or  here

Edited highlights from this history.

-their beginning in 1926, was announced by Sigmund Freud,  In the 1928 conference two cliques formed. On one side were the “orthodox” Freudians, grouped around Marie Bonaparte and including Eugénie Sokolnicka, Rudolph Loewenstein, and two Swiss members, Raymond de Saussure and Charles Odier. On the other side were the partisans of a “French psychoanalysis,” associated with the medical and institutional hierarchy. They had Édouard Pichon as their bellicose herald, along with Angélo Hesnard, René Allendy, Georges Parcheminey, Henri Codet, and later René Laforgue.

– Rudolph Loewenstein was both Sacha Nacht’s and Jacques Lacan’s analyst.  Nacht opposes Loewenstein in the 1938 session

– This eleventh conference, held in Brussels between May 14 and 17, 1948, was organized around Sacha Nacht’s paper “Les manifestations cliniques de l’agressivité et leur rôle dans le traitement psychanalytique” (Clinical manifestations of aggression and their role in psycho-analytic treatment; 1948) and Jacques Lacan’s paper “L’agressivité en psychanalyse” (Aggression in psychoanalysis; 1948). [Information Aggressivity in Psychoanalysis : mid-May 1948 (Brussels) : Jacques Lacan or here ]

– This conference (1948) was distinguished most of all by the presence of Melanie Klein, who, however, failed to make converts among French psychoanalysts.

– on October 16, 1951, the conference changed its name to the Conference of Romance-Language Psychoanalysts, an extension attributed to Jacques Lacan.

– In 1953 a sixteenth special conference was held in Rome. The division of the Société psychanalytique de Paris (Paris Psychoanalytic Society) (SPP) in June divided the conference into two parts. In one, the members of the society listened to Emilio Servadio, Francis Pasche, René Spitz (who came from New York), Serge Lebovici, and René Diatkine. They then departed, and members of the new Société française de psychanalyse (French Society of Psychoanalysis) entered to listen to Jacques Lacan’s paper “Fonction et champ de la parole et du langage en psychanalyse” (The function and field of language in psychoanalysis). [Information The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis (Rome) : 26th September 1953 : Jacques Lacan  or here ]

– Jealously simmering in the Paris Psychoanalytic Society tore the two rival societies apart for more than a decade, and the following conferences of French-speaking psychoanalysts fit into the general strategy of the two societies’ struggle for influence.

Yet the conferences were also the scene of original theoretical elaborations marking the evolution and deepening of the psychoanalytic thinking of members of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society. This can be seen from a sample of papers presented at the conferences: Sacha Nacht and Serge Lebovici, “Indications et contre-indications de la psychanalyse chez l’adulte” (Indications and contraindications for psychoanalysis for adults; 1954); René Diatkine and Jean Favreau, “Le caractère névrotique” (The neurotic character; 1956);


Note : If links to any text do not work, check If a particular text or book remains absent, contact Julia Evans.


Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, London & Sandwich in Kent


Further posts:

Some Lacanian history : here

Of the clinic : here

Translation Working Group here

Use of power here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

Use of power here

By Julia Evans here