The Compleat Strategyst : 1954 : J. D. Williams

by Julia Evans on January 23, 1954


Williams, J. D., The Compleat Strategyst, The Rand Series, McGraw Hill, New York, Toronto, London, 1954

Available from  /text by request  Password from here

Cited by Jacques Lacan

–   Reference [26] in The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan

: Information here 

In Jacques Lacan’s text there is no direct reference to [26] or this book or its title.  The following quote is my best guess where this book is implicated

p5 & 72 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : One cannot regard the phantasies that the analyser imposes on the person of the analyst in the same way as the ideal gambler might guess his opponent‘s intentions. No doubt there is always an element of strategy, but one should not be deceived by the metaphor of the mirror, appropriate as it may be to the smooth surface that the analyst presents to the patient. An impassive face and sealed lips do not have the same purpose here as in a game of bridge. Here the analyst is rather bringing to his aid what in bridge is called the dummy (le mort) in order to introduce the fourth player who is here to be the partner of the analyser, and whose hand the analyst, by his play, will try to get him to divine; such is the link, let us say of abnegation, that is imposed on the analyst by what is at stake in the game of analysis.

One might pursue the metaphor by deducing his game according to whether he places himself ‘on the right‘ or ‘on the left‘ of the patient, that is to say, in a position to play after or before the fourth player, to play, that is to say, before or after him with the dummy.

But what is certain is that the analyst‘s feelings have only one possible place in the game, that of the dummy/dead; and that if it is revived the game will proceed without anyone knowing who is leading.

That is why the analyst is less free in his strategy than in his tactics.

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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst in London & Sandwich, Kent


Further posts:

Some Lacanian history  here

Of the clinic  here 

By J. D. Williams  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