Seminar XII : Crucial Problems for Psychoanalysis : 1964-1965 : from 2nd December 1964 : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on December 2, 1964

Translated by Cormac Gallagher

Published by www.LacaninIreland.com/seminars

Available here

Dates of sessions:

1) 2nd December 1964

2) 9th December 1964

3) 16th December 1964

4) 6th January 1965

5) 13th January 1965

6) 20th January 165

7) 27th January 1965 – pVII 79 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

pVII 81 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation Lacan states : I give the floor to Leclaire. [Leclaire’s paper is missing. But cf the Laplanche/Leclaire article of 1960 translated inYale French Studies 48: 118-76 for an earlier treatment of the same material.]

Probably  The Dream with the Unicorn – Pôor(d)j’e-li : 30th October 1960 (Bonneval Hospital) [published 1966/68] : Serge Leclaire  or here

pVII 82 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : an intervention by Doctor Stein on ‘Poord’jeli’ & a reference to The Interpretation of Dreams: 1st November 1899 (published as 1900): Sigmund Freud  See  here

pVII 83 Dr Stein states : ‘which is that this chain plays a privileged role qua key to the singularity of the personality, as I might put it, of Philip. Why? Or how? ‘

This is possibly : Philo, or the Obsessional and His Desire: November 25th 1958: Serge Leclaire  See here

pVII 85 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation states : PRESENTATION BY Mr YVES DUROUX : The subject of the presentation of which I am only responsible for the first part is entitled Number and Lack. It is based on the careful reading of a book by Frege which is called Der Grundlagen der Arithmetik.     The proper object of the investigation is what is called the natural sequence of whole numbers.

This presentation was subsequently published

– Yves Duroux : Psychologie et logique : Cahiers pour l’Analyse, 1.2 (January 1966)

– Translated by Cécile Malaspina, Revised by Peter Hallward, as Chapter Three, Yves Duroux, Psychology and Logic, p85-90 of Concept and Form, Volume One, Key Texts from the ‘Cahiers pour l’Analyse’, Verso 2012

It is intended to post this translation shortly

8)  3rd February 1965

9)  24th February 1965  – pIX 109 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

pIX 113 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Presentation by Jacques-Alain Miller, No one has a right to get involved in psychoanalysis who has not acquired from a personal analysis those precise notions which it alone is capable of giving.

This presentation was subsequently published as

– Jacques-Alain Miller, ‘La Suture (Éléments de la logique du significant)’, Cahiers pour l’Analyse, 1.3 (January 1966), p37-49

– Translated by Jacqueline Rose, as Jacques-Alain Miller -‘Suture (Elements of the Logic of the Signifier), i) Screenn 18:4 (Winter 1977-78), p24-34  ii) Chapter Four, p91-101 of Concept and Form, Volume One, Key Texts from the ‘Cahiers pour l’Analyse’, Verso 2012

pIX 124 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : I (JAM) am speaking about the article published in Volume VIII of La Psychanalyse under the title of “Remarques sur la structure psychique: I, Ego spéculaire, corps fantasmé et objet partiel” by Madame Pierra Aulagnier.

10) 3rd March 1965

11) 10th March 1965

12) 17th March 1965

13) 24th March 1965  – pXIII 169 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

I suspect that the following was precirculated : Serge Leclaire ‘L’Analyste à sa place?’,  Cahiers pour l’Analyse, 1.4 (January 1966), p50-52, translated by Christian Kerslake, revised by Peter Hallward, as Chapter Five, Serge Leclaire, The Analyst in his place, p103-106 of Concept and Form, Volume One, Key Texts from the ‘Cahiers pour l’Analyse’, Verso 2012. It is intended to make this text available at www.LacanianWorksExcahnge.net

pXIII 170 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : I do not believe that in saying it today, moreover, I am completely outside of our field, about what is involved in the subjective position, namely, whether it is (5) entirely reducible logically or whether we ought to direct the consideration of this subjective position, in so far as it involves the subject of the unconscious, towards the side of the remainder, namely, precisely, this o-object; it is indeed between these two terms that there is going to be suspended, if the matter is pursued rigorously, the question which can be posed in connection with the literal, almost graphic formula, the literal formula decanted by the extremely subtle operation of Leclaire.

I am now going to ask who are the people present among those on whom we are counting, I enumerate : Valabrega is there; Irigaray, Lemoine is there; I hope that Oury is there; Cotsonis Diamantis is there, thank you very much; Jennie Lemoine is there; Francine Markovitz is there; Melle Mondzain is there; and Major.

Dr Leclaire : I am going to propose that we begin the discussion about this text perhaps by considerations that I would arbitrarily describe as theoretical. As it happens, in fact, those of Oury and of Valabrega are directed precisely to the question of phantasy. So perhaps Oury could begin.

Presentation by Monsieur Oury

I am very annoyed to have only twelve minutes because I have a text which if I read it very quickly would take thirty minutes. So I am certainly going to have to skip a lot of things which might be important.

pXIII 171 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : There where the Wo Es war concretises the history of the speaking subject. : Reference to ‘Wo es war, soll Ich werden’ from Lecture XXXI: Dissection of the personality: 1932 : Sigmund Freud, in New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis : Sigmund Freud : 1932 (Published 1933), SE XXII p1-182.  This phrase is examined many times by Jacques Lacan.  For example :

Seminar XI : 29th January 1964 : p33 of Alan Sheridan’s translation & Seminar XI : 5th February 1964 : p44 of Alan Sheridan’s translation : Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts: 1963-1964 : beginning 15th January 1964 : Jacques Lacan or here

Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: Jacques Lacan  or here : See Notes from p1 – 7 of Seminar VII from the 21-09-12 Reading Group Meeting  by Julia Evans on 15th September 2012  or here

Comments on Mr Hesnard’s presentation – Reflections on Sigmund Freud’s “Wo Es war; soll Ich werden” : 6th November 1956 : Jacques Lacan   or  here

The Freudian Thing or the Meaning of the Return to Freud in Psychoanalysis : (Vienna) 7th November 1955 : Jacques Lacan or here

pXIII 173 of Mr Oury : But it seems that it is also the mode of functioning of the preconscious system through which there are organised the Fort-vorstellungen. In this connection I think it would be interesting to recall very rapidly some quotations by Lacan in a seminar of January 1962. He says : “what interests us in the preconscious, is language as it effectively is when one hears it being spoken. It scans, articulates our thinking. In the unconscious structured like a language it is not easy to have it (11) express itself in a common language. The articulated language of common discourse is outside, with respect to the subject of the unconscious; an outside which conjoins in itself what we call our intimate thoughts. This language which carries on outside and not in an immaterial fashion, this discourse is entirely homogenisable as something which happens outside; language fills the street and there is effectively there an inscription; the problem of what happens in consciousness comes to make itself heard and there is the problem of the mimicry between the unconscious and the preconscious.” And again : “if we should consider the unconscious as the locus of the subject where something is profoundly restructured without the subject knowing it by the retroactive effects of the signifier implied in the word, it is in so far as and for the least of these words, that the subject speaks, that he can do no more than always once more name himself without knowing it and without knowing by what name.” And finally “the status of the unconscious is established at a more radical level, the emergence of the act of enunciating.”

– This is quoted from Seminar IX : 10th January 1962 : See Seminar IX: Identification: 1961-1962: begins November 15th 1961: Jacques Lacan  or here  : pVII 63  of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Can we not see that, in order to situate the relationships between the unconscious and the preconscious, the border for us is not to situated first of all somewhere inside, as they say, a subject who is simply supposed to be simply the equivalent of what is called in the broad sense, the psychical?

The subject that we are dealing with, and especially if we try to articulate it as the unconscious subject, requires a different way of establishing of the frontier. What the preconscious is in so far as what interests us in the preconscious is language, the language here that effectively we not alone see, hear being spoken, but that punctuates, articulates our thoughts. Everyone knows that the thoughts involved at the level of the unconscious, even if I say that they are of course structured like a language, it is in so far as they are structured in the final analysis and at a certain level like a language that they interest us, but the first thing to be recognised, is that it is not easy to express those we are speaking about in common language. What is involved, is to see that the articulated language of common discourse, with respect to the subject of the unconscious in so far as it interests us, is outside, an “outside” which connects to it what we call our intimate thoughts, and this language which flows to the outside not in an immaterial fashion, because we know well, because all sorts of things are there to represent it to us, we know what perhaps was not known by cultures where everything happened in the breath of the word, we who have before us kilos of language, and who know, what is more, how to inscribe the most fleeting word on discs.

We know well that what is spoken, the effective discourse, the preconscious discourse is entirely homogenisable as something which takes place outside: language as a substance is everywhere and here, there is effectively an inscription on a magnetic tape if necessary. The problem of what happens when the unconscious comes to make itself heard is where we see the problem of the border between this unconscious and this preconscious. :

&

Seminar IX : 10th January 1962 : pVII 63 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : the passage from the unconscious into the preconscious for example, which is in effect a problem, which is a problem moreover – I note it with satisfaction in passing, it is certainly not the least effect that I might expect from the effort of rigour into which I am drawing you, that I am imposing on myself for you here, that those who listen to me, who understand me, should raise themselves to a degree that is liable even on occasion to go further – well then, in their very remarkable text published in Les Temps modernes on the subject of the unconscious, Laplanche and Leclaire – I am not distinguishing for the moment the share each of them has in this work – question themselves about what ambiguity remains in the Freudian enunciating concerning what happens when we can speak about the passage of something which was in the unconscious and passes into the preconscious. Does that mean that it is only a matter of a change of cathexis, as they pose very correctly the question, or indeed is there a double inscription? The authors do not conceal their preference for the double inscription, they indicate it to us in their text.

This however is a problem that the text leaves open, and which after all what we are dealing with, will allow us this year, to contribute perhaps some responses to or at the very least some precise details.

I would like, in an introductory fashion, to suggest the following to you: it is that if we ought to consider that the unconscious is the locus of the subject where it speaks (ça parle) we come now to approach this point where we can say that something, without the subject knowing it, is profoundly altered by the retroactive effects of the signifier implied in the word. It is in so far as and for the least of his words, the subject speaks, that he cannot avoid always, once more, naming himself without knowing it, without knowing with what name. Can we not see that, in order to situate the relationships between the unconscious and the preconscious, the border for us is not to situated first of all somewhere inside, as they say, a subject who is simply supposed to be simply the equivalent of what is called in the broad sense, the psychical?

The subject that we are dealing with, and especially if we try to articulate it as the unconscious subject, requires a different way of establishing of the frontier.

&

Seminar IX : 10th January 1962 : pVII 64 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Moreover, is this not the true reason for what one could call the idealist fascination, entanglement.

In philosophical experience, if man perceives or believes he perceives that he never has anything but ideas of things, namely, that in the final analysis he only knows ideas of things, it is precisely because already in the world of things, this parcelling into a universe of discourse, is something which can absolutely not be disentangled. The preconscious, in a word, is already in the real, and if the status of the unconscious for its part poses a problem, it is in so far as it is constituted at a completely different level, at a more radical level of the emergence of the act of enunciating. In principle there is no objection to the passage of something from the unconscious into the preconscious, what tends to manifest itself, the contradictory character of which Laplanche and Lecaire note so well. The unconscious has as such its status as something which by position and by structure is not able to penetrate to the level where it is susceptible to a preconscious reorganisation, and nevertheless, we are told, this unconscious, at every moment, makes the effort, pushes in the direction of making itself recognised; undoubtedly, and with good reason, it is because it is at home as one might say in a universe structured by discourse.

Here, the passage from the unconscious towards the preconscious is only, one might say, a sort of normal irradiation effect of what is turning around in the constitution of the unconscious as such, of what maintains present in the unconscious the primary and radical functioning of the articulation of the subject qua speaking subject.

Seminar XII : 24th March 1965 : pXIII 174 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Fundamentally, phantasy is much more scopic in its essence. Of course we can quote Freud who in the letter to Fliess of 25 May 1897 puts forward the hypothesis that phantasies are produced by an unconscious combination of things experienced or things heard, following certain tendencies.

See Letter to Wilhelm Fliess of 25th May 1897 : known as Letter 63 : & Draft M Notes (II) Architecture of Hysteria : Sigmund Freud or here

pXIII 174 : Here I (Monsieur Oury) make a reference to a note by Lacan from the same seminar of January 1962 which, after a mathematical development of a periodic function, comments on the first thing that we encounter and this: it is the essential relationship of this something that we search for being the subject before he is named, to the usage that he can make of his name as being the signifier of what is signified about the question of the addition of himself to his own name, this is to split him, to divide him in two.

On the other hand, the phonematic gestalt by its essence from the order of the big O, from the big Other, is what is the point of ambiguity, namely for oneself and for the others, the coming to light in the analytic relationship on this point of ambiguity deserves in fact to be circumscribed in a particularly precise fashion, it has something to do with the point of reversion, the point of articulation between the imaginary and the symbolic.

– Possibly Seminar IX : 10th January 1962 : pVII 58 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Let us evoke again what I said the last time: I spoke to you about the proper name in so far as we had encountered it on our path towards the identification of the subject, the second, regressive, type of identification to the unary trait of the Other. In connection with this proper name, we have encountered the attention that it has already attracted from a particular linguist and mathematician as they were philosophising.

What is the proper name?

It seems that it is not something which betrays itself at the first approach, but, in trying to resolve this question, we had the surprise of rediscovering the function of the signifier probably in the pure state; it was indeed along this path that the linguist himself directed us when he told us: a proper name is something that takes its value from the distinctive function of its sonant material, in saying which of course, he was only repeating the first fruit of the Saussurian analysis of language: namely that it is the distinctive trait, it is the phoneme as coupled to the totality of a certain battery, in so far uniquely that it is not what the others are, that we find it here as having to designate as what was the special trait of the usage of a subject-function in language: that of naming by one’s own name.

Seminar XII : 24th March 1965 : p XIII 174 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Dr Leclaire speaks : In the choice that I have of responding immediately in detail to every intervention on the one hand, or, on the other hand of underlining a point in it, while leaving it in suspense and leaving somebody else speak, I chose the second formula because I do not think that it is opportune that either I or Lacan should take things up to begin the speaking again. …

Seminar XII : 24th March 1965 : pXIII 175 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Presentation by Monsieur Valabrega

pXIII 176   Madame (Luce) Irigary intervenes

pXIII 177  Dr Leclaire intervenes

pXIII 178  Monsieur Lemoine

pXIII 180  Dr Leclaire & Madame Cotsanis-Diamantis intervene

pXIII 183  Madame Lemoine intervenes

pXIII 185  Mademoiselle Mondzain states  :  After the papers that have been given I have the impression that the clinical reflections that Leclaire’s text suggested to me are going to overlap things which have already been said and may appear a little bit like repetition.

This text is probably : Serge Leclaire ‘L’Analyste à sa place?’,  Cahiers pour l’Analyse, 1.4 (January 1966), p50-52, translated by Christian Kerslake, revised by Peter Hallward, as Chapter Five, Serge Leclaire, The Analyst in his place, p103-106 of Concept and Form, Volume One, Key Texts from the ‘Cahiers pour l’Analyse’, Verso 2012. It is intended to make this text available at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net

pXIII 187 Mr Major intervenes

14) 31st March 1965

15) 7th April 1965

16) 28th April 1965 (This is a private session and is not translated. A copy in French, missing the intervention by Madame Piera Aulagnier, is available from http://ecole-lacanienne.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/1965.04.28.pdf If anyone has a more complete version, please contact)

17) 5th May 1965

18) 12th May 1965

19) 19th May 1965

20) 26th May 1965   Serge Leclaire’s intervention is translated at www.LacaninIreland.com, as is Xavier Audouard’s

21) 2nd June 1965   – pXXI 278 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation

pXXI 280 – pXXI 284 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Presentation by Jacques-Alain Miller : …  Neither Serge Leclaire nor I want a dialogue. We are only speaking in order to reject that we are in reciprocal positions. We only listen in order to hear in the discourse the part that is secret to itself.

pXXI 285-XXI 289 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Presentation by Jean-Claude Milner : Revised version published as Jean-Claude Milner, ‘Le Point du signifiant’, Cahiers pour l’Analyse, 3.5 (May-June1966), p73-82, : Translated by Christian Kerslake, revised by Knox Peden, , as Chapter Six, Jean-Claude Milner, The Point of the Signifier, p107-118 of Concept and Form, Volume One, Key Texts from the ‘Cahiers pour l’Analyse’, Verso 2012

22) 9th June 1965

23) 16th June 1965

24) 23rd June 1965

Commentaries:

Lacan and Topology by Bruno de Florence on October 8, 2011 or here

Clinic and Topology : 1993 : Pierre Skriabine : or here

For other commentaries on this seminar, see References to Jacques Lacan’s texts in LacanianWorks posts. Or here/ 2nd December 1964 (References are shown in date order)

Related Text

Account of Seminar XII (1964-1965) : 5th April 1966  : Jacques Lacan – Crucial Problems for Psychoanalysis

See Account of Seminar XII (1964-1965) : 5th April 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here for English translation.

Also published as Problèmes cruciaux pour la psychanalyse, pages 199-200 of Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan : See here

.

Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst in London & Sandwich, Kent

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Text whose weblink does not work – An increasing number of these missing texts, are available on www.LacanianWorksExchange.net. If you still cannot find the text contact Julia Evans

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Further texts

Of the clinic here

Lacanian Transmission here

Some Lacanian History here

Topology here

From LW working groups here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

Translation Working Group here

Use of power here

By Julia Evans here