On a reform in its hole : 3rd February 1969 : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on February 3, 1969

Le Monde had asked Lacan to write an editorial about the University reform that had been put forward by Edgar Faure in the wake of the tumultuous events of May 1968. This written article, D’une réforme dans son trou, was supposed to appear in the “Libres Opinions” [Free opinions] section of Le Monde of 3rd February 1969, but was never published.

Patrick Valas has published Jacques Lacan’s original manuscript of this article on his website here.

Jacques Lacan refers to this text in Seminar XVII : 10th June 1970 : Notes & references   Seminar XVII: Psychoanalysis upside down/The reverse side of psychoanalysis: 1969-1970 : from 26th November 1969: Jacques Lacan or here  : p168 of Russell Grigg’s translation :

pIV 6 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Let us now ask ourselves the question of how this society described as capitalist, can afford the luxury of allowing a relaxation of the University discourse. This discourse is, however, only one of these transformations that I have been presenting to you all along. It is the quarter turn as compared to the discourse of the Master. Hence the question which is worth the effort to envisage: by embracing this relaxation, which, it has to be said, is offered, are we not going to fall into a trap? This is not a new idea. It so happens that I wrote a small article on the university reforms, which I had been explicitly invited to write for a newspaper, the only one to have a reputation for balance and honesty, called Le Monde. They had been very insistent that I write this little page about the reorganisation of psychiatry, about the reforms. Now despite this insistence it is quite striking that this little article, which I will publish sometime later, was not allowed through. It was entitled D’une réforme dans son trou, A reform in a hole. It was precisely a question of putting up with this whirlwind hole, to take a number of measures about the University. And, good God, to referring correctly to the terms of certain fundamental discourses, you might have certain scruples, let us say about acting, you might look twice before jumping in to profit from the lines that are opening up. It is a responsibility to carry dead meat into these corridors!

English Translation

– Subtitles:

The reform in psychiatry and “scientific” emotion

The disjunction between neurology and psychiatry

On a cut-rate knowledge

On a hole and the little pile that opens it up, just as it closes it up

The turmoil of May and its May-mory [Maimoire] in the capitalist subject

– Translated by John Hollander

Published in Journal of the Circle for Lacanian Ideology Critique 8 (2015) ; p14-21

Available bilingual at www.Freud2Lacan.com, or here


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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Sandwich Kent & London


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Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud here

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