Seminar XVIII:On a discourse that might not be a semblance:1971: from 13th January 1971: Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on January 13, 1971

Cormac Gallagher’s translation from unedited scripts:

The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book XVIII: On a discourse that might not be a semblance:


published at :

available here.

Related text

Jacques Lacan’s preparatory notes for 9th June 1971 : a man and a woman

Un homme et une femme; preparatory‐Lesson 9 of D’un discours qui ne serait pas du semblant

Published in the Bulletin of the Freudian Association No. 54 of September 1993 pages 13 to 21 with the following introduction signed Charles Melman: “I found among my papers this undated text of Lacan. I think it was submitted to me in order to be published in Scilicet, then was (for what reason?) withdrawn by the author from the file. I thus assume that it is unedited, at least for the most part. Who will correct or contradict me? “.

Published bilingual, translated by Carolyn Jane Henshaw, and revised by María‐Inés Rotmiler de Zentner at, or here

Session dates:

13th January 1971

20th January 1971

A quote from pII  8-9 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation is below.

Quotation from pII 16-17 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation On Lacan’s remarks on Chinese Poetry in Seminar XXIV : November 2009 : Adrian Price or here

10th February 1971

17th February 1971

10th March 1971

17th March 1971

A translation of this session from the text (published 2011) edited by Jacques-Alain Miller is available as follows: ‘On a function that is not to be written: To Mathematics, The King Subject, Written Myth, The No-More-than-One, Two Logics’: Session of 17th March 1971 : Seminar XVIII : Chapter VI : translated by Philip Dravers : published in Hurly-Burly, Issue 9, May 2013, p15-28 : Available  /lacan     

12th May 1971

The session of 12th May 1971 (Ch 7 op. cit.) is the spoken version of an écrit, ‘Lituraterre’ . See Lituraterre: 12th May 1971: Jacques Lacan or here

19th May 1971

9th June 1971

16th June 1971

Other quotations

Quoted in ‘The Root of Segregation : by Jorge Assef : Lacanian Review Online : 27th March 2019  :

Seminar XVIII : 20th January 1971 : pII  8-9 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation ( : That which, in a discourse, is addressed to the Other as a Thou, gives rise to an identification to something that one can call the human idol. If l spoke the last time about red blood as being the blood that is most useless to propel against the semblance, it is indeed because, as you have seen, one cannot advance and overthrow the idol without immediately afterwards taking its place, and we know that this is what has happened to a certain type of martyr! It is indeed in the measure that something in every discourse that appeals to the Thou provokes a camouflaged, secret identification, which is only one to this enigmatic object that may seem to be nothing, the tiny little surplus enjoying of Hitler, that went no further perhaps than his moustache, this was enough to crystallise people who….who had nothing mystical about them! Who were the most committed to the process of the discourse of the capitalist, with what that involves in terms of a questioning of surplus enjoying in its form of surplus value. It was a matter of seeing whether, at a certain level, one would still have one’s little bit (son petit bout) and indeed this was enough to provoke this effect of identification. It is amusing simply that this should have taken the form of idealisation of the race, namely, of the thing which on that occasion was least involved. But one can find where this character of fiction comes from, one can find it.  What must be simply said, is that there is no need for this ideology for a racism to be constituted, and that all that is needed is a surplus enjoying that recognises itself as such. And that whoever is a little bit interested in what may happen would do well to tell himself that every form of racism, in so far as a surplus enjoying is very well capable of supporting it, is now what is on the agenda. This is what is in store for us in the years to come.

Published in French

Jacques Lacan. Le Séminaire. Livre XVIII. D’un discours qui ne serait pas du semblant.. September 2011 : Le Seuil

However, a transcription of Lacan’s words from tapes, is available from  here published by


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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Sandwich in Kent & London


Other texts

Of the clinic here

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Some Lacanian History here

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Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud here

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