La Troisième (The Third) : 1st November 1974 (Rome) : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on November 1, 1974

Given at 7th conference of L’École freudienne de Paris, in Rome (31st October 1974 to 3rd November 1974)

Published in English

1) Translated by Ellie Ragland & by Yolande Szczech & a translation published by The Stafeterla

See Richard G. Klein’s website, available here

Note on the French version used for the translation :

Ellie Ragland translated this text into English apparently in the late 1980’s probably using the French version from les Lettres de l’École freudienne, 1975, n° 16. Richard Klein has not updated the bibliography with references to the complete English translation of Lacan’s Écrits which was published in 2006.

Ellie Ragland has italicized certain words and phrases in her translation. I can only assume that these words and phrases were italicized in the original French version which she was working with. The source, Pas-tout Lacan, for the French text contains only a few italicized words–RGK

Yolande Szczech :“I am not a French scholar. I was just frustrated at the lack of an English translation of this key text, so I took matters into my own hands. I apologise for any mistakes.

This translation is based on Pierre-Alain Lecat’s transcription of Lacan’s lecture, known henceforth as the Staferla version (Lecat, 2015) but I have also made use of Patrick Valas’ version (Valas, 2015). When I was in doubt about the text, I referred to Valas’ audio recording (Lacan, 1974). – [See,027  or here ]

2) Translated by Philip Dravers

Published as The Third, in The Lacanian Review, Get Real, Issue 07, Spring 2019, p83-112

Available from   /lacan

3) Translated by Ellie Ragland (c1985), Philip Dravers (2019), the Stafeteria translation, & Yolande Szczech (2016), Published with the French at and available here   

Note on the French version used for this translation :

The text established by Jacques-Alain Miller and published as “La Toryism”, La cause freudienne, no 79 (2011) : p11-33.  This is different to the texts used in the other translations.

Originally Published

– Lacan, J. (1988) “La Tercera” en Intervenciones y Textos 2. Buenos Aires. Manantiales.

Published in French:

The different publications in French vary considerably.

– Edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, as La Troisième, La cause freudienne, no 79 (2011), p11-33

– Lettres de l’École freudienne, 1975, n° 16, pp. 177-203.

Published by École Lacanienne de la Psychanalyses – Pas-tout Lacan 1970/1979, here : Available here or 1974-11-01, La Troisième(21p)

– by See here

Probably available here

& also at  /lacan

For the audio of Jacques Lacan speaking, see,027  or here


Jouissance in the cure (Comments on La Troisième) : December 1997 (probably San Francisco, USA) : André Patsalides  or here 

Quote from La Troisième :

It is not because the unconscious is structured like a language that lalangue does not have to play against its own enjoyment, since it is made up of this very enjoyment. ((1)) The subject supposed to know, who is the analyst in the transference, is not supposed in error, if he knows what the unconscious consists of, in being a knowledge that is articulated from lalangue, the body that speaks only being knotted to it by the real that it enjoys. (“The Third”)

Circulated in the newsletter of the NLS Congress 2018 which will take place in Paris on June 30th and July 1st 2018. The theme : In a State of Transference – Wild, political, psychoanalytic.

From: NLS Congress 2018 : Subject: NLS Congress 2018 – News from the Blog – 06/22/2018 : Date: 22 June 2018 at 09:02:00 BST




Quoted in  Brain Dictionary : 11th March 2019 : Catherine Lazarus-Matet : Towards Pipol 9 Congress ‘the Unconscious and the Brain’ : July 2019

Available here

Quote : If nothing is beyond science, then it slips encore into what is beyond sense! As Lacan indicated, if the phoneme does not make sense, “[…] the word does not make sense either, despite the dictionary” (Reference 6 : Lacan J., La troisième, (1974), in La Cause freudienne no79, Navarin Editeur, 2011, p.23.)

p63 of the two translations published at : they are translated from different sources.

Ellie Ragland’s translation : One must look at that closely, There is a linguist who has insisted a great deal on the fact that the phoneme never makes sense. The bothersome part is that the word does not make sense either, despite the dictionary. I have made a hugh effort to say what I mean in a sentence, whatever the word or whatever the meaning. So, if one makes any word whatsoever and any meaning whatsoever say what they mean, where would that stop in the sentence? Where would the unity element be found?

Yoland Szczech’s translation : We must watch this closely. Anyway, there is a linguist like that who has placed great emphasis on the fact that the phoneme never makes sense. The annoying thing is that the word, the word does not make sense either, in spite of the dictionary. As for me, in a sentence I make a point of assigning any meaning to any word. So, if we can assign any meaning to any word, where do we stop in a sentence? Where do we find the unit element? Note 137, TN: A unit element in this context seems to be a linguistic unit that has no purpose other than to denote the end of a word, sentence or phrase. For example, in written English a full stop denotes a sentence boundary, whilst in speech a pause is used.


‘The Third’ quoted in ‘Per via di voutare’ by Claudia Iddan, circulated From: NLS-Messager, New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis’ Messenger, Subject: [nls-messager] 3360.en/ CUTS – Claudia Iddan – Towards the NLS Congress 2020, Date: 10 March 2020 at 20:46:06 GMT & available below or

Per via di voutare

Claudia Iddan
Freud characterises the psychoanalytic technique using one of Leonardo da Vinci’s formulas on how to make art: per via de levare, that is, by a subtraction operation linked to interpretation. However, I would like to add another formula which seems more faithful to the thought of the last Lacan: per via di voutare, proposed by Gérard Wajcman [1] in connection with the ready-made of Marcel Duchamp. A formula which refers to the act of emptying [vider].

Two quotations from Lacan highlight this aspect in relation to interpretation:

A – “Interpretation […] is not interpretation of meaning, but plays on the equivoque […] it is through language that interpretation operates [….] Interpretation must always be a ready-made, after Marcel Duchamp […]. Our interpretation should aim at what is essential in wordplay in order not to be the one that feeds the symptom with meaning.”[2]

Keywords: equivoque, lalangue and ready-made.

By way of the ready-made interpretation, assemblage of the “daily” utterance of the parlêtre and lalangue, it is the equivocal that manifests, and with it the essential emerges: emptiness raised to the Dignity of the Thing [l’Achose] that does not add any meaning to the symptom.

B – “When the l’esp of a lapse […] the space of a lapsus, has no further meaningful scope (or interpretation), only then is one certain of being in the unconscious.”[3]

Key words: space, without meaning or interpretation, unconscious.

When can we be sure of being in the unconscious? When there is no longer any meaning or interpretation, when there is a cut in the signifying chain which encircles the One. This highlights the fact that, at this moment, we are in a space emptied of meaningful articulation: a real. This empty space intersects with the emptiness of the object of the drive and that of the core of the symptom, and it is by the iteration of the One that these crossings delimit a hole, a voutare which touches or makes resonate the object a, “the inter-loan [l’entreprêt].” [4]

Translated by Joanne Conway


[1] Lacan, Jacques, “The Third”, The Lacanian Review 7, “Get Real”, NLS, Paris, 2019, p. 98.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Lacan, Jacques, “Preface to the English Edition of Seminar XI”, The Lacanian Review 6, “¡Urgent!”, tr. R. Grigg, NLS, Paris, 2018, p. 23. : See Preface to the English-language edition of Seminar XI : 17th May 1976 : Jacques Lacan or here
[4] Lacan, Jacques, Télévision, A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment, W. W. Norton & Co., New York/London, 1990, p. 46. : Television: 31st January 1974 : Jacques Lacan or here


In The Zombie Epidemic: Hypermodern Version of the Apocalypse : 25th September 2013: New York: Jorge Assef or here  : Quote : – In ‘The Third’ Lacan states that what we see of science are its gadgets, the objects made possible by scientific research and which are then put into circulation by the market.

p98 of Yoland Szczech’s translation, available at, It gives us plenty to get our teeth into, as a substitute for what we lack in the relationship, in the relationship of knowledge [connaissance]. As I said earlier, what it [science] gives us in its place at the end of the day, what for most people, in particular everyone here present, is reduced to gadgets: television, the moon landings, and yet, the moon landings, you won’t go there, it’s only for a selected few. But you saw it on television. That’s it! That’s science, right there. And that is why I place my hope in the fact that, in bypassing any representation, we will achieve, perhaps, more satisfactory information about life.

p99 of Yoland Szczech’s translation :  Now we have come full circle and what I have said to you just now: it is namely… that the future of psychoanalysis is something that depends on what will come out of the real, namely if gadgets for example, will really get the upper [196 196. TN: From the audio (at 2h 22’ 58”) appears that Valas’ “à la main” is correct, rather than Staferla’s `a la masse]. hand, if we ourselves actually come to be brought to life by gadgets. I must say that it appears to me unlikely. We will not actually get to the point when the gadget is not a symptom, because for the time being it is absolutely obvious that it is one. For sure, when you have a car… as a fake woman, you absolutely insist that it is a phallus, but that has nothing to do with the phallus except that it is the phallus that prevents us from having a relationship with something that would be our sexual partner. This is our parasexual partner, and everyone knows that the “para” entails that everyone keeps to themselves, that everyone remains by the side of the other.


Jouissance in the cure (Comments on La Troisième) : December 1997 (probably San Francisco, USA) : André Patsalides  or here 

Further Citations & Quotes

p60 of Yolande Szcaech’s translation quoted  The Réveil (Awakening) from the Rêve (Dream) or th’Esp of a Rêve (Dream) : January 2019 : Éric Laurent  or  here 

The Ordinary Psychoses and the Others – Under Transference : 26th March 2017 : Anna Aromí & Xavier Esqué or here

The Zombie Epidemic: Hypermodern Version of the Apocalypse : 25th September 2013: New York: Jorge Assef or here   

p7, 32, 45, 46, 50, 54, 56, 79-80, of www.Freud2Lacan, see  Jouissance in the cure (Comments on La Troisième) : December 1997 (probably San Francisco, USA) : André Patsalides or here 


Note : If links to any required 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 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

By Julia Evans here

Referenced in

The Ordinary Psychoses and the Others – Under Transference : 26th March 2017 : Anna Aromí & Xavier Esqué or here

The Zombie Epidemic: Hypermodern Version of the Apocalypse : 25th September 2013: New York: Jorge Assef or here