Presentation: “On James Joyce as Symptom” : 24th January 1976 (Nice) : Jacques Lacan

by Julia Evans on January 24, 1976

This presentation “On James Joyce as Symptom” was given on 24thJanuary 1976 at the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen de Nice; the transcripton by Henri Brevière, assisted by Joëlle Labruyère, was taken from a tape recording.

Translated by Jack W. Stone

Published by the now non-existent, University of Missouri, M. I. T. site :

Available at  /lacan

& at Richard G. Klein’s Freud2Lacan facebook site : here

Available here

&  Jack W. Stone’s translation is now published bilingual at, available here

In French:

1) Published unedited in the review Le croquant n ° 28, November 2000.

2) Information available at,306 together with copies of the original programmes.

3)  At   /PasTout Lacan

Available here

References to other texts by Jacques Lacan

P1 :  ‘The Case of Aimée, or Self-punitive Paranoia’: Jacques Lacan: 1932  or  here

P3 : Declaration to France-Culture Concerning the 28th International Congress of Psychoanalysis: 1st July 1973: Jacques Lacan  or  here

P3 : Seminar XXIII : 9thDecember 1975 : See  Seminar XXIII: The Sinthome or Joyce and the Sinthome: 1975-1976: beginning on November 18th 1975 : Jacques Lacan or here : PII 1 in Cormac Gallagher’s translation : It can’t go on like this!

I mean that there are too many of you.  There are too many of you for me, in short, to hope all the same to get from you what I got from the public in the United States, where I have just been. spent 15 full days there and I was able to become aware of a certain number of things. In particular, if, if l properly understood, in short, a certain lassitude experienced there, principally by analysts.

I was, my God, I cannot say that I was not very well treated there, but that is, it is not,that is not saying too much, is it. For myself, I rather felt myself there, to employ a term which is the one I use for what concerns man, sucked in. Or again, if you don’t  mind hearing it, sucked up, sucked up into a sort of whirlwind, which obviously can only find its warranty in, in what I bring to light by my knot.

In effect it is not by chance, is it?  It is only little by little that you have seen, in short, those who are here for some time, that you have been able to see, namely to understand step by step, how I have come to express by the function of the knot what I had first of all put forward as, let us say, the triplicity, of the Symbolic the Imaginary and the Real.


p6 : Yale University: 24th November 1975: ‘Kanzer Seminar’: Jacques Lacan  or here : p5 of Jack W. Stone’s translation : Thus, Freud, after years of experience, came to write the well-known Three Essays on Sexuality in an effort to construct something that would be a regular scansion of the development of every child.

I believe that this scansion itself is intimately linked to certain patterns [in English] of language. I mean that the so-called oral, anal, and even urinary phases are too profoundly mixed up with the acquisition of language; toilet training, for example, is manifestly anchored in the conception the mother has of what she awaits from the child–namely, excrements–which makes it so that, fundamentally, it is around this very first training the child receives that turn all the stages of what Freud, with his prodigious insight [in English], calls sexuality. I must abridge a little.

I will propose that what is most fundamental in the so-called sexual relations of the human being involves language, in this sense: that it is not for nothing that we call the language we use our mother tongue. It is an elementary truth of psychoanalysis that, despite the idea of instinct, it would be very problematic for a man to be in any way interested in a woman if he did not have a mother. It is one of the mysteries of psychoanalysis that the little boy is immediately attracted to the mother, while the little girl is in a state of reproach, of disharmony with her. I have had enough analytic experience to know how ravaging the mother/daughter relationship can be. If Freud chose to accentuate this, to build a whole construction around it, it was not for nothing.


p6 : And in “the other” Nice presentation, “The Lacanian Phenomenon,” we find this: “It is there that, always, the unconscious is rooted. It is not only rooted because this being learned to speak when he was a child, if his mother in fact wanted to take the trouble, but because he arose already from two speaking beings.” : The Lacanian Phenomenon was given on 30thNovember 1974 in Nice.

See École Lacanienne de la Psychanalyse here : as  ‘1974.11.30 LE PHÉNOMÈNE LACANIEN’ :

Originally published in « Les Cahiers Cliniques de Nice » n°1 juin 1998. p 9-25



Related texts

Joyce the Symptôm (Sinthôme) I & II : 16th June 1975 : Jacques Lacan   or here   (Translations of both available)

Geneva lecture on the symptom: 4th October1975: Jacques Lacan or here

See Seminar XXIII: The Sinthome or Joyce and the Sinthome: 1975-1976: beginning on November 18th 1975 : Jacques Lacan  or here for information & availability

Yale University: 24th November 1975: Conversation with Students: Jacques Lacan  or here

Yale University: 24th November 1975: ‘Kanzer Seminar’: Jacques Lacan  or here

Yale University: 24th November 1975: Law School Auditorium: Jacques Lacan or here

Columbia University Auditorium, School of International Affairs: 1st December 1975: Jacques Lacan  or here

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, December 2, 1975: Jacques Lacan  or here

Presentation at Lacan’s Seminar : 20th January 1976 (Paris) : Jacques Aubert or here

Presentation: “On James Joyce as Symptom” : 24th January 1976 (Nice) : Jacques Lacan  or here

A Lacanian Psychosis: 12th February 1976: An encounter between Gérard Primeau & Jacques Lacan  or here

Reading Notes to Jacques Lacan’s Seminar XXIII : 2005 : Jacques Aubert  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, Sandwich in Kent & London


Other texts

Of the clinic here

Use of power here

Some Lacanian History : here

Topology : here

Lacanian Transmission : here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

By Jacques Aubert here

By Julia Evans here