The Unconscious & the Sinthome : 17th December 2008 : Jacques-Alain Miller

by Julia Evans on December 17, 2008

Sixth session of the 08/09 course at University of Paris VIII,  L’orientation lacanienne III, Choses de finesse en psychanalyse


– Ten Line News, no 435, 5th January 2009

– L’inconscient et le sinthome, in La cause freudienne, Issue 71, June 2009, p72-9

– Hurly-Burly, v5, 2011, p39-49 

Available at /authors a-z or authors by date


in Announcement of title for the 2020 NLS Congress, Interpretation, From Truth to Event : 18th June 2019 : Bernard Seynhaeve See  here   

References & their availability

1p41. Introduction à l’Édition allemande des Écrits, Autres écrits, Paris, Seuil, 2001

See Introduction to a first volume of the Écrits (Walter Verlag) or Introduction to the German Edition of the Écrits: 7th October 1973: Jacques Lacan    or here 

Also in Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan  or here  

5p43. Lesson of 15th November 1961 & 23rd June 1962 in Seminar IX, L’identification, 

See Seminar IX: Identification: 1961-1962: begins November 15th 1961: Jacques Lacan  or here

& Lesson of 20th January 1965, p14 of Le séminaire XII, Problèmes cruciaux pour la psychanalyse, See Seminar XII : Crucial Problems for Psychoanalysis : 1964-1965 : from 2nd December 1964 : Jacques Lacan or here

& Le séminaire livre XXIII, Le sinthome, 2005, p14.  See Seminar XXIII: The Sinthome or Joyce and the Sinthome: 1975-1976: beginning on November 18th 1975 : Jacques Lacan or here: Probably Seminar XXIII : 18th November 1975 pI22-23 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : Is it impossible for truth to become a product of know-how (savoir-faire)? No. But then it will only be half-said, incarnated in the signifier S1, where there must be at least two of them in order that the unique one, the woman, by always having been mythical in this sense that the myth has made her singular – what is at stake is the Eve of whom I spoke earlier – that the unique one, the woman, by having undoubtedly been always possessed, for having tasted the fruit of the forbidden tree, that of science, Evie, (13) then, is no more mortal than Socrates. The woman in question is another name of God, and this is why she does not exist as I have already said many times. 

Here we can note the cunning side of Aristotle, who does not want the singular to play a role in his logic. But contrary to what he admitted in this aforesaid logic, it must be said that Socrates is not a man, because he accepts to die in order that the city may live, because he accepts it is a fact. Moreover on that occasion he does not want a word out of his wife. 

9p45 Joyce le Symptôme [II] in Autres Écrits, p569 : See  Joyce the Symptôm (Sinthôme) I & II : 16th June 1975 : Jacques Lacan or here. : p11 of Dominick Hecq’s translation, see, Let’s leave the symptom at that which it is: an event of the body intertwined with: Heigho! One’s got it, seems to have it, sings it, gentes and laitymen. One has it. Ladida. Nice song. Joyce obviously enjoys the tune. 

Thus it can well be that some individuals amongst those Aristotle mistakes for bodies are by symptoms compared with other bodies. A woman, for instance, is the symptom of another body. 

If this is not the case, she remains a symptom, says the hysteric – the ultimate symptom. 

10p45. Television, translated by D. Hollier et al, in Television/A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment, p15 : See Television: 31st January 1974 : Jacques Lacan or here   Also in Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan  or here  : p15 of Denis Hollier, Rosalind Krauss & Annette Michelson’s translation : p19 of 40 October v6 1987 :  

But you yourself are excluded from that which makes for social bonds between analysts, aren’t you . . .

-The Association-so-called International, although that is a bit of a fiction , having been for so long now limited to a family business- I still knew it in the hands of Freud’s direct and adopted descendants; if I dared- but I warn you that here I am both judge and plaintiff, hence partisan- I would say that at present it is a professional insurance plan against analytic discourse. The PIPAAD. 

Damned PIPAAD! 

They want to know nothing of the discourse that deter­ mines them. But they are not thereby excluded from it; far from it, since they function as analysts, which means that there are people who analyze themselves by means of them. 

So they satisfy this discourse, even if some of its effects go unrecognized by them. On the whole, they don’t lack prudence; and even if it isn’t the true kind, it might be the do-good kind. 

Besides, they are the ones at risk. 

11p46. On a Question Prior to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis, Écrits, p465 of Bruce Fink’s translation : This reference does not seem to be correct, but check it out at On a question preliminary to any possible treatment of psychosis : December 1955-January 1956 [1958] : two most important parts of Seminar III : Jacques Lacan or here

12p47. Lacan, J., Joyce le Symptôme [II] in Autres écrits, op.cit  p570 : See Joyce the Symptôm (Sinthôme) I & II : 16th June 1975 : Jacques Lacan or here

See p14-15 of Dominick Hecq’s translation :   One suspected as much. To be post-joycian means knowing this. Any awakening depends on this particular jouissance – that is without the value of an analysis that would resort to meaning in order to solve it and hence turn one into the dupe. . . of the father, as I point out above. 

13p48. Joyce le Symptôme [I] p168 of Le séminaire livre XXIII, Seuil, 2005. : See Joyce the Symptôm (Sinthôme) I & II : 16th June 1975 : Jacques Lacan or here  : p26 of Aaron Benaranev’s translation : It is insofar as the unconscious knots itself into a sinthome, which is what there is singularly in each individual, that one can say that Joyce, as it is written somewhere, identifies with the individual. He has made himself privileged enough to have, at the extreme point, incarnated in himself the symptom, that by which he escapes any possible death, by reducing himself to a structure that is precisely that of LOM [l’homme, man], if you will permit me to write it quite simply as l.o.m. 


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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, London & Sandwich, Kent


Further posts:

Some Lacanian history here

Lacanian Transmission here 

Of the clinic here

Translation Working Group here 

 From LW working groups here

Use of power here   

By Jacques-Alain Miller  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