Life Over Death : 26th March 2020 : Thomas Svolos

by Julia Evans on March 26, 2020

Published by The Lacanian Review Online as |COVID-19 / 2020 #18 : See here  

Also circulated From: NLS-Messager  – New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis’ Messager, as  Subject: [nls-messager] 3387.en/ Lacanian Review Online: Assuming How to LiveDate: 31 March 2020 at 19:14:51 BST, See here

Available with Julia Evans’ notes at /authors by date or authors a-z

Other texts by Thomas Svolos here 


– ‘In one of his last essays, Civilization and Its Discontents , Freud offered a kind of metapsychological model’ : 

 Civilization and its Discontents: 1929: Sigmund Freud: SE XXI : Published at : See here : Probably SE XXI p141, ‘Just as a planet revolves around a central body as well as rotating on its own axis, so the human individual takes part in the course of development of mankind at the same time as he pursues his own path in life. But to our dull eyes the play of forces in the heavens seems fixed in a never-changing order; in the field of organic life we can still see how the forces con- tend with one another, and how the effects of the conflict are continually changing. So, also, the two urges, the one towards personal happiness and the other towards union with other human beings, must struggle with each other in every individual; and so, also, the two processes of individual and of cultural development must stand in hostile opposition to each other and mutually dispute the ground. But this struggle between the individual and society is not a derivative of the contradiction-probably an irreconcilable one-between the primal instincts of Eros and death. It is a dispute within the economics of the libido, comparable to the contest concerning the distribution of libido between ego and objects; and it does admit of an eventual accommodation in the individual, as, it may be hoped, it will also do in the future of civilization, however much that civilization may oppress the life of the individual to-day. 

The analogy between the process of civilization and the path of individual development may be extended in an important respect. 

  –‘ It is notable that in both of these moments, these “assumptions,” the issue at play is an unknown: there is no knowledge of death as an experience (witness all the fascination people have for the so-called “near death” experiences) and sexuality itself also has an ineffable or lawless quality to it, what Freud called an inherent “polymorphous perversity”, : 

A)  Sigmund Freud: Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality: 1905d : SE VII p123-245 Published at see here  – Essay II Infantile Sexuality, Section Castration Complex and Penis Envy, p113-114 of pfl, SEVII p191 : Polymorphously Perverse Disposition & SE VII p195 –

B) See Seminar VII: The ethics of psychoanalysis: 1959-1960: begins 18th November 1959 : Jacques Lacan or here &   Notes on Seminar VII: 18th November 1959 from page 7 to 15 (Wo es war, … & polymorphous perversion & definition of Jouissance & Happiness)  by Julia Evans on 6th October 2012 or here  

-‘Jacques-Alain Miller, in Six Paradigms of Jouissance , emphasized the special role for creativity and pragmatics in the final Lacan’ : 

See   Paradigms of Jouissance : 24th, 31st March & 7th April 1999 (Paris VIII) : Jacques-Alain Miller   or here  

Related texts

Coronavirus  here   

Encounter with the Coronavirus : we, analysts, are mortal : 10th May 2020 : Nelson Feldman or here   

THE PANDEMIC versus a pandemic – Cartel Opening Statement by Julia Evans on 25th April 2020  or here     

Summoned! : 17th April 2020 : Jean-Daniel Matet or here       

Coronavirus as Metaphor : 6th April 2020 : Gözde Kilic or here   h

We shall build up again… : 31st March 2020 : Jorge Assef  or  here

Life Over Death : 26th March 2020 : Thomas Svolos  or here  

The Other that Does Not Exist and Its Scientific Committees : 23rd March 2020 : Éric Laurent  or here   

Coronavirus and the Hole in the Big Other : 14th March 2020 : Thomas Svolos or here    

The case, from unease to the lie : February 2002 : Éric Laurent or here 

As quoted in  See Melancholia, the Pain of Existence and Moral Cowardice : October1988 : Éric Laurent or here 

Of the clinic here 

Case studies  here  

Note : If links to any required text do not work, check If a particular text or book is still missing, contact Julia Evans


  Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, London


Other texts

Of the clinic here 

On Ordinary Psychosis here 

On Lacanian History here 

Use of power here   

Lacanian Transmission  here 

Some Lacanian History  here 

Topology  here 

From LW working groups  here

By Thomas Svolos 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