An Extimate Experience : 25th July 2020 : Ganesh Anantharaman

by Julia Evans on July 25, 2020

This is Ganesh Anantharaman’s  end note of a New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis, cartel (,), Cartel 35 – Pandemic & being Lacanian, a Flash Cartel (from April until July 2020), given on 25th July 2020. It has since been published in (i) The Newsletter of the Cartels of the NLS, 4 PLUS 1, – No. 16,  see   here  or here  or  or (ii) as circulated by New Lacanian School – Messager on 3rd February 2021  here

Members and their topic were : Ganesh Anantharaman  – To examine what the ‘new normal’ of social distancing means for how we engage with the world inside and outside of us. : Gözde Kilic  – To inquire into how we can position the coronavirus vis-à-vis the Symbolic and the Real? : Julia Evans – Between THE PANDEMIC & a pandemic – an exploration. : Paul Melia – How to practice that attentional stance Freud refers to as ‘evenly-suspended’ with few or no appointments during Covid-19? : Josephine Rostron  – To consider the nature and impact of the virus and to elaborate on the presence of the body within Lacan’s structure of the psyche. 

Available at  /author a-z  or author by date or below.  

An extimate experience

It was curiosity, not yet recognized as desire, that led me to accept the invitation from Julia Evans to join the Flash Cartel on Pandemic and Being Lacanian. A Flash Cartel operates for a short duration to explore the individual quest of each Cartelisand in relation to a chosen theme. This Cartel operated from April to July 2020, with a total of 6 meetings. 

In three months, my work topic morphed thrice, each time bringing me closer to taking responsibility for my desire. From a normative position of ‘what ought to be the response of psychoanalysis to the pandemic?’, I arrived at a singular question of ‘what could my response as a Lacanian to the pandemic be?’ The process of work we chose where each of us read texts that we could access; exchanged notes on what we’re reading in-between meetings; and made a presentation in each meeting of where we’ve reached with our particular work topic helped us locate our respective desire. In listening to the presentations of my colleagues and speaking about what it may have triggered for me, I had an experiential understanding of what it means to be alone in one’s quest, yet not isolated.

The role of the plus-un, which I realized through my experience in this and another Cartel that I am currently part of to mean that of leading without directing; intervening to help us reckon with the hole in our knowledge without getting traumatised by it; and providing a Lacanian perspective to our impasses without precluding our own individual sense-making, was instrumental in keeping desire alive, even in those times where I encountered my lack with respect to maintaining a distance from knowledge and truth.

In encountering the Lacanian term extimacy I found the impetus to proceed with my desire to respond as a student of psychoanalysis to my particular social context. From Jorge Assef’s[1] articulation that psychoanalysis can counter the authoritarianism of the master signifiers the pandemic has spawned by giving subjective experiences of living in times of the pandemic its due place and voice, I drew courage to persist.        

Ganesh Anantharaman   19h July 2020

[1] ‘We Shall Build Up Again: 31st March 2020…’ Assef, Jorge, Available here:

Related Texts

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

Extimité or Extimacy : February 1986 : Jacques-Alain Miller or here  

Jacques Lacan’s sayings on or near ‘pandemic’ by Julia Evans on 21st June 2020, or 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    

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


Further texts

On cartels here 

Of the clinic  here 

Lacanian Transmission  here 

Some Lacanian History  here 

Topology  here 

From LW working groups  here

By Ganesh Anantharaman  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