Comment on how Jacques Lacan’s texts grow or shrink over time! : 11th March 2022 : Julia Evans

by Julia Evans on March 11, 2022

In revising & reposting Introduction to the Names-of-the-Father Seminar : 20th November 1963 (Paris) : Jacques Lacan (NoF 20th November 1963) &  ‘Proposal (Proposition) of 9th October 1967 on the psychoanalyst of the School’: Jacques Lacan (Proposal 9th October 1967), it is noticeable that they share one common property : the published texts in 1968 & 1985 are different lengths to the published text in the early 2000s – one shorter, one longer.  

Published text & translations :


NoF 20th November 1963 – see

Séminaire du 20 novembre 1963, Bulletin de l’Association freudienne, 1985, vol 12, p3-5; vol 13 p3-6  Translated by Jeffrey Mehlmann (1987)  

Des Noms-du-Pére, Éditions du Seuil, 2005 Translated by Bruce Fink (2013) & Mario Beira (February 2022)

Note : This text was not published during Jacques Lacan’s lifetime. [See Mario Beira at  /Lacan (7. Lacan’s November 20 1963 Introduction to the Names-of-the-Father (3 translations))] At Jeffrey Mehlmann’s translation has been annotated in blue with the deletions and additions when compared with the 2005 text.


Proposal 9th October 1967 – see

Proposition du 9 octobre 1967 sur le psychanalyste de l’Ecole, Scilicet 1 [1st quarter], 1968, Champ Freudien, Seuil, Paris, p14‐ 30 Translated by Russell Grigg (1995) & Cormac Gallagher

Proposition du 9 octobre 1967 sur le psychanalyste de l’écoleOrnicar? Analytica, volume 8, 1978 Autres écritsÉditions du Seuil, Paris, 2001 Translated by Anthony Chadwick

Note : The ‘first version’ of the Proposal of 9th October 1967 on the psychoanalyst of the school appeared in Ornicar? Analytica volume 8, 1978. It was presented there as being indeed the one that was delivered by Lacan on 9 October 1967. It contains 4845 words, whereas the so‐called ‘second version’, published in Scilicet, no.1, 1968, p14‐ 30, contains 5059 words : From Richard Klein,  /Lacan (7. Lacan’s November 20 1963 Introduction to the Names-of-the-Father (3 translations))


So both texts are altered between the first publication and the second.  Proposal 9th October 1967 has lost content, whereas NoF 20th November 1963 has both lost some phrases but gained considerable amounts of text. There is no verification by Jacques Lacan of NoF 20th November 1963, as it was not published in his lifetime.  However Proposal 9th October 1967 was published within a year of Jacques Lacan giving the text.  


Conclusion The text of Proposal 9th October 1967 published in 1968, is probably good enough to be relied on. The text of NoF 20th November 1963 is more difficult. The 1985 text is probably better and it is difficult to be firm about which version to use, unless it can be checked against a tape-recording given Jacques Lacan’s refusal to publish during his lifetime.  Certainly, the later version of each text seems to have been edited.


Julia Evans 11th March 2022

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst


Related text

Related text : Seminar IV : 27th February 1957 – The Anorexic Gap  by Julia Evans on 1st  February 2022  or here   

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