Seminar IV, 6th March 1957 – Reversing Sense : 1st March 2022 : Julia Evans

by Julia Evans on March 1, 2022

Headings

A. Summary

B. List of Seminar IV publications & related texts

C. Background

D. Adrian Price’s Arguments for the Reversing

E. Arguments against the Reversing

F. Conclusion

NOTE : As well as being a marathon, there persists technical difficulties with posting tables. There is a gap at the top. A pdf version is available from www.LacianWorksExchange.net /lacan (November 1956)

A. Summary

Adrian Price states in his Translator’s Note on “XII On the Oedipus Complex” (p438 of Jacques Lacan – The Object Relation – The Seminar of Jacques Lacan-Book IV, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, Polity Press (2020)), that the dates given to two sessions have been reversed.  Therefore, in edited texts, the session Jacques Lacan gave on 6th March 1957 is published as if given on 13th March & the session given on 13th March is published as the 6th March.  The same reversing has been effected in ‘Jacques Lacan – Le Séminaire livre IV – La relation d’objet,’ edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, du Seuil (Mars 1994). The unedited transcripts do not support this reversing.

In this text, it is argued that this reversing is not justified and does not work.  It undermines Jacques Lacan’s arguments.

B. List of Seminar IV publications & related texts

a) The original manuscript typed from short-hand notes by a stenographer, probably given to Jacques Lacan to check and then filed. See https://ecole-lacanienne.net/en/bibliolacan/seminaires-version-j-l-et-non-j-l/ /1956/1957

b) Edited by Jacques-Alain Miller

– Livre IV, La Relation d’Objet, , 1956 to 1957 : Jacques Lacan : Éditions du Seuil, (Mars 1994), Edited by Jacques-Alain Miller

– Seminar 4 The Object Relation 1956-1957, translated by L.V.A. Roche : www.Freud2Lacan.com   /Lacan (52 )(Creation date is given as 15th November 2007), Edited by Jacques-Alain Miller  NOTE : Ellie Ragland cites this translation as forthcoming in 2008. It has never been officially published.  (The Topological Dimension of Lacanian Optics : Spring 2008 : Ellie Ragland, (Re)-turn: A Journal of Lacanian Studies, Vol 3 & 4, https://return.jls.missouri.edu/ReturnVol3_4/ragland.pdf)

– Jacques Lacan – The Object Relation, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book IV, translated by Adrian Price, Edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, Polity Press (2020)

c) Unedited transcripts 

– La Relation d’Objet et les Structures Freudiennes 56-57, Jacques Lacan,  l’Association Freudienne Internationale (afi),  

–  La relation d ‘objet, 1956-57, Jacques Lacan, STAFERLA  http://staferla.free.fr/S4/S4 LA RELATION.pdf  (This text is updated)  

From its Preface

Ce document de travail a pour sources principales : La relation d’objet, sur le site E.L.P. (sténotypie pdf ).

La relation d’objet : photocopies reliées au format « thèse universitaire ».   

(English translation) This working document has as its main sources:

The object relation, on the E.L.P. (pdf stenotype). [École Lacanienne de la Psychanalyse See https://ecole-lacanienne.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/1956.11.21.pdf ]

The object relation: photocopies bound in “university thesis” format.    

– Jacques Lacan, Seminar IV (1956 – 1957) – The Object Relation & Freudian Structures (began in 2016), translated from unedited transcripts, by Alma Buholzer, Ganesh Anantharaman (from August 2021), Greg Owen, Jesse Cohn, Julia Evans – Earl’s Court Collective ECC.

From 21st November 1956 to 27th February 1957 inclusive, is published.  Publication of 6th March 1957 is due in May 2022.

See Seminar IV : The Object Relation & Freudian Structures 1956-1957 : begins 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan  or here  for up to date information on progress & references, notes etc.  

Related texts

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

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

Other texts by Julia Evans http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12365  or www.LacanianWorksExchange.net.  /authors a-z (Evans)

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Note : The quotes in this text are from ECC Collective’ translation (begun 2016) using unedited transcriptions.

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C. Background

Alma Buholzer, Greg Hynds, Jesse Cohn, Ganesh Anantharaman (from August 2021), Julia Evans, known as the Earl’s Court Collective (ECC – 2016), started translating from unedited transcriptions of Jacques Lacan speaking, in 2016.  Translation of sessions 21st November 1956 to 27th February 1957 (1-11) is available from www.LacanianWorksExchange.net  /lacan (November 1956).  Translation notes, information & references are available Seminar IV : The Object Relation & Freudian Structures 1956-1957 : begins 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan  or here   

The Preface to the ECC – 2016’s translation states ‘The translation proceeds from this unedited text and, as such, aims to represent Lacan’s spoken French without abridgement.’ 

In January 2022, the translation of the 6th March 1957 session was started. When the page numbers from Séminaire IV (1994) were being added, it was found that the Séminaire IV (1994) text & the unedited transcription were completely different.  The transcription was checked against other transcriptions on the internet – they were exactly the same. 

Seminar IV (2020), edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, was consulted. On p438, Adrian Price (translator), states that the scripts for Sessions 12 and 13 have been ‘inverted’. 

Therefore, the page numbers in the margin of Seminar IV (begun in 2016) referring to Séminaire IV (1994) jump from p198 at the end of 25th February 1957 to p215 at the beginning of 6th March 1957. (Publication date for 6th March 1957 is probably May 2022)

In this text, the arguments for the ‘inversion’ are examined and found to have no foundation.  

D. Adrian Price’s Arguments for the Reversing

p438 of Seminar IV (2020) Adrian Price states: 

This mention of a preceding lesson dedicated to the theme of castration invites the inference of an error in the manuscript dates appended to the stenographer’s typescript, having led in turn to an inversion of the scripts for sessions 12 and 13. This inference is supported tentatively by the ensuing reminders of having dealt just previously with the retroactive constitution of stages and the introduction of the Oedipus complex (which seem to correspond to the discussion of regression and the preoedipal stage on pages 215-20), and more persuasively by the reminder of having in the previous lesson examined little Hans’s anxiety and having dealt with ‘material from the first few pages of the text’ (the latter surely corresponding to the commentary on pages 214-15, then 217-20)

E. Against the Reversing

1)  This reversing is not found in the original stenographer’s manuscripts (See https://ecole-lacanienne.net/en/bibliolacan/seminaires-version-j-l-et-non-j-l/ /1956/1957)

2) The mention of a preceding lesson on castration is examined 

a) in texts edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, 13th March 1957 & 

b) from unedited transcripts, 6th March 1957 referring back to 27th February 1957 

c) mention of a following lesson in unedited transcripts, 6th March 1957

3) The alleged reminders by Jacques Lacan of having just dealt with the retroactive constitution of stages and the introduction of the Oedipus complex.  These ‘reminders’ are examined in the edited text and unedited transcripts.

4) A further alleged reminder that little Hans’s anxiety has been examined in the previous session will again be examined in the edited text and unedited transcripts.

5) The assertion in the edited text that material from the first few pages of the text of Little Hans has been dealt with.

E.  Against the Reversing

1) This reversing is not in place in the original stenographer’s manuscripts 

(See https://ecole-lacanienne.net/en/bibliolacan/seminaires-version-j-l-et-non-j-l/ /1956/1957)

This mention of a preceding lesson dedicated to the theme of castration invites the inference of an error in the manuscript dates appended to the stenographer’s typescript, having led in turn to an inversion of the scripts for sessions 12 and 13. p438 of Adrian Price, Seminar IV (2020)

BLAME THE STENOGRAPHER

The allegation or inference is that the stenographer mixed the two sessions up and put the wrong dates on the sessions.

A word about the role of a stenographer.  A definition : 

‘A stenographer is a person trained to type or write in shorthand methods, enabling them to write as quickly as people speak. Stenographers can create lasting documentation of everything from court cases to medical conversations.’ (from https://www.naegeliusa.com/blog/what-is-a-stenographer  Downloaded February 2022.)

Remember, the 1950s are way before computers are in common use, no mobile phones, even no photocopiers. The process to produce ‘the stenographer’s typescript almost certainly involved the stenographer (usually female) sitting in the room, taking down shorthand notes of what Jacques Lacan said. She would then subsequently transcribe her notes into a typewritten manuscript with probably at least one carbon copy.  This would be done as close to the taking of notes as possible, to enable her to read them back accurately.  The top copy would in all probability be presented to Jacques Lacan and then filed.  This process would then be repeated the next week.

Both Jacques Lacan and the stenographer were present when the session was given.  The session would have been typed up and presented to Jacques Lacan within days of its being given.  It is not possible to casually swop the dates as it is when using a modern computer. It is probable that Jacques Lacan would have checked the typewritten manuscript before it was filed.  It does not seem possible for this swop to have occurred, though the sessions 6th March 1957 & 13th March 1957 have been reversed in both Séminaire IV (1994) & Seminar IV (2020).  A similar blaming of the stenographer occurs in 27th February 1957 – see The Anorexic Gap by Julia Evans (https://lacanianworks.net/2022/02/seminar-iv-27th-february-1957-the-anorexic-gap/ ).

Is this an obfuscation or a deliberate blackening of the stenographer’s reputation?

Your attention is drawn to a notice dated 20th August 2020, stating :

Jacques Lacan’s long-serving & life-loyal assistant Gloria Gonzalez died yesterday. Élisabeth Roudinesco describes Gloria as his secretary, diary-keeper, analysand greeter, correspondence and manuscript organiser, and bank account supervisor. Thank you, Gloria. 

(https://twitter.com/lacancircle/status/1298206661040123905)  

Was Gloria Gonzalez also Jacques Lacan’s stenographer? Probably yes.

 So does her death give permission for attributing blame to the stenographer in Adrian Price’s note of December 2020, that is four months after her death?  Whilst Gloria Gonzalez was alive, she would almost certainly have refuted this slur. In the UK, the dead have no right of reply as they have no legal personality. The slur sticks.

E.  Against the Reversing

2) The mention of a preceding lesson on castration is examined

a) in texts edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, 13th March 1957 &

b) from unedited transcripts, 6thMarch 1957 referring back to 27th February 1957

c) mention of a following lesson in unedited transcripts, 6th March 1957

E.  Against the Reversing

2a) The mention of a preceding lesson on castration is examined in texts edited by Jacques-Alain Miller.

‘This mention of a preceding lesson dedicated to the theme of castration’ Adrian Price, Seminar IV (2020) p438

TRACING A PRECEDING LESSON ON CASTRATION IN TEXTS 13th MARCH 1957 (unedited) & 6th MARCH 1957 (edited)

TABLE 1

6th March 1957. p191-192 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added. Previous session is 27th February 1957.
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Last time, we tried to spell out afresh the notion of castration, or at the very least how this concept is used in our practice. [Footnote 1 – p438 of Seminar IV (2020)] 
In the second part of the lesson  (Note  refers to 27th February 1957 – edited text) I pinpointed the locus at which the imaginary comes to interfere in the relationship of frustration that unites the child to the mother, this relationship being vastly more complex than the use that has on the whole been made of it. I told you that it was only in an apparent way, and in keeping with the requirements of its expounding, that we found ourselves thereby moving backwards, depicting a sort of succession of stages that would follow on in a line of development, because, quite to the contrary, it’s always a matter of grasping what at each stage intervenes from the outside, retroactively to reorganise what had been initiated at the previous stage.This is for the simple reason that the child is not alone. The fact that he is not alone is due not only to his biological surroundings but also to surroundings that are of far greater import, namely the lawful environment, the symbolic order are what impart accentuation and supervalence to the element of the imaginary known as the phallus.
 
 
 
So, this is the point we reached, and to open the third part of my exposé I set you on the trail of little Hans’s anxiety, since from the first we have been singling out two exemplary objects, the fetish object and the real object.
 



It is at the level of little Hans that we are going to try to articulate today’s remarks.
This will not be an attempt to rearticulate the notion of castration, because goodness knows it was powerfully and insistently articulated by Freud, but simply to speak about it once more because for as long as people have avoided speaking about it, the use and reference that can be drawn from it have become increasingly rare in the observations.
 
To tackle this notion of castration today, we need only follow the same line as our disquisition last time.

_____________________________-
PRECEDING SESSION
27th February 1957, P171 of Seminar IV (2020) Edited :
1
I have tried to locate frustration for you on the three-tier chart between castration, which Freud’s doctrine took as its point of departure, and privation, to which certain authors refer it. Let’s say that they have referred privation to castration in various ways.
Psychoanalysis today has been putting frustration right at the heart of all these failings that are purportedly marked out in their analysable consequences, in the symptoms properly speaking that fall in our remit. We need to understand frustration
COMPARED WITH UNEDITED
27th February 1957, para 1, p1 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited.
Today I intend to take up, once again, the terms in which I am trying to formulate for you this necessary re-casting of the notion of frustration – without which we can see a widening gap between the currently prevalent theories in psychoanalysis and the Freudian doctrine which, as you know, is
in my mind nothing less than the sole correct conceptual formulation of the experience that this very same doctrine has created. I will try to articulate something today which may be a little more algebraic than usual, but everything we have done previously has prepared us for it.
Before starting again, let us punctuate what must come along with certain terms among those we have articulated up until now. Frustration… such as I tried to situate it for you in the little threefold chart, that is, between the castration which we started out from in the analytic expression of the Freudian doctrine, and privation which some refer to — or, rather, let us say that it is variously referred to. Frustration, as a fundamental experience…
SECOND OCCURENCE
27th February 1957, p184 of Seminar IV (2020) : It is for reasons that are inscribed into the symbolic order which transcends individual development, that the fact of having or not having the imaginary and symbolised phallus takes on the economic importance that it holds at the level of the Oedipus complex. This is what explains both the importance of the castration complex and the primacy of the infamous fantasies of the phallic mother, which has been creating the problem you know about for as long as it has been on the analytic horizon.

In an admirable article from 1920 on ‘Manifestations of the Female Castration complex’, Abraham gives the example, …
FOURTH OCCURRENCE
27th February 1957, p185 of Seminar IV (2020) : The attempts at seduction, which people are still speaking about, are deeply marked by narcissistic wounds, which are merely preludes here, and even presuppositions, with regard to the later effects of castration. They still need to be looked at, though.










13th March 1957. Para 1-4 of Seminar IV (from 2016). Provisional translation. Bold added. Unedited. Previous session is 6th March 1957.

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We tried last time to rearticulate the notion of castration, at least the use of the concept in our practice. 
 

I have for you, in the second part of this session (Note : 6th March 1957, unedited transcripts), the place where this interference of the imaginary occurs in this relationship of frustration, which is infinitely more complex in its function than what usually unites the child to the mother. I told you that it was only in a purely apparent way, and by the order of the exposition, that we find this way to progress from front to back, figuring, so to speak (and we won’t have occasion to revisit it) the kinds of stages which follow one another in the line of development. 
Quite the contrary, it is always a question of grasping that which, intervening from the outside at each stage, retroactively reshuffles what was started in the previous stage for the simple reason that the child is not alone. Not only is he not alone, there is the biological entourage, but there is another entourage which is more important than the biological entourage: it is the legal environment, it is the symbolic order which surrounds it. This is the particular nature of the symbolic order, and I’ve found a passage which gives, for example, its accent, its prevalence in this imaginary element which is called the phallus.
[See ENDNOTE 1 – 6th March 1957]
So this is where we had arrived, and in order to begin the third part of my talk [exposé], I have placed you on the track of little Hans’ anguish [l’angoisse], [ENDNOTE 2 – 6thMarch 1957] since from the beginning we have taken these two exemplary objects : the fetishistic object and the real object.
It is at the level of little Hans that we will try to articulate what we are going to talk about today. Attempt, not to re-articulate the concept of castration, because God knows if it is powerfully so and insistently and repeatedly in Freud, but simply to talk about it again, because, since the time we avoid talking about it, it becomes thin on the ground [plus en plus rare], this complexes’ usage in observations, in the reference we can take from it.

So let’s talk today about this notion of castration since we follow on in the line of our previous time’s discourse.



__________________________________
PRECEDING SESSION
ENDNOTE 1
6th March 1957, Para 45 of Seminar IV (from 2016), Unedited : 
It is through the intervention of the order, the father introduces with his prohibitions, along with the fact that he introduces the rule of law, namely, something that both takes the matter out of the child’s hands and resolves it somewhere else; the fact that with him, the only way to win is to accept the distribution of the goods as is. This brings in the symbolic order, precisely at the imaginary level. It is not for nothing that castration is the imaginary phallus, but it is in some sense outside the real couple that an order can be re-established in which the child finds something within which he can await the next turn of events. This may appear to you, for the moment, as a simple solution to the problem.
Para 53-54 ibid. : And the contrast between this and what will happen next, when after the father’s involvement under the pressure of analytic questioning more or less directed between the father and him, he delivers himself to this sort of truly fantastic story in which he reconstructs the presence of his younger sister in a box in the carriage driven by the horses, several years before he was born. 
In sum, you’ll be able to see the mark of a huge coherence between what I would call the imaginary orgy over the course of little Hans’ analysis and the intervention of the real father. In other words, the outcome is a most satisfactory cure – we’ll see what that means – for the child’s phobia, simply insofar as the real father stepped in, and had hardly stepped in previously, because he could step in… in fact, because behind him there was the symbolic father, Freud.
But he did step in! And to the extent that he stepped in, everything that was set to crystallise at the level of a sort of premature real goes off into such a radical imaginary that we no longer know which way is up, and at every moment we are wondering if little Hans isn’t there to make fun of the world, or to exercise a refined sense of humour and it is undoubtedly so, since it is an imaginary that enjoys [joue/jouit] in order  to reorganise the symbolic world. 
But, in any case, one thing is certain: the recovery happens when castration expresses itself as such, in the clearest way, in the form of an articulated story. Namely, the ‘installer’ comes, unscrews it and gives him another one. [1] That is exactly where the observations end.
[1] ‘Little Hans’ (1909) op. cit.  SE X p98-99 
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ENDNOTE 2
6th March 1957, para 51 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : Unedited, bold added.
What I will leave you with is to ask you, before next time, to look at the text about little Hans and notice that it is certainly a phobia, but we might say, it is a phobia in operation. As soon as it [the phobia] appeared, the parents immediately took the thread, and the father does not leave it [thread] until it ends. I would like you to read this text, and although you will have all the fluttering impressions it may give you, you will still feel lost at several points. Nevertheless, I would like those of you who accept this task to tell me, next time, if they were not struck by something that they read. Something which shows a contrast between the initial stage, where we see little Hans develop to the full [à plein tuyau] all sorts of extraordinarily romantic imaginings about his relations with whatever he adopts as his children.

The above passage is the one which gave the editor permission to reverse the temporal order of sessions.  Despite differences in the text probably due to the editing, there is an announcement at the beginning of the session that castration has been examined last time. Endnotes 1 & 2 show that Lacan’s references back to the preceding session of 6th March 1957 work in the unedited transcripts. In the heavily edited texts, there are 4 occurrences of castration in the preceding session of 27th February 1957. This does not add up to a preceding session dedicated to castration.

There is no support for reversing the sessions. The logic of Jacques Lacan’s argument is destroyed by these editorial actions.

E.  Against the Reversing

2b) The mention of a preceding lesson on castration is examined in unedited transcripts.

TRACING A PRECEDING LESSON ON CASTRATION IN UNEDITED TEXTS

6th March 1957 (unedited) & 13th March 1957 (edited)

In the five references to previous sessions in 6th March 1957, unedited transcripts, three are to the preceding session, as follows. See Appendix 1 for all five quotations from 6th March 1957, followed by the passages in unedited transcripts in preceding sessions. From these it is possible to discern Jacques Lacan’s development of his argument. There follows the comparison of these references to a preceding lesson in the unedited transcriptions (6th March 1957) & edited text (13thMarch 1957) 

– p207-208 of Adrian Price’s translation (Seminar IV (2020)) is edited to the point of being rewritten. The point in para 3 (6th March 1957 – ECC-2016), sort of appears in para 5, p208 (2020) : 

TABLE 2

13th March 1957, P207-208 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added
____________________________
Today we are going to try to speak about castration.Castration runs throughout Freud’s writings, as does the Oedipus complex, yet they are treated differently.It was only late in the day, in a 1931 article dedicated to something entirely new, that Freud tried to spell out in full the formula of the Oedipus complex, despite its having been present in his thinking from the first. Indeed, it may be reckoned that here lies the chief personal issue that was his point of departure – What is a father? there can be no doubt about this because we know from his biography – and the letters to Fliess are confirmatory – that he was preoccupied by the presence of the Oedipus complex from the outset. It was only much later that he explained himself on this matter.As for castration, nowhere is there anything of the sort. Not once did Freud spell out in full the precise meaning, the precise psychical impact of this fear, or this threat, or this instance, or this dramatic moment. each of these words may equally be posited, with a question mark, in regard to castration.When I started to tackle the issue last time through the emergence of castration at a lower level than frustration and the imaginary phallic game with the mother, many of you even when you had grasped the role I was ascribing to the father’s intervention – his symbolic personage being purely the symbolic personage of dreams – were still wondering what this castration is. What does it mean that, for the subject to come to genital maturity, he has to have been castrated?  Seminar IV (2020) edited  

















6th  March 1957, Para 1-3 of Seminar IV (from 2016), Unedited, Bold added
_____________________________
Today we will try to talk about castration.You can see that in Freud’s works, even though castration understood in terms of the Oedipus complex is everywhere, it is really only for the sake of the Oedipus complex that Freud attempts to fully articulate its formulation, in an article from 1931[2] about something completely new. And yet, the Oedipus complex is there from the beginning in Freud’s thought, because we might say that the great personal problem he started off with is: ‘what is a father?’. There can be no doubt about this because we know that his biography – his letters to Fliess [3] – confirm that the presence of this topic and his preoccupation with it are at the origin of the Oedipus complex. And Freud only explained this at a much later date. As for castration, we can’t find it anywhere, or anything comparable. Freud never fully articulated the precise meaning, the precise psychic impact of this fear, this threat, this insistent plea, this dramatic moment  – where these words can also be laid out with a question mark regarding castration. Ultimately, when last time I started to approach the issue through the covert arrival of frustration, the imaginary phallic game with the mother, many of you – even if you understood the way I illustrated it with the intervention of the father, (his symbolic persona being purely and simply the symbolic persona of dreams) – remained perplexed on the topic: What is this castration all about? What does it mean to say that for the subject to attain ‘genital maturity’, he more or less has to have been castrated? If you consider things simply at the level of reading – even though it is nowhere articulated in this way – it is literally implied everywhere in Freud’s works.FOOTNOTES[2] Freud Sigmund “Female Sexuality” (1931b) SE XXI p221-243. See  www.Freud2Lacan.com[3] Freud’s letters to Fliess enable us to see him get to grips with the Oedipus complex.  In the summer and autumn of 1897 his self-analysis revealed the essential features of the Oedipus complex. The first hint of the Oedipus complex can be seen in Draft N – Notes (III) (31st May 1897), enclosed with Letter of 31st May 1897 – Letter 64: ‘It seems as though this death wish is directed in sons against their fathers and in daughters against their mothers.’ p250 of The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess 1887-1904 Translated & edited by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Belknap Press (1985)









The editing has substituted ‘covert arrival of frustration (unedited)’ with ‘emergence of castration’.  The differences shown in Table 2 between the edited and unedited texts, seem to have been put in place to support the reversing of the sessions.  As is shown in Appendix 1, the unedited text follows Jacques Lacan’s development of his argument, the edited text shows the reversing of sense.

TABLE 3

13th March 1957. P211 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added
_____________
So, our starting point will be, as it was last time (6th March 1957), the subject in his originative relation with the mother at the stage that is being qualified as preoedipal. We have seen that there is much to say about this stage, and we hope to have spelt it out better than is usually done, with greater differentiation. Even when these authors do demonstrate what is at issue, we believe that they do not handle it so well and fail to reason it out.
6th March 1957, Para 15 of Seminar IV (from 2016)  Unedited, Bold added.
_______________
Like last time (27th February 1957), we begin with the subject in his originary relationship with his mother, in the stage we call ‘pre-oedipal’. We have seen that there is a lot we can say about this stage.  We hope to have been more articulate than is usually the case when this pre-oedipal stage is discussed – I mean, by recognising more distinctly that which, incidentally, is always somewhere or other in all authors’ discourse. 

The differences between the two texts may be considered as slight, and the edited text supports a skewing of Jacques Lacan’s argument.  In particular, the use of stage is removed from the context of the ‘usual way’ the pre-oedipal stage is discussed.

TABLE 4

13th March 1957. P211 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added
_______________________________
To serve us as a guide, and so that we may refer to terms that I laid out previously, I ask you to accept for the time being the hypothesis, the supposition, that our articulation will lean on and which we saw last time (6th March 1957), namely that behind the symbolic mother stands the symbolic father.The symbolic father is in some sense a necessity of symbolic constructionbut one that we can locate only in a beyond-zone, I would almost say in a transcendence, in any case in something that, as I indicated in passing, can only be joined through a mythical construction.
6th March 1957  para 16 of Seminar IV (from 2016), Unedited, Bold added
________________________________
In order to guide us, so that we can refer to terms that I have already introduced, I ask you to first accept for a moment the hypothesis – the supposition – on which our articulation can then be based. We saw it last time (27thFebruary 1957): behind this symbolic mother we say that there is this symbolic father who is in some sense a necessary element for symbolic construction. But also, we saw that we can only situate this in a ‘beyond’ – I would almost say a transcendence – at any rate in something that, as I indicated in passing, is only achieved through a mythic construction.  

‘our articulation will lean on (edited text)’ is not the same as ‘on which our articulation can then be based’.  This is a further example of how the flow of Jacques Lacan’s argument has been skewed.  The passage to which this refers in the unedited texts is shown in Appendix 1. 

E.  Against the Reversing

2c) mention of a following lesson (13th March 1957 unedited & 20th March 1957 edited)  

EXAMINING A FOLLOWING LESSON IN 6th MARCH 1957, FOLLOWED BY 13th MARCH – UNEDITED, COMPARED WITH 13th MARCH 1957, FOLLOWED BY 20th MARCH 1957 – EDITED

TABLE 5

13th  March 1957, P223 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added
_________________________________
…The bringing to light of castration is both what puts an end to the phobia and what shows, I would say, not its finality, but what it stands in for.You must have a fair sense of how this is but an intermediary stage in my disquisition. I simply wanted to give you enough to see where his repertoire of questions opens up. Next time (20th March 1957) we will take up this dialectic of child and mother, and we shall set about isolating the value, the true signification, of the castration complex.  
Following session
20th March 1957, P224 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited,
I should like to begin by setting things straight regarding the article published in the second issue of La Psychanalyse under the title ‘Séminaire sur ‘La Lettre volée’ [Seminar on ‘The Purloined Letter’ : 26th April 1955, See http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=6224 ], and especially its Introduction.A number of you have had time to read it and to go into it more deeply. I am grateful for the attention of those who have devoted themselves to this inspection. It is to be believed, however, that the memory of the context in which what is there laid out in the Introduction was first delivered is not so easy for everyone to get back in touch with, because some have fallen back into a sort of real-sing error of another kind, which is what a few people allowed themselves to be overtaken by when I was first setting out these terms. For example, they imagined that I was denying that there is such a thing as chance. I allude to this in my text and I won’t be coming back to this point.I’m now going to clarify what is at issue.     
















6th March 1957, para 56 of Seminar IV (from 2016), Unedited, Bold added. See TABLE 1
___________________________________
The advent – the coming to light – of castration is what ends the phobia, and at the same time shows us… I won’t say its aim, but what it is standing in for. As you can tell, this is just an intermediate point of my discussion [discours]. I simply wanted to give you enough so that you can see its range of questions. Next time (13th March 1957) we shall return to the dialectic of the child’s relation with the mother, and the value of the true significance of the castration complex.   
Following session
13th March 1957, para 1 of Seminar IV (from 2016), Provisional translation, Unedited.  See TABLE 1.
We tried last time to rearticulate the notion of castration, at least the use of the concept in our practice. I have for you, in the second part of this session, the place where this interference of the imaginary occurs in this relationship of frustration, which is infinitely more complex in its function than what usually unites the child to the mother.…Para 3-5, ibid. : So this is where we had arrived, and in order to begin the third part of my talk [exposé], I have placed you on the track of little Hans’ anguish [l’angoisse], since from the beginning we have taken these two exemplary objects : the fetishistic object and the real object.It is at the level of little Hans that we will try to articulate what we are going to talk about today. Attempt, not to re-articulate the concept of castration, because God knows if it is powerfully so and insistently and repeatedly in Freud, but simply to talk about it again, because since the time we avoid talking about it, it becomes thin on the ground [plus en plus rare], this complexes’ usage in observations, in the reference we can take from it.So this is where we had arrived, and in order to begin the third part of my talk [exposé], I have placed you on the track of little Hans’ anguish [l’angoisse],  since from the beginning we have taken these two exemplary objects : the fetishistic object and the real object.It is at the level of little Hans that we will try to articulate what we are going to talk about today. Attempt, not to re-articulate the concept of castration, because God knows,  it is powerfully and insistently and repeatedly [articulated] in Freud, but simply to talk about it again and the reference we can take of it, in the usage of this complex in the observations, So let’s talk today about this notion of castration since we follow on in the line of our previous time’s discussion, last time.  

This asks the question, does the 13th March 1957 (unedited) follow from the 6th March 1957 (unedited) and in the edited text, does the 20th March 1957 follow on from the 13th March 1957?  From Table 5, there is no contest.  There is absolutely no support for reversing the sessions.

The difference is between the unedited and edited texts are shown in Appendix 1, Tables 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.  Probably key is the difference between:

  • approaching ‘the issue [castration] through the covert arrival of frustration’ (unedited transcript – ECC translation (from 2016)), 6th March 1957

  • ‘When I started to tackle the issue last time through the emergence of castration at a lower level than frustration and the imaginary phallic game with the mother,’  (1994 & Adrian Price’s translation – 2020), 13th March 1957

Castration has been added into the edited text, as compared with the unedited. This is probably to bring in line the text with the reversing. It fails. An example of editorial additions is ‘the emergence of castration at a lower level’.  ‘lower’ & ‘emergence’ do not appear in unedited transcripts.  In addition, all five references to other sessions, can be traced in the appropriate session taken from the unedited transcript. Appropriate material in the edited preceding text does not exist.  This does not support reversing sessions.

E. Against the reversing

3)  The alleged reminders by Jacques Lacan of having ‘just dealt with the retroactive constitution of stages and the introduction of the Oedipus complex’. 

These ‘reminders’ are examined in the edited text and unedited transcripts.

This inference is supported tentatively by the ensuing reminders of having dealt just previously with the

a) retroactive constitution of stages and the

b) introduction of the Oedipus complex (which seem to correspond to the discussion of regression and the preoedipal stage on pages 215-20), P438, Adrian Price, Seminar IV (2020)

E. Against the reversing

3a) Examining where Jacques Lacan uses retroactive constitution of stages in edited texts.

From the bold in Table 1 

TABLE 1a

6th March 1957. p191-192 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added.  
____________________________________
And in keeping with the requirements of its expounding, that we found ourselves thereby moving backwards, depicting a sort of succession of stages that would follow on in a line of development, because, quite to the contrary, it’s always a matter of grasping what at each stage intervenes from the outside, retroactively to reorganise what had been initiated at the previous stage.This is for the simple reason that the child is not alone. The fact that he is not alone is due not only to his biological surroundings but also to surroundings that are of far greater import, namely the lawful environment, … 
13th March 1957, Para 2 of Seminar IV (from 2016). Provisional translation. Bold added. Unedited.
_________________________

and by the order of the exposition [et de par l’ordre de l’exposé], that we find this way to progress from front to back, figuring, so to speak (and we won’t have occasion to revisit it) the kinds of stages which follow one another in the line of development. Quite the contrary, it is always a question of grasping that which, intervening from the outside at each stage, retroactively reshuffles what was started in the previous stage for the simple reason that the child is not alone. Not only is he not alone, there is the biological entourage, but there is another entourage which is more important than the biological entourage: it is the legal environment, …

The above passage is the nearest Jacques Lacan gets to using the phrase ‘retroactive constitution of stages’. The term ‘constitution’ is omitted. The reader is requested to read Table 1 for more of the context. So the differences are :

– edited, with the requirements of its expounding,

OR

– unedited,  by the order of the exposition [et de par l’ordre de l’exposé],

&

– edited. we found ourselves thereby moving backwards

OR

-unedited, we find this way to progress from front to back

– edited, depicting a sort of succession of stages that would follow on in a line of development,

OR

-unedited, figuring, so to speak (and we won’t have occasion to revisit it) the kinds of stages [des sortes d’étapes] which follow one another in the line of development

&

-edited, development, because, quite to the contrary, it’s always a matter of grasping what at each stage intervenes from the outside, retroactively to reorganise what had been initiated at the previous stage.

OR

-unedited, development. 

Quite the contrary, it is always a question of grasping that which, intervening from the outside at each stage, retroactively reshuffles what was started in the previous stage …

So whatever intervenes from the outside at each stage either intervenes to reorganise or reshuffles.  One is a hierarchical argument, ‘the outside intervenes to reorganise’ does so from afar or the other is active and non-hierarchical, ‘the outside (actively) reshuffles’.  The hierarchical argument has no place in Jacques Lacan’s logic. There is a big difference between ‘moving backwards’ & ‘progress from front to back’. The insertion of ‘succession’ in the edited text, is not supported in the transcript and changes the use of the term ‘stages’. The edited text does support the reversing of the sessions’ date, as in all texts edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, and undermines the argument Jacques Lacan has been building throughout Seminar IV, read using unedited transcripts.

EXAMINING EACH PART OF ‘RETROACTIVE CONSTITUTION OF STAGES’.

EXAMINING ‘RETROACTIVE’

RETROACTIVE’ IN 13TH MARCH 1957 – UNEDITED   

See Table 1 or Table 1a for the one use of ‘retroactive’ or from TABLE 1a :

– edited. we found ourselves thereby moving backwards

OR

-unedited, we find this way to progress from front to back

See the above discussion.

The reversing of session date in the edited text, means that this is the 6th March 1957 in the edited text.  

‘RETROACTIVE’ IN 6TH MARCH 1957 – UNEDITED     

Up until the 6th March 1957, there are 9 uses of retroactive, 3 in 27th February 1957, the session immediate preceding the 6th March 1957 – unedited, if the sessions are not reversed.

There are no uses of retroactive in 6th March 1957 unedited.

‘RETROACTIVE’ IN 27TH FEBRUARY 1957 – UNEDITED

27th February 1957 : para 12, p3 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : Children’s terrors take on their meaning, articulated in the intersubjective father-child relation, which is deeply symbolically organized, and they form what might be called the subjective context within which the child will no doubt have to develop their experience, this experience which at each moment is deeply caught up in and reconfigured by this intersubjective relation – retroactively reconfigured – and in which they are engaged by a series of triggers, which are only triggers insofar as they set something off. 

27th February 1957 : para 23-24,  p56 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : Another thing I’ll allude to in passing is that we can now start to understand how the immense container of the maternal body, where we find all the primitive fantasy objects, is possible. That it is possible has generally been shown by Melanie Klein. But she has always been hard-pressed to explain how it is possible. And, of course, her adversaries have made use of this in order to say that surely she was dreaming. Of course she was dreaming – she was right to dream, for these facts are possible only through a retroactive projection within the sense of the maternal body, of the whole range of imaginary objects. But they are there, in effect, since it is in the virtual field, in the symbolic nullification through which the mother constitutes herself that all subsequent objects will in turn take on their symbolic value.

Seen from a slightly more advanced level of a child of two, it is not at all surprising that he finds them projected retroactively, and we might say that in a sense, just like all the rest: since they were ready to be there one day, they were there already. We thus find ourselves at a point when the child ends up in the presence of maternal total power.

So retroactive is used in the session of 27th February 1957, the 6th March 1957 follows on from this. This works in the unedited transcripts without reversing the session date as in edited texts. Retroactive in 13th March 1957 (Unedited), does not refer to a preceding session, so that its non-appearance in 6th March 1957 (Unedited) is appropriate.  

It appears that in unedited texts, Jacques Lacan’s use of retroactive follows from 27th February 1957 to the session of 6thMarch 1957. This examination of ‘retroactive’ does not support reversing the sessions. They work as is. 

EXAMINING ‘CONSTITUTION’ AS IN ‘RETROACTIVE CONSTITUTION OF STAGES’

CONSTITUTION IN 13TH MARCH 1957 – UNEDITED

13th March 1957 : para 6 (Provisional translation)  – Unedited : It is that the child assumes this phallus as a signifier, and in a way that makes it an instrument of the symbolic order of exchanges which presides over the constitution of lineages [lignées]. In short, it is a matter of being confronted with this order which will make the function of the father, the pivot of the drama in the Oedipus. It is not that simple.

CONSTITUTION IN 6TH MARCH 1957 – UNEDITED

6th March 1957 : para 6-7 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : The very handling of castration that Freud articulates, indeed as something which precisely threatens the penis: the phallus … This is exactly the question. This difficulty of integrating something so singular, in its positive form, encouraged Jones to ground the central developmental mechanism in it – the mechanism through which it [castration] is mainly constituted.

This is his [Jones’s] focus, at the moment when he really starts to approach the problem around which the superego must build itself [se constituer le super ego].

6th March 1957 : para 15 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : He has to get into this complex order that constitutes man’s relation to woman, which means that the genital realisation is, for the human species, subject to a number of conditions. Like last time, we begin with the subject in his originary relationship with his mother, in the stage we call ‘pre-oedipal’. We have seen that there is a lot we can say about this stage. We hope to have been more articulate than is usually the case when this pre-oedipal stage is discussed – I mean, by recognising more distinctly that which, incidentally, is always somewhere or other in all authors’ discourse.

In Appendix 1 it is suggested that this paragraph refers back to 27th February 1957 : para 52, p11 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited. 

6th March 1957, para 31 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : As you know, this is our point of departure, and even though difficulties have been raised about what we might call ‘the child’s first objectal world’, this is only because of an insufficient distinction within the very term ‘object’. There is a primordial object which we cannot, in any way, constitute ideally – that is, in our ideas. I am not the first to challenge this idea of the child’s world, seen as a pure state of suspension at the edges of the organ that satisfies her, that is, the one that feeds her.

So, 6th March 1957, para 6-7 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited refers to Jones’s formulation of the mechanism of castration. Jacques Lacan argues against this position. Paragraph 15 includes constitute and ‘last time’ and ‘stage’. This may be the nearest the unedited transcript comes to Adrian Price’s phrase ‘retroactive constitution of stages’.

However, Jacques Lacan is developing an argument which points out a difference to how ‘all authors’ construct this ‘stage’. Distinguishing the two different positions seems obscured in the edited texts. Para 31, unedited, may distinguish two objects – anyway it has nothing to do with ‘retroactive’ or ‘stages’.

This does not support the reversing of sessions.

‘CONSTITUTED’ IN 27th FEBRUARY 1957 – UNEDITED

Constitution is used on 14 pages of the sessions up to 27th February.  It is never used with stages or retroactive.  

The two references in 27th February 1957 are

27th February 1957, p9 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : 

a) And if you would like to deduce the fact that the phallus enjoys [joue/jouit] an absolutely principal role in genital symbolism from any constitution of the genital organs, you simply won’t ever succeed. 

b)  If we allow that this is also the characteristic of the symbolic order, in other words that it is insofar as the phallus enjoys [joue/jouit] a major signifying role so the situation looks as it does, and it presents itself like this because the signifier is not invented by each subject at the whims of his or her sex or constitution, or the way he or she goes around frolicking at birth: the signifier exists.

So Jacques Lacan’s use of constitution in 6th March & 27th February refers to the signifier & the process by which it is constituted, rather than stages. His argument flows between the two sessions – 27th February to 6th March in the unedited transcripts. His use of ‘constitution’ in the three sessions, does not refer to retroactive or stages.

EXAMINING ‘STAGES’ AS IN ‘RETROACTIVE CONSTITUTION OF STAGES’

‘STAGE’ IN 13TH MARCH 1957 – UNEDITED

13th March 1957 : provisional translation : para 1-2 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : …  that we find this way to progress from front to back, figuring, so to speak (and we won’t have occasion to revisit it) the kinds of stages [étapes] which follow one another in the line of development. 

Quite the contrary, it is always a question of grasping that which, intervening from the outside at each stage, retroactively reshuffles what was started within the previous stage for the simple reason that the child is not alone

See comments under ‘retroactive’ above.

13th March 1957, provisional translation : para 30, unedited : If you follow all this imaginary dialectic, if you remember it as I approached it during these last sessions, you will be struck by the fact that it is there, enjoying [jouant/jouissant] on the surface, at this pre-phobic stage of the development of little Hans.

13th March 1957, provisional translation : para 33-34 , unedited:  This aggressivity that we are talking about is an aggressivity of the type that comes into play in the specular relation, in this: ‘or me or the other’, which is always defined as the fundamental spring, and on the other hand the fixation remains completely to the one who has become the real object after the first frustrations, that is to say the mother.

It is because this stage exists, or more precisely, this essential central experience of the Oedipus on the imaginary level, that the Oedipus spreads in all its neurotic consequences, found in a thousand aspects of analytic reality. It is through this, in particular, that we see one of the first terms of the Freudian experience enter, this sort of degradation of the amorous [la vie amoureuse] life.

13th March 1957, provisional translation : para 38, unedited : The diagram [schema??] of the game of guarantee [jeu de gage] is there to tell us, among a thousand other features – which we can read within the observations, which we can see at this stage enjoy [jouer/jouir] within the very activity of the child – is there to show us that it is indeed in effect, a moment where the game [jeu]- which we find in a thousand forms in the case of little Hans, …

Although Jacques Lacan uses the term ‘stage’, it is not ever associated with constitution or retroactive, except for para 1-2 which is argued elsewhere,

‘STAGE’ IN 6TH MARCH 1957 – UNEDITED

6th March 1957 : para 15 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : He has to get into this complex order that constitutes man’s relation to woman, which means that the genital realisation is, for the human species, subject to a number of conditions. Like last time, we begin with the subject in his originary relationship with his mother, in the stage we call ‘pre-oedipal’. We have seen that there is a lot we can say about this stage. We hope to have been more articulate than is usually the case when this pre-oedipal stage is discussed – I mean, by recognising more distinctly that which, incidentally, is always somewhere or other in all authors’ discourse. Even if these are demonstrated, it is not handled as well or as convincingly. We will start from there, in order to, in some sense, catch this necessity of the phenomenon of castration at its birth, insofar as symbolising  a symbolic debt; a symbolic punishment; something which is inscribed in the symbolic scene insofar as he uses this imaginary object as he would use his own instrument.

So does the 6th March 1957 support reversing the sessions?  It seems that Lacan is arguing against ‘other authors’ use of stages and acknowledging that the ‘originary relationship [rapport] with his mother’ is called or named as the ‘pre-oedipal stage’. Note the ‘Like last time’, which in the unedited transcripts refers back to 27th February 1957.  This all flows and does not indicate it is necessary to reverse sessions.

‘STAGE’ IN 27TH FEBRUARY 1957 – UNEDITED

stage 1 : 27th February 1957, para 25-27, p6 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : This brings us to about the sixth month Freud mentions,[1] when the phenomenon of the mirror stage is already happening. You will say: you have already taught us that at the moment when the subject can grasp his own body in its totality, in its specular reflection, it is rather a sense of triumph that they experience, this total other whereby the subject finishes himself off, and gets acquainted with himself. Actually, this is something that we are reconstructing, and not without confirmation from experience – the happy character of this encounter was not in doubt.

But let us not forget that this is different from the experience of mastery, which has an element of ‘splitting’ which is totally essential to the child’s distinction from him or herself, and ultimately for the child’s relation to their own ego. Yet another thing, of course, is the experience of mastery and the encounter with the master. It is because, in fact, the form of mastery is given to the child in the form of a totality which itself is alienated from them – but in some way tightly linked to them and dependent on them.  But this form, once given… it is precisely before this form in the reality of the master, that is, if the moment of triumph is also the translation [truchement] of his defeat and if it is at this moment that this totality in the presence of which the child now finds itself in the form of the maternal body, does not obey the child.

It is quite precisely, then, inasmuch as the reflected specular structure of the mirror stage comes into play, that we can imagine that the maternal total power is only reflected as a clearly depressive position – namely the child’s feeling of impotence. 

[1] Probably a further reference to the ‘fort-da’ game.  See Freud, Sigmund, “The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)”, “Section H Affect in Dreams – Footnote 1” (1919) SE V p461 

stage 2 : 27th February 1957 : para 46, p10 of Seminar IV (from 2016) :   It is precisely for reasons that are inscribed in the symbolic order, namely in this ‘something’ that transcends individual development; it is as symbolised imaginary that the fact that one has or doesn’t have a phallus takes on the economic importance that it has at the level of the Oedipus. This simultaneously motivates the importance of the castration complex and the preeminence of the major authority of the phallic mother which, ever since it appeared on the analytic horizon, has been such a problem, as you know. Before I come to the way the dialectic of the phallus is articulated at the level of the Oedipus, and how it is finished and resolved, I want to show you that I, too, can stay awhile in the preoedipal stages, as long as I am guided by the thread of the fundamental role of the symbolic relation – and I want to make a few remarks, which are as follows: at the level of its imaginary function, at the level of the supposed demand of the phallic mother, what role does this phallus enjoy/play?

stages 3 : 27th February 1957, : para 54-55, p12 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : When it appears, when it truly reveals itself, it’s the fetish. What does this mean? It means that what emerges at this stage and just before the Oedipus is a primitive relation, which I established for you today and which I set out from: primitive frustration and Oedipus. We have, as constitutive of the intersubjective dialectic, the stage when the child gets involved in the dialectic of the lure wherein, essentially to satisfy what cannot be satisfied, namely a desire of the mother which is fundamentally insatiable. The child, by whatever path, sets out along this path, that of making themselves a deceptive object. 

I mean that this desire, which is insatiable, must be tricked, and it is quite precisely insofar as he [the child] shows that he does not belong to his mother that he constructs the network of pathways around which the ego stabilises itself. These characteristic stages are already marked – as Freud showed in his last article, On Splitting – by the deep ambiguity of the subject and of the object[2] . That is to say, it is insofar as the child makes a deceptive object of themselves, that they find themselves engaged vis-à-vis the other in this position where the intersubjective relation is fully constituted – not simply as a sort of immediate lure, as happens in the animal kingdom, where in short the one who is decked out in colours just has to erect the whole situation in making his display – but on the contrary, in that the subject supposes desire in the other. It’s an implicit desire that must be satisfied, and since it is a desire that cannot be satisfied, one can only deceive it. 

[2] Probably Freud, Sigmund (1940e) “Splitting of the Ego in the Process of Defence” SE XXIII p271-278.  See p275 : www.Freud2Lacan.com  

Jacques Lacan’s use of stage on p10 & p12 of Seminar IV (from 2016), 27th February 1957 – unedited, is distinguished in the phrase ‘Before I come to the way the dialectic of the phallus is articulated at the level of the Oedipus, and how it is finished and resolved, I want to show you that I, too, can stay awhile in the preoedipal stages, as long as I am guided by the thread of the fundamental role of the symbolic relation’.

It seems that Lacan’s use of stage builds on the difference of his approach to those of ‘other authors’. Lacan acknowledges others use of ‘stage’ (I too can stay awhile …in stages) but states that he is guided ‘by the thread…of the symbolic relation’.  

In sum, the use of ‘stage’ in the unedited texts of 27th February 1957, 6th March 1957 & 13th March 1957 does not support the reversing of the 6th & 13th March.

‘STAGE’ IN 6th MARCH 1957 – EDITED

EXAMINING 6th MARCH 1957 EDITED & 13th MARCH 1957 UNEDITED

6th March 1957, P198 of Seminar IV (2020), edited : 

at this pre-phobic stage in Hans’ development

13th March 1957, Para 30 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : 

at this pre-phobic stage of the development of little Hans. 

There is agreement about ‘stage’ being used in both texts, and this use of it does not relate to ‘retroactive constitution of stages’.

6th March 1957, P199 of Seminar IV (2020) Edited : On the other hand, the fixation remains wholly attached to she who, after the first frustrations, has become the real object, that is to say, the mother. It is due to this stage, or more precisely to the essential and central Oedipal experience on the imaginary place, that the Oedipus complex reaches out with all its neurosis-inducing consequences, which can be found in countless aspects of analytic reality.

13th March 1957, Para 33-34 of Seminar IV (from 2016), Unedited, Provisional translation : and on the other hand the fixation remains completely to the one who has become the real object after the first frustrations, that is to say the mother.

It is because this stage exists, or more precisely, this essential central experience of the Oedipus on the imaginary level, that the Oedipus spreads in all its neurotic consequences, found in a thousand aspects of analytic reality.

‘STAGE’ IN 13th MARCH 1957 – EDITED

Comparison of 13th March edited & 6th March unedited.

TABLE 6


13th March 1957, p212 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added
_________________________________
We frequently see cropping up in the child’s fantasies a figure of the father – and also of the mother – who twists into a grimace and who is very far removed from the real father who was present for the child at the time. He is linked solely to this period, and to the function that this imaginary father will hold at this stage of development.
6th March 1957, para 19 of Seminar IV (from 2016). Unedited, Bold added
___________________________________



This explains why a figure of the father also, especially, a figure of the mother, crops up in children’s fantasies so often. This figure, sometimes very distorted, really only has a very distant relationship with what has been present in the child’s real father. And this is solely tied to the period and also the role [la function] that the imaginary father is going to enjoy/play, at any given moment of development [que va jouer ce Père imaginaire à tel moment du développement].

See TABLE 11

13th March 1957, P218 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited :

I’m not about to give you a single-sentence synopsis of the path Freud took, but I will note that, as a mechanism, anxietyis constantly present at each stage of his observation.

6th March 1957, Para 40 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : While I cannot sum up the distance Freud has travelled in one sentence, it is nonetheless something which, seen as a mechanism, is always present in the stages of his observations

TABLE 7

13th March 1957, p221 of Seminar IV (2020). Edited, Bold added
________________________________
At the first stage, we see little Hans in full flow developing all sorts of extraordinarily fictionalised imaginings concerning his relations with all the children whom he adopts as his own.  
6th March 1957, para 51of Seminar IV (from 2016) Unedited, Bold added
________________________________
Nevertheless, I would like those of you who accept this task to tell me, next time, if they were not struck by something that they read. Something which shows a contrast between the initial stage, where we see little Hans develop to the full [à plein tuyau] all sorts of extraordinarily romantic imaginings about his relations with whatever he adopts as his children. 

 

From TABLE 5 – a difference of translation

13th  March 1957, P223 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added : You must have a fair sense of how this is but an intermediary stage in my disquisition.

6th March 1957, para 56 of Seminar IV (from 2016), Unedited, Bold added. See TABLE 1 : As you can tell, this is just an intermediate point of my discussion [discours].

Most of the examples of ‘stage’ do not relate to Adrian Price’s phrase ‘retroactive constitution of stages’. The example in Table 7 is an exception. The use in the edited text implies there is such a thing as a first stage. The unedited use is tasking his audience to see a contrast between an initial and subsequent stage.  Neither version supports reversing of sessions.

So it seems that firstly, the use of ‘stage’ implied in ‘retroactive constitution of stages’ is not supported in any of the quotes from 13th March 1957, 6th March 1957 or 27th February 1957. Indeed, Lacan states that the thread of the symbolic relation is what guides him. Secondly, Lacan’s develops his argument between the three sessions in the unedited transcripts.  Therefore, there seems no grounds for reversing the sessions, and in so doing, reversing sense.

E. Against the reversing

3b) Examining where Jacques Lacan reminds us that he has dealt with ‘the introduction of the Oedipus complex’ previously in edited & unedited texts.

This inference is supported tentatively by the ensuing reminders of having dealt just previously with … b) introduction of the Oedipus complex (which seem to correspond to the discussion of regression and the preoedipal stage on pages 215-20), P438, Adrian Price, Seminar IV (2020)

Two questions will be examined :

– What are the differences between the opening paragraphs in 6th March 1957 (unedited transcripts) & 13th March 1957 (edited text)

– does the counter argument to Adrian Price’s, that the introduction of the Oedipus complex is shown in 27th February 1957, the session immediately preceding the 6th March 1957 in unedited transcripts, work?  If yes, why reverse the sessions?

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE OPENING PARAGRAPHS IN 6th MARCH 1957 (Unedited transcripts) & 13th MARCH 1957 (Edited text)

TABLE 8 compares the opening paragraphs of the two texts. There are major difference between the two second sentences :

TABLE 8 (from TABLE 2)

13th March 1957, P207 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added
__________________________________ 
Today we are going to try to speak about castration.Castration runs throughout Freud’s writings, as does the Oedipus complex, yet they are treated differently.It was only late in the day, in a 1931 article dedicated to something entirely new, that Freud tried to spell out in full the formula of the Oedipus complex, despite its having been present in his thinking from the first. Indeed, it may be reckoned that here lies the chief personal issue that was his point of departure – What is a father? there can be no doubt about this because we know from his biography – and the letters to Fliess are confirmatory – that he was preoccupied by the presence of the Oedipus complex from the outset. It was only much later that he explained himself on this matter.
6th March 1957, para 1-2 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : Unedited, Bold added
_______________________________
Today we will try to talk about castration.You can see that in Freud’s works, even though castration understood in terms of the Oedipus complex is everywhere, it is really only for the sake of the Oedipus complex that Freud attempts to fully articulate its [castration’s] formulation, in an article from 1931[2] about something completely new. And yet, the Oedipus complex is there from the beginning in Freud’s thought, because we might say that the great personal problem he started off with is: ‘what is a father?’. There can be no doubt about this because we know that his biography – his letters to Fliess [3] – confirm that the presence of this topic and his preoccupation with it are at the origin of the Oedipus complex. And Freud only explained this at a much later date. [2] Freud Sigmund “Female Sexuality” (1931b) SE XXI p221-243. See  www.Freud2Lacan.com

What is being put in place, differs in the two versions.  The edited version distorts what the unedited version puts in place.  Further the ‘introduction of the Oedipus’, as in Adrian Price’s note, is not mentioned in either version.  

  • Edited text : he was preoccupied by the presence of the Oedipus complex from the outset.
  • Unedited text : confirm that the presence of this topic [castration] and his preoccupation with it are at the origin of the Oedipus complex.

If origin and introduction are conflated, in the unedited version, then the text is close. If they are not, the introduction of the Oedipus complex is not mentioned. This does not support the reversing of sessions.

TABLE 9

13th March 1957, P208 of Seminar IV (2020), Bold added, Edited
________________________________
[See TABLE 2] When I started to tackle the issue last time through the emergence of castration at a lower level than frustration and the imaginary phallic game with the mother, many of you even when you had grasped the role I was ascribing to the father’s intervention – his symbolic personage being purely the symbolic personage of dreams – were still wondering what this castration is. What does it mean that, for the subject to come to genital maturity, he has to have been castrated?  [Follows from TABLE 2] We are going to see how to respond to this.1If you take things at the simple level of reading, it may be said that castration is the sign of the Oedipal drama, just as it is its implicit fulcrum.Even though it is not spelt out like this anywhere, it is literally implied throughout Freud’s writings.People may seek to sidestep this, and it can be taken as a sort of make-believe, which is what keeps cropping up when you listen to current-day analytic discourse. However, once you allow the text to bring you to dwell on this, as I am doing right now, so that the abruptness of this assertion can become apparent as something problematic, which indeed it is, you can take this formula as the point of departure, however paradoxical it may be. What, then, is meant by this formulation? What does it presuppose? 
6th March 1957, para 3-4 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : Bold added, Unedited
____________________________________
[See TABLE 2] Ultimately, when last time I started to approach the issue through the covert arrival of frustration, the imaginary phallic game with the mother, many of you – even if you understood the way I illustrated it with the intervention of the father, (his symbolic persona being purely and simply the symbolic persona of dreams) – remained perplexed on the topic: What is this castration all about? What does it mean to say that for the subject to attain ‘genital maturity’? He more or less has to have been castrated? If you consider things simply at the level of reading – even though it is nowhere articulated in this way – it is literally implied everywhere in Freud’s works.[Follows on from TABLE 2] If you will, castration is the sign of the Oedipal drama, for it is its implicit hinge. This may pass unnoticed, may be taken as a sort of ‘as if’, which comes down to hearing the flow of analytic discourse which seems questionable in its … But from the moment when it’s enough that the text makes you stop for a moment – as I am doing now – so that in fact the abruptness of this statement will appear to you as problematic, as it in fact is. And moreover, as paradoxical as it may be, you may take this formula which I was just alluding to as a point of departure. What does such a formulation mean, then? What does it imply? What does it presuppose?  

Even though the signs of editing are everywhere, the texts agree on the reference to the Oedipus and it does not refer to its introduction.

FURTHER REFERENCES IN 13th MARCH 1957 EDITED & 6th MARCH UNEDITED

TABLE 10

13th March 1957, P209 of Seminar IV (2020), Bold added, Edited
_________________________________
One really has to make a leap of understanding that leaves an immense gulf gaping wide, all the while assuming it to have been bridged, if one is to suppose, on the basis of data derived from a subject’s very first relational movements with respect to his objects, that he is already in a position to take a step back in such a way as not only to experience an articulated frustration as such, but also to hang upon it the apprehension of a drying-up of desire. It was actually around the notion of privation, as what purportedly gives rise to the fear of aphanisis, that Jones tried to articulate his entire genesis of the superego as the formation in which the Oedipus complex naturally culminates. 
6th March 1957, para 8 of Seminar IV (from 2016). Bold added, Unedited
_________________________________
It seems that we really have to make a sort of leap into an open-ended understanding, which supposes the opening of a great chasm. This way, we can set off from the given of a subject who is caught from her very first movements in a relation towards these objects – assumed to already be able to take the kind of step back which lets her not only express frustration as such, but append to this frustration the fear of desire drying up. In fact, it is indeed around the notion of privation, insofar as it invokes the fear of aphanisis, that Jones attempted to articulate his theory of the genesis of the superego as the normal outcome – the form the Oedipus normally comes to take.Ernest Jones (1927) see  http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12161

There is difference between the slant in the edited text and the unedited transcript. The Oedipus does not end in the unedited transcript. However, as this passage refers to Ernest Jones’ view of development, this is not critical especially as it does not refer to the ‘introduction of the Oedipus complex’.

‘Introduction’ is not used near Oedipus complex in 6th March 1957 – edited. It seems that the ‘introduction of the Oedipus complex’ as some sort of stage is very far from what Lacan is arguing . Lacan argues that Freud is preoccupied with the origin of the Oedipus complex. Origin is different to the introduction. Neither Lacan nor Freud are concerned with its introduction but where it comes from and what form it takes.

REFERENCE TO THE EXISTENCE OF THE OEDIPUS

Existence is different to introduction, and it may be these passages to which Adrian Price refers. 

TABLE 10a

6th March 1957, P200 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited :
_________________________________________
  … There is a veritable crisis, a revolution. There truly is something that leaves a result, this being the shaping of the superego, which is both highly particular and precisely datable in the unconscious.It is here that we come face-to-face with the necessity of bringing out something new and original, and which has its specific solution in the Oedipal relationship. To see this, we need only turn to our usual scheme.At the point we reached last time, (27thFebruary 1957), the child was offering the mother, the imaginary object of the phallus in order to give her complete satisfaction, and was doing so in the form of a lure, that is to say, by bringing in the Other that is in some way the witness, the one who can behold the situation as a whole. The young boy’s exhibitionism to his mother is meaningless without this term. It is implicated by the mere fact that what we describe in the presentation, even in the offering, that the little boy makes to his mother, plainly arises at the level of this Other. This term must be produced at this level for the Oedipus complex to exist.
There are no schema in the 27th February 1957.
13th March 1957, Para 36-37 of Seminar IV (from 2016) Unedited. Provisional translation :
_____________________________________
 … there is really a crisis, there is really a revolution, there is really something that is what leaves behind this result, and this result is the formation of something particular, something very precisely dated in the unconscious, namely the formation of the superego, and it is here that we are confronted with the necessity of bringing forth something new, original and fresh, and which has its own solution within the Oedipal relation [relation].To see this, we only need to use what is our usual schema, namely that at the point we reached last time (6th March 1957), the child here offers the imaginary object of the phallus to the mother to give her complete satisfaction, and this in the form of a lure. That is to say, by making the Other intervene with the mother, who is in a way the witness, the one who sees the whole situation, this term without which no exhibition of the little boy before the mother has its meaning, simply implied by the mere fact that what we describe as the presentation, or even of the offering that the little boy makes to his mother, it is obviously there, at the level of this Other that it must occur for the Oedipus to exist, … 

The effects of editing and translation, puts the Oedipus in a different context. One must occur as part of a process, the other asserts the certainty of a production before the Oedipus exists. Neither are part of the argument for the reversing of sessions, though could be seen as referring to the introduction or existence of the Oedipus.

DOES THE COUNTER ARGUMENT WORK THAT THE LOGIC OF THE OEDIPUS IN 6th MARCH 1957, UNEDITED TRANSCRIPTS, FOLLOW FROM THE PRECEDING 27th FEBRUARY 1957 SESSION? 

-that the introduction of the Oedipus complex is shown in 27th February 1957, the session immediately preceding the 6thMarch 1957 in unedited transcripts, work?  If yes, why reverse the sessions?

See Tables 8, 9, & 10 for where Jacques Lacan mentions the Oedipus on 6th March 1957 unedited & 13th March edited.

THE OEDIPUS IN THE PRECEDING SESSION – 27th FEBRUARY 1957 – UNEDITED

-27th February 1957, p9 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : You will succumb to contortions that I hope to show you in detail: those made by Jones [24] when he tries to give a satisfying commentary on the phallic phase such as Freud [25] defends it — just like that, brutally — and tries to show how it’s possible that the phallus she does not have, can be so important for the woman.

[24] Jones, Ernest (1933) “The Phallic Phase” International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. XIV; Jones Ernest (1948) Papers on Psychoanalysis Fifth Edition, Baillière, Tindall and Cox, London, p. 456.

[25] See Freud, S. (1924d) “The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex” SE XIX pp. 174-176 & pp. 178-179 and Freud, S. (1925) “Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction between the Sexes” SE XIX pp. 251-253. See www.Freud2Lacan.com

-27th February 1957, p10 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : It is precisely for reasons that are inscribed in the symbolic order, namely in this ‘something’ that transcends individual development; it is as symbolised imaginary that the fact that one has or doesn’t have a phallus takes on the economic importance that it has at the level of the Oedipus. This simultaneously motivates the importance of the castration complex and the pre-eminence of the major authority of the phallic mother which, ever since it appeared on the analytic horizon, has been such a problem, as you know. Before I come to the way the dialectic of the phallus is articulated at the level of the Oedipus, and how it is finished and resolved, I want to show you that I, too, can stay awhile in the preoedipal stages, as long as I am guided by the thread of the fundamental role of the symbolic relation – and I want to make a few remarks, which are as follows: at the level of its imaginary function, at the level of the supposed demand of the phallic mother, what role does this phallus enjoy [joue/jouit]? 

-27th February 1957, p12 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : When it appears, when it truly reveals itself, it’s the fetish. What does this mean? It means that what emerges at this stage and just before the Oedipus is a primitive relation, which I established for you today and which I set out from: primitive frustration and Oedipus. We have, as constitutive of the intersubjective dialectic, the stage when the child gets involved in the dialectic of the lure wherein, essentially to satisfy what cannot be satisfied, namely a desire of the mother which is fundamentally insatiable. The child, by whatever path, sets out along this path, that of making themselves a deceptive object.

Jacques Lacan’s logic around the Oedipus complex flows from 27th February to 6th March, in unedited transcripts.  It argues a process is in place. The Oedipus complex is not introduced at the beginning of a stage but emerges in both Lacan & Freud.  It is not ‘dealt with’ as Adrian Price asserts but the process of its emergence is teased out.

EXAMINING THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE INTRODUCTION OF THE OEDIPUS COMPLEX AND THE PREOEDIPAL STAGE

by the ensuing reminders of having dealt just previously with … b) introduction of the Oedipus complex (which seem to correspond to the discussion … the preoedipal stage on pages 215-20) Adrian Price     

TABLE 3

















13th March 1957. P211 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added
___________________________________
So, our starting point will be, as it was last time (6th March 1957), the subject in his originative relation with the mother at the stage that is being qualified as preoedipal. We have seen that there is much to say about this stage, and we hope to have spelt it out better than is usually done, with greater differentiation. Even when these authors do demonstrate what is at issue, we believe that they do not handle it so well and fail to reason it out.
Reference in preceding session
6th March 1957, p192 of Seminar IV (2020), edited : To tackle this notion of castration today, we need only follow the same line as our disquisition last time.1What is at issue at the end of the preoedipal phase, on the cusp of the Oedipus complex?

6th March 1957, p194 of Seminar IV (2020), edited : We indicated on our inroad into object relations, and Freud spells it out expressly in his 1931 article on Female Sexuality, that taken from this angle, and from the preoedipal angle, the woman’s problematic is much simpler. While it can appear far more complicated in Freud’s writings, this is consistent with the order of discovery. He discovered the Oedipus complex before he uncovered what is preoedipal, and indeed how could he have done otherwise? If there is something that is preoedipal, it’s because first of all the Oedipus complex has been posited. We can speak of this greater simplicity of the female position on the developmental level that we qualify as preoedipal only because we first know that we are going to arrive at the complex structure of the Oedipus complex.
6th March 1957, Para 15 of Seminar IV (from 2016)  Unedited, Bold added.
__________________________________
Like last time (27th February 1957), we begin with the subject in his originary relationship with his mother, in the stage we call ‘preoedipal’. We have seen that there is a lot we can say about this stage.  We hope to have been more articulate than is usually the case when this preoedipal stage is discussed – I mean, by recognising more distinctly that which, incidentally, is always somewhere or other in all authors’ discourse.
Reference in preceding session
Seminar IV : 27th February 1957 : para 46, p10  of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : Before I come to the way the dialectic of the phallus is articulated at the level of the Oedipus, and how it is finished and resolved, I want to show you that I, too, can stay awhile in the preoedipal stages, as long as I am guided by the thread of the fundamental role of the symbolic relation …

In both texts, it is not indicated, as Adrian Price does, that the preoedipal stage has been dealt with in the previous session. Indeed, the quote from 27th February 1957 indicates this is discussed further on. In the edited preceding session, the flow between the two sessions does not appear to have been improved by the reversal and even in the edited text preoedipal is not dealt with. In both texts how ‘other authors’ (object relation, such as Sacha Nacht, etc) is mentioned and a distinction drawn between their use of preoedipal stage and Lacan’s. In both texts, it is not the introduction of the Oedipus complex which has just been dealt with – it is the originary relation between child and mother, as in 27th February 1957. 

This does not support reversing the sessions.

E. Arguments against reversing.

4) A further alleged reminder that little Hans’s anxiety has been examined in the previous session will again be examined in the edited text and unedited transcripts.

 … and more persuasively by the reminder of having in the previous lesson examined little Hans’s anxiety and having dealt with ‘material from the first few pages of the text’ (the latter surely corresponding to the commentary on pages 214-15 (2020), then 217-20 (2020)) : p438 of Seminar IV (2020), Adrian Price

Certainly, Sigmund Freud’s case ‘Little Hans’ is cited and examined in 13th March 1957 (unedited) which becomes the 6thMarch 1957 in the edited text. Therefore, the argument Adrian Price gives for the reversing, holds. The argument that the previous lesson examined ‘little Hans’s anxiety’ is tested in the unedited texts, 6th March 1957 and 27th February 1957 and the ‘dealing with the first few pages of Freud’s text’ in unedited texts of 27th February 1957, 6th & 13th March.

THE PRECEDING LESSON EXAMINING LITTLE HANS’S ANXIETY IN 6th MARCH 1957 edited & 13th MARCH 1957 unedited

From TABLE 1 

TABLE 1b

6th March 1957, p192 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added.  
Previous session is 27th February 1957.
_________________________________________
The fact that he (the child) is not alone is due not only to his biological surroundings but also to surroundings that are of far greater import, namely, the lawful environment, the symbolic order. As I underscored last time the particularities of the symbolic order are what impart accentuation and supervalence to the element of the imaginary known as the phallus.So, this is the point we reached, and to open the third part of my exposé I set you on the trail of little Hans’s anxiety, since from the first we have been singling out two exemplary objects, the fetish object and the real object.It is at the level of little Hans that we are going to try to articulate today’s remarks.This will not be an attempt to rearticulate the notion of castration, because goodness knows it was powerfully and insistently articulated by Freud, but simply to speak about it once more because for as long as people have avoided speaking about it, the use and reference that can be drawn from it have become increasingly rare in the observations.To tackle this notion of castration today, we need only follow the same line as our disquisition last time.   PRECEDING SESSION27th February 1957. P187-188 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, Bold added. : To be devoured is a grave danger that our fantasies reveal to us. We find it at the origin, and we find it again at this turn I the path where it yields us the essential form in which phobia presents.We find it again when we look at the fears of little Hans. The case now presents with somewhat greater clarification with respect to one of its conditions. With the support of what I have shown you today, you will better see the relationships between phobia and perversion, I shall go so far as to say that you will interpret the case better than did Freud himself, because there is a wavering in the observation over how what the child calls the big giraffe and the little giraffe ought to be identified. As Monsieur Prévert has put it, Les grandes giraffes sont muettesLes petites girafes sont raresWhile this is very poorly interpreted in the observation, there is nevertheless an inroad to what is at stake. Isn’t it clear enough from the simple fact that little Hans crumples the little giraffe and sits on top of it, in spite of the cries of the big giraffe who is incontestably the mother? [End of this session – this is the only reference to little Hans in this session] 





13th March 1957, Para 2-5 of Seminar IV (from 2016) Provisional translation. Bold added. Unedited. Previous session is 6th March 1957.
_________________________________
Not only is he not alone, there is the biological surrounding, but there is another surrounding which is more important than the biological surrounding: it is the legal environment, it is the symbolic order which surrounds it. This is the particularities of the symbolic order, and I’ve found a passage which gives, for example, its accent, its prevalence in this imaginary element which is called the phallus.So this is where we had arrived, and in order to begin the third part of my talk [exposé], I have placed you on the track of little Hans’ anguish [l’angoisse], since from the beginning we have taken these two exemplary objects : the fetishistic object and the real object.It is at the level of little Hans that we will try to articulate what we are going to talk about today. Attempt, not to re-articulate the concept of castration, because God knows, it is powerfully and insistently and repeatedly [articulated] in Freud, but simply to talk about it again and the reference we can take from it, in the usage of this complex in the observations, because as soon as we avoid talking about it, it becomes thin on the ground, [plus en plus rare].So let’s talk today about this notion of castration since we follow on in the line of our discussion [discours], last time. PRECEDING SESSION6th March 1957, para 51 of Seminar IV (from 2016) See Endnote 2, Table 1 : Unedited, bold added.What I will leave you with is to ask you, before next time, [13th March 1957, unedited] to look at the text about little Hans and notice that it is certainly a phobia, but, we might say, it is a phobia in operation. As soon as it [the phobia] appeared, the parents immediately took the thread, and the father does not leave it [thread] until it ends. I would like you to read this text, and although you will have all the fluttering impressions it may give you, you will still feel lost at several points. Nevertheless, I would like those of you who accept this task to tell me, next time, if they were not struck by something that they read. Something which shows a contrast between the initial stage, where we see little Hans develop to the full [à plein tuyau] all sorts of extraordinarily romantic imaginings about his relations with whatever he adopts as his children. [session ends at para 56]para 56, 6th March 1957 of Seminar IV (from 2016) [session ends at para 56] : Unedited, bold added.You can tell that this is just an intermediate point [un point] of my discussion. I simply wanted to give you enough so that you can see its range of questions. Next time [13th March 1957 Unedited] we shall return to the dialectic of the child’s relation with the mother, and the value of the true significance of the castration complex.  

The edited text does not follow through to a preceding session, and the unedited text does – see TABLE 1b.  Adrian Price’s argument seems a very thin, post-hoc rationalisation of what is in place, rather than giving support to the reversing.  

  • Edited. …to open the third part of my exposé I set you on the trail of little Hans’s anxiety,
  • Unedited. …to begin the third part of my talk [exposé], I have placed you on the track of little Hans’ anguish[l’angoisse],

The unedited version uses the past tense ‘have placed’ so it is something Lacan has done before this opening paragraph. The edited version is ambiguous, but ‘I set’ is in the present tense and is part of the third part of his session. Does it matter, a slight change of tense? Probably not!  It does, however, mean that the unedited text follows on from one session to the next and the edited text does not. This once again tells against the reversing of the sessions.

EXAMINING FURTHER JACQUES LACAN’S USE OF ‘ANGUISH’, ‘LITTLE HANS’ & STAGES IN 6th MARCH 1957 – unedited

From 6th March 1957 – Seminar IV (from 2016) – unedited

Para 7 : This is the subject fearing that desire will fade in her. I believe you cannot fail to see that such a notion itself represents a highly subjectivised relation. It is perhaps indeed something conceivable as a source of primordial anguish [l’angoisse][1]. But surely, this is a strangely reflective form of anguish [l’angoisse]?

[1] ‘Angoisse’ has been translated as anguish to distinguish it from anxiety (anxiété)

Para 26 : This little Hans is not being deprived of anything, anything at all.

Para 29 : As Freud puts it very well, at that moment the masturbation itself did not generate any anguish [angoisse]. The child [little Hans] continued to masturbate.

Para 37 : What ends it in the case of little Hans for example? We see at the beginning of the [Freud’s] observations, as a kind of lucky encounter with a certain perspective, a lucky miracle which happens every time we make a discovery: We see the child completely involved with this relation [relation] in which the phallus plays the most obvious role

TABLE 11 

EXAMINING ‘ANGUISH’ IN 6th MARCH – UNEDITED – & 13th MARCH – EDITED & THEIR PRECEDING SESSION





13th March 1957, P218 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited :
____________________________________________
This is the solid fact in the observation. From that point forth, it’s quite clear that we need to ask ourselves whether there might not be a relationship between this fact and what appears at that time, that is to say, anxiety.I have yet to tackle the problem of anxiety here in this Seminar, because things need to be taken in sequence. As you know, the question of how anxiety is to be conceived of is one of the abiding questions that runs throughout Freud’s work. I’m not about to give you a single-sentence synopsis of the path Freud took, but I will note that, as a mechanism, anxiety is constantly present at each stage of his observation. The doctrine comes afterwards.How are we to conceive of the anxiety that is at issue in this instance, while staying as close as possible to the phenomenon? I ask you to try out for a moment the fashion that consists in showing a little imagination and to notice anxiety appears in this extraordinary evanescent relationship when the subject peels away from his existence, however imperceptible this may be, and when he realises, though scarcely so, that he is on the verge of being drawn back into something that you may label as you wish depending on the occasion – image of the other, temptation, and so on – in short, the instant when the subject is suspended between a moment at which he no longer knows where he is, and a shift towards a moment when he will become something in which he will never be able to find himself again. That’s what anxiety is.  
Reference to preceding session – 6th March 1957, edited.
Confirming : ‘I have yet to tackle the problem of anxiety here in this Seminar’
Anxiety is mentioned in 3 paragraphs in 6thMarch 1957 – edited
6th March 1957 : p192 of Seminar IV (2020) Edited : So, this is the point we reached, and to open the third part of my exposé I set you on the trail of little Hans’s anxiety, since from the first we have been singling out two exemplary objects, the fetish object and the real object.…6th March 1957 : p198 of Seminar IV (2020) Edited : We do not get out of the game of odds-and-evens. We do not leave the plane of the lure. What results from this ?We know the answer from the side that is as much theoretical as it is exemplary. The only thing we see coming out of this is the symptom, the manifestation of anxiety. So Freud tells us.Freud underscores near the start of the observation that, when it comes to anxiety and phobia, there is good reason for keeping the two separate. They are two things that come in succession. One comes to the aid of the other. The phobic object fulfils a function against the backdrop of anxiety.…
Para 50 of 13th March 1957, Seminar IV (from 2016)/6th March 1957 : p204 of Seminar IV (2020) Edited : The ensuing part of the game is payed out in the luring in the relationship between little Hans and his mother, which in the end is unbearable, anguishing and intolerable, in that it is either him or her. 
6th March 1957, Para 39-40 of Seminar IV (from 2016), Unedited :
_________________________________________
This is the main fact of the observations. On that basis, it is completely clear that we must ask ourselves whether there isn’t a relation [relation] between this and what appears at that moment, namelyanguish  [l’angoisse]I have not yet broached the problem of anguish  [l’angoisse], here, because we have to go through things in order. All throughout Freud’s works, as you know, anguish [l’angoisse] is truly one of the permanent issues – that is, how we ought to perceive it. While I cannot sum up the distance Freud has travelled in one sentence, it is nonetheless something which, seen as a mechanism, is always present in the stages of his observations. The doctrine comes afterward. How should we perceive the anguish that is at stake in this case? As close as possible to the phenomenon.I ask you for a moment to simply try this sort of mode of approach which consists in having a bit of imagination, and realising that anguish [l’angoisse], in this highly evanescent relation [relation] through which it appears every time the subject, is – no matter how imperceptibly – detached from his existence, and where, if only slightly, he notices that he is about to be taken up into something which, according to context, you could call the image of the other, or temptation. In any case, it’s a moment where the subject is suspended between a moment where he doesn’t know where he is, going towards a moment where he will be something, where he’ll never be able to find himself again. That’s what anguish  [l’angoisse] is
Reference to preceding session – 27thFebruary 1957 – unedited
Confirming : ‘I have not yet broached the problem of anguish  [l’angoisse],’
Para 11, p2 : 27th February 1957 – unedited
In other words, far from being able to succeed in this desperate attempt [p182] – which is nonetheless always made and remade – I am alluding to these articles of someone named Mallet on the phobias, who wants to tell us how phobias – primitive phobias – explain the child’s first relations with the dark, and in particular how these anguishes [ces angoisses] give rise to the image of the father. This is an attempt which I may actually qualify as desperate, which can only be pulled off by pulling strings as big as your arm. The order of paternity exists, whether the individual lives or not.  Footnote 2, p2, : Mallet Jean, Contribution à l’étude des phobies, PUF (1955). Also see “Contribution à l’étude des phobies”. (“Contribution to the study of phobias”),Mallet, Jean (1956) Revue française de psychanalyse, 20(1-2 ):p237-293. (The first part on phobias). This was presented in the XVIII Congress of psychoanalysts of Romance languages in Paris in 1955.  The split from the SPP in 1953 is mirrored in the history of these Congresses.  Those Jacques Lacan cites are on the Sacha Nacht side of the split.  See  http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12878   

From TABLE 11 

  • Edited : ‘I have yet to tackle the problem of anxiety here in this Seminar’

Anxiety is mentioned in 3 paragraphs in 6th March 1957 – edited

  • Unedited : ‘I have not yet broached the problem of anguish  [l’angoisse],’

Para 11, p2 : 27th February 1957 – unedited, the only mention of anguish in this session and is a reference to a paper by Jean Mallet, on the Sacha Nacht side of the 1953 spit.

The logical order of these sessions is the one given in the unedited transcripts.

Having now searched the 6th March – unedited transcription – there are no references to the preceding session or to an exploration of little Hans’s anguish, and there are many indications that Lacan will explore anguish in the next session – 13th March 1957, unedited transcripts. In the edited text, there are references back to ‘Anxiety’ so the reversing of the sessions is not supported. Jacques Lacan does however examine the beginning of the observations as reported by Freud. See next section. 

E. Against the Reversing

5) The assertion, in the edited text, that material from the first few pages of the text of Little Hans has been dealt with.

… reminder of having in the previous lesson … having dealt with ‘material from the first few pages of the text’  : p438 of Seminar IV (2020), Adrian Price

EXAMINING ‘MATERIAL FROM THE FIRST FEW PAGES’ IN UNEDITED & EDITED TEXTS

Note: there is a possible confusion between the first few pages of Sigmund Freud’s text on Little Hans & the first few pages of the observation of little Hans, which Sigmund Freud quotes within his account of this case. 

OCCURENCES IN 6TH MARCH, UNEDITED, & 13TH MARCH EDITED

TABLE 12




























































13th March 1957, P224 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited & Bold added :
_________________________________
On the other hand, it cannot be said that little Hans has been frustrated of something for real. In the way we see it at the beginning of the observation, little Hans still an only child, is as happy as can be. He is the object of an attentiveness that his father certainly didn’t wait until the appearance of the phobia to lavish. He is also the object of the most tender care from his mother, so tender, in fact, that everything is handed over to him. In truth, it takes Freud’s sublime serenity to approve her actions, when nowadays all manner of anathema would be pronounced upon her, she who every morning allows little Hans into the conjugal bed as a third party, against the express reservations voiced by the husband and father. Not only does the latter show himself on this occasion to be very peculiarly tolerant, but also we may deem him not to be in on what’s going on, because regardless of what he says, things carry on no less in the most determined fashion. Not for a second do we see the mother in question taking even slightly into account the observation that has been respectfully suggested to her by the person of the father.Little Hans is in no way frustrated. He is no deprived of anything for real. Nevertheless, at the start of the observation, his mother does go so far as to forbid his masturbation. Not only is this no small matter in itself, she even goes so far as to utter the fatal words, If you do that, I shall send for Dr A. to cut off your widdler. This is reported at the start of the observation, but we don’t have the impression that it is decisive. The child continues of course. This is not an element that is assessed, but certainly her intervention needs to be taken note of given the qualm with which the observation is picked up on, and due to the fact that the parents are sufficiently well informed, which moreover doesn’t stop them from behaving exactly as though they knew nothing. Nevertheless, Freud doesn’t entertain, even for a second, bringing in at that moment anything whatsoever that would be decisive with respect to the appearance of the phobia. The child harkens to this threat, I would say almost as is fitting.…



Next session : 20th March 1957
20th  March 1957, P231-232 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited & Bold added :
This is exactly the point we have reached with little Hans.
2
We left little Hans at the moment when he is about to tackle the passage we defined, and which is called the castration complex.We can clearly see that at the start he has not yet come to it, because he is playing with the Wiwimacher which is there and is not there. It’s the Wiwimacher of his mother, or of the big horse, or the little horse, or his father’s, and which is also his own, but ultimately it does not seem to amount to much more for him than a very fine object in a game of hide-and-seek, from which he is even capable of deriving the greatest pleasure. I think that a certain number of you have consulted the text.[1] This is the starting point, and it’s the only thing at issue. At the start the child presents, without doubt to the attention of his parents, a sort of problematic of the imaginary phallus, which is everywhere and nowhere. It is presented as the essential element in his relation to what at that time is for him what Freud called the other person, in the most clear-cut fashion, namely the mother.This is the point Hans has reached, and everything looks to be moving along perfectly well, as Freud underscores, thanks to a kind of liberalism, or even an educative laxity that was fairly typical of the pedagogy that, so it seems, emerged from these early days of psychoanalysis.…
NOTE [1] in EDITED & UNEDITED
[1][See TABLE 1 & TABLE 1b] : 
6th March 1957, para 51 of Seminar IV (from 2016) See Endnote 2, Table 1 : Unedited, bold added.
What I will leave you with is to ask you, before next time, [13th March 1957, unedited] to look at the text about little Hans and notice that it is certainly a phobia, but, we might say, it is a phobia in operation. …6th March 1957, para 56 of Seminar IV (from 2016) [session ends at para 56] : Unedited, bold added.You can tell that this is just an intermediate point [un point] of my discussion. I simply wanted to give you enough so that you can see its range of questions. Next time [13th March 1957 Unedited] we shall return to the dialectic of the child’s relation with the mother, and the value of the true significance of the castration complex.  …[See TABLE 7]
13th March 1957, p221-222 of Seminar IV (2020). Edited, Bold added :
4
I ask you to take up, between now and next time [20th March 1957, edited], the text of the observation on little Hans. You will see that it’s a phobia without a shadow of a doubt, But it’s a phobia that is so to speak, in motion. His parents seized the thread the moment it first appeared, and his father doesn’t let go until it’s over.I should like you to read this text. You will have all the flitting impressions that one can have from it. You will even on several occasions have a sense of being utterly lost. Nevertheless, I would like those of you who will have been silling to put yourselves through the test to tell me next times whether you have been struck by a contrast in the text.At the first stage, we see little Hans in full flow developing all sorts of extraordinarily fictionalised imaginings concerning his relations with all the children whom he adopts as his own. This is a theme of the imaginary…  All of this contrasts with what will come to pass when, after the father’s intervention, … he gives himself over to a sort of fantasy… It is right there that the phobia is linked to the constellation of this triadic intervention of the real father. We will be coming back to this next time. [20th March 1957 – edited] 
6th March 1957, para 25-27 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : ___________________________________
On the other hand, we cannot say that the little Hans is really deprived of anything. As we see at the beginning of the observationslittle Hans, an only child, is utterly content. He is the object of a level of attention for which certainly the father  did not wait until the appearance of the phobia. He is also the object of the mother’s most tender care – so tender that he is given anything and everything. In truth, it takes Freud’s sublime equanimity to ratify the mother’s actions: it is clear that these days, all kinds of criticisms would rain on the mother who, every morning, admits the little Hans into his parents’ bed against the father’s, her spouse, express reservations.  Sometimes he shows a tolerance which is not only peculiar, but completely off the mark given the situation. For no matter what he says, things nevertheless continue most decisively. We do not see the mother take even any momentary notice of the observation that is respectfully suggested by the father, even for a moment.    This little Hans is not being deprived of anything, anything at all. At the beginning of the observations, all the same, the mother went as far as to prohibit masturbation. Not only is this not nothing, she went as far as to pronounce these fatal words: “If you masturbate, we’ll have Dr. A cut it off”.[3] This is reported at the beginning of the observations, and we don’t get the impression that this was something decisive in itself. The child continues. Of course, it is not an element of evaluation [appréciation], but surely this event must be noted because of the scrupulousness with which Freud records the observation that the parents were sufficiently informed – which, however, did not prevent them from acting just as though they knew nothing. Nevertheless, it is certainly not this moment to which Freud himself even considers linking anything decisive in terms of the appearance of the phobia. The child listens to this threat, I would almost say, ‘as he should’.
[3] Ibid, SE X p7-8. When he was three and a half his mother found him with his hand on his penis. She threatened him in these words: ‘If you do that, I shall send for Dr. A. to cut off your widdler. And then what’ll you widdle with?’
Sigmund Freud’s Footnote 2, SE X p7 (See www.Freud2Lacan.com) ‘I have nevertheless put forward the view that the term ‘castration complex’ ought to be confined to those excitations and consequences which are bound up with the loss of the penis.’…
Next session : 13th March 1957
13th March 1957 : para 32 of Seminar IV (from 2016) Unedited – very provisional translation : See TABLE 11 & TABLE15
We don’t leave the game of odds and evens, we don’t leave the plane of the lure, and in the end we know, and we know it from the theoretical as well as the clinical [examplaire] side, we only see the symptom, the manifestation of anguish [l’angoisse], coming out of it, as Freud says. And Freud underlines at the beginning of the observation of little Hans, that it is necessary to separate anguish [l’angoisse] from phobia. There are two things that follow one another and without a doubt, not without reason, one comes to the rescue of the other, the phobic object comes to fulfil a function against the background of anguish [angoisse]. But on the imaginary level, nothing allows us to conceive of the leap that brings the child out of this game of lure in front of the mother, someone who is all or nothing, the one who is enough or the one who is not enough. Certainly, by the very fact that the question [la question] is asked, it [or she] remains [elle reste] on the plane of fundamental insufficiency.

These translations are approximately equivalent. However, Adrian Price suggests that there is a reminder that the first few pages have been dealt with previously and therefore the sessions can be reversed. It is certainly supported that in both edited and unedited texts there is a reference back to little Hans in the next session. Two comments : 1) the session which deals with the first few pages, is not specified as the immediately preceding one. Thus, the quote from 20th March 1957 edited, a session not affected by the reversing, could equally apply to 6th March 1957 – unedited and 13th March – edited. This is therefore not an argument for reversing. 2) This is a question of whether the logical process which Jacques Lacan uses to develop his examination of little Hans is in place if the sessions are reversed, edited text. This text is already too long, so the short answer is that on the examination above, Lacan’s process is disrupted if the sessions are reversed. This does not support the reversing of sessions.

FURTHER OCCURENCES IN 6TH MARCH, UNEDITED, & 13TH MARCH EDITED

TABLE 13

13th March 1957, P217 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited & Bold added : 
___________________________________________
What, for example, brings this to an end in the case of little Hans?
3
At the start of the observation, through a kind of lucky encounter, through the illumination of a miraculous stroke of fortune, which is what has happened whenever we make a discovery, we see the child fully committed to a relationship in which the phallus plays a most evident role.
Next session : 20th March 1957
6th March 1957, Para 37 of Seminar IV (from 2016), unedited : 
______________________________________
What ends it in the case of little Hans for example? We see at the beginning of the [Freud’s] observations, as a kind of lucky encounter with a certain perspective, a lucky miracle which happens every time we make a discovery: We see the child completely involved with this relation [relation] in which the phallus plays the most obvious role 
Next session : 13th March 1957 

As in Table 12, this depends on the reference back to 6th March, unedited, & 13th March unedited.

FURTHER OCCURENCES IN 13TH MARCH, UNEDITED, & 6TH MARCH EDITED

TABLE 14

6th March 1957, P197 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited & Bold added 
__________________________________________
So, let’s start again with little Hans.
2
The observation on little Hans is a whole world unto itself. Among the collection of five of Freud’s case studies, this is the one I have left until last in the labour of commentary I have been pursuing, and with good reason.Last time, I left you with the material from the first pages of the text, and Freud is well justified in presenting things in this order. The question is that of the Wiwimacher, which has been translated [into English] as widdlerLast time as 27th February 1957, Edited
P188 of Seminar IV (2020), 27th February 1957, Edited (See TABLE 1 & 1b) :  
Isn’t it clear enough from the simple fact that little Hans crumples the little giraffe and sits on top of it, in spite of the cries of the big giraffe who is incontestably the mother? 
[End of this session – this is the only reference to little Hans in this session]







13th March 1957, Para 26 of Seminar IV (from 2016) unedited, provisional translation, : 
___________________________________________
So let’s start again with little Hans. It’s a world, this observation, it’s the one I left to last – and not for nothing – of the Five Psychoanalyses [Freud’s five case studies]. What do the first pages give us, which are very precisely at the level where I left you last time? It’s not without reason that Freud presents things in this order, the question is that of this Wiwimacher that is translated into French as ‘fait pipi [make wee-wee]’.



Last time as unedited 
para 55-56, 6th March 1957 of Seminar IV (from 2016) [session ends at para 56] : Unedited, bold added.
The result divides into these two points: Hans’ imaginary orgy, and the advent, if I may, of castration. It is clearly articulated as follows: replacing what is real with something nicer, and larger.The advent – the coming to light – of castration is what ends the phobia, and at the same time shows us… I won’t say its aim, but what it is standing in for. You can tell that this is just an intermediate point [un point] of my discussion. I simply wanted to give you enough so that you can see its range of questions. Next time [13th March 1957 Unedited] we shall return to the dialectic of the child’s relation with the mother, and the value of the true significance of the castration complex.  

The logic follows through in the unedited texts only. This is against the reversing of sessions, as in the edited texts.

TABLE 15 (See TABLE 11)

6th March 1957 : p198-199 of Seminar IV (2020) Edited :  
________________________________________
We do not get out of the game of odds-and-evens. We do not leave the plane of the lure. What results from this ?We know the answer from the side that is as much theoretical as it is exemplary. The only thing we see coming out of this is the symptom, the manifestation of anxiety. So Freud tells us. Freud underscores near the start of the observation that, when it comes to anxiety and phobia, there is good reason for keeping the two separate. They are two things that come in succession. One comes to the aid of the other. The phobic object fulfils a function against the backdrop of anxiety. On the imaginary plane, however, nothing enables us to envisage the jump that makes the child shift away fron the luring game with his mother. As someone who is all or nothing, the one who suffices or the one who does not suffice, she surely remains on the plane of fundamental insufficiency in virtue of the sole fact that the question has been posed.   
13th March 1957 : para 32 of Seminar IV (from 2016) Unedited – very provisional translation :
___________________________________________
We don’t leave the game of odds and evens, we don’t leave the plane of the lure, and in the end we know, and we know it from the theoretical as well as the clinical [examplaire] side, we only see the symptom, the manifestation of anguish [l’angoisse], coming out of it, as Freud says. And Freud underlines at the beginning of the observation of little Hans, that it is necessary to separate anguish [l’angoisse] from phobia. There are two things that follow one another and without a doubt, not without reason, one comes to the rescue of the other, the phobic object comes to fulfil a function against the background of anguish [angoisse]. But on the imaginary level, nothing allows us to conceive of the leap that brings the child out of this game of lure in front of the mother, someone who is all or nothing, the one who is enough or the one who is not enough. Certainly, by the very fact that the question [la question] is asked, it [or she] remains [elle reste] on the plane of fundamental insufficiency.

This shows differences in both editing and translation, and neither supports nor detracts from Adrian Price’s explanation.  The edited text does not support the logic of Jacques Lacan’s argument, as it does in the unedited transcripts.

F. Conclusion

The question ‘why were the two sessions reversed ?’ remains. Despite much effort in testing the arguments given by Adrian Price, to explain the reversing, the obvious conclusion is that the reversing was effected by the editor, to suit his purposes, rather than present what Jacques Lacan actually is arguing.  The reversing severely disrupts Jacques Lacan’s development of his argument as presented in the unedited transcripts.  

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Appendix 1

FIVE REFERENCES BY JACQUES LACAN  DURING 6th MARCH 1957 TO PREVIOUS SESSIONS – 27thFEBRUARY 1957

Using unedited transcripts, see www.LacanianWorksExchange.net  /lacan (November 1956)

The translation for the 6th March 1957 is in preparation so quotes are draft. Publication date is May 2022. 

Translations of 13th March 1957 are provisional. Publication date possibly September 2022

1)  6th March 1957, Para 3 of Seminar IV (from 2016) See TABLES 2 & 9 : Ultimately, when last time I started to approach the issue through the covert arrival of frustration, the imaginary phallic game with the mother, many of you – even if you  understood the way I illustrated it with the intervention of the father, (his symbolic persona being purely and simply the symbolic persona of dreams) – remained perplexed on the topic: What is this castration all about? What does it mean to say that for the subject to attain ‘genital maturity’, he more or less has to have been castrated? If you consider things simply at the level of reading – even though it is nowhere articulated in this way – it is literally implied everywhere in Freud’s works.

PRECEDING SESSION

a) 27th February 1957, para 1, p1 of Seminar IV (from 2016) See TABLE 1 : Today I intend to take up, once again, the terms in which I am trying to formulate for you this necessary re-casting of the notion of frustration – without which we can see a widening gap between the currently prevalent theories in psychoanalysis and the Freudian doctrine which, as you know, is in my mind nothing less than the sole correct conceptual formulation of the experience that this very same doctrine has created. I will try to articulate something today which may be a little more algebraic than usual, but everything we have done previously has prepared us for it. 

b) 27th February 1957 : para 21, p5 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : The real object, as soon as it enters the dialectic of frustration, is not in itself indifferent, but there is no reason for it to be specific – to be the mother’s breast – it loses none of the value of its position in the sexual dialectic, the mainspring of the oral zone’s eroticisation. For what plays an essential role in this is precisely not the object, but the fact that the activity took on this eroticised function at the level of desire, which orders itself in the symbolic order. I also ask you to notice in passing that this goes so far that it is possible for the same role to be played even if there is no real object at all, since what’s important here is what makes way for the substitutive satisfaction proper to symbolic satisfaction. This – and this alone – explains the true function of symptoms such as mental anorexia.[1] I spoke to you of the primitive relation to the mother, who at this moment becomes a real being, precisely because in being able to refuse indefinitely, she can do literally everything. And, as I told you, it is at her level – and not the level of some hypothesis of a sort of megalomania, which projects onto the child what is merely the analyst’s mind – that the dimension of total power appears for the first time. This Wirklichkeit, in German, means efficacy and reality. This essential efficacy first presents itself in this guise, as the total power of the real being on which the gift or absence thereof depends absolutely and irrevocably. 

[[1]] In the French 1994 edition two paragraphs are included which have not been translated because they do not appear in the original transcript. 

c) 27th February 1957 : para 27-29,  p6 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : We could, to rush ahead a bit, say that the only power that the subject has against this total power is to say ‘no’ at the level of action, and introduce the dimension of negativity there, which of course is not without relationship [rapport] to the moment I have in mind.

Nevertheless, notice that experience shows, no doubt for a reason, that resistance, within the relation of dependency, to total power is not worked out at the level of action or in the form of negativism. It is at the level of the object insofar as it appeared to us in the guise of ‘nothing’, the object which is annulled insofar as it is symbolic. It is at the level of the object that the child overcomes their dependency and, precisely by feeding themselves with ‘nothing’, reverses the relation [la relation] of dependency. They thereby make themselves the master of the total power, avid to support it. And the child depends on this total power yet, from that point on, this power depends on their [the child’s] desire and is at the mercy of a manifestation of their caprices, that is, their [the child’s] own total power.

 So we have to hold it in mind that, very precociously, as a necessary space for even the first imaginary relation to come into play, on which the entire game of the projection of their opposite can take place, we need to start with the following which is essential (to illustrate it in psychological terms which only show a different shade from the first exposition I gave you), the intentionality of love [de l’amour] constitutes, very precociously and before any ‘beyond’ of the object, this fundamentally symbolic structuration. It is impossible to conceive it without positing the symbolic order as already established and, as such, already present.

d) 27th February 1957 : para 40-42, p9 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : We have to base ourselves on the fact that an imaginary phallus’s existence is the pivot point of a whole series of facts which require it as a postulate, namely, that we have to study this labyrinth in which the subject regularly gets lost, even comes to be consumed. It’s the guiding thread given by the fact that this is what has to be discovered: that the mother lacks the phallus, that it is because she lacks it that she desires it, and that it is only insofar as something gives it to her that she can be satisfied.

This might seem literally astounding. We have to set out from astonishment. The main virtue of knowledge is to be able to confront what is not straightforward: we are nonetheless maybe a little prepared to admit that it is the lack which is here the main desire. If we allow that this is also the characteristic of the symbolic order, in other words that it is insofar as the phallus enjoys a major signifying role that the situation looks as it does, and it presents itself like this because the signifier is not invented by each subject at the whims of his or her sex or constitution, or the way he or she goes around frolicking at birth: the signifier exists. There is no doubt that the phallus as a signifier enjoys [joue/jouit] an implicit role, since it took analysis to discover it, but it is absolutely essential.

2) 6th March 1957 Para 10 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : In the session before the break, [6th February 1957] I did this in a very articulated way. You’ll remember enough of it to see that I do not use the term frustration in the usual summary way. Privation and castration are here used distinctly, only because it is in fact impossible to articulate anything about the impact of castration without separating out the notion of privation insofar as it is what I called a ‘real hole’.

Footnotes 

-This is the 6th February 1957.  There were no sessions on 13th February & 20th February, resuming on 27th February 1957 See below for quote

– Similar ground is covered in Seminar III : 21st March 1956  : I should say that strictly speaking there is no symbolization of woman’s sex [1] as such. In any case, the symbolization isn’t the same, it doesn’t have the same source or the same mode of access as the symbolization of man’s sex.[1] And this is because the imaginary only furnishes an absence where elsewhere there is a highly prevalent symbol.

It’s the prevalence of the phallic Gestalt that in bringing about the Oedipal complex forces the woman to take a detour via identification with the father and therefore for a while to follow the same paths as the boy. The woman’s access to the Oedipal complex, her imaginary identification, is accomplished via the father, exactly as in the boy’s case, by virtue of the prevalence of the imaginary form of the phallus, but insofar as this form is itself taken as the symbolic element central to the Oedipus complex.

If for the girl as much as for the boy the castration complex assumes a pivotal value in bringing about the Oedipus complex; it does so precisely as a function of the father, because the phallus is a symbol to which there is no correspondent, no equivalent. It’s a matter of a dissymmetry in the signifier. This signifying dissymmetry determines the paths down which the Oedipus complex will pass. The two paths make them both pass down the same trail – the trail of castration.  

[Footnote 1] : 1 “le sexe” which may also mean the genitals

P176 of The Psychoses, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book III 1955-1956 :  Edited by Jacques-Alain Miller :  Translated by Russell Grigg : Routledge : 1993  See  http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=657 

PRECEDING SESSION

a) 6th February 1957 : para 34-40, p10 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : Why? Because just as he is making progress in the analysis, that is, trying to take on the perspective of his fetish, he regresses. We can always say it, and no one will be there to contradict us. It is certain that the evocation of the drive – whether it appears in analysis or elsewhere – must be conceived with regard [rapport] to a certain register, to its economic function, and to the unfolding of a certain symbolically defined relation [relation]. 

And is there not something that permits us to approach the issue, to clarify it, in terms of the primitive schema I gave you of the child between, on one side, the mother, the support of the first amorous relation inasmuch as love is symbolically structured, insofar as she is an object of appeal and hence an object which is as absent as it is present… the mother, whose gifts are a sign of love and are annulled as such insofar as they are something entirely other than signs of love. And, on the other side, the object of need that she presents to him in the form of her breast? Can’t you see that, between the two [sides], it is a question of equilibrium and compensation? Whenever there is a frustration of love, frustration is compensated by the satisfaction of need. 

It is insofar as the child misses his mother, calls her, hangs on to her, hangs onto her breast and makes it something more significative than this thing from which he cannot be separated – as long as it is in his mouth and as long as it satisfies him, as it leaves him nourished, restored, satisfied. Here, the satisfaction of need is at the same time a compensation, and I would almost say, starts to become an alibi for the frustration of love. Henceforth, the prevalence that the object acquires, the breast or the pacifier [la tétine – also dummy] accordingly, is founded on precisely the fact that a real object acquires its function as a part of the object of love, that is, it acquires its signification qua symbolic; a real object, it becomes a part of the symbolic object and the drive addresses the real object insofar as it is a part of the symbolic object. 

This is how we must understand oral absorption, this supposedly regressive mechanism of oral absorption which can intervene in any amorous relation. Of course, this object satisfies a real need at this stage of the object. As soon as a real object can become an element of the symbolic object, any other can satisfy a real need in its place. And the primary candidate – speech – is something that is already symbolised but, as it is plainly materialised, is also an object and can take this place.

Inasmuch as the oral reaction to the primitive ‘devouring’ object comes in to compensate for the frustration of love– insofar as this is an incorporation-like reaction – the mould, the model is given to this form of incorporation which is an incorporation of certain words among others, and which is at the origin of the premature formation of what we call the superego. What the subject incorporates, in the form of the superego, is analogous to the object of need – not because it is itself a gift, but because it is a substitute for the absent gift. That is not the same thing. This is also how the fact of possessing or not possessing a penis can take on a double meaning, entering the subject’s imaginary economy in two initially very different ways. For the penis, being a thing, can at any moment place an object somewhere in the lineage and in the stead of the breast and the pacifier. [la tétine – also dummy] 

And it is an oral form of the penis’ incorporation that enjoys/plays a role in the determination of certain symptoms and certain functions. But there is another way the penis becomes part of this economy: Not as an object which – if I may say – compensates for the frustration of love, but as something precisely beyond the object of love, something that it lacks. The first, call it the penis, with all that it implies, is all the same an imaginary function insofar as it is imaginarily [imaginairement] incorporated. The second is the phallus that the mother lacks and that is beyond her, beyond her power of love. [p176] It is something that she lacks and which I have been asking you about ever since the beginning of this year’s seminar: at which moment does the subject discover this lack, in such a way that he himself can end up being involved in substituting himself for it, choosing another path in the reunion with the object of love that slips away, namely, supplying him or her with his or her own lack? This distinction is central, and today it will allow us to make at least a first sketch of what must be in place for such a moment to arise. We already have symbolic structuration, possible introjection, and thus we have in place the most characteristic form of primitive Freudian identification. 

3) 6th March 1957  Para 15 See TABLE 3 : Like last time, we begin with the subject in his originary relationship with his mother, in the stage we call ‘pre-oedipal’. We have seen that there is a lot we can say about this stage. We hope to have been more articulate than is usually the case when this pre-oedipal stage is discussed – I mean, by recognising more distinctly that which, incidentally, is always somewhere or other in all the authors’ discourse. … 

PRECEDING SESSION

a)  27th February 1957 : para 52, p11 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : Let us remember, in light of this, the value of the little boy’s discovery about himself, so that we can understand the precise value of seduction attempts towards the mother. These seduction attempts are deeply marked with a narcissistic conflict. It is always the arrival of the first narcissistic wounds which are but preludes, indeed the preconditions, of certain subsequent effects of castration, but which we should look at more closely. Ultimately, rather than a simple drive or sexual aggressiveness, what is at issue is the fact that the boy wants us to think he is a male, or a phallus-bearer, even though he is only halfway a phallus-bearer.

In other words, what matters in the whole pre-oedipal period, where perversions originate, is a game which is being pursued [c’est d’un jeu qui se poursuit], a counting game,Three-card Monte [1], or even our game of odds and evens[2]. We must see where this phallus is and is not. It is fundamental as a signifier within this imaginary of the mother, which must be encountered for absolutely fundamental reasons, since the child’s ego is resting on the mother’s total power. The phallus is never really where it is, and it is never completely absent where it is not[3]. 

Footnotes

[1] From Wikipedia : ‘Three-card Monte’ – also known as ‘Find the Lady’ and ‘Three-card Trick’-  is a confidence game in which the victims, or “marks”, are tricked into betting a sum of money, on the assumption that they can find the “money card” among three face-down playing cards..

[2] ‘Odds and evens’ is cited in Seminar IV 5th December 1956 & Seminar IV 23rd January 1957 & also Seminar II 23rd March 1955 & Seminar II 30th March 1955 & Seminar II 27th April 1955.

[3] Probably a reference to ‘Wo es war soll Ich werden’: Where it was, I must come to be. Last paragraph of “Lecture XXXI – Dissection of the personality” Freud Sigmund (1932) SE XII. Two previous citations in Seminar IV 5th December 1956  

b) 27th February 1957 : para 46, p10 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : It is precisely for reasons that are inscribed in the symbolic order, namely in this ‘something’ that transcends individual development; it is as symbolised imaginary that the fact that one has or doesn’t have a phallus takes on the economic importance that it has at the level of the Oedipus. This simultaneously motivates the importance of the castration complex and the preeminence of the major authority of the phallic mother which, ever since it appeared on the analytic horizon, has been such a problem, as you know. Before I come to the way the dialectic of the phallus is articulated at the level of the Oedipus, and how it is finished and resolved, I want to show you that I, too, can stay awhile in the preoedipal stages, as long as I am guided by the thread of the fundamental role of the symbolic relation – and I want to make a few remarks, which are as follows: at the level of its imaginary function, at the level of the supposed demand of the phallic mother, what role does this phallus enjoy [joue/jouit]?

4) 6th March 1957,  para 16 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : We saw it last time: behind this symbolic mother we say that there is this symbolic father who is in some sense a necessary element for symbolic construction. But also, we saw that we can only situate this in a ‘beyond’ – I would almost say a transcendence – at any rate in something that, as I indicated in passing, is only achieved through a mythic [mythique] construction.  

PRECEDING SESSION

a)  27th February 1957 :  para 9-13, p2 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : The fundamental character of the love relation, with all the complexity that it entails – not only to the second degree, but also to the third degree – involves not only an object before oneself, but a being [être]. This is in Freud, in many passages, thought in terms of the relation which is there from the start. What does this mean? It does not mean that the child knows all about the philosophy of love, or that they’ve made the distinction between love [l’amour] and desire. It means that they are already steeped in the existence of this symbolic order, and that we can already find proof, in their conduct, that is, certain things are happening which are only conceivable if this symbolic order is present.

Here we are still dealing with this ambiguity, which is born from the fact that we have a science which is a science of the individual, a science of the subject, and we succumb to the need to take things up again at the beginning: in the subject. We forget that the subject qua subject is not identifiable with the individual – that even if the subject were detached, qua ‘individual’, from the entire order which concerns them qua subject, this order exists. In other words, that the law of intersubjective relations, since it fundamentally governs what the individual depends on, involves them – whether they are aware of it or not – in this order.

In other words, far from being able to succeed in this desperate attempt – which is nonetheless always made and remade – I am alluding to these articles of someone named Mallet on the phobias[1], who wants to tell us how phobias – primitive phobias – explain the child’s first relations with the dark, and in particular how these anxieties give rise to the image of the father. This is an attempt which I may actually qualify as desperate, which can only be pulled off by pulling strings as big as your arm. The order of paternity exists, whether the individual lives or not.

Children’s terrors take on their meaning, articulated in the intersubjective father-child relation, which is deeply symbolically organized, and they form what might be called the subjective context within which the child will no doubt have to develop their experience, this experience which at each moment is deeply caught up in and reconfigured by this intersubjective relation – retroactively reconfigured – and in which they are engaged by a series of triggers, which are only triggers insofar as they set something off. 

The gift in itself entails the whole cycle of exchange: there is only a gift because there is an immense circulation of gifts which capture the intersubjective whole from the standpoint of the subject who enters into it and who is introduced into it in as primitive a fashion as one might suppose. The gift, then, emerges from a ‘beyond’ of the objectal relation. For, precisely, it supposes that behind it there is this whole order of exchange for the child who will enter it, and they will only emerge from this ‘beyond’ in her properly symbolic constitutive character. Thus, nothing is a gift unless it is constituted by this act which previously cancelled it, revoked it. It is thus against this background, and qua sign of love which has first been cancelled, only to reappear as a pure presence, that the gift responds [se donne] or does not respond to the call.  

And I would go even further: I said the ‘call’, which is in the foreground, but recall what I said when we were doing the psychoses [Seminar III, 1955-56] when we were talking about the call, essential as it is for speech.[2] 

Footnotes

[1] Mallet Jean, Contribution à l’étude des phobies, PUF (1955). Also see “Contribution à l’étude des phobies” (“Contribution to the study of phobias)”, Mallet, Jean (1956) Revue française de psychanalyse, 20(1-2):237-293 (The first part on phobias) See http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12878  

[2] Probably a reference to Seminar III: 30th November 1955: p39-40 of Russell Grigg’s translation. See http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=657  

5) 6th March 1957, para 47 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : I would nonetheless prefer you to be surprised by this, because I only use the term ‘regression’ according to the strict scope I gave to it in the last session before the break [6thFebruary 1957], when we spoke about frustration. Just as in the presence of the absence of the mother, I told you that the child shuts himself up in the satisfaction of feeding, even at the very moment when he is the centre, which is no longer enough to give what there is to give – he finds himself in this distress of being no longer enough. … 

PRECEDING SESSION 

b) 6th February 1957 : para 33-36, p10 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : It is strictly impossible to conceive of this evocation of the oral drive at a certain moment if we hold on to the vague notion, which in these cases will always be close at hand, someone is always going to say that now the subject is regressing because that is indeed why he is here. 

Why? Because just as he is making progress in the analysis, that is, trying to take on the perspective of his fetish, he regresses. We can always say it, and no one will be there to contradict us. It is certain that the evocation of the drive – whether it appears in analysis or elsewhere – must be conceived with regard to a certain register, to its economic function, and to the unfolding of a certain symbolically defined relation. 

And is there not something that permits us to approach the issue, to clarify it, in terms of the primitive schema I gave you of the child between, on one side, the mother, the support of the first amorous relation inasmuch as love is symbolically structured, insofar as she is an object of appeal and hence an object which is as absent as it is present… the mother, whose gifts are a sign of love and are annulled as such insofar as they are something entirely other than signs of love. And, on the other side, the object of need that she presents to him in the form of her breast? Can’t you see that, between the two [sides], it is a question of equilibrium and compensation? Whenever there is a frustration of love, frustration is compensated by the satisfaction of need

It is insofar as the child misses his mother, calls her, hangs on to her, hangs onto her breast and makes it something more significative than this thing from which he cannot be separated – as long as it is in his mouth and as long as it satisfies him, as it leaves him nourished, restored, satisfied. Here, the satisfaction of need is at the same time a compensation, and I would almost say, starts to become an alibi for the frustration of love. Henceforth, the prevalence that the object acquires, the breast or the pacifier (also dummy) accordingly, is founded on precisely the fact that a real object acquires its function as a part of the object of love, that is, it acquires its signification qua symbolic; a real object, it becomes a part of the symbolic object and the drive addresses the real object insofar as it is a part of the symbolic object. 

This is how we must understand oral absorption, this supposedly regressive mechanism of oral absorption which can intervene in any amorous relation. Of course, this object satisfies a real need at this stage of the object. As soon as a real object can become an element of the symbolic object, any other can satisfy a real need in its place. And the primary candidate – speech – is something that is already symbolised but, as it is plainly materialised, is also an object and can take this place.

Inasmuch as the oral reaction to the primitive ‘devouring’ object comes in to compensate for the frustration of love – insofar as this is an incorporation-like reaction – the mould, the model is given to this form of incorporation which is an incorporation of certain words among others, and which is at the origin of the premature formation of what we call the superego. What the subject incorporates, in the form of the superego, is analogous to the object of need – not because it is itself a gift, but because it is a substitute for the absent gift. That is not the same thing. This is also how the fact of possessing or not possessing a penis can take on a double meaning, entering the subject’s imaginary economy in two initially very different ways. For the penis, being a thing, can at any moment place an object somewhere in the lineage and in the stead of the breast and the pacifier. (also dummy) 

6th March 1957, para 56 of Seminar IV (from 2016) : reference to the next session (13th March 1957 unedited & 20thMarch 1957 edited) : 

The advent – the coming to light – of castration is what ends the phobia, and at the same time shows us… I won’t say its aim, but what it is standing in for. As you can tell that this is just an intermediate point [point] of my discussion [discours]. I simply wanted to give you enough so that you can see its range of questions. Next time we shall return to the dialectic of the child’s relation with the mother, and the value of the true significance of the castration complex.  

For comparison, here is this paragraph from 

13th March 1957, p223 of Seminar IV (2020), Edited, translated by Adrian Price : 

…The bringing to light of castration is both what puts an end to the phobia and what shows, I would say, not its finality, but what it stands in for.

You must have a fair sense of how this is but an intermediary stage in my disquisition. I simply wanted to give you enough to see where his repertoire of questions opens up. Next time we will take up this dialectic of child and mother, and we shall set about isolating the value, the true signification, of the castration complex. 

NOTE : Jacques Lacan does not use the term ‘stage’ at the end of this session in the unedited transcripts of 6th March 1957.

FOLLOWING SESSION

a) 13th March 1957, para 1 of Seminar IV (from 2016), Provisional translation, Unedited.  [See TABLE 1 & 1b & 5 & 11]

We tried last time to rearticulate the notion of castration, at least the use of the concept in our practice. I have for you, in the second part of this session, the place where this interference of the imaginary occurs in this relationship of frustration, which is infinitely more complex in its function than what usually unites the child to the mother.

b) Para 3-5, ibid. : So this is where we had arrived, and in order to begin the third part of my talk [exposé], I have placed you on the track of little Hans’ anguish [l’angoisse], since from the beginning we have taken these two exemplary objects : the fetishistic object and the real object.

It is at the level of little Hans that we will try to articulate what we are going to talk about today. Attempt, not to re-articulate the concept of castration, because God knows if it is powerfully so and insistently and repeatedly in Freud, but simply to talk about it again, because since the time we avoid talking about it, it becomes thin on the ground [plus en plus rare], this complexes’ usage in observations, in the reference we can take from it.

So this is where we had arrived, and in order to begin the third part of my talk [exposé], I have placed you on the track of little Hans’ anguish [l’angoisse], since from the beginning we have taken these two exemplary objects : the fetishistic object and the real object.

It is at the level of little Hans that we will try to articulate what we are going to talk about today. Attempt, not to re-articulate the concept of castration, because God knows,  it is powerfully and insistently and repeatedly [articulated] in Freud, but simply to talk about it again and the reference we can take of it, in the usage of this complex in the observations, 

So let’s talk today about this notion of castration since we follow on in the line of our previous time’s discussion, last time.