Lacanian Press Agency
Paris, Thursday, September 20, 2001

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FRANCOPHONE
Paris, September 17 (LPA) Our friend Jorge Forbes (from Sao Paulo), presently in Paris, had lunch at the Closerie des Lilas on Montparnasse Boulevard, with Jean-Claude Jacq, a former director of the Sao Paulo branch of the Alliance Francaise and the present Secretary general of the Alliance. With the permission of his host, he had forwarded us a summary of their conversation.

-What is your view of the importance of Jacques Lacan concerning the interest in the French language shown by the world?

-Lacanism is one of the cutting edges of French thought. In order to learn French you need a strong reason. What can be these reasons? We can pinpoint three: 1) tourism: France is a major destination; 2) commercial exchange; 3) culture and thought. Tourism is being increasingly dealt with in English, even in France. So is commerce. It is not so with ideas, French literature, from maths to psychoanalysis, which are steadily being expressed and researched in French abroad as well. That is why Lacanian thought, which is one of the most powerful approaches to both psychism and culture, is an essential asset in the life of the French in the world. Furthermore, Jacques lacan's text carries in itself an invention in language, it reveals a new dimension of French, and in this sense it is a guarantee of life.

M. DENIS WRITES TO M. DE MIJOLLA
Paris, September 19 (LPA) Mr Alain de Mijolla, member of the Societe psychanalytique de Paris, president of the Association internationale de'histoire de la psychanalyse, shared with Mr Miller a fragment of the letter addressed to him by Mr Denis, director of the Revue francaise de psychanalyse. He says precisely: "I will appreciate your taking this rectification into account, regardless of further vicissitudes of this not very glorious affair." Consequently, J.A. Miller shared with the LPA the full text of Mr Denis' rectification as e-mailed to Mr de Mijolla on Tuesday, September 18, 7:28 PM "Thank you for letting me know that J.A. Miller will be glad that you act as a go-between us two, and his suggestion of a poll, published in the Revue, which would allow the Ecole de la Cause to speak about the way it ensures training."

I was nonetheless surprised upon realizing that this proposal was made after the second letter addressed by Miller to 'enlightened public' and which pursues personal attacks against Gilbert and myself.

By the way, the expression 'blow a fuse' was used by the Liberation journalist and not by me, neither did I have a copy of his text before publication. I had sent him a written text containing no such expression. He used only the last part of this text.

This being said, the disproportion between Miller's charge and the incident he is using as pretext (and which he qualified as being minimalistic on France Culture) raises questions regarding his intentions. The procedure consisting of declaring oneself insulted in order to attribute oneself the right to insult is hardly admissible.

It is not entirely certain that a court of law would find against me for not having published the letter whose insertion he claimed: there was no support, no matter what Miller says, for the exercise of a 'right of reply' in the legal sense of the term. I suppose, furthermore, that if that were the case, he would not have relinquished the attempt to formally sue the Revue.

It is no less true that he uses this accusation of refusal of the right of reply as a means of making justice by himself and indulging in statements close to slander. Given these conditions, I can hardly see how an area of understanting can be found."

ARGENTINA
Buenos Aires, September 19 (LPA) Ricardo Seldes, Director of the EOL, announces that Jacques-Alain Miller's First Letter, translated into Spanish, is available since Monday 17/09 at the following bookstores, at a price of 3US$" Buenos Aires: Paidos, Paidos-El Fondo, Penelope; Cordoba: Maidana, El Espejo Libros' El Ateneo Libros; Mendoza: Oikia Libros; Neuquen: Galerna; Rosario : Ross, Homosapiens Libros; Santa Fe: Mauro Yardin Libreria.

BRAZIL
Sao Paulo, September 20 (LPA) - The online edition of the newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo publishes a long text signed by Teresa Ribeiro, noting that "the psychoanalytic schools are back In the arena as they hadn't been in a long time". JAM's first Letter is being translated, and will be published in Portuguese starting September 22. Jorge Forbes, in charge of the edition, explained that the distribution will be on paper only, in accordance to the pascalian spirit inspiring Miller's initiative.

MR. MILLER'S RESPONSE TO MR. DENIS
Paris, September 20 (LPA) J.A. Miller forwarded to the LPA the following text he addressed to Mr de Mijolla.

"Dear Mr de Mijolla, I hope I am not abusing your time in asking you to forward the following text to Mr Denis in response to his rectification, which you yourself forwarded to me. Truly yours, JAM.

1) "Thank you for letting me know that J.A. Miller will be glad that you act as a go-between the two of us, and his suggestion of a poll, published in the Revue, which would allow the Ecole de la Cause to speak about the way it ensures training."

I thank Mr Denis for noting the suggestion that I transmitted to him by the intermediate of Mr de Mijolla. What is not clear is whether he accepts or rejects it. This is what all is about. Does he agree to publish a right of reply, under one form or other, or does he keep refusing? I wish for the sake of everyone that he would finally make up his mind.

2) I was nonetheless surprised upon realizing that this proposal was made after the second letter addressed by Miller to the 'enlightened public' and which pursues personal attacks against Gilbert and myself.

Surprised. I don't understand this remark of Mr Denis. Would Mr Denis be less surprised had I made this proposal before rather than after my second Letter? What is surprising, in fact, is that I should make propoposals myself. I should not make any proposals at all and wait for Mr Denis to make them. Since he does not make any and seems quite embarrassed (I understand him) while he embarrasses the Society of which he is a member as well as the whole of the profession, well, I made one in his place.

Personal attacks. This is not the expression I would use. I put out a protest against the attitude of Mr Denis, Director of the RFP, personally, because I have many reasons to think that the President of the SPP is not on the same wavelenght. Likewise, I protest against the attitude and the terms of Mr Diatkine, his and nobody else's. I was personally and explicitely attacked in the RFP. I answer ad hominem, or homines, and I call by their name those responsible for the attacks I had to sustain. What does Mr Denis want? That I should attack the SPP? The International? This I shall not do. I have no dispute with these organisations. It is him I address.

3) By the way, the expression 'blow a fuse' was used by the Liberation journalist and not by me, neither did I have a copy of his text before publication. I had sent him a written text incurring in no expression of this kind. He used only the last part of this text.

What Mr Denis introduces by way of the diminishing expression 'by the way' is a very serious matter: it is called disavowal. Mr Denis disavows having said the words that Mr Favereau attributes to him on the September 7 issue of Liberation. In the U.S. this would soon lead to a lawsuit between Mr Denis and the newspaper, as in Masson vs. Janet Malcolm of the New Yorker, to stay in the field of psychoanalysis (I met both of them). Mr Denis is recklessly discrediting the professional honor of a journalist. I am afraid Mr Denis hasn't learnt to carefully measure the reach of his words.

Furthermore :

a) the disavowal is not clear: Mr Denis does not state clearly that he did not pronounce these words in the presence of the journalist;

b) Mr Denis did not claim any correction from the newspaper, either at the time or now; it is up to him to do so with no delay;

c) Mr Favereau did not show his paper to me in advance; the same would hold for Mr Denis;

d) Mr Denis writes: "I had sent him a written text containing no such expression. He used only the last part of this text." I am not sure the Mr Denis is in the best position to complain of censorship on the part of Liberation. On his part, of the letter I sent him and which he was expected to publish, he used neither the end, the beginning, or the middle part: nothing at all. A journalist is only expected to write an article of interest to his readers, and a truthful one. Eric Favereau condensed my ideas, he did not betray them: upon reading the article, I thought I might have formulated things better, I never thought of questioning Mr Favereau's honesty. If my ideas had been disfigured or renderd unloyally, I would have requested rectification on the spot. That is how things are done. Mr Denis does not have the habit of the press. It is not compulsory for an analyst, it is recommended for the director of a periodical, particularly when he is constrained to talk to a journalist.

4) This said, the disproportion between Miller's charge and the incident he is using as pretext (and which he qualified as being minimalistic in France Culture) raises questions regarding his intentions. The procedure consisting of declaring oneself insulted, in order to attribute oneself the right to insult, is hardly admissible.

Disproportion. I said : Cleopatra's nose. There are non-linear correlations, they are at the foundation of the theory of chaos. A butterfly, etc. At the France-Culture broadcast I compared Mr Denis to Gaston Gallimard refusing Jean Cocteau the right of reply in 1919. That is, while I fight back, I remain ironically detached from this affair. Mr Denis should be calmed down that he is not dealing with a fanatic.

Intentions. My intentions are crystal-clear:

a) to obtain the publication of a text as a right of reply in the next issue of the RFP. This, as a principle (I am told the said journal sells 700 copies, this is less than I thought, is that figure accurate?)

b) Now that my entirely personal protest found echoes in the enlightened opinion, given that everyone in their lifetime has met with gagging, obstacles in exerting a right or refusal of justice, and because the voices which count for me the most in intellectual life and in the public sphere have assured me their solidarity and insist that I proceed, it is my intention to pursue what I have named, not without emphasis and irony, 'the Freudian education of the French people.'

Admissible. Mr Denis refuses me the right to explain myself in his publication and demands, furthermore, that I shut up in mine, the one I had to create ex-nihil so as to have a stand from which I can answer. This is what seems to me hardly admissible.

I 'declare' myself insulted? The September 7 issue of Liberation published an insulting remark of Mr Denis concerning me. It is September 20 and so far I have seen no disavowal on the part of Mr Denis in the press. Yesterday I received Mr de Mijolla's message including a rectification from Mr Denis which is not altogether clear. Therefore, at the time I wrote my second Letter I was perfectly insulted by Mr Denis in Liberation.

5) It is not entirely certain that a court of law would find against me for not having published the letter whose insertion he claimed: there was no support, no matter what Miller says, for the exercise of a 'right of reply' in the legal sense of the term. I suppose, furthermore, that if that were the case, he would not have relinquished the attempt to formally sue the Revue.

I don't know who is Mr Denis's counsel. Mine is my friend Maitre Christian Charriere-Bournazel. He may contact him if that is the action he deems convenient. I do not wish that. I have not taken counsel with Christian before answering Mr Denis on August 24. I did not think for a moment of taking the SPP to court. It is he personally, as director of the publication, who is at stake. I immediately wanted to address public opinion.

Mr Denis writes : "There was no support, no matter what Miller says, for the exercise of a 'right of reply' in the legal sense of the term." I open my Dalloz at the chapter on the right of reply. Mine is an old edition dated 1982, the law has changed since, yet not the spirit of the law. I quote the excerpts that seem to me the most significant. All my science originates therein.

"This right (the right of reply) appears (not as legitimate defence against an accusation) but as the exercise of an essential right of personality exerted in the widest way, allowing for the assurance of complete information regarding an idea or a behavior thay may have been partially exposed in the press. It is thus that the right of reply is much wider than can be action in the case of slander. It suffices for a person to have been pinpointed in a publication or a periodical in order to exert his right of reply. When the person aimed at was not precisely named yet may be recognized equivocally by a description of his personality revealing enough, the right of reply must be admitted. The right of reply has been defined by the Court of Cassation as being a "general and absolute right". The right of reply is independent of the information content and may therefore be exercised not only when the issue involves criticism, slander or insult, but also when it contains praise, even if devoid of error or inaccuracy. The following consequences ensue from this principle:

Only he who is concerned by the exercise of this right remains the judge of the relevance of this response.

Moreover, a rectification that the publication may have published on its own does not prevent the exercise of the right of reply.

The right of reply may be equally exercised in matters of literary, artistic, or scientific, criticism.

There is no limit to be found to the right of reply except where its exercise would constitute " true abuse of the law ". The questioning must take place in journals or periodicals regardless of their size, nature or periodicity. As opposed to this, the right of reply is excluded from the official Journal, except for the part not publishing official texts, and official compilations of judiciary decisions. Last, only periodical publications are submitted to this instance, because the lack of periodicity would prevent publication of the text in a later issue.

The reply, which must originate only in the person affected or those directly holding his legal rights, will be addressed to the director of the publication or to its manager, by default. As far as mode of delivery, simple mail or special delivery mail will suffice, even a wire in case of urgency, particularly at times of elections. If the publication of which it is demanded that it respect the right of reply cannot rectify officially the errors it contains, it may suppress certain paragraphs which may be contrary to public interest, to the interest of third parties, to public order or to the journalist's honor, provided it does so under direct control of jurisdictions and particularly of the Supreme Court.

The publication meant to insert the reply cannot be obliged to publish statements of a nature that might harm its honour or due respect. It must be emphasized that courts toil at the maintenance of a certain balance between the violence of the questioning and that of the reply. Thus, insofar as the reply does not exceed in violence the tone of the atack, the publication has no excuse not to publish the text of the reply.

The insulting nature for the journal such that it may justify the refusal of the right of reply must be understood not only as regarding the author of the article being reacted to, but also if it aims at the direction of the journal in which the article was published, this including the moral or physical person who is the owner. The irrelevance of the reply will be discretionally appreciated by the jurisdictions dealing with lawsuits on this matter.

There would be no shame on Mr Denis to admit that he didn't know this aspect of the law, that he ignored that the right of reply is independent of the content of information, that only he who is concerned by the exercise of this right remains the judge of the relevance of this response.

It is evident that Mr Denis ignores this aspect of the law. Otherwise he wouldn't have written "There was no support, no matter what Miller says, for the exercise of a 'right of reply' in the legal sense of the term." No. From the moment Miller is mentioned, whatever Miller says about it weighs legally more that what Mr Denis says about it.

A psychoanalyst is not a legal expert. I am not one any more than Mr Denis. I only know what the Dalloz volume named The Right of the Press says, and what my counsel told me on September 3, namely that the present law specifies the form of the reply, and that it has modified the legal time frames for pressing charges. I am going to buy myself the latest edition.

6) It is no less true that he uses this accusation of refusal of the right of reply as a means of making justice by himself and indulging in statements close to slander. Given these conditions, I can hardly see how an area of understanting can be found."

To make justice by myself. No. I do not play justice-making, I do not play cowboys. I take enlightened opinion as my witness. This is an ancient French tradition.

Statements close to slander. Let us arrange this affair confraternally, it will be best for everybody. Mr Denis mentions slander. He should first read the chapter on slander, which is the most interesting one in the book from an analytic point of view.

Understanding. Nothing simpler. There are several ways. Mr Denis admits that he did not know the aspect of law that he did not know; he publishes my letter. That is the way I prefer. Another way: he recognizes nothing at all, but informs me that the Revue, in its next issue, will give the President of the Ecole de la Cause Freudienne the occasion to expose, without any spirit of debate, our conception and our practice of analytic training. I will declare myself satisfied. Furthermore, I am open to whatever counter-proposal emanating from him.

If Mr Denis should kindly admit he made a mistake in good faith, I will forget everything. If Mr Denis does not answer or remains obstinate, I shall go one half-tone higher."

Translated by Liliana Mauas

UQBAR-TRANSLATION

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