Lacanian Press Agency
Paris, Saturday, Septembre 8, 2001

Paris, 7 Sept., (LPA)- "Liberation" published this morning a searching inquiry and analysis by Eric Favereau regarding the "terrible anger of Lacan's son-in-law". Whilst expecting a flare up of the gut wars of the Lacanian galaxy, one was surprised, he said, to be witnessing a head on clash between the two historical analytical associations, the Societe psychanalytique de Paris (SPP) and the Ecole de la Cause freudienne (ECF). Mr. Denis, questioned by the journalist, proffered the hypothesis that JAM could have blown a fuse; he also considered at the same time that the objective of the latter was "to get the Lacanian movement into the promised land of the International Association". Mr. Diatkine was worried that he would waste his money and insisted that the Revue francaise de psychanalyse was a scientific journal and not a place for argument nor for a right of reply. Madam Roudinesco made the judgement that it was a conflict belonging to "another time". As for Mr. Miller, he "exploded", Mr. Favereau said, but intends to put his anger to good use: "I am going to change the landscape of forces in the French and international psychoanalytical milieu. I am going to regain a part of the media terrain that I left ten years ago."

Paris, 7 Sept. (LPA)- This morning during Pierre Assouline's broadcast on France-Culture, "First Edition", J.A. Miller challenged psychoanalysts who oppose the Lacanian orientation, proposing that they debate publicly with him. He did not want to say whom he was thinking of as interlocuters: "Let them choose their own", he replied. Invited to reply to the proposals attributed to Madam Roudinesco in the article in "Liberation", he remarked: "he was also fighting for Elisabeth." In the course of the broadcast he admitted to having interviewed, whilst still a pupil at the "Lycee", Jean Cocteau and Eric Rohmer, to having had for a long time in his room the portrait of Maximilien Robespierre whilst all along appreciating Baronesse Orczy's"The Adventures of Mouron rouge" and recognising himself in the name of the street theatre group "The Depollution Brigade". He insisted that Mr. Assouline invite for his next broadcast messers Denis and Diatkine: they will commit self-destruction in public, he predicted.

Paris, 7 Sept. (LPA)- "Le Monde" published in the middle of its first page an incisive article of Jean Birnbaum entitled "Lacanian fury twenty years after the death of the psychoanalyst", stressing the proletarian left youth of Lacan's son-in-law, presenting the former 68'er like a Lacanian in the emphatic style of "sans culotte". He points out the "agit-prop" source of inspiration of JAM's first "Letter", "halif pamphlet-half samizdat.

Buenos Aires, 7 Sept. (LPA)- Mr. Ricardo Seldes, Director of EOL, School of the Lacanian Orientation, based in Buenos Aires, made known to the ALP that "the directorate of the School will translate Jacques-Alain Miller's "Letters" which will be distributed in the best bookshops in Hispanophone America." EOL founded in January 1992 is the most important Lacanian association in Argentina; it participated alongside the APA and the AP of BA, the two big IPA Societies of Buenos Aires, in the Jacques Lacan Colloquium held in that city last April on the occasion of the centenary of the psychoanalyst's birth.

Paris, 7 Sept. (LPA)- At the end of the day on 7 Sept. Mr. Jacques-Alain Miller accepted to give an interview to our correspondent, Ghislaine de Saint-Amour. Firstly, she asked him about his choice of Cassegrain to engrave his famour visiting card, a choice which also captured the attention of Mr. Pierre Assouline as well as Mr. Favereau. J. A. Miller replied to her: "Wanting to challenge Mr. Denis to a duel in engaging in a campaign for opinion that would mark my exit from the desert in which I gladly confined myself, not wanting to skimp myself, I addressed myelf to the engraver on the rue Saint-Honore who has the best reputation in Paris. The charming saleswoman, Ms.Celine, allowed me to admire the visiting cards of John Galliano and of various embassies. Subsequently, I learned from my father that Dominique Cassegrain, the founder of the company, was one of his old acquaintances, the two of them having been part of the entourage of the painter Gen-Paul, and had collaborated in the edition of the book that Pierre Davaine dedicated to him in 1974, prefaced by Dr. Jean Miller."

To the question of knowing exactly what was the aim of the media offensive that he unleashed, J. A. Miller replied: "This morning I would have said the present team that leads the SPP because it is taking unacceptable liberties with the law and with simple courtesy. I can no longer say, having found in my mail this evening the first letter that I have ever received in my life on the beautiful, headed paper of the Psychoanalytic Society of Paris. It was a note from its President, Jean Cournut, whom I have known for a very long time to be a polite man; he followed at one time Lacan's patient presentations. Without naming him, I was surprised in my "First Letter to enlightened opinion" that he did not even acknowledge receipt of the post sent to him on 9 July with a copy of my correspondance with Messers Denis and Diatkine. Oh well, already done. In the letter dated 4 Sept. and postd on the 6th Mr. Cournut thanked me cordially for my letter."

Given these conditions are you going to stop your campaign?

Acknowledgement of receipt no matter how polite is not an armistice, even less a peace treaty as I would liked to have concluded with Jean Cournut one day. On the contrary, if the President of the Paris Society is in a position to abandon the ill-considered decision of his editorial representative to deny the right to access to the press and to inform me that his organ will publish, as it must,, my right to reply, then I will consider the incident closed and forget everything, including the hypothesis put forward this morning by Mr. Denis, according to which I could well have (pete les plombs). I will be satisfied and devote the "Letters" whose publication I announced to a consideration of psychoanalytical history of the last half-century and of some contemporary subjects.

Is it likely that the SPP will pull back?

What is likely in the matter is a modal category which doesn't seem to be operative. At the beginning of July I had not imagined for one second that the organ of an Association recognised as a public utility, placed under a very particular, public, administrative supervision of the Council of State and of the home office which has the right to inspect it and place it under tight, adminstrative supervision would commit such an infraction concerning the right to information which could have led, if I had not refused the possibility of litigation, to withdrawal of its recognition as a public utility. This very morning I would not have thought for one second that the President of the Paris Society, having received my "First Letter", would acknowledge in such benevolent terms receipt of a letter that I had addressed to him nearly two months ago. I will also keep from making any prognostications about the decisions that could have led the directorate of the Paris Society to take considering the echo from our country's media that took account of the protest I wished to make before public opinion. It's enough for me that Mr. Cournut knows that it's within the scope of the SPP to extricate itself by simply openly recognising the error, the all too human error of Mr. Denis. I will immediately return my Pascalian sword to the scabbard with which it is in love.

But all the same how do you explain that the Director of the official organ of the SPP is indicating to the presse that you have without a doubt blown a fuse whilst the President of that very same Society addresses you so cordially in a private letter?

I am not trying to explain it to myself. Mr. Denis has his style, Mr. Cournut has his. I appreciate the one whilst the other rebuffs me. It's a little chaotic. Our colleagues from the Paris Society have not been robotised, that I know of, each one preserving his or her own personality. For instance, I received in the evening post the thanks of a member of the Society for having addressed my Letter to him in which he sees a highly entertaining "psychopathological document". Well, then, just to let him know that the little note he took care to send me has amused me, not that I consider it as schizographia: I recognised in it the rustic simplicity of the first edition Freudians who never hesitated to dip into the clinic in order to give each the names of birds. At one time one could print that without fear, and one did not deprive oneself of the Lust of making wild interpretations, a jouissance that has always been appreciated by connaisseurs. Today, these pratices have been relegated to secret conversations and private correpondance. The public is losing something there. Said to parody Cyrano, it's a little brief, young man, you could have said a lot more. For instance, "he blew a fuse." It's true that this retort had been preempted and brilliantly exploited by Mr. Denis. But why not say "he doesn't know how to control his aggressivity", or take your choice: obsessional rage, magalomania, narcissistic personality, hysterical crisis, change of life, perverse or borderline passage to the act, decompensation, even psychotic triggering. "At the end of tbe dispatch have I an affect?" Not at all: at the end I shake your hand, my dear colleague, you are in my parish.

Have you received expressions of sympathy, encouragement?

The first one came from my friend Francois Regnault pointed out to me that Leibniz asked himself somewhere, without doubt, in the "New Essays", perhaps in the "Monadology", "at what little wind about nothing in the blades of his mill the miller wakes up". The second from Madam Lichtenstein who approved of my exit from the shadows. Before the France-Culture broadcast I consulted yesterday my mentor, Catherine Clement, who gave me the most precious information before duly preaching to me. Finally, I had the pleasure of finding this morning on my return from broadcasting house a word from Raphael Sorin who took the time in the middle of the storm where he is with Houellebecq whom he is editing to write me that he was happy to find me once again as in our already distant youth "vibrant and terrible". We were in 6th form together at Louis-le-Grand in 1961-62. I also had the surprise to discover the 48th issue of the internal Bulletin of the SPP, March 98, containing a right of reply of nearly 200 lines obtained from Jean Cournut by Elisabeth Roudinesco armed with article 13 of the law of 28 July 1881, following the episode to which I had just alluded on the radio, namely the undignified protests aroused by the publication of an article she wrote in the Newletter of the IPA. Who sent me this letter, posted the following day at 19 hours? There was nothing in the enevelope but photocopies, but one could read on the back two initials: E.R. From my colleagues of the Ecole de la Cause freudienne the messages are too numerous to cite. The one from Philippe Lacadee, nevertheless, stands out, psychoanalyst in Bordeaux, who sent me a text that I will take up in one of my next "Letters": it's an extract from Pic de la Mirandole, can't be more topical.

Paris, 8 Sept. (LPA)- A radio broadcast, the article of a morning broadsheet, the first page of an evening broadsheet, word of mouth, have stimulated the circulation of JAM's "First Letter". Tschann, boulevard Montparnasse, the only Parisian bookshop to sell it, had to restock urgently. Three other bookshops demonstrated to have supplies which will be delivered today by the author in person; they are l'Arbre a lettres, bouelvard du Temple, l'Escalier, rue Monsieur de Prince, and Lipsy, rue des Ecoles. A bookshop in Lyon has been contacted. Mr. Gerard Mallassagne, psychoanalyst in Nime, offered with the assistance of friends to look after the circulation in the entire region of old Voie Domitienne, which includes the cities of Agde, Ales, Avignon, Banyuls-sur-mer, Beziers, Collioure, Cuxac d'Aude, Font-Romeu, Montpellier, Nimes, Perpignan, Pignan, Remoulins, Sete (country of Paul Valery and Georges Brassens) and Uzes.

Paris, 8 Sept. (LPA)- The Director of the Ecole de la Cause freudienne, Mr. Pierre-Gilles Gueguen sent us the following declaration yesterday evening: "I put the ECF fully behind the steps of Jacques-Alain Miller. We agree with his analysis of the article which triggered the affair and his indignation about the refusal of right of reply in contravention of press law.

The ECF, School of the pass, responsible institution, careful to the highest degree on the recuitment of its members as well as their training, in depth and permanent, cannot accept to be dismissed so lightly in a professional periodical sold in bookshops, then to be scandalously deprived by the Director of the periodical of the means to express its point of view as a right in the law. These are ways of doing things that do not have any place in a State based on the law, to be banished once and for all from the psychoanalytical field. We have no doubt been too patient. Those who defame us must know that henceforward we shall litigate each time our professional honour is at stake, given the faculty of reply in the conditions foreseen by current legislation. One is jealous of the success of our School. One is trying to attack the practice of the analysts who are members of the School and to ruin the confidence which their patients give to them.

Since the foundation of our School in 1981, we make known the results of our work regularly and discuss clinical and theoretical advances proposed by our members during our yearly study days, which are open to the public attended by up to 2000 professionals, and in our publications. For the last year we have been planning to say at our next Study Days on 25 and 26 November at the Palais des congres, Porte Maillot, "How one analyses in the Ecole de la Cause freudienne". The Press will be invited. Especially what concerns the theory and practice of psychoanalysis, the direction of the treatment, the use of transference, the length of the sessions, etc, we accept to debate with our colleagues whatever their orientation as long as they respect the ethical code common to men of knowledge. .

We can only be delighted to see that the Revue francaise de psychanalyse has suddenly become aware that the outlines of Lacanism are not graspable fifty years after having placed it on the index. But we acknowledge the slander of Mr. Diatkine under the fallacious pretext that a "scientific revue" is not the "place for challenges" who then refuses a right to reply, his proposal, quoted in today's "Liberation". He is speaking in the name of science. What do the scientists think?

Translated by Richard Klein

******************************************* - exclusive for the US