Terry1 - 11/07/00 14:41:12 EST
Perfume thank you for the address and congratulations on your web site, I need some tips from you. As you know the arguments around Lenin are rife and open to conjecture. Alex Callanicos has argued that the rejection by Lenin of world revolution in fact made Russia a state capitalist country. Lenin curtailed the world revolution and held it in check in one country. Trotsky argued for world revolution and was murdered with a pick axe for it. I am surprised that you have allowed the marxist dialectical materialist approach to shape the way you see things developing.
Of course Marx predicts the concentration of capital and fortells the Gramscian hegemonic response to it. But remember Marx's dying words recorded here in London where he was buried: 'I am not a marxist'
If you want to be a good capitalist it is advisable to read Marx as he is the only complete critique of capitalism. What surprises me about Callinicos and others is the violence that they do to their own members in the name of Party organisation - Orwell's 1984 is very apt to the Socialist Workers Party. What we should be asking is : 'What can Lacan do for ordinary people not what can Marx can do'. Or more aptly what can we do for ourselves. I thought Lacan abolished the determinist thesis with 'the homeless mind' . I hope we dont go back to that limited interpretation of the functioning of a human being again

perfume - 11/07/00 02:02:41 EST
Terry1, I know...the letters are tiny enough and you cannot see the website address where there is all the answers to your questions. I'll fix the size of the letters...
This is it: kwinrw.de/lenin. There's even a map in there.
Now about the participiation of the Marxist approach to the conference<
Again with Zizek the return is supposed to take the form of a return to Lenin... just about the return to the origins proper...

Terry1 - 11/06/00 17:39:56 EST
Perfume can you give the e-mail address for the meeting in Essen which scrolls the index page.The marxists Alex Callanicos and Frederick Jameson are talking at the conference. Alex's old friend in London Tony Cliff has recently died he developed the idea of Russia as a state capitalist country which was ready to fall rather than a communist country constrained by ideology. Alex Callanicos's Socialist Workers Party is still quite strong in England and has a rigid discilplinary approach to politics and organisation. Have you anything to say on the participiation of the Marxist approach to the conference?

Terry1 - 11/06/00 17:20:40 EST
Kant said: 'It has been my fortune to be married to metaphysics she has done me no favours'........ 'The heavenly stars above and the moral law within' Can anybody relate the incident where the sick man is ill in hospital and on the first week of his illness all his family and friends are at his bedside. The second week the number of loved ones decline..............and so on into the sixth week when there are just two people who come to visit the sick man .....until the 14th week when just a single man comes to visit the sick man regularly. On the 20th week the sick man who is almost dying says to the visitor : 'Why do you continue to come and visit me?' The visitor says :'.because it is my duty!'..The sick man says : ' but I always thought you came because you loved me?'

perfume - 11/06/00 17:04:06 EST
PR - you may want to read Lacan's article on Kant with Sade. You can see bits and pieces at the "symposium" http://www.lacan.com/forum.htm, in KANT WITH SADE (we didn't upload the whole article because of a matter of rights) Also at the "symposium" in KANT WITH SADE, there is Slavoj Zizek's article "Kant and Sade: The Ideal Couple." It was published in Lacanian Ink 13, and we did upload it all since the issue is sold out.

PR - 11/05/00 23:47:40 EST
I am new--and would be interested in reading/learning/hearing more about a couple of statements made in Josefina Ayerza's interview with Zizek, "Hidden Prohibition and the Pleasure Principle." Particularly, these two statements:
"Kant's practical reason, sustained by moral law, brings out desire at its utmost: we know nevertheless how pure desire culminates in the sacrifice of the object of love." (Ayerza)
And also..."Dreaming about possible satisfaction is already satisfaction in itself." (Zizek)

perfume - 11/04/00 04:00:50 EST
yes Clarissa, we will be having a feast - as you want to call it - for Lacanian Ink 17,
I'll let you now as soon as I know myself, where, how, when? still in the making...

Clarissa - 11/02/00 16:58:02 EST
will we have a feast for the launching of Lacanian Ink 17... where, how, when?

patricia - 10/24/00 23:10:43 EDT
intressed in french lacanian speech. For example the case of james Ellroy concerning Les nouveaux symptomes et les questions de struture

Rick - 10/24/00 04:08:36 EDT
I'd like to know if anyone here is familiar with Fink's clinical introduction to Lacan and, if so, what you think about it. Are there any clinicians here?

FBC - 10/22/00 10:42:39 EDT
Greaves. If I understand you right in your reference to the relation of the real to "withdrawl" I would say you have nailed it. We do sometimes "experience" the real but never while we are experiencing it. For example, if I sit in meditation and experience the storied "oneness with the universe" (this can sometimes happen on acid too and the following comments would apply equally) I don't recognise this "oneness" for what it is until AFTER the fact,as I withdraw. If I am at one with anything the state would seem no more novel than my "oneness" with my "self". The real is always rendered, experienced as a ripple in the symbolic. Thus when Lacan says that "the sexual relation doesn't stop not being writen" we might interprate this as meaning that as long as there is a sexual relationship there is no "writing" it (this is like Sarte's "live or tell"). But we can also say that any thing which is said about \the sexual relationship after it ends does not write about the sexual relationship but rather its "afterglow". Some where at any given time the sexual relation, like birth and death, is happening now and it still hasn't been writen, hasn't stopped not being writen, it continues unwriten.
As far as the "flying tripster" is concerned, first we must admit that when someone's brain is splattered on the sidewalk we might only speculate what they were thinking with it before hand. That having been said I can state that I have sat on a tenth story windowsill on acid and contemplated dread, the wonder of the question as to why it is that it seems so much more profound to sit on a tenth story window sill than a first. While it is true that the body has more potential energy at 110 ft. than at say 6, this energy is not more likely to be "accidentally" discharged for that. I suspect that people who jusm are not thinking about flying or "calling" (which is more likely than the former) but rather experiencing something like the radical contingency of their own existence, the sense, not necessarily morbid, that if I were to jump and perish it wouldn't "matter" in any ultimate sense (acid can take one to some pretty extreem heights of abstraction). I sincerely doubt that any adult believes that they can take such a plunge without doing severe damage.

FBC - 10/22/00 10:22:19 EDT
Hey Hanna, can you elaborate on what in particular you find to be "bullshit"? Understand I am not what you could call a "Lacanian" but I like his work and pirate what I can therefrom. I believe any criticism you might have would tell us a lot about you, us and provide a way to adress specivfic ideas in Lacan. I think the man would have liked a proceedure issuing from such a challange. It has been my experience that sometimes people can be a bit dogmatic with regard to Lacan, (no one specifically;-)) like any thinker who's enthusiasts use them for a map rather than a compas. Any way do map for us what you percieve to be the shape of this "corner". As to the regulars here, please pay good heed to any thing Hanna might have to enlighten us to remembering that Lacan was a bit of a heretic and theory is all the better for it.

HANNA - 10/22/00 05:24:34 EDT
What the heck? We were just bringing up Lacan...I have no experience with this idea and here I am. Hope I'm not interupting....isn't this Lacanian stuff a bit of bullshit? Talking yourselves into a corner, seems anyway. Perhaps you can clue me in...this site is not user friendly.

briank - 10/21/00 15:50:19 EDT
Terry One--
If you get this in time you might consider taking Emerson's advice to himself and try looking at the horizon with your head between your legs. Or you might consider his advice to Thoreau: smoke, drink and eat plenty of icecream. I've written a paper on Emereson, friendship and the scraping of the real--the section in Walden on sounds, percussions, squawking birds would make for good reading. I found the pond water there remarkably round and tasty. Last bit of advice, because I know you like art, would be to check out anything you can find in the museum there by the "luminist" painters Thomas Heade or Fitz Hugh Lane. What would you call their paintings other than luminist, which is, I think, a dubious term? Do they bring to mind for you anything having to do with the somatic chora, the as yet unstriated body of a child?

greaves - 10/21/00 15:32:54 EDT
here's another fanatasy gracias a terry one. next thing you'll be telling us, without irony, that time equals money. give us another. (cute reference, by the way, to Kant's apotheme of the gallows). my counter to your assertion is that you only tell us half the story; drugs definitely bend reality about the real, but that veritable experience with the real is not to be found while riding the high out but much more powerfully while trying to withdraw. perhaps there's someone out there who can back me on this. take, say, acid. why do people quite often feel they can fly while they're on it? the point is that's what we imagine they must be thinking or else why would they just jump off the roof or out a window. but in fact they do not think they can fly. what they really think is that they'll make a parabolic ascent, which is a completely different thing. flying means resisting with a counterforce the gravity which would pull you to the earth; we do that all the time in dreams. a parabolic ascent, however, means having a center of gravity which tends in an entirely other direction, up. if you read kleist you might want to name this sensation grace, or better yet, "calling". but definitely not flying. but so what? just because you've experience a reversal of center of gravity why should you want to jump out the window. referring back to the idea of "calling" i'll answer that in one word: superego. perhaps you've experienced this: sitting on a window sill enough stories up that the fall will definitely kill you, and knowing that you must go all the way out or you must go completely back in--it's one or the other and all the way, but .... there is absolutely nothing telling you which is the right decision, in or out . . . only you must decide . . . now. i would say that superego as pressure and vox has much to do with the real, but a real which calls us from an infinite distance. the position of the one seated on the windowsill is very much that of the subject of the law, feeling impelled to do something decisive and yet not knowing, have no way of knowing, what to do. the situation is all or nothing.
now, take withdrawing from a drug. suddenly we are no longer in the realm of desire and obsession as we were on the window sill (what do i want, what do i choose?). instead we find ourselves in the realm of drive, quite literally on the other side of the pleasure principle, beyond it, locked in futile repetition . . . i know this will take the pain away (that this table will appear flat again to me, that these four walls and floor and ceiling will once again cohere into a room, that my body will stop feeling like an insect i am riding, that this goddamn orgasm will stop) . . . and that is precisely why i must NOT take it! whereas as the real in tripping is felt way over there, the real in withdrawal, serious withdrawal from chemical addiction--which i would wish on no one--is felt right here.

Terry1 - 10/20/00 18:54:10 EDT
All children are Lacanian
What Lacan taught us children already know. Time is socialised. The variable session and the cut of the session was an attempt to come to terms with this. Drug addiction as an opening onto the real.
Freud noted the effects of cocaine he wanted to put in the place of cocaine psychoanalysis. He saw how cocaine was related to work, as a sought of food that gives strength. He noted how phantasy can exhalt exhileration and euphoria in patients. What he needed to look at was the conversion of energy into work.. Energy is an isolated system. It is constant. Cocaine can save energy. Food converts energy into work. In 1781 in La Paz Freudsaw that after a seige only those who had taken cocaine had survived the seige. He could see that cocaine gives a marked increase in motor power and motor power is linked to well being. From this we can see that cocaine results in an increase in work capacity which is related to an increase motor energy and euphoria. This is a remedy for a weak psychic state.
Why does cocaine work?
Cocaine is at the place where psychoanalysis should be! The addiction to a toxic substance like cocaine can be calledtoxicomania.
Pyshoanalytic theory of toxicity.
Cocaine can release energy for work.
In seminar 17 Lacan notes that entropy is a virtual energy that is lost In seminar 20 he notes that jouissance serves nothing and cannot be reconciled with the pleasure principle. We enter reality with the scaffold of jouissance. phallicjouissance and the jouissance of the other.
The subject borrows the body
The pleasure zones are cut out of the body. the subject is torn apart there is no gap btween the real and the symbolic. Cocaine opens the gap. In seminar 22 lacan says : 'what can we do with another body other than tear it to pieces', THE REAL TOXICITY IS NOT IN THE BLOOD. tHE DRUG IS A FLOOD GATE THAT OPENS AND CLOSES TOWARDS JOUISSANCE.
Why do we feel pain?. Loss is structured like a language. We feel pain because the organism is regulated. Why do so many people tage drugs?. Toxicomania is a socia;l symptom that creates a social bond. this creates a subject. Drug addicts are highly susceptible to transference. Toxicomani ( drug addiction/experimentation) is an attempt to break away. The drug stops the relation with the big Other. Toxicomania is a homostasis it eclipses the signifier and absorbs it.
Toxic space can take many different forms Toxicomania or drug addiction can be thought of as a way of avoiding being duped. Toxicomania is a mental illness that has a stucture. In analysis we must try to keep the gap open for the addict to save them revrting to toxic substances to do this for them. The ethics of the stoic is the ethics of psychoanalysis: 'Thy will be done'

- 10/20/00 08:26:12 EDT
greetings to all... is anyone out there?

Terry1 - 10/17/00 16:43:32 EDT
I am going to Boston on Saturday can anybody supply me with any special Lacanian or Emersonian/Thoreau knowledge before my trip

perfume - 10/14/00 00:54:40 EDT
greaves, beautiful poetics indeed... now let me tell you, if only to supply for the discussion, that I did in fact ask Terry1 to become the moderator, and he refused to be officially assigned as such. So I was happy enough to see he was still doing it, in his own timing, in fair accordance with his actual desire...

Terry1 - 10/13/00 15:08:55 EDT
Greaves - Beautiful poetics, how do you know I am not reaching my intended target?.Perfume once did communicate with me inviting me to assist in moderation. I refused because I could not give the level of commitment I felt it deserved. I do the second best and try to contribute/develop ideas from people like yourself. I hope you do not mind? Yours was a good ananlytical point.

greaves - 10/12/00 18:33:13 EDT
To: terry one
wouldn't you say, from the number of messages you send, that it's not so much Perfume's as your own jouissance which is everywhere in evidence here, even if it appears, as Alain Grosrichard would say, projected unto an imaginary other from another hemisphere, some exotic subject-supposed-to-enjoy. i mean, for all that you post and post and post, countless letters reaching out, can you honestly say any of them have ended in what could reasonably be nominated an act of communication? yes, they always arrive at their destination, but have you never achieved your intention? and yet you try and try. so many coins in duchamp's fountain, this generation's grecian urn. what could it be that this uninterrupted flow of gifts is standing in for, what evacutory rim do they swirl within? what speculative illusion do they create? bold lover, what beyond?

Terry1 - 10/10/00 14:29:47 EDT
Thank Perfume Milos, she produces the site for our consumption and her own jouissance.

Milos - 10/09/00 20:09:25 EDT
Last night was my first time on your site. Thanks, Tery1!

Terry1 - 10/09/00 17:31:47 EDT
Helen Ps tell us your full story in words we can read.

Terry1 - 10/09/00 17:30:26 EDT
Milos : If I might say, this chat room has a very reflective pace. This site is probably the best site on the web for Lacan. If you want responses you must be prepared to wait sometimes. Having said that if you look in the data bank there is a lot of useful material that may give you insight.

Terry1 - 10/09/00 17:27:11 EDT
I answered Helen Ps. Can you state what you are trying to say clearly?

Çelen Ps. - 10/09/00 08:47:34 EDT
Excuse me,but who answered?I was talking about a fight taking place here between psys.We found many anorthodox ones and they provoque disorder.'Non au plagiarisme',Lacan said.But they don't even know Lacan....The tribe rejects them.They give seduction a bad name.

Milos - 10/08/00 21:19:04 EDT
p.s. i am comming from belgrade...

Milos - 10/08/00 21:16:53 EDT
Is somebody alive ???? i mean , i was waithing for a long time in the chat room, and.... there was noone!
and, this is my first time on lacanian chat , even i didnt know until 30 min ago that lacanian chat existes..

FBC - 10/05/00 10:36:11 EDT
Right Todd and what is more, what is so wonderfully and terribly ironic is that they have to so depart in order to know this. The fall is, so to speak the cause of the return. This is why any talk of "reunion" with being as such is talk in vane. If such a reunion were to occur it would have to be sundered in order to be appriciated.
As far as what we lack. What it is that makes us speak. I think it is lack itself.
We are in some sense already complete and this leaves us nothing to do but perish. Not wanting to perish is the tention which insures the everlasting power of the pleasure principal. Always wanting something we already have and miss in this very having. A blessing in the guise of a curse.

Todd - 10/05/00 09:47:16 EDT
the end to which things aim is that which they depart from by becomming.That's really where the hegel came into the lacan. they work together so well.

Helen Ps - 10/03/00 17:27:40 EDT
Can you state what you say clearly ( without mentioning names)What has actually happened?
The ripple of your words appears to indicate you are upset?

HelenPs - 10/03/00 06:02:05 EDT
I've been away because of a fight [MALPRACTICE].Social workers and old ladies are not what they used to be...Nervous break down.Anybody remembers the film BOXING HELENA?My case concerns a psychotic gay doctor who dismembers women[because he lost his member] and promotes gay hookers.It is real.On the road to heaven he crossed me...Because I'm not his mother,he thought I was his father...He is dangerous,he defied the golden rule.How do you think he will be punished?He is already exposed.L'agent provocateur...de.. 5 suicides...And he still 'works' in a placebo of a clinic..JUST CRIMINAL.Fortunately,the Doctorate and the Prostate,knows everything.

perfume - 10/02/00 18:54:44 EDT
I heard you Terry1. I like the idea of presentation and re-presentation in concern with a project, in the sense that a project is something at once outside yourself. Lacan often played on the root meaning of the word "standing outside" oneself, or "stepping outside" oneself - on its close connection in Greek with the root of the word "existence." So he uses it to talk about "an existence which stands apart from," which insists as it were from the outside; something not included on the inside, something which, rather than being intimate, is "extimate."

Terry1 - 10/01/00 16:54:31 EDT
Yes we are as lacan says:'speaking beings' we speak because we 'lack' something. We speak because we desire something. What we desire is to be complete (Parmenides: 'the one is one'
Lacan's theory is a complete system. The real, the symbolic and the imaginary are 3 orders which construct a human being. The first words we speak are a cry, a call for unity.
The drive is a montage which circles around the object. The object is not its goal. When you have got what you want you dont want it. 'Desire' ensures you will want something else. When you stop desiring you are dead.
That is why we must have a project as Perfume has a project to present and re-present this notice board for those who use it.

FBC - 10/01/00 14:23:06 EDT
And yet we continue to speak, perhaps speaking toward silence. Perhaps dogma is the vanity of thinking that one has the last word (like in the Buddhist story about the monks who take vows of silence. After the first day one monk says "Look how wonderfully we are keeping our vow". The second monk says: "Ahh so you speak". Third monk "I am the only one of us which has kept silence".
I agree whole heartedly with the variability of meaning and make, try to make, it a consideration in all I do. Never the less silence is always interpreted, either by one's self or another, as having a meaning. Indeed even to say that silence is the goal of speech, a proposition with which I agree, this silence, as the goal reaches back to speech as its "reason".
One of the greatest beauties of Lacan's theory, at least as I understand it, is that it seems to indicate that the end to which things aim is that which they depart from by becomming. An unaviodable folly which we are obliged to partake of. What is more, it seems that knowing this binds us even more tightly to this folly. Its a kick isn't it.

Terry1 - 09/30/00 05:39:43 EDT
Briefly to repeat myself, truth cannot be found in words. Words lie, propositions are not enough. When we say more than we know the truth speaks. The goal of language is silence. All meanuing is variable and based on reference back in the semiotic chain of meaning. The unconscious is the treasury of signifiers which make this possible. The nearest Christianity gets to this is when in the bible we read: 'Adam seized the word'

FBC - 09/28/00 17:18:36 EDT
I'm not sure I see where I mix either knowledge or education with truth. Truth I'm not even sure of. I think of truth as a correspondence between propositions, thats it. To education I would say yes, it is a practice, the practice employed by Socrates in my mind. The process of imparting existing ideas is absolutely necessary to, but something different from, or at least not identical with education. Education, in my opinion proceeds from asking the subject questions which they will answer and in the process discover resonances and inconsistencies in their own thinking as well as the thinking which underlies preexisting eyes.
As far as knowledge goes I think we should make a distinction between knowing in the aquisition of "facts" and the kind of knowledge one has of an activity such as dancing or lovemaking. In the later it is helpful to have access to the former for precedents and methods but, and this is the point not to be missed, if one needs to learn how to do something they will find a way to do it which may or may not correspond to/be as effective as, ways in which this thing has been done before.
Now of course we have an enormous cultural herritage behind us which gives us the ability to do more things than could be learned anew in a lifetime but when we speak of the education system, and particularly of the prison ecducation system (which I have no knowledge of whatever) it seems that in terms of available materials we would want to have the higest quality available but this doesn't define what quality is and that was my point really. What should we want to find in a prison library? What ever we do find, I believe it would be possible to use this material in conjunction with the native cognative faculties of humans to train these faculties to discern what its quality might be. I realize that some of these thoughts might seem a bit vague but I'd like some feedback before saying more. Thanks

Terry1 - 09/27/00 16:50:02 EDT
FBC there is a distinction between knowledge (a process) education (a practice) and Truth. Knowledge isn't Truth. Education isn'truth. I think you are confusing these elements.
In the prison education system the function of education is in my opinion to waken people up but many want to send students to sleep. Even in this situation education is still not truth. Freud acknowledged the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake can lead to an illness he called 'epistemia'. As for Brad Pitt the person who trained him for his film fights here in London, thinks he may beat Tom Cruise. What does that mean? In his new film 'Snatch' he associated with gypsies here in London to gain authenticity for his character. Gypsies do have a bare nuckle fight circuit in England. However ALL boxers even Gypsies are afraid when they box, in my opinion, and hold in contempt those people who watch them. As a person myself who has had 150 fights in countries thoughout the world as a national boxing champion I have nothing but pathetic disgust for those who try to revere boxing as something beautiful to watch OTHER THAN BOXERS. When one boxes as I have done in front of 30000 people in Africa for instance it is always with reluctance that I fought. Why should one human being fight another without a cause? When fighting, the loss of consciousness is always apparant and if one loses by a knockout one loses ones identity as one literally loses conscoiusness. I was never knocked out but knocked out many reluctanly. I always ensured I never layed the first blow but always tried to lay the last one. Boxing is a pathetic process if it is done for money. It is is in essence primal and unjustifiably stupid. I did it for money as a youth because my family needed it. Why should peole have to fight to live?

FBC - 09/23/00 11:34:52 EDT
Just looking in here I see something, a question of the "worthieness" of art. I would like to know; worthieness for what? If we are going to speak of art in those terms we need to know what "good" art lifts us toward or bad art drags us down from.
Now of course I have my oppinions about these questions BUT I also recognise that my stardard, by ideal, is fantasmic given that if there is a truth, which must ultimately reside in the foreclosed Real, than I can't know what it is and my great aesthetec and metaphysical insight, much as I treasure it, must be recognised as the contingent result of arbitrary mechinisms. Like Lacan waking to that knocking and reconstructing himself thereabout, the materia prima from which I am made is always already there when I try to analyse it. Since I am already this very material, (I am speaking of the particular contingencies of my personal narritive from my point of view)what I make of this material will already be one of its properties.
What I see in psychoanalytic theory, espeacially in Lacan, is a law which states simply and catagorically that the only thing which always stands as necessary is contingency itself. To put it another way, the only thing which is trancendentis immanence itself, the process of making immanence. Of course the difficulty in such a conclusion is that it rises out of that which it imscribes so that if we accept it we still cannot prove it. This is why I spoke about faith a while back in terms of theoretical knowledge. Now I am willing to accept such a law, to recognise its authority, on faith but I can not delude myself for a moment into the belief that I have uncovered Truth.
We can not pass beyond the primordial repression which is the basis of the unconcious.
What this has to do with the discussion of "good books" is this. If one seeks to inculcate culture with a certain agenda (and we all do to an extent) then it is easy to say what books are good (Plato says as much in the Republic when he speaks of the service rendered to the republic by the stories of gods). On the other hand, if we want to be analysts, to understand what makes a person or civilization what it is and not simply remake said culture, then all books are good in that they help us answer the question, "what do you want". This, more than anything else is the question of analysis and to see what a person chooses to consume is to know what they lack.
It is also worthwhile to mention that if we look at a collection of donated books we also see what the culture at large is willing to part with. We might also take into consideration what sort of collection might be donated to a prison as compared to a school. This will tell us what things the civilization is willing to expend in a given direction. If the books which people prison libraries is trash we shouldn't wonder why, it is because the populace sets a certain value on prisoners and therefore spends only that value. Futhermore, if such collections lack works of "quality" we might consider who it is who contributes such works. My guess is that few of them come from thse who's personal collections are of the kind which would be considered "good"; now why is that?
The question of how Lacan figures into one's work is an interestion one. I am interested in philosophy, what was once called "first philosophy" and so I am interested in lacan from a kind of "metaphysical" stand point. Someone else, someone who's interest run more toward the "social sciences" might have an interest born of understanding what stratifies social groups. LynneO states that [her?] innitial interest was in understanding a sweetheart. Perhaps this reason best illustrates my point. When we read a certain author we do so because we think they are "after something" and this something is something which we believe we might be after. Isn't that why we gather in this forum, to see what other readers of Lacan are after and how this might relate to what we are after?

briank - 09/19/00 18:20:24 EDT
we're eventually given not only incidental evidence but also a bold declaration informing us that the film's lead is in fact a split personality, that Pitt's character and Norton's character (we don't recall their names) are in fact different aspects of the same person. but why must that be the full extent of identity confusion. doesn't it seem that there is in fact also an unspoken identity between Marla and Pitt? between Marla and Norton? that they too are different aspects of the same person? that the film has an interest in not only identity, but also gender, confusion seems obvious enough considering the radical extremes monstrously embodied in the Meatloaf character. the line cited by LO has an intriguing ambiguity about it, evoking at once both sex with other and sex with self, sex as simultaneously externally and internally directed. it seems to me the film opens up an irrational middle ground wherein a whole array of psyches and drives (sex and violence) become indistinguishable and pass through one another. the objectification of this horrifying incoherence would be what then? the combined suctioned off fat, collected from numerous distinct bodies, which Pitt and Norton harvest from the dumpster behind the clinic and later refine into soap. this process of boiling off and solidifying collective fat back into discreet individual bars seems akin to me to the formation of the subject, delimited and purged of jouissance. but remember Pitt's narrative about the discovery of soap: ancient people's found that their clothes always turned out cleaner when they washed them downstream from a place of human sacrifice, immolation and ash. it would seem the virtue of the dead victims (the excluded excess of LIFE) crept through the soil and into the wash water, made its way surreptiously into the symbolic, lived on and carried with it a hint of perfume.
but what really intrigues me, and LO will have to help me here (she working in the right environment), is the possible relationship not just between soap and fetishism, but between soap, fetishism and the commodification of art, monumental corporate art of the sort targetted for destruction in the film. and is it that we see this art immediately destroyed, or is it rather simply taken out of stasis and reserve, put into motion, made to expend itself, release its potential energy. i recall two scenes: the round phallus (solar disk) set to roll, and the gradual sagging to the earth of the corporate headquarters in the final scene of the film. rotten sun enough?

Terry1 - 09/19/00 15:59:32 EDT
Lynne O's provacative discourse and attempt at siily antagonism is well taken. Please dont stop LynneO We have a new contributor to our noticeboard, Lynne O, long may she stay. Education is the :'Bringing into life of the Individual' Lynne O has come to life. Education has to be didactic and critical otherwise its not education but training. Conscientization this is called.' Education is a fire to be lit not a bucket to be filled' Seneca. I tried to light the prisoners, fire not fill their buckets.
In my short stay in the Education Dept of a prison I met people I new from my childhood in there who were there for no other reason than social structure and poverty. I would presume to say after facilitating 4 lifers that what prisoners want is Freedom and then TRUTH. Prisons are mad places constructed on lies where the discourse of truth is impossible. Michelle Foucalt's 'Discipline and Punish' the Birth of the Prison etc all relate to Bentham's Panopticon and the gaze to control by watching.Prison's are a functional requiremnt produced by extracted surplus value.

LynneO - 09/19/00 00:59:55 EDT
Dear Terry1 and BrianK --
Wow. What? Were there no matches with which to burn those 29,996 bad books? It must have been something of a bitch, reading them all quickly enough to discover they were completely unworthy of the prisoners in time to ensure they did not waste their "time" assessing those books themselves. Are these prisoners you work with children? Mentally retarded? Undeserving of even those few choices left to them? Do you have something against -- (I'm assuming this is what gets donated)-- Harlequin romances and boy's adventure stories? Your comments on women suggest otherwise. I'm only suggesting that you may want to read Foucault on what it really means about your relation to power to take the podium and speak for the oppressed. (By the way, BrianK--if you decide to take Terry1's advice, would you mind sending me all of the books of which Terry doesn't approve? I think, based on what you've written on this site, that I would like very much to know what you know).
But Terry1, you asked why I waited so long to chime in and what I do and how Lacan fits into my work.
I suppose I waited because I am not a scholar and was afraid of making a fool of myself. (I'm not so worried about that now). I was introduced to Lacan by a sweetheart who was reading Lacan. So I started reading Lacan to learn more about him (the sweetheart).
I've spent my career as a senior writer/editor for a hospital company (23 hospitals, three of them research hospitals) and have written or edited everything from ad copy to patient education materials to articles for JAMA. Lacan relates to my work only if I make that arrangement for myself. But it's pretty to do. Shadowing surgical nurses, for example, I've seen that they spend a good deal of time watching people "wake up." And so one reads Lacan's description of himself awakened from a nap by a knock. "With this impatient knocking I had already formed a dream, a dream that manifested to me something other than this knocking. And when I awake, it is in so far as I reconstitute my entire repesentation around this knocking...When this knocking occurs, not in my perception, but in my consciousness, it is because my consciousness reconstitutes itself around this representation--that I know that I am waking up, and that I am KNOCKED UP. But here I must question myself as to what I am at that moment." "Observe what I am directing you towards--towards the symmetry of that structure that makes me, after the awakening knock, able to sustain myself, apparently only in relation with my representation, which, apparently, makes of me only consciousness."
Again, Wow. Being present, watching, when someone is waking up in recovery takes on all kinds of new colors if Lacan is on your mind.
BrianK will probably also remember the line from Fight Club, (it is in voiceover that very first and fleeting moment we see Brad Pitt travleing opposite Ed Norton on the walking sidewalk in the airport.) Norton, the insomniac, is romanticizing sleep and says, if you could really could sleep, "Could you wake up a different person?" But actually, I have two favorite lines in "Fight Club" -- neither of them as frightening as BrianK's favorite "You don't know where I've been." But maybe he'd like to comment. The first was maybe just for laughs -- after the apartment explodes and, speaking of the lost furniture, Brad Pitt says: "You did lose a lot of versatile solutions for modern living." The second was Norton's description of Marla. "Marla-the little scratch on the top of your mouth that would heal if you could stop tonguing it--only you can't." Anything to say about Marla, BrianK?

Terry1 - 09/18/00 16:03:16 EDT
Briank....There are things you learn in life that you cannot read in books or films. Forget Brad Pitt what do YOU think. I used to lecture in a prison education department. In the prison library out of 30000 books there were only four that were any good. I advised the prisoners to read these 4 and reject the rest. I'm trying to save you a convoluted journey that will in the end prove useless Briank. It is your decison whether you accept this advice.

briank - 09/18/00 13:37:53 EDT
dear Teary One--"You don't know where I've been."--Brad Pitt

p.s. are there any other unambiguously unworthy books out there you'd like to put on your index?

Terry1 - 09/17/00 17:24:07 EDT
Why have you waited so long to chime in? Tell us about your work and how Lacan fits into it?A further point on my related rendering of the lecture on the face surgeon. He argued that Art is for beauty not shock. Plotinus said: 'When we encounter the ugly we shrink away' Leonardo noted : 'He who wishes to relate his dreams must be fully awake'
Art anesthetic or aesthetic?
Aesthetic art comes from a passive mind.... form without life. Anesthetic art leads to degradation. The decay of consiousness is related to our way of life. Graffiti can be thought of as a crime. Sensations are the fuel of the mind. The eternal value of Art. Art must have divine beauty. Aesthetic beauty forces expansion. Anesthetic beauty creates contraction. Micheal Angelo spoke about the Surpentine Arrangement to show that love must be proved by facts. The functional side of the brain ( Left side = verbal etc) produces anesthetic art Today we have no creation but annihilation. Beauty has order. wo/man longs for order. Alberti notes this. Symmetry is the primary aspect of proportions. The body has proportions the loss of limbs creates a psychical reactions. Dis-ease = disease. The quest for order is in our nature as is the quest for mastery. ' In a pond of dirty water the lotus always blooms' The law of least effort supports the beauty of the Golden Section. Aprodite is an idea of devotion to beauty
There is an organising intelligence which gives us a step into consiosusness . Proportion = rhythm.
The Bhagavad Gita states : 'man is made by his belief' A visible reality is a plastic world. The limitations of materialism demonstrate this. Art is the spiritual respiration giving life to living. Artists propose but intuition disposes. Spontaneity is a characteristic of intuitive expression. All aesthetic objects express Chi though formless it acts through form.
Picasso noted that : 'All children are artists' like their mothers.
It is strange about women and art. Homosexual men like women. Lesbian women like women. Why?
Leonardo's mother poured her love into him. His father left him. It is acknowledged that Leonardo was a homosexual but never practiced . Instead his tremendous artistic creativity was the result of the mother's love. the Mona Lisa is his mother. With the smile of a giving mother Women are the creators, the artists. A woman's life is Art. Women dont have to paint pictures they make the brains that paint the pictures.

LynneO - 09/17/00 02:33:14 EDT
Dear BrianK, Terry1, and AnnieB:
This board has taken such interesting swerves lately I've decided to chime in for the first time. Can it be true, Terry1, that you find something "only" about painting? (What an astonishing dismissal of art!) Or is it "only" men? (In any case, do paint on BrianK!)
I will confess though, that having produced more than one set of those "brains and feet" myself I'd love to call myself an artist -- except that by that logic, when those stinky feet do something biological, like grow a fungus, I'd have to call them artists too -- and I'm not clever enough to defend that.
Not to downplay childbirth -- but AnnieB's discussion of the "face surgeon" was interesting in the context of the exchange between BrianK and Terry1. For fifteen years I've written case studies for physicians -- two of whom are craniofacial surgeons. They work not only with accident victims but with children born with severe congenital deformities. (One wishes the products of the "women" who "make" these children were afforded the respect for originality artists are--especially when they come out kind of cubist.)
Not long ago, for example, a six year old girl was enountered by one of these physicians in Chile. Her left eye was where you would expect to find it, but her right eye was located below her right cheekbone (it was blind). The cleft in her palate cut so high into her face that she had no nose at all. She could see out of her left eye, but could not speak. Her mother had taken her outside the house only a handful of times, so relentess was the ridicule. Not a happy canvass.
The physicians performed 9 surgeries. The skin is cut from ear to ear over the top of the head and rolled completely down. Her eye was relocated and the surgeon used a paste made from the bone in her hip to form a nose. His goal was to do as little injury to her as possible while making for her a face that fell somewhere within the bounds of normal. Taking this bit of the real, one might say, and constituting of it some socially negotiable reality. (Like AnnieB's doc, this surgeon has studied art but does not claim to produce it). It raises questions.
One final thought: Since when does refusing to repent of artistic impulses (as BrianK argued must be done) imply that one rejects ambiguity (as Terry1 accuses him of)? It would seem to me to be evidence that one embraces ambiguity? I look forward to the two of you duking it out!

Terry1 - 09/16/00 16:27:36 EDT
Briank : Forget Goya he is not dear to me. He is just a man who tried to represent reality. 'fight club', have you ever fought? Do you actually know what fighting is? Aristotle teaches us that as men near danger and the end of their life, they laugh. Forget Althusser a waste of time, His ISAs will get you nowhere. Forget George Lucaks another Marxist who forget that theory without practice is blind and practice without theory is sterile ( Aristotle) Berger in his own way tried to answer question that bothered him. Duchamp's urinal was a response to the plasticity of the world as he saw it. As was Mondrian's. attempt to represent the Platonic truths. Joseph Beauys and his 'fat' experiences in the 2nd world war are another attepmt to represent a world that is essentially lived internally You appear to have the basic human condition of the inability to accept ambiguity. I see Lacanian artists as ccapable of representing ambiguity be it a trace of human hair or a scarred face by bending reality (fracturing it) they achieve this 'truth' as they express it. 'As an artist' you say? Briank what is an artist? What are you trying to do as an 'Artist' All women are Artists they make brains and feet, men only paint.

briank - 09/15/00 21:29:53 EDT
some bomb track about a bullet in your fucking head.
there's plenty we can live with without being in the least aware of it until we are forced to confront it. but what about that scene in fight club where brad pitt gets the living shit beat out of him and laughs all the way through the ordeal? he doesn't end up as radically fucked up as the beautiful blonde boy whose face is permanently destroyed by edward norton, but is there any sense of release availible in having passed through that kind of one-way gate, in having become monstrous? i think not only of goya (dear to terry1), but also of his contemporary lautremont, especially the section in maldoror where our hero carves an "eternal" smile (symbol of beauty, the good) onto his own face by slicing the corners of his mouth.
i was going to ask annieb about her resistance to lamericana and if it had anything to do with what she perceived to be an overinvestment in the mirror, whether the finding yet another example of the mirror phase doesn't become yet another occaision for readymade recognition. I spent the summer reading althusser (over and against lukacs), not the middle work on ideology so much as the earlier anti-humanist work on the later marx. this shifted my attention in reading lacan away from mirrors and identifications, allowed me to perceive the important critique of the ego constituted by the exact sciences, epistemology of the concept, "pure theory".
last bone to pick: why do i, as an artist, hate john berger so much? every time someone quotes ways of seeing to me, i want to assume that person is another pathetic quitter just like john berger, who stopped painting nudes for political reasons, and very pedestrian ones at that. at least he could have been like duchamp who quit painting nudes in 1914 because he stopped believing in the human anatomy (see de Duve). Or you could read Joslett's book, Infinite Regress, ("infinite egress") and ask yourself why berger couldn't have, like duchamp, attempted his own working through the trauma of the nude instead of just walking away or turning reactionary. Berger seems actually to have believed he could escape the political implications of life/drawing by simply turning away from it himself and critiquing (which is to say blaming) it in others, from the safe position of ideological purity once he had seen the light. But when did we ever start valuing, believing in, repentence in art? Berger moral position is no more feasible than thinking one doesn't have to run the gauntlet of gender or that one can actually reach the end of the ordeal, that one can assume a neutral or natural or final position regarding being male or female. As with sexuation, or even cigarette smoking (you may never light up, but we're all smokers here, some of us simply in the modality of NON-smokers), one, especially an artist, must take up a position with regard to the nude figure. It is one of the a prioris of modernism, one of those Kantian revolving doors, and, even remaining on the outside, one cannot but pass through its defiles. Yes, yes, berger does take up a position; he's contra. But one can't help but feel that he doesn't view the nude as a symptom so much as a downright sickness, that he holds to a belief that (even if such not availible to HIM anymore) someone else could be brought up to approach art innocently, that such a person could, and conceiveably as a modern, be able to escape the pressure of nudity upon us, could be able, as an adult, to view the human figure and remain innocent. everything i have read in psychoanalyis tells me this is the very stuff of fantasy.

Terry1 - 09/12/00 15:10:35 EDT
Thank you AnnieB for the information
Lacanian's would argue .'The blind can see' because seeing is learnt. Oscar Kokoshka set up in Vienna a 'School of seeing'. Goya painted ugly people in an attempt to redefine beauty bt transforming the way people 'see' beauty. He was trying to work againt the normalising effects of vision. John Berger also suggests that what we see is not what's there.
Several weeks ago I heard a lecture by a 'Face Surgeon' talking about beauty in sculpture. The face surgeon actually rebuilt faces after serious road accidents. His first degree was in Art History. He realised as a boy that after he broke his ankle the surgeon fixed it but didn't do it properly. The result was the boy was left with a deformity that meant as a man he always walked with a limp. As a student he then moved from Art History to Medicine then Surgery When this surgeon rebuilds a face he stands over the patient and waits until left and right brain come into attunement and then looks at the patients face upside down. His concept of beauty is 'classical' When he feels ready he begins to rebuild the face on classical grounds aware that the patient will have to live with the result for the rest of their life. He argued againt the Lacanian model of a decentered human being. The agument being that beauty is perfect and perfection is the soul's essence. The apotheosis of beauty in art is reached in MichaelAngleo and Raphael. Proportions like the 'Golden Section' are functionally purposeful. When we 'see' beautiful things we are moved towards the nuemenal or perfect world tthat Plato articulates. The thesis he developed was one of a 'perfect' form that is inherent all things whose aim and function is to bring inner peace and calm.
When he has finished building his face he usually says: 'Thank God for the Golden Section'

AnnieB - 09/11/00 23:40:54 EDT
Umbr(a) is published by the psychoanalytic group of Buffalo. You can get it from Amazon.
As far as the other question is concerned, of course. People use that movie The Matrix as a metaphor, I know it's not. Most of the time I feel exactly like Keanu Reeves waking up in his pod of goop. It's not pleasant and it's not unpainful. Notice he finds all these holes on his body. He opens his eyes and asks why can't I see? Because he's never used his eyes before. His trajectory in that movie is waking up (Did you know the last song in the movie is Wake Up by Rage Against the Machine?") The first words to him by the computer are Wake up...

Terry1 - 09/10/00 06:32:52 EDT
Visiting the National Gallery in London for more than 20 years has always inspired me. The works of Goya I find fascinating. Can anybody comment on the works of Goya?. What I do know is that at 45 he went deaf. He bought a house in Madrid called: 'The House of the Deaf Man'. Goya painted the walls of the house with the caprices, some of the most profound paintings a human being has ever done.It was at this time that the Duchess of Alba declared her love for him. Goya's painting of the Duchess reveals on the fingers of her two rings. On one ring is wripainted Goya and on the other Alba.
Goya was nothing exceptional as an artist he struggled to get into the academy ( on the second attempt) The real Goya was born when he went deaf. ( The Beethoven of Art?).
Manet said of Goya: 'I have two Gods, Goya and the sun' Can we say that Goya was the founder of Modern Art or was it our oun Turner in the UK? The 'cockney' Turner who had no education to speak of and whose father ran a pub (saloon bar) in the East end of London. Turner painted prostitutes and the debris of life, Ruskin burnt these paintings to preserve the memory of Turner.
One of Goya's last sketches was of an old man with a stick. The catchline was : 'And still I learn' his last painting was : 'The milkmaid of Bordeaux' Has anybody any knowledge of Goya and his use of colour that would be useful on this site?

Terry 1 - 09/10/00 05:29:54 EDT
Who publishes 'Umbr'(a)' Annie B. Can you tell us if being an Analysand is of any use to you?

AnnieB - 09/10/00 01:43:34 EDT
As you can tell I am not very good getting things posted on this thing. I loathe computers.
What brought me to Lacan was the usual thing--academia. Then I became an analysand and started working through an Association for Psychoanalysis and Topology, and in my opinion they are not anywhere near the same thing. Unfortuneately the Millerian version of Lacan is what dominates all thinking on Lacan in this country, so much so that you wouldn't even know there is an utterly different approach. That might annoy some people. If you want precise definitions they are certainly available. The topological/logical clinia of psychoanalysis is quite different than the kind of thing promoted on this web site, in all the well-known writers in the U.S. The topologists are talked about in Roudinesco's book. They work quite differently.
I myself am a novice in this practice so I would feel very pretentious saying much more about the topological presentation of Lacanian concepts. It has to be presented, not just talked about and there is only so much one can get across on e-mail.
Look in the latest issue of Umbr(a) for an interesting logical presentation. There's something that takes you "to the letter," and out of the vagueries of literary/philosophical blathering. You can also look at www.eetopologie.org, (in French) though if you are totally used to the University take on Lacan.... The question of borders is utterly central to toplogy. The invariant properties of surfaces are determined by their holes and the kind of cuts you can make, which can be logically written and formalized. I mention Henle's book but it is rather technical. The other good introduction is Stephen Barr's Experiments in Topology, which is simpler and more general, and totally does not bog you down with endless formulas you can't read. its a great intro.

Terry1 - 09/08/00 17:23:19 EDT
Briamk TRUTH brought AnnieB to Lacan

perfume - 09/08/00 02:44:21 EDT
There is a nice grapho showing what Terry1 is explaining about the discourses producing each other by a quarter turn at: http://www.lacan.com/frameV0.htm

briank - 09/07/00 16:52:56 EDT
Dear AnnieB--
i haven't been on the site for some time now, thanks so much for the lead and i'll get right on it. fyi i came upon this term while reading lyotard on kant and then again in reading (i believe) DeDuve on Duchamp, at which point it started to pop up everywhere, but always used merely in passing, never given a definition. i have a tendency to insist on precise definitions, or at least work toward them. the adjective "border" you add to operator is of particular interest to me as i have been thinking about hermeneutics in terms of literal border crossings, specific operations which must be performed while making translations. i am indeed the non-mathematician Henle has supposedly written for; in fact i'm working on a fine arts degree. would you mind telling what you on, and what brought you to lacan.