spectre - 02/15/01 17:44:55 EST
rudolph does seem to take a fairly philosophical approach to lacanian practice, but there is no possibility of there being any practice, any act, except in so far as it takes place within a specific context. the combination of act and context, in fact, are meaning. and this is precisely why deconstruction is at such great pains always to problematize--usually by exposing cracks and pores it's framing devices--a text's "skin". lacan may not be a deconstructionist, but he did use the term before certain other writers did, and his work on the ego, going as far back as the mirror essay, is all abound the problematics of the bounded subject, and attempting to lead the subject beyond the mirror. the act which terminates analysis takes the form of a final passage beyond all definitive contexts, a final release from identification with the ego. rudolph is not just babbling in his use of theory, but the question remains: against what practice does his discourse stand as a defense?

violet - 02/15/01 02:04:25 EST
Shissssssh........Rudolf, you are missing the point, and Lacan is not deconstructionism.

Rudolf - 02/15/01 00:12:52 EST
Whether an act or a practice ever takes place, and can be spoken of with greater truth than a "philosophical system" can, is a question for the deconstructionists.
As usual, the issue is where your jouissance lies.

wendy - 02/14/01 16:57:20 EST
I must confess I'm kind of dumb, and I do not comprehend what you are saying. It seems kind of solipsistic, if you ask me.
My only point, actually, was wondering what exactly you mean by "psychoanalysis" or "lacanian psychoanalysis?" what is it? are we talking about the same thing? It seems to me you are treating it as a philosophical system, which I don't think it is.
there is a practice and an act which I think is entirely absent from your "understanding" of psychoanlaysis--whatever this may mean to you.

Rudolf - 02/14/01 15:17:21 EST
"Just" being polemic?
The Word still has power, nigger.
There ought to be pressure on Lacanians to "think."

Rudolf - 02/14/01 15:13:36 EST
It would be nice if the style guide were even elaborate. But my point was actually that the basic lesson of psychoanalysis is that of radical solipsism. Not that there are degrees of solipsism -- there aren't. Just like pregnancy, you either are or you aren't; you can't be "radically pregnant." But calling what Lacanian psychoanalysis teaches a "radical" solipsism is, in my opinion, not inappropriate because of the path it takes in getting us there. Solipsism is impossible to fully understand and accept if only for the reason that there is an Other; no one can really think his or her thoughts are his or her own -- "that thought is mine," "that thought is mine," "that thought is mine"-- because knowledge is relational. You can't imagine something without already approaching it from some exterior position. Lacanian psychoanalysis takes one far in the direction of being able to truly grasp the solipsism in the human person, by formulating a logic of exceptions that ground totalities and casting the "real" as one of those sometime exceptions, thereby placing a relational and dialectical knowledge by which consciousness apprehends itself within as its internal limit. More importantly, it characterizes the ways in which the real can be the constitutive exception, giving us a picture of solipsism not based on a solitary self-consciousness irreducible to some other solitary self-consciousness.
Given that, if you accept solipsism early on, as so many who post here seem to, you do no credit to thinking in general. These people seem to see psychoanalysis within the purview of today's pop relativism, based on their general attitudes. They'd rather see psychoanalysis as yet another way to say, "Language makes everything relative," disavowing any idea of consciousness put forward in the Enlightenment, than to say that it walks a very, very fine line between the two.

trace - 02/14/01 14:32:11 EST
Learning the "style guide" is a neccessary step toward mastery, in the same way as the first step in a hermenuetic (even one that is ultimately destructive) is a "sympathetic" reading. Simply put: you cannot critique what you don't first understand.
Seems to me that Rudolf is just being polemic, his remarks political in the Foucauldian sense, but they do typify the pressures put on Lacanians in the US to conform.

miselina - 02/13/01 22:53:52 EST
why so resentful Wendy? and who are you blaming for his/her elaborate style guide and generic style manual which seems to disturb you so much...? I for one, in the US where Lacan is still rare, am intrigued

violet - 02/13/01 16:18:45 EST
so let Rudolph be the ego and Rudolf the subject don't we want to know what those two have to say to each other?

Wendy - 02/13/01 15:44:55 EST
Rudolf--I would make a distinction between the solipsism of certain readers of Lacan's work, and the writings themselves. Do not mistake this whole show for what psychoanalysis in fact is. There are ample opportunties to think Lacan's work, yet, the thinking part has been replaced by an elaborate style guide. People learn the generic style manual, but they cannot explain what they've learned to say.

Rudolph - 02/13/01 14:56:12 EST
Are you talking to me Rudolf?

Rudolf - 02/13/01 08:49:10 EST
To think that you can speak of your suffering as "subject" from the position of ego.
Also, as if the theories of psychoanalysis weren't arrived at by thinking.

Rudolph - 02/13/01 01:34:18 EST
Spectre, are you a Writing Subject discovered in flagrante as a Speaking Subject? And you Miselina, are you someone launched, as a Lacanian would say, on a 'hysterical' discourse?

spectre - 02/13/01 00:47:58 EST
in truth, perfume is most effective when operating just below the threshold of detectability.

miselina - 02/12/01 21:16:04 EST
spectre, I say perfume is that chapter of our story which is marked by a blank or a lie: the censored chapter...etc.

miselina - 02/12/01 21:12:14 EST
Rudolph, do you think from that chapter of your story?

miselina - 02/12/01 21:08:29 EST
Rudolf, isn't the measure of a thinker always, in every case, measured up against the less the thinker?

Rudolph - 02/12/01 01:16:10 EST
Rudolf, you are the sort of thinker who has things too evidently under close control, who is cool to a fault and too much in love with the formalities of thinking. Language, however, is the law we have all of us to live and suffer under...

Rudolf - 02/11/01 22:37:45 EST
I have often wondered if the measure of a thinker isn't shown by how easily he accepts the absolute solipsism of Lacanian psychoanalysis. The more easily he accepts it, the less the thinker.

Rudolph - 02/11/01 18:33:10 EST
Spectre, 'the unconscious is that chapter of my story which is marked by a blank or a lie: it is the censored chapter...that margin of incomprehension, which is that of desire.'

spectre - 02/11/01 02:52:58 EST
how is it that perfume remains so inscrutible?

perfume - 02/09/01 22:03:18 EST
an obscure problem aroused in the messageboard today...so some messages were repeated and others appeared to be fragmented...it may be a program failure. The messageboard is now fixed, still jyejy's message from 2/09/01 is partially lost...my apologies

jyejy - 02/09/01 11:40:49 EST
Lacanian Analysis of Race solipsistic prison? A mirror image is also an inversion, a glove turned inside out....at

FBC - 02/07/01 19:11:45 EST
Spectre. Thank you so very much for that reading. I tend to see it the same way. In some way I think that both of them are exceptions which prove the rule that any reading of the rule will necessarily be an exception. If you know what I mean. Tannks again and I would sure like to see what any one else has to say to this matter.

spectre - 02/07/01 16:46:52 EST
First, sorry to miselina for bothching her name.

FBC,I recently returned to reading Irigaray after some time away from her work. I had always been taught to read her as a refutation to Lacan. But I must say I just don't see it that way. Yes, she does try to unmoor the phallocentrism of Freud, but as far a I know Lacan, for all the strictness of his return to Freud, does nothing if not point out to pivotal eccentricities in Freud, especially as concerns dream work and the unconscious.
Rather than a refutation I would see Irigaray as attempting to offer the Truth of Lacan in the form of a counter-discourse, which means to a Lacanian, returning his message in its inverse form. Neither phallo- or gynocentrism seems originary to me (and I don't think its Irigaray's intention to set up any sort of centrism. The two forms of sexuation instead reflect one another as they both exchange places, invert themselves and each other, around a central site of loss, Sex itself.
Irigary re-presents Lacan, or rather the lacanian subject,in a concave mirror, bound to and in conflict with its rival other. Look especially in "Kore" in Speculum of The Other Woman. All the discussion of mirroring and the dazzling, blinding concentration of light strikes me as completely in line which Lacanian discussions of the ego vs. the gaze. In Irigaray phallic straightness becomes a deviation, yes, but isn't that just a way of saying that the symbolic must distort itself, curve around the the real, in order to maintain coherence and close the circuit of desire, a circuit based on a primary and necessary exclusion, the blindspot in the old order of symmetry, what the university (S2) cannot or will not see?
Also, one could argue Irigaray presents woman as that sexual configuration which is significantly less succeptible to castration and the influence of the obscene injunctions of the super-ego. Look, for example, at the work of such thorough-going Lacanians as Alenka Zupancic or Joan Copjec. Isn't the point of psychoanalyis, going as far back as Freud's writings on the ego and the id or Civilization and Its Discontents, to liberate the subject from superego assaults, to assist the castrated subject pass through the fantasy of Woman. Irigaray's expulsion from the Freudian school is the stuff of legend, and for all she does take many a stab at the old master (and which of us hasn't?), in many ways I'm still at pains to understand why or how that expulsion took place. Perhaps I "just don't get it." Maybe someone out there could help us on this or other issues. I'm open to instruction.

FBC - 02/06/01 21:30:15 EST
Can anyone speak to the contrast or lack thereof between Lacanian discourse and the view of the individual put forth by Irigaray in the works "I Love to You" and "Elemaental passions". I am specifically interested in whether Irigaray replaces the "phalocentric" view of human subjectivity with a "gynocentric" reading and if so does the latter carry the same kind of limitation that it criticises the former of. Finally, is it even meaningful to speak of Lacan and Irigaray in the sme discourse? I eagerly await impressions of this matter.

spectre - 02/05/01 04:45:48 EST
messalina--i'd say since Kant's revolution in aesthetics disability is the rule and at the very origin of art, compensation for a foundational lack of the referent, for a blind spot at the center of the visual field and creativity. the art object appears as screen for a lack.

perfume - 02/05/01 03:01:45 EST
ghost in the machine
if you happen to read "Desiring Whiteness" I would very much appreciate your comments on it.

miselina - 02/04/01 00:36:21 EST
disability and creativity...
Candido Lopez - famous artist - lost his right arm, and continued to paint with the left arm. The paintings he did with the left arm and hand are more beautiful than the ones he was doing with his right arm and hand, thus they sell for much more money.
if it isn't a rule, is it though an exception?

sprectre - 02/03/01 02:12:59 EST
because the message board, from which i have received great assistance not to mention occaisional solace, seemed: 1) no longer to be filled with significant contributions 2) to have become a dumping ground for chain letters. my thanks to whomever is responsible for clearing it of trash, and i'm glad the message board seems to have returned to its proper use.
i've recently done some writing on the subject of disability and creativity. any comments on this topic?

ghost in the machine - 02/02/01 14:49:52 EST
many thanks to perfume for the reference...
why so morbid, spectre?

miselina - 02/02/01 00:28:05 EST
are we officially dead because we have a spectre in here?

Terry1 - 01/30/01 13:31:35 EST
The TRUTH cannot die

perfume - 01/30/01 11:40:47 EST
ghost in the machine,
there is in fact a new book called "Desiring Whiteness - a Lacanian Analysis of Race ," written by Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks, published by Routledge - dated 2000 I got in the mail, \'ve read bits and pieces, it looks interesting enough... I've listed it in lacanian ink 18...

spectre - 01/29/01 19:53:14 EST
what further proof do we need that the messageboard is officially dead?

ghost in the machine - 01/16/01 17:24:57 EST
i am currently researching the affects of racism and nationalism, and wish to use Lacan's theories on alterity for my critical approach. Any ideas? recommended books? So far I have read Zizek's 'Enjoy your Nation as Yourself!' and am now reading 'Strangers to Ourselves' by Julia Kristeva. I am particularly interested in the Thing in the context of jouissance. Is there anything else out there you think may be of help? Anyone?

Terry1 - 01/13/01 18:09:29 EST
Ghost in the machine
You are becoming a Lacanian. As Lacan said : 'I the Truth speaks'............

ghost in the machine - 01/13/01 15:43:46 EST
hello. i would like to ask a question...in regard to the domestic sphere, the complex network of identifications in play, the inter-psychic relationship between family members, etc., do you think this can this be likened to a hall-of-mirrors, where we are the circus performers? And...where every relationship is essentially specular, yet subject to parallax, distortion, arbitrariness, and a fundamental incommensurability between egos? Is the corporeal body, ultimately, our solipsistic prison? A mirror image is also an inversion, a glove turned inside out....a reflection is rarely an absolutely flat surface, which strikes me having very disturbing implications. This makes things more complex for a start, it adds a further dimension. And...surely, our imaginary relationship to our image, our misrecognition has recourse to an essential dominance over that image... the image is relegated, denigrated even, and subordinated. I see parallels here with regard to racism and its origin in alterity. What I mean is, our mirror-image isn't based on an equivalence is it? So..what would be the necessary circumstances for us to one day realise our reflection was equivalent to us? Surely, everything would disintegrate?

knairb - 01/12/01 15:46:25 EST
my, it's quiet around here. so glad to see terry one is back. or is it just that i've been gone so long? T-1, did you ever mention whether you enjoyed you trip to boston? did you find those paintings i mentioned? anyhow, with regards to the notion of non-linear editing (re: a question by laMer), it seems to me nothing too novel (not since say griffith, anyhow). But there are certain effects which can be genereated by staggered image editing which does not jump back to previous scenes or events so much as ahead of the dialogue (which adheres to real time) by just a few seconds, so that the viewer sees a character's facial response before hearing what that character's grimace is a response to. the feeling i got from this was not one of loss so much as one of a seemingly illicit gain, more than i deserved and wanted, the face as an obscene apparition. this might simply be a very abbreviated form of prolepsis and irony, but it wasn't narrative irony. rather, i got the impression that the face (temporally posterior, logically prior) suddenly shot up and called out for a response in the form of speech. Vision, gaze, seemed to leap forward and yank speech after it. The two hop-frogged around a point of central loss. I don't think that any phallic order was brought down here, but certainly i became uncomfortably overaware of the dynamics of that order. Anyhow, i'm referring to a film called The Limey. Have you seen it?

FBC - 12/27/00 20:28:12 EST
I agree entirely about the practical limitation of any pov not one's own. It is impossible I think to create a "record" which does not involve the at least unconcious superimposition of a "message" from the artist. Actually this brings into play an interesting question with regard to power, namely, does the placement of the child into a certain space not, like the placement of camera, microphone and so on, superimpose a message on the "record" which becomes manifest as a "personality". This directly bares on the father as well as the mother's "law" as experienced by the subject.

laMer - 12/27/00 15:00:00 EST
yes, i agree that in theory, the dislocation of the power of editor/director as phallus does re-grant the opportunity for pov to be determined by the observer. but in practice, and perhaps you'll disagree, it is rarely plausible - witness mike figgis' Timecode 2000. maybe you have another example, and i hope you really do know of an example that i could look at, but this film, as much as i like the experiment shows the limitations of narrative as it relates to pov. what are your thoughts?
also, i wanted to ask about jouissance and sirens - what is the role of both man and woman in this collusive dance - specifically in line with this idea about 'cutting up' - glad you wrote about it.

perfume - 12/27/00 01:54:49 EST
Thank you so much for your very nice greetings Terry1...
I cannot wish you a Merry Christmas since I am one day late.
So let me wish you a Very Happy New Year and let your wishes for 2001 come true!

FBC - 12/25/00 09:19:02 EST
Do you think that non-liniar editing does not in fact so much create a non-phallic representation as allowing the individual observer to, in a sense, occupy the place of the phallus? It seems to me that to decenter the representation derives its non-hierarchical potency by returning, at least in theory, the POV to the observer rather than reserving it for the agent who presents the representation as a kind of privilaged position.
Oh yes, merry christmas y'all.

Terry1 - 12/24/00 16:43:26 EST
A Merry Christmas to Perfume and her team.

Terry1 - 12/24/00 16:42:42 EST
Unless you give more information I should think that it refers to an image that is polysemic i.e. an image that can be read in a number of different ways. The phallus is the system of difference that is set up by linguistic and then visual differentiation: by scanning we 'cut up' an image. This is interesting because in London now, we hear on the street, ethnic groups who 'gaze' at one another in confrontation say : 'stop cuttting me up'. Non linear editing enables a non plallic form of representation to emerge, so some feminists argue.

laMer - 12/23/00 19:53:14 EST
can someone give me a vernacular explanation of "The Missing Phallus" as it relates to signification in photography and cinema? thanx a ton!

FBC - 12/08/00 21:19:43 EST
Sloo Goo Hoi
Thanks for the input. I wonder if I understand this phalic vs. non-phalic enjoyment to mean something like this; the phalus carries with it the potential of its absence, detumescence or the fact that the object supposed to be the locus of enjoyment (the woman? a potential place where the discharge can "go") whereas the woman, having (theoretically) no such object which can potentially be removed must always bare the lack of possible discharge (loss). If this understanding comes somewhat close to the mark then should one say that the non-psychotic is marked by the understanding, implicit or explicit, that what they suppose to be the cause is something which is "other" than what they themself are? It would seem then that if one believes that there is some ontologically non-arbitrary level of existence (God, absolute laws of nature and so on) that this individual approaches the psychotic.
In a related area of inquiry, is the belief that the woman possesses an excess of enjoyment in the way that you discribe also a belief in some kind of absolute, non-arbitrary or non-contingent fact. If so, does not such a belief in itself approach the psychotic? Or do we take this reading of the meaning of "feminine jouissance" as a kind of poetic or fictitious device which does not point to an absolute? If the latter, how does this relate to a certain feminist critique of psychoanalytic theory, particularly the Freudo-Lacanian paradigm, as we see in thinkers like Irigaray?

Sloo Goo Hoi - 12/08/00 18:31:22 EST
You may benefit from realizing that it is not necessarily that woman has a surplus jouissance, or that she enjoys more quantitatively, but that she most clearly has a jouissance that is non-phallic. Therefore, she is supposed to enjoy more (often). Regarding the too-much enjoyment of a psychotic, consider that it comes without the pleasant buttress of fantasy; this marks it as feminine insofar as it is non-phallic. But since there's no locus called the Other, there's no subject and so no reason to hold on to those private fantasies, or a need for fantasy as such. Fantasy is a way of enjoying enjoyment. Find a psychotic who does, and I'll be very surprised.

FBC - 12/08/00 17:09:43 EST
What does the analysand want?
What is in about woman which underwrites their surplus jouissance, assuming that this is an essential feature of woman.

Terry1 - 12/08/00 15:47:13 EST
Yes, the TRUTH is structured like a fiction. The drive for mastery is always there. Women enjoy surplus jouissance. Why would anybody want 'treatment'?

FBC - 12/08/00 10:39:01 EST
Terry and Orpheus. Thank you both for your responses.

First Terry. I don't know that I said that I think any paradigm is "true". In fact what I was doing was questioning such assumptions for the purpose of understanding the relation between psychotic and "normal" relations with the world in terms of what we call truth. I completely agree with the point about the linguistic "sciences" and would say that even more important are the arts of narritive, the craft of lying to tell the truth which underlies fiction.

This is exactly what I believe about the truth of Copernicus' "revolution", that its truth is something apart from its fact. In some way the question of what revolves around what is completely unimportant, rather it is what we take this fact to "mean" which is the hot point. What I am interested in is the capacity to mistake fact for truth. Fact is, although grounded in observation, less reliable than truth because observation depends on the senses which can be decieved and on the accumulation of knowledge which is not only always finite but more importantly, it is impossible to know if we are missing something essential in our accumulated knowledge, something which would allow us to observe differently. Truth on the other hand has less to do with observable factors in the physical world than with what we will do with these observations, it has to do with our sense of satisfaction, of the balance between enjoyment and pleasure.
This brings me to the issue of too much Jouissance. What does this concept involve? Perhaps genius is the instance of too excessive enjoyment. If this is the case then one might ask if genius is a virtue. I suspect that genius arises, at least in part, out of the inability to find pleasure in the things which most people do, with an inability to find a discharge of libidinal energy thus leading to a continual excess of creativity. Perhaps the difference between someone who is "tourtured" and someone who is not is how much they complain. The analyst can only use the complaint as an index of suffering yes? I mean, to even appear at the doctor's office is a tacit complaint is it not? So it could be that the genius who doesn't show any sign of suffering is the most psychotic of all sublimating all of their energy into work and abioding even the "acting out" of seeking "treatment".
There is more to say of course but I will stop here in anticipation of futher comments.

Orpheus - 12/08/00 09:31:08 EST
Let me take the example of Copernicus as a starting point. It's a great example given Freud's own Copernican Revolution. What Copernicus stated was a piece of knowledge. The earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around. As regards the Truth of this statement, it resides elsewhere. Copernicus did not simply decenter the world but also God and insofar as he did this he might as well have said, "Welcome to the desert of the Real!" In short, that the ideological position of being "the centre of the universe" was a blindspot a fantasy($<>a) which functioned precisely to mask the Real in which God has no interest in Man whatsoever. That God (the Other) does not exist. As to Copernicus being psychotic who can say? Would that make his piece of knowledge any less or more important. I have to admit I am wary of a certain tendancy to find "folie" lurking behind the works of "supposed" men/women of genius. Even more so the artist. The terrors faced by Van Gogh may have contributed to his work as a painter but that is not a good enough reason to turn suffering into a virtue. There is such a thing as "too much jouissance!"

Terry 1 - 12/07/00 17:29:52 EST
FBC .Why do you think any of these paradigms of scientific 'truth' that you give are true?
Lacan teaches that we can never find the truth through science. The exact sciences are not enough. We need the linguistic sciences also. All science can give us is a partial interpretation of the truth. Lacan's methodology gives us access to a knowledge that is not immediately obvious in conventional scientific terms. It is beyond science.......A parallel can be drawn with age. Aristotle said : 'If we live long enough we see everything'.....Age gives a 'secret' kmowledge that cannot be measured or taught. Who was it who said when asked if communism was a good idea : ' I haven't lived long enough to know'?

Orpheus - 12/07/00 16:45:29 EST
FBC: I am going to think on your examples a bit, so I may not reply for a few days. This delay comes from the seriousness with which the nature of your examples demand. A couple of thoughts will likely govern my responce. Although speculation is important, it provides a certain interesting place from which to speak, in considering your questions I will have to make a distinction between what one can say about a discourse transmitted via a text and the discourse transmitted via a patient's free associoations. To determine whether one operates under the sway of a psychotic structure requires time listening to and speaking with the patient. This is wholly different from teasing out psychotic structures which linguistically make themselves available in a given text. Regards,

FBC - 12/06/00 19:45:37 EST
OK let me put the issue a different way. Was Jesus, at least as he appears to us in the scriptures, a psychotic. When he was questioned by Pilot, Jesus seemed sure of the truth of his place in his father (God's) plan and went so far as to imply that Pilot and every party concerned, indeed, every event of history conspired to prepare the event which was about to occur. We are told that in Gethsemony [sp] Jesus "spoke with God" and asked that this fate could be removed from him. Appearently Jesus believed that there was simply no other thing which could be done.
And what of the example of Socrates? Socrates was presented with an oppertunity for escape and refused to do so believing that if he were to escape then he would be precisely the criminal that he was accused of being. His belief in his own innocence of the charges bought against him during his trial seemed to be intricately tied in with his acceptance of the punishment decreed by the law, a law which he did not break and yet felt compelled to yeild to although its judgments were thought by him to be false.
Then there is the example of any scientist who steps outside of the paradigm of his age and dicipline. When Copernicus suggested that the sun was the center of the universe he did so against the law, the truth according to those who had the power to say what was true. If Copernicus believed himself to know a truth unknown to the science and religion of his time did this belief constitutesomthing like a psychosis and if not, why not. As far as those who opposed him, largely Christian dogmatists who believed that any scientific finding contrary to church doctrine was inspired by Satan and therefore a departure from the "Truth". Were the fathers of the church who claimed to know a truth that was immune from the theoretical critique of Copernicus and later by the imperical study of Galeleo a pack of psychotics?
I know that these are a somewhat varied set of examples but they share the common feature of people speaking as if they know without any doubt what truth is. The only exception being Pilot who asked of Jesus "What is Truth?" I would be really interested in any feedback regarding the status of these examples with regard to the idea of psychosis as explained by Orpheus

Orpheus - 12/06/00 17:21:26 EST
(1) The psychotic patient is referenced by the Real because his or her statements are not constituted by lack--by doubt. The Psychotic takes her or his statements to be literally "the truth"--without exception because there is no exception if one takes one's statements to be absolutely true. For example the psychotic does not doubt that he receives messages from aliens and that a tin foil hat is the only way to try and stop these messages. There is no space for him between knowledge and truth governed by lapses in language. No other, in short, that is needed to be "the suppoosed subject of knowing". If you read, for example Schreber's Memoirs, it is impossible not to be struck by the absolute certainty with which Schreber describes his delusions. His descriptions lack nothing, they are the direct presentation of God's will and his will on God. Now I have never met a mystic but I have worked with patients who have been floridly psychotic so I would suggest that they are not the same. I don't know if the mystic suffers the kinds of psychic pain that the psychotic can succumb to during the height of a psychotic break. However, I think it is far to easy to forget that the RSI constellation was worked out by Lacan, first and foremost, as a means of understanding the speech practices of his patients, particularly psychotics.
(2) Certainly we can say that the Real signifies a space of radical alterity as long as we do not turn that concept into a metaphysical catagory.
(3) Does the psychotic approach the Real--I think this gives too much agency to the psychotic. Rather I would say that the Psychotic is "snared" by the Real, insofar as the foreclosure of the Name of the Father is not something s/he choses to do but is the effect of a faultering of the installation of language in the subject. For the Psychotic cannot accept casteration because s/he does not lack, there is no gap, and insofar as there is no castration to divide the subject the Psychotic does not have access to acculturation; accepting castration is to accept one's relation to the Law. It's not simply don't fuck your mother, sister, brother, but don't walk on the lawn, spit on the sidewalk, forget to pay your taxes.
(4) Does a psychotic "need to symbolize meaning" or become "the subject of a demand" outside the forclosure of a symbiotic bond with the Other?

Terry1 - 12/06/00 15:10:11 EST
What is a mystic? We cannot live in the Real. The inability to symbolise may aso indicate that a person is locked on to the Real.

FBC - 12/05/00 16:54:33 EST
Hey Terry. If the psychotic has approached the truth and needs to symbolize it I wonder if you would place the mystic at the same juncture as the as the psychotic? Also, if psychosis is an imbalance in the direction of the Real what would such an imbalabce in the direction of one of the other two regesters imply?

FBC - 12/05/00 16:54:03 EST
Hey Terry. If the psychotic has approached the truth and needs to symbolize it I wonder if you would place the mystic at the same juncture as the as the psychotic? Also, if psychosis is an imbalance in the direction of the Real what would such an imbalabce in the direction of one of the other two regesters imply?

Terry1 - 12/05/00 14:39:31 EST
The Real is radical alterity, a ring........The Symbolic is language, another ring...........The Imaginary is the world as we think we see it, another ring. These 3 rings are help together with a borromean knot. When the 3 rings are in balance, the Sinthome is active. We function 'in the mirror' and can live a life of meccannaissance or misrecognition the truth. A psychotic has approached the real and needs to symbolize meaning to escape from the condition.
Does this help?

FBC - 12/04/00 13:34:16 EST
You should maybe think about looking at some of what Jean-Luc Nancy has to say about the idea of differance in his book "The Sense of the World".

Terry1 - 12/03/00 17:03:35 EST
Wynship what is your problem with the RSI ?

wynship - 12/02/00 22:50:50 EST
i think what i mean by "the other" is more like what Lacan calls "the bar" (meaning the bar between signifier and signified - S/s or whatever) -- that thing that cannot signify because it is already entailed in the process of signification. I don't know how well that maps to Lacan's (from Heidegger) existence which cannot itself be existent. Certainly, the *structure* is the same...
I'm waiting for Bruce Fink's translation of Ecrits before I try to navigate that real/symbolic/imaginary cartesianism again. Didn't fare too well the first time...

Orpheus - 11/30/00 12:54:42 EST
FBC & wynship: Thank you to both for clarification. I would only add that as Laplanche has noted in Freud there are two others "der Andere"--the caregiver and his / her seductive activity and "das Andere", the other thing. With respect to the first we can speak of a representation of the other within us. With respect to the latter, a notion closer to the Lacanina other in relation to "das ding" it is outside representation--i.e. "the other does not exist", yet it is a piece of ex-istence--a piece of the Real. Also in Freud, he makes a distinction between 2 types of thing presentations--Sachvorstellung and Dingvorstellung. Obviously the former is closser to the Symbolic insofar as it can be bound to word-presentations where as the latter cannot.

wynship - 11/30/00 12:29:47 EST
no. "the other" is not a representation but daixis (sp?) -- it merely points to something which is beyond language and can't be represented because it is never present for starters. as for semblances, they are always substitutions for nothing. This is why Simone Weil wrote that we must always will the void, we must always affirm the abyss.

FBC - 11/30/00 10:16:38 EST
Or perhaps I over simplify. What I mean to say is something like this: what we ultimately lack is certainty. This is not because we are ever veiled from the TRUTH but rather, we are the truth which we represent. This is why words speak us rather than the other way around. This is what the meaning of the lotus which the Buddha twirled before passing his bowl and robe to Katsupa.
The lotus doesn't say any thing, its statement is its existence. As speaking beings our words to us are as our skin, as the leaves of a tree, and the other, the other is us as well, what we make of them within ourselves. The other is our representation of them, yes???

FBC - 11/30/00 10:04:51 EST
And so, should we say that we always represent from the inside of representation and therefore can only say that "this I believe" and never "this is true"?

Orpheus - 11/29/00 15:34:02 EST
One more thought: Is not language a substitution for the impossibility of a subject knowing themselves as a subject as such, an impossibility signified through language's lacunary nature, as well as being an impossibility which escapes the speaking being, a speaking being who is trapped in language but does not know the nature of this trap?

Orpheus - 11/29/00 11:04:15 EST
FBC: I am well aware of the fact that there is no outside of representation of which I can speak.

Orpheus - 11/29/00 10:44:17 EST
FBC: I would say that the Real is without substitution which is why it is outside of language although very much existing within language. Words fail me. But fail me in what? Insofar as I am lost for words I have touched something of the Real where language fails to make a substitution; the emptiness of words. As regards what is a substitution for: The letter in the unconscious is a substitution of that of which I cannot speak, as in the Purloined Letter of which no one speaks, at least with respect to its true??? content, but upon whom it has its effects.

FBC - 11/28/00 22:36:24 EST
Before I can say more I want to know if any one can tell me what is NOT a substitution? Can any one say what a substitution is a substitution FOR?

Orpheus - 11/28/00 19:07:21 EST
But milk as nutrition is not the same as milk as pleasure, or as milk as "too much" which passes from pleasure over to pain. Milk as "Too much of a good 'thing'!", as primordial jouissance. In my work with masochistic patients this is almost a mantra in which "To much of a good 'thing'!" is an attempt to re-trace one's steps through pure repetition, mistaking passage through pain as a way of taking something back. But once one has taken too much one can never take it back. I take it back. But I cannot because it is always aready a substitution which I take back. And in so far as I take back a substitution I have taken too much again. In short one can only acknowledge that "I take too much". In so doing I acknowledge an originary moment, its repetition, and its substitution through pain. I take too much from the other. Too much milk, too much demand, too much invective, too much abuse. Pain is the index of a substitution of having taken too much. Is this not why guilt is experienced as painful insofar as it too is the sign of a having taken too much?

FBC - 11/28/00 10:12:21 EST
I think the interesting thing about desire and trying to index it is that like death, which is ever absent in us and thus secret, desire is always concealed in a "desire for". I think that Lacan makes this point when he speaks of the difference between need and demand. We do not know what we need and I think this is because what we really need is embeded in the Real. The Real is also secret by remaining ever beyond the access of language.

wynship - 11/28/00 00:07:35 EST
what is grave and constant in the human condition is death. that it would be connected with a "secret cause" sounds like a paranoid hypothesis, but in a sense I think I see your meaning. It would be secret in the sense of being ever-absent, much as death is (absent in ourselves), much as the trace-structure of the metaphysical is to always erase itself (make itself secret), much as the hypokaimenon is always indefinite.
milk is nutriment, but it is possible to have too much. See Kristeva on the abject, the sickness from too much mother's milk. Milk can be an index to desire, but also to desire's opposite.

FBC - 11/26/00 15:44:07 EST
wynship - 11/22/00 22:05:12 EST
"if milk were the cause, it would not be the hidden one..."
No of course not, the hidden cause resembles Joyce's reading of the tragic emotion of horror. According to Joyce, Horror is any thing which connects that which is grave and constant in the human condition to the "secret cause". This secret cause is so in a kind of trancendental sense, that is, it remains secret and is not exhausted by any thing which represents it such as the "fall of man". in Genisis. The secret cause is like the object "a" which is a semblance. Milk is such a semblance acting as an index of desire or the cause there of.

wynship - 11/26/00 12:14:40 EST
For material on the link between schizophrenia and creativity, see Maurice Blanchot's essay on the subject of Hoelderlin's schizophrenia and its relation to his poetry. An English translation of it appears in the Blanchot Reader (not the Station Hill Blanchot Reader).

Patrick - 11/25/00 14:33:50 EST
thank-you greaves, you've been a real help! I am new to Lacan, but have already seen immense possibilities in using his theories toward reading visual art. I feel very excited and enthusiastic. At 21, I know this is what I want to dedicate my life towards.
What I am really after is a psychanalytical or structuralist explanation of specific Surrealist paintings rather than a Marxist or Feminist perspective. I am also interested in the link between schizophrenia and creativity. My psychoanalytical approach is partly inspired by a profound dissatisfaction with the writing of art histories that I've already read. My premise is that creativity has, fundamentally, an unconscious origin. This comes from the Freudian idea that civilisation is primarily constructed on the act of sublimation - art especially. I will come back soon and ask some very important questions regarding Lacan and Surrealism, such as "does a Surrealist vision occupy the register of The Real?" and "where does the mind go? And why?" "Is the visual less contaminated by language?" "Is the canvas a kind of mirror?" Recurring objects and symbols, are they merely Jungian archetypes, Freudian condensations, or something more sinister? All I know is I "IDENTIFY" profoundly with de Chirico's empty plazas and *I don't know why.* So in a way its a kind of mystery that I wish to uncover, to discover something equally about myself and the mystery of art.
Thanks again!

perfume - 11/25/00 02:03:49 EST
As for the topic of art and it's rapport to psychoanalysis: Thursday at 8pm Alain Badiou will be reading from his article "Art and Philosophy' published in Lacanian Ink 17.
At Deitch Projects, 126 Wooster St., NY, NY 10012.

greaves - 11/24/00 18:21:45 EST
yes, patrick, there is some fine work out there regarding de Chirico's work. Also, let me add that i'm glad you checked into the site, because i find a majority of the participants here seem only to want to take about psychoanalyis proper, and steer away from topics such as art and, especially, literature. A noted exception to that is one Terry One, with whom I so often disagree, but from whom I have been given many an opportunity to pose a number of self-criticisms, or at least write on things which interest me and should conceiveably be up for general discussion on a website run by perfume. Anyhow, you will want to check out Hal Foster's book Compulsive Beauty. I had my major dissertation breakthrough while reading the chapter on the significance of the fantastic and the marvelous in surrealism. I'm not an art history student; in fact I'm writing on the 19th-century novel (the pre-history of surrealism). But for some reason i have always found art history (as practiced my Foster, as well as his various friends and friendly antagonists) to be much more useful than lit crit with regard to getting a grip on what is at stake, historically as well as structurally, in the novels i'm working on.
What have you been reading that you have found helpful, and what is it that you WISH were out there to find? Perhaps some of us can be of assistance to you. By all means, though, do check out foster's book, as well as another by him which, though it deals not with surrealism but the avant-garde, may also be of interest to you--The Return of The Real. very nice introduction on how was shown by a child to "play" a robert morris installation.
Best of luck,

wynship - 11/24/00 18:07:53 EST
...that's funny, i thought it was surrealism that was inspired by psychoanalysis, and not vice-versa...

Patrick Wright - 11/24/00 16:59:37 EST
I was wondering if anyone could help me with a dissertation I'm writing. As a student of art history, I am considering the possibilities of a Lacanian reading of Surrealist paintings, in particular the alienation of Giorgio de Chirico's work. I am particularly interested in the object-fetishes and symbolism. I know Lacan moved in the Surrealist circles in the early days, but can anyone point me in the right direction to books discussing Lacan's views on visual art, or general psychoanalytical readings of the visual, i.e semiotics. Or, has anyone got any opinions on this?
Kind regards,

perfume - 11/24/00 01:15:26 EST
Orpheus, there is no fix time nor day for the chatroom...it is there for you to make dates whenever you want to talk to someone - one or more people.

Orpheus - 11/23/00 09:05:27 EST
Perfume: I have been to the chat site and found only the void. Is their a time (???) a day when it is less empty?

Orpheus - 11/23/00 09:00:38 EST
An-udder question? Is it only milk that comes from the udder?

Orpheus - 11/23/00 08:52:53 EST
Interesting question is Lacan right? One might say he is conservative in his view of Freud in so far as he tries to conserve the truth of Freud's discourse. But is he right? Doesn't such a rhetorical question try to place knowledge and truth on the same side, which is an element of the Discourse of the Master whether one is right or left or right of left or right of right. Attempting to place knowledge and truth on the same plane is a situation so apparent in the presidential election. An election no less where the Real of American politics shows itself on a daily basis and where the "will of the American people" is the fantasy which is trying so desperately to fill in the (w)hole of the Real. Is Lacan right? What is fascinating is that his position on the asymmetry of truth and knowledge is a position which is neither right centrist nor left. However, that is not to imply that there is not a politics in Lacanian thought, or that it is beyond politics. But perhaps it is more engaging to consider what Lacan writes rather than is he right.

bobbafooey - 11/23/00 03:03:17 EST
is lacan right?

wynship - 11/22/00 22:21:16 EST
happy thanksgiving, greaves...

wynship - 11/22/00 22:05:12 EST
if milk were the cause, it would not be the hidden one...

greaves - 11/22/00 14:19:42 EST
dumber and dumber

wawa - 11/22/00 12:02:10 EST

FBC - 11/19/00 15:57:32 EST
Funny, I was going to make the joke about udder.
Kinda of what happens when one mutters mudder, as in; me mudder.
Perhaps milk is the hidden cause?

wynship - 11/16/00 19:31:11 EST
Not only that, but the etymological root for 'utter' is the same as that for 'outer' (cf. utter as an intensifying adverb - 'utter incomprenesability'). to utter is perhaps to reach to the outermost.
...so let us drink from the udder of the other mother (the utter mutter)...

Orpheus - 11/16/00 08:41:16 EST
Not at all, but I do find the play of language interesting and find this excellent site takes the play of the signifier seriously. Here, in the world, in the analytic setting, words speak us as much as we speak words. But perhaps you are right in associating utter with other in so far as an utterance always carries with it some aspect of the Other. But beyond that ifwe are to bracket an aspect of mother to reveal (m)other. to reveal a certain exemplary play of language, could we not also consider (mot)her word-her her-word where again something of the other's place in language is revealed.

Julia - 11/15/00 12:11:56 EST
are you saying Utter means Other? like in M(Other) = M(Utter)?

Orpheus - 11/14/00 18:29:40 EST
Crossing from one (M)other tongue to an Other there is (M)utter from whose first utterances we are forever bound to the traps of language.

FBC - 11/13/00 14:32:05 EST
Wow the more, I just realized I wrote most-her, hmmmmmm.

FBC - 11/13/00 14:30:12 EST
Wow, beautiful. Is it a question of illusion, the fusion. does this mean that seperate, always seperate, is the truth? If mosther is not the "secret cause" is she the explicit cause, is there such a cause? And what do you say that the M of M-other will signify.

wynship - 11/13/00 10:02:22 EST
mOther is Mot-her - mother is perhaps also her word?
but mOther as M-Other is precisely it. The illusion, rather, was one of fusion, of mother is the same, is me.
That she is forever the hidden cause is no more concerting.

Julia - 11/12/00 15:36:46 EST
wynship - I'm afraid M-Other is her - as forever the hidden cause and what have you.

wynship - 11/12/00 11:28:24 EST
M-Other is Not-her?

wynship - 11/12/00 00:57:12 EST
Thank you Julia, I feel better already. ;-) Mmmmmm-other... M--ot-her... Mot-her...

Julia - 11/12/00 00:39:14 EST
winhsip - relevant to the lacanian context, let me do this: M-Other

wynship - 11/11/00 16:43:56 EST
Sheesh, you intellectuals! Could we talk about something a little more concrete?
Like words, for instance. I am having a tiff with some words, and one of them, I'd say foremost among them, is the word "mother".

Terry1 - 11/09/00 16:55:58 EST
Is there anybody who can synthesise the 'early' 'middle' or 'late' Marx with Lacan using Lenin's interpretation of Marx?
Weber was the first person to teach Marx in a university. He said : 'We should worship Marx as a scholar, but I teach Marx to prove he is flawed'. When Marx was looking for Class as the engine of social change Weber saw honour and status as the engine of social movement. Weberian sociology explains reality as : 'intensively and extensively infinite. We distil from social reality to create theories, if we believe the theories they become religions. Marxism is a religion'..... said Weber

perfume - 11/09/00 00:39:09 EST
Terry1 - I think your words "the arguments around Lenin are "rife" and open to conjecture..." are already answering your question on why "allow the marxist dialectical materialist approach..." And is it the plain Jane "marxist dialectical"?
If something, the actual "marxist dialectical" is for now argüing against itself...