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The Symbolic Without the Father

Woman is one of the names-of-the-father

Tommy, the Anatomy of a Trauma

Never, Will I Stoop to Wanting Anything Else

Rena Grant

Characterhysterics II

Gaze-bo, Videbo — I Shall See —

La Can-Can Française

A Camille for the Nineties


A Visit to East Wallingford, Vt.

Hoboken Palace Gardens

Instead (4 Times)

Interview with
Charles Long

At once plunging into formulas of sexuation, hysteria running throughout, lacanian ink 10 jumps into the double digits...
Say we look in the figures of the letters and the numbers. Does 10 take in the notion of zero and one? What is zero, what is one?
When the count begins with (ø) — an empty set — and yet wants to count ( ) — the set of the empty set as one, the act of counting two will take in the set composed of both the empty set and the set of the empty set — of 0 and 1...
It makes you dizzy, I know, but let me get there... The set of the empty set, to wit a signifier, is the One — preceding the zero, including it. "Has this One a chance of singularity in the universe?"
The signifier of signifiers is of course the phallus. But its singularity does not come from the universe, rather it starts out from turgid jouissance. We can say that this means that a piece of flesh is bestowed from then on, yet the body being mortified at this particular place, the phallus won't carry out an organic function.
The mother's lack of penis is a kind of apocalyptic moment. At once the one unfolds the zero... in the Other, is the Other. Mother, m-Other, Woman. Otherness is the other sex.
Set on dilemma more than on anatomic envisioning, if the body is to tell of the nature of the phallus, the forward lack — not satisfiable upon demand, nor upon desire — will come to signify in some other order. Rather a lacking point in the subject, the phallus, inscribes the lack in being; relevant to a loss, is lies poised within a sepulcher,is a sepulcher.
Within the sepulcher the imaginary; identified with Woman, the mother-Other, incest aims at the jouissance of this supreme object. Drive is sexual... "Eat me eat me mother."
With Slavoj Zizek the notion of Woman, or one of the nominations of the excess amounting to the primordial father, " the mythical starting point of unbridled fullness, whose 'primordial repression' constitutes the symbolic order."
Is a sepulcher... What leaves the tomb — is the place where the proper name gets inscribed. Master mold, the mark it bears, is unfathomable desire — the place gets pierced... in the Name, by the Name-of-the-Father ().
Primordial repression of unbridled fullness we may write as (S
1—>S2). If we further follow Lacan's well known statement "...a signifier is what represents the subject for another signifier,"
2 don't we have a subject there? This subject, a structural one, is as well setting up discourse. The primary value of the actual discourse placed on the S1 — the phallus, a Master signifier — or the idea of acting in accordance with one's desire, the S2 takes on absolute meaning; what this attests is that the father is not a signifier but a name. Indeed a spectre — the certain meaning it brings forth sets up the real: In A Camille for the Nineties, "...he's somewhere in this place, that speechless ghost, charging the dust." Legacy, say an (x), or the surplus subtracted from the One, lurks in the fantasme: verging on delusion, for the purpose of the real, the father's place is void, kept void, celebrated as void.
Like the invariable number that stops the rolling dice while calling on the logic of the "impossible," the proper name ascribes to the unmovable. Not displaceable. Say we proclaim that Richard Foreman is an opera singer, he will still be Richard Foreman however we describe him. In Dismembered, "The man himself re-named himself..."
Again the singular subject. Forever split between a mark and a void, it is mainly hysterical. Never assigned to reach its object, its deeds may line up with melodrama; in Joan Copjec's piece "...the hysterical solution intends not to erase the hysteric so much as to mark her erasure in order to hold open the possibility of some eventual recognition of her...what makes the series of her life's events a mere series is their inability to signify her, to count her as part of them."
Between A and , the unsteady: the Other is omnipotent/the Other is castrated. With Rena Grant "...rather in question is that, what we recognize as real is built on fiction; that subjectivity is (always) factituously constructed, and that we recognize reality in fictional texts because that's where we come from."
So what of the subject in perverse eroticism? The pervert has to make the father exist — because he wants to locate his jouissance inside the Other. With Paolo Berdini the beholder becomes the very eyes. Inside this fantasme, "From 'I see myself seeing myself,' to 'I look at you,' what is performed, with the complicity of the beholder, is in fact the voyeuristic escape from gaze to look."
In psychosis it is the initiative of an Other that Other eager to signify this that it wants. In Bruce Fink's article, the child "...understands that to keep the family together, he must (according to his parents) sacrifice himself..."
If the case with Adrian Dannatt is that, "What was true of Balzac's female dandies in the Paris of the 1830's was equally true for Leiris more than a hundred years later, and for Lacan throughout his lifetime..." femininity could be Paris itself.
Poetry is poetry, is poetry... a father figure, and an other... yet, why must they be fathers? Raphael Rubinstein writes, "Norman and John emerge from the studio and begin walking, toward the house and me so that not only is the sound of the frenzied leaves in my head, but so too is the image of Norman and John."
But we don't want to think that this John is John Yau, because with John Yau it is the mechanical mockingbirds that " up to their name." Maybe John Yau is an opera singer.
With Ray DiPalma: "The parasite." A city symptom, again a literary one, the text gets structured around it. Is it one of the names-of-the-father? Renata Salecl posits a difference in the sum and substance of father metaphors, " has to be careful to distinguish the Name-of-the-Father from the names-of-the-father..."

The foremost delineation of this difference had already been inaugurated in 1963, with Jacques Lacan's Seminar XXI, under the title of "The Name-of-the-Father." This endeavor was interrupted however, and from then on Lacan addressed his undelivered seminar as "the names-of-the-father." In November 1974, the seminar on the names-of-the-father (les noms du père) was finally to regain the stage, its name punned as les-nons-dupes-errent, or the non-naïves that err.
Whether French or English language, the non-naïves that err do so in terms of wandering, as well as of mistaking. Yet who are they, the non-naïve?
Lacan traces the subject in the midst of these words that pun. "In these two terms, put in words, knowledge is the same. In both, it's the same knowledge in the sense of the unconscious being the certain knowledge from which the subject may get deciphered."
The talking being reaching sense at the point where he is most farfetched, he will be brought up short. The pun brings in new meaning. He imagines... a question of orthography, of the writing in language, and the vague jouissance. Whereas the sense is not the same for both the names-of-the-father and the non-naïve that err, still they share the significant knowledge. Should the pun redouble, it will be... in the Name-of-the-Father.
Further down in Lacan's dictionary there also was la dupe: a bird. "There's something absolutely magnificent in this story of the dupe!"
4 Easily caught, moreover crested with a pompous tuft, la dupe was dubbed after stupidity. However, it was the feminine article preceding the bird's name to immediately show the gender of the non-naïve in question. Non... negation... negation is neutral... but les dupes, still in the plural, makes the feminine vacillate... now the plural reels in more than one dupe, calls on the couple relation and reciprocal feelings... the non-dupes, non-naïve, what it entails for them to be crested, crowned, is mastery in the name-of-the-real.
Whether French or English language, the non-naïve err in terms of wandering as well as of mistaking. So too Lacan's thoughts.
So who are they, the naïve?
Ancestors in search of connaissance did not err, certainly not in quest of errors. Still they were naïve enough as to "...fall in love with their unconscious;"
5 today we may fall in love with the unconscious but we know it. Problem is the unconscious is not the Holy Grail, not anymore, but annoying hard work. How is it then that the naïve is still prompted on the couch? You err, "...e, double r, this thing that takes us, there, when the sailing ship lets itself bob — the odds are that we may find the real somehow further in its pursuit, while realizing that the unconscious, although it is disharmonic, may take us into a bit more of this real, rather than to the little bit of reality we inhabit — that of the fantasme — let it take us beyond it: to the pure real."6
The pure real, is it the Grail? Should the pure real invoke the end of analysis, the symptom will have traveled the analytical Act. Evidence coming to light through ebbing jouissance, the symptom makes signs. Given that the psychoanalyst picks up on these signs, the non-dupes, "not ceasing to inscribe" the analyst/analysand couple, it's the impossible to disclose the subject. How does this subject decipher itself?
Let the S
2 be the real. Where the S2 pairs the analyst's supposed-knowledge to the Name-of-the-Father, it is unconscious wisdom " run through the cracks of the saying of truth." And let there be this that the subject doesn't know, will never know... The real is a deposit, the sediment that gets produced in the unattainable sexual relation. What may at last compensate for the absent relation is a hardened symptom. And let it be incurable, it will be the-name-of-the-symptom. The name of each patient is his name-of-symptom. What it will name — the pure real.
In the Borromean knot...
The subject, eventually identified with the symptom, will tie up the ciphered real — inside a word, in the symbolic — to an other real. Pure real inside a word, the x for this relation, plus-de-jouir, draws in the imaginary.
An imaginary spell, in the sense of this word, the name-of-symptom, spelling out the being: "You are..." Again a spell in the sense of desire giving way. The subject must act on this word: "Now you are a Lacanian... do it."
Where ink is one of-the-names-of-the-father, like Woman, like the psychoanalyst, like lalangue,
7, it does not exist. So the sexual relation. Castration in the Name-of-Lacan, the father perching on phallic jouissance... we act from lacanian ink, write its body... on the set of the empty set... in the 1 and the 0.




1. Jacques Lacan, "les-non-dupes-errent," unpublished seminar, 1973/4. back up
2. Jacques Lacan, Écrits: A Selection, transl. by Alan Sheridan, W.W. Norton, New York, 1977, p. 316. back up
3. Jacques Lacan, "les-non-dupes-errent," unpublished seminar, 1973/4. back up
4. Ibid. back up
5. Ibid. back up
6. Ibid. back up
7. Ibid. back up