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A Sophism of Courtly Love

 

 

Eric Laurent

translated by Barbara P. Fulks

 

To resume again...

Pure Psychoanalysis,
Applied Psycho-
analysis and
Psychotherapy
J
ACQUES-ALAIN MILLER

A Sophism of
Courtly Love
E
RIC LAURENT

On Love as Comedy
A
LENKA ZUPANCIC

From Identification
to the Logic of
the Perceived
R
ICHARD KLEIN

Homo Sacer
in Afghanistan
S
LAVOJ ZIZEK

Marlene McCarty
C
ATHY LEBOWITZ
interviews
JOSEFINA AYERZA

Ruyter painting

The "Homage to Marguerite Duras, on Le ravissement de Lol V. Stein," is a Lacanian text from 1965, first published in the Cahiers Renault-Barrault, a theatre publication of august memory in the December edition of that year. Difficult to find in that edition, it was republished in Ornicar? in 1985.1 I reread this text, inspired by Jacques-Alain Miller's commentary on "Le Temps logique et l'assertion de certitude anticipée", and the structure of sophism linking the apologue of the three prisoners. In Marguerite Duras's novel,2 there is also a question of prisoners, but prisoners of a particular form of love that Lacan inscribes in a series of texts on courtly love. The novel describes the stages of seclusion, then the given outcome of the confinement. I wanted to follow the stages of the seclusion, structured by Lacan, in relationship to the sophism of the three prisoners.

Lacan's commentary on the Marguerite Duras text was inspired by Michèle Montrelay, which he mentions in the text. But Lacan had known Duras and her circle for a long time.3 They hadn't seen each other for awhile, and this was an occasion for a reunion in a period when Lacan was having a dialog with French feminist movements.

 

[...]

 

Art: Lisa Ruyter, The Hospital, acrylic on canvas, 2001
courtesy of Leo Koenig, Inc., NYC

 

1. Lacan, Jacques, "Hommage fait à Marguerite Duras du ravissement de Lol v. Stein," Ornicar? 34, Paris: Navarin, 1985. English translation by Peter Connor, "Homage to Marguerite Duras, on Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein," Marguerite Duras, San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1987.

2. Duras, Marguerite, The Ravishing of Lol Stein, New York: The Grove Press, 1986.

3. Adler, Laure, Marguerite Duras, Paris: Gallimard, 1998, p. 253.