The Economics of
Women and Families
Moments in a
The Child As Object
LILA ZEMBORIAN /
Eating Alone in the
Byways of Smithson
The Grandmother's Voice
CL INTERVIEWS JA
The Economics of Jouissance
translated by Asunción Alvarez
[…]The word "economics" has a purely Freudian origin. Freud used the term economics to refer to the point of view to be taken regarding libido—its circulation, its organization—which should be distinguished from the topographical distribution of the unconscious, the subconscious, and the conscious. The economic point of view, given by Freud when he was engaged in the elaboration of psychoanalysis, was already distinct from the wonders which appeared before him from interpretation as a deciphering.
Deciphering was Lacan's starting point. He had given its foundation in the "structure of language" — between inverted commas — taken from structural linguistics — a loan which followed on the footsteps of Lévi-Strauss, who had himself been taught by Roman Jakobson. Lacan brought a number of modifications to this structure of language, so that it could be of use to psychoanalysis, so that it could serve it. It was a matter of signifiers, of signifying elements, of signification effects, and of the relationship between signifier and signified. Lacan had added to his pot the theory of communication, which was a matter of speaker and recipient, of message, of reading and punctuation.
The economics of jouissance is something else altogether.
After twenty years' worth of constructions, Lacan was able to say that it still wasn't within his grasp. Is it any more within our grasp now — we who followed him in his last effort, in this turning which consists in trying to give this economics of jouissance an articulation which might prevail with regard to the structure of language?[…]
L'orientation lacanienne, "Choses de finesse en psychanalyse." Paris VIII, May 13 and 20 and June 10, 2009. The text has been transcribed and established by Jacques Péraldi, edited by Nathalie Groges-Labedbrichs and Yves Vanderveken.
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