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"I'm going to add a little more frosting on the Christ, because he is an important personage, and because it fits into my commentary on the baroque. It's not without reason that people say that my discourse has something baroque about it. I am going to raise a question—of what importance can it be in Christian doctrine that Christ have a soul? That doctrine speaks only of the incarnation of God in a body, and assumes that the passion suffered in that person constituted another person's jouissance. But there is nothing lacking here, especially not a soul.

Christ, even when resurrected from the dead, is valued for his body, and his body is the means by which communion in his presence is incorporation—oral drive—with which Christ's wife, the Church as it is called, contents itself very well, having nothing to expect from copulation. In everything that followed from the effects of Christianity, particularly in art—and it's in this respect that I coincide with the "baroquism" with which I accept to be clothed—everything is exhibition of the body evoking jouissance—and you can lend credence to the testimony of someone who has just come back from an orgy of churches in Italy—but without copulation. If copulation isn't present, it's no accident. It's just as much out of place there as it is in human reality, to which it nevertheless provides sustenance with the fantasies by which that reality is constituted. Nowhere, in any cultural milieu, has this exclusion been admitted to more nakedly. I will even go a bit further—don't think I don't mete out what I say (mes dires) to you—I will go so far as to tell you that nowhere more blatantly than in Christianity does the work of art as such show itself as what it has always been in all places—obscenity.

The dit-mension of obscenity is that by which Christianity revives the religion of men. I'm not going to give you a definition of religion, because there is no more a history of religion than a history of art. […]

"A woman can but be excluded by the nature of things, which is the nature of words and it must be said that if there is something that women themselves complain about enough for the time being, that's it. It's just that they don't know what they're saying - that's the whole difference between them and me. "The fact remains that if she is excluded by the nature of things, it is precisely in the following respect: being not-whole, she has a supplementary jouissance compared to what the phallic function designates by way of jouissance.
You will notice that I said "supplementary." If I had said "complementary" what a mess we'd be in! We would fall back into the whole. Women content themselves, any woman contents herself, being not-whole, with the jouissance in question and, well, generally speaking, we would be wrong not to see that, contrary to what people say, it is nevertheless they who possess men. […] But, and this is the whole point, she has different ways of approaching that phallus and of keeping it for herself. It's not because she is not-wholly in the phallic function that she is not there at all. She is not not at all there. She is there in full . But there is something more (en plus). Be careful with this "more" -beware of taking it too far too quickly. I cannot designate it any better or otherwise because I have to rough it out:…
There is a jouissance, since I am confining myself here to jouissance, a jouissance of the body that is, if I may express myself thus - why not make a book title out of it? It'll be the next book in the Galilee collection "beyond the phallus." That would be cute, huh? And it would give another consistency to the women's liberation movement. A jouissance beyond the phallus....
[…] There is a jouissance that is hers (a elle), that belongs to that "she" (elle) that doesn't exist and doesn't signify anything. There is a jouissance that is hers about which she herself perhaps knows nothing if not that she experiences it - that much she knows. She knows it, of course, when it comes (arrive). It doesn't happen (arrive) to all of them. "
[…] Confusing his contemplative eye with the eye with which God looks at him, must, if kept up, partake of perverse jouissance. For the Hadewijch in question, it's like for Saint Teresa - you need but go to Rome and see the statue by Bernini45 to immediately understand that she's coming. There's no doubt about it. What is she getting off on? It is clear that the essential testimony of the mystics consists in saying that they experience it, but know nothing about it. These mystical jaculations are neither idle chatter nor empty verbiage; they provide, all in all, some ofthe best reading one can find -at the bottom of the page, drop a footnote, "Add to that list Jacques Lacan's Ecrits," because it's of the same order. Thanks to which, naturally, you are all going to be convinced that I believe in God. I believe in the jouissance of woman insofar as it is extra (en plus), as long as you put a screen in front of this "extra" until I have been able to properly explain it. "

—JL - Encore - February 20, 1973








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