chronology ||The Seminars of Jacques Lacan|
Le séminaire, Livre VII: L'éthique de la psychanalyse.
French: French: (texte établi par Jacques-Alain Miller), Paris: Seuil, 1986.
English: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (edited by Jacques-Alain Miller), New York: Norton, 1992.
At the root of the ethics is desire, but a desire marked by the "fault". Analysis' only promise is austere: it is "the entrance into-the-I," l'entrée-en-Je. "I must come to the place where the Id was," where the analysand discovers, in its absolute nakedness, the truth of his desire. The end of the cure is then the purification of desire. Lacan makes three statements: one is only guilty of "having given in on one's desire"; "the hero is the one who can be betrayed with impunity"; goods exist, but "there is no other good than the one that can pay the price of the access to desire," a desire that is only valid insofar as it is desire to know. Lacan laudes Oedipus at Colonus who calls down curses before dying, and he associates him with Antigone, walled up alive, who has not given in at all. Both have rejected the right to live in order to enter the "in-between-two-deaths," - entre-deux-morts - that is immortality.
Le séminaire, Livre VIII: Le transfert (dans sa disparité subjective).
French: (texte établi par Jacques-Alain Miller), Paris: Seuil, 1991.
In La relation d'objet Lacan provided a way of understanding the paradoxical function of transference in the analytical cure. In its symbolic aspect (repetition) it helps the cure progress by revealing the signifiers of the subject's history. He argues that in its imaginary aspect (love and hate) it acts as a resistance. He uses Plato's The Symposium to illustrate the rapport between analysand and analyst: Alcibiades compares Socrates to a box enclosing a precious object, agalma. Just as Alcibiades attributes a hidden treasure to Socrates, so too the patient sees his object of desire in the analyst. Lacan articulates the objet a with agalma, the object of desire we seek in the other.
Le séminaire, Livre IX: L'identification.
In Le transfert Lacan describes symbolic identification as identification with the signifier. Here, he examines the rapport of the subject to the signifier. In the three types of identification isolated by Freud in Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921, S.E. XVIII), he finds:
Le séminaire, Livre X: L'angoisse.
French: (texte établi par Jacques-Alain Miller), Paris: Seuil, 2004.
Lacan states that in Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety (1926, S.E. XX) Freud speaks of everything but anxiety just "to leave the emptiness in which there is anxiety." This affect, related to the structure of the subject, is not repressed but adrift; only the signifiers that anchor it are repressed. For Lacan anxiety, angoisse, is not without an object, but this object is unknown. Since anxiety is linked to desire, and fantasy is the support of desire, the starting point is the fantasme elaborated in the Graph of Desire in Les formations de l'inconscient: $<>a (Subject barred by the signifier/relation to/objet a, which is the object of desire, the imaginary part-object, an element imagined as separable from the rest of the body). He then proceeds to define objet a which relates anxiety with desire.
Le séminaire, Livre XI: Les quatre concepts fondamentaux de la psychanalyse.
French: (texte établi par Jacques-Alain Miller), Paris: Seuil, 1973.
English: Book XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (edited by Jacques-Alain Miller), New York: Norton, 1978.
January 15 1964, marks the opening session of the seminars at the École Nationale Supérieure where, in the presence of celebrities (Lévi-Strauss, Althusser, Fernand Braudel) and a new younger audience, Lacan talks about the censorship of his teachings and his excommunication from official psychoanalytical circles. He wants to train analysts and, at the same time, address the non-analyst by raising the following questions: Is psychoanalysis a science? If so, under what conditions? If it is - the "science of the unconscious" or a "conjectural science of the subject" - what can it teach us about science?
Le séminaire, Livre XII: Problèmes cruciaux pour la psychanalyse.
For Lacan the fundamental problem is that of the subject's relation to language. However, taking into account the Real - from the trilogy of the Symbolic, the Imaginary and the Real - modifies the situation. Previously, the crucial issues were the rapports between identification, transference and demand; now the queston "will entail the holding out of a form, of an essential topology for analytic praxis." The signifier returns as structured on the Moebius strip with three forms of the hole, the torus or ring, the cross-cap, and Euler's circles as the maze of the torus or of the spiral of the demand on the surface of the Klein bottle. These figure though constructed in a simple and combinatory way, are nevertheless complicated to comment.
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