Inhibition, Heautoscopy, Movement
Maire Jaanus

In the Freudian Lacanian body

Author’s Bio

Although we have not yet clarified in any ultimate way the distinction between matter in motion and an animate, living body in motion, we have since the time of Heraclitus, with rare exceptions (the Eleatics thought motion an illusion), believed in motion as a cosmological principle underlying all physical reality. A body in motion, however, includes the opposition of movement and nonmovement. At either extreme of motion or immobility there is suffering, some kind of deadly bliss, or death itself. To live a human rather than an animal life, we have, paradoxically, to arrest life, to inhibit its fundamental motility. To create a modicum of stable civilization we have had to learn all about nonrandom motion and measured variations. At certain periods, we have tended to privilege nonmovement, at others movement. Nonetheless, we have always been haunted by the fact of some kind of polarity, which is why Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover is not only an antiphon to the unanswerable question after the cause of motion (and thus an arrest of infinite regression) but a symbolic image that reconciles two impossible reals: motion and immobility. [1]


“A Disturbance of Memory on the Acropolis” is an account by Freud at age eighty of something that happened to him in 1904′, when he was only forty-eight years old, and in Athens for the first time with his younger brother. The incident is one he says he has “never understood,” and one that has, in recent years, begun to recur, troubling him often. [2]

The essay is a miniature case history of Freud himself, a heautoscopy. Freud is analyzing an abnormal manifestation in his own mind: a repudiation of pleasure. He dissects a pathological moment, in which there is a certain failure of functioning on his part, a default of an earned experience of delight. His acknowledgement that there was a loss of “happiness” – of something that “would have been so lovely” (314) – lends the essay a melancholy and even tragic tone because it is painful to see that even Freud could not evade the common human lot of disappointment and could not solve even for himself the enigma of human unhappiness.

Freud offers this self-analysis, as “the gift of an impoverished being” (311), to Romain Rolland on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, noting that the ten year difference between himself and Rolland is the same as that between himself and the brother with whom he had traveled, On one level, therefore, the essay is addressed to this brother to whom he now says something he omitted saying on the Acropolis.

Why does this moment above all others recur to Freud and demand analysis? Why does it recur now? What is the pathological episode about?

In German culture, Greece is like Mecca, a national spiritual ideal of the ego repeatedly formed and reformed into an array of dazzling myths by important cultural figures like Winkelmann, Wieland, Lessing, the Schlegel brothers, Hegel, Goethe. Eichendorf. Kleist, Nietzsche, Hofmannsthal, and Rilke, to name only a few. The German dialogue with Greece has been more intense and continuous than that of any other European country. Greece is a cultivated German’s very soul, a site where he expects illumination, inspiration, revelation, even bliss, and at the very least, pleasure. Every notable German on the Acropolis, or at the very thought of it, has somehow been deeply moved. Here is where totality had once existed (Schiller), where the idea of Humanität developed (Herder), where Christ and Dionysus will one day be reconciled in a new golden age of love (Hölderin). Most recently, it is here that Christa Wolf heard the voice of Cassandra:

I began to read Aeschylus’s Oresteia. I witnessed how a panic rapture spread through me, how it mounted and reached its pinnacle when a voice began to speak:
Aiee! Aieeeee!
Apollo! Apollo!
Cassandra, I saw her at once, She, the captive, took me captive… It worked at once, I believed every word she said; so there was still such a thing as unqualified trust. Three thousand years – melted away. [3]

But Freud on the Acropolis, also an heir by education to all this love of Greece, hears nothing, He sees nothing, he feels no delight. He remains unmoved.

Instead, he stands there, like the obsessional he always was doubting that he is where he is. He finds himself disbelieving in the very existence of Athens, The specific thought (actually sentence) that disrupts any sensuous or aesthetic experience he might have had is: “So all this really does exist just as we learned at school!” (313)

Freud says his disbelief and doubt were doubly displaced: from his relation to the Acropolis to the very existence of the Acropolis and from the present into the past of his schooldays – for the initial, incredulous affirmation, with its effect of negation: “So all this really does exist, just as we learned at school,” is displaced temporally into a past. This past thought, in yet a further displacement, turns out to be the replacement of a quite different thought that he had in fact had as a child. For it is not that he had, as a child, ever disbelieved in the existence of the Acropolis, but that he had doubted that be would ever have the happiness of being there.

Incredulity is the essential subject matter of his thought or speech. Instead of a direct consciousness of “joyful astonishment at finding myself at that spot” (316), there is the distortion and the distorting, rather senseless, and unpleasurable mental action of doubting. Freud says to himself: “By the evidence of my senses I am now standing on the Acropolis, but I cannot believe it.” His momentary feeling is:

“What I see here is not real.” (317) The feeling of “the unbelievable” and “the unreal” are the essential elements in his experience, (316) so that he fails in fact to have a phenomenological experience of the Acropolis, but becomes absorbed instead in lucubrations and worries that concern, in a sense, the substratum or presuppositions of having any experience whatever. He stops at the threshold of the act of experience, debarred from entry by disturbing, irrelevant thoughts.

His self splits into a speaker and listener, where each is surprised at the other: because one is forced by sense evidence to accept what he had doubted and the other because he never imagined that the Acropolis’s existence had or ever could be an object of doubt. Such an inner division is always inhibiting and a sign of conflict. [4] Potentially, this kind of break within and disintegration of one’s being is also a sign of the death drive or the turning around of the aim of a drive from pleasure to pain.

Freud calls his experience an experience of derealization (ein Entfremdungsgefuhl). He feels estranged or distanced or alienated from reality. To de-realize or to estrange is to say that what is, is not. Or it is to say that what is does not belong to me; it is not familiar, but strange. Derealization is a refusal of phenomenological reality; it is a refusal to see, to form. Reality is undone: it is not formed; it is not.

Complete de-realization would be not to constitute reality at all, not to form, and not to be able to see it because it is not formed. Freud obviously does constitute it, but refuses to believe in what he sees. He cannot see what he sees because he cannot believe what he is seeing. He refuses to affirm it. He withholds a positive judgment. Freud says derealization involves an anxiety that concerns keeping something out of oneself, and he contrasts it with déja vu and fausse reconnaissance, illusions in which we seek to accept something into our ego. (317) Derealization is a judgment of negation: it is a refusal to incorporate whereas déja vu is an affirmation and a willingness to incorporate.

Every doubter seems to become once again a Descartes: does what I perceive exist or not? What is real? Am I and my body real? Freud twists what concerned himself – a burning desire of his childhood to travel – into an ontological question alter the existence or nonexistence of Athens – as well as into an epistemological question alter the status of perception: is what I see here real? so that his incredulity seems to be directed primarily at reality. But the real question concerns himself, his feelings, his body, and his desire to see Athens, which seemed to him as a child “beyond the realms of possibility.” (319)

Disbelief, which is an attempt to repudiate a piece of reality, is comprehensible when reality threatens unpleasure, but the real question, as Freud says, is: “Why should disbelief arise in something which, on the contrary, promises to bring a high degree of pleasure?” (314)

Doubt is capable of striking at one’s very existence, at the body, and Freud is aware of this when he says that derealization is intimately connected to depersonalization, a state in which a piece of one’s own self, rather than a piece of reality, is strange to one. (317) In his self-analysis Freud brings back one estranged piece of himself – the child with its immense longing to travel for which Athens had long been a “distant, unattainable thing of desire” – but he does not mention his disembodiment, the immediate failure of his senses and perception before the Acropolis, and the alienation of his drives. For to exchange sensuous perception for doubt is to submit to an estrangement of one’s drives and thus, to a partial kind of disembodiment. It is a consent to the loss of bodily sense pleasure. Freud here loses, as did the doubter, Descartes, his carnal value. He too becomes a disembodied thinker.

The range of one’s erotic life – in the broad sense of all that one can love, transfer or become attached to: new places, objects, knowledge, etc. – as well as the success of the psychoanalytic treatment, as Freud often said, depends on the fundamental mobility or lack of motility of the libido. [5] Everyone has certain transference boundaries. The Acropolis seems to be Freud’s. Why?

The Acropolis seems to symbolize for Freud an object that is unobtainable (and it remains that), inconceivably distant, and distant in particular from his father. The unsaid, the consciously unwished, the words that he utters now in retrospect to his brother and that he might have said to him when they stood on the Acropolis are: “We really have gone a long way! … ‘What would Monsieur notre Père have said to this, if he could have been here to-day?”’ (320) The Acropolis is “a long way” from the lather. Peter Gay writes of the most secret layer of Freud’s mind as “bespeaking his never-quenched thirst for the days when he loved his young, beautiful mother and ran away from his old father.” [6] Is it that the Acropolis, which could have been “so lovely,” is in some way connected as well to all the fantasies of happiness linked at one time with his young, beautiful mother, the one so different and distant from the old lather?

Freud’s associations and examples at this moment have to do with power. The second sentence above is a quotation from Napoleon, the words he purportedly said to one of his brothers during his coronation as emperor, confirming that for Freud too Athens is a crowning moment. Another example (given to illustrate that derealization is a defense) concerns King Boabdil, who, to retain his feeling of power, burnt the letter and killed the messenger who brought him news of his city’s fall. Is it that acknowledging joy, always a power-enhancing experience in itself, would give Freud too much a sense of power over his lather, bringing on a conflict with the father, just as joy might bring unity with the mother? Such a combination of power and joy has to be prohibited. His prohibition takes the form of a castration of the senses and of belief in the senses and their ability to deliver a world.

Freud, we can say, following a commentary of Jacques-Alain Miller, speaks to himself (in lieu of the father, who represents speech) and with speech interdicts himself enjoyment. As Miller says:

But what does it mean to speak of lather and mother as signifiers? It means … that for both sexes, the father is prohibitor, and … the mother is a signifier of the primary object…what we call the function of the father is language itself, as dead… On the contrary, the mother is always linked to jouissance, to enjoyment. And that is why… what appeared in Freud as the father prohibiting access to the mother appears in Lacan as speech interdicting jouissance. And that is why you find in Lacan the idea that enjoyment as such is forbidden to the one who speaks. [7]

On the Acropolis, then, Freud re-encounters his father, dead now eight years, the father who forbids enjoyment, dreaming, wishing, and fantasy, who makes one submit to law, and who is too impoverished to enable one to fulfill one’s dreams of traveling. Law is necessity, and necessity, as Hegel said, is motionless.[8] The fantasy of traveling, on the other hand, is motion, part of the motor imaginary, and the exterior realization of an interior desire. It is an imagined escape from the pressure of the law as well as from the reduction and impoverishment of one’s wild, wishful capacity for joy that the father’s presence opposes. It is an escape that Freud did not indulge in enough and that he now realizes he cannot ever have again since he is old and “can travel no more.” (320)

Traveling is a substitute for the kind of concrete motor activity, movement, and motor control for which Freud had such an immense appreciation. One need only think of his concern fundamentally with activity and rest or mobile versus bound excitation in the Project For A Scientific Psychology or of his sympathy for little Hans and his interpretation that Hans had at root difficulty understanding the movement and excitation in his own body (“I’m a young horse”) and in that of others, so much so that he had to bring everything to a phobic arrest.

The content of his phobia was such as to impose a very great measure of restriction upon his freedom of movement, and that was its purpose. It was therefore a powerful reaction against the obscure impulses to movement, which were especially directed against his mother…since this pleasure in movement included the impulse to copulate, the neurosis imposed a restriction on it and exalted the horse into an emblem of terror.” [9]

Freud was in many ways more obsessed with the “obscure impulses to movement” than with the “obscure object of desire” (to borrow a title from Buñuel). He never abandoned his conviction that primal satisfaction comes from a discharge through motility[10] and that jouissance is in an essential relation to motion. Motor action means that for a moment thought is suspended. And it is this essential suspension of thought that Freud cannot attain on the Acropolis. Instead he thinks, and ideas themselves, as Freud said, can be symptoms covering up the truth of wishes. [11]

Traveling is essentially moving from place to place, a displacement. Hence, it is also related, as Miller has brilliantly pointed out, to consistency (knowledge), staying in a fixed place mentally, and therefore, also to its opposite, inconsistency (truth), the new, different, that which displaces. Psychoanalysis, Miller has said, constantly relearns a necessary dissatisfaction with knowledge from hysteria, which questions knowledge in the name of desire. The “barred ‘S’,” says Miller, “is fundamentally the subject who does not keep to his place; a displaced person, and we know eventually the importance of the symptoms of travel for such a person.” [12] Freud in his search for truth never kept to his place. His displaced himself constantly, almost hysterically, while always searching for the new, right insight. It reminds one that Freud discovered hysteria as a substratum also in obsessional neurosis.[13]

Freud always spoke of the rebellion against God as a displaced rebellion against the father, and Freud says here that what finally interfered with their enjoyment of Athens was a feeling of piety towards their father. Freud says that Athens could not have meant much to his uneducated father and so it ends up not being able to mean much to the son, who finds himself unable either to trespass beyond the father or to believe in him. Freud’s use of the word piety as well as his concern with the polarity of belief-disbelief throughout the essay strongly suggests that in his own case too his religious stand reflects his ambivalent stand towards his father. Athens is the pagan and Freud despite his atheism and his severe criticism of religion remained a Jew: “My parents were Jews, and I have remained a Jew myself.” [14] He could resolutely reject belief in the religion of his father, but not the religion itself. A fundamental impiety would be involved in becoming Greek-identified, as had so many other eminent Germans. Thus, although Freud allowed himself to disbelieve in religious belief and to characterize it as illusion, he could not allow himself to believe in something else.

Credo ergo sum – “To believe is to be” – Kierkegaard wrote in answer to Descartes’ cogito ergo sum.[15] To believe is to be connected to something, to disbelieve is to be disconnected. Belief is love, connection, identification, and a sense of power.[16] Disbelief is inherently allied to negation, unpleasure, and unreality just as belief is to affirmation, joy, and reality. To believe is to be because one allows the other to guarantee that one is. Not to believe is not to be or at best to doubt. Freud here in part is not. He doubts. Something in him is dead; something (guilt?) makes him resistant to joy. The immobilization of his sensuous perceptions and imagination is a self- punishment.

Is this an inhibition or a symptom? Freud says it is a failure in functioning and an abnormal structure. (317) In Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety, Freud calls an inhibition a “simple lowering of function” and a symptom an unusual change in function.”[17] A symptom is a degraded form of satisfaction, a substitutive process which must not find discharge in motility or become transformed into action, unless it is an action making an alteration in the subject’s own body.[18] Freud’s symptom is slight and momentary, a fleeting abnormality that most people would no more notice than they would a minor parapraxis, but Freud knows that the price such a momentary abnormality exacts is joy and that joy is related to motility.

Why is it so difficult to have pleasure? How much pleasure did Freud give himself? Enough to be on the Acropolis – for the most remarkable part of the essay for me is how he and his brother came to be on the Acropolis at all.

In Trieste on the way to Corfu, they saw an acquaintance who strongly advised them against going to Corfu because of the heat and suggested they take the Lloyd boat sailing to Athens that afternoon instead. The suggestion immensely depressed both brothers because they agreed that the idea was impractical, full of difficulties, and probably, impossible to execute because without passports they would not be allowed to land in Greece. Freud traces this depression to the immediate negation by his superego of such a deep fantasy, something he had uncovered in those wrecked by success and in those whose guilt or sense of inferiority made them feel unworthy of happiness and not capable of going beyond a certain pleasure-threshold.

Freud says that they spent the hours before the Lloyd office opened in a “gloomy state.”

But when the time came, we went up to the counter and booked our passages for Athens as though it were a matter of course, without bothering in the least about the supposed difficulties and indeed without having discussed with one another the reasons for our decision. (313)

Wordlessly, even stealthily, the brothers decide to go to Athens, an act of impious superiority over their father as it turns out later, as if these two represented the entire fraternal horde acting against the father. They move unhesitatingly, almost mindlessly, towards their object “as though it were a matter of course.” Freud sees their depression of that morning as a prefiguration of the symptom he experienced later: “We could not believe that we were to be given the joy of seeing Athens,” (315) but he says little about this sure, joint, silent action of their bodies, moving in mute consort, full of unspoken desire and belief, that brings the brothers to the Lloyd ticket window. He calls their behavior “strange” and says it was possible because Athens was at that moment only a possibility and not yet a reality! (313)

Thus the mere possibility of the actualization of a desire allows not only the motor imaginary, but motor movement and action whereas actuality itself stops motor activity – moving, even the drives, seeing, absorbing – because movement recalls some early unknown motion of excitement that it is dangerous to re-approach (perhaps in Freud’s case, the excitement and loveliness represented by his young mother, whom he saw undressed (nudam) as a child, on an overnight railway journey from Leipzig to Vienna).[19]

The Real (as opposed to reality) is approached by movement memories as well as by hallucination, and a motor image contains in it as much desire and as much danger of being transformed once again to jouissance as does an hallucination. For there is no doubt that only that has to be derealized which is immensely real: a reality that intimates behind it a Real, a desired encounter with sexual reality.

Freud was never quite sure where to locate motor movement. It is normally, certainly, in large part in the control of the ego (the will) and in the service of reality and action.[20] Still, given that movement has deep endogenous roots in the interior of our body and in our earliest experience, Freud also knew that the ego’s control of motility is more form than fact.[21] For the internal stimuli coming from our organs, that initially produce need, can, in their altered and modified erotic form as drive, produce a thrust (Drang) almost equal in charge to the major quantities of energy coming from the external world. It is certainly unusual to catch Freud himself at a moment when he is both wordless and acting wordlessly, a moment when his own motor movements are seemingly in the control of his id. Drive and desire join for a moment: he moves almost unconsciously (just short of literally sleepwalking) to get to Athens, but once there, he is immobilized. He does away with that which moves, his body. Disembodiment is not to be in the representation (the Darstellung as opposed to the Vorstellung) of the Real that is your body.”[22]

Thus we have, on the one hand, a cause of desire – the Acropolis – a fantasy object, associated perhaps in multifarious ways with all that for Freud was jouissance, and the elaboration of a motor imaginary, and real action. And, on the other, a lack of enjoyment, inhibition, and prohibition. Inhibition (the initial depression in Trieste) is the precursor of the prohibition (the disturbance on the Acropolis). The binding up of pleasure is a necessity, but an unconscious arrest of pleasure or a turning about of pleasure into pain or unpleasure is a symptom.

Freud chooses to analyze his unpleasure and failure rather than such pleasure as he had (after all he was there), giving himself more unpleasure (granted that it is less pleasurable to analyze unpleasure than to analyze pleasure). Thus, when it is a matter of enjoyment, Freud’s superego always returns him to the Imaginary relation (to the other who disapproves, the father who could be looking at him and his brother), to the oedipal scene and its forbidding laws, but when it is a matter of intellectual discovery, knowledge, and truth, Freud is unbounded and uninhibited, his own law. Evidently, his knowledge could not harm his father, but his desires, including those for his mother, could. His very desire for joy, maintained by a guilt at the thought of having it, assured his inability to have it.

Before his death Socrates’ daimon told him to “practice music!” Nietzsche interpreted this as Signifying that Socrates finally sensed that something was missing in his philosophy: the acknowledgement of death, of Dionysus, and of unreason.[23] One cannot accuse Freud of all these omissions, but if the essay on the Acropolis, written two years before his death, catches Freud as if asking for one last time: what have I missed and why? What crime have I committed that I am debarred from joy? One can imagine Freud’s daimon answering him: “practice movement!” Freud was condemned always to look for the meaning, but movement is designed for pleasure, not for meaning.


I turn now to the astonishingly brilliant commentary where Lacan looks at Freud looking at himself in the dream of Irma, in which Lacan is in fact not only interpreting Freud’s dream but presenting his own understanding of his three orders: the Real, the Symbolic, and the Imaginary. Lacan says that he will try to see what the dream “signifies in the symbolic and the imaginary order,” but clearly what utterly fascinates him in the dream is the order of the Real.[24]

Lacan calls this the first dream, the initial, typical, inaugural dream – “the dream of dreams” (147,152) – not only because Freud positions it first in The Interpretation of Dreams (an act by means of which he in any case says implicitly that it is the most important dream) but because in it Freud discovers and reveals his own unconscious desire which is his desire for the unconscious and his desire to become the Freud he became, the founder of psychoanalysis. In essence, here Freud discovers that he desires to be Freud; he affirms being Freud: and he finds the way to be Freud.

Therefore, what Lacan is saying is that it is possible, paradoxically, to discover the truth in dreams. We come at once upon a reevaluation of the neoclassical evaluation of the dream. For example, Descartes believed that dreaming, like the imagination, was inevitably inferior to reasoning (less clear and distinct) and not entirely false only because it was God after all who had placed the senses and the imagination in us.

And because our reasoning is never so clear and complete during sleep as when we are awake, although sometimes the acts of our imagination are then as lively and distinct, if not more so than in our waking moments, reason furthermore dictates that, since all our thoughts cannot be true because of our partial imperfections, those possessing truth must infallibly be found on the experience of our waking moments rather than in that of our dreams.[25]

Lacan and Freud make much of this “more so than in our waking moments,” discovering that this long mysterious vividness of dreams is the result of the hallucinatory gleam casts by images afire with desire and of the extreme motility of signifiers free of their signifieds or meanings. Freud and Lacan reverse Descartes’ diminution of the value of dreams: our truth (although we ourselves can never entirely know it) is found in dreams.

Freud tells us that this dream reveals his wish “to be innocent of Irma’s illness.” Lacan brushes this aside as a preconscious or rather an entirely conscious desire.(151) The unconscious desire is far vaster, enormous, impossible to obtain: it is to be exonerated of all guilt, of the very guilt of having discovered the unconscious and of instituting psychoanalysis as such.

According to Lacan, the dreamer, the true subject, says:

I am he who wants to be forgiven for having dared to begin to cure these patients, who until now no one wanted to understand and whose cure was forbidden. I am he who wants not to be guilty of it, for to transgress any limit imposed up to now on human activity is always to be guilty. I want not be (born) that … Precisely to the extent that I desired it too much, that I wanted to be myself, the creator. I am not the creator. The creator is someone greater than I. It is my unconscious, it is the voice which speaks in me, beyond me. This is the meaning of this dream. (70)

Freud is the mere scribe, the recorder, not only of his own dream but of the dream of psychoanalysis itself: which has to be of and about the unconscious, concerned with its fundamental substance and form. Freud’s dream, for Lacan, states what the unconscious is, namely language, and affirms that the subject of the unconscious really says something beyond the ego or beyond what consciousness is able to say. Given that Freud is truly only a scribe, then he is exonerated in all guilt, even that of having discovered the unconscious, because it is and he is merely its spokesman.

In this dream, in which Freud establishes the truth of the existence of a subject of the unconscious, he moves definitively beyond the nineteenth century identification of the unconscious with the body to a vision where the unconscious is rather the recoil from carnal reality, a recoil and decampment made possible by language. (This decampment, of course, is never absolute, not even in psychosis). Lacan grants his own discovery of the unconscious, as built upon signifiers, scraps of linguistic material free of meanings, to Freud. Freud was already dreaming Lacan.(170)

The essence of the Freudian discovery, says Lacan, is that there is a subject beyond the ego and de-centered in relation to the ego. If this is not true, if this subject beyond consciousness does not exist, says Lacan, then all his own teachings are false.(148)

Philosophers have always looked for a subject beyond the ego, although never before in the dream. And it had not occurred to them to suspect that this subject is linguistic. One of the forms that this search for a meta-subject has taken is the notion of a social subject, ethically elevated above the individual. Thus, historically, a strong ethical injunction against narcissism (precisely. as certain moralists, like Rochefoucauld and Molière, pointed out, because we are selfish) always existed alongside the idea that the perfection of the self was attained together with the common social good.

Descartes helped do away with all these pieties about our interest in the good of the all, says Lacan, by discovering that a formal, empty, solipsistic subject is indeed all he is. He discovered, essentially: when I think, I exist; when I don’t think, I don’t exist. Beyond the certainty of my thinking, I know nothing. God alone guarantees everything else: the world, the body, others, and in a sense one can add, His own existence, because il one’s single and central certainty is that “I” exist, then by implication one is not sure that God exists. Not that Descartes ever said that, but his position implies a heresy.

Lacan asks, what thinks ”I” in Descartes? Does something like an object really become visible with or to the “think?” (6-7) Lacan wants to point out that language thinks this “I” of Descartes. What “thinks” is “materialism” (motérialisme), as he later calls it, playing on the French words, mot and matérialisme.[26] This “moterialism” is what is autonomous, not the ego, which is always dependent on others. (”The ego is never just the subject … it is essentially a relation to the other.”) (177) And only an “I,” emerging from “moterialism,” can attain separation from others (albeit not from language). Thus, the subject of the signifier, objective and “scientific”, is not the ego of classical theory, or the outwardly oriented individual of Darwin or the behaviorists, who talk of our adaptation to the world (8-9), but the inner core of our being (der Kern unseres Wesens), able to speak when we are not conscious.

It is clear that in the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant was also searching for a subject beyond the ego, an objective subject, free of purely subjective factors, such as need, sell-love, sell-interest, desire, inclination, or anything that appeals to our imagination, like the idea of perfection or social unity, or the classical ideal of the ethical citizen of the state. Kant’s subject wills only what is universal, necessary, unconditional, objectless, and free: “Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become universal law,” (a willing which in fact does not at all escape the relationship to the other but, on the contrary, makes it absolute).[27] This subject is dedicated to what would win everyone’s unqualified consent, as a mathematical truth or formula does: the categorical imperative. This imperative makes of every human being a legislative being, able to give the law to himself by his reason. It gives us the dignity of beings who need obey no other law but that which we have given to ourselves.[28] (The implicit heresy here lies in the fact that ethically we have obviated God and the need for the decalogue.)

Kant’s subject commands. it does not speak, which is why Lacan says in “Kant aver Sade.” that what we hear here is neither the voice of the ego nor that of the subject of the unconscious, but the inhuman voice of the superego.[29] By contrast, what humanizes Lacan’s (and Freud’s) discovery of the signifiers of the unconscious is that they are linked to desire, to Freud’s impossible wish, for example, to be completely exonerated. Because the Kantian voice commanded, nothing less than the universal. it could not wish the individual. The ten commandments (that Kant managed to reduce to one) and the categorical imperative prohibit subjective desires. Human truth, however, can only be found when you do not prohibit desires.

Thus, whereas for Kant it was reason that enabled us to legislate autonomously without God, and to create another realm, the realm of ends or of understanding (in opposition to the realm of nature, the Sadean realm of motion and motor discharge) and to apprehend a moral commandment that operates on us like a law of nature, like gravity, for Lacan what could give such impartiality can only be something other than us, as language is. Language as a set of material signs and syntactical rules (not speech) is autonomous and operative without us, like a machine. Such a semi autonomous mechanism, outside of us and yet inexorably active in us, gives us the equivalent of what the Greeks called fate, the irrational: a linguistic destiny, something which simultaneously exculpates us from guilt while making us guilty.

In the second and final climax of this dream, Freud sees “trimethylamine.” spelled out before him “very vividly, hallucinated as a formula.” as he says in the Project for a Scientific Psychology.[30] He sees signifiers in denuded, abstract, and skeletal form, “beyond the hubbub of speech.” language in fact as a wall, separating us both from the Real and the Imaginary. The formula, says Lacan:

gives no reply whatsoever to anything. But the very manner in which it is spelt out, its enigmatic, hermetic nature, is in fact the answer to the question to the meaning of the dream. One can model it closely on the Islamic formula – There is no other God but God. There is no other word, no other solution to your problem, than the word. (158)

The formula is a hallucinated vision of language as the Other: the signifier, without signified, without meaning, communication, or the transit to others: without the dimension of the voice or the drive or therefore the Real, as body or action.[31] As a radical reduction of language to structure, to a set of formal signs obeying formal rules (”This word means nothing except that it is a word”) (170), it is a kind of an extreme, an absolute, the Mene, Tekel, Upharsin of the Bible,” the mystifying handwriting on the wall in chapter five of Daniel.(158) But that, in fact, as Lacan says:

is what the dream leads up to. The coming into operation of the symbolic function in its most radical absolute usage endsup abolishing the action of the individual so completely that by the same token it eliminates his tragic relation to the world… The extreme use of the radically symbolic character of all truth makes it lose the sharp edge of its relation to truth. At the heart of the flow of events, of the functioning of reason, the subject from the first move finds himself to be no more than a pawn, forced inside his system, and excluded from any truly dramatic, and consequently tragic, participation in the realization of truth.(168)

The symbolic alone, disconnected from the other orders, is no longer human truth. In a world where we would be radically and exclusively determined by language, where there would only be “this speech which is in the subject without being a speech of the subject,” (171) all ethics would be abolished and we would, therefore, be guiltless. If language acts and we are only the subjects of language (subjected to language, its effect) our action loses its tragic character and we are no longer responsible or even co-responsible.

To excuse himself is Freud’s desire and he structures his dream brilliantly to attain his wish. In his dreams, albeit only in his dreams, Freud, always so guilty (as on the Acropolis), really has satisfaction and unlike most of us, he knows it. Outside of dreams, however, the price of being exclusively determined by the symbolic (which we are not) would be psychosis or death.

The formula issues from the “mouth” of no one (Nemo), from a “subject outside the subject,” (159) from a Freud who has broken away from others, from his body, and who has broken through his ego and its image, (which are both pure resistance and Vemeinung) (159), from a Freud, therefore, who is acephalic or headless because the head (the ego) is Imaginary.

If there is an image which could represent for us the Freudian notion of the unconscious, it is indeed that of the acephalic subject, of a subject who no longer has an ego, who doesn’t belong to the ego. And yet he is the subject who speaks … (167)

One can see in Lacan’s interpretation a clear prefiguration of what he later named the Borromean knot, the necessary interlinking of the three orders, because it is evident that Lacan sees at once the scientific subject (given to us by “moterialism”) and its limitations, meaninglessness, and even logical impossibility without the order of the Real and the Imaginary. The subject inheres in all three orders and uses one order or allows himself to be used by it in order to attempt to escape from another order. Freud lands in the unconscious symbolic (or Lacan grants him his own vision of the nature of the unconscious signifier) just after he has experienced a trauma in the Real and a crisis in the Imaginary.

It is Freud’s experience in his dream of a crisis in the Imaginary, a drastic impasse in all his relationships and identifications, that inexorably forces him to leap to the comparative stability and seemingly “scientific” orderliness of language, submitting himself to being caused by language rather than by nature (the Real), the body or by other people (his Imaginary identifications), and certainly not by their incoherent discourse, their “great cacophony” of dubious and unsure scientific opinions. (168) The only law which this crowd seems capable of coming up with is the nonsensical consensus: “if no one is right, everyone is right.” (160) It is the futility of the interhuman discourse, the speech of the group, of the polycephalic or multi-headed subject, (l67) that gives Freud’s desire the final incentive to find and encode another law, the speech of the unconscious.

After his trauma in the Real (to which I will return anon) Freud convokes his peers and friends (stand-ins and repetitions of his original oedipal relations) for succor, anchorage, and stabilization. 1167) He is trying to halt his dissolution, since he knows perfectly well that his ego is nothing but a contingent, ragbag collection of fusionary identifications, “a precipitate of abandoned object- cathodes,” other selves and things identified with to avoid helplessness or get a bit of power and pleasure.”[32] The encounter with the Real does not produce regression, (155) but makes us cry out for the other. The death-intimidating Real makes us want to be something, which means being with someone or something, almost anything, even something entirely inert, since the human capacity and tolerance for “structuring identifications” is as Lacan says, exceptionally loose compared to that of the animal. (166)

The ego is a wildly heterogeneous conglomerate, not an organically developed entity like a “great tree” which achieves “a miraculous equilibrium.” (155) Because it is a conglomerate, the ego can be lost, “blown up;” it can decompose, fade away, “dissociate into its various egos.” (176) In Freud’s dream, says Lacan, we are dealing with a “spectral decomposition of the function of the ego,” “with an imaginary decomposition.” (165) The “great tree” of consciousness (an allusion perhaps to Hegel’s mighty vision of the organic development of Absolute Spirit at the opening of the Phenomenology”)[33] – orderly, unified, and rational – cannot be relied on because it doesn’t exist. When the ego, with its special inertness, because structured always along the lines of the body image (167) is destroyed, so is Freud’s guilt (168) because the guilt is towards others, in the Imaginary order. Immediately, he finds himself in the liberating, but also dangerously abstract and scientific order of the Symbolic.

However the Symbolic, unless loosened psychotically from the Real – as is possible in dreams, which are, in any case, inherently psychotic”[34] – is not as autonomous as the nonhuman use of language (cybernetics for example) suggests, but still inexorably related to the Real – in the case of physics, to matter, and in the case of humans, to bodies, sex, and death. Freud’s trauma in the Real begins with the mouth.

What comes out of Irma’s mouth, a potent condensation if ever there was one (and for Lacan more so than Freud), is amazing: a chemical formula as well as the odor of spent sperm: words and vomit;[35] eros and death, the alpha and omega of life. The formula for trimethylamine, though itself abstract, is the sign of the chemical that is a decomposition product of sperm, the ammonia-like smell of sperm in the air, pointing to something absent but real. (158) In other words, the still and sacred signs beyond the ego, the handwriting on the wall, point back to sexuality and excitation, to something else, moving and in flow, which is neither Imaginary nor Symbolic, but Real, the smell of expiring semen. Given the two climaxes of the dream: the mouth (the encounter with the formless) and the formula (the form), we see that the one issues from the other, the word from the mouth, along with the sperm.

Irma, whose mouth Freud tries to open so that he can look in (the whole point of analysis, as Lacan points out), stands in at once for his relationship to the feminine as such, to that which makes “libidinal demands on the mind” (also Fliess), and to death (his two major anxieties). (176) She is the composite of several women whom he wants or doesn’t want (as patients), who are toothless or not (who can or cannot incorporate or devour him in an oral death), widowed or not, dead (Mathilde) or not, and who remind him of his own body, his ailments, his vulnerable finitude, and his desires.[36]

The mouth, for Freud, was itself something inaugural, a beginning:

The first organ to emerge as an erotogenic zone and to make libidinal demands on the mind is from the time of birth onwards, the mouth. To begin with, all psychical activity is concentrated on providing satisfaction for the needs of that zone…baby’s obstinate persistence in sucking gives evidence at an early stage of a need for satisfaction, which…strives to obtain pleasure independently of nourishment and for that reason may and should be termed sexual.[37]

This first zone, related to sexuality and the feminine, object and hole at once, absent pleasure and drive, is the point in the dream to which Lacan returns, again and again, almost compulsively, revealing his fascination in the very fact of the multiple returns as well as in his heightened figurative language. This mouth, says Lacan, is a horrendous discovery…of the flesh one never sees, the foundation of things, the other side of the head, of the face… the flesh from which everything exudes, at the very heart of the mystery, the flesh in as much as it is suffering, is formless, in as much as its form in itself, is something which provokes anxiety. Spectre of anxiety, identification of anxiety, the final revelation of you are this – You are this, which is so far from you, this which is the ultimate formlessness. (154-5)

“You are this” here means that Freud is looking at the very source of the drive, the unknowable point where it disappears into organic, somatic reality, where it and with it any sense of our body that we have, are lost in the organism as such, in formlessness. Freud leads us, says Lacan, to the terrifying anxiety-provoking image, to this real Medusa’s head, to the revelation of this something which properly speaking is unnameable, the back of this throat, the complex, unlocatable form, which also makes it into the primitive object par excellence, the abyss of the feminine organ from which all life emerges…and the image of death in which everything comes to an end. (164)

The metaphoric condensation collapses mouth, vagina, womb, phallus, birth, and death. It is a frightening, but privileged experience of the Real, the unnameable and unlocatable. What Freud sees is not seeable. because it is not an object, but an apparition of the real. It is:

the real lacking any possible mediation…the ultimate real…the essential object, which isn’t an object any longer, but this something faced with which all words cease and all categories fails, the object of anxiety par excellence. (164)

The third time Lacan turns to it, he calls it the “enigmatic image,” the navel of the dream, an “abyssal relation to that which is most unknown…in which the real is apprehended beyond all mediation be it imaginary or symbolic.” (176-7) Clearly, for Lacan, this encounter with the flesh is a sublime experience, but one in which the imaginative accent falls on the apprehension of formlessness and anxiety rather than, as in Kant, on the surpassing of the anxiety- provoking unbounded sublime by means of the concept of totality.

It is of course Lacan to whom the vision belongs or who extends it, because he seems to sense, as if for the first time, or certainly with the radiant freshness that characterizes the first time, the full weight of the Real compared to the other orders as well as the fact that the status of the unconscious depends as much on establishing its inherence in the Real as in language.

Lacan’s vision is a classical descent into “the inferior domain” as Cixous called it – a descent into Hell, into the Inferno, to death, to where creation begins, to where there is formlessness, namelessness, chaos, the intense anxiety of nonbeing, incoherence, physiological disfunctionalisation,[38] but where, one might add, there is also incomprehensible commotion, turbulence, and excitation; and undefined, meaningless movement – non coordinated, objectless, painful and pleasurable at once.

For why would we be so concerned with all that is stable and stabilizing: with the power of language images, names, nomination, structuration, law – if at the core were not something radically unstable, not merely the formless, but movement itself?

It is through nomination that man makes objects subsist with a certain consistence…The name is the time of the object…If the human subject didn’t name…no world, not even a perception, could be sustained for more than an instant. (169-170)

True enough, but there is something in the subject besides the signifier, or the object and non-object, or even the mysterious, founding, and lost objet a,[39] and that is movement and immobility, which we sense in the action of needs and drives. The original anxiety, provoked by the Real, is not only the anxiety of formlessness, or the loss and fall of objet a, but an anxiety having to do with movement and immobility. Objet a is unknowable, but motion, what Freud originally called “Q” in the Project for a Scientific Psychology, is also unknowable.

The mirror is a surface that reflects back form, the dream is a mirror that reflects back movement, being moved or not, being satisfied or not. The mirror provides us with the opportunity of a heautoscopy; we see our body image, and in the light of it, the world. The dreamwork is a labor for our satisfactions. Autoscopy forgets movement. The dream reminds us of all the motion and stillness we have lived and witnessed. It is the apprehension of living matter by its most essential characteristics: motility and mutability.

Lacan tends in this analysis to focus on the highly condensed images – the mouth, the acephalic Freud, the formula – that seem to form and then to explode under the force and pressure of their own massive condensation. But he also sees the fluidity and mobility of these images. They are unsettled, mutable, plastic, inconstant, and shifting. Pulsating with the libidinizing drives, these images, in the midst of waves and oscillations, are unarrestable, gleaming, driven; the entire dream, with “’the outline of Luder-Amour coming into Sight at the darkest center’” (162) is a pulsing series of micro and macro movements.

It is an image of waves, of oscillations, as if the entire world were animated by a disquieting imaginary pulsation and at the same time an image of fire…(162)

Dreamwork, the essence of dreaming, is not about thought, nor is it primarily about form, or the formation of hallucinated images, or even about transformation,[40] but about work. It is libidinized labor and action, a labor of desire that requires the literal moving about of “moterialism” and images to different positions and places to suit desire and to keep alive its fire, while avoiding conflagration by nothing less than an ingenious and “demonic”[41] activity of dramatization, displacement, fragmentation, and condensation. What guides all the commotion is actually “compromise.[42] Even while dreaming we seem to know that the reality principle for us concerns the moderation or inhibition of pleasure since otherwise pleasure ends (given that to cease is its aim) or becomes a painful excess. There is a shift in emphasis in the later Lacan, as Jacques-Alain Miller has argued, from “the unconscious speaks” to “the unconscious plays” and “enjoys,”[43] which also means, one might add: the unconscious moves, as it plays, as it enjoys.

In his effort to conceptualize movement in Die Kindliche Bewegungsunruhe (”Movement Unrest or Motor Restlessness in The Child”), Karl Landauer postulates that birth is an autoplastic “motor storm” – which subjects the newborn to an excess of stimulation both from the exterior world and its own interior organism (as temperature changes, new tactile sensations and respiration begin etc.) – and which creates a fundamental link between anxiety and movement, rather than anxiety and the objet a.[44] This initial movement is fragmented, afunctional. Incoherent, and at once pleasurable and unpleasurable: a catastrophic jouissance. In the infant’s initial movements pleasure and suffering are scarcely distinguishable. These movements are at once an expression of unpleasure (at excess stimulation) and an attempt to create satisfaction by means of a discharge of the stimulation (so as to bring about a stimulus stillness or arrest).

A continuity of movement is only established gradually, just as is the unity of the body image. Coordinated and coherent movements, and entire, harmonized movement sequences, montages, or scenarios come to inhibit and organize movement in order to assure motor pleasure and control. Landauer argues that movement is the very terrain where the reality principle begins as the infant learns to shape, to regularize, and to “rhythmisize” its movement, for example, by sucking. Sucking – an even, rhythmic movement, self- soothing and pleasurable – is already a considerable achievement (as every mother knows), a regularization of the oral drive, since the newborn does not necessarily know how to suck, but has to be forced into doing it or tricked by drops of milk on its lips.[45] Modeled, shaped, patterned – random motor excitation becomes a resource that can be deployed against catastrophic jouissance, and it can become a way to renew the pleasure that always ends, that plunges always into the death drive.

Motor anxiety concerns a fundamental apprehension of an inadequacy of pleasure within excitation, or an inability to elicit it out of excess excitation. Anxiety in relation to movement has to do with the absence of control, and the sense of one’s autoerotic inadequacy and incompleteness, as well as with the fundamental absence of the object.[46] Landauer gives the example of an infant whose hand would strike out wildly into space until she found her hair, a first love object, whose discovery allowed the movement to direct itself and to repeat itself, creating a scenario of more limited and regulated enjoyment, but one with a design, with a beginning and an end.[47] Here “the moment of the object is the moment in which movement congeals.”[48] But even when the drives course around the mere “presence of the hollow, the void” – and the itinerary is goalless and aimless, “the way taken” shapes the drive.[49]

There is no pleasure without movement or having moved. One cannot “come” without moving. This is why the Sadean philosopher in the bedroom can despise God because He does not move or only did “one single time and, thereafter through millions of centuries, is fixed in a contemptible stillness and inactivity.” The Sadean philosopher turns to nature which, by contrast, is matter in action.[50] To discharge is nature’s holy law. It God doesn’t move, He doesn’t “come”, and what is a God who cannot discharge!

Movement is pleasure, but not exclusively. The Sadean philosopher pursues pleasure (via pain) to its end, which is death. He knows nothing about the intricate compromises in movement and displacement demanded by pleasure and desire, as revealed in the dream. He sees no distinction between matter in motion and a living body in motion.

Insight into the motor imaginary is reached only when the physical body is forgotten and the body image and all the other forms and objects that are pinned on it are shattered. For the body image is too caught up in the pleasure of the perception of objects to describe the movement of the drives. Insight comes, perhaps, in dreams and art because these attack the ego, and go beyond the ego, putting consciousness in danger. When the ego is tom apart so is the body image, which means that the subject falls into pieces in immoderate excitation, and only then perhaps can it come symbolically to appreciate the absolute beauty and lenitive power of life in rhythmic motion.

This is why our more sophisticated cultural motor imaginary combines movement and immobility in its representations. Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover – immaterial, actuality without matter – is at rest, unmoved himself, but with the power to move other objects by acting as the object of their desire and their thought.

And Dante, at the end of Paradiso, contemplating the mystery of the three, the Trinity, and then of the two, the double nature of Christ, realizes that he is turning what is the eternal light into mathematics, “like the geometer who sets his mind to the squaring of the circle…I wished to see how the image was fitted to the circle.” The ancient and mathematically insoluble problem is something no mind is equal to, but he says he was granted, nonetheless, to experience a solution, that his mind was “smitten by a flash of lightening wherein came its wish” and he convinces us that he was satisfied because he goes on to say: “but now my desire and will, like a wheel that spins with even motion, were resolved by the Love that moves the sun and other stars.”[51] “Even motion,” the movement of the sun and stars regulated by perfect desire, a balance of the moved and the unmoving -that was Dante’s last vision.


[1] A shorter version of this paper was delivered at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of The International Association for Philosophy and Literature on Bodies: Image, Writing, Technology at the University of California. Irvine on April 28. 1990.

[2] Sigmund Freud. “A Disturbance of Memory on the Acropolis” in Character and Culture, New York: Collier Books, 1963.

[3] Christa Wolf, Cassandra, trans. Jan van Heurck, New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1984.

[4] Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, trans. A.A. Brill, New York: Random House, 1938.

[5] See Sigmund Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, trans.
James Strachey, New York: W.W. Norton. 1966.

[6] Peter Gay, Freud: A Life For Our Time, New York: W.W. Norton, 1988.

[7]Jacques·Alain Miller. “To Interpret the Cause: from Freud to Lacan,” Newsletter of the Freudian Field, Spring/Fall. 1989.

[8] G.W.F. Hegel, The Philosophy of Fine Art, vol. I., quoted in Reconstructing Aesthetics, eds. Agnes Heller and Ference Feher, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986.

[9] Sigmund Freud, “Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy” in The Sexual Enlightenment of Children, New York: Collier Books, 1963.

[10] See Sigmund Freud, Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety, trans. Alex Strachey, New York: W.W. Norton, 1959.

[11] See Sigmund Freud, Five Lectures on Psycho·Analysis, trans. James Strachey (New York: W.W. Norton, 1990).

[12] Jacques-Alain Miller, “A and a in Clinical Structures” in Acts of the Paris-New York Psychoanalytic Workshop.

[13] Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety.

[14] Sigmund Freud, An Autobiographical Study, trans. James
Strachey, New York: W. W. Norton, 1952.

[15] Soren Kierkegaard, The Sickness unto Death in Fear and Trembling and The Sickness unto Death, trans. Walter Lowrie, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968.

[16] See also Freud’s discussion of variants of such Jove, identification, and power in Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, trans. James Strachey, New York: W.W. Norton, 1959.

[17] Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety.

[18] Ibid

[19] Peter Gay notes that even at age 41, Freud cannot describe to Fliess this episode of the awakening of his libido “toward matrem” without “Iapsing into safe distancing Latin.” Freud: A Life for Our Time.

[20] Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id, trans. Joan Riviera, New York: W.W. Norton, 1960

[21] Ibid

[22] Monique David-Ménard makes this distinction between Vorstellung and Darstellung in Hysteria From Freud to Lacan: Body and Language in Psychoanalysis, trans. Cathetine Porter, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989.

[23] Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy and The Genealogy of Morals, trans. Francis Goltting, New York: Doubleday, 1956. See Maire Jaanus, Literature and Negation, New York: Columbia University Press, 1979.

[24] Jacques Lacan, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book I, The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954-5, ed. Jacques·Alain Miller, trans. Sylvia Tomaselli, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

[25] René Descartes, Meditations, trans. John Veitch in The Rationalists, New York: Doubleday, 1960.

[26] Jacques Lacan. “Geneva Lecture of the Symptom,” Analysis 1, 1989.

[27] Immanuel Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals in Philosophical Writings, ed. Ernst Behler, New York: Continuum, 1986.

[28] Immanuel Kant, Foundations.

[29] Jacques Lacan, “Kant avec Sade,” in Écrits, Paris: Seuil, 1966.

[30] Sigmund Freud, “Project for a Scientific Psychology,” SE I.

[31] I am indebted here to Marie-Hélène Brousse and the distinctions that she made between language and speech.

[32] Freud, Ego and Id.

[33] G.W.F. Hegel, The Phenomenology of Mind, trans. J.B. Baillie, New York: Doubleday, 1963.

[34] See one of the many times Freud states this: “A Dream, then is a psychosis, with all the absurdities, delusions and illusions of a psychosis. A psychosis of short duration, no doubt, harmless, even entrusted with a useful function. None the less it is a psychosis, and we learn from it that even so deep-going an alteration of mental life as this can be undone and can give place to the normal function,” An Outline of Psycho-Analysis, trans. James Strachey, New York: W.W. Norton, 1979.

[35] Irma has a particular “tendency to vomit”, Lacan reminds us. Seminar II.

[36] Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams.

[37] Freud, An Outline of Psycho-Analysis.

[38] Hélène Cixous, “The School of Roots,” a lecture at the University of California, Irvine, April 26, 1990.

[39] Jacques Lacan, Television, trans. Denis Hollier, Rosalind Krauss, Annette Michelson and A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment, trans. Jeffrey Mehlman, ed. Joan Copjec, New York: W.W. Norton. 1990.

[40] Jean François Leotard, “The Dream·Work Does Not Think” in The Lyotard Reader, ed. Andrew Benjamin, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1981.

[41] Sigmund Freud, On Dreams, trans. James Strachey, New York: W.W. Norton, 1952.

[42] Ibid

[43] Jacques-Alain Miller, lecture at the Lacan Conference 1990 April
14, 1990, Barnard College. New York.

[44] Karl Landauer, “Die kindliche Bewegungsunruhe: Das Schicksal dec den Stammganglien unterstehenden triebhaften Bewegungen,” in Internationale für Psychoanalyse, 12, 1926.

[45] Ibid

[46] David-Ménard, Hysteria, 160.

[47] Landauer, 383-4.

[48] David-Ménard, 155.

[49] Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho- Analysis, ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. Alan Sheridan, New York. W.W. Norton, 1981.

[50] Marquis de Sade, The Philosophy in the Bedroom in The Marquis de Sade, Three Complete Novels, trans. Richard Seaver, Austrian Wainhouse, New York: Grove Press, 1965.

[51] Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, III , Paradiso, trans. J.D. Sinclair, New York: Oxford University Press, 1958.

literature and psychology, vol. XXXVI, 4, 1990.