To Begin With...
Josefina Ayerza
Fall, 1990

Author's Bio


Said Jacques-Alain Miller smiling gently to my delight “lacanian ink, this is what I call lalangue.” Oblique, though related to an answer, the un­derlying linguistic message — implicit in the signifier itself — prompted to collect sense, Ink . . . Inc. . . . What, who is being incorporated in lalangue?

In “Ethics in the Cure,” Colette Soler challenges the new world's particularity — will the so-called new world be able to incorporate the new discourse the old world of Europe managed to produce? In concern with its own legacy, Europe, the old, experi­enced, knowledgeable, mythical world, divides, detaches . . .. Thus the new Other placed, the new discourse — translated, read in an other language — should produce new knowledge.

What is discourse? “. . . the condition of the subject is dependent on what is being unfolded in the Other. What is being un-folded there is articulated like a discourse (the unconscious is the discourse of the Other), whose syntax Freud first sought to define for those bits that come to us in certain privileged moments . . ..”1

Later, relating to analytic discourse, in Encore, Lacan will evoke “the old tie to the wet nurse” and “the infernal story of her desire.” In nourishment, he adds, we are dealing with the same “a kind of nonsense, yet the one discourse is founded in its right.”

Why the wet nurse? A semblant of the object, which we know is as lost as the breast, or the mother herself, the place of the analyst in the discourse follows the wet nurse, inasmuch as she is a semblance of the mother. This is how the desire of the analyst became correlated to the desire of a wet nurse.

Incorporated — in­corporating . . . Signifiers already set out for them to be presupposed, all we have is a hypothetical X.

In “Why does a Letter always arrive at its Destination?” Slavoj Zizek argues that “the call arrives at its destination in me . . . I don’t recognize myself in it because I’m its addressee — I become its addressee the moment I recognize myself in it.”

Language is assigned the sphere of significa­tion, lalangue introduces discourse as a way to handle the unconscious. The unconscious speaks in an Other language “ . . . words in their flesh, in their material aspect,” pun, divide into many parts, “each part taking on a new meaning after it is broken down.”2

Impossible as it may be, the Real — “doesn’t cease not to inscribe itself”3 — grows in correspondence with lalangue. What is the Real? Inert, full, “the lack of a lack”4 nothing is missing in the Real. Yet, the Real is also a hole. Introduced by the sole eventuality of sym­bolization, the Real entitles what is born to appear in the Other as a lack.

A lack? Conveying corporeal contingency in the figure of a void signifier, the presence of the Real, an absence, the Other structures around it. Hence encircled, at the same time the embodiment of a hole in the symbolic Other, the Real results in a particularly inapproachable object.

In relating to writing, the Real grows in correspondence with lalangue as much as it opposes the signifier. Not a signifier, lalangue gets credited as an object. However lalangue inhabits language; of what it unfolds — not-whole — for it will in turn relate to the signifier: we write the body with Lacan's Ink.

Thus the object insofar as it is Real, because it is a hole — the impossible-to-say — measured up to writing, incorporates desire.

Desire will oppose desire. The hole — desire — is the hole of drive. What is drive? Drive is a myth, as such a setting. Drive revolves in a four-element outline. Lacan happened to address them in English: Rim, Goal, Aim, and the Object (objet petit a).5 Drive fables its act in the rough out of a circuit that is both a departing journey and a return one. Upheld on a rim — an edge — drive’s goal has as its aim the production of an object. How is this object produced? The object is produced by the signifier trimming pieces; drive is always partial. This object in its negativity is absent.

Henri Poincaré’s infinitely small creatures — little monsters which happen to inhabit bi-dimensional space — are often paralleled to the Lacanian theory of libido. As a kind of living monstrous body prolongation, the libido — lamelle — will reach and gnaw the field of the Other. A rending, devouring activity, drive’s mere outset is already committed to capture a piece of the body of the Other. So desire will empower artists, lovers: works of art tear off the eyes of those who happen to contemplate them. The far away lover tears out a piece of the loved one’s body without even having to approach it. What we may want to highlight is the unintelligible fact that two bodies, even far from each other, may still interlace even if what holds them together is a hole.

Carmen Gallano's article interrogates discourse in an analytic context. “What kind of motor can give birth to the unconscious in the talk of the patient? How could an analyst embody a new partner for the subject in such a way that psychoanalysis could pull the subject out of his loneliness?”

Although drive can be satisfied without having attained its goal, the absence which sustains drive is attained through the Other.There isn't drive without the Other.

Jean-Pierre Klotz brings up the passionate dimension of psychoanalysis.“A little more than love, there is a supplementary touch of strength, of intensity, of a brisk feint, which emphasizes the dimension of what we commonly call the passion's object.”

Joined in with the Imaginary and the Symbolic, the Real is part of a knot. From the threefold tie not even the hole evades, since it too is part of the structure.

Always trying to get hold of the unspeakable, Lacan designated by sinthome what is irre­ducible to significance. Non-signifiable, however symbolized, the non-signifying will stipulate the condition of the split speaking being, the specificity of its jouissance. Lalangue may lead us to believe it can be transformed into thought, graphs, numbers, mathemes, words, charts, figures...

1. Jacques Lacan, “On a question preliminary to any possible treatment of psychosis.” Ecrits: A Selection, New York: Norton & Co., 1977, p. 193.
2. Lacan, “Of Structure as an Inmixing of an Otherness Prerequisite to Any Subject Whatever.” The Structuralist Controversy, Baltimore: John Hopkins Press, 1970.
3. Lacan, Le séminaire, livre XX: Encore, Paris: Seuil, 1975, p. 132.
4. Lacan, Le séminaire, livre XX: Encore, Paris: Seuil, 1975.
5. Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, New York: Norton & Co., 1978, p. 178.



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