To resume again...

Ethics in Psychoanalysis

Ai no Korrida: The Cutting Edge of Feminine Eroticism

On Joan Riviere's "Womanliness as a Masquerade"

The Real Aims of the Analytic Act

from The Suburbanite


Plastic Fantastic Lover (object a)

The Rules of the Game

Interview with
Ashley Bickerton


To resume again...


Josefina Ayerza


matheme image


One may change the places of the letters. There are always the same places and letters, yet there are rules codifying both, these letters and these places. Inscribed, places and letters interact. Discourse becomes formalized: inside this artificial formalization an element of 'impossibility' halts specific yields. This element at the roots is thus looping the revolving mechanism, basically shaping structure itself.1
The Analytic discourse will initiate movement with each quarter turn: from the discourse of the Master, to the Hysteric discourse, to the Analytic discourse, to the University discourse. It mediates, activates this pinwheel.
From the place of the agent in the Master discourse: S
1 will represent something because of its intervention in a definite field, S2 — hitherto structured as knowledge. entails the operation, and distinguishes the specific trait that discriminates the speaking being from the individual.
2: signifiers enchained, articulating between themselves, constitute the field; S1 intervenes close to another signifier; the subject: barred, divided, an effect of the signifier — there's still a loss, a left over to be defined as objet a. The master's word conveys truth, even law. Lacan gives this certain law subjective value. Not announced in the name of justice it grants rights, although ambiguity is inscribing the structure along with the law of the master.
Turning locks in the revolving mechanism. The Hysteric' s discourse is organized around the symptom. In this discourse the agent appears to be the symptom itself. If the symptom functions as the agent, where is the analyst? There is no analyst for the moment. The hysteric's discourse connotes an absence. This absence is on behalf of the analyst who may come to stand in for the symptom.

If this place stays the same, and if in such discourse
it is the place of the symptom, what is the use of this
place in another discourse? This is what we see
nowadays — the law put into question as symptom.

The analyst in turn occupies this place of law or symptom. The position of the analyst is 'substantially' the one of "... the most opaque, the most unknown, objet a designates the effect of rejection in discourse." Rejection therefore, includes law and symptom.
What one demands from the analyst does not stem from his supposed knowledge — S
2 on the lower left part of the diagram — through which transference emerges. Analysts are not supposed to know too much. What the analyst institutes is the inverse: structuring the transference from his supposed place of authority, the analyst is telling the one beginning analysis: "Say whatever you like — it will be fine." Supposed knowledge transfers back to the patient who can thus know more than what he knows.
After all the analyst cannot rely on anyone else. Transference is based on the fact:

... that there' s someone that to me, poor one, says to
behave as if I knew it all. I may say whatever, it will
always give something. It doesn't happen everyday.

From the analytic encounter, the issue of the analyst's desire arises: the analyst as love object and moreover cause of love. While the subject supposed to know is fading, the unconscious materializes constructing the silent analyst as a semblance of jouissance. Objet a: absence, silence, dummy, death.
Analysis can be defined as what one expects from the psychoanalyst. But one should understand what this involves:

Work is for me, plus-de-jouir for you. What one
expects from the psychoanalyst is that he makes his
knowledge function in terms of truth. And that is why
it's confined to a mid-saying.

What is plus-de-jouir? Through analysis plus-de-jouir, as recuperated jouissance in the Other, should appear in the analyst. Yet it being the patient's, he may come to recognize it.
Truth may be evoked only through a mid-saying; beyond this halfway point discourse is canceled. One cannot say the unsayable. The difference is a knot of mid-saying proper to interpretation: one can articulate something of the statement (énoncé) without the uttering (énonciation) — or one can articulate something of the uttering without the statement.
What's the difference between the truth of the master and the truth of the analyst? In the Master's discourse, the slave has some knowledge of the truth spoken by the master. The master seeks to extract this knowledge from the slave who may not know what the master wants, but he knows that the master wants. The master depends on the slave, on his mid-saying.
There is an effect of 'impossibility' in the Master's discourse: The master signifier assigns everybody to work. The master cannot obtain the production which he demands from the slave; communication fails. It's being obstructed because of the by-product of the slave's effort. Production has no relation to truth:
Impossibility yields a gap concerning its truth, because 'impotence' protects it. In the master discourse, the product — objet a — in the symbolic and in the real, stands for the function of the surplus-value — in the sense Marx gave it. Surplus-value is plus-de-jouir.
The hysteric forces the master's production of knowledge. But this production of knowledge will not happen, division occurs instead — the symptomatic tearing apart of the hysteric. "Sexual jouissance is perverted and mad."
2 The truth of the hysteric, a weak one (objet a), is nevertheless what makes this subject desiring, desirable. Impotence is covering the most subtle of impossibilities, that of sexual relation.

What is the love for truth? The love for truth is
something that derides — mocks — the lack of being
of truth. This lack of being, appearing in the uncon-
scious formations, is a lack of forgetting. Not in the
register of the being, a being which is whole, what is
the indestructible desire... what this desire that noth-
ing can change, nor twist, when everything changes?
The lack of forgetting is the same thing as the lack of
being, for being is none other than forgetting. The
love for truth is the love for this weakness that we
have unveiled, it's the love of this that the truth hides,
which is called castration.

Castration, coming at the place where the signifier slips away, bringing up desire, detaching an objet a, entails the phallus. The phallus detaches from the penis, not from the body: the penis is what may lack, the phallus instead is imagined, there where it's desired — on the mother's body, in the fetish. Displaying as a banner of rejoining — what one sex expects from the other — the phallus may be its own semblance. The phallus functions as a lure; through it sex appears as possible.
Desire and jouissance are knotted and thwarted because of the phallus. This lack of signifier — semblance of phallus — is dramatizing in the analyst who doesn't say a word. The subject hears himself, his message inverted, reflected: the analyst — the mother — is forbidden.
Lacan stresses the identification between repetition and jouissance. Repetition needs jouissance. Only through repetition does the subject appear. Jouissance differs from pleasure in as much as jouissance includes both pleasure and pain. Jacques-Alain Miller formulates jouissance in this way: "Communication between the death drive and libido... What name has Lacan given to this essential link between libido and death drive? He named it jouissance."
The return to the inanimate state entailing precisely what there is of jouissance, constitutes the ideal point in structural analysis and is invariable in every discourse.
Based on a return of jouissance in repetition itself, something fails. There is always a loss. Jouissance then overflows it.

Scott is saying that when he abandons himself to what he calls his recurrent day-dream he sees himself bowing in front of this woman who happens to hold a whip in her left hand — the whip's long lashes whistling in the air. He doesn't resist, he doesn't know where the striking goes, he doesn't feel the pain. At this point — there's a certain number of strokes left — he will round up his back, like a cat. The woman beating him, not herself anymore, is another woman placed beside her, this other one doesn't have a face. Now, he's sexually aroused; this faceless woman is also aroused. The spaces between strokes seem like eternity.

A waste of jouissance occurs. The pursuit of jouissance functions as the 'lost object' and suggests the idea of masochism, because of the 'impossibility' of regaining this object.
Jouissance confirms itself through separation. Because of the interplay of inscriptions the body is mortified: the mark of the trait unaire — S
1, what appears isolated in the analysand's story, countable as One, interacting with others, infinite in number, S2 — splits, separates the body, assigning meaning in the jouissance of the Other, its means of jouissance. Meaning, means — death comes into play, whatever concerns analysis originates from it.The trait unaire, a "mark on the skin" inspires the fantasme: "... there is nevertheless association, which is at the base, at the root of the fantasme, if I may say of the mark."


The formula of the fantasme expresses the subject relating to the object of jouissanceobjet a. What is this subject? This subject is the subject of the signifier, therefore symbolic. Divided by jouissance, it finds the object fusing, melting with it on a surface divisible through a cut, the fantasme. The action of the signifying cut, as much as objet a, is representing the subject: Scott is at once the beaten man, the one beating the man, and the jouissance of the one doing this — at the same time the subject identifies with the signifier, with the act of whipping itself. The function of the objet a in the fantasme takes place in the real. The subject unconsciously perceiving the object becomes it. This sort of jouissance pertains to being; as soon as the jouissance is experienced the subject fades away, reduced to a signifier.
The fantasme will not ameliorate the emptiness of the S
1, moreover it will re-introduce the interval between S1-S2. This is the interval between the signifying-knocks where Scott finds the desire of the Other. In this interval separating the signifiers, is metonymy: through them, running, escaping, is what we call desire. The desire of the Other is apprehended by the subject in the lacks of the Other' s discourse: objet a, between S1-S2.
In alienation, the original repression of S
2 makes for a barred subject —separation instead makes objet a appear.

"My mother left me in total indetermination. If only she had said something! If she had only said what she expected from me, I would have been able to respond, have my own existence. My day-dream, you know, the recurring one, appears when my girlfriend makes love to me without the desire being there. I have no existence; I'm a dead body."

The stability of the ego's specular image is maintained from its interior by objet a itself. This objet a both holds and is held. The ideal of the ego made in the form of an image is retaining this nothingness — objet a — the device through which jouissance is introduced into the subject's dimension of being.
When the signifier functions as a device of jouissance a sort of entropy occurs. When one constructs a power station, one accumulates energy; fabricated according to the same logic of the signifier, waste concerns the machines causing the turbines to operate.
Instituted along with gaps which are never extreme, knowledge set to work yields entropy . The effect of waste involves the lost object: only from this point of loss may one have access to what jouissance turns out to be. Not in concern with the word as much as with the structure, the structure will match up: the human being 'words' himself into this apparel.

... this why I have introduced it as plus-de-jouir. It's
because of it being perceived as a loss — something
should balance what at first is a negative number — that
this I don't know what which has come to knock,
resounds..." has turned into jouissance, and jouissance
to repeat. It's only the dimension of entropy that embodies
this, for there is a plus-de-jouir to recuperate.

This kind of knowledge will first relieve the trait unaire, as much as all that may be articulated of the signifier. Ambiguous in the talking being who may occasionally theorize, make religions of living in apathy, apathy being hedonism, what animates jouissance, what puts it at work, is the plus-de-jouir function as such.

"My mother died, I'm forty, old enough ? Why did she have to go? For a whole year I didn't see her. I only went back to her when I learned she was sick. A year later she's dead. I'm an orphan, maybe I always was one. But now it's a fact. Why didn't I see her for a whole year? Because she kept trying to seduce me — I was only 2 years old when she began this. I have her jewels. I had to fight for them. I had to fight my sister. My mother's jewels belong to me; they came to her through my father; these are family jewels. My sister's father is not my father, although my sister and l have the same name. I had to fight her father also."

By virtue of its structure objet a is the place where jouissance is to be captured. What kind of jouissance? There is that plus, that excess which, relative to a loss, resulting from a previous renunciation to jouissance, may be recuperated.
This hollow, this gap comes to fill a certain number of objects — oral, anal, scopic, vocal. Fitted beforehand, each of the four drive objects may work as a cork. The names designate as objet what evolves from a — a as such, originally reduced to the signifying articulation, it follows from that certain knowledge.
As plus-of-jouissance articulates with the objet a, it will alternate in two dimensions of the real: the cause of desire and the plus de jouir. These two dimensions, inherent to the analytic discourse, will in turn have their place in the function of him who teaches. A position of order, the teacher's prestige is relevant according to the student, to the public, to the context. In turn, the turn: the agent in the University discourse attempts to find his point through a public process of erring and wandering.

... the function of him who teaches is in the order of the
role, a certain place of prestige. It' s not what I ask from
you, but something which has to do with putting in order,
that would make me account for whatever is the way of
my actions... in the light of, there is something of the

Saints also seem to depart from a certain weakness, their universal love draws the obstructing veil to what truth is. What is then the case of the analyst occupying this place on the upper left side of the structure, absolutely not being for himself?

This is where the plus-de-jouir is, the jouir of the
other who is not me: as much as I proffer the analytic act
I have to come.



* Quotations: Jacques Lacan's XVII Seminar: L'Envers de la Psychanalyse, Seuil, Paris, 1991, chapter 3, pp. 43-58. back to top
1. See To resume again..., lacanian ink 3, pp.3-9. back up
2. Fabien Trémeau, Ai No Korrida, lacanian ink 5, pp. 29-41. back up
3. Jacques-Alain Miller, "Ethics in Psychoanalysis," lacanian ink 5, pp. 13-28. back up

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