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More Hysteria, Please



The Pre-session of Ricki Lake

The Lesbian Session

Poste Restante

Butch Morris




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Josefina Ayerza

What is time for psychoanalysis?

Lacan launched a rather singular proposal when he structured the psychoanalytic session after a zen-Buddhist paradigm, "The master breaks the silence with anything—with a sarcastic remark, with a kick-start."1
Original silence, a sleeping beauty in the sense of her swoon being paragon to latency, the zen master¹s platform calls on the psychoanalytic act— a prince, the kiss —as it stands for punctuation.
It¹s through punctuating the analysand¹s words that the act prompts the awakening: through punctuation the analysand¹s current discourse will enter the substance of the unconscious.
The case is that the psychoanalytic act is not only set forth by language, "If everything's structure, not everything is language,"
2 but also on behalf of the objet a, real, exterior to language, and aside from the signifier. Thereupon it stays with Lacan, "An act that I base upon a paradoxical structure where the object is active and the subject subverted."3
Time is not running against the clock anymore—the session not fixed to 50 minutes—but against the weave in the analysand's discourse. It's instead the time of the unconscious. If it sways over the duration of the analysis each session should include the very end: an end that triggers the becoming of an analyst.
This tenor of things likely to work in opposition to the various techniques in search of awareness, through interpretation as do you realize what you are telling me? or the like, fairly corresponds with the Freudian Nachträglich, retroaction already present in a day-to-day basis. You can understand a phrase¹s meaning only after—après coup—it is said.

Again the schema of retroaction is in turn the schema of trauma—for there to be trauma you need two instances. Let's look into the trauma par excellence, the trauma of castration.
In the first instance the boy, over infantile masturbation, hears real castration threats. Those words, the very ones he heard, are bound to start up anxiety when the boy later confronts the lack of the penis in the woman (in the mother), that is when he confronts castration in the Other. Here then is the second instance, for the case lurking in the effect of threat—the effect of threat will acquire additional sense whereas the first experience gets resignified.
As for Lacan's proposal of punctuation: After the Freudian Oedipus the point de capiton gets inscribed when the inclusion of the Name-of-the-Father in the Other conforms with the emergence of the phallic signification; and this is what gives sense to the phallus' sexual undertone.
Inside the individual's story enigmatic points condense the certain way that hints at an inflexible jouissance. This allows for one of these points to return at all times in the discourse. It returns relative to compulsion while emerging in the subject's talk to the Other—the analyst. Apparently nonsensical to him, the point is nevertheless an enigma and as such meaningful. The subject will then start to bestow sense upon the actual event, as to later endow it with another sense, and still later with yet another sense...

In analysis words lose their meaning. If the experience is bound to bring up different interpretations of the same event, provided other diverse signifiers come to adjoin new meaning, it's on behalf of and because of its correlated signifying character, "structured like a language."

Lacan speaks of resubjectivation and restructuration.
The example he puts forward is the analysis of the Wolf Man, insofar as it produced a series of retroactive restructurations relative to an event, fundamental for him, the primitive scene of anal coitus. And this is what allows the subject to draw on his story, to include in it his own participation — a story reconstructed throughout the talk with the analyst, hence its various rectifications.
The cut of the session is in itself a mode of interpretation, an enacted interpretation that will speak for itself, " can't be indifferent to the weave of the discourse and it corresponds in the session to the role of a scansion; as in poetry, it precipitates concluding moments."
The analyst, with the power to suspend the session (the analyst is the one to give the phrase a final point) is thereupon sense of the Other at all times. A supposed master of truth, the position itself demystifies the analyst's neutrality.

The analyst, like the unconscious regardless of time, cuts the session, and yet there is a temporal dimension in the analysis. The temporal dimension has two aspects:

Time and language

The first aspect locates the temporal in the chain of signifiers— progression itself implies a space of time. On the other hand you can only conceive of direct time after language, the way it appears at the level of grammar—past/present/future and in all its modes: indicative, subjunctive, imperative, "...the a-b-c of temporality requires the structure of language."5
Again, what other than temporality does Lacan bring to the Saussurian algorithm as he reverses the original terms. The chain of signifiers corresponds one to one with the chain of meanings.

Lacan renders the cell of desire, in turn the cell of the graph of desire, and the concept of subject. This subject embraces time while corresponding with the resubjectivations that occur in analysis, and this schema is in turn identical to the one concerned with the resignifications of an event in the story of the subject.
The signifiers enchained (represented by a simple cell of two signifiers (S1 and S2) will retroactively produce the subject.

The subject that won't admit that a signifier ultimately says what it is results from the unrolling of the signifying chain. Punctuation renders a mark-again the subject is an effect of the chain of signifiers oriented in time, its retroactive effect. The primary cell in the graph of desire entails the submission of the subject to the signifier, "...produced in the circuit that goes from s(A) to A, to return from A to s(A)."6 There is asymmetry though in connection with these two points of intersection: A (the Other) is a place (the place of the treasure of signifiers) and s(A) is a moment: scansion—punctuation in which "signification is constituted like a finished product." Inside this cell, the Other-place of the treasure of signifiers, requires that the totality of the signifying battery be installed in A—which is impossible because the Other is incomplete, as it lacks the signifier qualified to convey genuinity over the genuine.
This Other, a place preceding the pure subject, is the field of speech. Again the place from where the first saying that "ordains, commands" comes, if it confers the other real (the mother, for example), her obscure authority, it's because it provokes the fantôme of omnipotence of the Other. From here the demand of the subject settles in.
The subject arises in the Other. However this subject brings a unitary trait with the mark that alienates it, "inside the first identification which forms the ideal of the ego," [I(A)].

The analyst occupies the place of the Other in the discourse. Thereby analysis accentuates the submission of the subject to its first identifications. The analysand is conducted toward the work of idealization commanded by I(A) and to the ignorance of his lack—in—being that the ideal disguises...
A circumstance of language, the time for each session cannot be external to the analytic experience, rather it is integral to the discourse. "There is no time of the time, nor Other of the Other,"
8 nor the transference of the transference, nor the real of the real...
The scansion of the signifiers following the cut stands in the sense of dis-identification if only to suspend the subject's yoke. The subject directs his talk to the Other. Ensuing the cut the dimension of the desire is to arise as a question. What appears in the graph formulated by Lacan is Che Vuoi? What do you want?

The analyst — the Other — an objet a (silence). The function of the analyst's desire is an x — an incognita to decipher.
It's through the analyst's response as non—response to the demand that the discourse brings up the dimension of the desire of the Other — an enigma.
In the clinical you often verify that the last phrase or word emitted immediately before the cut of the session stays there. The signifiers slide outside the session, the analysand associates, and this results in the production of signifiers. "...We analysts must bring everything back to the function of the cut in discourse, the strongest being that which acts as a bar between the signifier and the signified. There the subject that interests you is surprised..."
The stopping of the session in the way of a cut will suspend the habitual connections between the signifier and the meaning. This event prompts a suspended subject to attain pure dimension by means of the signifiers that determine it.
"This cut in the signifying chain alone verifies the structure of the subject as discontinuity in the real. If linguistics enable us to see the signifier as the determinant of the meaning, analysis reveals the truth of this relation by making "holes" in the meaning of the determinants of its discourse."

Why does the analyst charge?

"If we didn't charge we would enter the drama of Atreus and Thyestes, which, of all subjects that come to entrust us with their truth, is the very drama."11
To not charge is to enter the tragedy of the analysand as holder of a stolen letter he wants to get rid of. Receiving instead the analysand¹s tragedies while making him pay for them, the analyst puts his body outside the move.
The tragedy of Crebillon, "Atreus Thyestes," of the XVIII century is enclosed by the ditty, "Such a sinister intention, if not worthy of Atreus is worthy of Thyestes." It narrates the case of Atreus betrayed by the brother and later murdered by Thyestes¹ supposed son who eats his own sons.
The very old legend speaks of two brothers who fight for the throne of Mycenae. They are enemies yet bound together in fratricide, since over their mother's stimuli they killed their half brother, son of the father and a nymph.
In Mycenae, when the throne is left vacant, an oracle advises the people to choose one of the two brothers. Each one of them then comes up with a challenge. Thyestes proposes that the one who gets to show a golden fleece will be king. Atreus accepts immediately, for there existed in his flock a ram with golden fleece that he had sheared off and kept in a coffer. But Atreus didn't know that his wife, mistress of Thyestes, had stolen it and offered it to her lover. Atreus loses when Thyestes shows the golden fleece, but suspects nothing.
Zeus has pity on Atreus, and, since it's his turn to assign a challenge, suggests that the real king is he who changes the course of the sun. Zeus carries out the prowess and Atreus, thanks to the divine favor, becomes king and has Thyestes deported.
Later on when Atreus learns about the fraternal treason, he feigns a reconciliation with his brother and calls him back. He secretly kills three sons of Thyestes, cuts the bodies into quarters, and with the pieces makes a magnificent banquet which he offers to the supposed prodigal brother. After Thyestes' culinary delight, Atreus shows him the heads of his three sons and has him deported.
The tragedy of Crebillon ends here, but the legend tells us that Thyestes takes refuge in Sicyon and engenders a son, Aegisthus, with his own daughter Pelopia without the daughter perceiving it. Pelopia goes on to marry her uncle. Atreus and the uncle entrust Aegisthus with the mission of killing Thyestes. But Aegisthus discovers early enough that Thyestes is his father. He returns to Mycenae, kills Atreus and gives the throne to Thyestes.
Not to charge would mean to enter the drama of Atreus and Thyestes as holder of the valuable secret without being able to circulate it. When instead, you make the analysand pay, you are trying to transform something concerning the register of destiny into an object of exchange value—the signifiers articulate the jouissance in the horror of tragedy as many times as necessary. Destiny here is figured through a bloody orgy of incestuous jouissance, as ultimately all are stories, at least in the perception of the narrator.
The subject comes to give account of his crimes and for this he pays money, sets into motion the symbolic debt-a debt the subject pays on entering the realm of the symbolic.
The analyst being payed serves to show that his/her motivation is not love, nor sacrifice, nor an ideal and even less jouir of the analysand's stories.
In transference love, as in all, to love is to want to be loved.

1. Jacques Lacan, The Seminar, Book I: Freud¹s Papers on Technique, 1953-1954, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.,1988.back up
2. J. Lacan, "Function and Field of Speech and Language," Écrits, NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 1977.back up
3. J. Lacan, "La Méprise du sujet supposé savoir," Sicilet nº 2, Seuil, 1968.back up
4. J. Lacan, Écrits, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1977. back up
5. J. Lacan, "Hamlet," Ornicar?, nº 25, Seuil,Paris, 1982.back up
back up
6. J. Lacan, "Subversion of the Subject and Dialectic of Desire," Écrits, NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 1977. back up
7. ibid back up
8. J. Lacan, "Comptes rendus d'enseignement — l'Acte psychanalitique," (1967-1968), Ornicar? no. 29, 1984, p 25. back up
9. J. Lacan, "Subversion of the Subject and Dialectic of Desire," Écrits, NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 1977. back up
10. ibid back up
11. J. Lacan, The Seminar, Book II: The Ego in Frued¹s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954-1955, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.,1988.back up
* All schemata after Antonio Quinet, after Jacques Lacan.



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