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More Hysteria, Please



The Pre-session of Ricki Lake

The Lesbian Session

Poste Restante

Butch Morris







Jacques-Alain Miller translated by Daniel Collins

0. The All. Outside of which, therefore, nothing. If I say the Nothing, it is necessary for me to posit the All that includes them both.

Within this framework, then, these variations:

1. And so the following. Each new All determines a Nothing and requires that one posit a superior All: A0, A1, A2,... That is the schema of stratification.

2. And the Nothing? Am I going to enumerate it? Why not? But I could also just as easily keep it always the same, especially since it always gives rise to the same operation. One could say that N is the cause of stratification, of the multiplication of A.

3. Why not say that it is also the same All that repeats itself, rewrites itself, always one more time? The unique operation that repeats itself is written: A — >N — >A. N causes the reduplication of A. Or rather, it is the interval between A and itself.

4. A and A are the same, with Nothing between them [avec un Rien de difference] One can say, an entity including N is split [clivée], that is to say, at a distance from itself, constrained to repeat itself. Its N unceasingly separates from it, and it unceasingly reabsorbs its N.


16. One can also prove that the space that corresponds to the mark as such is, of necessity, unstratifiable. In fact, for stratification, it is necessary that the space of the places be already given. The originary signifier situates itself, and its series develops in a unique dimension, a space without levels. Numbers don't yet exist at the unfolding of the series of (split, repeated) unary marks. It is only with the addition of the marks that number begins. In the beginning is the place — or there is nothing. But no place without mark: a concept, an index, a point — a mark of the lack of mark. Yet the mark that lacks and the mark of lack are not of different types, they are not differentiated. There is the mark, that's... All.

17. Related inference: it is only when the mark disappears that its place appears, and therefore the mark as such. Is this enough to justify our saying that it attains its being only in its disappearance — that it takes hold only on the side of its lack — in a flash? "Side" is only an approximation. One could say that this is the absolute "either/or," the mark or the lack — and the being of the mark, just like that of lack, "exists" only in the in-between, incorporeal, ungraspable, or in the difference between the one and the other, in the movement, in the passage, and it is always either too early or too late. Or rather, one could say that mark and lack are not separate, exterior to one another, but entangled, implicated in each other. Lack and mark are like being and signification: it is only by barring all that it is that the signifier could signify its being.


"Matrice," Ornicar? 4, Paris, 1975.
The translator wishes to thank Kirsten Stolte and the Buffalo Lacan Reading Group for reviewing the translation.
back up.

Photograph of Pipilotti Rist's Pimple Porn, Videostill, 1992, Courtesy, Luhring Augustine Gallery.


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