translated by Barbara P. Fulks
I CUT AND CONTINUITY
1. A STEP OUTSIDE
There is something called Lacan's later teaching, so called because I have isolated it with this signifier, giving it ex-sistence.
Ex-sistence means it is held outside. Lacan's later teaching is held outside his teaching that is not the later.
I've thus isolated a cut that individualizes his later teaching. Isolating it this way is a biographical construction.
How can we describe this cut? It isn't obvious; it is bound up on continuity. We must construct it to describe it. Let us isolate the opposition of cut and continuity.
We see continuity in Lacan's teaching. He never departed from logic, from his devotion to reason. When one is devoted to reason for thirty years, we might suspect that cuts are not significant. It is precisely the continuity that gives his teaching its topological structure.
Topology offers configurations of differing evidence, although without discontinuity. The topology allows for Lacan's theses to be reversed without rupture, without the solution of continuity, without letting us perceive what, from another perspective, would be their inconsistency. An example is the simplest of the topological figures, the strip invented by Mobius which allows passage in continuity to its reverse side. It's a curious word, solution, which figures in the expression, the solution of continuity. The word solution comes from the Latin solvere. We find the same root in dissolution. Lacan played with this equivocation between solution and dissolution when he dissolved his School. 1
1. Lacan, Jacques, "Lettre de dissolution," in Autres écrits, Paris: Seuil, 2001.
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