Introduction to Reading
Jacques Lacan's Seminar on Anxiety
The Empty Subject:
Kierkegaard with Lacan
The De-Sublimated Object
Dressed in Shadows:
Sarah Lucas and Alenka Zupancic
Inez van Lamsweerde
translated by Barbara P. Fulks
We see one of the summits of classical Lacanian art in Anxiety, the tenth seminar, of which Jacques-Alain Miller has just given us a singularly transparent transcription. One should not thus be surprised that one of its motifs is that of Pascalian simplicity. One could even say that in this seminar Lacan dedicates his speech to it, to simplicity: "There is no teaching which does not refer to what I would call an ideal of simplicity."
And anxiety, signified canonically as affect, is no less at the service of this Enlightenment. Enlightenment co-present with that untranslatable appearance, Freud's famous unheimlich-more "inhabited" than "unhabitual," Lacan comments-that "strangeness" (étrangeté), that impossible-to-say, which emerges in the world and attests, according to the affect of anxiety, to a sort of incorruptibility of the real. In such a way that "the veritable substance of anxiety is the what does not deceive, the outside of doubt."
Art: Noritoshi Hirakawa
A leaf in the air - silver gelatin print, 2002
courtesy of the artist.