[…] Until the advent of the most modern science, reality, according to Lacan, is only a fantasm. The world, its apprehension, goes through the fantasm: “it is but a dream, a dream of the body insofar as it speaks.” Now “the value of psychoanalysis is that it works on the fantasm.” We spoke of it conspicuously at the time of the publication of Seminar VI. We situated it on the graph-of-desire; we, above all, marked as relevant an approach to the imaginary. Whether this be from the side of the objet a, which to begin with is the image of the Ego in schema L, or from the side of the role the fantasm comes to occupy in the subjective economy, the fantasm, for Lacan, has value as an imaginary support: “At the precise point where the subject does not find what may articulate itself as subject of the unconscious, the fantasm plays the role of imaginary support. Everything happens as if the object played the same mirage role in the fantasm that, on the lower level, the image of the specular other, i(a), plays in relation to the Ego.”
The body is a matter that firstly concerns the imaginary.In the inscription i(a), the objet a is found lodged in the heart of the imaginary.The objet a, an object that is indeed real, belonging to the body, is clothed by the imaginary—the imaginary of the body.
At a conference in Nice, Lacan reminds us that “man loves his image like that which is most close to him, which to say, his body. Simply put, he has strictly no idea what his body is. He believes it is ‘me.’ Each of us believes it is oneself. But it is a hole. And, then, outside of it, there is the image. And with this image, he makes the world.” Thus, the approach to the body is grasped with the imaginary and the fantasm as port of entry."
Translated by Jack Stone
Elizabeth Jaeger, Bird on Stand 2018