The Cut word...

What is the Real?

Beyond Prince Charming
& Pink Swords


Note on the Treatment
of the Symptom
by the Analytic Act


Lacan's Legacy:
From the Universal to
the Particular

Lacan as Analysand

The Real
& the Semblance


Everlasting Couch

The Emperors Heron

& Our Time

The Staged Real

Wolfgang Tillmans


The Cut word...

Josefina Ayerza

[...]The attribution of the phallus to the maternal body immobilizes it——renders it unmovable. There is no lack and if there is no lack there is no desire and if there is no desire there is no motion. Therefore the body is unmovable. The second point is that once this body gains a phallus it becomes a phallus, and the thing about the phallus is that by nature it is unmoved. To participate in this old Aristotelian thing about the unmoved mover, the mind that moves the heavenly body is itself unmoved, and it is extremely difficult to conceive how something that does not move itself can induce movement in something else. In the world of senses too, it is plainly impossible for movement to be initiated if there is nothing at rest. For if one of the parts of an animal be moved, another must be at rest, and this is the purpose of their joints. Here it is the knee to constitute itself in the very unmoved mover, much as it imparts movement to other parts in the leg, as in Aristotle’s Animals.

If the idea is that the phallus participates in this function of being unmoved——and that is the female body——the mother’s body is put in this position of being unmovable. It is some kind of aspiration towards the journal being pushed into the position of being a phallus. Let it impart movement.

Poe’s story The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, is about a man who dies under the effects of hypnosis. And this is how during the death throes his cadaver does not decay. Because of Valdemar’s hypnotic state involving not only an apparent immunity to physical dissolution but also the ability to attest in speech to his atrocious condition.

Lacan exemplifies the status of œdipus by comparison with that of the unfortunate Mr. Valdemar, in Edgar Allan Poe’s story, who put to death and then reawakening, implores the observers of this horrible experiment: “For God’s sake! quick! quick! put me to sleep——or, quick! waken me! quick! I say to you that I am dead!” Upon being awakened, Mr. Valdemar is no more than a “disgusting liquefaction,” something for which no language has a name. The naked apparition, pure, simple, brutal, of this figure which is impossible to gaze at, which hovers in the background of all the imagining of human destiny, which is beyond all qualification, and for which the word “carrion” is not enough, can only correspond to the complete collapse of this species of swelling that is life... The bubble bursts and dissolves down into inanimate putrid liquid.[...]


art: Harry Clark, Illustration for Edgar Allan Poe's "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar", 1919

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