Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream
by Josefina Ayerza

There are four corners to my bed,
There are four angels overhead,
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John…

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Hush little baby, don’t say a word
And never mind that noise you heard.
It’s just the beasts under your bed
In your closet, in your head.


Exit: light, Enter: night. Grain of sand…

E.T.A Hoffmann’s stories get to the heart of such an experience, “the subject goes from one inveiglement to the next, faced with this form of image that strictly speaking materializes. The doll that the hero of the tale spies through the window of the sorcerer, who is conjuring up some magical operation or other, is strictly speaking this image, i’(a) (the virtual of a real image), being finished off with what is absolutely singled out in the very form of the tale, to wit, the eye. The eye in question can only be that of the main character in the dream, the someone wanting to rob him of this eye providing the thread that explains the whole tale.” Jacques Lacan, Seminar X, Ch. lV. 

The ploughshare enters into the furrow of the discovery of subjective structure. If The Devil’s Elixir contains all the occasions when the reaction of the unheimliche may occur, desire as desire of the Other is here desire in the Other. Here my desire enters the lair where it has been awaited for all eternity in the shape of the object. I am in so far as it exiles me from my subjectivity, by deciding on its own all the signifiers to which this subjectivity is attached. 

In The Devil’s Elixir getting lost makes up part of the function of the labyrinth, which has to be brought to life. In following each of these twists and turns, however, it’s clear that the subject only gets to his desire by substituting itself for one of his doubles. 

There’s but the one subject, not two. 

The field of fiction imparts to our experience of the unheimliche. Fiction demonstrates it far better and even produces it as an effect in a more stable way. It’s a kind of ideal point, but how precious it is for us since this effect allows us to see the function of the fantasm. 

This effect of fiction, spelled out over and over in The Devil’s Elixir, is that which, in the flux of existence, remains in the fantasy state. “What is the fantasy if not something that we rather suspected, ein Wunsch, a wish, and even, like all wishes, a somewhat naive one? To put it light-heartedly, I’d say that the formula of the fantasma, $ desire of a, can be translated into the following perspective—that the Other faints, swoons, faced with this object that I am, a deduction I reach on account of being able to behold myself. 

“The two phases whose relations of $ to a  I’ve written up here, situating this last term differently in relation to the reflexive function of the A as a mirror, correspond exactly to the distribution of the terms of the fantasma for the pervert and the neurotic.” Jacques Lacan, Seminar X, Ch. lV.

After Jacques-Alain Miller’s talk at the closing of the IXth Congress of the WAP, 2014, “the substitution of the Lacanian parlêtre for the Freudian unconscious fixes down a scintillation.” 

Parlêtre—the speaking body—is the amalgamatic word that will pierce through the wall, mur of language. 

Again, “the sinthome of a parlêtre is an event of the body, and an emergence of jouissance. When one analyzes the unconscious, the meaning of interpretation is the truth. When one analyzes the speaking body, the meaning of interpretation is jouissance. This displacement from truth to jouissance sets the measure of what analytic practice is becoming in the era of the parlêtre.” 


Exit: light
Enter: night
Take my hand
We’re off to never never land 


E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Sandman

Freud’s The Uncanny

Jacques Lacan, Seminar X, Chp IV

Music by Metallica