What Does Lacan Say About… The End, And Ends, of a Psychoanalysis? (Part II)
For Part I click here
The psychoanalyst as incarnation of object a
The shift from Seminar X
Around the time of Seminar X in 1963 there is a big shift in how Lacan interprets Freud’s major contribution on the question of the end of a psychoanalysis, Analysis Terminable and Interminable. By this time Lacan is no longer focused on the idea that the end of analysis involves the acceptance by the subject of castration, or of a phallus that he is not but mistakenly wants to have, but instead with regard to the function of the analyst as a partial object.
In Seminar X he offers a new take on the failure of the Freud’s Dora case, and that of the so-called ‘female homosexual’, making the claim that the their analyses terminated prematurely because Freud put himself in the place of the partial object:
“I believe that this analysis of the function of the analyst as the space of the field of the partial object, is precisely that before which, from the analytic point of view, Freud brought us to a halt in his article on ‘Analysis Terminable and Interminable’, and if one starts from the idea that Freud’s limit was – one finds it right through all his observations – the non-perception of what is properly to be analysed in the synchronic relationship between the analysand and the analyst concerning this function of the partial object, one will see there – and if you wish, I will come back to it – the very source of his failure – of the failure of his intervention with Dora, with the woman in the case of feminine homosexuality, one will see in it especially why Freud designates for us in castration anxiety what he calls the limit of analysis, precisely in the measure that he remained for his analysand the seat, the locus of this partial object.” (Seminar X, 09.01.1963., my italics)
The presentation of the end of analysis in Seminar XI: In You More Than You
The following year, in Seminar XI, Lacan renews his criticism of the notion that the end of analysis should involve the identification of the analysand to the analyst. But he goes further than his previous remarks, offering an alternative which seems to contradict what he said in the passage quoted above only a year before. The analysis can go beyond the level of identification with the analyst by putting him or her in the place of object a.
In this chapter in Seminar XI – ‘In You More Than You’ – Lacan starts by discussing the “liquidation” of the transference. The ‘subject supposed to know’ – the idea that the analyst should be enough of an ideal that the analysand wants to present him- or herself as worthy of their love – is, at the end of analysis, “vapourised” (Seminar XI, p.267). What Lacan refers to in this session as the Ideal point (Seminar XI, p.268) is the place in the Other from which the analysand would like to be seen. But what the analysand finds in the analyst, through the transference, is actually the object a. It is this object a that gives the chapter its title – ‘In Your More Than You’.
The subject comes to the analysis and founds the transference on a demand to the analyst who is in the position of subject supposed to know. With an amusing little story, Lacan compares this demand to a visitor to a Chinese restaurant where the menu is not translated. The visitor asks the maître d’ what he would like, what it is that he should be eating, and allows her to make the decision for him. But Lacan says that what the customer should do instead is to “tickle her tits a bit” (Seminar XI, p.270). He’s not there for the food, he’s there for the pretty women and the exotic surroundings (Lacan says he is there to sate a hunger of a different kind). The customer is like the analysand, Lacan suggests, and the analyst has to have this object a (the breasts of the maître d’) just as they can be the subject supposed to know that the analysand identifies with and addresses a demand for love to. He goes on to claim that Freud himself recognised analysis and hypnosis function in the same relation: the object a in hypnotism is the gaze, the object that acts as a barrier to the patient’s identification to the doctor. To return to our starting point, “The fundamental mainspring of the analytic operation”, Lacan says, “is the maintenance of the distance between the I – identification – and the a.” (Seminar XI, p.273).
“Any conception of analysis that is articulated – innocently or not, God only knows – to defining the end of the analysis as identification with the analyst, by that very fact makes an admission of its limits. Any analysis that one teaches as having to be terminated by identification with the analyst reveals, by the same token, that its true motive force is elided. There is a beyond to this identification, and this beyond is defined by the relation and the distance of the object petit a to the idealising capital I of identification.” (Seminar XI, p.271-272, my italics).
He then says,
“If the transference is that which separates demand from the drive, the analyst’s desire is that which brings it [the drive] back. And in this way, it isolates the [object] a, places it at the greatest possible distance from the I [the ideal point in the Other from which the analysand would like to be seen] that he, the analyst, is called upon by the subject to embody. It is from this idealisation that the analyst has to fall in order to be the support of the separating a, in so far as his desire allows him, in an upside-down hypnosis, to embody the hypnotised patient.” (Seminar XI, p.273.)
This is quite enigmatic. Let’s follow how he goes on, with commentary and by reproducing the diagram from the Seminar:
“This crossing of the plane of identification is possible. Anyone who has lived through the analytic experience with me to the end of the training analysis knows that what I am saying is true.
It is beyond the function of the a that the curve closes back upon itself [see cross cap schema p.271, reproduced above], at a point where nothing is ever said as to the outcome of the analysis, that is, after the mapping of the subject in relation to the a, the experience of the fundamental phantasy becomes the drive.”
What Lacan is describing here is the crossing of the fundamental fantasy – the fantasy is ditched and the drive is all that remains: the drive as encounter with the real (see Dunand, ‘The End of Analysis(I), in ‘Reading Seminar XI’, p.247). The drive revolves around the object a, missing it but by virtue of its trajectory, which as Lacan presents it is coextensive with its aim, achieving satisfaction.
“What, then, does he who has passed through the experience of this opaque relation to the origin, to the drive, become? How can a subject who has traversed the radical phantasy experience the drive?”
Note that here Lacan is referring explicitly to this ‘traversal of the fantasy’, even if he does not give us the sense that it has the status of a concept. Note also that Lacan’s French is vivre la pulsion, for which Fink proposes the more accurate translation: to live out the drive.
“This is the beyond of analysis, and has never been approached. Up to now, it has been approachable only at the level of the analyst, in as much as it would be required of him to have specifically traversed the cycle of the analytic experience in its totality.
There is only one kind of psychoanalysis, the training analysis – which means a psycho-analysis that has looped this loop to its end.”
It is not clear whether this loop refers to the schema on p.271, reproduced above, as that schema ends with desire, not the drive. What is more, there is no object a represented in that schema, which Lacan accords a particular place in his remarks here.
“The loop must be run through several times. There is in effect no other way of accounting for the term durcharbeiten [working-through] of the necessity of elaboration, except to conceive how the loop must be run through more than once. I will not deal with this here because it introduces new difficulties, and because I cannot say everything, since I am dealing here only with the fundamentals of psycho-analysis.
The schema that I leave you [presumably that on p.271 and above] as a guide both to experience and to reading, shows you that the transference operates in the direction of bringing demand back to identification. It is in as much as the analyst’s desire, which remains an x, tends in a direction that is the exact opposite of identification, that the crossing of the plane of identification is possible, through the mediation of the separation of the subject in experience. The experience of the subject is thus brought back to the plane at which, from the reality of the unconscious, the drive may be present.” (Seminar XI, p.273-274.)
So what we find here is that in order for the fantasy to be ‘traversed’ (though note that Lacan does not here use that term) the drive must take its place: “after the mapping of the subject in relation to the a, the experience of the fundamental fantasy becomes the drive”. Why this privileging of the drive at the point of the end of analysis? Fink provides a commentary that highlights how Lacan’s thinking has evolved:
“In Lacan’s earlier work, the subject was precisely the defensive stance that hemmed in, kept down, and silenced the drives’ clamouring for satisfaction, the defensive stance adopted with respect to an overpowering experience of jouissance. Now, in contrast, with the subject viewed as drive, the aim of analysis in clinical work with neurotics (not psychotics or perverts) is to transform the anaylsand’s fantasy that props up his or her desire, for this desire impedes his or her pursuit of satisfaction. The analysand must reconstitute him- or herself not in relation to the Other’s demands or desires but in relation to the partial object that brings satisfaction: object a”. (Fink, ‘A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique’, p.209.)
Fink provides a summary of what he sees as a change in Lacan’s thinking on the drive, and how it is altered by analysis, by the time of Seminar XI: “subjugated first by the Other’s demands, and then by the Other’s desire, the drive is finally freed to pursue object a” (‘ibid’, p.209.) Rather than implying that analysis ends when the subject can follow some kind of reckless hedonism, Fink suggests that “desire stops inhibiting the subject from achieving satisfaction…. That the analysand is at last allowed to be able to enjoy his or her enjoyment.” (ibid, p.210-211.) For Fink, the end of analysis would be to reach a goal of allowing the drive expression apart from desire:
“Rather than untying the knots in the analysand’s desire, so that he or she can pursue his or her own ‘true desire’, we must untie the knots in the analysand’s jouissance: the knots that form in the interrelationships between desire and jouissance.” (Fink, ‘ibid’, p.216).
Jacques-Alain Miller, in his commentary on Lacan’s text ‘On Freud’s ‘Trieb’ and the Psychoanalyst’s Desire’, provides some remarks that are also helpful in tying this back to the end of analysis. He reminds us that,
“Desire and the drive are two distinct orders that must not be confounded. There is a lesson to be learned here concerning the end of analysis, namely that any problematic of desire always leads to identification, suggesting that desire satisfies itself with identification. Identification is the mode by which desire is satisfied. Even the hysteric’s unsatisfied desire –what is it satisfied with if not by an identification with the other’s dissatisfaction? Thus, in a certain sense, desire is essentially satisfied through identification. That is why Lacan says early in his work that desire is desire for recognition…. What Freud termed the drive is something altogether different; it must be distinguished from the sliding functions of desire, because the drive couldn’t care less about the desire for recognition. No identification can satisfy the drive.” (Jacques-Alain Miller, ‘Commentary on Lacan’s Text’ in ‘Reading Seminars I & II: Lacan’s Return to Freud’, p.424).
What is extraordinary here is just how contradictory this stance appears to be to a phrase of Lacan’s so often held up to denote the ethical aims of analysis – namely, Lacan’s injunction in Seminar VII to ‘not give up on one’s desire’ (Seminar VII, p.319). Miller continues by drawing our attention to the implications of his reading for the practice of the ‘pass’, the process through which the analysand transitions to analyst:
“[The above] must be kept in mind when speaking of the “pass”. For, on the one hand, the pass as a procedure promises a form of recognition. It promises the subject identification with a signifier, ‘AE’ [Analyste de l’Ecole, Analyst of the School], whereas the drive is indifferent to identification.” (Jacques-Alain Miller, ‘Commentary on Lacan’s Text’ in ‘Reading Seminars I & II: Lacan’s Return to Freud, p.424).
Miller also believes that we can see the exhaustion through frustration of desire as a signpost of the end of analysis:
“One sometimes observes at the drawn-out end of an analysis, at the end of an analysis which never seems to come to a conclusion, an intensification of the meaning of the subject’s failure, an ‘I can’t do it’ which seems to be an inhibition at its peak. It is the exasperation of the want-to-be, of the failure-to-be (manque-a-etre) what I want, of the failure to be what I want to be. It signals the last tie between identification and desire.” (Jacques-Alain Miller, ‘Commentary on Lacan’s Text’ in ‘Reading Seminars I & II: Lacan’s Return to Freud, p.426).
It is because desire gets in the way of fantasy that the fantasy should be traversed or, as Miller says, dissipated [lever] (ibid, p.426). Fantasy is a “misrecognition of the drive” so its removal amounts to a “laying bare of jouissance” (ibid).
Lacan elaborates the discussion begun in this chapter of Seminar XI a few years later. Seminar XV is where Lacan gives his most detailed account of what happens at the end of an analysis. It includes a sustained commentary on the role of the analyst as the subject supposed to know, and how they come to occupy the place of object a, which rephrases much of what he said in Seminar XI:
“… The term[ination] of analysis consists in the fall of the subject supposed to know and his reduction to the arrival of this object a, as cause of the division of the subject which comes in its place. The one who, phantastically, with the psychoanalysand, plays the game with respect to the subject who is supposed to know, [is] namely, the analyst. It is he the analyst who comes to the term[ination] of analysis by being able to tolerate being nothing more than this remainder. This remainder of the thing known, which is called the object a, it is around this that our question should be brought to bear.
The analysand who has come to the end of the analysis in the act, if there is one, which carries him to become a psychoanalyst, must we not see that this passage only takes place in the act which puts back in its place the subject supposed to know. [That is, the analysand becomes analyst and then him- or herself takes up the position of subject supposed to know.]
We now see this place where it is because it can be occupied. But it is only occupied in so far as this subject supposed to know is reduced to this term that the one who up to then guarantees it there by his act, namely, the psychoanalyst, the psychoanalyst for his part has become this residue, this object a.” (Seminar XV, 10.01.1968.)
The psychoanalyst as object a, rejected like a piece of shit at the end of analysis
Lacan then goes on in Seminar XV to paint a picture of the end of analysis whereby the analyst is rejected and the analysand instated as analyst in the position of the subject supposed to know. This process, Lacan says, is “a condition of every psychoanalytic act” (Seminar XV, 10.01.1968.):
“He who at the end of a training analysis takes up, as I might say, the challenge of this act, we cannot omit that it is knowing what his analyst has become in the accomplishment of this act, namely, this residue, this rubbish, this rejected thing.” (Seminar XV, 10.01.1968.)
Later in that Seminar he puts this in stronger terms, saying that the analyst comes to be rejected like a piece of shit:
“After having defined the psychoanalytic act which I defined in a very risky fashion, I even put in the centre this acceptation of being rejected like the object a…. Even though in its essence it is absolutely outrageous, one could shout, “what sort of carry-on is this! The end of analysis has never been explained to us like that. What is this analyst who is rejected like a piece of shit?” Shit disturbs people enormously. There is not just shit in the object a but often it is as a piece of shit that the analyst is rejected. That depends uniquely on the psychoanalysand. It is necessary to know whether for him shit is really what was at stake.” (Seminar XV, 27.03.1968.)
What a contrast with some of his contemporaries who implicitly promote identification with the analyst as marking the successful end of analysis! For Lacan, by contrast, it is not an ideal but a residue or waste product that is crucial as motor of the end of analysis, and this is the part played by object a:
“I put the question because the answer is already there of course – what does this psychoanalysing task produce?
To guide us we already have the object a. For if at the end of a terminated psychoanalysis this object a, which is no doubt always there, at the level of our question, namely, the psychoanalytic act, it is all the same only at the end of the operation, that it is going to reappear in the real, from another source. Namely, as rejected by the psychoanalysand.” (Seminar XV, 07.02.1968.)
The analysand as object a
Although Lacan fills Seminar XV with the idea that the end of analysis involves putting the analyst in the place of object a, we see a quite different formulation advanced a few years earlier. In Seminar XII it is not the analyst but the analysand himself that becomes object a:
“… It is in the measure that the subject himself can come, beyond this identification [to the analyst], to live the effect of this cut as being himself this remainder, this waste even, if you wish, this extremely reduced thing from which he has effectively started…. as if he himself was this object which is either demanded from the Other, or is demanded from him.
Breast, even waste, excrement properly speaking, in other cases in other registers, in other registers which are not those of neurosis, this function of the voice or of the look.” (Seminar XII, 17.03.1965.)
Indeed, notwithstanding the passages already cited, we can even find a trace of this idea in Seminar XV. Here it is a matter of the analysand understanding that his or her subjectivity is, in its most essential aspect, a product of a fundamental lack. In order to grasp this lack, he appears to suggest, the analysand has to identify with object a:
“The subject depends on this cause which makes it divided and is called the object a. Here is what marks what it is important to underline: that the subject is not its own cause, that it is the consequence of loss and that it has to put itself into the consequence of the loss, the one that the object a constitutes, to know what he is lacking.” (Seminar XV, 10.01.1968.)
So is there a tension, or even contradiction, between his two ideas? A passage from later in Seminar XV may provide a clue as to how to read this. On the one hand, Lacan describes the analysand as “the subject alienated from this realisation of lack”; and of the analyst that, “in the end it is he, the analyst, who embodies what the subject becomes in the form of the object a.” (Seminar XV, 17.01.1968., my italics)
“An alienated path remits to the other, gets rid – and this is the function of the analyst – of this lost object from which, in Genesis, we can conceive that the whole structure originates. The distinction of alienation of object a in so far as it comes here and is separated from [minus phi] which at the end of analysis is ideally the realisation of the subject. This is the process that is at stake.” (Seminar XV, 17.01.1968.)
What Lacan’s remarks here appear to suggest is that the separation of object a from the phallic function (or the claim on, or promise of, the phallic function) is a property of the analytic relation: something that has to occur between the analyst and analysand over the course of the treatment. The unifying feature of both the necessity to abandon the claim on the phallus (whether we choose to read it as signifying sexual union, virility, or more broadly, completeness, totality) on the one hand, and rejection of analyst as object a, brought down from the pedestal of subject-supposed to know on the other, is loss. Perhaps we can say that the difference between the analyst and analysand as identified to object a turns on the quality or experience of this loss.
What is the object a?
But perhaps this is the point to pause and finesse a definition of object a given its importance for Lacan when thinking about how the end of analysis is reached. A feature the object a shares with the phallus or minus phi is that neither are negatives. That is to say, neither are something not there, but rather something that is there that points to or indicates a lack.
The object a, Lacan says in Seminar XII, is not simply a hollow or lack or “initial zero of the reality of the subject”, it is “a residue… which through its simple presence, modifies, inclines, inflects the whole possible economy of a libidinal relationship to the object, of any choice whatsoever which is qualified as objectal.” (Seminar XII, 03.03.1965.). It is his naming of this object, the introduction of the object a as a psychoanalytic concept, which “makes us question ourselves [as to] whether the goal of analysis is well and truly to be satisfied with the identification, as is said, of the subject to the analyst or whether, on the contrary, the irreducible otherness makes him reject him as other, and here indeed is the terminal pathos of the analytic experience.” (ibid) .
In other words, putting the analyst in the place of object a brings this otherness into relief. The ‘terminal pathos’ Lacan refers to is the point then of a splitting of the analysand from the analyst; a move from identification to otherness.
Later in Seminar XV he once again discusses the end of analysis in respect to Freud’s ‘bedrock of castration’ from Analysis Terminable and Interminable, but particularly this time with reference to the analyst more as support of object a:
“What is at stake is what I called the object a which is for us here the true middle term that is proposed, assuredly, as a plus one, of a more incomparable seriousness by being the effect of the discourse of the psychoanalysand…. The end of psychoanalysis, namely, the subject being unequal to any possible subjectification of sexual reality and the requirement that, in order that this truth should appear, the psychoanalyst should already be the representation of what masks, obtrudes, stoppers this truth and which is called the object a.” (Seminar XV, 07.02.1968.)
In what sense is the analyst the object a for the analysand?
In a passage in Seminar XII Lacan says that the analyst should hold the position of object a “not because the desire of the analyst is dictated to the patient, but because the analyst makes of himself the desire of the patient.” (Seminar XII, 19.06.1965.). This does not mean that the analyst seduces the analysand, but that he puts himself in the position of the analysand’s desire so that this desire can act as motor to drive the analysis to its conclusion. What is the difference? In Seminar XV Lacan clarifies that the psychoanalyst becomes the object a not for the other (presumably, the analysand) but ‘in itself’; the object a is an “in itself of the psychoanalyst.” He concludes by saying that it is only insofar as the analyst acts as support of object a that the end of analysis is possible:
“Note well, in effect, that I will return at length to the essential of what I am articulating here, the essential is not that at the end of the psychoanalysis, as some people imagine – I saw it from the questions posed – the psychoanalyst becomes the object a for the other. This ‘for the other’ here curiously takes on the value of a ‘for oneself’ in as much as the subject there is none other than this Other to whom the whole discourse is left. It is neither for the Other, nor in a ‘for oneself’, which does not exist at the level of the psychoanalyst, that there resides this a. It is indeed an ‘in itself’ (en soi), an ‘in itself ‘of the psychoanalyst. It is in as much as the psychoanalysts themselves protest moreover – it is enough to open the literature on it to see the testimony of it at every moment – they are really this breast of the ‘oh, my mother Intelligence’ of our Mallarme: that they are themselves this waste product, presiding over the operation of the task, that they are the look, that they are the voice. It is in so far as they are in themselves the support of this object a that the whole operation is possible. There is only one thing that escapes them, which is the degree to which it is not metaphorical.” (Seminar XV, 07.02.1968., my italics)
All that remains of the analyst at the end of an analysis, after the subject supposed to know has been repudiated, is the analyst as support of object a, “waste product”. If it is not clear here whether the analyst incarnates or is ‘support of’ the object a, this is clarified a little later in this same session when he tells his audience that “This of course means that the psychoanalyst is not entirely object a. He operates as object a.” (Seminar XV, 07.02.1968., my italics)
The analyst as object a and the impotence of knowledge
Making the analyst the support of object a has the concomitant effect of toppling the analyst from his pedestal as subject-supposed-to-know; the end of analysis produces something which “remains irreducibly limited in this knowledge”. We can look in two parts at a dense passage in Seminar XV in which Lacan goes into some depth on this theme. Firstly:
“The psychoanalytic act essentially consists in this sort of subject-effect that operates by distributing, as one might say, what is going to constitute the support. Namely, the divided subject, the $ [the barred S of subject], in so far as this is the acquisition of the subject-effect at the end of the psychoanalysing task. It is the truth conquered by the subject whatever he is and under whatever pretext he has become engaged in it. Namely, for example, for the most banal subject, the one who comes to it with the goal of getting relief. Here is my symptom. I now have the truth of it. I mean that it is the whole measure that I did not know everything about what was involved in me. It is in the whole measure that there is something irreducible in this position of the subject that is called, in short, and is quite nameable, the impotence to know everything about it. That I am here and that, thank God, the symptom that revealed what remains masked in the subject-effect reverberates with a knowledge. What it makes there I had lifted, but assuredly not completely. Something remains irreducibly limited in this knowledge. It is at the price – since I spoke about distribution – of the fact that the whole experience turned around this little object a of which the analyst became the support. The little object a in so far as it is what is, was and remains structurally the cause of this division of the subject.” (Seminar XV, 20.03.1968.)
In this first part, Lacan is saying that a psychoanalysis cannot conclude when an insight has been reached. Though insight is no doubt part of the psychoanalytic process, it is not enough to constitute its end. Indeed, what Lacan says here is that, though the symptom or complaint with which someone comes to analysis can be relieved, nonetheless “something remains irreducibly limited in this knowledge”. Unlike Freud, who locates this limit point in the ‘bedrock of castration’, Lacan connects it with object a, which “remains structurally the cause of this division of the subject.” Lacan continues:
“It is in the measure that the existence of this little object has been demonstrated in the psychoanalysing task, and how? But you all know it. In the transference effect. It is in so far as the partner is the one who is found to fulfil from the structure re-established by the act the function that ever since the subject has operated as subject-effect, as caught in the demand as constituting desire, he found himself determined by these functions that analysis pinpointed as being those of the feeding object, of the breast, of the excremental object, of the scybalum, of the function of the look and of that of the voice. It is in so far as it is around these functions, in so far as in the analytic relation they have been distributed to the one who is the partner, the pivot, and to say the word, the support of it, as I said the last time, the instrument, that there has been able to be realised the essence of what is involved in the function of $, namely the impotence of knowledge.” (Seminar XV, 20.03.1968.)
The second part of this passage is exceedingly dense but we can at least take a stab at an interpretation of what Lacan means. He is looking in particular at the role of the analyst, referred to here as the “partner”. The analyst fulfils the function of object a for what Lacan calls the subject as “subject-effect”, which we can think of as the speaking-being, the parle-etre, the desiring subject marked by the signifier. One mark of this division is between demand and desire, which Lacan references here (referring to “demand as constituting desire” because desire is expressed through the ‘Trojan horse’ of demand). The object a, here represented by the list of partial objects Lacan reels off, is presented as being the determinant (or cause) of the subject as speaking-being. The function of these partial objects as objects a is “distributed”, Lacan says, to the analyst; the analyst as “pivot” thus can be understood as bearing their weight. By so doing, the analysand comes to realise that their essence as divided subject is characterised by an “impotence of knowledge”. In short, by incarnating the object a, the analyst brings the $, the barred subject, to the point where he can recognise what Freud had referred to as the ‘bedrock’ of castration as instead an impotence of knowledge.
This leads to a surprising consequence that Lacan admits to later in the same session: that the analyst is not the one who is expert at analysis, who is master of knowledge about psychoanalysis. Indeed, later on in Seminar XV he states explicitly that, “It is absolutely clear that we are lost if we start from the idea that the psychoanalyst is the one who knows better than anyone else.” (Seminar XV, 27.03.1968.) What is crucial in the efficacy of a psychoanalysis is not knowledge but the function of the object a. All that the analyst does, he says, is to put him- or herself into this position of object a; the only knowledge that the subject will gain is “a signifying realisation linked to a revelation of the phantasy.” The critical question of technique – how to handle the end of a psychoanalysis – depends on the psychoanalyst grasping that he or she must completely support the place of the object a for the analysand to the extent that he or she is “radically excluded from any subsistence as subject”:
“Now if there is something which most – excuse me, I am going to say it! – instinctively repels the psychoanalyst, it is that knowing everything about psychoanalysis qualifies the psychoanalyst, and it is not without reason, very precisely because of the following. Not of course that we know any more in that way about what the psychoanalyst is. But that all knowledge about psychoanalysis depends so much on the reference to the experience of the little object a, in as much as a the end it is radically excluded from any subsistence as subject, that the psychoanalyst in no way has the right to posit himself as giving an evaluation of the experience of which he is properly speaking only the pivot and the instrument…. The status of the psychoanalyst as such depends on nothing other than the following. That he offers himself to support, in a certain process of knowledge, this role of object of demand, or cause of desire, which means that the knowledge obtained can only be taken for what it is: a signifying realisation linked to a revelation of the phantasy.” (Seminar XV, 20.03.1968., italics mine)
But the realisation of a lack of knowledge does not just refer to the person of the psychoanalyst. It is not merely a question of recognising that they themselves are not the ‘subject supposed to know’ but that knowledge is not localised in any institution or text either. Lacan’s English translator Cormac Gallagher, in his summary of Seminar XV, suggests that the end of analysis, insofar as it involves the collapse of the subject supposed to know, involves just this:
“The logic of the end of analysis includes what Lacan has defined as the end of all contemporary logic – getting rid of the subject supposed to know. This fiction at the core of the transference of the analyst as this subject is essential for the analysis to begin and to progress. The end of the analysis and the step by which analysand becomes analyst involves the dismissal of the analyst from this role and the correlative realisation of the futility of believing that this subject is incarnated in any person, institution or body of knowledge. It is armed with this sense of lack that the beginning analyst can take up his position and act as guide to others along the path whose end he has now reached”. (Cormac Gallagher, ‘A Reading of the Psychoanalytic Act’, available here).
The Proposition of 1967
At the same time as he conducts Seminar XV from 1967-68, Lacan delivers to his students a text known as the Proposition of 9th October 1967. It is most famous amongst Lacanians for its elaboration of the procedure known as the Pass, the protocol through which, at the end of their analysis, the analysand testifies to a small number of other analysands about their experience, and which determines whether they then become a psychoanalyst. This has been an enormously contentious issue amongst Lacanian schools since its introduction and the scope of this article is not great enough to do it justice. But fortunately it is not the only topic addressed by the Proposition concerning the end of a psychoanalysis. The ideas of the ‘fall’ of the fantasy, subjective destitution and the analyst’s desire are also discussed, and we shall look at some of these here, beginning with some remarks about the psychoanalyst’s desire:
“The psychoanalyst’s desire is his enunciation, which is able to be operative only if this desire comes into the position of the x: of this very x whose solution delivers the psychoanalysand his being and whose value is written [either] [minus phi], the gap that, if one isolates it in the castration complex, is designated as the function of the phallus, or (a) for what obturates it with the object that can be recognised in the function approximated by the pre-genital relation.” (Lacan, Proposition of 9th October 1967, translated by Russell Grigg, available here).
As he presents it here, object a has the function of compensating for castration it in some way or rendering it more bearable. That the analysand’s castration be bearable is perhaps another reason why Lacan advises that the analyst function as object a for the analysand. But above he seems to be suggesting that this x can also be signified by the phallic function as well. Does this not equate phallus and object a as far as their effects in the analysis go? Or even make of the phallus just one form of object a? Lacan goes on,
“The structure thus abridged enables you to form the idea of what happens at the end of the transference relation – that is, once desire has resolved who it was that sustained the psychoanalysand in his operation, at the end he no longer wants to take up the option, that is, the remainder that as determining his division brings about his fall from his fantasy and makes him destitute as subject.” (Lacan, Proposition of 9th October 1967, translated by Russell Grigg, available here).
The remainder here that determines the subject’s division we can assume, on the basis of Lacan’s remarks we have already looked at, to be object a. It is this object a then that makes the ‘fall’ of the fantasy and subjective destitution possible. But if the subject “no longer wants to take up” that “option” (the object a), how is it that a position of subjective destitution is even reached? Lacan goes on to boldly declare of psychoanalysis that “Subjective destitution is written on the entry ticket”:
“The passage of the psychoanalysand to becoming a psychoanalyst has a door of which this remainder [the object a] that brings about their division is the hinge, for this division is nothing but the division of the subject, of which this remainder is the cause.
In this change of tack where the subject sees the assurance he gets from this fantasy, in which each person’s window onto the real is constituted, capsize, what can be perceived is that the foothold of desire is nothing but that of a désêtre, disbeing.” (Lacan, Proposition of 9th October 1967, translated by Russell Grigg, available here).
Here Lacan more clearly presents the object a as the cause of the division of the subject. The passage to becoming a psychoanalyst is one in which this fantasy – which provides the subject’s coordinates in the world – falls apart or “capsizes”, as he puts it here. Object a is important because it gives the lie to desire – it shows that desire is purely a mark of a subjective split. This is also why, as we saw in the chapter of Seminar XI entitled ‘In You More Than You’, Lacan privileges the drive over desire. At the end of analysis, the drive must become free to pursue its own course uninhibited by the contrariness of desire. Lacan continues,
“In this désêtre what is inessential in the supposed subject of knowledge is unveiled, from which the psychoanalyst to come [the psychoanalyst to be] dedicates him- or herself to the agalma of the essence of desire, ready to pay for it through reducing himself, himself and his name, to any given signifier.
For he has rejected the being that did not know the cause of its fantasy, at the very moment at which he has finally become this supposed subject of knowledge.
“Would that he know, about what I didn’t know about the being of desire, how things stand with it, having come into the being of knowledge, and that he disappear.” Sicut palea, as Thomas [Aquinas] says of his work at the end of his life – like dung.
Thus the being of desire reunites with the being of knowledge and is thereby reborn, in their being bound together in a one-sided strip on which a single lack is inscribed, the one that the agalma sustains.” (Lacan, Proposition of 9th October 1967, translated by Russell Grigg, available here).
So, the realisation by the analysand of his lack of being or désêtre gives lie to the subject supposed to know, unveils him, and is effectively exchanged for the ‘agalma’ of object a. The psychoanalysand rejects the analyst in the position of subject supposed to know and instead becomes for him ‘like dung’. What then becomes of the analysand, as he transitions to analyst, is that knowledge and desire form a relation like that of the Mobius strip. What knowledge and desire both share in common, what makes them inseparable, is lack, and this lack is manifested as the agalma. It is the transference that effects this process, what he later calls in the Proposition the “pivot of this alternation” of analysand to analyst.
The limits of knowledge at the end of analysis – from ‘knowing’ to ‘knowing how’
Knowledge as a defence against truth
In Seminar XV Lacan describes the fall of the subject supposed to know at the end of analysis as a truth operation. The opposition of these two terms – knowledge and truth – might remind us of Lacan’s bold statement in Seminar XIII that “for centuries, knowledge has been pursued as a defence against truth” (Seminar XIII, 19.01.1966). In the place of knowledge occupied by the subject supposed to know appears the object a as the condition for what he refers to as the analytic ‘act’:
“The analytic act functions at the start, as I might say, with a falsified subject supposed to know…. If the one who becomes analyst could be cured of the truth that he has become, he would be able to mark what has happened in terms of a change at the level of the subject supposed to know…. It would be necessary to grasp that the subject supposed to know is reduced at the end of the analysis to the same ‘not being there’ which is characteristic of the unconscious itself, and that this discovery forms part of the same truth-operation. I repeat: the putting in question of the subject supposed to know, the subversion of what, I would say, the whole functioning of knowledge implies…. The individual as it can emerge from any act whatsoever, is an individual without essence as all the objects a are without essence. This is what characterises them.
Objects without essence which are, or not, to be re-evoked in the act starting from this sort of subject which, as we will see, is the subject of the act, of every act. I would say, in so far as like the subject supposed to know at the end of the analytic experience, it is a subject which is not in the act.” (Seminar XV, 10.01.1968.)
Here Lacan is tracing the progress of the analytic ‘act’. We can loosely read this ‘act’ as referring to the analysis itself, but more precisely the points within it that Lacan outlines in the passage above. We can summarise what he says here about the progress of analysis in several steps as follows:
Falsified subject-supposed-to-know ->the putting into question of knowledge in general and the dissolution of subject-supposed-to-know -> objects a “evoked” -> subjectivity without essence.
In his ‘Overview of The Psychoanalytic Act‘, Lacan’s summary of the fifteenth seminar that he prepared for the year book of the Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes, he focuses again on the relation between knowledge and truth. He asks, “There is knowledge acquired there, but by whom? To whom does it pay the price of the truth that at the limit the subject treated cannot be cured of?” (text found here). In other words, Lacan is warning against the danger that a psychoanalytic treatment could fall into the trap of becoming a treatment of truth by knowledge. Lacan goes on, in his ‘Overview’, to suggest that the acquisition of a knowledge should be seen as a false end to psychoanalysis. On the part of the analyst, his ‘act’ involves “a knowledge of the désetre of the subject supposed to know” (ibid).
What is the psychoanalytic act?
We saw in the passage from Seminar XV quoted above a clear movement from the start to the end of analysis. Lacan refers at the beginning to how the “analytic act functions at the start” and, in the last sentence quoted, to “the end of the analytic experience.” This might give us a clue of how to interpret the term ‘act’. Rather than being a singular moment, a deliberately chosen undertaking by the analyst or analysand, it is perhaps better understand it in the sense of an act in a play. There are different scenes to an act, and these would correspond to the various points Lacan lists in the passage we have précised above. But why would it have to take a ‘theatrical’ act to lead to a ‘truth operation’? And does this definition of ‘act’ trivialise the process of analysis? It is perhaps by virtue of the fact that the analyst takes on the role of the subject supposed to know, and later the object a, that Lacan employs a term which evokes theatrical connotations. The analyst assumes these roles in much the same way as an actor assumes a character, literally becoming its embodiment.
The difference however between the stage and the analytic consulting room is that the subject in analysis does not return to the position of analysand once he has ‘acted’. This is what Lacan makes clear at the very start of the ‘Overview of The Psychoanalytic Act‘, where he refers specifically to the end of a training analysis in which it is the act which effects the move from analysand to analyst:
“The psychoanalytic act, neither seen nor heard of before me, namely, never mapped out, much less put in question, we suppose here to be something belonging to the elective moment when psychoanalysand passes to psychoanalyst. This is the most commonly admitted recourse as regards what is necessary for this passage, all other conditions remaining contingent as compared to it.” (Full text found here).
In asking the question ‘What is an act?’, Zizek also highlights this transformative aspect:
“The act differs from an active intervention (action) in that it radically transforms its bearer (agent): the act is not simply something I “accomplish” – after an act, I’m literally “not the same as before.” In this sense, we could say that the subject “undergoes” the act (“passes through” it) rather than “accomplishes” it: in it, the subject is annihilated and subsequently reborn.” (Zizek, ‘Enjoy Your Symptom’, p.51).
Lacan highlights the disruptive intonation he wants his concept to have when he refers to the ‘act’ as “an act that is out of synch” (‘Overview of The Psychoanalytic Act’, found here). He gives us an idea of what practically this means with respect to the analyst:
“And effectively, in so far as there is an act mixed up with the task that sustains it, what is at stake is properly a signifying intervention. The way the psychoanalyst acts, however little it may be, but where he properly acts in the course of the task, is to be capable of this signifying interference which properly speaking is not open to any generalisation that might be called knowledge.” (Seminar XV, 17.01.1968.)
Rather than seeking to transmit a knowledge, or replying to the speech of the analysand with advice or reassurance, the act of the analyst is “a signifying intervention”, which Lacan here explicitly opposes to knowledge. So much for a so-called ‘didactic’ analysis! Rather, Lacan believes that the end of analysis involves a recognition of one’s “constitutive division”. The ‘act’ therefore is a ‘passage a l’acte’ insofar as it involves an acceptance of this position:
“The psychoanalysing task, at the end of which the subject, let us say, is aware of this constitutive division, after which, for him, something opens up which cannot be called otherwise nor differently than passage a l’acte.” (Seminar XV, 13.03.1968.)
Analysis is not a ‘know thyself’
But just as the knowledge involved is not the supposed knowledge of psychoanalysis that the analyst is presumed to have, neither is it a self-knowledge. Psychoanalysis, Lacan says in Seminar XV, is not an introspection, not a process by which one comes to ‘know thyself’:
“What is at stake in psychoanalysis is not at all a gnothi seauton [‘know thyself”] because this limit is properly of the nature of logic itself, and because it is inscribed in the language-effect that it always leaves outside itself. And consequently, in so far as it allows the subject to be constituted as such, this excluded part which means that the subject, of his nature, either only recognises himself by forgetting what firstly determined him in this operation of recognition or indeed even by grasping himself in this determination as denial, I mean only sees it arising in an essential Verneinung by failing to recognise it.” (Seminar XV, 13.03.1968.)
The effect of the signifier, namely of a division imposed on the subject which Lacan describes as a “language effect that it always leaves outside itself” here, prevents psychoanalysis from being a matter of ‘soul searching’ towards a greater knowledge of oneself. Indeed, the effect of psychoanalysis produces the opposite. As Lacan says in the passage above, the subject does not recognise himself in his own negations.
Dealing with your symptom by identifying with it
In Seminar XXIV Lacan talks about the end of analysis in terms of identification with the symptom. This is an important step away from the aim of acquiring knowledge – whether of oneself or of psychoanalysis – and is fully Freudian in its perspective. As Freud says, it is not enough to know the contents of one’s unconscious, and so an analysis cannot end on the removal of it:
“If knowledge about the unconscious were as important for the patient as people inexperienced in psychoanalysis imagine, listening to lectures or reading books would be enough to cure him. Such influences, however, have as much influence on the symptoms of a nervous illness as a distribution of menu-cards in a time of famine has upon hunger.” (SE XI, p.225).
Freud admits in ‘Analysis Terminable and Interminable’ that simply revealing to an analysand their unconscious thoughts, desires or fantasies will have no influence on them:
“The patient hears our message, but there is no response. He may think to himself: ‘This is very interesting, but I feel no trace of it.’ We have increased his knowledge, but altered nothing else in him.” (SE XXIII, p.233)
For Lacan, to overcome this ‘impotence’ of knowledge we have to move from ‘know’ to ‘know how’; specifically, to ‘know how’ to deal with one’s symptom. The solution he proposes is one of identification with the symptom. Discussing the old idea of identification with one’s analyst, in Seminar XXIV Lacan says:
“It is a question which has much interest because it resulted in certain theories which have been advanced that the end of analysis would be to identify with the analyst. For me, I do not think so….To what then does one identify oneself at the end of analysis? Is it that one would be identified to his unconscious? That I don’t believe. I don’t believe it because the unconscious remains – I say remains, I do not say ‘remains eternally’, because there is no such thing as eternity – remains Other. It is the Other with a big A that we’re talking about in the unconscious. I don’t see that we can give a meaning to the unconscious, if it is not situated in this Other, bearer of signifiers, which pulls the strings….
So of what does this repair work that is psychoanalysis consist? That it would be, would it not, to identify oneself, to identify in taking guarantees [perhaps ‘collateral’ des garanties], a space of distance, to identify himself with his symptom.
I have advanced that the symptom can be redeemable [monnayble, redeemed for cash], it’s common; perhaps it’s the sexual partner…. [The symptom] is what one knows, it is even what one, what one knows best, without going too far. Knowing has strictly this meaning…
So, what does it mean to know? To know means to ‘know-how’ [savoir faire] with his symptom, to know how to cope with it, to know how to manipulate it, to know that it is something which corresponds to what man makes with his image, it is to imagine the fashion with which he copes with his symptom…. To know how to deal with his symptom, this is the end of analysis, we have to recognise that it is short. It does not go away.” (Seminar XXIV, 16.11.1976., my translation.)
Two things are extraordinary about this passage from late in Lacan’s work. Firstly, the ‘universalization’ of the symptom it introduces: the symptom as Lacan presents it here does not exist in a diagnostics manual like the DSM, but can be the thing most familiar to the subject; even, he suggests, one’s sexual partner. In fact, the symptom is so universal here that he implies, using terms with fiscal connotations, that it is “redeemable”, that the analysand can take out “collateral” against it. Secondly, the way in which psychoanalysis is portrayed almost as a ‘psycho-technics’. If the symptom is a representative of the unconscious and the unconscious remains (if not eternally, according to his remarks here) Other, then rather than be eliminated the subject has to learn how to manipulate his or her symptom. This, Lacan implies, is what can be hoped for at the end of analysis.
From the alleviation of the symptom to the construction of a ‘sinthome’
Is psychoanalysis a knotting or an unknotting?
Psychoanalysis, Lacan says in Seminar XII, long before the above remarks, is a process of unknotting. Perhaps an unknotting of tightly bound significations that have resulted in the subject’s having suffered from his or her symptom:
“The question of the ending of the analysis and of the sense of this ending is not at all resolved at the present time – I only evoke it here as a testimony of what I am putting forward concerning what I am calling the mapping out, which is not necessarily a reflected mapping out.
Undoubtedly there is something which remains assured in that experience, which is that it is associated with we will call effects of unknotting. The unknotting of things charged with sense which cannot be unknotted by other means, this is the solid ground on which the analytic camp is established. If I use this term, it is precisely in order to designate what results from this closure from which I began my discourse today, breaking through or not the frontiers of the camp. The psychoanalyst has the right to affirm that certain things, symptoms, in the analytic sense of the term, which is not that of a sign but of a certain knot whose shape, tightening or thread have never been properly named, that a certain knot of signs to signs, and which is properly at the foundation of what one calls the analytic symptom, namely, something installed in the subjective, which cannot in any way be resolved by reasonable and logical dialogue.
Here the psychoanalyst affirms to the one who suffers from it, to the patient: “you will not be delivered from it, from this knot, except within the [analytic] camp.”” (Seminar XII, 06.01.1965.)
The privileged place psychoanalysis occupies is in making this unknotting possible “Reasonable and logical dialogue”, Lacan believes, cannot achieve this. Psychoanalysis is a process whereby a (symptomatic) knot is gradually undone and (associative) threads left hanging. But, jumping forward again in his work, Lacan does not believe it is simply a matter of pursuing each of these threads until all is revealed. Rather, they have to be re-knotted in a manner that befits the analysand him- or herself. This Lacan calls the ‘sinthome’.
The creation of a sinthome: accommodating oneself to leftovers
For many readers of Lacan the name of Joyce is almost synonymous with the concept of the ‘sinthome’. Indeed, Lacan gives a conference at the Sorbonne on 16th June 1975 the title Joyce the Symptom. Because of the volume of secondary literature on this topic we will only touch on the remarks Lacan makes about Joyce in connection with the end of analysis a few years earlier, in Seminar XVIII. After all, Joyce himself was never analysed, although it is on this very point that Lacan makes his first interjection. He refers to the opportunity that one of Joyce’s friends had to invite him to take up an analysis with Jung. But for Lacan this would have done him no good: through his writing Joyce was able to reach what is aimed at in the end of analysis:
“There was, perhaps you remember, but very probably you know nothing about it, there was a rich patron who wanting to do him a good turn, offered him [Joyce] a psychoanalysis, and she even offered to pay for him to do it with Jung. From the wordplay that we are recalling, he would have gained nothing from it because he went straight away, with this a letter, straight to the best thing that one can expect at the end of analysis.
By making stable litter of the letter, it is St Thomas again – you remember perhaps, if you ever knew it, sicut palea [‘All straw’ or ‘All dung’]…”
We remember that this is how, at the end of his life, St Thomas Aquinas, described his own work. And it is after St Thomas Aquinas that Lacan christens the term ‘sinthome’, pronounced in French to be the equivalent of ‘saintly man’, or ‘Saint Thom’. Lacan continues,
“… St Thomas again, who comes back to Joyce, as his work bears witness throughout its whole length? Or indeed is it psychoanalysis that bears witness to his convergence with what our epoch shows up in terms of an undoing of the link, of the ancient link by which pollution is contained in culture?
… The question is whether, what the manuals seem to display ever since they have existed, I am talking about manuals of literature, that literature is only a way of accommodating oneself to leftovers. Is it a matter of collecting in a writing, what was first of all, primitively, song, spoken myth, dramatic procession?” (Seminar XVIII, 12.05.1971., my italics)
Lacan leaves this question unanswered, but perhaps we can understand that these “leftovers” correspond to the letter itself, in Joyce’s case; the latter’s use of the letter in his writing, which has enabled Joyce to achieve the successful re-knotting of the three orders – symbolic, real and imaginary – Lacan refers to in his work on the Sinthome in Seminar XXIII. Or perhaps we can read this “accommodation to leftovers” as an accommodation to what Lacan says the subject supposed to know is exchanged for at the end of analysis: the analyst incarnating the position of the object a.
In this final contribution on the subject of the end of analysis, in Seminar XXV in 1978, just a couple of years before his death, Lacan refers again to the vexed subject of the Pass – the radical plan he had for formalising the procedure by which the psychoanalysand becomes psychoanalyst – which he had introduced in the ‘Proposition’ of 1967. Here however he makes some comments that bring together the formulations given in Seminar XXIV discussed above – the move from knowledge to know-how of the symptom; and in Seminar XVIII – in relation to Joyce. He also gives a definition of the end of analysis, his final recorded thoughts on the topic, so it is worth quoting him in full:
“The end of analysis, one can define it. The end of analysis, it is when one has twice turned round [on a deux fois tourné en rond], that is to say re-found that of which he is prisoner; begins turning round twice more. It is not certain that it is necessary; it is enough that we see that of which he is captive, and that is the unconscious. It is the face of the real, perhaps what you have an idea after having heard me a number of times, perhaps what you have an idea of what I call the real – it is the face of the real in which one is entangled…. [This will remind us of why in Seminar XI he said that the subject has to traverse the fantasy in exchange for the drive as something in touch with the real].
Analysis does not consist in being liberated of his [the analysand’s] symptoms, since it is like this that I wrote it: ‘sinthome’.
Analysis consists of what one knows of why one is entangled in it. It is produced by virtue of the fact that there is the symbolic. The symbolic is the language [le langage] we learn to speak and it leaves its traces. It leaves its traces and, by virtue of this, it leaves consequences which are none other than the sinthome, and analysis consists in giving an account of why one has these symptoms. So analysis is linked to knowledge. Is that very suspect? It is very suspect and it lends itself to all suggestions, which is the very word we must avoid. The unconscious – it’s that – it is that which we have to learn to speak, and therefore we leave it, by language, to suggest all sorts of things.” (Seminar XXV, 10.01.1978., my translation.)
The sinthome is thus presented here as a substitute for liberation from the symptom. The subject has to ‘re-find’ what he was formerly a prisoner of, Lacan says – a phrase which might imply not just a new subjective perspective on the productions of the unconscious but a making something of it. In saying that “It is in the face of the real in which one is entangled”, Lacan denotes that the true enemy is not the unconscious or the symptom as its production, but the real. This might give another sense to Lacan’s remarks in Seminar XI in which he says that the subject must come to traverse the fantasy in exchange for the drives, the drives being in touch with the real incarnated by object a, which they encircle. In the final few sentences quoted above he reaffirms a constant of his previous work on the topic of the end of analysis – the suspicion of knowledge – but also suggests that analysis involves the bien-dire or ‘speaking-well’ of the unconscious that, as we saw, he referred to in Television.
Lacan’s work on the subject of the end of analysis is vast. It is up to the reader to decide whether it constitutes a mixture or a muddle. What I hope to have done in these articles on the end, and ends, of a psychoanalysis is twofold. Firstly, to catalogue Lacan’s remarks on the topic; organise them under certain headings so that a path through the voluminous references is more easily taken by his readers; and provide possible interpretations along the way that can spur those interested in Lacan’s work to assess it themselves. Secondly, I wanted to show that despite the different pronouncements Lacan makes on the topic across almost 30 years of teaching there are certain common themes which, whilst picked up and dropped in favour of others at times, do nonetheless make frequent reappearances. This, I suggest, gives us at least the chance of making his views coherent to us.
Addendum: The end of Lacan’s own analysis
In his 2011 talk, ‘Lacan as Analysand’, psychoanalyst Eric Laurent offers us some insight into the end of Lacan’s own analysis, conducted with Rudolph Lowenstein during the 1930s. He quotes from a letter Lacan wrote to his former analyst after the 1953 scission between the respective groups that each was a leading member of:
“I dream of that kind of faith that leads me now beyond all this [what happened during the institutional turmoil]to that what now I know more and more is what I have to say regarding an experience whose nature I have only been able to recognise and therefore to really understand these last few years. I hope to see you in London, whatever happens you should know that you will find there a man more certain of his duties and his destiny. These pages were not written to contribute to a dossier but to give you freedom allowed by our special relationship and the testimony of what I’ve been through without which history could not be written. No objectivity can be reached in human matters without this subjective basis.”. (Lacan, letter to his former analyst Lowenstein, after the scission of 1953).
A video of Laurent’s talk can be viewed here.
By Owen Hewitson, LacanOnline.com
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