News – May 2014
May saw the launch of an English translation of Colette Soler’s Lacan – The Unconscious Reinvented with a half-day seminar at the Freud Museum in London where Soler presented an overview of the reading of Lacan’s work that she details in the book. In particular, Soler zeroes in on the little-known but succinct summary of Seminar XI which Lacan wrote for the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in 1965, a text which she believes marks the point at which Lacan leaves behind his commentary on Freud’s work – which had been his project till then – and develops his own original theoretical contribution. This forms the central argument of her book: that following this period Lacan’s orientation took him towards the register of the real and away from that of the symbolic. Soler used her talk to draw some conclusions which may sound radical compared to the received wisdom about Lacan, which focuses on his work of the fifties and early sixties. For example, that from 1965 on, the unconscious as structured like a language puts the unconscious in the real, not the symbolic, because the unconscious is no longer conceived of as a signifying chain, signifying desire or pointing to a meaning, but instead has to do with the body or the subject’s jouissance. “The unconscious doesn’t determine the subject”, Soler argued, “but its way of enjoying…. Language is the apparatus of jouissance, and itself has no meaning…. The real of the symptom is a modality of jouissance which makes the unconscious Real”. However Soler maintains that the first effect of language is not to enjoy but to experience a loss from it, emptying the body of jouissance. A recording of the talk, hosted by CFAR at the Freud Museum, will hopefully appear soon.
The NLS Congress on the theme of ‘What Cannot Be Said: Desire, Fantasy, Real’ took place in Ghent in May. 500 delegates attended and a brief summary of the event can be found on the NLS’s site. At the end of the Congress it was announced that the theme of the next Congress in 2015 will be ‘Moments of Crisis’. This will take place in Geneva on 9th and 10th May 2015. For some of the preparatory work done ahead of this year’s check out the posts here. In particular, from the NLS group in Cophenhagen, Denmark, a paper by François Sauvagnat on ‘The real in the XXIst century: a few paradoxes and challenges’, which was circulated in May. Finally, you can view some of the photos from Ghent taken by photographer Zoë Forget here with the username ZF1-AMP2014 and the password ‘psychanalyse’.
A report summarising the work of the Electronic Cartels of the NLS for the year 2013-14 has been put together by Despina Andropoulou. The cartels’ work culminated with the NLS Congress in Ghent. The declaration that there is no Other of the Other, which Jacques-Alain Miller highlighted as being a key theme of Lacan’s Seminar VI (an ‘official’ version of which is now available in English) was at the core of the explorations that cartel undertook. Andropoulou has also written a summary of the NLS Knottings Seminar in Bruges in February which focused on Lacan’s work on Hamlet in Seminar VI.
Hurly-Burly, the international Lacanian journal of psychoanalysis, edition 11, appeared in May. Get it here. Its articles explore the theme of the last World Association of Psychoanalysis Congress, which took place in April, on ‘A Real for the XXIst Century’. It also leads with a translation of Lacan’s paper ‘True Psychoanalysis, and False’ from 1958, but which was not available even in French until 1992 (Lacan’s paper was originally rejected for publication when he wrote it).
Luce Irigaray, in collaboration with Professor Marianna Fotaki, will be hosting an international conference at the University of Warwick on 18th and 19th June on ethical perspectives following Irigaray’s work. Irigaray is of course a former member of Lacan’s École Freudienne de Paris and will speak on the subject of ‘The Ethical Responsibility of Thought Today’ on 18th June followed by a book signing, drinks reception and gala dinner. Full details here.
Lacanian psychoanalyst and author of many great books on Lacan’s work, Philippe Van Haute, will be giving a lecture on psychoanalysis and philosophy at the Department for Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, on 12th June. Details on Eventbrite here.
Another great Lacanian author and analyst, Paul Verhaeghe, has a new book on the way, due to be released in August. What About Me? The Struggle for Identity in Market-Based Society explores what psychoanalysis can tell us about the way we think about ourselves in neo-liberal societies in the 21st century. A review of the book, which is available in Kindle edition already, can be found here.
The Irish Circle of the Lacanian Orientation is hosting a Study Day on 7th June in Dublin on ‘The Silence of the Psychoanalyst’. Speakers include Rik Loose and Alan Rowan. More info on this flyer.
The School of the Freudian Letter is hosting a seminar series ‘On the Ascesis of the Psychoanalyst’ in London. The first seminar will take place on 5th July at 2:30 (Room 2A, ULU, Malet St) with Richard Klein, Patros Patounas and Bruno de Florence as the speakers. The event is free to attend.
Finally, the Polish society of the New Lacanian School published the fifth edition of its journal in May, more details of which are on the NLS’s site.
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