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Chapter Six - What Holds Together

Izcovich, Luis Karnac Books ePub

Points of support

“It no longer works.” It is in these terms, a formulation that is far from new, that the subject explains his coming to see the analyst. Be it because his relationship no longer works, as in the case where it is the couple that no longer works, or in other cases because what has always functioned proves one day to be insufficient. The fact that it no longer works raises the question of how it once worked, and especially how it would work after an analysis. The question of the subject's points of support, namely those that support his existence, is present at every entry into analysis. Sometimes, some analysands develop it positively by referring to what they value most. For psychoanalysis, it is a question of a double perspective that will challenge our conception about its ends.

On the one hand, it concerns what makes the whole hold together. On that point Lacan changes, for in introducing the idea that the real supplies the element that makes the whole hold together he separates himself from the belief that this was only possible via the symbolic. On the other hand, and in relation to what came before, Lacan aims to revise the way in which the imaginary, symbolic, and real registers hold together.

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Chapter Seven - Lapsus of the Knot

Izcovich, Luis Karnac Books ePub

Guarantee from the real

Does what is subtracted from consciousness—which is no less structured by the symbolic, that is to say, by the unconscious—have a chance of being grasped as real? It took Lacan some time to raise the question and then to prove the answer. His teaching testifies to it. It took time, first of all, to demonstrate that the unconscious responds to the knowledge of lalangue and is structured like a language. Undoubtedly, the time also to see how his own love of truth was a mirage, a cover for what is the most authentic kernel of a subject. Indeed, the search for truth runs throughout Lacan's teaching since his first seminars and constitutes his orientation. This can be seen very clearly with the orientation of the symptom, which has been the axis of his teaching. In Lacan's theory, the symptom was considered for a long time to be what constitutes the truth of the subject.

The change of perspective that he introduced with the notion of the mirage of truth necessarily involves another dimension for psychoanalysis, namely the orientation to the real. This has an impact on the status of the symptom and correlatively on that of the unconscious. Consequently, beyond the knowledge about what limits the symbolic in the unconscious, namely the real of the symbolic, another question asserts itself: is it from having pushed the symbolic to the limit of the impossible that the guarantee of this real emerges?

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Chapter Five - The Necessary Symptom

Izcovich, Luis Karnac Books ePub

The symptom and the Freudian unconscious

On the question of the status of the symptom, Lacan followed the work of Freud: the symptom is to be necessarily articulated with the unconscious. This has not been the case for all those who claim to be analysts, and it is not at all the case for all those who offer, as clinicians, to treat symptoms. I am referring here to all forms of psychotherapy, including of course analytically inspired psychotherapies. There is no doubt that Lacan, seeking to define the place of the symptom in the clinic, refers to the unconscious, and vice versa. The evidence for this is that when he changes the status of the unconscious it has repercussions on his conception of the symptom. It is not my intention to restrict myself here to a commentary on Lacan's teaching, but rather to draw out a fundamental question that could shed light on a current debate.

This is a debate that has a bearing on the clinic. It is even a debate among analysts. I will set out the two sides of the debate. On one side, we have those who maintain the existence of a modern subject, the effect of contemporary discourse, less sensitive to the effects of the unconscious, and thus averse to psychoanalysis. On the other side, there are those who hold the view that the structure of the subject remains stable, contemporary discourse only changing the form of the subject's presentation. What is at issue in the debate is clear: if all clinicians agree that the modalities of the symptom have changed since the invention of psychoanalysis, is it a question of preserving the logic of the analytic instrument in order to treat symptoms, or is it a question of finding more modern forms with which to approach them? In short, should analysts make an aggiornamento with their way of understanding the clinic? This is what justifies a return to the analytic conception of the symptom, which is also my contribution to this debate.

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Chapter Twenty-Three - The Desire of the Analyst and Absolute Difference

Izcovich, Luis Karnac Books ePub

Is desire asymptotic?

Following Freud, Lacan maintained that desire is indestructible, but he added that it is not unlimited. His formulation, “a desire is not conceivable without my Borromean” (1974–1975, lesson of 15 April 1975), gives it a more precise place in structure. How can we explain this proposition that presupposes the link between desire and nomination? In approaching this question, the desire of the analyst is our focal point for it is the end point of all desire in an analysis.

While this desire is central to Lacan's orientation in analysis, it is rare to find specific statements telling us what the desire of the analyst is. Lacan aims to create the conditions for evaluating it, but the question of discerning it remains. I will leave to one side the attempt to grasp it by circumscribing the relation of the act to the end of the treatment for, by definition, the act that could indicate this desire only becomes clear after the conclusion of the treatment. It would thus be a way of deducing the desire retroactively. So where in Lacan's theory might we find a way of defining this desire during the course of an analysis?

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Chapter Fourteen - The Being of Jouissance

Izcovich, Luis Karnac Books ePub

The subject in question

The subject is determined by the signifier. On the one hand, Lacan's thesis establishes a relation of dependence—the subject is linked to the signifier- and, on the other hand, a relation of dominance—the signifier is primary and determines the constitution of the subject. The condition of the subject is in the Other of language, and this implies that the subject's entry into language determines his access to the symbolic. This is not, however, Lacan's final thesis. The introduction of the term parlêtre is an answer to Lacan calling into question his own elaboration concerning the status of the symbolic. What then is the problem and what solution does Lacan propose?

Lacan's definition of the subject is simultaneously the definition of the signifier. This definition is constant in his teaching: “A signifier is what represents a subject for another signifier” (2006 [1960], p. 694, trans. mod.). It designates the subject from the perspective of the chain of signifiers, the structure of the subject being the result of how the unconscious chain exercises its effects. This raises the question of the place of the body, which remains absent in this theory, and more precisely, of its connection with the concept of the subject.

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