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Report on Electronic Cartels of the NLS 2013/14, by D. Andropoulou

Below you will read the report on the electronic cartels of the NLS 2013-2014, by Despina Andropoulou.
Not only does it transmit in vivo the life of the electronic cartel in the NLS and the effects of elaboration that it produces, but it also constitutes in fact a leading theoretical-clinical document  extracted from a remarkable work of research.
Let us thank Despina Andropoulou, responsible for cartels of the outgoing EC, for this precious work of both knotting and tightening.
It can but produce a desire for the cartel in our School.

Yves Vanderveken,

New Responsible for Cartels in the NLS: Sophie Marret (


The great secret of psychoanalysis: Generalized forclosure

“The great secret [of psychoanalysis], is –there is no Other of the Other”[1]. This sentence, pinned down by J.-A. Miller in Seminar VI, Desire and its interpretation, will serve us as a compass to present the preparatory work of the cartels towards this year’s NLS Congress, having as an orientating thread to “
put this revelation to

the test of the clinic.”[2]


The theme of the Congress “What cannot be said. Desire, fantasy, real” “unfolds between what cannot be said except between the lines and what is impossible to say”[3]. In other words, the fact that the signifier is lacking in the Other [S (barred A)], leads us to the conclusion that there is “an inadequacy between the real and the mental” and consequently, “about the real, we cannot but lie”[4]. This condition is experienced by the speaking subject as a trauma, from which he defends either by means of the desiring experience of the fantasy, of delusion or of a sinthomatic invention, sometimes precarious. In any case, one has always to deal with the relation of the subject with an object of a more or less veiled nature, which constitutes his truth[5]. That said, there is a continuum extending from the neurotic and perverse fundamental fantasy to the delusion. This consideration makes of neurosis and psychosis two modalities of analogue psychical organizations, each one providing the aid of an established discourse in order to face the disturbance introduced by jouissance[6].


The panic point before the unsayable in the Other


In the 14 vignettes presented by our colleagues, we will first identify that which, in each case, constituted the "panic point"[7] for the subject, namely the time in his life when he was led to "face his existence", the moment when, hilflos [helpless], he was erased, deprived from the support with which the guarantee of the Other previously provided him, so as to find a way to put an order to his world.


The moral cowardice experienced as sadness leads a young woman to question herself about her subjective position, about her responsibility towards her desire. More precisely, the desire to know [savoir] the reason for which she chooses men who are already engaged to other women, leads T. to the analyst at a moment when the fantasy of the “perfect child” she was for the other vacillates, and the ideals collapse, leaving room for dissatisfaction, disgust and loss of meaning in life. (case 9) 

Other subjects, as we could observe, face the hole that the inexistence of the Other left open, especially at the moment of the separation from a beloved one. In one case, the subject remains perplexed due to cumbersome thoughts (case 7), in another, he finds out his incapacity to give an answer that would involve his desire, as up to then he had acted according to the Other’s will, from the position of being his object (case 1). Separation marks for another subject the beginning of a period of disconnection from the Other and of the laisser tomber regarding the relation to the body (case 10). Just after her separation from a boyfriend who haunted her through insults regarding her body image, a young woman regresses to the mirror stage and then jouissance takes a ravaging symptomatic form (case 12).


In two other cases, the subjects face the hole opened up by the questions of sex and death at the time of separating from their children when they reach adolescence. Thus, a mother facing the young woman that her daughter has become, confronts the mystery of sexuality through this other woman[8] "who does not speak, is very beautiful, apathetic ..." and who questions her in relation to her own sexuality which is restrained to the signification provided by science; for her it is just about hormones (case 5). In the same vein, the fact that the son has left home to go to boarding school awakens the memory of the missed celebration of the mother’s 15th anniversary. Integrating this failure in speech made ​​family taboos emerge. These taboos -like black spots- suffocated the subject as a sexed being (case 11). The enigma of sexuality springs in another subject in the form of the obsessive idea that he is gay, a thought that torments him whenever he is rejected by a woman (case 13); while for a 14 years-old girl, it is the words coming out from the maternal mouth that become pure real. Since the subject does not have access to metaphor, the word is the thing[9] that aims at it [the subject] (case 4).


In another register, the separation from the intact Other is effectuated by the arrival of a new-born in the family. The subject’s encounter with the lack in the real, following its own destitution as an imaginary phallus of the maternal Other, caused the dereliction of Being (case 2).


Other factors that bring the unsayable to light are life events that reveal the inconsistency of the Other and uncover the raw jouissance (threat of death, disappearance and murder of the brother, forced exile, asylum) making of injustice a real trauma that forces the subject to traverse the impossible. The appearance of God as the only guarantee that can bring order into his world seems to be, at this time, insufficient to veil the real (case 3).


Modes of rebellion of the id


We know that, since Freud, neurosis and psychosis are both expressions of the rebellion of the id against the external world, [expressions]of its displeasure, or of its inability to adapt to the real necessity, to the Ανάγκη[10]. The forms that this rebellion takes up, in each case, against the displeasure arisen from the encounter with the bar in the Other and the flaw that it thus opens for the subject, are worth being examined.


We verify that nightmares are a mask of the real in its unbearable version that we often come upon in the cases presented. The death drive is mediated by images exemplary for their ferocity (amputation scene in cases 3 and 14, suffocation in case 3), announcing the imminent death of the subject (case 5).


In other cases, it is the experience of anxiety –as an affect that does not deceive and an index of the object that the subject is for the Other – that is the major sign of the unbearable real. In the form of panic attacks and suffocation, anxiety indicates the fixation or better the petrification of the subject in a position of absolute object of the Other whose desire is enigmatic (case 11, case 13). This position of subordination in other cases causes anger and a feeling of inner emptiness at times of separation (case 5, case 10). In some cases, the subject is often paralyzed, with no energy, inhibited, disintegrated (case 10), desinstituted (case 8) before the hole in the symbolic making explicit the status of waste that he is for the Other.


Moral cowardice that reaches the point of melancholy is often observed in cases where the superego overwhelms the subject through some signifiers - "You're poor, you're nothing, you're nobody" (case 1 ), " You will become just like your father, compulsive and violent ( case 13)", which have as effect an excessive assignment of being, fixating the subject in a position under a massive master signifier, which is supposed to represent him in an univocal way in the Other. These statements that pretend to lift the X of the desire of the mother and which are often articulated ​​by her, debase the subject and push him to identify himself with an object of the maternal fantasy, the object of a death wish[11]. We see an illustration of this mortifying petrification in the case of the girl for whom her mother's words reveal the paternal grandmother’s will to kill her. These words are taken by the girl as absolute statements outside any dialectic, causing an anxiety of death in the real (case 4).


Thereafter, the return of the symbolic in the real, can be traced in the cases of hallucinations and bodily phenomena. It is the case of the articulation of "ugly and dirty words" of which the subject is nothing but the witness. These are words coming out of the desert of a non-subjectivised instance where "the absence of the subject” in the id is revealed (case 4)[12]. The emergence of the voices of the beloved ones who accompany the subject in his solitude (case 3), the shaking of the body as a strange body satisfaction occurring at the moments when the subject finds the right word (case 5), the experience of the autonomy of body parts (case 6), are phenomena of the return of the unsayable -of what has been foreclosed from the symbolic- in the real.


The symptom is a response that the subject builds in order to respond to a reality to which it is always impossible to adapt and, at the same time, constitutes for the clinician another way to approach the drive in each case. In psychosis, the symptom reverberates the object in the real[13], for instance in the form of an insulting voice, while in neurosis, the symptom establishes a connection between a signifier (S1) and the object of the drive (a). In all cases, the symptom is an effect of the symbolic in the real.


In at least three cases, the oral object in the form of anorexia, bulimia and alcoholism becomes the real object to which the subject clings in moments of dereliction. Bulimia would be the subject’s effort to fill the void in the real (case 2 ), while anorexia is a way to localize the jouissance allowing for the young woman to stay alive through the worries it raises[14] and to expose before the others’ gaze her inner hell ( case 12). When facing the fear of her annihilation, a teenager realizes [reelise] her will "not to be a burden for her mother" and starts losing weight, while at the same time she provokes the Other’s reaction. It is a way of existing for the Other -the crying of the mother and the disputes between her parents are the moments when they are reminded of her existence -embodying the object she is for this other, a being for death (case 4). Another young woman, who is identified with her father’s jouissance, clings to alcohol in order to avoid the encounter with her own desire. The identification to a loser, a loser that she wants to save, becomes a fantasy that separates her from the invasive maternal will, but at the same time leads her to the worst, through risky practices and choices of partners who abandon her. The anxiety that arises when confronted with a man who could desire her, takes thus over the fantasy of being rescued by a failed other (case 7).


In a number of other cases, we note the devastating effect of being the object of an intrusive Other and then letting oneself be dropped, a fact that reveals the subject's will to be the exclusive object of the Other (cases 5, 10).


Treating the unsayable: modes of suppletion and function of the analyst


The symptom allows us to tame jouissance in what it has of unsayable[15] but we see that in cases of psychosis, which constituted the vast majority of the cases presented, symptoms fail to limit jouissance; the fact that jouissance remains untamed, unlimited, pushes the subject towards other inventions in order to regulate the intrusion of jouissance. In case 2, the introduction of the cuts [of the session] by the analyst, has the effect of stopping the unfurling oral jouissance, while in case 7, the introduction of the father figure in the patient’s discourse patient also has a pacifying effect. In case 5, the analyst becomes the outlet for the subject’s anger when the mother fails to make One with her ​​daughter. The analysis is in this sense a place where to lodge the anxiety aroused by the encounter with another living being. In another case, keeping a woman away from the perplexity that the questions about sexual identity arouse in her, and recognizing her lifestyle as a performance that follows written orders (S1) pinned all over her apartment in the form of little notes, are means of stabilisation supported by the analyst (case 6). On the contrary, what revitalized the life of another subject was the fact of speaking about the family taboos, which up until then prevented him from weaving his filiation history and which had major inhibitory effects (case 11).



The richness of the cases presented cannot, of course, be exhausted in a few lines commentary. The space of the e-cartel offers the possibility not only to present cases but also to have serious discussion and exchange, or even debate on issues that the contemporary clinic poses to the practitioner. The question posed by cartel 14: "Neurosis has a particular structure, but if it is not there, does this automatically mean that it is a psychosis?” is an example of the important questions that the cartel among several may give rise to.


I would like to thank all the colleagues –and especially the Plus-Ones and the extimes- who contributed to and supported the work of the electronic cartels this year.




Despina Andropoulou

Responsible for Cartels of the NLS 2012/14

[1] Lacan J., Le Séminaire, Livre VI, Le désir et son interprétation, Paris, éd. de La Martinière, p. 353.

[2] Miller J.-A., Presentation of the theme of the next NLS Congress in Ghent (May 2014), closing conference of the XIth NLS Congress of the NLS, Athens, 19 May 2013, published in Hurly-Burly, Issue 10, December 2013, p. 15.

[3]Holvoet D., Argument for the XIIth NLS Congress in Ghent, published in Hurly-Burly, Issue 10, December 2013, p. 30. 

[4] Miller J.-A., Lacanian Orientation. Course Choses de finesse en psychanalyse, teaching delivered within the setting of the Department of Psychoanalysis, University of Paris 8, 2008/2009, unpublished.

[5] Lacan J., The Seminar, Book XI, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, Norton, London, 1998, p. 5.

[6] Everybody is delusional: cartel with Véronique Eydoux, José Rambeau, Catherine Stef, Pierre Sidon, Dominique Wintrebert (plus-one). Reporter: Dominique Wintrebert.

[7] Lacan J., Le Séminaire, Livre VI, Le désir et son interprétation, op. cit., p. 108

[8] Comment by the extime L. Vander Vennet

[9] Miller J-A., «Ironic Clinic», in The Symptom, Issue 2, Spring 2002, p. 3.  Available on-line:

[10] Freud, S., Névrose, psychose et perversion, PUF, Paris, p. 301.

[11] De Georges Ph., Par-delà le vrai et le faux, Vérité, réalité et réel en psychanalyse, Éditions Michèle, Paris, 2013, p. 181.

[12] Lacan, J., «Remarks on Daniel Lagache 's Presentation», in Ecrits. The First Complete Edition in English, Norton, London/New York, 2006, p. 543.

[13] Miller J.-A., Lacanian Orientation. Course Ce qui fait insigne, teaching delivered within the setting of the Department of Psychoanalysis, University of Paris 8, lesson of 3 June 1987, unpublished.

[14] Comment by the extime J.-L. Monnier

[15] Miller J.-A., ibid.

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