Discontent and Anxiety in Civilisation from Olena Samoïlova

The President and the Executive Committee
of the NLS would like to reiterate their support for our Ukrainian colleagues
in the war, whether they are in their own country or in exile.

A short text posted yesterday on a social
network by our colleague Olena Samoilova, who lives and works in Kiev,
testifies with rigour and courage to what is at stake in this war “in our
civilisation” and in everyone’s subjectivity.

NLS Messenger is honoured, with her
permission, to bring it to your attention.

Daniel Roy


I have just finished the Ukrainian
translation of the argument for the 2023 New Lacanian School Congress 
“Discontent and Anxiety in the Clinic and in Civilisation”. 

There were and
still are many doubts and controversies about the translation of certain terms,
Lacanian neologisms, and the style itself, which one could write about but not

Today I thought about the term
“civilisation”. Not in terms of translation. In this text, D. Roy
quotes a sentence by Lacan: “Civilisation is a sewer”… Much could
be said about the ‘patient’ who had just thrown his own filth at us, but in so
doing he touched the nub of the question of heterogeneity: “monde/immonde” – world/filth. I translated the word “immonde”
, in Ukrainian, as гидосвіт, which if
translated literally in English would read
“the world of abomination”, but here we are talking rather about the
non-world. And regarding the evidence of this same civilisation: is there life
on this planet? Life for each person and for the world of each? These are the
questions at stake.

A very serious little boy, who had been under
occupation and had seen a lot of things… gave his horrifying, but at the same
time brilliant, answer to this rift, trying to calm his frightened mother:
“When I grow up, I’m going to kill many, many people, and if I can, I’m
going to kill everybody/the whole world.” 
A world without the living, without humans, not in terms of radical
eco-activism, but in terms of the possibility of being a truly living person among
others, with all the consequences. This
is the challenge of
Das Unbehagen in der Kultur.


Olena Samoïlova, 10/10/22



New Lacanian School

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