Hurly-Burly 9 – Selected paragraphs III

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Alfredo Zenoni

What Becomes of Psychosis Beyond the Œdipus? (excerpt)


“Lacan ceased linking the notion of the symbolic to that of order around 1973. It was in the Seminar Les non-dupes errent (unpublished) that, for the last time, he used the expression “symbolic order”. Henceforth, as you know, the symbolic was no longer considered as an order, or an ordering principle, but would be brought back to being no more than a dimension amongst others, with the imaginary and the real, with neither any supremacy nor ordering effect whatsoever. On the contrary, it was revealed to have disordering effects.”


“This pluralisation of the founding element, and thus of the Name-of-the-Father – a pluralisation that reveals its nature as a postulate, a myth – transmits the profound modifications that have resulted in our societies at the level of discourse as much as that of clinical practice. By the very fact of manifesting as different, equivalent and replaceable, the “master signifiers”, namely the ideals, principles, and authorities, which traditionally guaranteed hierarchy, institutions, places and duties, are becoming relative, are weakening, fading and are ceasing to be synonyms of the order of things. They now function like a version, an interpretation, a cultural modality, a custom with regards to a real that, with the accession of science, has been revealed to be or is increasingly produced as disconnected from that which, up until now, gave it an order or seemed to give it an order.”


Translated from the French by Victoria Woollard


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