The Purloined Letter and The Tao of the Psychoanalyst (excerpt)
“… Last year we had the opportunity of approaching the link between this plus-One function and the place of the Father, the Name-of-the-Father. For the psychoanalyst, this place of plus-One stands to be gone into in greater depth, especially from the perspective of Lacan’s fifth Seminar, Les formations de l’inconscient and the presentation that Jacques-Alain Miller has recently made of it. This Seminar lays the accent on a place that stands extimate to the system of language [la langue], a place that is distinguished in so far as it lies outside the system and yet within it. This place authorises the new meanings that are produced each time that the effect of a Witz inscribes into a language an utterly new usage or a new way of speaking, and this language allows these meanings to be admitted.”
“Thus, how are we to articulate that which admits new meanings, the “meaning-effect”, with the one whose practice is indexed less on meaning-effects than on scansion; without, of course, neglecting the fact that the scansion implied by the editing of the text distributes signification and produces meaning-effects?
This is not, however, the whole story behind the definition of this place, which is centred more on punctuation than on meaning. It is from this perspective that I have taken up the reading of “Lituraterre” again, an eminent text in the series of texts by Lacan dating from the beginning of the ’seventies, to broach the question of the place of the letter, and of its relation to the semblants and the meaning-effect.”
Translated from the French by Marc Thomas and Victoria Woollard