Hurly-Burly – Commentary of Selected Papers (II)

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“In this respect, I would like to iterate just what an instrument
of public service the journal of the New Lacanian School is”

Éric Laurent


On Dominique Holvoet’s ‘The Pleasure of the Symptom


“Psychoanalysis specifies itself by renouncing the attempt to resolve discontent [malaise] by eradicating the symptom”.


“Mr B turned to psychoanalysis because of a somatic symptom that medicine had been unable to treat – a hypertension that, by this point, had become so crippling that, when he came to see me ten years ago, he had not been able to work for a year. He was, he said, constantly tense, stressed, and deeply angry. This anger is a sort of stifled rage”.

In this clinical case Dominique Holvoet gradually unfolds the scenes and the crucial encounters which established the structure of the subject, as well as the formula of the fantasy. This case is about a subject that responds as a wounded man each time the Other of demand appears: “if you want me to fall, there you are!”.  Thus, he was captivated by an obsessional desire, the desire to kill desire – a death wish.


In the analytic experience “the symptom passes from its repetitive necessity … to the possibility of contingency, in other words the possibility of acknowledging the irreducible real of the symptom, offering a new trajectory for jouissance. The new status of the symptom, severed from meaning, the reconciliation with the real, opens to contingency. From this, a new responsibility is deduced for the analysand”.


The orientation of psychoanalysis is “… not to let oneself go on the side of meaning, but instead seek to make the well of meaning run dry in order get to the bone, which is the drive [pulsionnel]”.


Through this particular case, Dominique Holvoet designates the new status of the symptom, the symptomatic remainder after the revelation of the fantasy.



Despina Karagianni



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