ICLO-NLS Report on the Seminar & Clinical Conversation withLaure Naveau

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Report on the ICLO-NLS Clinical Conversation with Laure Naveau

The third clinical conversation with members of the WAP in the series for 2012-2013 entitled “The Names of the Real in the 21st Century” took place on the 1st of December in St Vincent’s Hospital Fairview in Dublin. In the morning, Laure Naveau (ECF, WAP, AE 2004-2007) spoke to the title of “Anxiety, signal of the Real”.

She began by emphasizing the importance of J.-A. Miller’s statement that we should take an interest in the idea that there is “a great disorder in the real”. Laure proposed to focus on the words disorder and anxiety in this context. She said that the disorder that should be of concern to psychoanalysis is political because the status of the real has changed due to the domination of the discourse of science and capitalism. These discourses have effectively destroyed the traditional structure of human experience. “The real is lawless” and Laure said that the modern master seeks to find a mass solution to this disorder. This is not the way of psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis, she said accompanies the subject to the radically singular real of the One-All-Alone to which the symptom is hooked at its root. For psychoanalysis it is crucial to disturb the defence against the real. Here we find the connection to anxiety. Laure said that anxiety is the affect that indicates something of the real. Thus this anxiety has to be faced and not avoided or erased. This then can lead to an awakening which should allow the subject to cross the barrier of anxiety. An effect of the crossing can be that anxiety is symptomatized into what Lacan called a “productive anxiety”. Laure suggested that production here can also imply an involvement in psychoanalysis as a material and political force.

Towards the end of her seminar Laure came back to anxiety and explored the difference between men and women. She argued that for Lacan in a certain sense, namely, her relationship to the real, woman lacks nothing and she is therefore more free and closer to the real. Regarding man, he has something to lose, namely, the phallic object and his anxiety pertains to being “put out of the game” in the sexual encounter. Laure then said that it takes time in an analysis to consent to this fall of the object such that a new kind of desire can be reached, one that is hopefully freer.

She finished the seminar by referring to the difference between the object of desire and the object cause of desire and it is indeed when we can consent to the fall of this latter object that desire can become more productive. However, in order to do so one has to cross anxiety as a signal of the real and thus, Laure concluded, anxiety is our compass, our orientation in the analytic clinic. Indeed, is it not possible to say that this orientation via anxiety is more pertinent then ever in a contemporary clinic which is dominated by consumption and external solutions that put the subject to sleep?

In the afternoon session, Lorna Kernan and Florencia Shanahan shared two extremely interesting clinical presentations. There were similarities between them in that in both anxiety played a huge role, but, there were, of course, crucial differences and this then lead to a conversation between Laure, the two speakers and the audience on questions of diagnosis, ordinary psychosis, hysteria, melancholic elements without a melancholic structure and the psychoanalytic act.

The day was an important one in the formation of members and participants of ICLO. On behalf of ICLO-NLS we would like to thank Laure for her enormous generosity and her committed transmission.


Rik Loose (ICLO-NLS)


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