Lacan Circle of Melbourne
Seminar on Fundamental Texts
Wednesday 12 September, 7.30pm – 9.00pm
1888 Building, University of Melbourne, Grattan Street, Carlton
Jacques Lacan, Seminar 19, . . . or worse (1971-1972)
The Seminar on Fundamental Texts recommences this Wednesday, when we embark on a detailed study of Lacan’s, Seminar 19, … or worse (1971-1972). All interested in studying psychoanalysis in the Lacanian Orientation are welcome to attend. If you would like to participate but are unable to attend the first meeting this Wednesday, please contact me.
This seminar chants the disharmony of the sexes. Lacan’s now-famous theorem, “There is no sexual relationship”, finds its origin in this seminar in the discussion of modal logic, the logic of contingency; in the place of a gap in the symbolic, there are myriad seductive images, prescriptive discourses, recommendations for achieving wellbeing —all just so many semblants whose inadequacies psychoanalysis exposed over the course of the 20th century. Marriage a natural alliance? Sex a natural attraction between man and woman? What fictions have to be maintained in order for such longstanding cultural reference points to be upheld? And what ensues when they are disturbed? Will things be better . . . or worse?
The thesis, “There is some One”, “Il y a de l’Un”, discretely introduced in this seminar, raises the question of the solipsism of the subject’s jouissance. This is the start of Lacan’s final years of teaching, in which everything is both the same and different, where everything seems to be turned upside down, renewed and recast in many new ways. Whereas Lacan had previously upheld the primacy of the Other in relation to truth and desire, here he speaks of the primacy of the One in the dimension of the real. He downplays desire and stresses jouissance, insisting on the inexistence of the Other, stressing its fictional nature. (See JA Miller’s “Note” on the seminar.)
The French edition of the seminar is available from Amazon.fr, the Gallagher translation from the usual sources, and a recent translation of a series of talks Lacan gave at Sainte Anne Hospital the same year will be made available.
This text of Lacan’s is an ideal place to start for anyone interested in exploring his later teaching. Contact me if you are new to this seminar on fundamental texts and would like to participate.