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11th April 2020


Still Dreaming? / La Cause Du Désir 104





The title of this issue highlights the place we give to the interpretation of dreams, 120 years after the invention of psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud. What use do psychoanalysts make of the dream, since Jacques Lacan taught us to consider the unconscious in its real dimension, as the one-blunder [l’une-bévue] which is neither to be deciphered nor interpreted?
The dream and its interpretation do not occupy the same place at the beginning and at the end of an analysis – this is the common thread running through this issue, like the one that the artist Salvatore Puglia could sew on the Roman ruins of the cover. There where it is a question of first giving consistency to the meanings present in the dream so that the subject hears the equivocation of the signifiers which determine it, the progress of the cure reveals behind these same linguistic articulations a real element present in the 'One' of the surplus-jouissance that is satisfied in it.
The dream thus approached as an accident, a cut, no longer harbors meanings to be revealed in the signifiers that give it body; it limits itself – like the haikus studied by Roland Barthes in The Empire of Signs – to show something that is taking place, a phenomenon: to indicate "that".
Freud's drive-based unconscious [inconscient pulsionnel], present in his second topography, is reduced at the end of an analysis to the radical and impossible to reabsorb cut produced by the encounter with jouissance in its pictorial formations. Some dreams evoked here by the Analysts of the School testify to this. The signifiers of the dream come to dress the reality of the One of jouissance, whether it is the traumatic jouissance that marks the body, or that of the troumatisme that sexuality implies for all speaking beings. The cases published in the clinical section demonstrate in an original way what use can be made of dreams in clinical practice, even and especially with young speaking beings! The intervention of the analyst is modified, as is the place of interpretation, reduced to the equivocations that homophony, grammar and logic – as Lacan indicates in L'Étourdit – allow to produce. It is the unconscious itself that becomes interpreter, deciphering the enigma of the pure contingency involved in the encounter of the body with jouissance.
"We don't wake up: dreams keep desire alive," Lacan tells us in the 1974 note published in this issue. This statement has its weight and thwarts the initial idea, developed in his first seminars, that one wakes up to continue sleeping. In this same note, Lacan situates death on the side of awakening, as being a dream of life: "Life is something quite impossible which can dream of absolute awakening. It is on the side of awakening that death is situated."
An original reading of the interpretation of dreams is offered to us by Marie-Hélène Brousse who approaches it as a text which covers -with its signifiers- that which escapes language and marked the body in its traumatic eruption. More otherness therefore, but the manifestation of the jouissance of the body which makes itself heard through the signifiers of the dream. A new orientation thus takes shape thanks to this text, which places the One-all-alone of jouissance in the contingency that supposes "the random accident that is the living body without the Other."
This perspective allows us to define the "bit of real" present in the symbolic differently than the Freudian Unnerkannt, the unknowable of the dream, found by Freud at the bottom of Irma's throat: it is no longer an inlay of the real in the signifier of the narrative, but rather of how this real shows its nose in the dream. This perspective then adds a new articulation between the symbolic dimension of the narrative of the dream and the real which it comes to cover over, going beyond the more well-known Freudian perspective of the "navel of the dream."
The testimonies occurred at the end of the analysis and in the "beyond the Pass" turn out to be invaluable here to verify this relation that the dream has with the real. The dream bordering the real of jouissance, giving it form, giving it body through its signifiers, while metamorphosing it: this is indeed the dream from the perspective of the real unconscious, of the one-blunder.
The event that was the 49th Study-Days of the School of the Freudian Cause finds an echo in this issue, with Delphine Horvilleur's intervention, who brilliantly demonstrated to us that the practice of reading and the letter does not just belong to the domain of psychoanalysis; with the interview that took place, after reading his manifesto, between Paul B. Preciado, François Ansermet and Omaïra Meseguer; and finally with a fascinating article by Éric Laurent on the failed encounter between feminism and Lacan’s proposal "There is no sexual relation."
Like “th’Esp of a Rev,”[1] art is not to be interpreted, it makes it possible to border the real that inhabits the one who creates it, through a fictional or pictorial construction, thus the drawings of François Matton by which these pages are scanded. The approach of an analysis resonates with that of the artist, this is what is heard in the voice of Jeanne Balibar who intensely circumscribes her "knowing-how-to-do with the hole" in her acting profession, and in "that voice that speaks to us," watched over by composer Betsy Jolas.
It is clear that the reveries proposed by the civilization of excess and its behavioral regulations do not succeed in silencing this other approach to the dream opened by the Freudian practice, re-enlightened by Jacques Lacan. So, are you still dreaming?


[1] Laurent É., "The Réveil (Awakening) from the Rêve (Dream) or th’Esp of a Rev", orientation text for the 12th Congress of the WAP "Dream. Its Interpretation and Use in Lacanian Treatment", Buenos Aires, 14-18 December 2020, available online.

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