At the beginning of the Schreber case we
find a period of disorder (…). It presents a whole set of symptoms which,
because it has generally been hidden away or, more exactly, because it has
slipped through our fingers, has been unable to be elucidated analytically (…).
We can discover, with very few exceptions, what appear to be the meanings and
mechanisms we see at work in neurosis. There is nothing that more closely
resembles a neurotic symptomatology than a prepsychotic symptomatology. 



Katan reports a case (…).  It was the case of a youth at the age of
puberty, whose whole prepsychotic period the author analyses very well, while
conveying the idea that there was nothing in this subject of the order of
accession to anything that would realize in him the virile type. Everything
failed. And while he did try to conquer the typically virile attitude, it was
by means of imitation, of a latching on, following the example of one of his
friends. Like him and following him, he engaged in the first sexual
maneuvers of puberty, namely masturbation,
which he subsequently renounced under the injunction of the said friend, and he
began to identify with him for a whole series of exercises that were called
exercises of self-conquest. He behaved as if he were at the mercy of a severe
father, which was the case with his friend. Like him, he became interested in a
girl who, as if by chance, was the same one his friend was interested in. And
once this identification with his friend has gone quite a way, the young girl
will readily fall into his arms.

p. 192


(…) It's a mechanism of imaginary
compensation – you can verify the usefulness of the distinction between the
three registers (…)

p. 193


Once the psychosis has broken out, the
subject will conduct himself in the same way as before (…). No meaning emerges
that is fundamentally different from the prepsychotic period. All his
conduct in relation to the friend, who
was the pivotal element in his attempt 
at structuration at the time of puberty, can be rediscovered in his
delusion. (…) All the contents implied
in neurotic meanings are there. But the essential point, which isn't highlighted, is that the delusion began the
moment the initiative came from the Other, with a capital O, when the
initiative was founded on a subjective activity. The Other wants this (…). 

p. 193


Recall this little subject who, to us,
appeared evidently very lucid. Given the way he had grown up and prospered in existence, in the midst of
the anarchy, which was merely a bit more patent than in other cases, of his
family situation, he had attached himself to a friend who had become his point
of implantation in existence, and all of a sudden something happened, he wasn't
able to explain what. It became very clear to us that this was bound up with
the appearance of his partner's daughter (…).


We haven't been very stringent about the
rigor of our remarks (…). This simple little chap (…) was knocking against
something, and he didn't have any keys, he spent three months in bed in order
to find his bearings again. He was in a state of perplexity.


A minimum of the sensitivity that our trade
gives us clearly demonstrates something that can always be seen in what is
known as prepsychosis, namely the feeling that the subject has come to the edge
of a hole. This is to be taken literally.

p. 202-203


Jacques Lacan, Seminar 3, The Psychoses

Extracts by Yves Vanderveken



New Lacanian School
Désinscription: envoyez un message à :

Nous contacter:

Nouvelle inscription:

| Le site de la NLS

New Lacanian School
Unsubscribe by sending a message

New registration:

| The website of the NLS



Back to list