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The Urgency in the Cure

Vlassis Skolidis

The enthusiasm that characterizes the first phase of an analysis is often mentioned. The subject discovers the delights of truth (he does not yet know that it is a lying truth). If there is urgency, henceforth it takes the form of an urgency for meaning, to discover the meaning of his desire, to give sense to his being. The matheme of subjective urgency would be the production of knowledge as illustrated by the discourse of the hysteric: the subject as want to be, (S barred), questions the master signifiers of his history, the master-signifiers of the Other, (S1), to produce knowledge, (S2), that is to say signifying articulations that make sense. Symbolic urgency is above all the urgency with which the hysterised subject is animated.

The urgency for meaning is an anechoic urgency, muted. One could also say that it has a certain plasticity, that it follows the modulations of the transference. On the other hand, there is not an element of haste here, or the sentimentality that characterizes the imaginary urgency of healing. This is not to say for a moment that the analyst is not implicated. In this context, the analytic act consists in maintaining the work of the analysand in a state of urgency. An interpretation of Freud to a patient, illustrates this point well: “I have no time to lose!” In other words, while allowing the subject to take his time, the analyst must implicitly preserve a major imperative of the analytic experience: one has no time to lose!

If the implicit urgency that animates the analytic experience seems motivated by the quest for meaning, it gradually becomes impregnated by the dimension of jouissance, by an inmixing of the libido. By adding meaning, we make jouissance happen. By constructing his “I am” in signifying terms, the subject makes it appear that he “enjoys of himself [se jouit]” as an object. Thus, the logic of the cure extends from an urgency for meaning to an urgency for the real of jouissance. This is reflected in the discourse of the analyst, formalised by Lacan in Seminar XVII: the isolation of the master-signifiers, (S1), as separate from any articulation, is equivalent to a fall [chute] of jouissance. In the long term, the exhaustion of the joui-sense makes a beyond meaning [hors-sense] appear – which is the origin of the relation of the parlêtre to the language.

Translation: Raphael Montague





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