TRACES – Julio Garcia Salas

It (in) scribes

"Writing is a trace in which an effect of language can be read"
— Lacan, XX, 121


NLS Congress presents

Julio Garcia Salas
It (in) scribes [1]

To be accepted as a member of the NLS involved joy for being inscribed as part of the School.  In addition, I felt a responsibility for doing something with this inscription subjectively for it to take place.  An almost immediate invitation to write something for the congress blog “The Bodily Effects of Language” reminded me again of this responsibility.  At this briefly anguishing moment, a phrase of Lacan’s from Seminar 10 came to mind which gave meaning to my experience. It reminded me that language has effects on the body and that it is regarding our use of language that allows us to use the body or not.

“As for the little boy, the poor mug, he looks down at the problematic little tap.  He vaguely suspects that something’s odd down there.  Then, he has to learn, and to his cost, that what he’s got there doesn’t exist, I mean, up against what dad’s got, what the big brothers have got, and so on.  You’re familiar with the whole initial dialectic of comparison.  Next, he will learn that not only does it not exist, but that it doesn’t want to know anything, or more precisely that it does as it pleases.  To spell it out, he will have to learn step by step, through his individual experience, to strike it off the map of his narcissism, precisely so that it can start to be useful.” [2]

From this phrase of Lacan’s, it has become clear to me that it is necessary to lose the body (not to be the body) in order to inhabit it, and to be able to use it even though it is still not a guarantee that it will let itself be used in the way that we want.  This “phallic” reading of the body didn’t disappear but became more complicated in Lacan’s later teachings, as the connection to the body has a direct relationship to “jouissance.”  It is here that my experience began many years ago as an analysand, and continues now as a member of our School.
Reviewed by Caroline Heanue

[1] in Spanish the title is “Es(ins)cribir” from “escriber” to write, it(in)scribes.
[2] Lacan, J. (2014).  Anxiety, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book X, Ed.  J.-A. Miller, Transl by A. Price. Polity Press, Cambridge, p.202.



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