Papers  nº 0
 Boletín Electrónico del Comité de Acción de la  Escuela Una
Versión 2013—2014
Editorial- Laure  Naveau
First Session: The body to the letter Patricio  Alvarez – ‘The speaking body’ Patricia Moraga – ‘Borges or Lacan’  Clotilde Leguil – ‘21st Century Femininity: neither nature nor  culture’   Second Session: The non-relation and the real Anaelle  Lebovits-Quenehen – ‘The non-relation in the 21st century’ Laura Petrosino –  ‘To be open to contingency’ Leonora Troianovksi – ‘How to symptomatize the  real?’   Third Session: Science and jouissance Deborah  Gutermann-Jacquet – ‘Gamblers, classical and post-modern’ Aurélie Pfauwadel –  ‘Lacanian science-fiction’ Manuel Zlotnik – ‘The Real can take the bit in its  teeth’
en Texto a continucion






Liste des membres du Comité d’Action de l’École Une-Scilicet


Paola Bolgiani

Gustavo Dessal

 Mercedes Iglesias

 Ram Mandil

 Laure Naveau


Silvia Salman

Florencia Fernandez Coria Shanahan


Responsable de la edición:

Marta Davidovich




«Youngsters of the WAP»

28th January 2013



Laure Naveau

This first number, marked ‘zero’, opens, under the sign of surprise, the new series of PAPERS of the Action Committee of the School One, which prepares the next Congress of the WAP, 2014.

It appears as a preview of that which, in March 2013, will be announced as Number One, and will reveal at that time the breath of fresh air and the treasure-trove of inventions that belong to what we call the ‘youngsters of the WAP’.

In fact, these new short contributions that you are going to read arise from a special soirée organised by the Council of the WAP, and held in Paris at the ECF, Monday 28 January 2013, with the title “Echoes of the Real in the 21st Century”. 

Led by Leonardo Gorostiza, President of the WAP, Miquel Bassols, Vice-President, and Guy Briole (Director of the next WAP Congress in Paris, April 2014), the soirée proposed that each member of the ‘youngsters of the WAP’, should say in his own voice


what the theme of our next Congress, “A Real for the 21st Century”, evokes for him or her today.

Their conclusions will be delivered in a session of the Congress, run by them.

In offering the unpublished reading of the first scansion of their communal work, by means of an elaboration proper to each of them, the Action Committee of the School One has therefore decided to anticipate the publication of PAPERS No 1, which was initially planned in March 2013, for us to enter fully into the preparation of the Congress

The texts of this special soirée – ‘Echoes of the real’ – have been written and read out by their authors under the following rubrics and titles:

First Session: The body to the letter

Patricio Alvarez – ‘The speaking body’

Patricia Moraga – ‘Borges or Lacan’

Clotilde Leguil – ‘21st Century Femininity: neither nature nor culture’

Second Session: The non-relation and the real

Anaelle Lebovits-Quenehen – ‘The non-relation in the 21st century’

Laura Petrosino – ‘To be open to contingency’

Leonora Troianovksi – ‘How to symptomatize the real?’

Third Session: Science and jouissance



Deborah Gutermann-Jacquet – ‘Gamblers, classical and post-modern’

Aurélie Pfauwadel – ‘Lacanian science-fiction’

Manuel Zlotnik – ‘The Real can take the bit in its teeth’

On behalf of the Action Committee of the School One, I wish you a very pleasant reading!

Laure Naveaucoordinator of PAPERS

Paris, Sunday 10 February 2013.

         Translated by Janet & John Haney



The speaking body

Patricio Alvarez

It was proposed to us to speak about a definition of the real which concerns us. As I am to direct the next ENAPOL I am very concerned by it, and every ten minutes I am dealing with an email or a phone call that reminds me of it. This is why, departing from the title [of ENAPOL] ‘To speak with the body’, I propose to thematise the real in its aspect of drive, choosing the following quote from Lacan: ‘the real, I will say, is the mystery of the speaking body, the mystery of the unconscious’1.

There are at least three theories on the body in Lacan’s work, each with its own clinic.

The name of the father regulates the specular body. From the clinic of

structures, one can equally extract a clinic of the body: thus, the fragmented body of the schizophrenic is opposed to the multiplication of images of the fellowman [small other] in paranoia. The imaginary dissolution of hysteria, in which the body has the mobility of metaphors and metonyms, is opposed to


the narcissistic fortification of the obsessional.

The object a agitates the second – topological – body, in which there is a central hole with a border – the Freudian erogenous zone – and, around that border, the surface of specular identification is constituted. The second clinic of the body is more subtle: tiny details marking the eroticism of the bodies, orienting the amorous choice, determining the passions. Neurosis shows the relation between the body and anguish. In the psychoses, the paranoiac strikes, in the fellowman, at the evil [kakon] he finds in the Other; the autistic subject, not having a hole at his disposal, will have great difficulty in constructing a border and, thus, a body; the schizophrenic has both the hole and its borders, but does not succeed to make a corporeal unity with his organs. The sadist cries triumphantly: “I had the

skin of that cunt”2 when he obtains the reverse of jouissance from the body of his victim. The voyeur sees through the keyhole that which is beyond the scene, and the exhibitionist shows the body without the veil of shame. Tattoos try to make jouissance pass into speech via writing; the psychosomatic phenomenon passes jouissance into writing without speech.

In the third theorization of the body, we place our enigmatic phrase of Seminar 20. In the previous lesson, Lacan defined the Freudian Id: ‘Where it speaks, it enjoys. And that doesn’t mean that it knows anything’. Then he says: ‘I speak with my body, and I do so unbeknownst to myself. Thus I always say more than I know’4, 5. From these two citations one gauges why Lacan says that the real is the mystery of the speaking body: it is the drive which



speaks with the body, without the subject knowing it.

But this does not explain the mystery of the unconscious: it will be necessary to wait three years in order to knot the real, the body, and the unconscious. In Seminar 23, the symbolic has the function of making a hole in the real, which permits the knotting of the imaginary constituting another body: an empty body, which functions as an echo chamber in which speech [le dire], defined as an event, resounds. It is another body, and also another unconscious: the real unconscious. This is why Lacan can define the drive as ‘the echo of a saying [dire] in the body” Thus, the citation in Seminar 20 opposes itself but at the same time, it explains itself in Seminar 236.

We must therefore appeal to the knot in order to locate how speech [le dire] pierces the body, knotting the drive to the unconscious. This is the real of the mystery of the speaking body: a living body, spoken by certain contingencies of speech, which have produced events, and a body which, with its saying [dire], makes events.

Translated by Janet & John Haney




1 Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX, W.W Norton, New York, 1999, p 13.

2 Lacan, J. Le Seminaire, livre X, Paris, Seuil, p 19. [Lesson 06/03/1963]

3 Lacan, J., The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX, W.W Norton, New York, 1999,

p  115.

4 Ibid., p 119.

5 Bassols, M. “Hablar con el cuerpo, sin saberlo” [“To speak with the body, without knowing it”], in

6 Miller, J.-A., Pièces detaches [Spare Parts], Unpublished. Lesson 8-12-2004.




Borges or Lacan


Patricia Moraga



With this paper I propose to approach the lawless, contingent and singular real, and its relation to the desire of the analyst.


My first analysis ended with a sentence. The analyst said: I do not hear any desire of the analyst and he oriented me towards literature. He was a writer himself. I left distressed, but I did attain, moreover, the trait of my own choosing from this analyst: that of being an exception within psychoanalysis. I was led to the second analysis by the question: What is a psychoanalyst? I am accompanied by a dream: I meet Borges and Lacan. I do not know with whom I should go. It’s carnival time. There are two institutions: one of writers, the other of psychoanalysts. I do not know which one to go into. It’s about dressing up. I enter into the one of psychoanalysts.


The idea of the real excluding all meaning articulated itself for me with this quotation from Lacan: “What is the analyst’s neutrality if not precisely that, that subversion of meaning, namely this kind of aspiration not towards the real but by the real?”[1]


If only the symptom conserves a meaning in the real, what is the relation of the desire of the analyst to the sinthome? Is knowing how to do with [savoir y faire] one’s symptom a name of the desire of the analyst or is it something else?


In 1967, Lacan proposed the pass to elucidate the passage from analysand to analyst. In the classical doctrine, the desire of the analyst appears as the pivot to an analysis and the pivot to its end. Metonymical desire has lack as its engine, it is dialectical and it is the desire of the Other. When Lacan introduces the function of the object cause of desire, he makes jouissance its cause, the drive root of desire.


The sinthome, as incurable real, ex-sists to the Other of meaning, it is an invention, and that has a  value of use in that it can be used each time to know how to do with one’s symptom. From this perspective, the desire to obtain absolute difference would target the sinthome, once the fantasy is crossed and the drive-jouissance that was not known and rejected is revealed.


From certain AE testimonies, starting from the fantasy and the symptom, we can infer what an analyst is made of: how a new satisfaction, another destiny for the drive, is reached, and how this satisfaction in one’s capacity as analyst is used.


Leonardo Gorostiza situates the desire of the analyst between the symptom (shoehorn) and the name of the sinthome (shoehorn-without-measure), between an impossible nomination of



jouissance and the invented name, the relief of not “having to make things fit”, an enlivening and another relation with the feminine.


Graciela Brodsky situates the commotion of the fantasy in “the unforgettable party”: the master-signifier “the only one” [unique] loses its consistency, a jouissance is revealed (ruining the Other’s party), the object-voice, extracted from the Other, no longer sustains her existence. The hole in the Other marks an impossible, real limit: There is no last word. The crossing of the fantasy opens up other destinies for the drive, the first, hystoric, satisfaction in “making herself heard by the deaf mother” endures, in fact, in the translating and making herself understood, but is detached from the signification of being unique. It is another use of the object: to lend her voice and her silence in order that others, who analyse themselves with her, may hear themselves.


How does this analyst come to be produced? It is not something universal. For each subject, the encounter with jouissance is traumatic, and what one reads in these marks is singular. Is an analyst a response to a real?




Translated by Michele Julien







[1] Lacan, J., L’insu que sait de l’une-bévue s’aile à mourre, Seminar 24, in Ornicar ? (1977-1979) 12 – 18, lesson of 26 February 1977.





The Non-Relation in the 21st Century


Anaelle Lebovits-Quenehen


I chose this sentence by Lacan in order to attempt to clarify the theme of our next WAP Congress: “There is no sexual act that would allow the subject to affirm for him- or herself the certitude of belonging to one sex”[2], a sentence that I would therefore like to situate in tension with the theme of the next Congress: “A real for the 21st century”, in order to clarify it.


This quotation does not contain any explicit reference to the real, but we can hear the real at play in it: this impossible which, for a speaking-being, consists in the identification to one sex or another, even if it were via that which we could believe would put it closest to the sexual thing, namely the sexual act itself.  There where the act is the sole place from which, according to Lacan, certitude is founded, even the sexual act is impotent to found the slightest certitude concerning what has to do with sexuation.

This quotation by Lacan treats the sexual non-relation as “an anthropological invariant”. We know that this impossible has to be referred to “the percussion of language [la langue] on the body”[3], and that any attempt to give meaning to the sexual non-relation has repercussions in the structure, which can only treat it partially. So the first contingent encounter with the real that occurs in the speaking body, leaving its trace there, is repeated incessantly: the fictions of being cover and echo the “there is no” of the sexual relation, each person having in this way his or her (fantasmatic or delusional) version of the way in which the man/woman relation is written.


Still, however singular may be the way in which the real will erupt (and therefore however singular may be the way in which each person responds to this eruption), each “civilisation” is marked by tendencies which stamp the modes of enjoying liable to treat this real in a given time or place. In this way, these modes of modes of enjoying inform us about a given civilisation to which this “for the 21st century” refers in the title of our next Congress. These modes inform us about the way in which the real, as enigma of the speaking body, finds a way to be treated in a given civilisation, even if this treatment is never without remainder, as the discontent [malaise] that always marks it indicates.


There are, for each era, shared fictions which allow those who live in a civilisation to side with man or woman both most singularly in the world and “not without relation” to their “human brothers” of the day. It is in this way that love, such as was current for the Sacred Band of Thebes lovers, was a thing that assigned men to the place of warrior and lover; courtly love was another that assigned the woman to the place of the beloved lady and the man to that of the devoted knight; the licentiousness of the libertines in the 18th century, or the romanticism of the 19th century, were others still. It is clear that in our time civilisation no longer manages to treat this question as efficiently as it did before. Indeed, for around twenty years now, our era has been marked by what I would call a certain androgyny (there is no shortage of contemporary symptoms that mark our times; there is not enough time to list them here).


The combination of the discourses of science and of capitalism these days – the effect of which has been the erosion of the symbolic, rendering it increasingly more impotent to fulfil its role – has changed the order of things to the extent that we cannot yet take the measure of it in its entirety. And despite my alleged youth, I have experienced, it seems to me, the beginning of the transition that we are living in today; we do not know where this transition will lead us. So yes, we can suppose that these two discourses of science and of capitalism have really changed the order of things, but as modern capitalism and modern science have existed for five centuries, the question poses itself as to what has, for twenty years, initiated this “disorder in the real”[4], the mark of which our era bears. I hope I was able to use to good effect the five minutes I had at my disposal, in order to clarify the quotation that I chose by Lacan. The theme of the next congress as well as my contribution – I have in any case done everything I can for that – is on this question, which I hope, for my part will move forward between now and April 2014.


Examples of discontent [malaise]: generalised immodesty, saying it all, Brunscwig killings (Sweden), pornography, ecology, the rise in religious extremism, androgynous clothing + Lipikar [cosmetic product] adverts, the fact that only men used to have multiple objects of desire and now it is the turn of women (…


Translated by Michele Julien




Being open to contingency


Laura Petrosino



Open happiness, the most recent slogan of Coca-Cola -already used in 2009-, returns in 2013. Contrary to the images of beautiful women and dandies that the firm chose throughout the 20th century for their ads, in this new campaign Coca-Cola displays a family of polar bears that appear either as couples or with their cubs. One of the posters shows the couple of bears looking at the moon. The fact that they stand with their backs to the future consumer, evokes the TV add launched at the beginning of January. It tells the story of the family crossing the ice field to rejoin their group. The father attempts to make a solemn speech in order to honor this ancient ceremony, but the three cubs are not interested in what he has to say. One of them, having rejoined his parents, confesses to have been following another family for an hour: “Seen from behind -he explains- we are all the same”. Seen from behind, with a bottle of Coca-Cola in between them, this couple of polar bears, male and female, only distinguishable by their size, live in a world with no whale[5]. It is a world with no Other, with no feminine, with no body differentiated by the signifier; this universe where encounter becomes possible is necessarily glacial.

Coca-Cola, which is more or less the age of psychoanalysis, explains the reason for the choice of the polar landscape and the polar bears: it encourages consumers to enjoy a refreshing drink, even in the wintertime. But it seems to me that what this publicity shows is that in the contemporary world, so unpredictable, the unexpected, what cannot be calculated, is experienced with anguish and horror. The market, in order to sell its products, would thus promise a paradise without exile from the sexual relation, without foreignness, without whale, where everything would be familiar and harmonic.

The resulting everything is possible is not only shown in the posters, but also in the clip created for this advertising campaign where one can see a helicopter turn into a fish, implying that even fish can fly in the world of Coca-Cola.

This universe, created by those whom we owe the representation of Santa
Claus as we know it today, is very different from what can be encountered in a Lacanian psychoanalysis. This everything is possible, which turns its back on the unexpected, has nothing to do with the contingency at stake in a real without law.

As Jacques-Alain Miller has pointed out, at the time of Seminar V Lacan places the unexpected on the side of the symbolic and emerging in the form of a Witz via the formations of the unconscious. The real, conceived back then as that which always returns to the same place, does not surprise. However, in the 21st century, an analysis is about sifting the signifiers that have impacted on the body. Being this encounter contingent, the unexpected must be placed on the side of the real without law. This real -already outlined at the time of Seminar XI in the ‘as if by chance’ proper to tuché– is entirely separate from the symbolic, for it is lawless; not only is this real outside of meaning [hors-sense], says Jacques-Alain Miller, but also outside of knowledge [hors-savoir]. Thus, if the encounter between thought and the real is impossible, in the sense of not possible, even always failed, the encounter between the signifier and the body is contingent. If we are not all the same and if there is no sexual relation, it is because of contingency as body event.

Thus, a real for the 21st century should be located in the singular place of pure contingency – therefore without law- of the mark of the signifier on the body. However, contingent and feminine are linked in their slope of not-all. If one of the ways to understand the feminization of the world was to link it to a generalization of the unlimited, it could also be conceived from the perspective of the feminine as lawless, singular and contingent. How is then the “everyone’s the same” and “everything is possible” of this publicity to be understood? Does it contradict the feminization of the world or is it a way of defending oneself from it?

 Translated by Renata Cuchiarelli


How to symptomatize the real?

Leonora Troianovski

“There is an orientation but this orientation is not a meaning […] The orientation from the real, in my territory, forcloses meaning” [J. Lacan, Seminar XXIII: Le Sinthome, p. 121]

In my case, being concerned by the real, “it has been after”. However, my analysis allows me to know that this ex-sisted for a long while. At the level of the “formation” the real did not make itself necessary from the start. First, it was the symptom, the libido after, then jouissance and, later, the real.

For a long while I was hoping to encounter The interpretation which could say the true meaning of what was at stake. The Truth, the Knowledge, The Meaning, three modalities of capital letters which were producing difficulties in my practice and other aspects of my life.

It was only later that the concept of real started to be “necessary” to me – but not as an additional theme to activities of “formation”, which, moreover, only took shape recently in Barcelona. The encounter with the proposition “the orientation by the real”, in a moment of the analytic trajectory when I could hear it, was the way by which the theory about the real could get knotted to my experience and my practice.

In relation with my work in institution, in the encounter with other discourses, other disciplines, the belief in Truth caused problems and entanglements. While trying to disentangle these threads, I could see that the dimension of jouissance was at stake and that psychoanalysis was giving another orientation.

Through the simplicity of this trajectory I try to transmit the fact that in my experience – from the point I have reached in my analysis, my practice and my “formation” – the real can only be approached at the condition of “symptomatizing” it.


So, the real as orientation interests me in relation to two aspects:

1. As the way which indicates, unveils the central point in question: the dimension of jouissance.

2. As problematic, knowing that the relation of the speaking-being with the real is a relation of “defence”.

In L’envers du trauma, E. Laurent talks about clinical phenomena which account for the real: “The subject can only answer to the real by making a symptom with it.” And he speaks about anxiety “as this point of real impossible to reabsorb in the symbolic…”

It is in relation with this second aspect that I understand the pertinence of the Congress’s topic. Comparing the current moment which we call “Beyond the Oedipus” with the moment of the birth of psychoanalysis, the locus of the symbolic, the locus of the Other has changed.

In my opinion, one of the consequences of these changes concerns the relation of the speaking-being with his symptoms, which easily remain on the side of disorder, offered to science to be resolved, or on the side of a dysfunction to be corrected by the appropriate technique.

I think that transference still remains a fundamental point of encounter which allows, via the way of the symptom, to go beyond the mental debility characteristic of the speaking-being and to reach the heart of the matter, the knot where jouissance is implicated.

The question is to know from which coordinates, from which positioning of the analyst we can sustain the wager in order for this real to be transformed into a ‘One’[a real], for each one, one by one.

Translated by Vincent Dachy



Gamblers, classical and post-modern


Deborah Gutermann-Jacquet


In order to discuss the real in the twenty-first century, I would like to bring to mind two representations of gamblers,  Dostoyevsky’s one, from the past, and that of Bret Easton Ellis, the author of American Psycho, whose works, which sell in the millions, encounter this era through the public he reaches. Today’s gambler is no longer like yesterday’s one, because the real is no longer in nature: it is in science, and God is no longer here to guarantee the rules of the game. I have chosen to speak about gambling because I was struck by a quote at the start of Bret Easton Ellis’s first novel, Less than Zero: “This is the game that moves as you play.” That phrase seemed to me to be paradigmatic of this twenty-first century and of the real which we have to deal with now that God, having been evicted from Heaven, no longer guarantees the stability of the rules.


Gambling illustrates the element of loss, what one risks, so I wanted to make this question resonate with a quotation from Lacan which is taken from his Declaration to France Culture in 1973. It was a turning moment, as it was at that point that he decided to no longer refer the real to the objet  a,  which was demoted to the rank of semblant, but to the sexual  non-rapport. In this sentence, Lacan evokes precisely loss and relates it to the non-rapport: “The real for the speaking being means that he loses himself somewhere, and where? This is what Freud emphasizes: he loses himself in the sexual relationship.” Because he cannot articulate a knowledge about his sex and because sexuality, like jouissance, cannot be captured in words, the being produces symptoms, he covers over the abyss with the fiction of the relation. Thus, it is the trauma of the sexual encounter and the failure in love which plunge Dostoyevsky’s gambler into the gambling hall and lead him to ruin. As soon as he starts playing, he has already lost: for, as Lacan indicates in Seminar XVI in reference to Pascal, gambling always necessitates a first loss. The gambler repeats the wager of his being, but there is a limit to this game, especially as soon as his resources are exhausted. 


Science has changed the deal: madness is from now on orchestrated by the creations of science which offer to the gambler the possibility of never disconnecting [on-line]: no more need of a bet, an eternal connection is available and pushes back even further the limits of the impossible. Also, it is not just a handful of gamblers who are gripped by the vice; it is an all, the all of the network. This all which the author describes for us, it is American society itself and its contemporary troubles [maux] whose names are addiction, hyperactivity, etc.


Bret Easton Ellis was evoking at the start of his first novel, as I was saying, the changing rules of the game to which his characters are subjected. But there are no gamblers in his novel. So we must assume that it is their life itself which is conceived of as a game. In this context, that of a Heaven without God, where whim is the rule, the heroes no longer bet. They do not accept the opening stake and the loss which goes with it. For them it’s all or nothing, the all of unlimited jouissance, or death. Their wealth doesn’t give them anything else to offer other than the body of an addict, as well cared for as it is abused, as fulfilled as it is emptied.


That is what the real of science produces and which is captured by this American author, who, in order to represent the empty Heaven of God, puts there, in one of his novels, the ghost of his father, who comes back every night to haunt him, until a firm of exorcists promises to “clean” the house for him for a sum of 30,000 dollars. But the treatment is not successful, because the real does not allow itself to be either bought, or chased away, or cleaned.


Translated by Pauline O’Callaghan




Lacanian science-fiction


Aurélie Pfauwadel



Modernity can be defined as the unprecedented domination of two discourses – those of science and of capitalism – which act as catalysts for one another and frenetically produce a “world of things”[6]. The technological gadgets created by the techno-capitalism of Silicon Valley thus incarnate the quintessence of what is produced in the encounter between these two discourses.


In the text “The Third”, Lacan subordinates in a striking way the future of psychoanalysis to that of gadgets: “the future of psychoanalysis depends upon what will occur from this real […] will we reach a point of in fact becoming animated ourselves by gadgets? That does not really seem probable to me, I must say. We will not really succeed in stopping the gadget from being a symptom. It already is one, obviously.”[7]


What is the status of these objects? In what way do they constitute symptoms? In Seminar XVII, we know, Lacan refers the neologism lathouse to the words léthé (‘forgotten’ in Greek) and aléthéia (truth): because these gadgets try to plug, to fill the vent holes of the lack which constitutes the subject, thus masking the truth of desire. The discourses of science and capitalism are similar in that they foreclose castration[8] and only progress by “by means of plugging the holes”[9]. What the screen keeps veiled (whether it is the screen of the television, the computer or the smartphone) is the Real and the drive dimension of these objects to which we are addicted. These technological prostheses, privileged partners of modern man, are the site of an autistic jouissance One. The lifting of the veil of forgetfulness would not fail to incite anxiety, revealing the empty object under the surplus-jouissance [plus-de-jouir] object – the tap, in fact, sounds hollow.


The gadget is a symptom insofar as it inscribes itself in place of the sexual rapport which does not exist. The primary characteristic of our science, says Lacan, is not to help us to know the world better[10], but to introduce into it new, unheard-of, things. The discourse of science does not succeed in reabsorbing “what is lacking to us in the relationship to knowledge”[11], because one cannot write scientifically the formula of an adequate relation between the sexes. So the symptomatic relationship to the gadget comes to the place that makes a hole in the Symbolic and does not stop not being written.  The gadget-symptom, insofar as it is a jouissance of the One, is a response of the subject to the jouissance of the Other which does not exist.


If we come to the point of “becoming ourselves really animated by gadgets”, says Lacan, then gadgets would no longer be symptoms. In the twentieth century, for the first time, science touched on the real of the living being. It seems to me that it is in the manipulation of the living being by science that a way could be found for the status of the gadget to be modified. In fact, by becoming the principle of our life, by reaching the living being himself, these bio-gadgets would upset two reals, two fundamental and indissociable impossibilities of human existence: sex and death. Their symptomatic quality would disappear because such gadgets would no longer be substitutions coming to inscribe themselves “in the place and position of”, in a way which would be necessarily unsuccessful and inadequate. They would become the ultimate Thing itself. In a world of post-human cyborgs, gadgets which would annihilate death and the question of the non-relations between the sexes would thus reabsorb the real of psychoanalysis in the real of science.


But it is important to note that this hypothesis seems to belong more to science-fiction, and that these objects remain for the moment only too human. As long as a real gets in the way, preventing them from turning around for ever, their symptomatic dimension will have a future ahead of them. Nevertheless these objects lead to a new use of writing, and their proliferation and continuous development are transforming profoundly our relationship with others, with space and with time, via the great immaterial body of the Internet. What new treatments of jouissance do these objects permit? By what right do they enter into the new symptoms of modernity? No doubt it is as a result of this questioning that psychoanalysis will be able to discern best their impact on the real.



Translated by Pauline O’Callaghan









[1] Lacan, J., L’insu que sait de l’une-bevue s’aile a mourre, Seminar 24, in Ornicar ? (1977-1979) 12 – 18, lesson of 26 February 1977.

[2] “Logic of the Fantasy”, in Autres Ecrits., p. 325. (Unpublished)

[3] “… that is to say to “what happens to the body as a result of lalangue” (Jacques-Alain Miller, Course “Pièces détachées” + Lacan, J., Seminar 23, p.17. Both unpublished.)

[4] Initial title of the next WAP Congress.

1 Jacques-Alain Miller, in his back cover presentation of Lacan’s Seminar 19, goes back to Freud’s reference to the impossible encounter between a whale and a polar bear, in relation to man and woman. [TN]

[6] Lacan J., Séminaire XVII, Paris, Seuil, p. 184.

[7] Lacan J., « La Troisième », La Cause freudienne n°79, p. 32.

[8] Lacan J., Je parle aux murs, Paris, Seuil, 2011, p. 96.

[9] Lacan J., « Introduction à l’édition allemande des Écrits », Autres écrits, p. 554.

[10] Lacan J., Séminaire XVII, op. cit., p. 184.

[11] Lacan J., « La Troisième », op. cit., p. 32.

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