Charles Melman – Why Am I Anxious

Issue 64 Spring 2017 (Pages 83-88)

Why Am I Anxious?
Charles Melman

With his opening question ‘Why am I anxious?’ Dr Charles Melman is addressing the psychoanalyst who, in the face of the hole in the big Other, has to resolve his or her concerns regarding filiation, identity and recognition as a psychoanalyst. How Joyce differently managed these same concerns is a reference here. Psychoanalysis is more necessary than ever in a globalised world where these same concerns about identity insist and are being responded to
by a psychology of the masses which threatens becoming ‘our new reality’.

Keywords: the hole in the big Other; the sickness of psychoanalysts; identity; the Name-of-the-Father; bien dire; globalisation; psychology of the masses

Many thanks to Dr Barry O’Donnell for this invitation. It’s nice to meet you again. Many thanks also to Cormac for his friendship, a long friendship now, and for his translation. First, why am I anxious? You are always anxious when you find yourself in a position where you must give something and you don’t know what to give; when you don’t know what you should say or what you should keep quiet about; when you have to assure the audience that they are recognised and, at the same time, be assured that you yourself are recognised. Now, imagine that you find yourself before an audience that doesn’t know you, whose language you do not speak, who act as if you didn’t exist. This is a dream that you can have where you would certainly be anxious. You would be anxious to know what you have to give or what you have to say, anxious to show that you have recognised this audience and that it has recognised you.

Man’s first desire is what? What could we say about what man’s first desire is? Man’s first desire is….

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