Charles Melman – Schreber’s Lack of Lack

Issue 40 (Spring 2009)

This paper deals with the problematic relation in psychosis to what Lacan calls “the big Other”. Referring to contemporary clinical examples, it argues that the world’s loss of meaning in Schreber was due to a lack of the lack that causes desire and that this was precipitated when he had no Name of-the-Father to which to refer himself and he lost his subjective domicile in the locus o f that lack, the big Other.

Thank you for your invitation. I would like to compliment Jane, Helen and Barry for their very interesting remarks, and I will try to add a few elements.

I think first of all that the Irish know in their very bones what the Nameof-the-Father is – the father is above all a name, a signifier. It is Irish (sic). The Irish know how the lack of this signifier did not allow them to be recognised in the field of reality, put men in the position of being emasculated and women of not being honoured, and how they were obliged to repress their original tongue. …..

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