Cormac Gallagher – From Freuds Mythology of Sexuality to Lacans Formulae of Sexuation

THE LETTER 38 (Autumn 2006) pages 1-9


Given that this day is meant to be a celebration of Freud’s one hundred and fiftieth birthday and that many non-specialists as well as specialists have been invited to it, I was advised to keep my remarks simple and not to presume the sort of knowledge or interest that we usually have in our regular meetings on different aspects of Freud’s and Lacan’s work.

I should explain that my arcane and esoteric title comes out of what we have been working on in the MSc Programme for the past twenty-five weeks, but I assure you that my paper will not be largely directed to an exploration of what Lacan came to only towards the end of his life and describes as ‘formulae of sexuation’. So, I propose to give only a brief explanation of why I chose this title and then, if time permits, to fill out more fully the movement from Freud’s mythology to Lacan’s formulae.

But I have also been asked to set the scene for the day and to outline in particular some of the more important general issues in contemporary psychoanalysis. It is in fact hard to avoid Sigmund Freud in this anniversary year. Just this week in The Irish Times we have had excellent articles by Peter Crawley and Kate Holmquist and an hour-long discussion on BBC Four’s Women’s Hour between a number of prominent British psychoanalysts. Earlier in the year, we had Newsweek devoting its front cover and many pages to a discussion of Freud’s work headlining it …

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