Cormac Gallagher – Lacan’s Summary of Seminar XI

THE LETTER 05 (Autumn 1995) pages 1-17


At a press conference during the Ecole Freudienne de Paris Congress in Rome in 1974, Jacques Lacan got involved in a question-and-answer session of a type guaranteed to set on edge the teeth of those not uncritically devoted to his cause.

Miss X: – Could you specify for us what distinguishes the Ecole Freudienne de Paris from other schools?

J. Lacan: – We are serious. That’s the decisive distinction.

Miss X: – The other schools are not serious?

J. Lacan: – Absolutely not!

This claim to a monopoly on seriousness with regard to psychoanalysis derives very much from the events which ten years earlier had formed the background to Seminar XI on The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis which we are considering today. These events are probably too well-known to most of you to require more than the briefest summary. …

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