Daniel C. Bristow – Seminars VII and XVIII with XXIII – On A University Discourse that might not be Joycean

THE LETTER 61 Spring 2016, pages 45-75

This essay attempts to elucidate a new way in which to envisage Joycean discourse,
which has so often been yoked to that of the university discourse outlined
by Lacan in a fourfold schema in Seminar XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis.
To reach this goal it puts the aforementioned Seminar into relief
against Seminars XVIII, On a Discourse that Might not be a Semblance and
XXIII, Le sinthome, as well as against work of a third interlocutor, Jacques
Derrida. To move towards a conceptualisation of Joycean discourse, it takes
into consideration multiform Lacanian themes, such as ‘enverity’, the sinthome,
the Name-of-the-Father, enjoyment and semblance, and reads them
against the work of Joyce, particularly Finnegans Wake.
Keywords: Jacques Lacan; James Joyce; Jacques Derrida; university discourse;
Seminar XVII; Seminar XVIII; Seminar XXIII
No Name of the Father is tenable without thunder, and everyone
knows very well that we do not even know what thunder is the sign
of. It is the very figure of the semblance.
— Jacques Lacan, Seminar XVIII

— James Joyce, Finnegans Wake


My desire with this essay is to situate Lacan’s seventeenth Seminar The Other
Side of Psychoanalysis in relation to certain other moments in the later Lacan,
particularly to the following year’s Seminar On a Discourse that Might not be
a Semblance as well as to other work that his work has generated – amongst
which I will count my own. It is also to bring it into relation with occasional…


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