Editorial Issue 49


 This issue contains the Second Turn of L’Etourdit, Chapter Three: Sense and Structure, consisting of the four sections, (i) Sense and Teaching (ii) Structure (iii) the Modification of the Structure and (iv) the End of Analysis. This again is a bilingual publication as translated by Cormac Gallagher. Lacan deals with the difference between sense and meaning leading onto the saying and the said as re-presented in the Moebius strip and the cross-cap of topology. Topology is structure and the closed cut is the said. Structure is modified by the number of cuts made on the cross-cap. The fall of desire is the o-object resulting from the double-turned cut, which summons the double turn of L’Etourdit itself. The final section – the end of analysis – links the impossible of sex, sense and meaning, as enigma.

Fierens text Reading L’Etourdit   serves as an expository for some of the obscure references in Lacan’s work. His meticulous reading of the original enables us to gain some further access to the convoluted approach of Lacan. It should not however be read as either an interpretation or a said, but used in a way that allows further nuances to be continually discovered in the work that is the last major writing by Lacan, and which has been called his testament.

Barry O’Donnell raises a number of questions which arise from Darian Leader’s recent book What is Madness?  He points out that his questioning is not done in a spirit of wanting to create division, but out of a desire to pursue matters of importance for him as analyst. Does Leader’s work represent a modality of treatment which is in line with O’Donnell’s approach to the clinic? The similarity between Miller and Leader is brought out and this contrasts with Fierens’s belief that it is necessary to engage in a practice which ‘sustains an openness to strangeness’.

Tom Dalzell shows how psychoanalysis was influenced by the work of Meynert, which also suffered from Meynert’s later criticism of Freud, particularly in relation to his work on hypnosis and hysteria. The benefits gained by moving away from philosophical Romanticism in the direction of the rationalism of the Enlightenment are still being debated to-day. One is struck by Freud’s unwavering character to undergo professional isolation in pursuit of his ethic.

Malachi McCoy deals with the formation of the analyst and the working of the cartel. He refers to the Founding Act and the discussion that took place on the Inter-cartel Study Day of the Ecole Freudienne de Paris on 12/13 April 1975, which explored the working of the cartels at that time. McCoy’s reading of this text and his linkages to Freud and Lacan are vigorous and raise essential questions.

Oscar Zentner delves into one of the highly controversial topics of psychoanalysis – the death drive. He shows how both Freud and Jung forgot the fact that Sabina Spielrein had first raised the opposition of the drives of life and death at the Viennese Society of Psychoanalysis on 19 November 1911, despite the fact that Freud had condemned her work. Zentner suggests that this may have occurred for reasons other than difference of view on this matter. In addition to the act of forgetting, Zentner also suggests that because of Spielrein’s closeness to Jung and his approach to psychosis, Freud’s interest in psychosis waned with consequent adverse effects for psychoanalysis, hence underlining the implications of transference both within and outside of analysis.

Tony Hughes

THE LETTER 49 (Spring 2012) pages 23-50.

We forsake meaning in order to advance into sense. Castration no longer has the Freudian meaning but the sense which aims at the cut. The teachable starts not just from number but from the saying of number. Structure is topology and Kant’s transcendental dialectic corresponds to spherical topology. Interpretation is the cut that makes the structure evident, and love must end up as hate for there to be a saying. The process of treatment results in the certainty of the supposed subject which is situated in the three dimensions of impossibility: sex, sense, and meaning.

Keywords: sense, teaching, saying, said, structure, topology, modificationof structure, the end of analysis

Psychoanalytic discourse puts meaning in parenthesis and puts movement into sense.  How does sense teach us?  The firstsection will respond: by translation.  What does it teach us?  The second section will respond: structure.  Far from being congealed, this structure is modification(third section).  The last section will show how structure allows for the end of analysis.

THE LETTER 49 Spring 2012, pages 51-63.

This paper examines the representation of a psychoanalytic response to madness in the recent publication What is Madness? by Darian Leader.  Drawing from the comments of Christian Fierens and Guy Le Gaufey and guided by the treatment of Freud’s position on paranoia in Tom Dalzell’s  Freud’s Schreber Between Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis the paper finds that the representation of a psychoanalytic response raises crucial questions  for our practice and teaching as well as the constitution of our schools.

Keywords: diagnosis and practice, quiet madness, ordinary psychosis, the use of vignettes as a representative device

The use of vignettes as a representative device 2011 saw the publication of two books on the question of madness which came to my attention. Tom Dalzell’s Freud’s Schreber between Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis has been recognised as a very readable, thoroughly scholarly, theoretically rigorous book. It articulates Freud’s specificallypsychoanalytic account of psychosis and situates it in the context of the psychiatric theories and treatments of psychosis of Freud’s time. Furthermore, it studies the influenceof Freud’s account on subsequent  psychoanalytic responses to madness. Dalzell argues that Freud explains the psychosis of President Daniel Paul Schreber’s as caused by a fixational narcissism. What distinguishes this theory from all others is that Freud invokes a theory …

THE LETTER 49 Spring 2012, pages 65-72. 

This paper examines what Freud learned from the famous Viennese  psychiatrist, Theodor Meynert, during his time at Vienna’s second psychiatric clinic in 1883. It argues that psychoanalysis’ refusal to accept unscientifictheories of mental illness and uncritical emphases on heredity is due in no small part to the influence on Freud of Meynert. It also contends that Freud’s subsequent parting from institutional psychiatry, because of Meynert’s rejection of his use of hypnosis and belief in male hysteria, was unfortunate since Freud later gave up hypnosis and Meynert admitted to being a male hysteric.

Keywords:  Freud; Meynert; Subjectivity; Heredity; Second Viennese Medical School

IntroductionIn Seminar Seven, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Jacques Lacan encourages his listeners to read Freud’s text in a different way to the historian. He suggests that psychoanalysts should read Freud without wondering whether he was influenced by Herbart or Helmholtz, as the historians do. But then he proceeds to speak like a historian himself and to consider the influence on Freud of Aristotle. This paper will say something about the influence on Freud of Theodor Meynert, the famous psychiatrist in Vienna when Freud was studying medicine.

THE LETTER 49 (Spring 2012) pages 73-79

Freud reminds us of the indispensable and ethical requirement, of one’s own reputable analysis, in the formation of becoming an analyst. The science of psychoanalysis is fundamental in demystifying what is involved in, and what is at stake for psychoanalysis. This paper recalls some of those fundamentals.

Keywords: Freud, formation, science, Melman, Lacan, Gallagher, cartel, plus one, Oedipus complex, ethics.

‘How can one become an analyst’? Freud asks in Recommendations On Analytic Technique …He writes ‘I count it as one of the many merits of the Zurich school of analysis that they have laid increased emphasis on this requirement, and have embodied it in the demand that everyone who wishes to carry out analyses on other people shall first himself undergo an analysis by someone with expert knowledge. …

THE LETTER 49 (Spring 2012) pages 81-94

No ashes, no coal can burn with such glow as a secretive love of which no one must know Sabina Spielrein

…  To be slandered and scorched by the love with which we operate – such are the perils of our trade, which we are certainly not going to abandon in their account. Navigare necesse est, vivere non necesse.”  Sigmund Freud

Borges: Yes, a lover is like a god …Uchida: Yet there must be a recipient to contain that god. The centre is always empty and that is where God is present.Borges: Yes, empty. That is what is important … Empty. That is exactly what the gushi in the sanctuary of Meiji said.     Mic Uchida

Arguably  the disavowal of Sabina Spielrein  is perhaps one of the most tragic events involving the very problematic reciprocal  hateloving structure  in the transference. This paper highlights the rather questionable concept  of the saintly sterilised transference-love. The hateloving in the transference was a triangle that engaged Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Sabina Spielrein. It entailed repression and in a way disavowal of  the discovery of Sabina Spielrein. Although Spielrein’s propositions were at the foreground of a momentous theoretical psychoanalytical innovation, the personal enmities between Freud and Jung endangered their potential discovery, thus  running the risk of being disregarded in the history of ideas within the psychoanalytic movement.

This paper attempts to clarify the scope of this situation as well as to underscore how much Freud and Freudian psychoanalysis owe to the by and large almost forgotten importance of Sabina Spielrein. This is particularly so, concerning her new formulations proposed for the sexual and  destructive drives – none of which were ever acknowledged either by Freud or by other psychoanalysts. However by introducing Lacan’s innovations, regarding the unconscious the paper goes much further with new propositions.

Keywords: hateloving, death drive, Freud, Jung, Spielrein.

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