This issue of The Letter concentrates on Lacan‟s heterogeneous topology in L’étourdit (1972) as an application of his “there is no sexual rapport” to saying, and on Frank Wedekind‟s play Spring Awakening, which anticipated both Freud‟s theory of sexuality and Lacan‟s thinking on this real of sex.
While the first part of L’étourdit‟s “second turn”, translated here by Cormac Gallagher, ranges from the topology of surfaces to the matheme, it understands the second of Lacan‟s feminine formulae of sexuation as an a-sphere which sheds light on the impossibility of the universal. And if Lacan‟s mathematisation of subjectivity increasingly moves away from imaginary supports, Christian Fierens‟ commentary provides useful figures and tables to help the reader make sense of a difficult text.
Since L’étourdit seeks to demonstrate the “heteros” topologically, we include a paper on topology by Jean-Pierre Georgin and Erik Porge which traces the transition in Lacan‟s theorisation of subjectivity from a reliance on perspective geometry to the Moebius strip and cross-cap. And Tony Hughes focuses on the torus and reproduces Lacan‟s diagrams from Seminar . Identification (1962) to explain that, for Lacan, the torus is not a metaphor for the structure of the subject.
In his introduction (1983) to Wedekind‟s once scandalous play, Lacan suggests that the playwright had anticipated his “there is no sexual rapport”. A masked man appears in the play and Lacan contends that the mask ex-sists at the place of the void where he puts “The woman”, a logical impossibility after the discovery of his not-all. Helen Sheehan‟s paper returns to Freud‟s assessment of Wedekind‟s play and to Lacan‟s preface. She argues that the masked man, one of Lacan‟s names of the father, is a mediator between life and death, and she asks why the function of this masked man does not seem to be effective in Irish society.