James O’Connor – No words to say it IT? Exploratory Thoughts on Fierens’ ‘Equanimity’ of Speaking and ‘Autistic’ Positions in the Psychoanalytical Discourse

The Letter 59 & 60 Summer – Autumn 2015, pages 47-56

In his Second Reading of Lacan’s L’Etourdit, Christian Fierens introduces the autistic discourse – equating it to that of the speaker ‘…What the speaker says or what the autistic does…’. Speech presents itself in the form of statements (énoncés), but also silences: ‘Look! I am silent. Look! He is silent. Silence being a potential statement. Yet Lacan speaks of Anxiety as that which
remains unspoken while Freud introduced the return of the repressed: the very eruption of the soma – an encounter with the Real? – a consequence of repression – a silence! The psychoanalytic act (out), which Fierens insists the analyst ‘…must be doing…’. ‘…Abstinence has nothing to do with doing nothing…’
Keywords: differance, the roles of the analyst, autism.
L’Etourdit by Lacan we are advised, comes with a health warning, being reputedly
unamenable to reading and indecipherable to scrutiny. L’Etourdit
– les tours dit – the journey of – di, say(ing) and dit(said) – to stun, to make
dizzy. It is indeed all that. A text which Gallagher’s 2014 translation suggests
is not for interpretation. …‘ Interpretation is not absolute clarity ’.. he says.
And for whom is interpretation? Not for the text, which has little regard for
and is blind to commentary. The blind look of Tiresias is evoked. However
he, beyond display and demonstration makes us divine the absence at stake
within interpretation. That deprivation can lead to an alternative development
presumably. It is consoling in this respect, to me specifically, if not to readers
of L’Etourdit generally, that Tiresias received information and wisdom
in various ways. Sometimes, like the oracles, he would receive visions and
locutions. At other times he would listen for the songs of birds, or ask for…

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