Michael T. Murphy – Phantasy and The Psychoanalytic Act – Freud, Klein and Lacan – What is Involved in The Psychoanalytic Act

THE LETTER 18 (Spring 2000) pages 55-69


The opening words of Lacan’s Seminar on The Psychoanalytic Act presuppose a link with the Seminar he gave the previous year on The Logic of Phantasy. He says “… those who heard me speaking … may feel themselves in some way already introduced to this dimension that the psychoanalytic act represents’1 which is why I have entitled this paper Phantasy and the Psychoanalytic Act – Freud, Klein and Lacan. I subtitled the paper What is involved in the psychoanalytic act … because of the movement between the two registers it plays upon: the che vuoi question redolent of phantasy: ‘What is involved in the psychoanalytic act?’ and then, the response of what is meant, the state-meant of ‘what is involved in the psychoanalytic act …’. The question is in the minor key of reluctantly having to accept your fate as a human being, while the statement is in the major one of choosing to subjectify that fate, and make it your own. These two are inseparable: the one implies the other through its presence, through its absence …

Truth and phantasy

The cornerstone of the psychoanalytic act is the truth of phantasy. In the theatre of the Freud/Fliess letters, reality collapsed on the…

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