Oscar Zentner – The Exiles of James Joyce – Après Le Mot Le De’Luge

THE LETTER 32 (Autumn 2004) pages 175-219


In 1980, shortly after the dissolution of L’ecole freudienne de Paris, Lacan invited his “Lacanoamericans” to a Congress in Caracas,Venezuela. As homage to the occasion I took my interrogations, interrogations that were alluded to intentionally in the title and content of my paper : The Freudian Unconscious, Symbolism and Censorship.

In regard to that Freudian unconscious, we have today only the remains of a formation, a blunder, a lapsus, even a failure, and as a consequence another is the status of cause.

We opened our paper with Mallarme’s words:

… to describe an object is to already eliminate three quarters of the pleasure found in a poem, since poetry is the puissance of a gradual discovery. The dream is to suggest. This is the perfect use of the mystery encompassed by the symbol.

And we closed the paper specifying that:

… Symbolism is unconscious thought, but it is not part of the formations of the unconscious. The symbolism of the dream is not a creation of the dream-work …though it provides the dream-work with appropriate material for condensation, displacement and representation. Symbolism, and this was my proposition, is of the order of language. Stated in another way, the symbol is not formed by the unconscious, it is rather that the symbol, being as it is language, that indeed makes unconscious.  …



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