We open issue 62 of The Letter with The Sense of the Psychoanalytic Discourse
the fifth chapter of Christian Fierens’ The Psychoanalytic Discourse.
A Second Reading of L’Etourdit (2012) translated by Cormac Gallagher in
2014. To whet your appetite I will highlight some themes in this next-to-final
We are immediately brought up short by the very first sentence ‘Each discourse
brings into play a social bond without which it would not be a discourse.’
What then of the nature of the social bond in the psychoanalytic discourse
or the social group where persons committed to psychoanalysis come
together for a common purpose? ‘Psychoanalysis and the question of the unconscious
give no place to persons as such’, so that any grouping is founded
on an ‘irreducible difference’ between the subject of the unconscious and the
person.’ Acknowledgement of this irreducible difference does not render the
situation of the psychoanalytic group – or any other type of group for that matter,
husband and wife, family, teacher and pupil, analyst and analyser – hopeless.
Rather, the very impossibility or the structural instability that governs
any group becomes the means ‘to make work all the better the impossibility
of the sexual relationship and the subject-effect which determines any group
formation.’ Work, that we in ISLP at the very least, surely mustn’t shirk.
What of the analyst in the group setting who might want to assume a role?
Caution is advised as he or she can only ‘lodge (one)self in the waste product
of effacement’, in the place of semblance of the o-object, a place that ‘can
only provoke aversion as opposed to the positive place accorded to the person
named in a classical group’. Is the lot of the analyst then solitude or solidarity?
It would appear that neither nor both suffice. For Fierens ‘It is being
ready to let go of the comfort of the classical group which situates us in the
lability or effacement of the psychoanalytic discourse and its renewal. A new
saying, a re-saying’
He goes on to remind us of Lacan’s optimism that the psychoanalytic discourse
will conquer – an optimism based not on the social but ‘on the impossible
in the structure itself. For it is the impossible in all its…Continue reading
Articles in this issue: