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Lacan Seminar x Anxiety

Lacan Seminar x Anxiety

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Published by Zuresh Path

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Published by: Zuresh Path on Mar 11, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Translated by Cormac Gallagher from unedited French typescripts FOR PRIVATE USE ONLY
14.11.62 I
2 Seminar 1: Wednesday 14 November 1962 I am going to speak to you this year about anxiety. Someone who is not at all distant from me in our circle, nevertheless let me see the other day his surprise at the fact that I chose this subject which did not seem to him to be something that had all that much to offer. I must say that I will have no trouble in proving the contrary to him. In the mass of questions that are proposed to us on this subject, I will have to make very severe choices. That is why I will try from today to throw you into the work. But already this question seemed to me to preserve the trace of some naivety or other which has never been checked because it seemed to indicate a belief that it is by choice that each year I pick on a subject, like that, which appears interesting to me to continue on some sort of idle chatter. No. As you will see, I think, anxiety is very precisely the meeting point where you will find waiting everything that was involved in my previous discourse and where, together, there await a certain number of terms which may appear not to have been sufficiently connected up for you up to the present. You will see on this terrain of anxiety how, by being more closely knotted together, each one will take its place still better. I am saying still better, because recently it became clear to me, in connection with what was said about phantasy at one of these so-called provincial meetings of our Society, that something concerning this very essential structure called phantasy, had effectively (2) taken its place in your minds. You will see that that of anxiety is not far from it, because it is well and truly the same. I have put on the blackboard for you - even though, after all, a blackboard is not very big - a few little signifiers to guide you or to help your memory: perhaps not all the ones that I would have wanted, but after all it is just as well not to overdo the schemas. You will see this becoming clearer in a little while. They form two groups, this one and that one - this one which I will complete. On the right, this graph which I apologise for pestering you with for so long, but which it is all the same necessary - because its value as a reference point will I think appear ever more efficacious for you - for me to recall the structure that it ought to evoke to your eyes. Moreover its choke-pear shape which perhaps has never struck you is not perhaps evoked here by chance; on the other hand, even though last year in connection with the little topological
which I made so much of, some people could see being suggested to their minds some forms of the folding back of embryological leaves, even the layers of the cortex, nobody, in connection with the at once bilateral and interlinked arrangement of orientated intercommunication of this graph, nobody has ever evoked in this connection the solar plexus. Of course I am not claiming by that to deliver its secrets to _____ -you, but this curious little homology is perhaps not as external as one might think and deserved to be recalled at the beginning of a discourse on anxiety. Anxiety, I would say, up to a certain point the remark by which I introduced my discourse a little earlier, the one made by one of the people close to me, I mean in our Society, anxiety does not seem to be what stifles you, I mean as psychoanalysts. And nevertheless, it is not too much to say that it ought to in, what I might call, the logic of things, namely of the relationship that you have with your patient. After all to sense what the subject can tolerate, in terms of anxiety, is something that puts you to the test at every instant. It must therefore be supposed that, at least for those among you who are formed in the technique, the thing has ended up by slipping into your way of regulating matters in the most imperceptible way, it must be said. It is not excluded, and thank God for it, that the analyst, provided he is already disposed to it, I mean by very good dispositions to be an analyst, that the analyst at the beginning of his practice should experience some anxiety from his first relations with the patient on the couch. Again it would be well to touch in this connection on the question of the communication of anxiety. Is this anxiety that you are able, it appears, to regulate so well in yourselves, to damp down the fact that it guides you, is it the same as that of the patient? Why not? It is a question that I am leaving open for the moment, (4) perhaps not for very long, but which it is worthwhile opening up from the beginning, even if it is necessary to have recourse to our essential articulations in order to give it a valid response, therefore to wait for a moment at least, in the distances, in the detours that I am going to propose to you and which are not absolutely beyond the capacity of those who are my

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