acan 303 The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious or Reason Since Freud 自佛洛伊德以降,在無意識界或理 性界,字母的代理

The Meaning of the Letter 字母的意義
For this primordial distinction goes well beyond the discussion concerning the arbitrariness of the sign, as it has been elaborated since the earliest reflections of the ancients, and even beyond the impasse which, through the same period, has been encountered in every discussion of the bi-univocal correspondence between the word and the thing, if only in the mere act of naming. All this, of course, is quite contrary to the appearances suggested by the importance often imputed to the role of the index finger pointing to an object in the learning process of the infans subject learning his mother tongue, or the use in foreign language teaching of so-called 'concrete' methods. 因為這原初的區別,遠在符號的任意形成的討論之外,自從宇宙洪荒以來就已 經形成。 它甚至也在僵局之外,同樣自宇宙洪荒以來,討論到文字與真實之間的 雙邊對應時,人類就遭遇到這個僵局,即使在為萬物命名之際。 當然,表面上,


當嬰兒作為主體在學習自己母語的學習過程,用食指指著東西認字,所扮演的 重要性來看,或者從外國語教學使用所謂的「實物教學法」來看,似完全相反。 One cannot go further along this line of thought than to demonstrate that no signification can be sustained other than by reference to another signification: in its extreme form this amounts to the proposition that there is no language (langue) in existence for which there is any question of its inability to cover the whole field of the signified, it being an effect of its existence as a language (langue) that it necessarily answers all needs. 意義本身無法自證,除了引述另一個意義旁證,這一點已經獲得證實外,我們 還可以順水推舟地探討下去。 推到極端,這等於是說,無論哪一種現存的語言, 都遭遇到本身沒有能力涵蓋意旨的全部領域,因為語言需要回應所有的需求, 而自身作為一種語言客體卻有其限度。 If we try to grasp in language the constitution of the object, we cannot fail to notice that this constitution is to be found only at the level of concept, a very different thing from a simple nominative, and that the thing, when reduced to the noun, breaks up into the double, divergent beam of the 'cause' (causa) in which it has taken shelter in the French word chose, and the nothing (rien) to which it has abandoned its Latin dress (rem). 假如我們透過語言理解到客體的組成內涵,我們一定會注意到,這個組成內涵 只能在觀念上的層次被找到,這跟簡單的命名法截然不同。 而事物一但被簡化為 一個名詞,就為一分為二。 例如, 「原因」 一詞,在法文是雙關語,一方面指 「選 擇」,另一方面,指「空無一物」,而拉丁文「服飾」的原意,則已經被捨棄。 These considerations, important as their existence is for the philosopher, turn us away from the locus in which language questions us as to its very nature. And we will fail to pursue the question further as long as we cling to the illusion that the signifier answers to the function of representing the signified, or better, that the signifier has to answer for its existence in the name of any signification whatever. 雖然這些考量的存在對於哲學家而言非常重要,他們卻轉移我們應該注意的焦 點:語言質疑我們,有關它自己的特性。 只要我們堅持這個幻覺:意符一定要對

應意旨的功用,或者,更好的是,意符必須負責自身的存在具有意義,這個問 題就難以為續。 For even reduced to this latter formulation, the heresy is the same the heresy that leads logical positivism in search of the 'meaning of meaning', as its objective is called in the language of its devotees. As a result, we can observe that even a text highly charged with meaning can be reduced, through this sort of analysis, to insignificant bagatelles, all that survives being mathematical algorithms that are, of course, without any meaning. 僅就「意符必須負責自身的存在具有意義」這個論述而言,這種說法引導實證主 義前去探索 「意義中的意義」 ,因為這是他們所宣稱的目標,但同樣是難以為續。 結果,我們能夠觀察到,即使是一篇意義豐富的本文,透過這種分析之後,往 往變為支離破碎,殘剩下來的是一些數學般的演算,當然,意義已經蕩然無存。 To return to our formula S/s: if we could infer nothing from it but the notion of the parallelism of its upper and lower terms, each one taken in its globality, it would remain the enigmatic sign of a total mystery. Which of course is not the case. 回到我們意符與意旨 S/s 的公式:假如從這個公式,我們只能推論出上面及下 面兩個術語的對稱的觀念,即使每一個術語都普遍被接受,它們仍然是匪夷所 思的謎團符號。但事實上,情形不是這樣。 In order to grasp its function I shall begin by reproducing the classic, yet faulty illustration by which its usage is normally introduced, and one can see how it opens the way to the kind of error referred to above. 為了理解它的功用,我將先從複製這個古典,雖然略有瑕疵的插圖開始。 這個插 圖常被介紹使用,我們能夠看出,它如何引導我們到以上所提到的錯誤。


In my lecture, I replaced this illustration with another, which has no greater claim to correctness than that it has been transplanted into that incongruous dimension that the psychoanalyst has not yet altogether renounced because of his quite justified feeling that his conformism takes its value entirely from it. Here is the other diagram: 在我的演講中,我用另一個插圖替代這個插圖。 我並不是宣稱我的插圖比較正確, 而是原有插圖已經被引用到成為陳腔濫調,一般精神分析師還沿用不止,因為 他們還振振有詞地認為,媚俗求同有其必要價值。另一個插圖如下:

where we see that, without greatly extending the scope of the signifier concerned in the experiment, that is, by doubling a noun through the mere juxtaposition of two terms whose complementary meanings ought apparently to reinforce each other, a surprise is produced by an unexpected precipitation of an unexpected meaning: the image of twin doors symbolizing, through the solitary confinement offered Western Man for the satisfaction of his natural needs away from home, the imperative that he seems to share with


the great majority of primitive communities by which his public life is subjected to the laws of urinary segregation. 我們看到,我們無須將試驗中有關的意符的範圍擴大,換言之,我們只要透過 兩個術語的並列,將彼此互補的意義顯然會互相增強的名詞重複,就會產生令 人驚奇的效果,因為出乎意料的意義油然而生:雙重門的意象,透過西方人出 門在外如廁時,男女有別地滿足生理上的需求,象徵著他似乎認同多數原始社 會的規訓:在公共場所如廁,男女有別。 It is not only with the idea of silencing the nominalist debate with a low blow that I use this example, but rather to show how in fact the signifier enters the signified, namely, in a form which, not being immaterial, raises the question of its place in reality. For the blinking gaze of a short sighted person might be justified in wondering whether this was indeed the signifier as he peered closely at the little enamel signs that bore it, a signifier whose signified would in this call receive its final honours from the double and solemn procession from the upper nave. 我使用這個例子,不但是要反駁名實需相符論者的爭辯,而且要顯示,實際上, 意符如何進入意旨,換言之,意符並非抽象,它在現實中是如何定位,是一個 問題。 對於一位近視眼的人,瞇起眼睛觀看琺瑯釉的標誌是否確實就是他凝視的 意符。 門板上方的題字 「男士」 「女士」 與 的意符所代表的意旨,在此狀況受到大家 嚴肅地尊重。 But no contrived example can be as telling as the actual experience of truth. So I am happy to have invented the above, since it awoke in the person whose word I most trust a memory of childhood, which having thus happily come to my attention is best placed here. 但是沒有一個人為設計的例子能夠像真理的實際經驗更加具有說服力。 所以,我 很樂意杜撰以上的例子,因為它喚醒我童年的記憶,有一個人的話,我深信不 疑。這件事回想起來頗為有趣,讓我在起提一下。 A train arrives at a station. A little boy and a little girl, brother and sister, are seated in a compartment face to face next to the window through which the buildings along the station platform can be seen passing as the train pulls to a stop. 'Look', says the brother, 'we're


at Ladies!'; 'Idiot!' replies his sister, 'Can't you see we're at Gentlemen'. 火車抵達車站時,有一對兄妹的小男孩跟小女孩,車廂裡,跟車窗面對面坐著。 他們觀看沿著車站月台的建築物,當火車停下來時。 「你瞧!」 哥哥說, 「我們在 女廁前面!」「白癡!」妹妹回答,「你難道沒有看到,我們是愛男廁前面!」 Besides the fact that the rails in this story materialize the bar in the Saussurian algorithm (and in a form designed to suggest that its resistance may be other than dialectical), we should add that only someone who didn't have his eyes in front of the holes (it's the appropriate image here) could possibly confuse the place of the signifier and the signified in this story, or not see from what radiating centre the signifier sends forth its light into the shadow of incomplete significations. 這故事裡的鐵軌具體代表索緒爾語言公式的中間橫槓(形式上被用來意味著, 意旨與意符的抗拒並非是辯證的)。 除外,我們應該補充說,只有井底之蛙,以 管窺天的人,才有可能將故事裡的意符與意旨的位置混淆,才會看不出,意符 是從怎樣的發光中心發出部份意義的光芒到陰影裡。 For this signifier will now carry a purely animal Dissension, destined for the usual oblivion of natural mists, to the unbridled power of ideological warfare, relentless for families, a torment to the Gods. For these children, Ladies and Gentlemen will be henceforth two countries towards which each of their souls will strive on divergent wings, and between which a truce will be the more impossible since they are actually the same country and neither can compromise on its own superiority without detracting from the glory of the other. 因為這個意符現在代表的僅是動物層次的紛爭,事情過後,就被人遺忘於自然 的迷霧中,但是意識形態的戰爭,家族的無情爭吵,宗教對立的苦難,紛紛擾 擾何時了?對於這兩位小孩,女廁還是男廁的爭議,延伸來看,就形同兩個國 家的不同意識形態,各自的人民宛如坐在不同的車廂各自主張,他們是同一個 國家,這樣和平休戰怎有可能?兩邊如何能妥協退讓自己的主權,而不損害到 對方主權的尊嚴? 雄伯譯



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