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THE MONOLOGUE OF L'APPAROLE Author(s): Jacques-Alain Miller and M. Downing Roberts Source: Qui Parle, Vol. 9, No.

2, Special Issue on Lacan (Spring/Summer 1996), pp. 160-182 Published by: University of Nebraska Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 26/04/2011 16:40
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Jacques-Alain Miller
A small plan of the labyrinth.
The will-to-say. Jouissance speaks. Language,

introduces the impossible. Interpretation


of jouissance.

speech language the letter l'apparole lalangue lituraterre

you last time with this small table of orientation, com posed of six terms,' matched pairs, and divided up into two sets of three. It is an apparatus, a small assemblage. I provided I can tell you where these six terms come

from, for inasmuch as you may not know this. I repeat it tomyself. The first set, vertical, ismade of three terms borrowed from titles by Lacan from the first part of his teaching. You know the "Func in Psychoanalysis." tion and Field of Speech and Language Take
* Seventh lesson of The Flight ofMeaning (1995-96). The Lacanian orientation, teach

of text of ingdeliveredat theDepartment Psychoanalysis ParisVIII. [French] estab with theagreeableauthorization J.-A. of and lished Catherine Bonningue, published by du Miller. [For details]one shouldconsultthepreviouslesson published inLes feuillets
Courtil, as well as two other lessons to appear inQuarto and Letterina Archives.

Qui Parle vol. 9, No. 2, Spring/Summer 1996




are also familiarwith "The Agency 'speech' and 'language' out. You Of The Letter."The firsttwo are the key terms, the founders, of Lacan's

as a return to Freud, making these two terms teaching, presented work over both the ouvre of Freud and the concept of analytic prac

got the essential coordinates which retained condition both Lacan's teaching and much of what we've With regard to these three terms, I have written three others, of it. more dubious, neologisms of sorts,which fiddle with our vocabu

evacuating intersubjectivity of its references, inscribing these laws of language thatmetaphor and metonymy would be alongside the laws of speech. we've With these three terms

Some years later,under the heading of the "Agency of the Let ter," you know that Lacan began a reorientation which resulted in

or penultimate Lacan, the lary. Iadopted these terms from the final Lacan who reorients his teaching in the '70s, giving ita noticeably we refer it to his begin distinct turn, one all the more surprising if are: I'apparolewe are obliged to give an indication of They theway in which it is with "I" and an apostro written, specifying it or with two "p"s inorder to mark the difference, since it ispro phe nounced in the same way as the term under consideration -lalangue, nings.

all one word, and lituraterre, the only one of these three terms to constitute by itselfalone a title of one of Lacan's writings.

I note these points of reference to indicate that the new turn Lacan gave to his teaching in its last phase touches on fundamental coordinates. This new turn imposes a new discipline, towhich we we are trying to establish the new need to be broken in,especially if regime of analytic interpretation conditioned by it. Here Icould add "interpretation?" - with a question mark. What happens to interpretationwhen we meddle with these the only

original basic coordinates? We must follow Lacan, who was one to advance in the direction he took. not without detours, contradictions, which make labyrinth still seen from afar.

We are about tocatch something hisdesign,a design thatis of

it rather difficult to

weave Ariadne's threadinthislabyrinth. This isa smallplan of the




I as I started to do last time the gymnas Let's trytoweigh tics that passing from one of the terms on the leftto one of the terms

is with the term language. What a term with respect to what traces itselfas lalangue? language I illustrated last time by a reference to Michel whose possibilities Leiris. Let's begin by saying, as we often do, some simple things. Lan itat the beginning of his teaching, is a guage, as Lacan approaches structure.What does thatmean? An interdependent whole of differ ential elements, with diacritic elements, relative to each other, so that any variation inone element affects the others and brings about Itholds together, it's tight, rigor ous. Itevidently doesn't have as itsobject the plasticity of lalangue. itat the begin We must say more. The way Lacan proposes attendant changes. That will do for the moment.

on the right imposes on us. Let's begin why not?

linguistic structure. ning of his teaching, structure ispar excellence Lacan began by formulating that the unconscious was structured like a language - which means at least three things. is structure. It is not a matter of a con Firstly, the unconscious stant, imperceptible flux, nor of a storehouse of heterogeneous things, a independent of each other, put together in sort of sack. We discern elements in it,and these elements make up a system. ele lan

is language. These discernible Secondly, the unconscious are precisely those of language. ments is structured like a Saussurean Thirdly, the unconscious

we approach itas structure, implies a sus language, which, when foreclosure of the temporal, or pension, and even a methodical is es diachronic, factor. The perspective taken on object-language sentially that of synchrony,which presupposes, when it is referred to history, thatwe make a cut, a synchronic cut. We are dealing with a state that Saussure called language [/a langue].

guage. We can distinguish within itsignifier and signified. to this object We are formed by, broken in by, accustomed




is also essentially trans-individual perspective synchronic and trans-individual. This definition of language implies that ithave an Other, that itbe correlative to another concept, the concept of speech [/aparole] which, itself, isessentially diachronic This and individual. This concept is Saussurian, but while Lacan essentially takes his reference to la langue from the ceuvre of Saussure, he dresses up as his reference to la parole, and even organizes it, orders it Hegelian hence always dialogical, speech fundamentally intersubjective, even when Lacan superim marked by the structure of dialogue -

poses on his Hegel his own version of Austin's speech-act. - which Ibrought this up quickly last time As for the letter designates, at least in "The Agency of the Letter," the signifier in its isolated structure, the letter introduces with respect to the function itthereby belittles -the of speech -that function ofwriting, which

iscompletely at the center of this paper, "The Agency Of The Letter." The structure inquestion conditions one phenomenon and only one an essential, initial perhaps this is saying a lot phenom enon and by virtue of that, determinative for whatever this phenom enon can attract like a magnet. This essential phenomenon is the phenomenon of meaning [sens] that Lacan's "Agency of the Letter" sends back to being in the position of an effect. This triad has as a primary speech, language, the letter that the essential phenomenon thus conditioned isput consequence back

tution, as a restrained effect [effetretenu] inmetonymy, a positive emergent effect, inmetaphor.

into place as an effect. On this account, structure, as Lacan uses the term, isessentially the relation among signifiers, under the two forms of combination and substitution, meaning [sens] appear ing as the effect of this or that combination, or of this or that substi

a matter thesignifier. question isthat knowing of The of which signi

fiermust be added, Which brought, injected, by the interlocutor-analyst. that remains to be seen. meaning-effect this gives rise to

Within these coordinates -which mention briefly,but firmly, I in order to assure our grasp of them, before entering a more uncer tain zone interpretation doesn't pose a problem. Interpretation is




But the problematic of interpretation plays between this signifying addition and the specific modality of an anticipated meaning-effect which is variously described in Lacan's teaching. Here is where we need to be a bit careful. Especially when very simple, astutely perceived, ranged and structured. appropriately placed, pleasantly ar


Here, we must ask ourselves if itsuffices, if it is persuasive enough, despite all the support thatwe can find for it in Lacan's teaching on this subject, only to place meaning at the end of the chain, in the

Structuring presumes discernment inplacing the elements, set ting some beside others, putting them into their proper relationships.

position of effect, theway we find it in "The Agency of the Letter." There are signifiers here which are combined or are substituted, and a certain effect of meaning, which either I'm simplifying thenfinds itselfheld in check or else finds itselfemerging.




S(-) s

Is this enough? Does

S ~S(+) s
for what the triad at the begin


ning implies?

it ismisleading to present things thus, to present mean Well, as an effect,whereas, in necessity a necessity that Lacan ingonly at all doesn't misrecognize is initial as much as it is meaning

There are bound to be some people here who have thought about what Lacan calls his graph of desire. We cannot fail to notice what isclearly acknowledged in the construction of this graph which organizes the elements determined by the first triad. This graph is established as a schema of communication.




may be, the structure of complex, refined, varied, it this graph is no more than a variation on intersubjective communi cation, a variation on the structure of dialogue. This structure is still because there isa point of depar driven, at itspoint of departure ture, and only one, fundamental point by what Lacan himself calls the intention of signification. This machinery, this apparatus as Lacan himself will call itat the moment when he separates him self off from it won't function for even one second ifthis initial However that the energy of the begin ning, necessary for the functioning and the animation of this graph, is furnished by a wanting-to-say [vouloir-dire].2 Fromwhatever angle thiswanting-to-say. And the phe nomenology of the elementary analytic experience supports it. we don't want-to It'snotworth entering analytic experience if we take it, cannot do without intention of signification ismissing. means What does thatmean? It


We believe we want-to-say, and when we perceive, from say. within, thatwe don't want to say, thatwe express ourselves as wanting-not to-say,well, the analyst is there inorder to point out that thiswant

of this.

ing-not-to-say isall the same a wanting-to-say. Try to convince yourself

it is not a [vouloir dire] has a certain materiality Meaning even a certain self-evidence. This evidence circulates in fiction Lacan's teaching. The wanting-to-say takes us back to the subject, the complete subject, the barred subject, the split subject, the di

vided subject. wants to say [veut The subject dire].And thesubject,




complexified, multiplied, and canceled say [volont6-de-dire].

by Lacan, remains a will-to

pacing off this ground laboriously. Later on, our steps will begin to be more muddled, so I'll take advantage of this to lay out the ques

Here I insist strongly. It isnecessary to insist strongly inorder to transmit something in the mass of the commentaries, signifiers, which cover all this up. I'm not treading lightlyhere. I'm signifieds

nition by the Other, and desire for recognition. All of which Lacan questions, and finally disproves. But the subject remains a will-to a point that say to the Other, the Other with a big "0" changes or will-to-say for theOther, toward the Other, and even nothing from theOther and even ifthis big 0 Other such as Lacan comes to define it is no longer, itself,defined as a subject. That doesn't the subject, who speaks, from being a will-to-say as a func prevent tion of thisOther.

Lacan's barred subject is not the will to Doubtless, recogni as it is at the very tion, beginning. As long as the essential point for Lacan is the intersubjective relationship, the subject is will to recog

The heart of the function of speech isgiven by what Iam call ing today the will-to-say. Speech always carries with it a strategy which envelops theOther, insofaras the partner of the subject, which is always there, is this big 0 Other. It ison this support (which puts in place both the subject and its in speech, and the wanting-to-say itspartner), that, for example, demand and desire can be dis Other, tinguished. But speech, when we begin from these premises, is an always affair of question and answer. The interpretation of the analyst al

ways appears in this configuration as a reply. Lacan can say rightly that this interpretative response, the interpretive response par excel lence, is a question, it is the famous Che Vuoi? The "What do you want?" would be the minimal interpretation,what an interpretation always means, even when itassumes other expressions. We can rightly say that the answer is a question, a question about desire. The formula "What do you want?" isone of the formu

lasparticularly whichwould give suggestedinthis graph,a formula




the minimal

text of the analytic revolve around desire.

were interpretation as long as it


the other, itspartner, to; or which figure of theOther the subject has for itsexplicit, implicit partner in this dialogue. This is really a very can be made of large part of analytic consideration, of the study that clinical cases, even in the framework of case supervison, which passes am not there inorder to sayit's not through these assessments. I a put-on. Iam there to indicate, on the contrary, how working, it'sall itholds together, how it makes a system. the speech of that firsttriad, isalways taken inby such Speech, a strategy of theOther, always decipherable as a strategy of meaning [sens]. Let's take some examples. Begin thinking from this startingpoint. What

Here a principal, central path to the clinic suggests itself, which consists ofwondering about what the speech of the subject reduces

can we say about hysteric speech? Hysteric speech is the of the analysand par excellence, insofar as it is that speech speech to which makes itself enigmatic, which offers itself theOther as some

an analyst as partner. It is thing to be interpreted,which needs really within the modern disaster and before the closing of all the recesses where we could, all the same, find the analyst, the pre-analyst, the as civilization had always offered proto-analyst, the para-analyst was it is in this great desert that it them down to modern times

necessary to invent the analyst proper, in order to provide for this task of interpretation offered by this speech. Hysteric speech brings to lighta wanting-to-say distinct from the said; itunderlines the gap between the saying and the said.

The subject feelsthis impossibility truth. according tovariousmo from fatality the lie to thepleasureof role of the dalities, ranging

Let's go further in this direction. Hysteric speech is a speech always dissatisfied with the said. In this speech, the subject feels in the dissatisfaction, in the suffering, indeed in the guilt, the impossi bility of speaking the truth about the truth,of speaking the whole

it is not at all incompatible, on the one hand, to playing. Moreover, be sometimes overjoyed with the role-playing, and then sometimes

tocollapse underthefatality the lie it of bearswith it. This speech is




gives itsplace to the performer, and which cause to this performer. energizes and gives What could we say about obsessional speech in comparison It is rather a with hysteric speech, starting from these coordinates?

indeed the one which

a might say, in forcing the line, by caricaturing it, that it is speech is forever silentthere is nothing to be added to whose message this speech. In any case, theOther has nothing to add. Obsessional same a kind of gag on interpretation. speech is all the To continue with the gallery of great categories: what could we which takes say about psychotic speech? Here, it is speech itself of interpretation, at least on the paranoiac side, and which charge

speech which dries up interpretation,which silences the performer, and which aims at a certain annulment of this subjective division, and therefore at an adequation ofwanting-to-say towhat is said.We

claims to be the mistress of meaning, to the point, in schizophrenia, its social semblance down to its last entrenchments. of denouncing As for perverse speech perhaps we will make a separate for it later let's say that itmakes fun of meaning [sens]. place When pure, perverse speech deploys itself, itdoesn't allow a lotof

room for analytic interpretation. I'm drawing these little vignettes quickly in order to call to mind the terrain thatwe can cover in the analytic experience; that is, the extent of the account thatwe can give of this terrain, by consid ering structure-language even when thismeaning and its essential isbaptized phenomenon, meaning, as desire. The substance of our

analytic clinic moves around in these coordinates, of course with some variations, some internaloppositions. It is this substance which isdisplaced when we move from language to lalangue. II Lalangue, as Ibegan to illustrate, to touch on, last time, doesn't what I said at the beginning, I appear to be a structure. Ifstructure is

can't manage to say, "Lalangue is a structure." Moreover, theword that Lacan forges, in joining the article to the substantive, is rightly made inorder to indicate that, there, the elements thatwe believe to




in language, are not as discernable as we thought. And Leiris dumps loads of such examples on us. Inany case, lalangue It is not without a relationship to the structure, is very ambiguous. but we shrink from saying that lalangue is a structure. Especially be discernable because

Lacan took great care to indicate that the expressions thatwe use have a precise origin, thatwe don't always manage to deter mine. When we read the Dictionnaire des Prdcieuses,3 we notice that a certain number of theirmost fabulous inventions became of our most common means

an object carved wholly out of lalangue isnot synchrony. It includes a dimension which is irreducibly diachronic, since it is es made of alluvia accumulated out of misunder sentially alluvial. It is standings, from linguistic creations, and by each of us.

part of expression. One day the Marquise Untel said "The word escapes me" [Lemot me manque]. We found itcharming, marvelous "That's just like her!"We've repeated it, and today it isour way of speaking. This example that Lacan picks up has itsvalue, discreetly, of messing up just a bit object-language in its synchrony. It is, after all, much funnier to take language with contributions by the Marquise Untel and by the carter from Place It includes a diachronic


dimension, and an "individual" with "individual" inquotation marks. This concept that dimension, Lacan forges thus reinserts each person's invention as a contribution

changes, not just a small modification thatwe make to thatwe slip in here, while the rest doesn't budge. When meaning, we meddle with it,thewhole edifice collapses, or in any case, tot

orama which

to the community which inhabits Ialangue. The essential phenomenon of what Lacan called lalangue is not meaning it is necessary to get used to this idea it is In this displacement, this substitution, it is a whole pan jouissance.

Let's say itanother way: the principle of the second triad isn't wanting-to-say, it is wanting-to-enjoy [vouloir-jouir] . I've also rigged up a little something here, I say tomyself: "The Marquis Lacan said: 'L'apparole'" that's marvelous. And I adopt this term, 1pass iton. The second triad translates the new status of the first, when it isdrive to take up Count Freud's invention and not signification that is





drive on the model

as the principle, themotor of the speaking being, to say it in so many words. An entire conceptual system is transformed here. From this displacement, we can see betterwhat was at stake in thismachine of the graph of desire. This machine was - we assured an attempt by Lacan to structure this by other means last year attempt, which was a stu of intersubjective communication. It consisted inmaking drive a form of mes

message. The request isa kind of message, obviously, with an absent or eclipsed subject, or a subject which is no longer present except through itsbar or its lack, but it is still a request. In addition, this drive is endowed cabulary On one side, the treasure of /alangue, on the other, the treasure of the drive. It is really to indicate that the drive is endowed with its own vocabulary. All the same, there isa message which finds its way from the other side and which is formulated in terms of drive, and in the graph with a vocabulary all itsown, a vo that Lacan writes inparallel with the treasure of lalangue.

pendous sage, a request [une demande] without subject.4 It is a paradoxical message, but one which, all the same, makes drive into a kind of

then over here a meaning-effect [effet de sens], extremely specific, an effect of but limitedmeaning. special, paradoxical,

We notice therefore, from the position that I invite you to take up, that Lacan began with communication, and that he structured, the drive on speech. In fact, he comments at length on modeled, this, on speech and drive.




the drive on speech was doubtless tomake itsplace for drive as wanting-to-enjoy, but always under the domination of To model wanting-to-say. foundation. This isdone with extreme subtlety, and not without

Here's where Iundress the princess. We'll see that itdepends on a simple, elementary principle. The princess is the we graph. If were to take everything off,what will remain is the organization we pulled a itself,the skeleton of the princess. And, for thatmatter, if

littletoo hard, like in the story by Alphonse Allais ... Here we grasp what is at stake when l'apparole appears in of the concept of /aparole. L'apparole is not something that place said often, once, twice at the most. No matter. We must re elaborate the concept of speech when we come to the extremities Lacan

It is always a relation, a dialogue. This theme of monologue Now, l'apparole is a monologue. haunts the Lacan of the '70sthe reminder that speech isabove all Here I'm proposing l'apparole as the concept which monologue. towhat comes to light in the Seminar Encore, when Lacan responds tion and response. asks in a rhetorical way

that Ihave just described. calm speech Speech always says both one and the other, even ifthe other becomes the big 0 Other, itstill presupposes ques

of speech necessary, insofar as lalangue isof no use in dialogue. With the concept of l'apparole, the body of reference to com munication collapses; or at least, at the levelwhere it isa question of

"Is Lalangue primarily of use in dialogue?" is less certain. I said thatwhat responds to this remark, this Nothing interrogation which, advanced as minimally as that, isof a nature tomake thewhole system is what makes a new concept collapse

l'apparole, there isno dialogue, there isno communication, there is autism. There is no Other with a big "0." L'apparole isn't grounded in a principle of wanting-to-say to the Other, or starting from the In Encore, Lacan touches on the term blablabla. This term is


not inLe Robert, least at not intheeditionthat Ihave,but itis listed

in the Larousse Dictionary of Slang, which I recommend to you. an expression really incurrent useBlablabla isglossed as empty




we don't prattle and being uninteresting. As for itsorigin, obviously know too much about it, itseems to be derived from joking [b/aguer] a no means prattle that is without interest, it is what is joke isby or it "to blab" in in communication might derive from interesting which means "to chatter" [Fr.jaser]. You would find this use English, of it in Celine (as publishers aren't reissuing all of Celine's works, given the significance of his blablabla which isn't always of the best sort ... Idon't have the volume me blablabla

inquestion, 1937). In any case, for out by Le canard enchaind. I believe that is poured some years ago thismagazine claimed paternity of this expression. into its We would have to make a scholarly inquiry into blablabla, or etymology. Ifsomeone is either in possession of this etymology would be most welcome. would want to make such an inquiry, it "blabla." this is noted by the Dictionary of Slang We also sayMoreover, Lacan willingly used the expression blabla only two

more refined. With blablabla, there is certainly more than times. It's bla bla bla, but we get the impression that the one who is speaking is lettinghimself get all carried away by the subject matter and that he is precisely, blablahing. Whereas blabla is theminimum. we could liken blabla to l'apparole. Not exactly, Iask myself if even ifLacan calls tomind, inEncore, what is satisfied by blablabla. Blabla isa degraded formof speech, but it is in the registerof speech

and not of l'apparole. It is finally empty speech, as Lacan baptized it, speech where it is not the semantic content which prevails, which carries theweight. This is why the dictionary says it isempty prattle. Idon't It isnot the semantic marrow which counts, but the blabla know what you think of it continues to assure the essential func we can make tions of speech, to the point thatwe ask ourselves if

the distinction. Blabla spreads its wings over everything that is speech. You are thinking rightly that I settle on this question when I lecture. Blabla secures a communication function perfectly. It secures ex ofmaintaining

calls thephatic function, function the well what Jakobson ceedingly

contact with the other. The emptier blabla is, themore itdemonstrates the orientation toward the Other and gets its claws into the Other. The less information itcontains, the more speech is





and when

L'apparole doesn't have any phatic quality. This iswhy, just now, I even called itautistic, in a somewhat hasty use of the term. is what speech becomes when it isdominated by drive L'apparole itassures not communication

but jouissance. Which an swers to the formula that Lacan gives in Encore "There, where It Itenjoys." [La o' ga parle, ga jouit]. That means, incontext, speaks, Itenjoys by speaking. Thus, there is something to be situated which is satisfied with this blabla, and which is satisfied on the level of the unconscious.

itenjoys itspeaks

It [ga].5 It is the conjunction of what, in the graph, is distinguished here; that is, how the structure of the ga parle imposes its structure on the ga jouit. It's really themarriage of the earthen pot and the iron pot. The earthen pot of theOther is shattered by the ironpot of the It. Lacan unconscious language, which belongs to the first worries Lacan immensely to have said the uncon triad. Therefore, it scious is structured like a language. We have witness of this concern in the fact that he periodically returns to this point. Isaid the uncon is structured like a language. He simplifies the question "Lalangue, l'apparole, therewhere Itspeaks Itenjoys, that's exactly I said in saying the unconscious is structured like a language." is thus necessarily structured like a led to reexamine the axiom of the

In Encore, Lacan tried to advance a radical conjunction of the 'It speaks' and the 'Itenjoys' [du ga parle et du ga jouit], that is to say, a conjunction of the Lacanian Other and the Freudian or Groddeckian

scious what




Icite him, in the chapter on "The other satisfaction," where he con veys and demonstrates this perfectly novel conjunction. three commentar Let's provide the essential commentary ies.

when he says itand repeats it, it is not true. The uncon Firstly, scious structured like a language was formulated on the contrary, as I've often mentioned this formula of the "Function and he saysField of Speech and Language," which really is a point of reference in order to resolve techniques of decoding the unconscious and

it'snot true. precisely because Secondly, who can say to Lacan: That's not true? People who don't like him. That's not the case with me. This isa reinterpretation of the initial formula, a creative auto-reinterpretation. Indeed, Lacan therewe only see fireworks with an extraordinary art,manages to demonstrate to you that itcan just as easily mean what itdidn't in 1953. And indetail, because delicate it is worth the trouble of following the argument it is fed precisely by designs which are especially

was done precisely to set drive, or instinct, the theory of the drives. It and to isolate properly the phenomena of meaning [sens]. So, aside ifhe repeats this formula so often, in an affirmative manner, it is


and interesting. After all, it'seasy to say, "Iwas wrong." All these questions are not at the level of a mistake. It'seasy to say "I am forgettingwhat I said, I'm starting something else." It is, all the same, much more difficult not to leave anything behind, to take itup again, to dress the princess in new finery after having undressed her, and to show that what Lacan does, and, now, for example, she's a republican. That is on theway, it's much more interesting. Thirdly, when he says "that's what I'm saying," it suffices to add a temporal marker "That's what I'm saying now, when I say the unconscious is structured like a language."

Lacan's interrogation goes to the point of putting in question this "unconscious structured like a language," and, by these means, he recasts thework. We notice that it doesn't go back in exactly, that sometimes you have to force it a bit. In any case, signals that the very foundations are in question. this interrogation




he presents as the jouissance of speech, theOther satis this jouissance faction, the one which is supported by language of speech isdistinct fromwhatever the pure jouissance of the non What But the very expression of the jouissance of speech could slip without our seeing the value of giving itexpression. Some ortho by as they call themselves - were ready to put this dox analysts -

bodymightbe. speaking

only in the request [demande]. We could say that this appeal aims at a need, a satisfaction, in trutha jouissance, and therefore thiswant ing-to-enjoy isalready present in the notion of demande, but a want ing-to-enjoy

into the register of the oral drive. This is not the proper jouissance value that Lacan gives to this expression of the jouissance of speech. We must give a radical value to this expression, i.e., that a wanting-to-enjoy. Not jouissance speaks. Speech is animated by



by way

of and

is dominated

by a

Inorder to put the formula of the jouissance of speech into its proper place, we must inscribe it in relation to the formula of "I, the truth, I speak" [Moi, la vdritd, je parle]. That's a formula which be the longs to the context of the firsttriad of terms. In the firsttriad formations of the unconscious, the analysis by Freud of the firstslip of the tongue this iswhat Lacan summarizes in saying "I, the I speak." The truth speaks, and itspeaks "I." truth, When he evokes the jouissance of speech, it is the symmetri cal and opposite formula of the former.The unconscious structured like a language implies that the truth speaks, whereas, in the context of lalangue and of I'apparole, it is jouissance who speaks.

Moreover, this formula leads to an inversion of the value of empty and of full speech, as Lacan had introduced itat the begin ning of his teaching. Empty speech ishollow speech, and full speech is speech full of meaning likeMary full of grace. Perhaps we can, in this context, find very perplexing what I put on a line above: "interpretation" with a question mark. truth that speaks, in the slip of the tongue, in the failed act, interpre tation has a ready-made place. The goal of interpretation is tomake

When it isa questionof thecontext speech, of when it is the




properly make of interpretationwhen it is a question of I'apparole? when it is jouissance who speaks? To interpretthe truth,certainly. To interpret jouissance!

an effect of truthemerge, which no matter which way we modalise it,contradicts the effect of prior meaning, of truth,which ensued was saying in the patient's speech. But what can we fromwhat truth

do the two "p"s in I'apparole come from? They come I indicated it last timefrom theword "apparatus" [appareil]. Lacan already goes forward in this direction in Encore, when he Where

easily consider the phantasm as an apparatus of jouissance. Nor mally, we don't consider that reality is reached through the contriv ances of jouissance. We consider that reality is reached by the

calls tomind the apparatuses of jouissance through which reality is approached. Moreover, he essentially reduces this plural to language as the apparatus of jouissance, though just as obviously we would

apparatuses of perception, by the apparatuses of representation, by the apparatuses of consciousness. Here, it is in relation to It [ca] that Lacan formulates that by means of the apparatus of jouissance real ity is arrived at. It is apprehended by everything which isof use to


is at hand [sous lamain]. That evokes Heidegger's present-at which is the utensil, what is in proximity.6 The apparatus is hand, what has been arranged, laid out, prepared in advance. one face leans This word "apparatus" itpleases me a lot toward appearance [le semblant] and one face leans toward utility. On one hand, the apparatus is the external display of finishes or dressings; it is therefore related to everything that is beautiful ap

enjoyment. We could stop a moment with theword apparatus, instrument, contraption. But there are other values to apparatus. The apparatus is a final finish [appret], something ready for use. Le Robert says it is

pearance, allure, the impression produced by the totality of what is laid out there. Thus, there is always magnificence of pomp, of osten tation in the apparatus.




Itgets more tricky when we call to mind a simple apparatus. For us, after Racine, thewords of Nero describing the amorous pas which overcomes him still ring inour ears. These two sion for Junia verses are like the condensation of the enunciation of a phantasm beaute qu'on "Belle, sans ornement, dans le simple appareil/D'une vient d'arracher au sommeil."7 'Apparatus' is never better evoked than in this verse where

all pomp and ostentation isabandoned. To the contrary, it is the very apparatus of surprise and of nudity. Here's one of the faces of apparatus. Here we really have the phantasm as an apparatus of jouissance. On

ments are combined

the other hand, there is itsuseful face, since an apparatus is an assemblage, a fitting,an arrangement, which permits the accom a plishment of a function. This arrangement forms totality; itsele inorder to serve. So, there is the side of appearance, with all itsnuances, and then there is the side that is utilitarian, functional. An apparatus iswhatever serves to do something, and is not simple.

It is not a tool. A certain complexity

is necessary to form the

I am ready to give I'm not hesitatingall itsvalue to this I notation of Lacan's, "Language: apparatus of jouissance." would even be ready to construct the concept of apparatus as a concept opposed to that of structure. Language isa structure, but indefining language as "apparatus perhaps we are going towards replacing (at the suit

of jouissance," able level) the concept of structurewith the concept of apparatus. Apparatus is an assemblage, but an assemblage which can be more heterogeneous than structure, and above all which is power

it is constructed, but it is fully finalized. A structure is deciphered, somewhat within the contemplative element. You have to add things like the action of the structure for it to start to function. Whereas isconnected I would


which outclasses theso-called finality "knowledge of of jouissance,

reality." Thus, like to consider that the concept of structure

straightaway to a finality,here to a finalityof

belongs properly to the context defined by the first triad, and per I haps would have its matching piece on the other side with appara tus.




When Lacan uses theword I'apparole, he presents itas a mon sterword, whose ambiguity he asks us to receive favorably. The ex pression "monster word" cannot fail to recall that of Leiris, the one I last time, about oral monsters which are born of lan mentioned ina written work regarding the graph guage. Lacan uses "I'apparole" as if chance ofwhich he says of desire by "L'apparole which is made out of theOther is represented in the apparatus." The whole question Other. is to find out if I'apparole is really compatible with the

of thebigOther.
On you -

Thus, Iwas situating the place of interpretation in this new context as a difficulty,where there is no place for dialogue, for even modified by the introduction intersubjective communication, The problem is the "no dialogue," pas-de-dialogue, that point, there isan indication from Lacan which the PDD. I'm giving it

could do for today. Calling tomind the PDD, the pas and seeing quite well that an absolute position on the de-dialogue, does interpretation in, Lacan points out "The pas pas-de-dialogue has its limit in interpretation, through which the real is de-dialogue

zone, where we sometimes let ourselves be ledwith a bit of reti cence once we notice thatwe are in the midst of absolutely taking down the entire house thatwe've constructed.

As I said, here we are following Lacan into a zone which is not very clearly marked out and where the circuits cross. I racked my brains over this sentence, saying to myself that at a given moment, this sentence could be of use tome as a compass in this quite tricky

logue. Don't take up all the room! Stated differently:we have to put a limiton some part of the pas-de-dialogue, to not be confined to that it'sover, since in any event something like interpretation saying

It is interesting to tackle things like that. First, it'spractical. If we want to make there's no dialogue, there's no interpretation. If room for interpretation,we have to push a bit on the pas-de-dia

is still goingon.

to And Ifindit estab very illuminating say,"Analytic interpretation

There must be a limit to the autistic monologue

of jouissance.




lishes the limit." Interpretation, on the contrary, has an infinitepo We savor the infinity of interpretation; it's what feeds li tentiality. braries. As long as interpretation is interpretation of meaning, just we one more signifierwill suffice, itdoesn't matter which one in order to re-interpret after it could choose with discernment

You can feel it in Lacan's commentary. Open the dictionary at random, and take a word . . .whole numbers. The whole number and psychoanalysis: on that point we could write whole volumes. Or, you could follow current events, which allow for perpetual re interpretation. In other words, when interpretation has to do with far from establishing a limit, interpretation creates the un meaning, limited. Here, we are taking things completely to the opposite slope. Not only does this line of argument position analytic as finite, but itsays interpretation "finitizes." Analytic makes finite. What I also

interpretation interpretation

pretation might be. There isalso in this sentence the notion that it is not meaning that is secured by interpretation, as it would normally in the context of the firsttriad. It is instead the Real that is secured be by interpretation. What can we do with this notion? In what is the Real secured

like in the idea that analytic interpretation estab is that itsituates interpretation as an ending rather than lishes limits, as a renewal, that is to say, the opposite of what a practice of inter

by interpretation?This notion leads us toward thinking that, in speech as PDD, as pas-de-dialogue, in themonologue of I'apparole, there is no Real, or in any case, on this level, the Real is not secured. What can this really mean? What is Lacan aiming atwith such

things as these? At this point, we are not entirely sure that Lacan is addressing himself to us.We try to make believe, we try to make it seem as ifhe is addressing himself to us. we start free associating - which we can This monologue, if do as a certain exercise of I'apparole, of saying anything the entire thesis of Lacan, inEncore forexample, shows that saying anything always leads to the pleasure principle, to the Lustprinzip. That is to say: "There, where Itspeaks, Itenjoys." [LA ou

nonetheless whatever -




ga parle ga jouit.] It is the commentary of the It [gal. Especially be cause we put prohibitions, inhibitions, prejudices, etc., inparenthe ses once It really begins to run at this level, there is a satisfaction of speech. That means everything isgoing swimmingly. is why, when Lacan Which introduces the notion of the on "saying," jouissance of speech, he reflects "everything works,"

etc. It's the same point of view as the one he sets forth in his Televi sion when he says "The subject is happy." Whatever his misfortunes may be, at the level of the unconscious he isalways happy, that is to

phantasmatic reality.There isphantasmatic "meaning" [signification], there is even an anything-goes interpretation of l'apparole, but no Real is assured. At the level where the subject is happy, the Real is not secured. This be, since indicates what it would the place of analytic interpretation could intervene on the opposite slope of the pleasure

In this regime, we can't be as thing is dandy, everything succeeds. At this level, there is reality as sured any of Real-as-Impossible. the apparatuses of jouissance, that is to say, apprehended by

say, drive always functions suitably, unlike desire. What does thismean? other than that, at this level, there is no Impossible. At the level of drive, at the levelwhere the subject is at the level where, there where It speaks, Itenjoys, every happy,

introduces the impossible. In this driven, fatal success even in the midst of misfortune, it at the level determined here, ana works, the subject is happy underscores the failure present in the success of lytic interpretation l'apparole. Lacan indicates this failure in Encore: that all this happi ness doesn't allow us to assure the Real of the sexual relationship. I won't develop this idea, I'm only indicating itsplace in this context. take things from this angle. If analytic interpretation is that throughwhich the Real is secured, then There are consequences we if

principle. We would need to formulate, along the lines ofwhat Lacan suggests only suggests! he would have had the apparatus of the that analytic interpretation thing, but we have to reconstitute it

itisof theorderof formalization, acknowledge that we if math only

formalization reaches a Real. This is what Lacan explores.





what we

This exploration implies that, like formalization, analytic inter even evokes pretation makes itselfinto the opposite ofmeaning. Lacan could call mis-interpretation, non-sense [contre-sens]. is precisely taking things the other way. to give analytic interpretation a let's hope in the second triad, it would have to have the value of l'apparole. This means that analytic interpretation, as supports, a certain "It doesn't mean

Moreover, ambiguity one wished If place back formalizing anything."

formalization, accepts, assumes,

could even say that, in analytic interpretation, the extrac to enjoy" [ga veutjouir] passes through an "Itdoesn't mean anything" [ga ne veut rien dire], and that the unconscious, to this is it in this statusthe contrarywhy we can misrecognize wants to enjoy" by the "Itwants to say." And therefore, masks this "It zon.8 We wants tion of "It inorder to recover the "Itwants "Itwants

Interpretation is a somewhat special mode. All interpretation consists in formulating "It means something else," while here, the reduction to the "Itmeans nothing" [ga ne veut rien dire] is the hori

in the second triad is rather on the side of writing than of Inany case, it must be constructed by vying with thewritten speech. as formalization presupposes thewritten work. work, insofar pretation

to enjoy", we must go through the to say nothing." That implies still something else, which is not untimely, if it can be constructed. Following the example of formalization, inter

Iam about at the end today. I will continue next week. 31 January 1996 Translated byM. Downing Roberts

ous and invaluable of helpwith thetranslation this paper.]


[Translator's Note:

I would

like to thank Juliet Flower MacCannell

for her very gener

[TN. The neologisms ?a?angue, and lituraterre are left untranslated ?'apparole, throughout this essay, following the convention used by Jacqueline Rose in her translation of Lacan's Seminar XX: Encore. For more details about the term ?a?angue, see Rose's discussion inFeminine Sexuality, (New York: W. W. Norton




XX: Encore (Paris:?ditions Seuil, 1975), 126.] du


& Company,

1985), 46n11.

For Lacan's

use of the term inEncore, see Le S?minaire

and later, vouloir-jouir. Obviously, juxtapose vouloir-dire with volont?-de-dire Miller's use of vouloir-dire also carries the resonance of "meaning" and "to mean," but he often uses the word "vouloir" 3 [TN. See: also o? "vouloir-dire" sens to convey in a literalway; while "meaning" retains an element of desire, or wanting-to-say.]

out the which Millerwill This choice also brings Jeveux dire le rouge. way in

the somewhat [TN. Here Miller hypenates vouloir-dire, and so I have chosen as an is of vouloir-dire, which literal phrase "wanting-to-say" English rendering the usual French way of saying "to mean" e.g, "I mean the red one," would be:


Le Dictionnaire des Pr?cieuses, (Paris: P. Jannet, 1856). See Somaize, 1953-1954 (New I, Freud's Papers on Technique Jacques Lacan, Seminar York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991), 286n.] because [TN. "request" is used here to render the Lacanian term of art demande, the point at issue revolves around a mapping of drive into the coordinate system of intersubjective communication.] [TN. See Jacques Lacan, Le S?minaire 95-105.] XX: Encore (Paris: ?ditions du Seuil, 1975),

5 6

uses in Be the terms Heidegger [TN. Although Miller says l'?tant-sous-la-main, or Vorhandenheit, are rendered and Time are vorhanden, in the which ing translation as "present-at-hand" and "presence-at-hand."] Macquarrie-Robinson ritan ?cus (1670): [TN. From Racine's Act [...] Narcisse: N?ron: Cette vous l'aimez? II, Scene II:

excit? d'un d?sir curieux, nuit je l'ai vue arriver en ces lieux, Triste, levant au ciel ses yeux mouill?s de larmes, Qui bri Noient au travers des flambeaux et des armes: Belle, sans ornements, dans le simple appareil D'une beaut? qu'on vient d'arracher au sommeil. Que veux-tu? Je ne sais si cette n?gligence, Les ombres, les flambeaux, les cris et le silence, Et le farouche aspect de ses fiers ravisseurs Relevoient de ses yeux les timides douceurs.

[TN. See note 2, above. ?a ne veut rien dire means or "That's nonsense."] nothing,"

Oeuvres compl?tes (Paris: (Racine, Pl?iade, 1950),405.]

is the usual way

of saying,