As Alone As He Never Was…

The position which claims that Lacan’s founding act – the first line of “The Founding Act” – was itself an anti-philosophical gesture, inasmuch as it draws from the personal unsayable misses a crucial point.

Recall the line as follows: “I found – as alone as I have always been in my relation to the psychoanalytic cause – L’Ecole Française de Psychanalyse, of which, for the four coming years in which nothing in the present forbids me to answer for, I will personally assure the direction” (C.G’s translation). You see that even here, at the moment of the act, there is an anticipation of a direction into the various organs and offices of the symbolic.

Thus, the act, though it is a break from the torture of the symbolic in the form of the big Other’s authority, it is at the same time not a fantasy of freedom. It is, precisely, the making-do with the big Other, the symbolic – in other words, it is when the personal life of the analysand is self-directed. In other words, the unsayable of the analysand founds itself, finally, a new place within language. Thus, it seems to me that Lacan does not claim that he is somehow in absolute proximity to the real and without truth. At worst, he presumes the direction toward truth. At best, he assumes the position of truth. In other words, he moves from “a” to “S2,” from the truth of the hysteric to the truth of the analyst.

Also, recall that when Lacan says “as alone as I ever have been” he is not insisting on his solitude or isolation from the symbolic order. Rather, he is cleverly claiming that he was never alone. We know this: he had access to the most brilliant minds of his time and they often joined him in his seminar room.


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