How James Joyce Made His Name: A Reading of the Final Lacan (Contemporary Theory)

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To leave nothing behind, not to survive yourself—how sad! Lacan also stands corrected when he portrays Joyce as a person, who has cancelled his subscription to the unconscious, having rejected all human ties—the family, the father and the mother, history, language, the other, etc. Taste can, of course, be debated—some find oysters delicious, whereas others find them unappetizing—and Lacan is naturally within his rights to claim that it, for him, is not a pleasure to read Joyce and that Joyce does not awake any sympathy in him.

For Joyce personally it was of vital importance to give pleasure through his art, for the actual goal of an artist, for all artists, claims Joyce, is to give pleasure to others cf. Ellmann Joyce strives, in contrast to what Lacan claims, to write a writing, which word for word Fr. Hence, Joyce is not a non-joy a-Joyce , for he performs a pleasure of the text, in which satisfaction is maintained through words Li. Lacan remains caught up in his phantasmagorical desire, which leaves him with a mirror-reading of pure projections and identifications, where a hermeneutic synthesis is never established.

Boysen The psychopathology of the mirror-reading An interpretation is an attempt at creating a connection, a synthesis, between an interpretive object and an interpretive subject, i. An interpretation is therefore the creation of a common interpretation or translation, in which the same and the other are made intelligible to each other in a common synthesis as in a conversation. In contrast, the mirror-reading leaves us with the position of either Narcissus or Echo. In fact, the hermeneutical situation would cease the moment the other remain completely heterogeneous and the moment the same remains completely homoge- nous.

On the one hand, an interpretation could never be performed if the interpretative object was absolutely alien, on the other hand there would be no need to perform an interpretation if there was nothing alien between the interpretative subject and object. An interpretation cannot take place if there is no resistance from something alien, which both attracts and recoils; reversely, there cannot be an interpretation without an identifying, homogenous position.

But what is desire then? Atherton said that he had been invited to dine with Lacan the previous evening. Atherton said the same thing had occurred to him so he had asked Lacan whether he had read all of Finnegans Wake. In other words, Lacan admitted that his knowledge of Joyce was very limited. I am much obliged to Patrick McCarthy for this information. The hermeneutical situation is therefore spread out between a desiring interpretive subject, which transfers its own meaning unto the work, and a desiring interpretive object, which likewise transfers its own meaning unto the interpreter.

In the mirror-reading, which makes up the two extremes of interpretation, there are thus not interpreted or translated anything between the two interpretive instances.

Theo Reeves-Evison

Since there in pure projective and identificatory transferences are not established a common, commu- nicative space, the mirror-reading points to a certain kind of madness marked by a lacking communicative interaction or dialectics. In the mirror-reading both instances remain alien to one another.


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Perhaps Lacan senses this, too. References Artaud, A. Paris: Gallimard.


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Boysen, B. On the spectral presence of the predecessor in James Joyce: With special reference to William Shakespeare. Orbis Litterarum, 60 3 , — Interlitteraria, 12, — Neophilologus, 94 1 , — The ethics of love: An essay on James Joyce. Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark.

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Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Ellmann, R. James Joyce 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gadamer, H. Truth and method transl. Marshall; second revised edition. London: Continuum. Boysen Hegel, G. Phenomenology of spirit transl. New York: Oxford University Press. Houdebine, J. Joyce, J. Letters: The letters of James Joyce 1 eds. London: Faber and Faber. The critical writings of James Joyce eds. New York: Viking Press. Letters: The letters of James Joyce 2 ed. Richard Ellmann. Letters: The letters of James Joyce 3 ed. Finnegans Wake. New York: Penguin Books.

Stephen Hero ed. Theodore Spencer. Panther Books. Ulysses ed. Hans Walter Gabler. New York: Random House. A portrait of the artist as a Young man. London: Penguin Books. Lacan, J. Paris: Seuil. The four fundamental concepts of Psycho-Analysis transl. Alan Sheridan. The Trouble with Pleasure. Aaron Schuster. Reading French Psychoanalysis. Dana Birksted-Breen. Between Winnicott and Lacan.

Key Ideas for a Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Andre Green. Phenomenology Explained. David Detmer. Self and Emotional Life. Adrian Johnston. The Subject of Semiotics. Kaja Silverman. The Philosophy of Time. Roger McLure. James Rose. Therapeutic Action. Jonathan Lear. Lacan and the Concept of the 'Real'. Wittgenstein Reads Freud. Carol Cosman. Kant, Foucault, and Forms of Experience. Marc Djaballah. Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions. Jean-Paul Sartre. The Violence of Emotions. Giuseppe Civitarese.

Why should you read James Joyce's "Ulysses"? - Sam Slote

On Freud's Constructions in Analysis. Sergio Lewkowicz. Cogito and the Unconscious. Sina K. Four Lessons of Psychoanalysis. Moustafa Safouan. Parveen Adams. Passion in Theory. Robin Ferrell. Writing in Psychoanalysis. Emma Piccioli. Derrida and Deconstruction. Hugh J. A Clinical Application of Bion's Concepts. Against Adaptation.

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Philippe Van Haute. The Fabric of Affect in the Psychoanalytic Discourse. Psychoanalysis and Discourse. Patrick Mahony. Emilio Rivano Fischer. The Work of Psychic Figurability. Richard Boothby. Roman Jakobson's Translation Handbook. Bruno Osimo. Lacanian Affects. Anika Lemaire. The Cambridge Companion to Merleau-Ponty.

Taylor Carman. Existentialist Ontology and Human Consciousness. William L. Longing for Nothingness. Andrew Stein. If the woman had said "and that as well," it could easily be shown that after "that" there would be something else. Here we see a mode of singularity emerging: the "but not that" is a way of putting down a mark—"I don't do that sort of thing; I'm not that kind of woman or: one of those women.

To continue with our scenario, the woman's negative response might carry on with: "How dare you demand something like that of me! What does this mean? It refers to Lacan's notion of the fundamental structure of neurosis, which amounts to an almost uncritical effort to conform to the demand of the Other; a position that might be given the following standard form: "I did it, but. Was it due to my own desire or due to his demand? He didn't force me. The problem is thus a crucial one; to the extent that Lacan can state: "This 'but not that' is what I am introducing in this year's title as the sinihome" In other words, what he is seeking as singularity and therefore maintaining as a nonexchangeable, non-negotiable value.

Lacan comments that it is a question precisely of Socrates' act: he accepted some things, but not that. There is something that cannot be shifted, which forces him to accept the death sentence. This but not that is not, we can easily deduce, linked to any typical symptom of obsessional neurosis, hysteria, or phobia; it bears, ultimately, on an ethical dimension. Shortly before this, Lacan makes reference to the Not-J; not in a psychological sense, as that which differs from the ego in an imaginary mode, but as the response to a certain demand.

Let us give this a detailed formula: "If you claim that about me, I will not accept it. If, in the domain of analysis, there has been a singular figure, this is indeed Lacan. Yet his triple Borromean knot remains, in our view, too balanced, too oriented toward the general-particular dialectic; and in fact he did not wish to see his clinical work give rise to subjects of, and through, such a condition. Let us clarify this point. At a certain moment, Lacan remarked that he was sorry not to have been more psychotic; his implication was that if he had been he would have been more logical.

What he had in mind—with a great deal of insight— was what is termed "rational madness" or paranoia. With the fourth register, a point of discordance is introduced through the singularity of the sinthome, of the "but not that," discussed above. With the eruption of singularity, we come back to the question of heresy. Joyce, declares Lacan, "is like me: a heretic. We describe it as such because it was to be the origin of another work that came to absorb it, so to speak, and that we know better: it is entitled Stephen Hero, and Lacan forgets? Stephen Hero: perhaps the somewhat ironic title is close, in a Joycean, translinguistic manner, to here; the narrative that follows it is a draft of what will become A Portrait oj the Artist as a Young Man.

The original title gives more emphasis to the singular character of the text. At the same time, this Hero captures perfectly the character that the writer aspires to embody in his life throughout the work. This takes place in accordance with the alleged views of Saint Thomas on the aesthetic by mentioning his name, we launch one of the jeux de mots we will come back to later ; and concludes that exile is the best means of achieving such a destiny. The theme of exile will be fundamental for Joyce, not only in a geographical but also in a linguistic sense.

He will struggle to exile himself from the imprisonment of language; such an undertaking is not alien to Lacan.

But let us pause over what Joyce writes through his young protagonist named Stephen Dedalus referring to Daedalus, a mythological figure of the utmost significance, even if Lacan seems not to have taken much note of its place in Joyce—nor in his own work, around the problematic of the end of analysis.

Stephen is chatting with a friend, and we begin to make out signs of an emerging "man of letters"; he talks of genres, of the lyrical, the epic, and finally the narrative. Concerning this, he states: "The narrative is no longer purely personal. The personality of the artist passes into the narration itself [note how Lacan takes this seriously, by not concentrating on the individual but on the work], flowing round and round the persons and the action like a vital sea.

This progress you will see easily in that old English ballad Turpin Hero which begins in the first person and ends in the third person" P, Let us note the importance of what is already in play in the "young" Joyce, when he indicates an acceptance of the incidence of other voices within him. He is to pursue this manner of working, powerfully bringing together different languages, and with a humorous reading of them in his speaking being, to the point of practically generating a lingua franca.

In A Portrait he begins to express his own reflections, which we will explore in the next chapter as they expose, in particular, a somewhat free interpretation of Saint Thomas. The latter's name gives rise to yet another Lacanian pun: St. Thome is of course a saint homme, both puns on sinthome. As for St. Thomas Aquinas, Lacan writes this sinthome-madaquin. In fact, the little aesthetic breviary sketched out by Joyce in A Portrait takes a course that it is not so easy to describe as specifically Thomist.

But this aesthetic attempt will give rise to a crucial aspect of Joyce's work, which Lacan takes up in order to outline if only by implication a privileged Joycean mode of grasping the real: the epiphany. On this point we would do well to add to our reading the famous story from Dubliners, "The Dead," which has been made into a remarkable film by John Huston.

Toward the end, when the main actors are leaving the family gathering, the epiphanic moment takes place—a character hears, in hopeless rapture, a traditional song—which is marked by what in Joyce's version of Thomist aesthetics is termed claritas. We will return to this notion, given that it implies an aspect that allows us to focus on a concept of the Real that Lacan struggled to articulate in his last years. We could link the ironic Eden mentioned in the previous chapter to another kind of irony, given fuller expression a few years earlier by that distinguished thinker and comic writer much admired by Joyce, Mark Twain Freud, of course, had already told us how men of letters preempted psychoanalysts, hence our constant, fertile preoccupation with them.

In his Eve's Diary , the American writer deals with a theme that is crucial not only for Lacan's Seminar 23, and more broadly for psychoanalysis in general, but also for life itself la vie: we recall Lacan's pun linking Eve to "life," Evie. Our journey with Twain's book will be both enjoyable and intellectually rewarding. We find there precisely what Lacan is getting at when he talks about Eve the chatterbox— the one who relishes tittle-tattle, piles up silly gossip, talks without saying anything—who, in telling her tales, constantly strings words together.

Lacan insisted many times—it was a constant feature of his work up to RS. L—that without the signifier, there could be no creation. This was Lacan's position, which he called—in terms that were not original, but placed him in a tradition—a "creationism" of the signifier. In RS. L, however, something arises to prefigure a new concept of nomination: so-called "divine" creation. In this, the Symbolic makes the Real "surge up," relegating nomination to a secondary moment. Thus, at this point Lacan distinguishes between creation and nomination. Let us then, before we begin our exploration of Twain's text, return briefly to something relating to the theme of nomination.

In this, Lacan's debate with Freud—in particular, around the Freudian trio of inhibition, symptom, and anxiety—will be illustrated. Naming is defined by Lacan, in the seminar RS. L, in terms of its Imaginary, Symbolic, and Real versions or features, each of these names corresponding to one of the terms in the Freudian trio.

We examine below how the concept of nomination will later come to be given a different sense, which will require the exploration of new elements in Lacan's teaching; but for the time being, we can present these relations as follows: Ni: inhibition Ns: symptom Nr: anxiety In other words, for Lacan, imaginary nomination corresponds to Freud's concept of inhibition. In order to establish the interrelation of the three terms, we should bear in mind Lacan's comment in Seminar 10, Anxiety , that "an inhibition is a symptom put in a museum.

This is not in fact a matter of getting rid of the symptom, but of transforming it into a character trait; and imaginary naming, incontestably, accounts for such a transformation. Why should this be so? Because the change bears the stamp of a narcissistic identity, being profoundly marked by the notion of "I'm like that. We could put it like this: "Let's make a pact. If you don't question my Imaginary nomination—which is often inhibition—I won't question yours. Why not? All of this testifies to the effect of the signifying bar, which is presented in topology by means of the infinite line; we will return to this below.

How James Joyce Made His Name:

When we come to Symbolic naming, the table of correspondences shows the symptom. This is the symptom as traditionally conceived in psychoanalysis, not the sinthome. Concerning the latter term, we should point the reader to the Brazilian edition of a book by the Slovenian Lacanian Slavoj Zizek: when this author makes use of Lacan's sinthome, the Portuguese translation has sinthomem.

The latter, already considered "classical," emerges as divided between what it says and what it knows. In order not to fall into the widespread confusion deriving from the nearly identical sounds of "symptom" and sinthome along with some of those responsible for the transcription and translation of the seminar, it should be added , we must carry out a process of refinement, of intratextual and intertextual criticism, to determine with conceptual rigor whether or not, when we read sinthome in a text, it is really that, and not in fact the classical symptom, which is in question.

We cannot at present have complete confidence in any of the versions of Seminar 23 that are in circulation, each one of them containing its own set of contradictions and obscurities. These errors are not simply Lacan's: he was attempting to introduce, as rigorously and consistently as possible, a new signifier, in the manner of Evie. One would be wrong to think that what we read was indubitably said by him; in fact, it is what was heard by those responsible for the transcription and very often repeated unquestioningly by translators. There is thus no single version, and we all have the task of putting forward readings, attempting to "establish" the text.

We do not possess a "canonical" version like that of the Ecrits. Hence, some of our interpretations may produce a text that is different from the other available versions: it is quite possible, for instance, that we would argue for sinthome in certain passages where the transcription reads "symptom," and vice versa. But let us not imagine these claims to be arbitrary; they must be grounded in a reading that goes along with a coherent conceptualization. At this stage in our exploration, we can take this to be the conceptual description of symptomatic formations.

Eventually, we will be confronted by Real nomination, which corresponds to Freud's notion of anxiety—once again, a Lacanian trio for a Freudian trio. We will now, with the help of Mark Twain, examine the encounter of Adam and Eve. In this, everything turns around language, names and naming: in particular, it concerns the way each person seeks to give things a name. We should emphasize that it is precisely this term that Lacan uses, refusing any notion of "creativity" a term dear to contemporary pop-psychology.

Once more: it is Creation that is divine, and naming comes afterward; in other words, gossip, with its inventiveness, obliquely doubles Creation. This pair, Adam and Eve—they aren't very sure who is who. Twain tells the story in Eve's words. Having caught sight of the male creature, she thinks "it" must be a reptile, and tries to attract its attention by throwing clods of earth One of the clods took it back of the ear, and it used language.

It gave me a thrill, for it was the first time I had ever heard speech, except my own. I did not understand the words, but they seemed expressive. W h e n I found it could talk, I felt a new interest in it, for I love to talk; I talk all day, and in my sleep, too, and I am very interesting, but if I had another to talk to I could be twice as interesting, and would never stop, if desired. Twain, Eve's Diary. Twain's fiction, then, implicitly assigns an idealist, monadic origin to language.

Eve continues: "If this reptile is a man, it isn't an it, is it? That wouldn't be grammatical, would it? She goes on: "I think it would be he. I think so. Well, I will consider it a man and call it he until it turns out to be something else. Thus, Eve is shown to be a real gossip—without that having any pejorative connotations, on the contrary, indeed, given her ability to speak about things and make them speak back to her. Concerning her power of naming, Eve comments that "the right name comes out instantly, just as if it were an inspiration.

We should pay close attention to the text here, as it links up with Joyce and his aesthetic credo: "I had created," says Eve, "something that didn't exist before; I had added a new thing to the world's uncountable properties; I realized this, and was proud of my achievement. The description that follows evokes the beauty of the rising flames, of the glowing ashes and the drifting smoke.

And, of course, Eve gives all this a name, because they were "the very first flames that had ever been seen in the world " 8 At the end of this naming process, Adam appears, and, standing stupefied before the fire, asks: "How did it come 7 " live responds: "I made it. Fire is beautiful; some day il will be useful, I think. Toward revealing, precisely, the connections between inventing something, naming it, and making an artistic object.

This is a crucial theme for us, which gives rise to something different from the classical definitions of Man. It is not Homo sapiens that interests us here; the notion of the "rational animal" is of no more use to us than that of the "political animal. Ibid , p. A philosopher rarely cited by analysts, Henri Bergson, writes something in his work Creative Evolution that is highly relevant here: "Intelligence, considered in terms of what seems to be its originary task, is the faculty of creating artificial objects, above all tools, and to endlessly vary such a production.

Here, we will underline the difference between such an artificer and the factory worker by a conveyor belt; we will thus be able to illuminate Joyce's "Thomist" aesthetic credo—such is the principle aim of this chapter. But let us first explore another aspect of the Joycean sinthome. Lacan remarks that Joyce's manner of working, of forging linguistic artifice, is well captured by Philippe Sollers when he coins the term Velangues.

The elongation of one language toward another results in a fertile mixture of composite linguistic extensions. No doubt, although Lacan does not emphasize this, the pun also echoes a kind of energy or vital elan—a Bergsonian idea.

Works Cited

Bergson, Creative Evolution, trans. London: , n. The article links this term to Lacan's notion of la langue, which we will explore below. This would be that condition of mental excitement, of constant, extreme lightheartedness, which is linked in psychopathology to mania. Clearly, elation must be considered manic if it constitutes a state of unlimited, continual, and irrational high spirits.

Is the Joycean engagement with Velangues thus to be considered a product of mania? Does Joyce suffer from manic symptoms? The answer is no. In psychoanalytic terms, it would be wrong to consider Joyce's writing to be a symptom of any kind. The only person to suffer from a symptom for us, as analysts, is the one who says that he or she does. A symptom is of course what causes suffering, indicating something amiss in the Real; but to note it as an observer is quite different from acknowledging it as a sufferer.

If a symptom cannot be formulated as such, the conditions for analytic treatment have not been fulfilled. Operating in an "outside" beyond transference, we might be able— perhaps very astutely—to isolate, classify, and describe certain psychopathological signs; but in doing so we do not in any way involve the subjective position of the other. Freud, for instance, in the famous case of the "young homosexual," gave views on a series of technical questions in a way that is absolutely still valid today, concerning the results of trying to "bring" somebody to analysis, and how such an undertaking necessarily fails, even if an analytic situation seems to have developed.

This is largely because the alleged analysand is not implicated in the transference. Ultimately, this kind of procedure is—as Lacan concludes in his reading of the Freudian case study— like throwing a stone into the sea. Nothing happens, even if the external signs of a psychoanalytic event appear. What happens, then, with Joyce? The answer raises something crucial for our understanding of Lacan's approach.

Better still, rather than having it, he is one with his sinthome. This question must be explored and worked through, which will be one of the nodal projects of the seminar. But Joyce does not suffer from symptoms; we are unable to assign him any without immediately sliding into applied psychoanalysis—by "diagnosing," for instance, a Joycean mania. All those suffering from mania, very obviously, start to mix up and play with words. They link up words, or parts of words, in the most wayward manner; and they do so not only playfully but also irrationally, according to a secret logic, a logic of homophony that gives rise to associations without restraint and is devoid of surface meaning.

Again, if we were to bring all this to bear concerningjoyce, we would be merely approaching his work from the "outside," for, to our astonishment, we discover that the writer kept rigorously and carefully to a program of work, developed at length with great precision, and through reflecting on Velangues. Effectively, as David Hayman puts it, Joyce's writing is innovative in the way it "knots things together" in new groupings. Here, of course, we note the coincidence clearly an intuitive one, but not therefore groundless with Lacan's views: for Hayman, Finnegans Wake is organized through "knots of allusion or meaning, clusters or strips which make up topographies and serve as ways of structuring the text rather than as integral parts of its argument.

The hero of these works, who is to reappear in Ulysses, is Stephen Dedalus. It is worth pausing over the mythological allusion this name entails, in order to outline some of what is at stake concerning the question of artifice. Drawing on several studies of mythology, we can pinpoint certain features of Daedalus, and his "protector," in other words the ancestral figure he is referred back to: Hephaestos.

The lineage has little to do with Homo sapiens, but rather evokes Homo faber. The Dictionary of Classical Mythology indicates, concerning Daedalus—the provocation of a mythical outpouring of desire on Joyce's part—that he excelled in sculpture and architecture. Furthermore, after Daedalus has constructed ihc famous labyrinth—which we should remember has a conned ion with Ariadne's thread, for this will constitute another avatar of Daedalus—he ends up as the prisoner of his own creation, sentenced to remain there by King Minos, whom he has tricked.

Finally, being such a talented inventor, Daedalus manages to escape with his son Icarus, by making artificial wings. He gives his son precise instructions about the flight from the labyrinth: "If you fly too high, your wings might melt in the sun; but if you fly too low, you risk falling into the sea and thus also dying. Madrid: Alianza, , pp. What the father gives are manifestly instructions, but they can be read as a handbook for disobedience, in which Icarus can detect signs of denial.

What does he do? He flies so high that his wings, stuck onto his body with wax, melt and fall away—and so he falls into the sea and drowns. The extremes defined by Daedalus as opposing dangers ultimately cooperate in the destruction of Icarus. The Dictionary of Classical Mythology states: "Daedalus is in later tradition the inventor through autonomasia—the name given to every excellence in architecture and ancient sculpture, whose origin had become unknown.

And what is an artificer, if not the inventor of things, one at a time? The very opposite of someone who produces objects in series, it is a matter of inventing something for each occasion, for each addressee. Hephaestos, the ancestor of Daedalus, is the god of fire and of blacksmiths, the one who tends and controls the forge. Our interest in these mythological figures will be understood when we read the closing lines of A Portrait. What we have outlined is the nodal point through which passes a network that allows A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to finish with its hero "forging" himself—Hephaestos is present—as an artist, in an account of his experiences up to the moment when he sets off to begin his exile.

It is more a linguistic than a geographical exile, which consists in Joyce seeking elsewhere a support for his subjective position. But at what risk! As most commentators agree, Joyce breathes Ireland through every pore of his skin. There are indeed cer- The precision of Joyce's descriptions—he makes extensive use of maps and Thorn's Directory—allows him to reconstruct his native city; it is very likely that this was his way of reconstructing his patrimony: his only work for the theater is entitled Exiles.

Patrimony, of course, is what belongs to the pater; unlike matrimony, which derives from mater. But let us return to the Motherland or Fatherland which in the end amounts to a bond between man and woman ; it is that which makes Stephen exclaim at the end of the Portrait: "Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead.

Next, "old father" is linked to "old artificer": the young artist, setting off to find his destiny in the world, simultaneously seeks protection from a father who can defend him. It is well known, of course, that Joyce accumulated an extraordinary number of addresses, continually on the move from one place 15 Translator's note: In Spanish, the opposing terms are matrimonio "marriage," from the Latin mater, "mother" and patrimonio lit "fatherland," "homeland," from the Latin pater, "father.

Viking, , p This astonishingly nomadic life reveals the impossibility of Joyce ever finding the place where the "old father," the ancestral artificer, would be able to protect him. Thus, Joyce's life reveals his failure to find satisfaction for the exclamatory demand made at the beginning of his career. Having touched on the problem of exile, let us turn to another central Joycean theme marked out by Lacan with wordplay: St. Thomas Aquinas, an important reference in Joyce's early writings, will be written as sinihorne-madaquin. Lacan makes some radical observations about St.

Thomas Aquinas, which we will trace a la lettre. This is one of the rare occasions where Lacan affirms something with refreshing bluntness. Concerning Aquinas, he states: "We should put things clearly: when it comes to philosophy, [Aquinas] has never been bettered. That's all the truth there is.

Is Lacan not alluding to the need to take very literally how St. Thomas deals with the question of truth? In this sense, Lacan is a Thomist: he follows Aquinas in his criteria of truth. Concerning this, we could take from the Summa Theologica an idea relating to the cognitive subject. Thomas, believing man to be a finite being, sets out from concrete, sensory experience; he does not ally himself with any kind of spiritualism, theorizing only on the basis of what is perceived.

In other words, the question begins with sensory experience, but I receive it according to the way that I am. Here, we are not dealing with an empiricism, if that means I am presented with something from the outside, already printed as such. Nothing is copied or reflected, but what is perceived is produced by its own articulation—ultimately, by its own constellation.

Such a theory, as the reader will have seen, is emphatically opposed to the Platonic theory of "reminiscence," according to which we know something because we remember a timeless self-identical essence, which returns in the act of cognition. In the latter theory, the subject of knowledge had to be bracketed off for there to be an effective connection to the reminiscence. In the Platonic dialogue Meno, Socrates claims to prove that the ignorant slave can eventually manage to discover that he knew about geometry, ostensibly revealing through his guiding questions the presence of an eternal knowledge, inscribed as an Idea beyond the contingency of any particular speaker Thus, here we are faced with a theory of knowledge based on a spiritual or innate essence, which completely bypasses the recipient, as it does not account for any subjectivity whatsoever.

Such a theory is not to be found in Lacan: rather than Platonic, his thought is Aristotelian-Thomist. Thus—in our reading—"that's all the truth there is. Because, in the same line of thought, we recall that truth has the structure of a fiction. It is in this understanding that, for us, there is nothing more than that of the truth: this is the teaching of St. Here, we reach a fascinating question especially concerning what we have already noted about the "establishment" of Lacan's text.

It concerns a reflection on the Beautiful. Lacan comments: "In sinthomadaquin [i. His next statement is even more uncompromising: "It's a personal weakness, the splendor of being is not something that strikes me. He thus sees it as a term that could be left aside, since it entails nothing meaningful. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, op cit. As Father Noon shows, Joyce's Thomist aesthetic is founded on a pun—St Thomas never wrote on aesthetics or claimed to have invented one the very term "aesthetic" had not been coined in his period.

Thus, for purist Thomists, integritas, consonantia, and claritas are only steps toward the cognitive grasp of the external, thinglike object. Noon, Joyce and Aquinas. Toward the end of the Portrait, Stephen raises the three terms in his discussions with schoolfellows; in addition, he brings in the term pulcher, "the beautiful. From its outset and by definition, aesthetics bears on aesthesia, sense-experience or feeling: thus, the aesthetic is closer semantically to terms like "anesthetic" than to any notion of beauty.

Of course, one might object that all the same it is common for a work on aesthetics to refer to the beautiful; but this is not necessarily so. It may refer to beauty, but it may also evoke directly or implicitly something addressed by Freud with unparalleled insight: the uncanny. But let us return to St. Thomas and his pulchcr As Joyce indicates, its presence requires the triptych ol wholeness, harmony, and radiance. Let us briefly examine what we are told about each of the terms in the Portrait. You apprehend its wholeness. That is integritas. On the uncanny, we strongly recommend the work of a Spanish philosopher, Eugenio Trias, Lo Bello y Lo Siniestro, where the author balances a chapter on beauty with another on the uncanny, dealing in particular with Freud's fundamental contribution, as well as with the anxiety and enjoyment provoked by works of art.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, op. Having first felt that it is one thing, you feel now that it is a thing. You apprehend it as complex, multiple, divisible, separable, made up of its parts, the result of its parts and their sum, harmonious. That is consonantia. Consonantia gives him an opportunity to criticize "those English philosophers," so-called at least because "they are not psychoanalysts": for they persist in referring to "instincts.

Through the effects of speech on the body: its "resonance" or consonance there. Speech transforms the orifices of the body mouth, anus, urethra into holes that open onto drives. Thus, consonantia becomes a way for Lacan to talk of the impossibility of aesthetic jouissance without the concept of the drive. We cannot speak of the aesthetic, for Lacan, without invoking a jouissance that resonates or con-sonates due to effects of language.

And a detail is added to this linguistic jouissance here: someone has pointed out to Lacan, he says, that in talking of language [la langue], we should not forget the "so-called taste-buds. Once again, we see how a single term can be grist to Lacan's mill. What happens with tongues or languages? Lacan makes a reference to seasoning or "condiment": it is only due to the tongue that we can experience its tasty effects; and then another pun transforms ce condiment into ce qu'on dit ment ["what one says is a lie"].

This is a very radical claim: when someone speaks, he's lying. It means that we should be very careful when we imagine truth and lies to be two essentially distinct moments; even popular wisdom says that la mentira tienepatas cortas—effectively, when someone lies, he tells the half- truth in a thousand ways. Thus, we could write franchement as franche ment, making "frankly" into "frank lie. We will return to this equivocal title, and the question of equivocation and analytic interpretation.

But let us continue our discussion of drives. We can see how Lacan's deployment of consonantia gives rise to a line of thinking, which may not be exhaustively dealt with in Seminar 23 but which links up with other moments in his work. Lacan isolates two drives, which can properly be termed Lacanian because they are not present in Freud's writing.

In the first place, Freud had highlighted oral and anal drives; here 25 Translator's note. The Argentine proverb means "a lie has short legs"; thus, it doesn't get very far—truth will always sooner or later catch up with it.

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Such drives strongly tend to produce fantasies, as these relate to the mouth or the anus. It is "all" very clear; and that is the problem—there's too much claritas. In fact, since "everything" can be very easily understood, one must take great precautions vis-a-vis the dimension of the merit the potential deceptiveness of "as" as a possible factor in this high-speed understanding. Lacan seeks to go beyond Freud in isolating two new drives, in such a way as to produce an object that is not "obviously" incorporated or expelled, but encircled by a movement looping back to a bodily orifice that has become a hole.

The objects of these drives are the gaze and the voice. The table below summarizes the drives Lacan deals with in Seminar 11 : Drive Object oral breast anal feces scopic gaze invocatory voice We would emphasize here that the drive is linked to a notion that is Lacan's own "artifice" in the true sense of the word: something produced skillfully ; throughout his teaching, right up to Seminar 23, he claims that it is the only discovery he has contributed to psychoanalysis.

It is, of course, the object a—which is the object of the drive, among other ways of understanding it. In this context, it will be identified as follows: the breast, the feces, the gaze, and the voice are the different objects a of the respective drives. Later on, we will discuss the decisive weight given to the voice in Joyce's sinihome, through a singularity dubbed by Lacan "imposed speech.

Thus, schizophrenics describe the hallucinated, polyphonic voices they hear, in a paradigmatic manner: "they're telling me that. The gaze and the voice, the two objects introduced by Lacan, are precisely the most infamous features of the psychoses. It is here thai we can see a theoretical advance, in which the Freudian objects those relating to demand: breast and feces occupy a different position than the Lacanian objects, which relate to desire. We should view these claims cautiously, but they seem to us valuable.

Every object is object-cause of desire, indicates Lacan, but differentiating between them through stages—as Lacan does in Seminar 10, Anxiety—will give us a guiding thread in our explorations.