Sei sulla pagina 1di 19

parallax , 2000 , vol . 6, no . 3, 63 – 81

p a r a l l a x , 2000 , vol . 6, no .

Dr ea m s A cc o rd i ng to La ca n’s re -i nter p r etat i o n o f th e F re u d ia n U nco n sc i o us

Elli e Raglan d

Lacan ’ s well-know n e´ crit , ‘ Th e Agenc y of th e lette r in th e unconsciou s or reaso n sinc e Freud ’ (1957 ) wa s rs t published as ‘ th e instance of th e lette r in th e unconscious ’ . 1 Thi s essa y rs t appeared in an issu e of la Psychanalyse tha t declared it s intentio n of studyin g ‘ psychoanalysis ’ as on e of ‘ th e science s of man’ . 2 Eve n thoug h Laca n include d his piece in th e volume , he pointe d ou t in tha t essa y tha t a classi catio n suc h as ‘ th e science s of man’ wa s problemati c fo r him . ‘ Man’ is inhabited by th e signi er in th e unconscious , he said , rather tha n being th e on e wh o wield s th e signi er fro m a positio n of consciou s reaso n an d of intentionality . ‘ Consciou s reason ’ an d ‘ intentionality ’ becom e th e tool s on e might equate with demonstratin g a science . Fro m a psychoanalyti c poin t of view , ‘ consciou s reason ’ an d ‘ intentionality ’ ar e method s of mind at odd s with th e governin g unconscious . Rather , on e ca n onl y creat e a scienc e of th e unconsciou s fro m withi n a logic particular to it .

Posin g th e question – Wha t determine s wha t on e call s ‘ reason ’ or thought? – in his rs t Seminar , give n in 1953 – 1954 , 3 Laca n late r answere d in Le se´minaire , livr e V that somethin g – ‘ a unary trai t – ha s been knotte d to somethin g else ’ a voi d hol e of space . Th e ‘ somethin g else ’ tha t resembles th e spoke n wor d tha t discours e can unknot, 4 is concrete , lik e Dora ’s father ’ s ciga r smoke . Thi s smok e wa s encapsulate d in Dora ’s memor y because it wa s linke d to somethin g stable , somethin g tha t ‘ resemble s th e spoke n word ’ . Bu t wha t resemble s th e spoke n wor d withou t being it ? In Lacania n parlance , it is th e linkag e of image s (th e imaginary) to word s (th e symbolic ) an d to the real of a Úec t tha t he call s a sinthome . It sublimates meaning int o a kno t mad e up of it s ow n parts ‘ imaginary, symbolic , rea l an d th e kno t itself, whil e it is th e objec t a -cause-of-desir e tha t thes e fou r ‘ orders ’ encircle . Thus , th e ‘ somethin g else ’ knotte d to somethin g tha t resembles a word is the sinthome , mad e of maste r signi er s (S1) tha t Laca n call s meaning constellation s compose d of absolute identi cator y unary traits . Thes e are, in turn , mad e up of th e images, th e language an d th e inscription s of th e oral , anal , invocator y an d scopi c drive s on th e rea l of esh . Word s or object s remembered , recalle d or calle d back int o memor y – ar e th e object s on e desire s precisel y because the y harke n back to object s on e rs t lost , desired , an d of whic h on e retains a concret e unary trace .

On e cam e to kno w th e rs t object s tha t caus e desire , no t because the y posses s an y originary essenc e suc h as materna l natural goodnes s – comin g fro m som e privileged past momen t tha t on e ca n retrieve in th e present. The y do retai n th e trac e of th e

parallax ISSN 1353-464 5 print / ISSN 1460-700 X onlin e Ñ 200 0 Taylo r & Franci s Ltd http:// www.tandf.co.uk /journals

parallax

63

essenc e of jouissance . An d it is thi s essenc e tha t xe s precise traits of th e rea l – rs t

lai d dow n in th e past – in th e outsid e worl d of th e Othe r an d other s wh o resemble

them . Resemblance , fo r Lacan , belong s to metonymy , to desire . Thes e ‘ objects ’ tha t resemble somethin g lik e a parole , whic h is no t one , ar e semblances or masks . Mad e up of unary traits , identi cator y pieces of narcissism , an d th e libido an d traumata tha t

compos e th e real , thes e ‘ objects ’ functio n lik e a signpos t tha t say s ‘ that’ s it ’, ‘ that’ s da s Din g an sic h’ . In a sense , th e decompose d mas k woul d revea l a puzzl e of pieces rs t treasured at th e momen t of los s an d th e originary e Úor t of re nding. The y becom e known , in memory , then , as pieces of th e metonymi c jouissanc e (essence ) of

a ‘ perso n behind ’ wh o seek s th e particular details of he r or his pleasur e in a precise

unary trace ; no t in a whol e othe r or eve n in whol e objects . Perhap s someon e desires,

beyon d all reason , a ne w ca r of a certai n type . Furthe r details woul d revea l tha t tha t

is because thi s girl ’ s father sol d tha t typ e of ca r in his business . Th e desire d ca r is a

metonym y of an Oedipal nostalgia . Unar y (non-dialectical ) traits bind concret e images, words , an d a Úect s to th e voi d plac e of hole s in thought tha t we continuall y ll by desire d object s in everyda y lif e an d in dreams. 5

In thi s essay , I shal l wor k with th e thesi s tha t dream s ar e valuable because the y sen d message s to th e Othe r an d to eg o ideal other s abou t wha t is lackin g in th e dreamer ’ s

desire . In thi s sense , dream s ar e tautological , because th e messag e sen t is, really , to

th e dreamer him or herself . Thus , whe n Freu d remark s tha t th e censo r is absent in

dreams, thi s woul d be equivalent to sayin g tha t th e symboli c orde r of th e secondary -

proces s signi er is missing . Or th e imaginary father , acting as visibl e agent of th e superego, is missing . Neithe r th e well-mad e narrative , no r th e supervising super -

eg o privileged in everyda y life , give s orde r to th e dream . Rather th e imaginary

orders th e dream , functionin g as a virtua l real , giving th e drea m it s characte r

of true-seemingness , or semblance .

Laca n maintained in Le se´minaire , livr e V tha t th e distance tha t separates th e spoke n

word ( parole ) – whic h is lle d up by th e being of th e subject fro m th e empt y discours e whic h buzze s around huma n acts , fro m th e ‘ something ’ of unconsciou s meaning , help s to explai n th e motiv e of dream s as tha t of unconsciou s desire . In othe r words , desire take s on th e clothe s pr o Úered by th e imaginary. Thus , Lacan ’ s reinterpretation of Freud ’ s drea m theory , is a departure fro m Freud ’ s ide a of dream s as wis h ful llment . Unconsciou s desire , fo r Lacan , is no t a wish . Unconsciou s desire mean s tha t th e unconsciou s is radically absent fro m a consciou s assessmen t of meaning , although it is presen t as th e mysteriou s motivato r of intention s an d acts . And , as a motivator , it work s accordin g to th e though t processe s typica l of an unconsciou s primary-process arrangemen t of thought, rather tha n tha t of secondary-proces s gramma r or othe r kind s of motivator s suc h as biolog y or instinctua l causality. To

th e degre e tha t huma n act s especially dream s – ar e seemingl y irrational, Laca n call s

the m impenetrable by th e imagination of motive s whic h ar e irrationa l insofa r as the y

ar e onl y rationalized in th e egoisti c syste m of misrecognition . ‘ Thes e [missed ] acts ,

thes e [forgotten ] word s revea l a trut h fro m behind . Within wha t we cal l fre e associations , drea m images, symptoms , a wor d bearing th e trut h is revealed . If Freud ’ s

discover y ha s an y meaning , it is tha t trut h grabs erro r by th e scr u Ú of th e nec k in

th e mistake’ . 6 If , however , on e wer e to recogniz e unconsciou s motive s fo r wha t the y

Ragland

64

are, the y woul d no longe r be unconscious . No r woul d th e eg o hid e th e unconscious , whil e acting as a consciou s agency of misrecognition , repressio n an d denial.

Thus , we hav e th e rs t clu e to Lacan ’ s reinterpretation of Freud ’ s theor y of dreams. The y enunciat e a represse d desire . Th e wishe s of consciou s lif e ar e no t thos e tha t emanate fro m th e subject of th e unconscious , excep t insofa r as thes e disguise a wis h tha t concern s desire . Laca n emphasized th e fact tha t Freu d rarely use d th e Germa n wor d fo r ‘ desire ’ – Begierde - in his work . Th e subject of th e drea m wis h der Wunsch is no t th e libidinally desirin g subject whos e othe r face in language is tha t of lac k tha t lie s betwee n wantin g an d having . Such lac k is no t negotiated by simply obtaining th e object s on e wants , then , being satis ed . Desire , rather , is a structura l lack-in - being tha t is negotiated alon g th e imaginary pat h of eg o identi cation s an d mirror - stag e dual specularities we cal l transferenc e relations . Th e drea m is distorted , no t onl y because desire is no t sanctione d by th e supereg o of public, consciou s life , bu t als o because th e rea l of sexualit y an d los s ar e furthe r covere d ove r in th e dream . It is distorte d twic e over . Concret e represse d desire s spea k in dream s an d th e unbearable rea l trie s to give voic e to it s ow n impasse s an d losses , thu s seekin g a kin d of ‘ cure’ in th e unconsciou s spac e of th e dream . Th e drea m bears th e freight of thes e e Úort s at dealing with wounde d narcissism . No wonde r we hav e to slee p to dream . Secondary-proces s use s of language ar e a kin d of obsessiona l battery of denials an d refusals of th e necessit y of workin g with th e rea l deprivations an d imaginary frustrations whos e hom e is th e dream .

Bu t th e drea m doe s no t ente r consciousnes s as a direct rendering of lack s an d losses . Rather , it is no t onl y transforme d by condensatio n an d displacemen t – tha t is, maske d – an d furthe r distorte d in th e rememberin g an d recountin g of it . Lacan ’ s remark s on dream s sho w the m as bot h dialectica l amon g parts of th e subject and , at th e sam e time , one-dimensional . Lafon t writes :

Topolog y formalize s th e operations whic h ar e at wor k an d which ,

starting with th e hol e an d it s edge, construc t reality. In thi s sens e Laca n coul d sa y tha t ‘ it is structure’ . ‘ [R.S.I. , unedite d seminar

(1974 – 1975) ] [ If th e hole , @, is know n as th e Lacania n dimension

]

pa r excellence , topolog y als o presents an irreducibly ne w elemen t [

]

“ one ” dimension [ which ] su Ý ce s to make th e wor d consist . [

]

Th e wor d is pronounce d in “ on e dimension ” , in rea l time [ word , withou t thickness , no r surface’ . 7

] th e

At th e leve l of th e image , th e drea m wor d resemble s a layering of absolute unary strokes , mor e lik e a painting tha n a story . Whe n retol d in waking life , th e dreamer display s an internal debate amon g variou s parts of he r ow n psyche , embellishing th e dialectica l par t of th e drea m in a narrative mode , thereb y revealin g th e tensio n emitte d fro m th e dreamer ’ s Idea l eg o formatio n vis- a` -vi s eg o ideal imaginary other s sh e want s to satisfy in th e Other . In he r e Úor t to interpret th e dream ’ s opaque meaning s – betwee n desire s an d beliefs tha t constitut e th e Idea l eg o symboli c formatio n – it s transferentia l intentio n toward s th e other / Othe r make s it , perforce , dialectical . No t onl y is th e drea m a messag e designate d to an d fo r a speci c other , it is dream t withi n a speci c signifyin g contex t of an historica l loca l Other . Moreover ,

parallax

65

le t us propos e tha t we remembe r dreams, no t onl y because the y bespeak a deep

trauma, as wel l as th e unanswere d desire s of a day ’s residue . Dream s enounc e a represse d lac k stemmin g fro m th e dreamer ’ s desire . For example , an America n woman , having just move d to German y wher e sh e wa s to liv e fo r a year , remembere d

on e wor d an d on e image of a dream : (Hitler’ s) ‘ Lebensraum ’ wa s ‘ spoken ’ in he r drea m alongsid e a hug e living roo m sofa . In Lacania n teaching , an y interpretation is an e Úor t to interpret one ’ s ow n fundamental (unconscious ) fantasies. Th e drea m illustrate d th e woman ’ s politica l discomfor t at spendin g time in German y – a messag e fro m th e rea l – as wel l as he r egoisti c imaginary concer n with th e ugly sof a in th e Gastehause living room . In everyda y life , suc h politica l concern s wer e dismisse d by

th e woman , as the y wer e by othe r foreig n scholar s living in Germany . Such politics

belonged to history , th e past , an d certainl y ha d nothin g to do with curren t fear s or

opinions.

Th e symboli c orde r use s language to deny th e real , thereb y creating a socia l foru m

of ideal s an d ideal goodwill . In dreams, symboli c orde r taboo s an d convention s drop ou t an d th e rea l of memor y – suc h as memorie s of Worl d War II – is state d throug h

a duality of image / language. Th e overlay s of da y residu e plac e an ugly sof a at th e

surface of th e drea m alongsid e a litera l translatio n of ‘ livin g room ’ . Th e image plu s

th e wor d joi n th e imaginary to th e symboli c to state th e trul y maske d par t of th e

dream : th e rea l of politics an d death .

Laca n rea d Freud ’ s wor k on drea m wishe s as coverin g ove r an ‘ I want ’ an d an ‘ I don ’ t (can ’ t) have ’ tha t constitut e a language of meaning , rather tha n th e meaning s Freu d nall y attributed to a pleasure-seekin g biologica l id in con ic t with an y prohibition to it s satisfactions . In uence d by moder n logic an d mathematics , Laca n propose d tha t unconsciou s desire s ente r consciousnes s with all th e fuzzines s of th e numbe r tw o in mathematics . Tw o is an irrationa l numbe r – typica l of th e mirror - stag e confusio n wher e tw o ar e take n to be on e – precisel y because it is mad e up of

th e negativ e feature s of th e numbers zer o an d one , th e fraction s on e call s rea l or

negativ e numbers , and , as such , ha s no distance fro m it s ow n positive existenc e betwee n th e numbe r on e of clarity an d th e numbe r thre e of distance an d perspective . In mathematics an d in Lacania n logic , tw o denote s a mixtur e whic h canno t be

unraveled . In th e mirro r stag e experience , other s give parts of thei r identities to an infant to construc t it s Idea l ego . As such , th e Idea l eg o is bot h symboli c – mad e of

th e Othe r – an d imaginary – mad e of others . Th e twones s of th e imaginary axi s ha s

no obviou s beginnin g an d en d excep t in th e singula r traits tha t indicat e som e xation , som e mark of a unary trait, som e sig n tha t th e ‘ on e dimension ’ of th e rea l wa s lai d dow n by th e spoke n wor d ( parole ). Th e singula r element s hav e objectiv e qualities tha t escap e th e opaque mirro r moras s of twones s tha t characterize s th e eg o as it combine s th e eg o ideal an d Idea l eg o with closure-lik e propertie s of Hegel’ s synthesis . 8

Hegel’ s Auf hebung , his sublation or synthesi s is fuzz y because it contain s mixe d propertie s fro m tw o sets : th e thesi s an d th e antithesis . Freu d call s suc h a lac k of clarity , mad e manifest in dreams, unconsciou s example s of condensation s an d displacements . Laca n call s thi s thir d categor y th e nonsens e wher e th e trut h of th e unconsciou s lies . We have , he says , thereb y advancing a thir d categor y of logica l trut h functio n mad e up of mixe d unlike things , a categor y of non-sens e whos e

Ragland

66

meaning is tha t of th e underside of tw o clea r meaning system s – th e ‘ I think ’ of th e symboli c orde r an d th e ‘ I am ’ of th e imaginary order. Such residu e become s ‘ negatively veri able data’ in empirica l studies ; fodde r fo r th e trash ca n in ‘ science ’ laboratories; ‘ th e explanator y gap’ in cognitiv e sciences ; an d th e ‘ gree n shee p sleeping furiously’ tha t linguists suc h as Noa m Chomsk y rejects . On e might go so fa r as to sa y tha t suc h meaning is at hom e onl y in thre e kind s of contexts : Surrealist poetr y whic h sough t to combin e th e mos t unlike image s fo r th e purpose s of creating a ne w realit y – a Sur-reality; th e language of dreams; th e fre e association s typica l of th e analyst ’ s couch . Thi s categor y of ne w meaning – of non-sens e – is precisel y wha t Freu d an d Laca n sough t to understan d in th e analytic setting , rather tha n to dismiss as meaningless . Freu d recognize d tha t som e trut h wa s transforme d an d distorte d there . Laca n gave th e logic an d law s of suc h meaning as unconsciou s truth – metaphor as condensation , whic h function s by substitution, an d metonym y as displacement, whic h function s by magnifying meaning via drive constellation s tha t evolv e around th e object s tha t rs t cause d desire .

Moreover , Laca n describe d unconscious , nonsensica l meaning as th e trut h of th e rea l tha t is distorte d by th e illusion s an d chimera s of th e ego . Indeed , th e eg o ideal s tha t spea k mos t loudly in th e da y residu e of manifest drea m conten t cove r ove r th e Idea l eg o unconsciou s formation . Drea m enigmat a an d eg o perplexit y ar e rs t cousins , then , bot h being mad e up of th e ‘ objects ’ in-betwee n alienated though t an d separation fro m primordial objects-cause-of-des ire . As such , thi s is a categor y of wandering knowledg e betwee n th e thinkin g an d th e living being , a nonsensica l knowledg e tha t reside s at th e poin t of overla p betwee n tw o ensembles . Al l th e same , suc h knowledg e ca n be graphe d topologicall y as th e contradictor y underside of th e Moebiu s ban d whic h occult s dual (surface ) propertie s at it s poin t of intersection : 8. 9

Mor e precisely , ho w do th e di Úerence s betwee n th e Idea l eg o an d th e eg o ideal functio n in th e drea m in a dialectica l way ? Lacan ’ s answe r to thi s is important , fo r it take s up th e fact tha t in 191 5 Freu d repudiated his ow n theor y of dream s alon g lines rs t develope d in 190 0 in Chapter 7, ‘ Th e Psycholog y of th e Drea m Process ’ . 1 0 Freu d wrot e there : ‘ Wha t we remembe r of a drea m an d wha t we exercis e ou r interpretative arts upon ha s been mutilate d by th e untrustworthines s of ou r memory . Secondly , ther e is ever y reaso n to suspec t tha t ou r memor y of dream s is no t onl y fragmentar y bu t positively inaccurate an d falsi ed ’ . 11 In On Narcissism : An Introductio n (1914), 1 2 and in Beyond the Pleasure Principl e (1920), 1 3 Freu d repudiated his 190 0 drea m theor y alon g with his presentation of a ne w theor y of th e ego . In ‘ On Narcissism ’ , th e eg o is a forc e in con ic t with th e libido. In Beyond the Pleasure Principl e (1920), the eg o is reduce d to th e projectio n of a surface, to th e body , in othe r words . In Le se´minaire : livr e V (1957 – 195 8): Le s formations de l’ inconscien t , Laca n develop s a nascen t distinctio n Freu d mad e in Grou p Psychology an d the Analysis of the Eg o (1921) 1 4 between th e eg o ideal an d th e Idea l ego , eg o ideal s describin g one ’ s relation s with one ’ s peer s an d th e Idea l eg o pertaining to th e attributes a bod y of people attribute to a leader.

In Le se´minaire , livr e V , Laca n describe s th e Othe r as th e se t of spoke n word s tha t ar e reduced , at th e limit, to th e imaginary other , th e eg o ideal . Th e Other , in thi s sense , become s a supplemental eg o of th e symbolic , by wa y of th e imaginary. 1 5 When a dialogue betwee n th e othe r an d it s imaginary o Úshoot , one ’ s counterpart, break s

parallax

67

down , an y perso n encounter s th e hol e of th e rea l (ø ), whethe r it come s fro m th e frustration of being misunderstood , fro m ba d dreams, fro m anxiety, or fro m som e othe r source . Th e Other , Laca n teaches , – no t th e Idea l eg o – function s as th e guarantee of trut h an d th e sea t of th e wor d tha t found s thi s truth, whil e th e eg o ideal is th e specular othe r or alter-eg o of one ’ s secre t self-image. 16 Bu t wha t join s the m in th e dialecti c of thought, or in th e dream , fo r tha t matter ? Laca n say s tha t

the y ar e joine d by th e objec t th e Othe r desires, by wha t th e othe r lack s to ful ll it

– the object a – th e primordially los t objec t tha t ca n onl y eve r be refoun d in substitute

forms . Thus , th e objec t reside s on th e sid e of metonymy , at th e plac e of th e Other ’ s evanescen t desire , whil e th e (extra ) sens e of a give n meaning dwells withi n th e substitutive structur e of metaphor . Laca n late r call s suc h meaning ‘ unconscious ’ an d locate s it in th e ga p betwee n th e imaginary an d th e symboli c (- Q ). 17

By th e en d of his secon d seminar, 1 8 Laca n ha s characterize d th e eg o as an encruste d sor e of identi cation s built upon th e es h of th e biologica l body , openin g up tha t physica l bod y to th e meaning s of a give n (Other ) symboli c order, excep t in autis m which , by de nition , is a refusa l to participate in th e Othe r at all . 19 The ego, as Laca n portrays it in Seminar V is ‘ th e prematuration of birth ’ ove r th e ‘ natural ’ being - for-deat h characteristi c of th e bod y unaware of itsel f as a bod y of thought. 20 The logic of th e unconsciou s signifyin g chai n whic h motivate s consciou s actions , as wel l as dreams, start s with fou r comple x structures of tw o couples , Laca n says , eac h of whic h relate s with th e other , bot h by symmetr y an d dissymetry , as wel l as by being lik e an d unlike . Thes e fou r signi er s – [ abde ] a,b,c,d – eac h ha s th e propert y of being analyzable in functio n of th e thre e others . Laca n goe s on to explai n tha t th e imaginary Othe r is built on to p of th e symboli c Othe r as a supplement , a secondar y

structure, di Úeren t fro m th e rst . In othe r words , th e Othe r is inherentl y duplicitous. It is occulte d by an eg o tha t borrow s language fro m it , an eg o whic h lives by a

di Úeren t logic tha n doe s language. Thi s alon e coul d de ne th e di Úerenc e betwee n

manifest an d latent drea m content , manifest belongin g to th e imaginary real m of

th e ego , an d latent belongin g to th e symboli c real m of th e verba l signifyin g chain .

Added to th e imaginary an d symbolic , th e rea l of traum a make s knot s of radically represse d materia l withi n th e symboli c an d imaginary. We ca n se e wh y Laca n spok e of a lac k in th e Other , a lac k dream s will try to ‘ speak’ fo r a give n subject.

Thi s secon d structur e – th e imaginary eg o of 1957 – 195 8 – whil e constructe d by th e Other , is reduce d to th e other , th e specular othe r of narcissisti c identi cation , as

oppose d to th e symboli c worl d of word s an d convention s tha t lac k th e living quality,

th e beingness of th e othe r as eg o ideal . Th e psychoti c is th e single subject wh o speaks

fro m th e pur e symbolic , thu s accountin g fo r th e lifelessnes s of his or he r speech , fo r

th e mechanica l natur e of his or he r words . Such subjects lac k th e false layer of

imaginary identi cation s tha t separates mos t subjects fro m th e rea l of thei r esh , protectin g the m fro m an encounte r with th e angst of a voi d plac e in being an d thought. Ferdinan d de Saussur e ha s been honoure d fo r discoverin g th e linguistic sig n (S / s) tha t Lacan , in turn , subverts, making th e ba r betwee n th e signi er (a s tha t whic h represents a subject fo r anothe r signi er ) an d th e signi ed (thos e xation s create d by maste r signi ers ) a limi t point. Insofa r as th e signi er create s th e signi ed , no t th e reverse , 2 1 Sigmund Freu d will be subverted as wel l in tha t th e manifest conten t of imaginary identi cation s – th e Othe r – will structur e th e latent content .

Ragland

68

Eve n thoug h th e latent is als o constructed , it doe s no t deriv e fro m Kleinia n pre- birth fantasies or fro m Freudian instinctua l mechanis m of th e organism qu a organism . Rather , it manifest s th e structuration of unconsciou s position s tha t intertwine th e wishe s of desire with th e lack s of th e subject, th e libido of th e fantasy with th e language tha t inscribe s th e bod y surface by signi ers . Thus , th e imaginary bod y is create d as a dual space-writte n upon – whic h project s itsel f as ego , a would-b e continuit y of being an d esh . Yet, eve n thoug h th e signi er create s th e signi ed , each , nonetheless , intersect s with th e othe r as separat e meaning system s tha t touc h

on e anothe r an d the n oa t apart in non-linea r referentialities whos e meaning is lost . Th e tw o kind s of meaning at issu e ar e joined , all th e same , by th e plasti c displaceability of metonym y (signi ed evocation s of object s tha t cause d desire in th e rs t place) , an d th e substitutability of metaphor whic h ca n take an y objec t to make

a

ne w meaning . Insofa r as signi er s an d signi ed s eac h wor k by di Úeren t logic s –

th

e signi ed by xation s of desire an d repetitions, th e signi er by changin g an d

movin g via di Úerentia l reference s tha t represen t a subject fo r anothe r subject, eve n

if by microcosmi c increment s – th e contingent , associativ e possibilities of th e primary

proces s in dream s mean s tha t eac h person ’ s experienc e of words , images, or a Úects will be singular.

On e wonders , then , just ho w th e cloth e of th e signifyin g syste m attaches itsel f to th e cloth e of th e syste m of signi eds ? Anchorin g points is an inadequate answe r because

it give s no theor y as to wh y or how . It merel y a Ý rm s tha t th e disparate system s

touc h at certai n points wher e a signi ed anchor s a se t of signi ers . On e must go to

th e categories of th e real , imaginary an d symboli c fo r an answe r to thi s question .

Th e signi er – th e symboli c – work s by th e di Úerentia l logic of language, whil e th e signi ed – th e imaginary – work s by th e specular logic of mirror-stag e mimesi s an d identi cation . Th e rea l refers to an intangible componen t whic h is th e mother ’ s

desire in it s unconsciou s referenc e to a father ’ s name signi er tha t mark s separation,

di Úerenc e an d law ; a thir d ter m signi er dividing th e symbiosi s of tw o though t to be

one . And , paradoxically , th e father ’ s name signi er function s retrospectivel y to produce th e e Úect of di Úerenc e tha t allow s an infant to coun t to tw o via th e los s occasione d by th e disjoinin g of th e imaginary On e of th e mothe r an d infant dya d tha t th e father signi er ’ s implici t ‘ no ’ to Onenes s causes .

Lacan ’ s ‘ linguistic’ answe r woul d pu t thi s argument in thes e terms . Metonym y ha s

th e structur e of a minu s withi n th e signifyin g chai n – S ( Õ ) s – whil e metaphor adds

somethin g to th e chai n – S ( 1 ) s. Metonym y subtracts a signi er tha t concern s desire , an d metaphor adds a ne w on e tha t ha d no t previously been linke d to th e

chai n by identit y to an elemen t in it before . Th e newnes s tha t results fro m addition create s th e surpris e of suddenl y seein g th e mechanica l encruste d on th e living (o r

th e living liberated fro m th e mechanica l [Bergson]) , thereb y producing th e pleasur e

of invention . Metonym y ha s th e opposite e Úect , referrin g back to losses , rs t losses ,

an d thu s to th e bitterswee t pains of nostalgi a tha t aris e in referenc e to remembrance of thing s past .

Th e drea m function s as a dialectica l relation betwee n th e Idea l eg o seekin g it s los t object(s ) an d th e eg o ideal promisin g to suppl y them , whil e th e functiona l language of such e Úort s is th e coordinatio n of metaphor with metonym y whic h Freu d call s th e

parallax

69

interpla y of condensatio n with displacement. In drea m work , metaphor an d displacemen t ar e privileged. Indeed , ther e is no di Úerenc e betwee n th e wa y the y wor k in dream s an d in consciou s discourse , Laca n argues, excep t th e conditio n Freu d pointe d out : Ruchsich t au f Darstellbarke t (‘ consideratio n of th e mean s of representation’ ). Ther e is, in othe r words , a limitatio n operating withi n th e syste m of writing , a limitatio n whic h is no t a gurative semiology . Th e drea m is mor e lik e a parlou r gam e in whic h on e is supposed to ge t people to guess wha t th e charade s mean . Dream s ar e performe d in ‘ dimensio n one ’ , whil e the y ar e recounte d in ‘ dimensio n

two ’ . Tha t th e drea m itsel f use s speec h make s no di Úerenc e since , fo r th e unconscious ,

it is onl y on e amon g severa l element s of representatio n . Th e poin t is tha t representation,

neithe r in charade s no r in dreams, doe s no t o Úer logica l articulations of causality, contradictio n or hypothesis , tha t woul d prov e the y ar e a for m of writin g instea d of

a for m of mime . Dream s do no t wor k by suc h a logic , but , rather , follo w th e law s

of th e signi er : ‘ Fathe r don ’ t yo u se e I’ m burning?’ mean s quite literall y tha t th e father ha d anticipated his child ’ s bandaged body ’ s catchin g on re whe n he lef t th e roo m under th e car e of an ol d watchma n in orde r to ge t som e slee p himself . He ha d obviousl y note d tha t th e candle wa s burning to th e en d an d susceptible of fallin g over . An d he canno t hav e misse d tha t th e olde r ma n wa s as tire d as he . Thi s information – manifest or da y residu e drea m materia l – couple d with th e soun d of

th e candlestic k actually overturnin g produce d his nightmare of terror ; reproac h an d

guilt inducemen t on th e par t of his son . 22 Th e signi er her e is th e candlestic k whic h represente d th e potentia l of th e boy ’ s body ’ s catchin g on re , referrin g itsel f to anothe r signi er : th e ol d ma n wh o wa s as sleep y as th e father fro m thei r lon g wak e besid e th e dea d body .

Freu d calle d th e drea m a rebus , a statemen t of unconsciou s thoughts tha t is lik e hieroglyphic s or a gurative painting. Laca n argued in Le se´minaire , livr e XII I (1965 – 196 6): L’ objet de la psychanalyse tha t earl y hieroglyphic s in cav e paintings lea d back to th e logica l matri x of th e signi er . 23 Freu d coul d neve r exi t fro m th e imaginary impasse s of his ow n discovery , Laca n argued, because he neve r understoo d tha t ‘ fre e association ’ function s by th e law s of metaphor an d metonymy , making th e ‘ psychical ’ an e Úec t of th e unconsciou s on th e somatic . In othe r words , th e secondar y proces s or consciou s par t of language – metaphor – is wis h ful llment , daydreams, da y residue , whil e fantasies, fo r Lacan , ar e no t daydreams or da y wishes . Fantasie s ar e unconsciou s organization s of one ’ s subjectivization of reality. Whil e Freu d spok e of wis h ful llment , Laca n translated thi s as unconsciou s though t . Whe n fundamental fantasy element s appear in consciou s thought, be it as manifest drea m though t or as a literary text , thes e element s will follo w th e law s of th e signi er tha t organize s language around desire . Yet, it is di Ý cul t to grasp tha t th e signi er is constitutive . Moreover , Laca n argues tha t Freud ’ s geniu s wa s so farsighte d tha t he assigned it formall y an d precisel y to th e unconscious . Laca n goe s as fa r as proposin g tha t Th e Interpretation of Dream s (1900 ) mad e it possible fo r forma l linguistics to develop .

Bu t Freud ’ s argument s wer e no t su Ý cien t to sho w th e formativ e powe r of th e signi er ,

a proble m linguists neve r solved . Secondly , eve n thoug h analyst s hav e been fascinated

by unconsciou s meanings, it wa s th e imaginary dialecti c in the m tha t intereste d the m

– no t ho w the y cam e to be in th e rs t place. At th e leve l of scienti c development , Laca n argues tha t Freud ’ s discoverie s maintained tha t th e unconsciou s leave s non e

Ragland

70

of ou r action s outsid e itself. If anyon e take s dream s seriousl y today, or in classica l drea m interpretation, the y sca n the m fo r th e form s in whic h the y appear, thinkin g thereb y to se e a regressio n an d remodeling of th e objec t relation , wha t supposedl y give s a characte r typ e to someone . Bu t Lacan ’ s return to Freu d is no t to th e Freu d

wh o ha s been develope d in thi s direction. Rather , his ‘ return ’ is to Freud ’ s tex t an d

to th e trop e of metaphor whic h Laca n writes as : functio n (o f th e Subject) I (maginary)

s

horizontal) . An d th e f unctio n (S ’ ) S 5 S ( 1 ) s. Metapho r depends upon th e vertical ,

S

th e signi ed , metonymy : f unctio n (S

bar ( Õ ) in its constitutive valu e fo r th e emergenc e of meaning . Th e signi er must pass

) 5 s. The ( 1 ) mean s a crossin g of th e

S’

int o th e signi ed , in othe r words , in orde r tha t meaning be created .

Wha t is constitute d as th e meaning of th e unconsciou s subject of desire is no longe r

a transcendenta l subject with his or he r existentia l a Ý rmation of cogit o ergo su m.

Rather , philosoph y an d scienc e collud e to dismiss th e subject of th e unconscious , whic h is Freud ’ s Copernica n revolution : ‘ Is th e plac e tha t I occup y as th e subject of

a signi er concentri c or excentric , in relation to th e plac e I occup y as subject of th e

signi ed ? – tha t is th e question . It is no t a question of knowin g whethe r I spea k of mysel f in a wa y tha t conform s to wha t I am , bu t rather of knowin g whethe r I am

th e sam e as tha t of whic h I speak’ . 24 ‘ I thin k wher e I am not , therefor e I am wher e

I do no t think ’ . 2 5 Lacan ’ s translatio n of th e Freudian cogito explain s th e proble m in

th e ‘ Semina r on “ Th e Purloine d Lette r ” ’ . 26 Everyone , excep t Dupin, think s in th e

real m of th e visibl e wher e th e phalli c vei l of th e image reigns supreme , aided by it s crutch , th e signi er . Betwee n th e enigmatic signi er of th e rs t sexua l traum a – assuming di Úerenc e as sexua l di Úerenc e – an d th e ter m substituted fo r it in an actua l signifyin g chain , a spar k passes tha t xe s th e sympto m as ‘ a metaphor in whic h es h or functio n is take n as a signifyin g element ’ . 2 7

So th e tru e drea m dialecti c is no t betwee n drea m gure s extended int o objec t relation s (‘ Father, don ’ t yo u se e I’ m burning?’ ) – th e father wishin g to exten d his son ’ s ow n life . Th e dialecti c is a debate betwee n desire an d jouissanc e withi n th e dreamer ’ s ow n psych e – his or he r being as a subject. In actuality , th e burning child ’ s father wanted to sta y with his so n an d he als o wanted to sleep . Knowin g his so n wa s

dead, he opted to sleep . Jouissanc e wo n ou t ove r desire . Bu t he paid fo r thi s in delity

to his son ’ s corpse , causin g his so n to su Úer th e furthe r indignity of having his bod y

catc h on re , thu s beginnin g th e proces s of decompositio n eve n before th e grave

an d foreshortenin g th e time th e father coul d sta y with eve n som e imaginary

semblanc e of his son . Th e father ’ s guilt at his ow n carelessnes s awok e him . Th e dialecti c her e is betwee n metaphor (a s symptom ) – th e father substitutes slee p fo r his vigi l besid e his so n – an d metonym y (desir e fo r somethin g else ) – in thi s case , sleep .

In th e drea m of th e witt y butcher’ s wife , th e woma n dream s of th e desire fo r som e smoke d salmon , th e delicacy he r friend love s passionately . Th e butcher’ s wife substitutes he r friend ’ s favorite foo d fo r he r preferred delight , caviar . Lacan ’ s poin t

is tha t th e witt y butcher’ s wife ’s drea m is no t abou t wantin g caviar , bu t abou t wantin g

salmon . And , eve n then , th e drea m is no t abou t wantin g salmon , bu t abou t desire :

parallax

71

th e witt y butcher’ s wife want s wha t sh e doe s no t hav e – to be thi n lik e he r friend . In consciou s lif e thi s is no t he r desire . Bu t it is th e desire of he r unconscious , a par t of he r unconsciou s fantasy world . 28 Bot h paradigmatic dream s go back to th e rea l of castratio n insofa r as one ’ s being is as a being-for-the-gaze, a wis h to liv e beyon d castration , a wis h to be whol e an d beautiful in th e imaginary.

Onc e th e unconsciou s ca n no longe r be though t of as biologica l or instinctual, no r ca n th e eg o be though t of as an agency of mediation, health , or adaptation. Rather , th e unconsciou s is structured lik e a language. Thi s means , no t onl y tha t th e unconsciou s work s by th e law s of metaphor an d metonymy , bu t tha t a signi er will represen t a ‘ subject’ fo r anothe r signi er , although th e subject ma y itsel f be a lac k or ga p in th e consciou s signifyin g chai n of meaning . Th e subject, then , is an enigma, an unconsciou s ‘ I don ’ t know ’ (th e Unbewusste ). If Laca n ha d stoppe d there , the n he coul d hav e mad e no claim s to advancing beyon d phenomenolog y or hermeneutics . Th e ‘ I don ’ t know ’ woul d be an empt y cipher awaiting th e Rezeptio n Geschicte of a give n reader’ s intersubjective response . Bu t Laca n attributed a substantivity to thi s concret e lac k in th e signifyin g chai n of meaning , a lac k whic h itsel f ha s th e structur e of th e ( primary-process ) displaced metonymization s of desire . Thes e displacements , no t onl y translat e th e objec t a , an d it s primitive or residual unary traits , it show s th e unary traits as disconnecte d fro m th e primordial object s tha t rs t cause d desire – th e breast , th e faeces , th e urinary ow , th e imaginary phallus, th e phoneme , th e voice , th e gaze an d th e nothin g – functionin g as losse s tha t fad e int o th e voi d of a cut , or th e rea l of angst . 2 9 Thus , an y metonym y ha s as it s task th e necessit y of goin g toward s th e secondary-proces s substitutions of metaphor , substitutions that , quite literally, ll th e ga p – tha t is th e subject lac k of fullnes s or presenc e withi n th e signifyin g chai n – with di Úeren t kind s of enjoymen t an d with varyin g desire d objects .

Th e eg o is th e unwitting narcissisti c too l of consciou s language, as wel l as th e agent tha t represse s unconsciou s desire an d imaginary fantasy. Th e eg o is als o so attached to it s secondary-proces s function s of communicating , informing, an d rememberin g tha t a speake r ma y deny in th e secon d half of a sentenc e wha t he or sh e sai d in th e rs t part, particularly if som e desire or non-idea l picture of ‘ sel f ’ ha s slipped throug h th e ne t of language in th e secon d part. In suc h moments , th e eg o gather s up it s being-for-narcissis m to ensur e tha t language kee p subject division intact. Thus , th e subject of (unconscious ) desire remains trapped withi n narrative or secondar y process , alienated fro m th e truths of his or he r being tha t ar e roote d in desire , fantasy an d jouissance . In thi s psychoanalyti c picture of th e divided subject, bot h th e subject ($ ) an d th e eg o (i[o] ) resid e co-simultaneousl y in consciou s language an d in unconsciou s language.

In Ce qu i fait insign e (1987 – 1988) , Jacques-Alai n Miller reread s Lacan ’ s che vuoi ? graph to sho w tha t th e dreaming Idea l eg o at th e left-han d corne r of th e graph is th e installation of th e Father ’ s Name signi er . 30 Other s hav e argued tha t thi s rs t unconsciou s formation , th e Idea l eg o – thi s bedrock layer of materna l murmurings – come s fro m th e mother ’ s desire , fro m he r lalangue . Miller ’s poin t is tha t th e mother ’ s desire is an imaginary identi catio n with phalli c signi cation , with th e assumption of sexuatio n in term s of di Úerence qua di Úerence . Eve n thoug h it is th e mother , or primary caretaker, wh o construct s th e Idea l eg o in th e rs t thre e year s of life , sh e

Ragland

72

builds he r edi ce around th e plac e th e phallu s is assigned in referenc e to a Father’ s Name . Thus , at th e base of th e dreaming ego , on e nd s th e unconsciou s installation take n fro m th e dialecti c of a lac k in th e Othe r – th e primordial mothe r – in th e language of sexua l di Úerence , having or no t having , being or no r being , whos e thir d ter m referent is th e phalli c signi er tha t mark s th e symboli c orde r of di Úerence over th e rea l orde r of sameness .

No t onl y doe s manifest drea m conten t participate in a cove r up of th e rea l tha t Laca n eventually equated with th e subject’ s trut h – (‘ Th e tru e aim s at th e real ’.) 31 – to invok e th e true , th e rea l an d jouissance , we woul d hav e to bring int o drea m theor y an ide a of th e drea m as itsel f a symptom , eve n a cultura l symptom , of th e fact tha t ‘ th e whol e trut h canno t be told ’ either in representations or in jouissance . 3 2 On e sig n of thi s is tha t jouissanc e is a limi t to th e real , jouissanc e being tha t whic h track s dow n in appearance, in semblance , in whateve r clothe s a sel f image , tha t whic h function s in fantasy to envelop e th e object-cause-of-des ire ; 33 that is, the narcissisti c language of manifest content . 34

Somethin g manifest appears at th e surface of th e drea m an d hide s somethin g latent:

Th e manifest conten t is semblanc e or appearance, whil e th e latent conten t contain s th e rea l or tru e of desire an d jouissance . Still, th e rea l or tru e is no t Th e Truth , as classica l drea m theor y thought, bu t a singula r rendering of th e humbl e trut h of on e person ’ s being – an hontology – tol d in th e particular language of th e partial drive s (oral , anal , invocator y an d scopic) . Accordin g to Miller , suc h a theor y doe s no t t in with th e scienc e of empirica l truths whic h vie w semblance s or appearances as rea l an d true . Rather , semblance s ar e deceptive , eve n thoug h on e pretend s the y ar e true . Laca n looked , rather , to pre-Cartesian poetr y whic h propose d a divorc e betwee n appearance an d reality, rather tha n to th e remarriage of appearance an d realit y ove r whic h Descarte s presided.

Th e Lacania n semblant is no t an artifact, then , no r a piece of empirica l data, no r th e wor k of a biologica l id . Althoug h th e semblant exist s in nature, as th e rainbow, fo r example , or , eve n as th e imaginary phallu s whe n it is take n as th e sig n of reproduction, 35 the real is not in nature. It enter s natur e onl y whe n enoug h semblants ar e organize d an d coordinate d to succee d in prescribing th e impossible (t o say , to do , to think) , as , fo r example , in th e ritual of th e Eucharist . 36 Th e rea l appears, Miller stresses , as a consequenc e of th e impossible . Thu s th e ‘ nature of semblants ’ is tha t of structure: Tw o overlapping void s fram e th e impossibilities tha t make up sublimation, Laca n argues, giving us a formul a fo r Antiqu e tragedy, as wel l as a formul a fo r th e dream : Somethin g is lackin g an d somethin g els e is lost . Betwee n th e tw o is a voi d plac e of th e intersectin g losses , suc h as Antigone ’ s los s of he r brothe r Polynice ’ s lif e an d hono r an d he r simultaneou s los s of Creon ’ s benevolen t gaze .

In tryin g to explai n thi s picture of th e drea m in whic h th e manifest conten t is a semblanc e whil e th e latent conten t lead s to structur e wher e conten t ca n be peeled o Ú grammar, so to speak, unveiling th e real , I shal l recoun t a paradigmatic academic’ s dream . A truck is deliverin g load s of paper, amon g whic h is a xeroxe d cop y of a boun d boo k manuscrip t read y to be sen t ou t to th e publisher. Everythin g is ne excep t fo r on e detail: Someon e – th e printin g pres s or th e delivery perso n – ha s tor n

parallax

73

th e las t page, so th e boo k is no t complete . By taking recours e to fre e association ,

thi s drea m coul d produce volume s of writin g abou t th e kin d of typeface use d in th e MS , ho w tha t associate s with print faces see n in recen t da y residue , wh o th e delivery

perso n wa s in actua l life , as wel l as wha t was delivered , an d so on . On e coul d writ e

a volum e on drea m association s comin g fro m thi s dream ’ s da y residue , as on e ca n on mos t dreams.

Heeding Freud ’ s late r rejectio n of his drea m theory , Laca n argues tha t fre e associatio n always prove s itsel f to be false , imaginary, partaking of ba d in nit y an d of in nit e metonymization . In heeding dreams, Laca n pay s attention , rather , to th e signi er s

state d in th e drea m an d to th e structur e of desire to whic h the y lead , latent in relation to th e manifest content , bu t at th e surface of th e dreamer ’ s desire in life . Althoug h

a signi er lead s to a latent meaning of th e dream , th e truths tol d ther e ar e structura l truths of th e unconscious , whil e th e manifest meaning speaks of eg o dilemma s

occurrin g in th e presen t time of th e dreamer ’ s life . In thi s sense , Lacania n structur e

is always topologica l structure: th e manifest meaning will be on on e sid e of a Moebiu s

strip , face-up , on th e surface, an d th e latent meaning will be lai d ou t in th e sam e wa y on th e othe r sid e of th e Moebiu s band, on th e surface. Tha t whic h is occulte d

is a thir d thin g – th e rea l impossibilities concernin g structur e (concernin g one ’ s desire ,

narcissism , fantasy an d so on ) tha t ar e hidden in th e twis t of th e Moebiu s band. An d

th e rea l open s ont o th e structur e of th e sexua l di Úerenc e whic h will always bea r on

castratio n as th e sourc e of trauma, be it tha t of being weane d fro m a breast / bottl e to a cup , or tha t of assuming sexuatio n in referenc e to a sexua l di Úerenc e whic h is ‘ learned ’ and , therefore , is no t a natural biologica l di Úerence . Th e assumption of sexual di Úerenc e is a drama abou t ‘ having ’ tha t bears on ‘ being ’ in th e language of loss , lack , separation – tha t is, castratio n – fo r bot h sexes . 37

Ther e ar e tw o ne w thing s goin g on in thi s hypothesi s concernin g dreams. Th e drea m

is mad e of image s tha t ar e no t th e simple associativ e picture s Freu d describe d whe n

he depicte d th e manifest drea m as a though t revealed by th e associatio n of an even t with an image or picture of da y residue . Rosemari e Sand argues in ‘ Manifestly Fallacious ’ tha t suc h materia l shoul d no t be discarded by psychologists , however ,

insofa r as da y residu e manifest s eg o concern s abou t daily lif e problems. 38 One cannot disagree with Sand ’ s argument . It ca n onl y prov e itsel f to be true . On e coul d eve n describ e Sand ’ s argument as anothe r guise of classica l drea m interpretation, th e dream ’ s meaning being take n at face value. Freu d argued, rather , tha t th e drea m disguises it s ow n origin . Laca n advanced Freudia n theor y her e by proposin g tha t drea m image s ar e neithe r imaginary images, suc h as th e tedd y bea r tha t so ofte n serve s as a transitiona l object , no r ar e drea m word s to be take n as insignia. Rather ,

th e signi er is th e onl y wa y int o th e rea l of structur e (b e it of fantasy, desire , symptom ,

an d so on) , hidden withi n bot h manifest an d latent contents . In th e drea m abou t th e tor n MS mentione d above, th e signi er tha t kep t being repeate d as a voca l soun d

or , at least , as a ‘ monstration ’ or showin g of certai n words , was , ‘ th e paper is cut ’ . In th e dream , th e delivery ma n gave th e dreamer he r MS , bu t sh e sa w tha t it s las t page wa s tor n int o an d sh e coul d no t remembe r wha t ha d been writte n there . Th e cri de coeur in th e drea m wa s ‘ th e paper is cut ’ , ‘ th e paper is torn ’ . In Lacania n analysis , suc h a drea m doe s no t bea r on th e dreamer ’ s feelings abou t th e MS or abou t th e delivery ma n or an y othe r manifest par t of th e dream . Rather , ‘ th e paper

Ragland

74

is torn ’ lead s to a commonplac e sayin g in th e Englis h language: ‘ a paper cut ’ . We

hav e all ha d paper cut s on ou r ngers or ou r tongues . Th e paper cu t become s a latent statemen t abou t castration ; an enunciation of th e unconsciou s fea r of th e gaze

with it s castrating aur a of judgment int o whic h we ar e all born , mos t particularly whe n a ne w boo k is being sen t o Ú to a publisher.

So powerfu l is th e signi er , tha t by Seminar XX , Laca n state d tha t ‘ th e signi er is th e caus e of jouissance ’ . 39 Th e signi er s tha t presen t a subject of desire fo r anothe r signi er which , in turn , cause s jouissanc e (o r not) , stan d betwee n a natural caus e

an d a cultura l caus e of th e dream . Laca n name s thi s insigni a th e semblant or

appearance. It is a caus e of desire whic h appears as a drea m picture tha t disguises

th e rea l withi n th e latent meaning . Bu t ho w doe s thi s psychoanalyti c turn advance

ou r understanding of drea m theory ? First , th e dream ’ s image s ar e semblants which

Laca n de ne s as thos e illusion s on e take s to be ‘ th e thin g itsel f ’ , bu t whic h actually

functio n lik e masks , to carr y meaning betwee n th e rea l an d th e symbolic . 40 If one consider s th e drea m as mad e manifest in term s of th e structur e of Lacan ’ s che vuoi ? graph, the n th e base meaning woul d be tha t th e subject tha t lack s fullnes s of meaning as a transcenden t subject of essenc e is, rather , th e subject as a lac k of desire an d jouissance . Th e subject ($ ) carrie s th e messag e of lac k to th e Idea l eg o unconsciou s formatio n whic h support s a few xe d maste r signi er s which , in turn , ar e projecte d

int o consciou s meaning . Thes e signi er s ar e message s mean t to verify a paterna l

signi er , or a symboli c Other , via th e respons e of eg o ideal s in th e outsid e world . It

is th e Othe r an d other s tha t hol d th e key s to bestowin g valu e on th e empt y plac e

tha t is th e subject qua lack-of-being.

Th e startling illumination tha t suc h an ide a bring s abou t is tha t we do no t drea m

merel y ou t of ou r ow n thwarted , unful lle d wishes . We drea m fo r others , indeed, fo r

th e Other . Ou r dream s ar e skewe d message s sen t to th e Othe r in an e Úort to nd

lov e an d acceptanc e there . We drea m transferentially . At th e leve l of how thi s occurs ,

Laca n say s dream s functio n as th e enunciation of a represse d desire mad e in a circui t

fro m one ’ s unconsciou s Othe r treasur y of signi er s to th e Othe r of th e outsid e worl d

on e wishe s to please . Tha t is, we woul d no t hav e to drea m abou t ho w to please th e

othe r if th e desire in question wer e no t repressed , unful lled . Perhap s tha t is why , stil l followin g th e che vuoi graph, th e drea m nall y enunciate s a drive in th e to p portio n of th e graph. Startin g ou t as jouissance , th e drea m end s up cuttin g int o th e illusor y consistenc y of imaginary jouissance . Wher e on e await s a completion , on e encounter s a castratio n tha t send s th e dreamer ’ s messag e back to his or he r signifyin g treasur y fro m whic h it emanated . 4 1

It

is important at thi s junctur e to distinguish betwee n desire an d drive . Whil e desire

is

th e desire to be desire d – an d thereb y ll s a lack-in-bein g – drive is th e request

or deman d fo r th e ful llmen t of jouissance . Desire work s dialectically whil e drive belong s to th e imperative mode . Th e drea m emanate s fro m represse d desire to enunciat e it s messag e as a thwarted demand , bot h cause d by th e Othe r an d sen t

back to th e Other . Whil e on e might follo w Freu d to sa y tha t thi s make s th e drea m

a ‘ wish ’ , pur e an d simple – th e lette r returned to it s sender , – Laca n argues tha t whil e Ronal d Fairbairn modelle d his schem e of th e subject on th e dream ,

parallax

75

th e crucia l fact is tha t thi s drea m is recounte d by th e subject. An d experienc e tell s us tha t thi s drea m isn ’t dream t at an y ol d time , in just an y ol d way . No r is it addressed to no one . Th e drea m ha s all th e valu e of a direct declaration of th e subject. Th e image s will onl y take on thei r meaning in a wider discourse , in whic h th e entire histor y of th e subject is integrated. Th e subject is as suc h historicize d fro m on e en d to th e other . Thi s is wher e an analysi s is played ou t – on th e frontie r betwee n th e symboli c an d th e imaginary. Th e subject doe s no t hav e a dual relation with an objec t with whic h he is confronted . Rather , it is in relation to anothe r subject tha t his relation s with an object-othe r acquire thei r meaning , an d by th e sam e toke n thei r value’ . 4 2

No w le t us loo k at Lacan ’ s reading of Freudian drea m theor y in ligh t of wha t Freu d argued abou t dream s lat e in his career , in ‘An Evidentia l Dream ’ (1924) :

The[se ] day ’s residue s [ ar e no t th e drea m itself : the y lac k th e mai n essentia l of a dream . Of themselve s the y ar e no t able to construc t a

drea m [ ]

unconsciou s wis h – as a rule an infantile wish , no w represse d – whic h

ca n com e to expressio n in thi s somati c or psychica l materia l [ an d

ca n thu s suppl y thes e [th e day ’s residues] with a forc e whic h enable s the m to pres s thei r wa y throug h to consciousnes s eve n during th e

suspensio n of though t at night. Th e drea m is in ever y cas e a ful llmen t of this unconsciou s wish , whateve r els e it ma y contai n – warning , re ection , admission, or an y othe r par t of th e ric h conten t of

preconsciou s waking lif e [ It is this unconsciou s wis h tha t give s th e dream-wor k it s peculia r characte r as an unconsciou s revisio n of preconsciou s material. 4 3

]

Th e essentia l facto r in th e constructio n of dream s is an

]

]

Freu d associate s ‘ depth ’ – primary (infantile) proces s – with wis h ful llment . 4 4 These wishe s emanate fro m th e subject of th e unconsciou s to who m Freu d doe s no t attribute thought. Laca n teache s tha t th e subject ca n onl y desire in language, image s an d a Úec t – via thought, tha t is. In ‘ Th e agency of th e letter ’ he hypothesize s tha t suc h though t ‘ function s by joinin g th e desire fo r th e replacemen t of traits of a primordially los t objec t (th e breast , th e feces , th e urinary ow , th e [imaginary] phallus, th e phoneme , th e voice , th e gaze , th e nothing ) to som e objec t retaining on e or mor e propertie s of th e los t one ’ . 45 An infant – an d late r an adult – ca n substitute fo r thes e radically los t object s by th e mechanis m of metonym y whic h work s by recognitio n of simila r propertie s in objects , thereb y enablin g memor y to selec t it s object s of desire in th e outsid e worl d by choosin g th e particular condition s of enjoymen t tha t hav e alread y been constitute d by th e ver y unary traits tha t bind reminiscenc e of an objec t to th e hol e mad e by it s loss . In thi s sense , drea m image s ar e no t unlike unary traits ; the y ar e maste r signi er s – non-dialectica l – of a subject’ s ow n identi cation s (S1s ) an d th e object ( a )’ s propert y of having to be (re)foun d because the y (it) hav e (has ) been lost.

Whil e metonym y select s meaningful details tha t spell ou t desire as emanating fro m on e or mor e of th e eigh t primordial objects-cause-of-des ire tha t fad e away , leavin g

Ragland

76

behind unary traces , thi s woul d mea n tha t primary object s of desire ar e ‘ obscure ’ as objects, as such , being properly evocativ e an d evanescent , recognizabl e onl y in th e precise marking s of th e identi cator y unary traits tha t satisfy one ’ s jouissance . Wher e Roma n Jakobso n foun d contiguity as th e rhetorica l trop e in play in metonymy , Laca n return s to Freu d to emphasize tha t th e displacemen t of a primary objec t is mor e lik e th e displacemen t of th e bodil y orga n with whic h th e objec t of desire is ofte n confuse d by object-relation s analysts . Thes e fading object s – object s whos e rs t constructio n places the m beyon d th e possibility of memor y – are, nonetheless , substituted fo r by th e precise images, signi er s an d a Úect s of one ’ s worl d that , in turn , constitut e metaphor / condensatio n no t onl y by th e ‘ law ’ of substitutability, bu t als o by th e similarities characteristi c of it . 4 6 Pu t in othe r words , primordial object s ar e radically los t to memory , bu t somethin g of thei r manne r of constitutio n is know n in th e rea l of metonymi c traits tha t elici t jouissanc e an d in th e metaphorica l substitutions we

take fo r th e object s (thing s an d people ) we choos e to love , to ‘ inves t in’ , to ‘ cathect ’ . Thi s is no t a dissimila r logic fro m tha t of th e relation betwee n eg o ideal s (others ) an d th e Idea l eg o unconsciou s formation . Idea l eg o must be deduce d fro m th e other s on e choose s as friend s an d partners, fro m th e desirable aspect s tha t mark on e as th e

on e

wh o is chose n from the real. 4 7

No t onl y doe s Lacan ’ s theor y of ho w metaphor make s metonym y functiona l make sens e of Freud ’ s isolatio n of th e mechanism s of condensatio n an d displacemen t at wor k in dreams, he als o shed s ne w ligh t on th e drive , as depicte d in Freud ’ s ‘ Instinct s an d Thei r Vicissitudes’ (1915) . 4 8 Psychoanalyti c critic , Danie l Collins , see s Freud ’ s wis h theor y an d his drea m theor y as antithetica l to his drive theory . On e might suggest, however , tha t Freud ’ s logic of metonym y clari es his objec t of th e drive , making it anythin g bu t th e ‘ mythology ’ he condemne d it to , as wel l as illuminating th e rea l dynamics of th e thre e othe r fate s of th e drive tha t Freu d placed in th e borderlan d betwee n th e menta l an d th e physiological . 4 9 Freu d claimed , fo r example , tha t th e objec t of th e drive is radically variable at , say , 2:00 am whe n certai n men , upon leavin g bar s tha t clos e fo r th e night, will choos e anyon e as a sexua l object . Insofa r as th e ai m of th e drive is satisfaction , Freu d give s th e example of Dante ’s sayin g tha t if he canno t hav e Beatrice, he will writ e Th e Divin e Comed y ; it ’s all th e same thing. 5 0 In othe r words , th e objec t of th e drive ma y be radically particular at th e leve l of metonymy , ther e wher e th e judgment mad e come s fro m th e objec t of fantasy tha t seek s discriminator y particularities ove r generalize d imaginaries selecte d by an indiscriminate Id ( c¸a ). Whil e metaphorica l substitutions ma y be fuzz y displacements of desire , substitutions tha t readily confus e th e objec t an d th e ai m of th e drive , metonym y make s carefu l distinction s as to wha t give s precise jouissance in th e drives. Thes e singula r traits of object s are, indeed, thos e whic h ma y lea d to love . Such a logic is als o at wor k in dream s wher e th e objec t ( a ) sough t in th e Othe r ca n neve r appear directly . Wha t doe s appear ar e th e (manifest ) metaphorica l substitutes fo r it an d intimations of it s metonymica l character .

In tryin g to make sens e of ho w Laca n reread s Freu d on dreams, giving eve r greater precisio n to thi s murk y realm, le t us loo k at a typica l ‘ nonsensical ’ dream . In th e drea m in question , people wer e seate d around a larg e table . The y wer e dining. Guest s at a dinner party . On e lad y sai d sh e ha d see n a spider’ s we b behind he r an d sh e wa s goin g to leave because sh e wa s afraid of spiders . Th e hostes s seate d acros s

parallax

77

fro m he r tol d he r tha t spiders wer e no t so frightening , bu t th e guest ed anyway . Th e hostes s coul d the n loo k throug h th e empt y spac e opene d up by th e guest’ s evacuation of he r chair . Ther e wa s a larg e spide r egg , th e siz e of a gol f ball , brightl y colore d white , with red streak s goin g around it . Jus t as th e hostess / dreame r wa s read y to investigate suc h a surprisingly larg e egg , it burst , producing an adorable blac k an d whit e puppy with curly , fuzz y hair . Th e dreamer swep t th e do g int o he r arms , cooin g to it and , then , awoke . At th e leve l of da y residue , th e drea m is easily explicable. Th e dreamer ha d just returned to he r hous e whic h ha d been unoccupied fo r a year . Throughou t th e hous e wer e dea d spiders an d larg e egg s of unhatche d ones . Som e spiders indigenou s to tha t region hav e red streak s on thei r backs . Th e da y before th e dream , th e dreamer ha d rea d an article in a New s Magazin e on laser surger y to perfect one ’ s vision . Tw o ‘ failed’ case s wer e reported , on e in whic h a woman ’ s eyeball wa s lef t red . Ther e wa s muc h talk in th e article of reshaping eyeballs .

Th e actua l spiders , th e dinner party whic h th e dreamer ha d give n thre e day s previously , th e lase r surger y (whic h a friend of her s ha d ha d an d whic h sh e wa s contemplating ) an d a lin e ofte n repeate d in he r daughter’ s ‘ youn g adult’ nove l ‘ Daddy, doggi e an d me all com e togethe r in th e drea m as manifest content . Bu t non e of th e da y residu e explain s th e drea m as a logica l communication , a messag e sen t to th e Other , fo r an other . Th e drea m is onl y explicabl e if on e follow s th e signi er in it – ‘ Daddie, doggi e an d me ’ . Th e drea m do g wa s a metaphorica l metonymy , a substitute fo r an absent lov e in rea l life . Th e messag e in th e drea m is sen t to th e love r in th e language of love : ‘ Daddie, doggi e an d me ’ , a swee t cuddl y do g wh o doe s no t bit e as do th e spiders an d absent lovers . And , of course , thi s message , intende d fo r th e love r – in th e ‘ se e me ’ of th e scopi c drive , or th e ‘ hea r me ’ of th e invocator y drive – is returned to th e dreamer ’ s signifyin g treasur y as a failed communication , a dea d letter , a castrate d jouissance , as ar e all dreams.

Tha t dream s ar e report s of failures an d fear s make s the m all th e mor e usefu l fo r psychoanalysis . The y ar e perforc e alread y in th e transference , a par t of it , communicatin g som e trut h abou t th e rea l in th e skewe d language an d image s tha t canno t spea k directly abou t th e wishe s to se t somethin g straight in th e symboli c order. If wishe s wer e as easy to formulat e clearl y or as transparent in meaning as Freu d onc e thought, the y woul d no t hav e to wen d thei r wa y throug h th e unconsciou s distortion s an d transformation s tha t make the m unrecognizabl e as message-bearin g narratives, as communications .

Further, Laca n make s topologica l sens e of dream s – topolog y being th e logic of plac e – wherei n th e interlinking of consciou s to unconsciou s lif e shows , no t onl y tha t th e interlinking of metaphor to metonym y by th e objec t a is no t equivalent to a two - side d piece of paper with th e unconsciou s on on e sid e an d consciousnes s on th e other . Rather , on e bumps up against th e ba r separating signi er fro m signi ed , or bot h faces of a seemingl y oppositiona l meaning , to plac e it s opaque relation s at th e surface of th e text . On e is in th e presenc e of a Moebiu s strip – 8 – operation wher e th e twis t in th e middle occult s th e disappearing primary objec t sought : th e father want s to hav e his son ’ s dea d bod y intact eve n thoug h it is burning; th e witt y butcher’ s wife want s to be plump in consciou s lif e an d thi n in unconsciou s lif e – an impossibility ; th e academi c want s to spar e he r boo k fro m th e cuttin g gaze of critica l readers –

Ragland

78

anothe r impossibility ; th e hostes s want s to regai n a los t love . In dreams, th e meaning of th e object-cause-of-des ire travels away fro m th e bod y int o th e image , signi er or a Úec t wher e it take s on th e characte r of a drive , a drive aimed at nding or retrieving th e impossible . At th e manifest leve l of ego , dream s ar e funny. The y dea l with daily problems. At th e latent leve l of th e void , the y ar e sorrowful , concernin g th e rea l of loss.

Thus , unconsciou s though t is topologicall y inseparable fro m th e outsid e everyda y worl d of ‘ da y residues’ . Bu t rather tha n focu s on th e concret e pieces of a day ’s activities, Laca n look s at th e larger scenari o of dreaming as a respons e to transferenc e relation s on e is in with th e others / Othe r of one ’ s life . Indeed , thi s ide a connect s Freud ’ s tw o disparate categories : da y residu e as preconsciou s an d inessentia l an d unconsciou s wis h ful llmen t as deep an d essential . Th e wis h ful llment , in Lacania n terms , is th e wis h to ll one ’ s desire as a subject of / in/ fo r th e Other . It make s sense , then , tha t Laca n compare s th e unconsciou s at th e leve l of th e rea l to a pulsating bladder, rather tha n to th e ‘ deep ’ structures imagined by Freud , or th e cav e depicte d by Plato . Th e unconscious , afte r Lacan , doe s no t coher e to th e imaginary mode l of container / contained , bu t dwells at th e surface of th e bod y as it disperses itsel f throug h fantasy an d drive within th e el d of language. Laca n adds somethin g mor e abou t dream s tha t Freu d di d no t say . Althoug h Freu d argued tha t th e unconsciou s wa s sexual , he di d no t maintain tha t dream s necessaril y were . By appending sexualit y to th e fou r partial drive s tha t materialize language – th e oral , th e anal , th e scopic , th e invocator y – Laca n argues tha t we ar e necessitate d in th e sexua l order. 51

Pu t anothe r way , th e drive s are, fo r Lacan , sexual . The y wer e rs t constitute d at th e sit e of th e mother ’ s bod y and , thus , contai n propertie s of libido or jouissanc e tha t make th e rea l of sexua l excitemen t (o r sorro w at loss ) ente r language itself. It enter s language, sublimated, as tw o intersectin g void s or losses . Whil e Freu d interpreted ‘ sublimated’ as meaning desexualized , as a par t of th e myt h of th e drives, Laca n argues tha t sublimated mean t ‘ sexualized ’ in th e sens e tha t tw o voi d places overla p eac h other , eac h hollo w wantin g to be lle d with jouissanc e object s tha t resid e in primordial fantasies as the y edd y up int o secondary-proces s wish-ful llmen t language. Tha t is, desire (o r wish ) is th e desire fo r wholeness , fo r re ndin g th e los t rea l parts of onesel f to whic h life ’s continua l cut s an d separations harke n back as thes e return int o th e symboli c to disrupt smoot h narrative s an d int o imaginary consistencie s to brea k apart th e illusion s tha t make bodil y constanc y or homeostasi s th e base lin e of th e Freudia n pleasur e principle .

Finally , tha t unconscious , wis h though t is primary process – oriente d – tha t is, concerne d with fantasy, desire an d libido – doe s no t make it infantile . It simply make s th e drea m a product of th e jouissanc e system , whos e parameters an d function s ar e as comple x an d extensiv e as ar e thos e of secondary-proces s representations an d consciou s thought. Th e desirin g subject – th e subject wh o ha s an unconsciou s wis h – is th e on e whos e othe r face in language is tha t of lac k itself, whic h Laca n describe d as a concret e plac e of th e rea l in betwee n th e wantin g an d having of desire . We hav e sai d tha t lac k expresse s itsel f by travelin g th e pat h of fantasy , via th e imaginary structur e of eg o densit y an d mirror-stag e dual specularity , entering consciousnes s transforme d in th e rememberin g an d recountin g of th e drea m whic h metaphor an d

parallax

79

metonym y allow . Wher e Freu d wa s stymie d – wonderin g ho w to separat e th e recastin g of th e drea m in th e retellin g of it fro m it s primordial component s – Laca n gave an answer .

Th e drea m is dialectica l though t – taking accoun t of th e Other ’ s desire – displaying

a tensio n betwee n th e eg o ideal imaginary construc t an d th e Idea l eg o symboli c

formatio n whic h display s bot h th e creatio n of th e Idea l eg o by th e symboli c Othe r

an d th e dialectica l tensio n in it tha t is derived fro m th e imaginary othe r (eg o ideals) of transferenc e relations . 5 2 Wha t I am suggestin g is tha t we remembe r dreams, no t necessaril y because the y bespeak a traum a or a con ict- lle d day ’s residue . Mor e fundamentally, we remembe r dream s withi n th e dialecti c of ou r ow n desire mad e up of wantin g an d (not ) having . Bu t signi er s ar e equally as important . Withou t language or discours e ther e woul d be no dreams, no silen t worl d of wonderfu l image s

an d forms , as evolutionar y psychologist s imagine th e worl d of dolphi n or chimpanze e language to be . 53

Rather , th e drea m wish / desire is aimed at th e Othe r in th e el d of th e gaze , as on e wh o will give an answe r to th e lac k th e drea m state s (unlik e psychoti c hallucinations whic h ar e nightmare s of attackin g gure s wher e delusion reigns -no t fantasy – because

th e Othe r is alread y full) . Ther e is an ‘ I want ’ an d an ‘ I don ’ t (can ’ t) have ’ tha t give s

mos t people th e language of meaning Freu d foun d roote d in an innate con ic t or tensio n he attributed to biology . Stressin g th e dream ’ s meaning , Laca n portrays unconsciou s desire as entering consciousnes s with all th e dialectica l fuzzines s of th e imaginary (irrational ) numbe r two , th e mysteriou s sig n of a mirror-stag e twones s wher e tw o condense s int o on e tha t over ow s it s ow n borders in th e dream .

Ragland

80

Notes

1 Jacques Lacan, ‘The agency of th e letter in th e 12 Sigmund Freud, ‘ On Narcissism: An

Introduction ’ (1914) , Th e Standar d Editio n , vol. XIV, pp.67– 102.

13 Sigmund Freud, Beyon d th e Pleasure Principl e (1920),

Th e Standar d Editio n , vol . XVIII , pp.3 – 64 .

3 Jacques Lacan, Th e Seminar , Boo k I: Freud ’ s Paper

2 Lacan, ‘ Th e agency’ , p.149 , n. 9, p.176 .

W. W. Norton , 1977) , pp.146 – 78 .

unconsciou s or reason sinc e Freud (1957) , Ecrits: A Selection, Ala n Sheridan (ed. and trans.) (Ne w York:

s Sigmund Freud, ‘Grou p Psycholog y and th e Analysis of th e Ego ’ (1921) , Th e Standar d Editio n, vol . XVIII , pp.67 – 143 .

15 Lacan, Le se´minaire , livr e V , p.12.

16 Lacan, Le se´minaire , livr e V, p.12.

Jacques Lacan, ‘La troisi e`m e jouissance’ (1974) , Le s Lettre s de l’ EFP: Bulleti n de l’ Ecol e freudienn e de Paris , 16 (1975),178 – 203 . Jacques Lacan, Th e Seminar , Boo k II (1954 – 195 5):

18

Th e Ego in Freud ’ s Theor y an d in th e Techniqu e of Psychoanalysis , Jacques-Alain Mille r (ed.), Sylvana Tomasell i (trans.) , Joh n Forreste r (notes ) (Ne w York :

W. W. Norton , 1991) .

19 Elli e Ragland, Essays on th e Pleasure s of Death : Fro m Freu d to Laca n (Ne w York : Routledge, 1995) , cf. ch . 6, Th e Paterna l Metaphor .

21 Lacan, Le se´minaire , livre V , p.13 ; ‘ The Agency’ ,

p.149.

14

on Techniqu e (1953 – 195 4) , Jacques-Alain Mille r (ed.) , Joh n Forrester (trans . and notes ) (New York : W. W.

formations de l’ inconscien t , (Paris : Seuil, 1998) , p.10 .

Jacques-Alain Miller (ed.)

5 Jeann e Lafont , Topologi e Lacanienn e et Cliniqu e

Analytique

(Cahors : Poin t Hors Ligne , 1990) ,

pp.16– 17.

Norton , 1991) , p.1.

4 Jacques Lacan, Le se´ minaire , livr e V (1957 – 95 8): Le s 17

6 Lacan, Th e Seminar , Boo k I , p.265.

7 Lafont, Topologi e Lacanienn e , p.14.

8 Lacan, Th e Seminar , Boo k I , p.264.

9 Lafont, Topologi e Lacanienn e , ch . 3, pp.41 – 63.

10 Sigmund Freu d, Th e Interpretatio n of Dream s

(1900 – 1901) , Th e Standar d Editio n, vol . IV-V, cf. ch. 20 Lacan, Le se´minaire , livr e V , pp.10 11.

7, vol . V and p.512 .

11 Freud, Th e Interpretation of Dream s , p.512.

Psychoanalysis , Th e University of Paris VIII , Saint Denis, unpublished course , lectur e of November 17, 1991.

John s Hopkins University Press, 1994) , pp.80 – 102 . 36 Miller, De la Nature , Nov . 27 , 1991 . 23 Gerard Wajcman, [From Tableau(‘Painting ’ )], in 37 Jacques Lacan, Seminar , livr e VI (1958 – 195 9): Le

Critica l Essay s on Jacque s Laca n , Elli e Ragland (ed. ) de´sir et son interpr e´ tation, unpublishe d seminar. Cf . (Ne w York : G. K. Hall, 1999) , pp.142 – 48 ; cf . ‘Desire and the Interpretatio n of Desire in Hamlet’

(1959) , James Hulbert (trans.) , Yal e Frenc h Studies , 55 / 56 (1977) . Sand , ‘ Manifestl y Fallacious’, pp.85 – 93 .

39 Lacan, Th e Seminar , Boo k XX , p.24.

38

(1965 – 196 6): L’ obje t de la psychanalys e .

24 Lacan, ‘The Agency’, p.165

25 Lacan, ‘The Agency’, p.166 .

26 Jacques Lacan, Seminar on ‘ Th e Purloine d 41

22 Elli e Ragland, ‘Lacan, The Death Drive, and

the Dream of th e Burnin g Child ’, in Death and

Representation , Sarah Goodwi n (ed.)

(Baltimore:

p.145 . Wacjman explicates one lesson , tha t of May 4, 1966 , fro m Lacan’s Le se´minaire , livr e XIII

.

40 Lacan, Th e Seminar , Boo k XX , ch. 8. Lacan, ‘The Subversion’ , p.315 .

44

45

Letter’ , Je Úre y Mehlman (trans. ) (Baltimore: John s 42 Lacan, Th e Seminar , Boo k II , p.255.

Hopkins University Press,

27 Lacan, ‘The Agency’, p.166 .

1988) , pp.28 54 . 43 Sigmund Freud, ‘An Evidential Dream’ (1924) ,

Th e Standar d Editio n , vol . XII , pp.268 – 77 ; cf. p.274 .

Freud, ‘An Evidential Dream’ , p.175 . Lacan, ‘The Subversion’ , pp.314 – 15 .

York : 46 Elli e Ragland-Sullivan, Jacque s Laca n an d th e

Philosoph y of Psychoanalysi s (Champaign an d Chicago:

Th e University of Illinoi s Press , 1987) , cf. ch . 4, ‘Th e Relationshi p of Sens e and Sign’ , pp.196 – 266 . Jacques-Alain Miller , Les re´ponses du re´el, course

28 Jacques Lacan, ‘ Th e direction of th e treatment

an d the principles of it s power’ (1958) , Ecrits: A

Selection, Ala n Sheridan (trans . and ed. ) (Ne w

W. W. Norton , 1977) , pp.226 – 80 ; cf. pp.256 – 72.

29 Jacques Lacan, ‘ Th e subversion of th e subject

an d th e dialectic of desire in th e Freudian

unconscious ’ (1960) , Ecrits : A Selectio n, Ala n Sherida n

(trans . and ed.) (New pp.292 – 325 ; cf . p.315 .

30

Jacques-Alain Miller , Ce qu i fai t insigne , course of

1987 – 1988 , given in th e Department

of

Psychoanalysis , Th e University of Paris VIII , Saint

Denis,

unpublishe d course , lectur e of January

14, 1987.

p.92.

.

47

York : W. W. Norton , 1977) , of 1983 – 1984 , given in th e Department of Psychoanalysis , Th e University of Paris VIII , Saint

Denis, unpublishe d course . 48 Sigmund Freud, ‘Instinct s and Thei r Vicissitudes’ (1915), Th e Standar d Edition , pp.111 – 40 . 49 Danie l G. Collins , ‘On th e Drive’, Umbr(a): A Journa l of th e Unconscious , 1 (1997) , 67 – 79 ; cf. 71 .

31 Jacques Lacan, Th e Seminar , Book XX (1972 – 1973) :

Encore , Jacques-Alain Miller (ed.) Bruce Fink (trans an d notes ) (Ne w York : W. W. Norton , 1998 , p.91.

32 Lacan, Th e Seminar , Boo k XX ,

33 Lacan, Th e Seminar , Boo k XX , p.92.

34 Rosemarie Sand, ‘ Manifestl y Fallacious’ , in Unauthorize d Freud : Doubter s Confron t a Legen d ,

Frederick Crew s (ed. ) (New York : Penguin Books , Schema L.

1998) , pp.85 – 93 ; cf. p.92.

35 Jacques-Alain Miller , De la nature de s semblant s, cours e of 1991 – 1992 , given in th e Department of

50 Quote d by Collin s in ‘On th e Drive’, p.71.

51 Jacques Lacan, Th e Seminar, Book XI (196 4): Th e Fou r Fundamental Concept s of Psycho-Analysi s , Jacques- Alain Miller (ed.), Ala n Sheridan (trans. ) (New York : W. W. Norton , 1978) , pp.188 – 89 .

52 Lacan, Th e Seminar , Boo k II, p.243 ; cf. the

53 Gregory Benford, Dee p Time : Ho w Humanit y Communicate s Acros s Millenni a (Ne w York : Avon Books , 1999) .

Elli e Ragland is Professo r an d forme r Department Chair of Englis h at th e Universit y of Missour i (Columbia). Sh e receive d he r Ph.D . in Frenc h an d Comparative Literatur e fro m th e Universit y of Michiga n an d ha s taugh t in th e Department of Psychoanalysi s at th e Universit y of Paris VIII , Saint Deni s (1994 – 1995) . Sh e is th e author of Rabelais an d Panurge : A Psychologica l Approach to Literar y Character (1976), Jacque s Lacan an d the Philosophy of Psychoanalysis (1986), and Essays on the Pleasure s of Death: From Freud to Lacan (1995) . Sh e coedite d Lacan an d the Subject of Language with Mark Brache r (1991 ) an d edite d Critica l Essays on Jacque s Lacan (1999). Sh e is editor of th e Newslette r of the Freudia n Fiel d an d author of numerou s essay s on Lacan , psychoanalysis , literature, an d gende r theory . He r forthcomin g book s ar e Provin g Lacan: Psychoanalysis an d the Interdisciplinar y Forc e of Evidentiar y Knowledg e , co-edited with Davi d Metzger, an d Th e Logi c of Sexuatio n – Aristotle to Lacan .

parallax

81