text: “Measuring the True to the Real” (L Gorostiza)

from the website of the Congress:

Measuring the True to the Real [*]
Leonardo Gorostiza
In his course of December 10th, 2008, Jacques-Alain Miller asks, « What is an analyst in the clinic of the sinthome ? » He answers, « It is at the least a subject who has perceived his mode of jouissance as absolutely singular, who has captured the contingency of this mode of jouissance – how? – his jouissance as outside of meaning » [1]. As one can hear in this reply, there is still another question: how has the subject captured his irreducible, singular, contingent and outside of meaning, jouissance ?


The Incommensurable of the Real

In order to try to advance on this question, I propose to use a tool, namely the formula Jacques-Alain Miller proposed two years ago, ‘measuring the true to the real’ [2]. This formula coincides with the orientation of work he sketched out for our next congress [3], to articulate a dialectics of sense and jouissance and to demonstrate in our work the edges of the semblant that situates the knot ofjouissance. This means, not to efface the semblant, but to recuperate it in its instrumental dignity that allows a reading of the way in which the subject has captured his out-of-meaning jouissance. To say it differently, it is about elucidating how the subject has measured the true to the real. This elucidation, far from the transparency of meaning, aims to unveil what the link between the semblant and the opaque jouissance of the sinthome was.

The literal translation, in Spanish, of the formula ‘measuring the true to the real’ would be ‘medir lo verdadero a lo real’. This translation weakens its paradoxical character, which consists in gauging the true with the measure of the real. This is paradoxical since the real is without law and incommensurable par excellence. In other words, [the question is] how to gauge the true with the incommensurable of the real.

As we know, this phrase is to be situated in the context of the reconsideration of the pass from the point of view of the very last teaching of Lacan. And especially from the ‘Preface to the English Edition of Seminar XI’ where Lacan speaks of the hystorisation in the pass. The hystorisation of what was achieved in solitude, supposes, as far as it is addressed to an Other – a work of ‘translation’ or of ‘interpretation’.

If the pass in the treatment goes from the transferential unconscious – interpretative, which articulates itself as meaning and establishes a social link – to the real unconscious – uninterpretable, outside of meaning and referring back to solitude – the question is knowing how a link to the Other is re-established once the subject has reached the real unconscious [4].

This operation is the pass bis that goes from the real unconscious to the transferential unconscious. And the hystorisation – as hysteria – although it emerges from the solitude of the real unconscious, aims at the Other. « This », says Jacques-Alain Miller, « is the theatre of the pass ».

Theatre, hysteria and the structure of the Witz are reproduced by the mechanism of the pass and its transmission. A new link to the Other that does not involve a testimony on the true of the true — that would be a metalanguage —, nor a proof of truth — that would be the analysis. The pass bis supposes having come to know that the truth is a mirage, which fades when, confronted with the real unconscious a satisfaction arises that marks the end of analysis [5].

In the perspective of gauging the true in the real, the notion of satisfaction becomes central. Not only satisfaction reached by the subject at the end of analysis but also that aroused in others. In the pass – envisaged as hystorisation – ‘to obtain satisfaction from one’s colleagues’ is a crucial result [6].

Having said that, there are different ways of getting satisfaction from one’s colleagues. Thus, there is for example a satisfaction that one can get through identification, from understanding each other since one shares the same jargon, a common meaning. It is that satisfaction where the resonance is one of the body as imaginary, which contributes to the good form of the One of the unione [la bonne forme de l’Un de l’unien]. However, the satisfaction that Lacan distinguishes in the pass is of another order.

Pass and Satisfaction

What does satisfaction consist of ? It is to understand, since the meaning understood is jouissance, satisfaction [7]. So, how to conceive of this satisfaction from the perspective of measuring the true to the real, when the real is precisely what excludes meaning ?

My suggestion is the following ; it is a satisfaction that, far from echoing from the body as imaginary, evoking the good form of the Unione [l’Unien], is able to resonate with a connection to the hole, which is to say, the connection that preserves the Unary, and that is specific to the identification with the symptom [8].

It should be remembered that the perspective of the testimony is never the completeness of the Unione, but that of the gap – which introduces and preserves the Unary, – where the disparateness of the real can be lodged and transmitted [9].

Thus, complete information should not be expected from the testimony, because what is transmitted is always a ‘modality of loss’[10]. However, despite this loss there is sometimes the ‘miracle of satisfaction’, which takes place when in our own message – always insufficient – the Other comes to understand what is beyond, succeeds in understanding, precisely, in the failure of saying [11].

Thus, the satisfaction reached – and that aroused in one’s colleagues – is a satisfaction that stands out against a background of dissatisfaction. It is linked to a loss that is not the fruit of the impotence of language, but a sign of a new relationship with repetition. It is a satisfaction that knows that there is an impossibility, and which, without excluding the jouissance of knowledge, allows the knotting [of the impossibility] in a relation of extimity.

This satisfaction corresponds to an ethics of failure, inherent in the saying well, that appears in the working out what cannot translate itself and echoes the jouissance in knowledge. It would therefore be the paradox of a translation that keeps a relation to the untranslatable as such.

The pass bis, concludes Jacques-Alain Miller, « supposes […] distinguishing between the true and the real, developing the drifting of the true, to consider what held the function of truth [and, what in analysis] with regard to the real, worked incessantly to dull or to veil » [12] this real.

I consider that to ‘measure the true to the real’ it is necessary to have isolated an S1, a semblant that in this same operation becomes ‘another style of the master signifier’, a semblant that, when it uncovers its function of ‘false real’ makes possible a reading, one that defines the untranslatable of the opaque jouissance of the sinthome.

If all discourse, including that of the psychoanalyst, is of the order of semblant and orbits around the real in order to avoid it [13], where then is this operation situated? Exactly in the production of an S1, the new style of the semblant that does not appeal to the Other anymore and that for the same reason allows one to see a void, which glimpses itself in the interval between the place of production and the place of the truth, where Lacan located the key of impossibility, which is to say, the un-interpretable of the traumatic hole [troumatique] of the real unconscious [14].

* This paper summarises and updates those that, under the same title were given in the framework of the Seminar of the Pass 2007 at the EOL, published in La actualidad del pase, Work in Progress, Coleccion de la Orientacion Lacaniana, Serie Testimonios y Conferencias n° 9, EOL-grama, Buenos Aires, 2008.
1- Jacques-Alain Miller, Lacanian Orientation, « Choses de finesse en psychanalyse », (‘Things of subtlety in psychoanalysis’), course taught in the framework of the department for Psychoanalysis of Paris 8, seminar of the 10th December 2008, unpublished. Website of the AMP.
2- Jacques-Alain Miller, ‘Pass Bis’, Psychoanalytical Notebooks 17, translated by Adrian Price, originally published in La Cause freudienne n° 66, Paris, Navarin, Seuil 2007, p. 209-213.
3- Presentation of the theme for the VIIth Congress of the AMP, given at the end of the VIth congress of the AMP in Buenos Aires.
4- In a way this involves responding from a different angle, which was conceptualised before as ‘the outstanding balance or cynical moment at the end of analysis’.
5- The mirage of truth from which only the lie can be expected has no other term than the satisfaction that marks the end of the analysis », Jacques Lacan, Preface to the English Edition of Seminar XI, The Four Fundamental Concepts Of Psychoanalysis, translated by Alan Sheridan, Penguin London 1994 ; « Préface à l’édition anglaise du Séminaire XI », Autres écrits, Paris : Seuil, 2001, p. 572.
6- Jacques-Alain Miller, « Las versiones del pase », Pase y transmision, Coleccion Orientacion Lacaniana, Serie Testimonios y conferencias, n° 5, 2003, p. 20.
7- In El saber delirante, Coleccion ICBA, n° 5, ICBA-Paidos, Buenos Aires, 2005, p. 195.
8- On this point the indication Lacan gives in the seminar of the 16th November 1976, on the identification with the symptom, seems to me crucial, « By taking from his guarantees, a kind of distance ». it is about, it is my reading, an identification that keeps a certain distance to the symptom and that bears the mark of a loss.
9- Éric Laurent, « Politics of the Unary » (not translated) « Politique de l’unaire » La Cause freudienne, n° 42, Paris : Navarin, Seuil, mai 1999 p. 26-31. & Najles A. R., « La elaboracion de los carteles », Pase y transmision 3, COL, 1999.
10- Jacques-Alain Miller, « Debate » (not translated) « La elaboracion de los carteles », Acerca del sujeto supuesto saber, COL, Paidos, 2000, p. 203.
11- Jacques-Alain Miller, Lectura del Seminario 5 de Jacques Lacan, Coleccion ICBA n° 2, ICBA-Paidos, Bs. As., 2000, p. 37.
12- Jacques-Alain Miller, « La passe bis » ‘Pass Bis’, op. cit., p.102, (p 213 French).
13- Jacques-Alain Miller, Los usos del lapso, cours du 26 janvier 2000, Paidos, Bs. As., 2004, p. 178.
14- What can be deduced from a reading of the testimony of Maurice Tarrab, presented at the 3rd Encuentro Americano del Campo Freudiano, Belo Horizonte, 3rd August 2007. There is a version of this reading on the website of the AMP, See also Jacques-Alain Miller, Los usos del lapso, op. cit., p. 200 et 227.
Translated by Natalie Wulfing

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