Expertiseportaal van de Hogeschool Gent


Eros en overdracht: Een lectuur van Jacques Lacans Séminaire VIII Le transfert

Output: Doctoraatsverhandeling

This work Eros and transference consists of a commentary on Jacques Lacan’s Séminaire VIII Le Transfert (1960-1961). Lacan here thoroughly revises the psychoanalytical concept of transference. Not only does he break with the standard views on transference of the prevailing psychoanalytical approaches but he also introduces a fundamental caesura in his own theorizing.
Lacan’s central subject of research is: what position does the analyst have to take in the transference if he wants to successfully conclude the analysis of his analysand? This question implies two fundamental concepts of Lacan’s theory of transference: unconscious knowledge and the desire of the analyst, which are situated against the background of Lacan’s dictum, ‘man’s desire is the desire of the Other’. Our commentary consists of four parts.
In the first part we study Lacan’s interpretation of Plato’s Symposium on Eros. Lacan distinguishes ‘Eros-love’ and ‘Eros-desire’. In the love relationship the lover (erastès) is the subject of desire or lack and the beloved (eromenos) is the subject that possesses the object. Love is situated in the register of not-knowing. The beloved doesn’t know what he possesses and the lover doesn’t know what he lacks. Moreover, what the lover lacks doesn’t coincide with what the beloved possesses.
Only the triangular scene with Alcibiades, Socrates and Agathon in the third part of Symposium allows to grasp love and desire in the transference. Socrates here introduces a transferable frame in which he functions as a figure of transference: Alcibiades’ love is not meant for Socrates but for Agathon. By Socrates’ desire to know, Alcibiades is possessed by love. Socrates interprets this love as transference love and traces it back to its real desire.
In part two we examine how Lacan conceives the relationship of castration to transference. Lacan defines the constituant lack of desire with the concept of castration. He describes castration with the equation: small o equals the Other minus small phi, φ. Small o stands for the object of desire, the Other for the place of the word and small phi for the imaginary phallus. Small φ symbolizes what O lacks. The function of the imaginary phallus φ is the origin of the lack of the signifier in the Other. This lack is indicated by the symbolic phallus Φ, which functions as a sign, means of action and presence of desire. It concerns a ‘real presence’, i.e. the presence of desire and the absence of the signifier.
The analysand consults the analyst as the one who knows and carries the object of desire. In the transference the analyst doesn’t always represent the object of desire but sometimes also the signifier Φ. The paradox of the analytical function is that in the place where the analysand presumes the knowing of the analyst, there is only real presence. The subject of the analyst disappears because it is barred $. In the phantasy ($ ◊ o) the subject interprets itself as a lack, as opposed to a privileged object o. In order for the analyst to enter the phantasy as a divided subject in the transference, he has to incarnate $. Finally, he has to see small o, the object of the desire of the Other.
In part three we go deeper into Lacan’s analysis of Paul Claudel’s trilogy L’Otage, le pain dur et le père humilié. With the claudelian drama Lacan again places castration at the heart of transference because castration is the origin of the constitution of the subject of desire. Lacan lays the accent on the second drama Le pain dur with patricide as the central theme. Claudel’s father figure is the equal of Freud’s primitive father from Totem and Taboo. Only by patricide can the son become a father. The toll he pays for this is castration because he loses the object of his desire – his beloved – after which he marries the mistress of his dead father. The mistress of the father who plotted the patricide together with the lover of the son creates with the son a new failed father. This ‘mother-mistress’ is a castrating figure of structural dissolution: one withdraws someone’s desire and gives it to someone else. This claudelian castration figure appears in the three dramas.
The dead father is at the origin of the symbolic law. The desire necessitates this father image: no castration without father function. The castration constitutes the subject of desire. The death of the father is the absolute condition for him to be able to articulate the law: the dead father is the symbolic father. In this register desire appears between the signifier and the object.
Finally we explore how Lacan defines the position of the analyst in the relationship of identification and desire. The position-finding of the analyst in the transference balances between the identification point of the signifier, I and the object of desire, o. The analytical relationship begins with a misunderstanding because there’s no coincidence between what the analyst represents to the analysand at the beginning of the analysis – the ego ideal – and what is really implied – the object o. When the analysand attributes the ego ideal to the analyst, the analyst has to divert him from this because eventually he has to take the position of the object o. In any case he cannot take the position of the ideal ego according to Lacan as the psychoanalytical literature of the sixties advocates.
Lacan distinguishes the ‘ego ideal, I’ and the ‘ideal ego, i(o)’. The ‘ego ideal’ is a symbolic introjection; the ‘ideal ego’ an imaginary projection. The ‘ego ideal’ as signifier and the ‘ideal ego’ as the seat of narcissism relate to love in a different way.
The ‘ego ideal’ is the driving force of regressive identification in love which plays a fundamental role in transference. This form of identification originates when the love object refuses love. The identification is partial because only one trait is taken from the object person: I. Only when the Other intervenes as the third symbolic term in the imaginary relationship between the Ego and the other do we get a fruitful narcissistic relationship. The reference to the Other is fundamental. The symbolic Other supports the imaginary identification of the subject with his reflection. The subject can free himself from this narcissistic structure because he can identify himself on point I through the Other. Thanks to the signifier the subject can escape the imaginary hold in the narcissistic field.
Just like Socrates, the analyst knows that on the level of little o it is not about an ideal because any object can take the place of little o. The desire of the analyst is centred around this mourning. Socrates’ interpretation, addressed to Alcibiades, ‘What you tell me is meant for Agathon’ is the function of the analyst who brings about a certain mourning. The analytical function is purely representative because the analyst envelops an emptiness. He disappears as signifier and incarnates the object of desire in the place of the lack. Only as a real presence can he take up the analytical position. The question is how far the analyst dares go to question the analysand risking to disappear himself?
Originele taalNederlands
Plaats van publicatieNijmegen, Nederland
UitgeverijRadboud University Nijmegen
Aantal pagina's284
StatusGepubliceerd - 13-dec-2017

ID: 17773226