“To interpret, here the word fails, and it should be substituted with another, such as to circumscribe, to attest”. This proposition by Jacques-Alain Miller invites us to consider the limits of the concept of interpretation when the analytic experience aims at the real of jouissance.
Taking into consideration the upheaval introduced by Lacan in his later teaching, including his own experience as analyst, he finds himself moving away from a practice of interpretation aimed at thenon substantial, barred subject, and therefore conceived as related to the lack-of-being [want-to-be]. In this view, interpretation is resolved at the level of desire, to make it “come into being”. From this derives the creationist power of the analyst’s words.
Yet the problematic of being proves inappropriate when it is a question of aiming not only at the insistence of the fleeting being of desire but also at the irremovable permanence of jouissance. This stopping point, J.-A. Miller indicates, will lead Lacan to extract psychoanalysis from the ontological register, suddenly displacing the operation of the analyst from being that of a meaning-giving word, towards taking into account the the signifier as disjointed from the effects of the signified. Aiming at the signifier out of meaning, Lacan will cut off the issue of sense and of the fictions of being: this is what is condensed in his jaculation: “There is something of the One”.
J.-A. Miller indicates that this renunciation of ontology leads Lacan towards the category of the hole, which is not unrelated to the lack-of-being. It displaces nevertheless the accent from the ontological towards the ex-sistence of the jouissance of the One, which affects the body.
In this register, he points out, the analyst cannot profit from the creationist power of words, of speech, on the side of meaning. He is summoned to operate in a dimension where the term interpretation fails. And this is why he wonders if it shouldn’t be substituted with another term, such as “to circumscribe or to attest.” That being said, he admits that he is not satisfied with such vocabulary, clarifying that he would like “to find the vocabulary which would better say that which concerns the analyst, with regards to the term jouissance which goes beyond ontology.”
On this point, both the A.S. [Analysts of the School] who will give their testimonies about their experience as analysands at at “Question of School”, as well as the Α.Μ.S. [Analysts Members of the Scholl] who will articulate the teaching they derive from the practice of supervision, will give us the opportunity to put into work this crucial question posed earlier by J.-A. Miller.
Translated by Peggy Papada
Towards “Question d’Ecole” – Paris, 1st February 2020 – Register here: https://www.causefreudienne.
Published in French in L’Hebdo-Blog 189, New Series, 19th January 2020.
 Miller J.-A., « Lacanian Orientation. The One all alone », teaching presented in the context of the department of psychoanalysis of the university of Paris VIII, course of 11 May 2011, unpublished.
 Ibid., course of 23 March 2011.
 Ibid., course of 11 May 2011.