23 de January de 2020

From Speaking in Analysis to Writing a Case – Jeff Erbe (NLS)

Working on the theme ‘constructions’ stirred questions about the relationship between the speaking body in analysis and ‘what is written’…


Working on the theme ‘constructions’ stirred questions about the relationship between the speaking body in analysis and ‘what is written’ (equivocation between the letter and writing). I extracted the following S1s from the argument: (1) who constructs (analysand or analyst)?; (2) what is the relationship between case presentation and construction of a case?; and (3) can a Pass testimony be considered the moment when an analysand becomes analyst, through the construction of their own case?

What is urgent for Freud in the twilight of his life? Construction. Miller proposes reading Freud’s text as an intervention directed at psychoanalysts, in which Freud is punctuating his oeuvre. As such, something in his text resonates for us. We detect an accent on the signifiers “preliminary labor” and “incomplete substitute”. With Freud’s emphasis on incompleteness, we discover bricolage overtaking the ideal of repressed memory, foreshadowing the ultimate encounter with the hole of what cannot be said.

In La passe du parlêtre, Miller highlights the gap between truth and the real. Freud fights to keep this gap wedged open. In analysis, the letter in what is said marks the edge of this gap, and the construction necessary to reach this limit is synonymous with traversing the fantasy. Following Lacan, Miller makes this very claim in Marginalia, that construction is the task of the analysand and the analyst is to act. Jorge Assef specifies that the analyst’s intervention is constitutive of the analysand’s construction and thus “the construction is done between the analyst and analysand”.

Let’s return to the question, “who constructs?” If Lacan countered Freud’s position—that it is not the analyst but the analysand—why does this question persist? The resonance of Freud’s text suggests something remains unsettled. Miller agrees with Lacan that the analysand constructs, but he also retains Freud’s position that the analyst also constructs by structuring a case. Thus fantasy is the construction of the analysand, case is that of the analyst.

This distinction can be made in terms of writing. Construction of the fantasy is sustained at the level of the analysand’s speech, whereas the analyst formalizes this work through writing. One version is the case presentation. It is differentiated from the analysand’s construction, for example, by including elements that are extimate to the analysis (e.g., supervision interventions).

The Pass testimony is another variation of the analyst’s construction. It is different from the case presentation in that the writing and presentation of one’s own analysis constitutes a Pass from analysand to analyst. The audience for this construction is no longer the analyst as Other, but the School. This procedure is a series of moments, in which we find at the end something of the “incomplete substitute” remains. In practice, what unfolds is a Mobius relation between speaking and writing.

What these three constructions—fantasy, case presentation, and Pass—share is a labor that is always preliminary to a recalcitrant encounter with the real irreducible opacity of jouissance.

in Lettere
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