Lacan. Les non-dupes errent. 1973

14. Séminaire XXI (1973-1974) « Les non-dupes errent » (13 novembre 1973)
First session.
The title of this Séminaire is a pun on the title of his Séminaire in 1963 (« Les Noms-du-Père ») which was stopped after a single session because Lacan had been banned from the IPA.
In this session, Lacan explains the title and displays his borromean knot as the way to knot the 3 category registers of human reality : Real, Symbolic, Imaginary.

14e document audio sur les 17 mis en ligne sur ubuweb

«From 1953 to 1980, the Séminaire of the french psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) is the laboratory, the work-in-progress for his « Return to Freud » project. A return to the real meaning of Freud’s discovery, including the recent contributions made by linguistics (Saussure, Jakobson) and structural anthropology (Lévi-Strauss), and then through formal logic and topology.

Lacan’s Séminaire was a singular place and moment, almost weekly, every year from november to june. Without any connection with university, it was public and open to everyone. In the beginning, Lacan reads through again and comments on the works of Freud for a limited audience made of psychiatrists and psychoanalysts in training. Later, as Lacan’s thought goes more and more original and as his exuberant personnality – His Style – makes him known beyond the strictly psychoanalytical circles, the Séminaire becomes a kind of place in vogue where you sometimes wanted to be seen. You could see lacanian analysts, some patients of these analysts, students, artists or intellectuals (for example, Philippe Sollers is known for frequenting the Séminaire in the 70’s). At this time, Lacan often complains about the growing size of his audience.

Initially started at the Hôpital Sainte-Anne (Paris, 1953-1963), the Séminaire continues at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure (Paris, 1964-1969) with the help of Louis Althusser and Claude Lévi-Strauss when Lacan is banned from the International Psychoanalytic Association in 1963 (his Séminaire becomes unwelcome at Sainte-Anne). Finally, the last Séminaires take place in the Faculté de Droit Panthéon (Paris, 1969-1980).

Every year, during the first session, Lacan announces a title, a theme. The early Séminaires are mostly centered on commenting the main classical psychoanalysis concepts (the Ego, the transference, the indentification, etc.). Later, themes and titles became more strictly lacanian (sometimes based on homophonies and puns) as the concepts and their models (logic or topologic) become really specific and personal.

Very few sessions were previously written up by Lacan, so a stenographer had to transcribe the whole sessions. However, at the present time, only 12 Séminaires out of 27 have been published. The composition of a text from the stenographies (or even from the audio material) has always seemed to come up against the fundamentally oral nature of Lacan’s teaching and his totally improvising style. The first official publications of the Séminaire started in the early 70’s, but in such a slowly rate that many unofficial versions of unpublished Séminaires have immediatly spread into the psychoanalysts circles.

The first known private audio recordings of the Séminaire seems to date from 1969. Curiously, despite Lacan’s famous verve or grandiloquence and his matchless improvising oral style, none of the 500 sessions has been cleanly and officially recorded (neither audio nor video).»

Guillaume Patin, Editor / Curator