Prelude 5, Carmine Marrazzo

Reinventions of a destiny

How can psychoanalysts sustain their desire, the desire of the analyst, with its paradoxes? The question is crucial and the “chance that analysis will continue to be at a premium on the market”,[1] depends on it, as do the conditions for its very survival.

Freud was the first to have approached the question, as his writing and correspondence attest. And at the moment when he comforts us with a singular optimism in relation to the fate of his invention, he credits the psychoanalyst with a “certain degree of readiness to accept a situation of solitary opposition”.[2] Now, how to understand this “certain degree of readiness” if there is “nothing in man’s structure that predisposes him to psychoanalysis?”[3] With Lacan, we advance. He aimed to awaken the analytic movement to the breakdown and deviations of a training that assured the analyst of “a routine with no problems [which] makes [him] comfortable”[4] and his persistent critique has brought the resistances to psychoanalysis to the resistance to the psychoanalyst himself.

For a long time I believed that his completely new institutional event was a response to the Freudian fate. But if it is a matter of a “solitary opposition”, this is not only an opposition, another way of making the Other exist, but of putting into action the “desire of the analyst”, precious gain at the end of analysis. It implies, rather, a self-authorisation without the “assurance of the Other”,[5] and not in the field guaranteed by the knowledge of the Other either, but in the field of the act. Thus a “certain degree of readiness” for the analytic act.

So “one act-orises” oneself? “[…] all [the psychoanalyst] does is to be in the place of the actor, in so far as one actor is enough just by himself to hold the stage”.[6] From this perspective, the paradoxes of the desire of the analyst would be nothing other than the “paradoxes of the analytic act”. This act “that we assume from the elective moment when the analysand passes to the analyst”,[7] “to which the psychoanalyst seems to oppose the most frenzied miscognition”[8] and of which “he has a horror”,[9] “act-horr” [acte-horr], that fixes him in the place of “the reject of the aforesaid (humanity)”.[10]

But if such a place is not desirable, how can the analyst desire it, continue to desire it? The decision to reinvent is necessary. It is in this way that I understand this “constraint”: “that each analyst is obliged—for he must be obliged—to reinvent psychoanalysis, from what he has succeeded in extracting from having been a psychoanalysand himself.”[11]

Would it be possible that the School of the pass might sustain the wager of a decision, always contingent, with its scope of enthusiasm?

Translation from Italian into French: Irene Pagliarulo

Translation from French into English: Susan Schwartz

[1]J.Lacan, “Note italienne”, Autres écrits, Seuil, Paris, 2001, p. 310. English translation: “Italian note”, trans. Cormac Gallagher,

[2] S.Freud, “The Resistances to Psychoanalysis” (1925 [1924]), SE XIX, p. 222

[3] Correspondence S.Freud – L. Binswanger (1908-1938), Calmann-Levy, Paris, 1992, p. 134.

[4] J.Lacan, Proposition du 9 octobre 1967 sur Le psychanalyste de l’École, Textes de référence EPFCL, English translation: “Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the Psychoanalyst of the School”, trans. Russell Grigg, Analysis 6, p. 13.

[5] J.Lacan, “The Subversion of the Subject in the Dialectic of Desire” (1960), Écrits: The First Complete Edition in English, trans. Bruce Fink, New York and London, W.W. Norton & Company, 2006.

[6] J.Lacan, Le Séminaire Livre XVI, D’un Autre à l’autre, Seuil, Paris, 2006, leçon du 4 juin, 1969, p. 350. English translation : The Seminar Book XVI, From the Other to the other, lesson of June 4, 1969, trans. Cormac Gallagher,

[7] J .Lacan, “l’acte psychoanlytique. Compte rendu du Séminaire 1967-1968, Autres écrits, Seuil, Paris, 2001, p. 375.

[8] J. Lacan, Le Séminaire Livre XV, L’acte psychanalytique, inédit, leçon du 29 novembre, 1967. English translation : The Psychoanalytic Act, unpublished, lesson of November 29, 1967, trans. Cormac Gallagher,

[9] J.Lacan, Letter to the newspaper Le Monde, January 24, 1980.

[10] J. Lacan, «Note italienne», cit., p. 308. “Italian note” op cit.

[11] J. Lacan, «Sur la transmission de la psychanalyse» (1978), La Psicoanalisi, n° 38, Astrolabio, Roma, 2005, pp. 13-16.