Élisabeth Roudinesco Interviewed on the 30th Anniversary of Jacques Lacan’s Death

“the idea that the unconscious expresses itself, that it is language, is a very powerful and politically subversive notion. This is one of the fundamental reasons for the hatred that Freud, Lacan and psychoanalysis in general constantly provoke. The idea that the subject is traversed by her or his unconscious and that language is of capital significance is opposed to all those theories that reduce man to his behaviour, to the sum of his bodily attitudes. This is a truly political debate. If we dwell on behaviouralism, then we abolish the freedom of the subject. Behaviouralism knows only machine-men. Conversely, Freud initiated a theory of freedom determined by the unconscious. It is, moreover, this disposition that allows for his rapprochement with Marx. Man is free to make his own history, but there are psychic and social determinations that act unbeknownst to him. This idea is still today a subversive one.”

Élisabeth Roudinesco, “Élisabeth Roudinesco Interviewed on the 30th Anniversary of Jacques Lacan’s Death”

Bonus link: “‘There Can Be No Crisis of Psychoanalysis’ Jacques Lacan Interviewed [By Emilio Granzotto] in 1974”

On Symbols and Reality

“In order to express our sense of reality, we must use some kind of symbol: words or notes or shades of paint or television pictures or sculpted forms.  None of those symbols or images can ever completely satisfy us because they can never be any more than what they are — a fragment of a reflection of what we feel reality to be.”

Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember (2003).

“The map is not the territory; the map doesn’t cover all of the territory; and the map is self-reflexive (it becomes part of the territory).”

Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity (1933).

“the distinction between appearance and essence has to be inscribed into appearance itself.”

Slavoj Žižek, Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism (2012).

“One sees in effect that if here the signifier is a melting pot in so far as it bears witness to a presence that is past, and that inversely in what is signifying, there is always in the fully developed signifier which the word is, there is always a passage, namely something which is beyond each one of the elements which are articulated, and which are of their nature fleeting, vanishing, that is the passage from one to the other which constitutes the essential of what we call the signfying chain, and that this passage qua vanishing, is this very thing which can be trusted”

Jacques Lacan, Seminar V.