once again. jean-luc nancy
and philippe lacoue-labarthe
the title of the letter: a reading of lacan
tracing in the old-school sense, the sort that really needed tracing paper and a perfectly dulled pencil or a steady pen. is it the text that traces, or the authors? isn’t the issue insistently at hand that regardless of which who traces, there is no underlayer, no subtext to be traced… or perhaps there is a subtext, a figure, a man’s discourse even, but it isn’t lacan himself. there can be no corresondence. between the tracing pencil and the (what? what lies beneath there is something instead that acts as carbon paper. an inversion, (diversion is the opperative) and the trace becomes the line to follow, the line that marks, just and only that which is the re-mark.
so much between these sheets.
Nancy & Lacoue-Labarthe, running their fingers over Lacan, (like braille?) but not the whole of him. just the hole of him in fact…
Following Lacan’s work in “The Agency of the Letter”, Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe perform a close reading of that article in the first chapters of The Title of the Letter. One movement of the text writes as follows:
In order to ground psychoanalysis as something other than one of the many sciences, and against depth psychology (theories of the unconscious prevailing) Jacques Lacan entered university discourse, philosophical discourse, by re-positioning psychoanalysis somewhere in the halls between classrooms, rather than solely in the halls of the hospital or clinic. But somewhere is too vague: directly outside the door of linguistics, and right around the corner from anthropology would be more precise. So just inside the faculty mailboxes of Saussure and Strauss, Lacan did a bit of sorting. Between inter-campus mailings and university paystubs, Lacan ends up – upturning Saussure’s algorithm of signification. Coming out on top, Lacan’s S over s (Signifier over the signified) is the well known inversion. For Lacan, the fractional (fractured…) algorithm that I can’t produce on this keyboard illustrated the Signifiers inability to cross the fractional line, its barring in fact, from and to the signified loosened the strings and cut the ties for any subject from the Cartesian ego.
to be continued…