摘记丨On Jouissance

From The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX

1(3,11) Jouissance is what seves no purpose (ne sert à rien). The superego is the imperative of jouissance. (4,12) Jouissance from the Other's body stem is from l'amur. It's what appears in the form of bizarre signs on the body. They are the sexual characteristics that come from beyond, from that place we believed we could eye under the microscope in the form of the germ cell – regarding which I would point out that we can't say that it's life since it also bears death, the death of the body, by repeating it. That is where the encorps comes from. (5,13) Desire merely leads us to aim at the gap (faille) where it can be demonstrated that the One is based only on (tenir de) the essence of the signifier.

2(6,13) The attempt to demonstrate the gap (béance) there its between this One and something that is related to (tenir à) being and, behind being, to jouissance. From the way the parakeet nibbled the collar of his shirt and the flaps of his jacket. Indeed, the parakeet was in love with what is essential, namely, his attire (accoutrement). The parakeet was like Descartes, to whom men were merely clothes (habits) ... walking about (en ... pro-ménade). Clothes promise debauchery (ça promet la ménade), when one takes them off. To enjoy a body (jouir d'un corps) when there are no more clothes leaves intact the question of what makes the One, that is the question of identification. The parakeeet identified with Picasso clothed (habillé). The same goes for everything involwing love. The habit loves the monk, as they are but one thereby. In other words, what lies under the habit, what we call the body, is perhaps but the remainder (reste) I call object a. What holds the image together is a remainder. Analysis demonstrates that love, in its essence, is narcissistic, and reveals that the substance of waht is supposedly object-like (objectal) – what a bunch of bull – is in fact that which constitutes a remainder in desire, namely, its cause, and sustains desire through its lack of satisfaction (insatisfaction), and even its impossibility. Love is impotent, though mutual, because it is not aware that it is but the desire to be One, which leads us to the impossibility of establishing the relationship between “them-two” (la relation d'eux). The relationship between them-two what? – them-two sexes.

3(7,14) Analytic discourse demonstrates that the phallus is the conscientious objection made by one of the two sexed beings to the service to be rendered to the other. Phallic jouissance is the obstacle owing to which man does not come (n'arrive pas), I would say, to enjoy woman's body, precisely because what he enjoys is the jouissance of the organ. That is why the superego,which I qulified earlier as based on the (imperative) “Enjoy!”, is a correlate of castration, the latter being the sign with which an avowal dresses itself up (se pare), the avowal that jouissance of the Other, of the body of the Other, is promoted only on the basis of infinity (de l'infinitude)... The infinity based on Zeno's paradox. Zeno hadn't seen is that the tortoise does not escape the destiny that weighs upon Achilles – its step too gets shorter and shorter and it never arrives at the limit either... A number has a limit and it is to that extent that it is infinite. It is quite clear that Achilles can only pass the tortoise – hecannot catch up with it. He only catches up with it at infinity (infinitude). (10,16) From the moment there are names, one can make a list of women and count them. If there are mille e tre of them, it's clear that one can take them one by one – that is what is essential. That is entirely different from the One of universal sufion. If woman were not not-whole – if, in her body, she were not not-whole as sexed being – none of that would hold true.

4(11,17) Through analytic discourse, the subject manifests himself in his gap, namely, in that which causes his desire. As for being (Ce qui est de l'être), a being that would be posited as absolute, it is never anything but the fracture, break, or interruption of the formulation “sexed being,” insofar as sexed being is involved (intéressé) in jouissance.