About jouissance

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enjoyment

… jouissance, and the corresponding verb, jouir, refer to an extreme pleasure …

… it is not possible to translate this french word, jouissance, precisely …

… sometimes it is translated as 'enjoyment' …

… but enjoyment has a reference to pleasure …

… and jouissance is an enjoyment that always has a deadly reference …

… a paradoxical pleasure …

… reaching an almost intolerable level of excitation …

… due to the specificity of the french term, it is usually left untranslated.

pleasure

… lacan makes an important distinction between jouissance and plaisir (pleasure) …

… pleasure obeys the law of homeostasis that freud evokes in beyond the pleasure principle …

… whereby, through discharge, the psyche seeks the lowest possible level of tension …

… the pleasure principle thus functions as a limit imposed on enjoyment …

… it commands the subject to "enjoy as little as possible." …

… jouissance transgresses this law and, in that respect, it is beyond the pleasure principle. … the symbolic prohibition of enjoyment in the oedipus complex (the incest taboo) …

… is thus, paradoxically, the prohibition of something which is already impossible …

… its function is therefore to sustain the neurotic illusion that enjoyment would be attainable if it were not forbidden …

… the very prohibition creates the desire to transgress it …

… and jouissance is therefore fundamentally transgressive …

development

… sigmund freud - death drive …

… the death drive is the name given to that constant desire in the subject to break through the pleasure principle towards the thing …

… and a certain excess jouissance; thus jouissance is "the path towards death" …

… insofar as the drives are attempts to break through the pleasure principle in search of jouissance …

… every drive is a death drive …

jacques lacan - master-slave dialectic, 1953 - 1960

… jouissance is not a central preoccupation during the first part of lacan's teaching …

… jouissance appears in lacan's work in the seminars of 1953-54 and 1954-55, and is referred to in some other works (écrits, 1977) …

… in these early years jouissance is not elaborated in any structural sense …

… the reference being mainly to hegel and the master—slave dialectic …

… where the slave must facilitate the master's jouissance through his work in producing objects for the master …

jacques lacan - sexual reference

… from 1957 the sexual reference of jouissance as orgasm emerges into the foreground …

… this is the more popular use of the term jouissance, with jouir meaning `to come' …

jacques lacan - the ethics of psychoanalysis

… in his seminar of 1959-60, the ethics of psychoanalysis, lacan deals for the first time with the real and jouissance …

… although the real of the 1960s is not the same as his use of the real in the 1980s, the first concepts emerge in this seminar …

… here jouissance is considered in its function of evil…

… that which is ascribed to a neighbour…

… but which dwells in the most intimate part of the subject…

… intimate and alienated at the same time…

… as it is that from which the subject flees…

… experiencing aggression at the very approach of an encounter with his/her own jouissance …

… the chapters in this seminar address such concepts as the jouissance of transgression and the paradox of jouissance …

jacques lacan - symbolic castration, 1960s

… it is in the text 'the subversion of the subject and the dialectic of desire in the freudian unconscious' that a structural account of jouissance is first given in connection with the subject's entry into the symbolic (lacan, 1977) …

… the speaking being has to use the signifier, which comes from the other …

… this has an effect of cutting any notion of a complete jouissance of the other …

… the signifier forbids the jouissance of the body of the other …

… complete jouissance is thus forbidden to the one who speaks, that is, to all speaking beings …

… this refers to a loss of jouissance which is a necessity for those who use language and are a product of language …

… this is a reference to castration…

… castration of jouissance, a lack of jouissance that is constituent of the subject …

… this loss of jouissance is a loss of the jouissance which is presumed to be possible with the other, but which is, in fact, lost from the beginning …

… the myth of a primary experience of satisfaction is an illusion to cover the fact that all satisfaction is marked by a loss in relation to a supposed initial, complete satisfaction …

… the primary effect of the signifier is the repression of the thing where we suppose full jouissance to be …

… once the signifier is there, jouissance is not there so completely …

… and it is only because of the signifier, whose impact cuts and forces an expenditure of jouissance from the body…

… that it is possible to enjoy what remains, or is left over from this evacuating …

… what cannot be evacuated via the signifying operation remains as a jouissance around the erotogenic zones, that to which the drive is articulated…

… what is left over after this negativization (—) of jouissance occurs at two levels …

… at one level, jouissance is redistributed outside the body in speech…

… and there is thus a jouissance of speech itself, out-of-the-body jouissance …

… on another level, at the level of the lost object, object a, there is a plus (+) …

… a little compensation in the form of what is allowed of jouissance…

… a compensation for the minus of the loss which has occurred in the forbidding of jouissance of the other…

jacques lacan - symbolic prohibition

… the prohibition of jouissance (the pleasure principle) is inherent in the symbolic structure of language…

… which is why "jouissance is forbidden to him who speaks as such." …

… the subject's entry into the symbolic is conditional upon a certain initial renunciation of jouissance in the castration complex…

… when the subject gives up his attempts to be the imaginary phallus for the mother…

jacques lacan - law and prohibition

… the freudian oedipus refers to the father prohibiting access to the mother…

… that is, the law prohibiting jouissance …

… lacan refers not only to a jouissance forbidden to the one who speaks…

… but the impossibility in the very structure itself of such a jouissance…

… that is, a lack of jouissance in the essential of the structure …

… thus, what is prohibited is, in fact, already impossible…

jacques lacan - plus-de jouir

… the lack in the signifying order, a lack in the other, which designates a lack of jouissance…

… creates a place where lost objects come, standing in for the missing jouissance…

… and creating a link between the signifying order and jouissance …

… what is allowed of jouissance is in the surplus jouissance connected with object a …

… here jouissance is embodied in the lost object …

… although this object is lost and cannot be appropriated…

… it does restore a certain coefficient of jouissance …

… this can be seen in the subject repeating him-/herself with his/her surplus jouissance…

… plus-de jouir, in the push of the drive …

jacques lacan - drive

… plus-de jouir can mean both more and no more…

… hence the ambiguity, both more jouir and no more jouir …

… the drive turning around this lost object attempts to capture something of the lost jouissance …

… this it fails to do, there is always a loss in the circuit of the drive…

… but there is a jouissance in the very repetition of this movement around the object a…

… which it produces as a plus-de jouir …

… in this structural approach, there is a structuring function of lack itself…

… and the loss of the primordial object of jouissance comes to operate as a cause, as seen in the function of object a, the plus-de jouir …

jacques lacan - desire

jouissance is denoted, in these years, in its dialectic with desire …

… unrecognised desire brings the subject closer to a destructive jouissance, which is often followed by retreat …

… this destructive jouissance has a freudian illustration in the account of the case of the ratman…

… of whom freud notes `the horror of a pleasure of which he was unaware' …

jacques lacan - 1970s

… seminar xx, encore, given in 1972-73, further elaborates lacan's ideas on jouissance already outlined…

… and goes further with another aspect of jouissance, feminine jouissance, also known as the other jouissance …

… the speaking being is alone with his/her jouissance as it is not possible to share the jouissance of the other …

… the axiom that lacan has already given in earlier seminars, there is no sexual rapport…

… comes to the foreground in encore as male and female coming from a very different jouissance…

… different and not complementary …

… it is a difference in the relation of the speaking being to jouissance…

… which determines his being man or woman, not anatomical difference…

jacques lacan - phallic jouissance

… sexual jouissance is specified as an impasse …

… it is not what will allow a man and a woman to be joined …

… sexual jouissance can follow no other path than that of phallic jouissance that has to pass through speech …

… the jouissance of man is produced by the structure of the signifier, and is known as phallic jouissance …

… the structure of phallic jouissance is the structure of the signifier …

… lacan proposes a precise definition of man as being subject to castration…

… and lacking a part of jouissance, that which is required in order to use speech …

… all of man is subjected to the signifier …

… man cannot relate directly with the other …

… his partner is thus not the other sex but an object, a piece of the body …

… man looks for a little surplus jouissance, that linked with object a, which has phallic value…

… the erotics embodied in object a is the jouissance…

… that belongs to fantasy, aiming at a piece of the body…

… and creating an illusion of a union linking the subject with a specific object …

… the jouissance of man is thus phallic jouissance together with surplus jouissance …

… this is linked to his ideas of the 1960s outlined above…

jacques lacan - other jouissance

… woman is phallic jouissance with something more, a supplementary jouissance …

… there is no universal definition of woman …

… every woman must pass, like man, through the signifier …

… however, not all of woman is subjected to the signifier …

… woman thus has the possibility of the experience of a jouissance which is not altogether phallic …

… this other jouissance, another kind of satisfaction, has to do with the relation to the other and is not supported by the object and fantasy…

… increasingly, in his works of the 1970s, lacan points to the fact that language, in addition to having a signifier effect, also has an effect of jouissance …

… in television, he equivocates between jouissance, jouis-sens (enjoyment in sense) and the jouissance effect, the enjoyment of one's own unconscious, even if it is through pain (lacan, 1990) …

… the unconscious is emphasized as enjoyment playing through substitution…

… with jouissance located in the jargon itself …

… jouissance thus refers to the specific way in which each subject enjoys his/her unconscious…

jacques lacan - lalangue

… the motor of the unconscious jouissance is lalangue, also described as babbling or mother tongue …

… the unconscious is made of lalangue …

… lacan writes it as lalangue to show that language always intervenes in the form of lallation…

… or mother tongue and that the unconscious is a `knowing how to do things' with lalangue …

… the practice of psychoanalysis, which promotes free association…

… aims to cut through the apparent coherent, complete system of language…

… in order to emphasize the inconsistencies and holes with which the speaking being has to deal …

… the lalangue of the unconscious, that which blurts out when least expected, provides a jouissance in its very play …

… every lalangue is unique to a subject…

… jouis-sens also refers to the super-ego's demand to enjoy, a cruel imperative - enjoy! …

… that the subject will never be able to satisfy …

… the super-ego promotes the jouissance that it simultaneously prohibits …

… the freudian reference to the super-ego is one of a paradoxical functioning…

… secretly feeding on the very satisfaction that it commands to be renounced …

… the severity of the super-ego is therefore a vehicle for jouissance…

… in 'la troisième', presented in rome in 1974, lacan elaborates the third jouissance…

… jouis-sens, the jouissance of meaning…

… the jouissance of the unconscious, in reference to its locus in the borromean knot …

… he locates the three jouissances in relation to the intersections of the three circles of the knot, the circles of the real, the symbolic and the imaginary …

… the borromean knot is a topos in which the logical and clinical dimensions of the three jouissances are linked together…

… the other jouissance, that is the jouissance of the body, is located at the intersection of the real and the imaginary…

… phallic jouissance is situated within the common space of the symbolic and the real…

… the jouissance of meaning, jouis-sens, is located at the intersection of the imaginary and the symbolic …

… it is the object a that holds the central, irreducible place between the real, the symbolic and the imaginary…

jacques lacan - feminine jouissance

… lacan states that "jouissance, insofar as it is sexual, is phallic…

… which means that it does not relate to the other as such." …

… however, he argues that there is a specifically feminine jouissance…

… a "supplementary jouissance"…

… which is "beyond the phallus," a jouissance of the other …

… in order to differentiate between these two forms of jouissance…

… lacan introduces different algebraic symbols for each…

… jφ designates phallic jouissance, whereas …

… ja designates the jouissance of the other.

jouissance and the clinic

… lacan's contribution to the clinic is paramount in regard to the operation of jouissance in neurosis, perversion and psychosis …

… the three structures can be viewed as strategies with respect to dealing with jouissance. neurosis

… the neurotic subject does not want to sacrifice his/her castration to the jouissance of the other …

… it is an imaginary castration that is clung to in order not to have to acknowledge symbolic castration

… the subjection to language and its consequent loss of jouissance …

… the neurotic subject asks 'why me, that i have to sacrifice this castration, this piece of flesh, to the other?'

… here we encounter the neurotic belief that it would be possible to attain a complete jouissance if it were not forbidden

… and if it were not for some other who is demanding his/her castration …

… instead of seeing the lack in the other the neurotic sees the other's demand of him/her

perversion

… the pervert imagines him-/herself to be the other in order to ensure his/her jouissance …

… the perverse subject makes him-/herself the instrument of the other's jouissance through putting the object a in the place of the barred other …

… negating the other as subject …

… his/her jouissance comes from placing him-/herself as an object …

… in order to procure the jouissance of a phallus …

… even though he/she doesn't know to whom this phallus belongs …

… although the pervert presents him-/herself as completely engaged in seeking jouissance …

… one of his/her aims is to make the law present …

… lacan uses the term père-version, to demonstrate the way in which the pervert appeals to the father to fulfil the paternal function …

practice

… the practice of psychoanalysis examines the different ways and means the subject uses to produce jouissance …

… it is by means of the bien dire, the well-spoken, where the subject comes to speak in a new way …

… a way of speaking the truth, that a different distribution of jouissance may be achieved …

… the analytic act is a cut, a break with a certain mode of jouissance fixed in the fantasy …

… the consequent crossing of the fantasy leaves the subject having to endure being alone with his/her own jouissance …

… and to encounter its operation in the drive, a unique, singular way of being alone with one's own jouissance …

… the cut of the analytic act leaves the subject having to make his/her own something that was formerly alien …

… this produces a new stance in relation to jouissance …

psychosis

… in psychosis, jouissance is reintroduced in the place of the other …

… the jouissance involved here is called jouissance of the other …

… because jouissance is sacrificed to the other …

… often in the most mutilating ways …

… like cutting off a piece of the body as an offering to what is believed to be the command of the other to be completed …

… the body is not emptied of jouissance via the effect of the signifier and castration …

… which usually operate to exteriorise jouissance and give order to the drives. in schreber we see the manifestation of the ways in which the body is not emptied of jouissance …

… shreber describes a body invaded by a jouissance that is ascribed to the jouissance of the other, the jouissance of god …

… the practice of psychoanalysis with the psychotic differs from that of the neurotic …

… given that the psychotic is in the position of the object of the other's jouissance …

… where the uncontrolled action of the death drive lies …

… what is aimed at is the modification of this position in regard to the jouissance in the structure …

… this involves an effort to link in a chain …

… the isolated, persecuting signifiers in order to initiate a place for the subject outside the jouissance of the other …

… psychoanalysis attempts to modify the effect of the other's jouissance in the body …

… according to the shift of the subject in the structure …

… the psychotic does not escape the structure, but there can be a modification of unlimited, deadly jouissance …