Where do we find the link between the Freudian death drive and the Lacanian Real? In this theoretical enquiry we trace the relationship between the growing pains of the death drive and the Real in the writings of Freud and Lacan. With Freud we examine the place of the death drive in a theoretical framework. This search inevitably leads to the constitution of the pleasure experience which is very hard to understand in relation to the death drive. We run into the trauma, which is the pleasurable encounter with the Real. Next we concentrate on the Lacanian elaboration of the death drive in the coming into being of the subject. Through this, we stumble upon the Real as that enigmatic category which escapes any elaboration. This Real is then examined in combination with the death drive in an attempt to formulate their relationship. The Borromean Knot of the Real-Symbolic-Imaginary in masochism concludes this paper.
Human sexuality manifests itself in the unfolding of an opposition between universal procreation and individual enjoyment. In this opposition the author detects the knotting of two drives in an apparent juxtaposition: Eros and death drive. On the basis of the three tragedies of the Theban cycle of Sophocles, he investigates how the (un)knotting of this drive culminates in a (death)desire in its purest form. The themes that follow (subjective death wish, blinding ignorance, unconscious transgression of the Law, lethal enjoyment, impossible femininity, impotent masculinity, unbreakable blood ties,…) are linked to the management of this desire within the ethics of contemporary psychoanalysis, more specifically with regards to the end of the cure. From the impasse that comes with this end, the author traces the shift in answers to the questions regarding the end of analysis in the work of Jacques Lacan, from subjective death in the cure, through the traversing of the phantasm, to the last approach to the passe and the creation of the sinthome. In these times of the pluralisation of the Names-of-the-Father he demonstrates how the tragedy in Greek Antiquity still delivers us a solid mythical foothold, now that the object a is climbing into the zenith.