This article focuses both on Lacan’s elaborations of the etiology of symptoms and the related question of the end of analysis. Starting in the 70’s, Lacan concentrates on a further elaboration concerning Freud’s notion of the fixation of the partial drives as the “causa” of symptoms and the end of analysis. In doing so, he supplements his earlier concept of the object a, that formalizes the four partial objects, with the notions of the “letter” and the “sinthome”. The end of the analysis and the definite disappearance of symptoms are situated by Lacan in the relation of the analysand with respect to his object. This relation is singular, hence only possible if it is no longer encumbered by the Other. After all, the sinthome is a knotting of the real, the symbolic and the imaginary that, following the example of Joyce, – operates entirely without the Other.
As a diagnosis, borderline constitutes the intersection of all postfreudian errors concerning anxiety. On the side of the analyst the borderline-diagnosis avoids his horror towards his own act, his traumatic anxiety towards the real of his desire or his discourse which makes him responsible for hysteria. On the side of the analysand the borderline-diagnosis misses the mark of anxiety neurosis as the real limit on the symbolic of hysterical discourse.