Summary: With his twentieth seminar entitled Encore (Still, 1970-1971), Jacques Lacan places a ‘point’ at the end of a sentence constituted by the combined titles of the eighteenth (Of a Discourse that Might Not Be a Semblance, 1971-1972) and nineteenth (… Or Worse, 1972-1973) seminars. Returning to the fifth (1957-1958) and sixth (1958-1959) seminars, in which Lacan described, in the context of his ‘graph of desire’, the point as that what in a chain of signifiers functions as a stop retroactively granting the chain with meaning, De Kesel presents Encore as functioning like a point that reflects on Lacan’s former seminars. Like the earlier work, Encore (Still) portrays human beings as subjects of desire. Linking people’s unquenchable desire for satisfaction to feminine jouissance and the ecstatic experiences of mystics – a fleeting, momentary fulfillment of an endless desire for the absent (divine) lover – Encore states, once more, with another set of signifiers, that the hoped-for attainment of the object of desire – the signified meaning, closure must be suspended, yet again.
This paper starts by addressing a number of common interpretations of love. Initially we recognise a conceptualisation of love as a ‘compatibility degree’, interspersed with an idyllic and rational set of ideas where the other is searched for as a duplicate of the self. We contradict this mindset by formulating an alternative that is primarily backed up by elements of the Graphe, where the emphasis is put on the interplay between lack and desire. In our effort we create space for an idea of love where tragedy can be reintroduced and hereby demonstrate facets like difference, subversion and incalculability. The theory is subsequently given a vivid and human illustration because different myths and a parable lend themselves excellently towards this task. The figurehead of the interplay between lack and desire is to be found in the parable of Samson.
This contribution proposes that Freud, in “Instincts and their Vicissitudes” (1915c), develops a separate metapsychology of hate for the first time. Freud does not only distinguish hate from sadism and masochism, but also renounces his former opinion about hate as a transformation of love. We analyse Freud’s views on hate in line with his “The Disposition to Obsessional Neurosis” (1913i) and according to the matrix of obsessional neurosis. We also draw attention to the constitutive importance of the ego-development and the ego-instincts as put forward in “On Narcissism: An Introduction” (1914c). In this way Freud’s plea for an original hate is one of the rare locations in the Freudian corpus where there is room for an original, non-sexual aggressivity.
This essay examines why Socrates uses the Symposium of Plato to better understand transference in psychoanalytic treatment. The reason is found in Freud’s argument that transference is true love and that Eros is the subject of the Symposium. Can Socrates be seen as a precursor to Freud? Lacan’s answer is no. The knowledge of Socrates is not the knowledge of Freud. According to Socrates, love is oriented to what is good and the love for the individual is sublimated into a love that transcends the individual. This general idea on love is, in a certain sense according to Lacan, already contradicted by Plato in the final scene of the Symposium in which Alcibiades expresses his love for Socrates. In this exclusive love forces, such as envy and jealousy, come to the fore that do not sit well with Socrates’ metaphysics. The love of Alcibiades is not a failed love, but reveals what is missing in Socrates’ vision. If Socrates evaluates the love object from the point of view of a future satisfaction, Freud conceives the value of the object from the point of view of the drives.
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