The author considers the role of resistance in analysis and asks specifically if the resistance of the analysand can be considered a measure of the duration of analytic treatment. It is not in any objective sense, but several indications in Freud’s and Lacan’s work indicate that they do draw connections between resistance and the duration of the treatment. Freud’s definitions of resistance are explored as well as several discussions of resistance in Lacan’s early, middle, and later work. Ultimately, Lacan shifts from a notion of the resistance of discourse to one of the resistance of structure—the topological structure of the Borromean knot.
It is well known that Lacan was interested in topology, especially in the 1960s. Yet for all the work he did with topology in his Seminar, it is curious that he never produced a writing dedicated solely to the topic. This paper tries to imagine what an “écrit” on topology by Lacan might have looked like, and what its main points might have been, based on what Lacan says in his Seminar. It then considers why such an écrit was never produced. The answer involves Lacan’s shifting views on psychoanalysis and its relationship to the history of science.