By Jacques Lacan
Ecrits is the fundamental resource for somebody who seeks to appreciate this seminal philosopher and his impact effect on modern idea and tradition.
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Additional resources for Écrits: A Selection (Routledge Classics)
To the Urbild of this formation, alienating as it is by virtue of its capacity to render extraneous, corresponds a peculiar satisfaction deriving from the integration of an original organic disarray, a satisfaction that must be conceived in the dimension of a vital dehiscence that is constitutive of man, and which makes unthinkable the idea of an environment that is preformed for him, a ‘negative’ libido that enables the Heraclitean notion of Discord, which the Ephesian believed to be prior to harmony, to shine once more.
Aggressivity in psychoanalysis 15 child’s very early perception of the human form, a form which, as we know, holds the child’s interest in the first months of life, and even, in the case of the human face, from the tenth day. But what demonstrates the phenomenon of recognition, which involves subjectivity, are the signs of triumphant jubilation and playful discovery that characterize, from the sixth month, the child’s encounter with his image in the mirror. This behaviour contrasts strikingly with the indifference shown even by animals that perceive this image, the chimpanzee, for example, when they have tested its objectal vanity, and it becomes even more apparent when one realizes that it occurs at an age when the child, as far as instrumental intelligence is concerned, is backward in relation to the chimpanzee, which he catches up with only at eleven months.
It is this pitiful victim, this escaped, irresponsible outlaw, who is condemning modern man to the most formidable social hell, whom we meet when he comes to us; it is our daily task to open up to this being of nothingness the way of his meaning in a discreet fraternity – a task for which we are always too inadequate. ’ (Quotation chosen as an inscription on an Institute of Psychoanalysis in 1952) Before proceeding to the report itself, something should be said of the surrounding circumstances.