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Lacan's Seminar XVIII (1970-'71): Of a discourse that would not be a semblance

Erika Radich, Escape

How do analysts dance—work with, glean know-how from, hold ourselves accountable to—our analysands’ acts of saying vis-à-vis that Absolute which, once said, makes its way from speech (always, as Plato writes in the Cratylus, passing away…in the very instant while we are speaking, becoming something else… and no longer what it is)?  Faced with that formal, modal or subjunctive relation, that non-rapport, what will be our stance?

How might we—seeking our practice within a discourse that implodes age-old cathedrals of belief, unravels social and bodily texts, disarticulates palimpsests, whose virulent credos metastasize under the impact of an apocalyptic, ever-cresting tsunami of the unmediated real—come to transcribe, describe or inscribe that unnameable ab-solute in the form of a Scripture (‘Écriture’) literally (‘à la lettre’) beyond belief?  How rightly to act, what beauty, ethic or good to manifest, in that non-place where, as Lacan put it in ‘Radiophonie,’ là n’a lyse—there where there's no there there to break down, to analyse or articulate?

We’ll spend this year in a close line-by-line reading of Bruce Fink’s new translation, alongside the Seuil French edition, of Lacan’s Seminar XVIII (1970-’71):  Of a discourse that would not be a semblance, a seminar upholding the talking cure as a discourse which cleaves to writing as the bone of which language would be the flesh.

Faculty: Benjamin Davidson
Dates/Times: Wednesdays 5—7 pm PST beginning 8 January, 2025 (second and fourth Wednesdays)
Location: online
Contact: Benjamin Davidson (
Fee: Free-of-charge

Benjamin Davidson, Ph.D. Dr. Davidson is a faculty member and Research Analyst of the Lacanian School, and an Associate Dean of Students at Stanford University, where he has led seminars on Lacanian and Freudian analysis since 2010.  He maintains a private practice in Palo Alto and San Francisco, and is a co-editor and frequent contributor to the European Journal of Psychoanalysis.

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