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An Approach to Lacan’s XXVIth Seminar Topology and Time

The Letter, Issue 62, Summer 2016, Pages 71 - 97


Will Greenshields

This paper outlines an approach to Lacan’s XXVIth seminar Topology and Time. It begins with an examination of Lacan’s substitution of the philosopher’s being and time for the psychoanalyst’s topology and time by looking at Lacan’s deployment of the Moebius strip in clarifying the paradoxical temporality of the subject and the signifier. It then introduces the Borromean knot as a writing of the Real and attempts to explain the distinction Lacan makes between three different accesses to the Real: modelling, demonstration and monstration. Following a delineation of the place of the symptom and the unconscious in a nodal topology, this paper concludes by raising some questions about the temporality of the Borromean knot and outlining two of the concepts that Lacan introduced in Topology and Time – namely, ‘the generalised Borromean’ and ‘homotopic inversion’.

Keywords: the Borromean knot; the generalised Borromean; the Moebius strip; the symptom; the Real; ex-sistence

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