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George Best and the names of the father

The Letter, Issue 36, Spring 2006, Pages 62 - 68


GEORGE BEST AND THE NAMES OF THE FATHER[1]

Charles Melman


Excuse me for speaking in French, but I think it will be easier on your ears!

When I arrived at Dublin airport, in the taxi the driver asked me 'Did you know that George Best died? As it happened I did, and during the journey I said to myself: here is a remarkable man who throughout his life tried to be the best. It can be said that for him - as I said to myself in the taxi - it was the name of the father that had determined his whole existence, that he had to go too quickly to the end of the journey to reach his home. I know that during his life he deviated from that path a little but finally it caught up with him. So we have every reason to think that our life is only a journeying towards that place where we are going to finally be at rest.

Life is simply a semblance, a preface, while we are waiting to finally rejoin the dwelling place of the father. From this point of view time is linear as Cormac was saying this morning, but we know from psychoanalytic experience that our journey is marked by a different rhythm, the rhythm of repetition.

What are we repeating? We regularly repeat the unique failure of our desire every time we are dupes of our desire - since repetition is going to show the failure of that desire. So we already see that time is not linear and that what is really guiding us is an object that is unnamed, that has no name and that we cannot connect up with. Namely, if I am engaged along the path of these repetitions I am a dupe, and I no longer know the meaning or the direction of my life.

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