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An Introduction to a Critical Reading of Lacan's Formulae of Sexuation

The Letter, Issue 39, Autumn 2008, Pages 11 - 18



Guy Le Gaufey

This paper is based on an address in 2007 at the first study-day of the Irish School for Lacanian Psychoanalysis. The author introduces his essay on Lacan’s formulae of sexuation which appears here for the first time in English translation. He reveals what led him to make a critical reading of the formulae and he relates their development to another trajectory, Lacan’s gradual invention of his “o object”.

I want first to tell you how touched and honoured I am to be invited to the first meeting of the Irish School of Lacanian Psychoanalysis because I was also present, 13 years ago, the day, the very day when the APPI was founded. It was a sunny Sunday of October and I could understand at that rime that this Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland was kicked off with a title which was not a very happy one. I explained, that lay. that I had nothing against psychotherapy, that I practiced it every day, rut that was not a good idea to join these two practices under the same title. I was no longer green in psychoanalysis, and I knew things about schools and associations, especially that to mix in the same title Psychoanalysis and psychotherapy would lead to a mess. A title has to point to an aim, and you cannot have two different aims like that, even if you practice both. So I am very glad to hear - for first time; I had not been warned of anything of the -and! - of this “ISLIP”, about which this morning we won’t say any more.

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