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Is Topology Meaningless? Yes and No

The Letter, Issue 63, Autumn 2016, Pages 59 - 68



Hugh Jarrett

This paper developed out of the work of our cartel on the first part of the second turn of L’Étourdit[1] , and in particular the questions that developed from reading Lacan’s text and the commentary on the second turn written by Christian Fierens[2]: What is the role of topology in L’Étourdit and why is it of value to psychoanalytic practice? The answer is not an easy one largely because of the nature of metaphor or ‘meaning’ and the problems inherent in it. This paper will attempt to draw out the train of Lacan’s thoughts on topology in this particular écrit and to briefly apply his thinking to one of Freud’s cases.

Keywords: Topology; L’Étourdit; Moebius strip; meaning/metaphor; matheme; case of the young homosexual woman

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