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Issue 39: Editorial

The Letter, Issue 39, Autumn 2008, Pages vii - viii


The previous issue of The Letter appeared in 2006, the year we celebrated the 150th birthday of Sigmund Freud. This year is no less auspicious. It marks the 100th anniversaries of Eugen Bleuler’s new term “Schizophrenia”, whose symptoms he found intelligible thanks to Freud, and of Freud’s visit to the Burghölzli in Zürich. The year 2008 also sees the re-launch of The Letter. Now owned solely by The School of Psychotherapy at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, it was first published in 1994 with the sub-title "Lacanian Perspectives on Psychoanalysis”. It is a pleasure to announce its re-launch at this time with the new sub-title “Irish Journal for Lacanian Psychoanalysis”.

The Letter. Irish Journal for Lacanian Psychoanalysis publishes the cartel work of the Irish School for Lacanian Psychoanalysis founded by Cormac Gallagher in 2007. This issue, number 39, concentrates on the first study- day of one of its cartels. It had been working on Lacan’s “Notall” and we are pleased to publish here for the first time Cormac Gallagher’s translation of Guy Le Gaufey’s “Towards a Critical Reading of the Formulae of Sexüation” as well as helpful introductions to this text by both.

Members of the cartel offer their readings of Le Gaufey’s reading. Patricia McCarthy, director of The School of Psychotherapy, writes in praise of incompleteness. Irene Sweeney investigates Plato’s Symposium as a backdrop to Lacan’s thinking on agalma as an object devoid of completeness. And Tom Dalzell examines the use Lacan makes of Kant’s "negative nothing” in support of his empty object without a concept.

Also included in this issue is a critique of Le Gaufey’s reading by the Belgian psychoanalyst, Christian Fierens, who will speak at the conference on schizophrenia in St. Vincent’s in December of this year, and a reply by Le Gaufey himself. Thanks again to Cormac Gallagher for translating these articles as well. He has pointed out a problem of translation which crops up in both texts. The French verb dire is translated as “to say”, but what about the substantive le direl “The saying”, “the fact of saying” and “the act of saying” all have drawbacks and he had originally chosen “the fact...” to avoid the notion of a conscious agent, but later switched to “the act” on the strength of Lacan’s remark in Le Sinthome: “le dire est un acte”.

An index to all the articles which have appeared in The Letter since 1994 - which are also contained in our online archive - is given at the back of this issue. Our next issue, the first in 2009, will be devoted to the study-day of another cartel which has been working on the question of psychosis.

Tom Dalzell

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