top of page

Issue 49: Editorial

The Letter, Issue 49, Spring 2012, Pages v - vi


This issue contains the Second Turn of L’Etourdit, Chapter Three: Sense and Structure, consisting of the four sections, (i) Sense and Teaching (ii) Structure (iii) the Modification of the Structure and (iv) the End of Analysis. This again is a bilingual publication as translated by Cormac Gallagher. Lacan deals with the difference between sense and meaning leading onto the saying and the said as re-presented in the Moebius strip and the cross-cap of topology. Topology is structure and the closed cut is the said. Structure is modified by the number of cuts made on the cross-cap. The fall of desire is the o-object resulting from the double-turned cut, which summons the double turn of L’Etourdit itself. The final section – the end of analysis – links the impossible of sex, sense and meaning, as enigma.

Fierens text Reading L’Etourdit serves as an expository for some of the obscure references in Lacan’s work. His meticulous reading of the original enables us to gain some further access to the convoluted approach of Lacan. It should not however be read as either an interpretation or a said, but used in a way that allows further nuances to be continually discovered in the work that is the last major writing by Lacan, and which has been called his testament.

Barry O’Donnell raises a number of questions which arise from Darian Leader’s recent book What is Madness? He points out that his questioning is not done in a spirit of wanting to create division, but out of a desire to pursue matters of importance for him as analyst. Does Leader’s work represent a modality of treatment which is in line with O’Donnell’s approach to the clinic? The similarity between Miller and Leader is brought out and this contrasts with Fierens’s belief that it is necessary to engage in a practice which ‘sustains an openness to strangeness’.

Tom Dalzell shows how psychoanalysis was influenced by the work of Meynert, which also suffered from Meynert’s later criticism of Freud, particularly in relation to his work on hypnosis and hysteria. The benefits gained by moving away from philosophical Romanticism in the direction of the rationalism of the Enlightenment are still being debated to-day. One is struck by Freud’s unwavering character to undergo professional isolation in pursuit of his ethic.

Malachi McCoy deals with the formation of the analyst and the working of the cartel. He refers to the Founding Act and the discussion that took place on the Inter-cartel Study Day of the Ecole Freudienne de Paris on 12/13 April 1975, which explored the working of the cartels at that time. McCoy’s reading of this text and his linkages to Freud and Lacan are vigorous and raise essential questions.

Oscar Zentner delves into one of the highly controversial topics of psychoanalysis – the death drive. He shows how both Freud and Jung forgot the fact that Sabina Spielrein had first raised the opposition of the drives of life and death at the Viennese Society of Psychoanalysis on 19 November 1911, despite the fact that Freud had condemned her work. Zentner suggests that this may have occurred for reasons other than difference of view on this matter. In addition to the act of forgetting, Zentner also suggests that because of Spielrein’s closeness to Jung and his approach to psychosis, Freud’s interest in psychosis waned with consequent adverse effects for psychoanalysis, hence underlining the implications of transference both within and outside of analysis.

Tony Hughes

Related Posts

See All

Hateloving in the Transference

This paper attempts to clarify the scope of this situation as well as to underscore how much Freud and Freudian psychoanalysis owe to the...


bottom of page