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L’Étourdit: A bilingual presentation of the Second Turn. Chapter 3: Sense and Structure

The Letter, Issue 49, Spring 2012, Pages 1 - 21



Jacques Lacan

A Bilingual Presentation of the Second Turn.

Chapter 3. Sense and Structure

Translated by Cormac Gallagher

We published the First Turn chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Issue 41, Summer 2009. This was followed by the Second Turn - Chapter 1, in Issue 43, Spring 2010, and by Chapter 2, in Issue 45 Autumn 2010.

The facing French text is from:

L’archive de L’Ecole Lacanienne


Jacques Lacan


1. Sense and teaching

Let us get moving here on the business of sense, promised earlier because of its difference to meaning.

What allows us to grapple with it is the enormity of the condensation between ‘that which thinks’ of our day (with the feet that we just mentioned) and the inept topology Kant reinforced in his own argumentation, that of the bourgeois who can only imagine transcendence, aesthetic as well as dialectical.

We might say that this condensation is in effect to be understood ‘in the analytic sense’, as the received formula has it. What is this sense, if precisely the elements condensed in it are univocally qualified by a similar imbecility, indeed are capable of taking pride in it from the side of ‘that which thinks’, Kant’s mask on the contrary appearing stony before insult, except for his reflection on Swedenborg: in other words, is there a sense of imbecility?

Here we touch on the fact that sense is never produced except by the translation of one discourse into another.

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