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“L’Etourdit”, Scilicet 4 (1973) pp. 5-52

The Letter, Issue 41, Summer 2009, Pages 31 - 77

“L’Etourdit”, Scilicet 4 (1973) pp. 5-52

Jacques Lacan

Trans. C. Gallagher


(5, 449) In contributing to the 50th anniversary of L'hôpital Henri-Rousselle for the favour that my friends and I have received there in a work concerning which I will indicate what it has been able to do, namely go beyond presentation, I pay homage to Dr. Daumézon who allowed me to do it.

What follows, as is my custom, does not prejudge anything about the interest that was taken in it by those to whom it was addressed: my saying (mon dire) at Sainte-Anne was a vacuole just like at Henri-Rousselle, and, just imagine, for almost the same time, preserving in any case the price of this letter that I say always arrives where it ought.


I start from morsels, not philosophical ones to be sure, since they are scraps from my seminar of this year (at Paris-1).

"I wrote on two occasions on the board there (and a third time in Milan where on my travels I made it into a headline for a news-flash on "the psychoanalytic discourse‟) these two sentences: That one might be saying (Qu'on dise) remains forgotten behind what is said in what is heard. This enunciation which appears to be an assertion since it is produced in a universal form, is in fact modal, existential as such: the subjunctive by which its subject is modulated, testifying to this. If the welcome that responds to me from my audience is enough for the term "seminar‟ to be not too unworthy for what I contribute there in terms of speech, had not enticed me away from these sentences, I would have wished from their relationship of signification (rapport de signification) to demonstrate the sense (sens) they take on from psychoanalytic discourse.

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