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Overview Of The Psychoanalytic Act

The Letter, Issue 18, Spring 2000, Pages 104 - 114


Translated by Cormac Gallagher

Lacan's summary of the seminar of 1967-68

for the year book of the

Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes

This, Lacan's own, summary of the seminar on The Psychoanalytic Act, written for the yearbook of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, must prove a vital element in the correct interpretation of his years teaching for 1967-68. The only English version of that teaching is the unpublished translation which has been the focus of the working group at St. Vincents Hospital in 1998-1999 and which provided the theme for the November congress of APPI. The translation of his Summary attempts to follow Lacan's text as closely as possible.[1]


The psychoanalytic act, neither seen nor heard of before me, namely, never mapped out, much less put in question, we suppose here to be something belonging to the elective moment when psychoanalysand passes to psychoanalyst.

This is the most commonly admitted recourse as regards what is necessary for this passage, all other conditions remaining contingent as compared to it.

Thus isolated from this moment of installation, the act is within reach of everyone who enters into a psychoanalysis.

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