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Phantasy And The Psychoanalytic Act - Freud, Klein And Lacan

The Letter, Issue 18, Spring 2000, Pages 55 - 69

PHANTASY AND THE PSYCHOANALYTIC ACT - FREUD, KLEIN AND LACAN What is involved in the psychoanalytic act...

Michael T. Murphy


The opening words of Lacan's Seminar on The Psychoanalytic Act presuppose a link with the Seminar he gave the previous year on The Logic of Phantasy. He says "... those who heard me speaking ... may feel themselves in some way already introduced to this dimension that the psychoanalytic act represents'[1] which is why I have entitled this paper Phantasy and the Psychoanalytic Act - Freud, Klein and Lacan. I subtitled the paper What is involved in the psychoanalytic act ... because of the movement between the two registers it plays upon: the che vuoi question redolent of phantasy: 'What is involved in the psychoanalytic act?' and then, the response of what is meant, the state-meant of 'what is involved in the psychoanalytic act ...'. The question is in the minor key of reluctantly having to accept your fate as a human being, while the statement is in the major one of choosing to subjectify that fate, and make it your own. These two are inseparable: the one implies the other through its presence, through its absence ...

The cornerstone of the psychoanalytic act is the truth of phantasy. In the theatre of the Freud/Fliess letters, reality collapsed on the twenty-first of September 1897, and an understudy, phantasy, stepped into the spotlight and moved centre stage. Freud finally accepted;

... the certain insight that there are no indications of reality in the unconscious, so that one cannot distinguish between truth and fiction that has been cathected with affect... '[2]

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