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"Psychoanalysis: A Mapping out, Turning the Symbolic Inside out"

The Letter, Issue 59/60, Summer/Autumn 2015, Pages 57 - 62


Terry Ball

This paper considers the notion of psychoanalysis as a ‘mapping out’ which was put forward by Lacan in his 24th Seminar, L’insu que sait de l’une bévue s’aile à mourre. The implied synonyms for ‘mapping out’, such as, ‘identifying with one’s symptom’ and ‘turning inside out’, are highlighted so as to gain some insight into this notion. How one is to understand and situate the symbolic intervention of the analyst and interpretation as a cut are also explored, as are the notions of the symptom – a symbolic representation with an effect in the Real and the possibility of dissolving this effect. Lacan’s toric depictions of these ideas are also presented.

Keywords: inside; outside; inside-out; unconscious; mapping out; identification; symptom; sense; meaning; torus; Borromean knot; Real; Symbolic; Imaginary

This paper begins with two quotations from Jacques Lacan’s (1976-1977) seminar, L’insu que sait de l’une bévue s’aile à mourre, in which, talking about the clinic of psychoanalysis and its aim, Lacan refers to an inside, an outside and a turning inside out:

That psychoanalysis is attached to putting outside what is inside, namely, the unconscious... – [though this] is not without posing some questions[2]

...what do we see by proceeding as we usually do by a cut, by a split, to turn the Symbolic inside out?[3]

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