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Seminars XVII and XVIII with XXIII: On a University Discourse that might not be Joycean

The Letter, Issue 61, Spring 2016, Pages 45 - 75


SEMINARS XVII AND XVIII WITH XXIII: ON A

UNIVERSITY DISCOURSE THAT MIGHT NOT BE JOYCEAN

Daniel C. Bristow


This essay attempts to elucidate a new way in which to envisage Joycean discourse, which has so often been yoked to that of the university discourse outlined by Lacan in a fourfold schema in Seminar XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis. To reach this goal it puts the aforementioned Seminar into relief against Seminars XVIII, On a Discourse that Might not be a Semblance and XXIII, Le sinthome, as well as against work of a third interlocutor, Jacques Derrida. To move towards a conceptualisation of Joycean discourse, it takes into consideration multiform Lacanian themes, such as ‘enverity’, the sinthome, the Name-of-the-Father, enjoyment and semblance, and reads them against the work of Joyce, particularly Finnegans Wake.


Keywords: Jacques Lacan; James Joyce; Jacques Derrida; university discourse; Seminar XVII; Seminar XVIII; Seminar XXIII

No Name of the Father is tenable without thunder, and everyone knows very well that we do not even know what thunder is the sign of. It is the very figure of the semblance. — Jacques Lacan, Seminar XVIII

Bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk! — James Joyce, Finnegans Wake


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