The Letter, Issue 13, Summer 1998, Pages 94 - 105
WO STEHT LACAN HEUTE? LACANIAN PSYCHOANALYSIS IN IRELAND*
I cannot help feeling that there is much in the circumstances today that mirrors the psychoanalytic encounter proper. I come before you today as an unknown quantity, a foreigner, to speak in a language which I have no guarantee will be understood and which besides, is a language which is not my own but the language of the Other, as any of you who have even the barest knowledge of Irish history will know. I come to a rendezvous where there is inherent to it the demand that Lacanian psychoanalysis in Ireland give an account of itself. This question, 'What have you to say for yourself?', is only a variation of the question inaugurating any psychoanalytic encounter: 'What brings you to this place?'. The 'place' that this question contains is, of course, a crossroads (eine Kreuzung). You all know that in the Oedipus story it was at the meeting of three roads, the three ways of walking, that the hero meets with his destiny and that the contour of these roads traces out the signifier which his father had sought to efface, the Greek letter 'lambda' the first letter of the name-of-the-father, Laius Labdacus. In arriving at that place Oedipus unconsciously names himself as son of a father, situating himself in a lineage. The entirety of the myth of Oedipus revolves around a difficulty in the articulation of a name, - the mark of his father's insignia being at the origin of his impediment, - the difficulty in the articulation of his feet, which is repeated in the mutilation to the articulation of his eyes. Here, something is articulating itself in every problematic articulation of the body, in his symptoms. Which all goes to show that it is not so far from eine Kreuzung to eine Kreuzigung (a crucifixion)!