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Tony Hughes – The Klein Bottle


THE LETTER 53 Summer 2013, pages 57-85.


Some arguments about Lacan’s use of topology are explored in the light of the debate as to whether or not it adds anything beneficial to the clinic of psychoanalysis. This paper discusses the essential difference between sense and meaning and addresses Le Gaufey’s critique of the use of the Borromean knot to support Lacan’s formulae of sexuation. The issues raised by Lacan at the time of his first introduction of the Klein bottle are dealt with in some depth, in order to show the rigour of his endeavour. The addendum clarifiesthe use of the cut and the dimensions in Lacanian theory.


Keywords: Lacan, topology, Nobus, Le Gaufey, the Klein bottle, the cut, the suture, the dimensions


Lacan’s use of topology continued from the 1950s to the end of his life, and this project was facilitated by his friendship with the mathematician Georges-Th. Guilbaud. He put an enormous effort into developing this aspect of his work in order to make psychoanalysis an even more rigorous discourse.

The Klein Bottle

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