adam-and-eve-palo-alto

I came across the following passage from Mark Twain’s Eve’s Diary: Translated from the Original MS in Roberto Harari’s brilliant How James Joyce Made His Name: A Reading of the Final Lacan.

Twain tells the story in Eve’s words. Having caught sight of the male creature, she thinks “it” must be a reptile, and tries to attract its attention by throwing clods of earth:

One of the clodes took it back of the ear, and it used language. It gave me a thrill, for it was the first time I had ever heard speech, except my own. I did not understand the words, but they seemed expressive. When I found it could talk, I felt a new interest in it, for I love to talk; I talk all day, and in my sleep, too, and I am very interesting, but if I had another to talk to I could be twice as interesting, and would never stop, if desired.

…She goes on: “I think it would be a he. I think so. IN that case, one would parse it thus: nominative he; dative him; possessive, his’n. Well, I will consider it a man and call it he until it turns out to be something else.”

Eve now goes on to the subject of nomination. “I have taken all the work of naming things off his hands, and this has been a great relief to him, for he has no gift in that line, and is evidently very grateful.” (41 – 42)

What a marvelous illustration of Lacan’s mysterious feminine jouissance… An enjoyment in language as such without the need for the phallic dimension of totality. At any rate, Harari’s book is well worth the read. He deftly navigates Lacan’s theory of the borromean knots, the sinthome, the different orders of jouissance, and proposes a new end of analysis beyond traversing the fantasy in identification with the sinthome, where the process of analysis is conceived as an untying and retying of the three orders and the formation of a purified symptom, an inexchangeable singularity, from which the subject draws its jouissance. This is a far more optimistic account of the end of analysis than that of traversing the fantasy where the subject undergoes subjective destitution and lives on in a sort of tragic and masochistic position with respect to the jouissance circumscribed by the fundamental fantasy. Compared to Harari’s book on The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis and Seminar 10: Anxiety, both of which presuppose a strong background knowledge in Lacanian theory and which are replete with mathemes (a boon, I think), this text is very accessible… Though all the books of the Argentinian analyst are valuable and illuminating, and well worth the read.

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