Love means giving something you don't have to someone who doesn't want it.

— Jacques Lacan

The most grateful Jacques Lacan quotes to discover and learn by heart

What does it matter how many lovers you have if none of them gives you the universe?

116

I always speak the truth. Not the whole truth, because there's no way, to say it all. Saying it all is literally impossible: words fail. Yet it's through this very impossibility that the truth holds onto the real.

106

A geometry implies the heterogeneity of locus, namely that there is a locus of the Other. Regarding this locus of the Other, of one sex as Other, as absolute Other, what does the most recent development in topology allow us to posit?

84

In other words, the man who is born into existence deals first with language;

this is a given. He is even caught in it before his birth.

58

I identify myself in language, but only by losing myself in it like an object.

What is realised in my history is not the past definite of what was, since it is no more, or even the present perfect of what has been in what I am, but the future anterior of what I shall have been for what I am in the process of becoming.

55

Obsessional does not necessarily mean sexual obsession, not even obsession for this, or for that in particular; to be an obsessional means to find oneself caught in a mechanism, in a trap increasingly demanding and endless.

52

What could be more convincing, moreover, than the gesture of laying one's cards face up on the table?

52

The best image to sum up the unconscious is Baltimore in the early morning.

52

The Mirror Stage as formative in the function of the I as revealed in psychoanalytic experience.

50

Psychoanalysis is a terribly efficient instrument, and because it is more and more a prestigious instrument, we run the risk of using it with a purpose for which it was not made for, and in this way we may degrade it.

40

The sufferings of neurosis and psychosis are for us a schooling in the passions of the soul, just as the beam of the psychoanalytic scales, when we calculate the tilt of its threat to entire communities, provides us with an indication of the deadening of the passions in society.

27

For the signifier is a unit in its very uniqueness, being by nature symbol only of an absence.

17

About Jacques Lacan

Quotes 41 sayings
Nationality French
Profession Psychologist
Birthday April 13, 1901

If psychoanalysis clarifies some facts of sexuality, it is not by aiming at them in their own reality, not in biological experience.

9

We emphasize that such a form of communication is not absent in man, however evanescent a naturally given object may be for him, split as it is in its submission to symbols.

6

The narration, in fact, doubles the drama with a commentary without which no mise en scene would be possible.

5

Symptoms, those you believe you recognize, seem to you irrational because you take them in an isolated manner, and you want to interpret them directly.

5

As is known, it is in the realm of experience inaugurated by psychoanalysis that we may grasp along what imaginary lines the human organism, in the most intimate recesses of its being, manifests its capture in a symbolic dimension.

4

Writings scatter to the winds blank checks in an insane charge.

And were they not such flying leaves, there would be no purloined letters.

4

Aside from that reservation, a fictive tale even has the advantage of manifesting symbolic necessity more purely to the extent that we may believe its conception arbitrary.

3

My thesis is that the moral law is articulated with relation to the real as such, to the real insofar as it can be the guarantee of the Thing.

3

Love makes the Real of desire accessible without its tragic dimension

0

The unconscious is the discourse of the Other.

0

The only thing of which one can be guilty is of having given ground relative to one's desire.

0

The reason we go to poetry is not for wisdom, but for the dismantling of wisdom

0

The I is always in the field of the Other.

0

The sentence completes its signification only with its last term.

0

Which is why we cannot say of the purloined letter that, like other objects, it must be or not be in a particular place but that unlike them it will be and not be where it is, wherever it goes.

0

The real is what resists symbolization absolutely.

0

I am there where it is spoken that the universe is a defect in the purity of non-being.

0

Since Freud, the center of man is not where we thought it was; one has to go on from there.

0

All sorts of things in this world behave like mirrors.

0

Meaning is produced not only by the relationship between the signifier and the signified but also, crucially, by the position of the signifiers in relation to other signifiers.

0

But this emphasis would be lavished in vain, if it served, in your opinion, only to abstract a general type from phenomena whose particularity in our work would remain the essential thing for you, and whose original arrangement could be broken up only artificially.

0

The unconscious is structured like a language.

0

The knowledge that there is a part of the psychic functions that are out of conscious reach, we did not need to wait for Freud to know this!

0

But what Freud showed us… was that nothing can be grasped, destroyed, or burnt, except in a symbolic way, as one says, in effigie, in absentia.

0

...Desire, a function central to all human experience, is the desire for nothing nameable. And at the same time this desire lies at the origin of every variety of animation. If being were only what it is, there wouldn’t even be room to talk about it. Being comes into existence as an exact function of this lack.

0

I think where I am not, therefore I am where I do not think.

I am not whenever I am the plaything of my thought; I think of what I am where I do not think to think.

0

Yet, analytical truth is not as mysterious, or as secret, so as to not allow us to see that people with a talent for directing consciences see truth rise spontaneously.

0

The evil eye is the fascinum, it is that which has the effect of arresting movement and, literally, of killing life. At the moment the subject stops, suspending his gesture, he is mortified. This anti-life, anti-movement function of the terminal point is the fascinum, and it is precisely one of the dimensions in which the power of the gaze is exercised directly.

0
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