On Lacan and Knowledge

That is why the method of textual commentary proves itself fruitful. Commenting on a text is like doing an analysis. How many times have I said to those under my supervision, when they say to me—I had the impression he meant this or that—that one of the things we must guard most against is to understand too much, to understand more than what is in the discourse of the subject. To interpret and to imagine one understands are not at all the same things. It is precisely the opposite. I would go as far to say that it is on the basis of a kind of refusal of understanding that we push open the door to analytic understanding. (Seminar I, Freud’s Papers on Technique, 73)

To read Lacan’s texts then, one has to assume the intersubjective position of the analyst and to rest the text in the patient’s couch. Begin by thinking that you don’t understand.


3 thoughts on “On Lacan and Knowledge

  1. even so, the way we read, see, view things are inherently coloured by our own experiences, values, knowledge. so even if we don’t understand, our subsequent understanding is marred by pre-existing notions and ideas right?

    oh anyway, you stay at PGP?

  2. This notion is good indeed. Understanding and interpretation of what we hear are too different things indeed. This difference explains the tremendous grasp between the writer’s intention and what was perceived by the reader – makes the dream of right understanding of one other the unreal – fantastic. That’s sorrowful, however, as a saying goes, the stick has two ends: though the way we typically communicate creates lots of problems but inspires communication between people – guards us from the silence of the cemetery. Thus I question myself, what is better? Is it the cold truth, or the love mistakes? The ABC kills all passion, but childish chatter inspires searching for the ABC and the discoveries.

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