But, at the beginning, you had the feeling that interpretation, by itself, cures. And, people who know Freud’s writing agree, that we have the feeling at a certain moment, that Freud and his pupils bumped up against symptoms which, in spite of being interpreted, remained. And that means that there is something more in the symptom, more than S1 and S2, more than articulation of signifiers. And Freud was not one to go back on this discovery. He was not followed by his pupils, but he considered precisely this resistance of the symptom. So, Freud developed a hypothesis, I believe it is not excessive to say, that it’s new in the history of human thought, that, yes, a patient may have something, and love fundamentally, be fundamentally attracted to something that harms him. That is, his most precious good may be bad. Freud called it primary masochism and negative therapeutic reaction. It’s a classy expression to say that they don’t want to be cured! Not only because they are of bad faith, not only because they resist the action of the analyst, but because there is something beyond the pleasure principle. And this beyond the pleasure principle Freud elaborated as the death instinct, which was refused by almost all his pupils. And you know the affinity of Lacan for this highly disputed concept. He gave a place to this supposed death instinct, and I found in a speech of Lacan to an audience in the ’30s, that already, he was defending this impossible concept. Impossible concept which is what? I would say death is what Lacan translated as Jouissance. Jouissance is the Lacanian name for what is beyond the pleasure principle.

Jouissance is Lacan’s name for what’s beyond the pleasure principle. That is to say,
what? Why a new name? Because, it is displeasure, it is pain, it is suffering. So, if
we say there is an unknown pleasure in the suffering of the symptom, an unknown
pleasure that presents itself as pain, this justifies giving it a new
name. Jouissance in this sense, is enjoyment in breach of the pleasure principle,
because it brings no pleasure, but discontrol, discontent, malaise. This could be the
notable thing to introduce in the United States, the contrary of the pursuit of
happiness, because the pursuit of jouissance is contrary to happiness, to the
equilibrium, the harmony, the satisfaction one calls happiness. And, if we accept
this name jouissance, well, we understand also that Freudian drives are not
psychological functions, that psychology can never really accommodate the drive
to instinct. Hunger and thirst are urges you can satisfy; the urge recedes when you
satisfy it. What is incomprehensible in the Freudian drive, in the definition Freud
himself gives of the drive, is that the satisfaction of the drive brings only the
demand for more, for “again”, as Lacan said, “for encore.” Jouissanceis the
Lacanian name for the satisfaction of the drive, as distinct from instinct. And, this
is also a short-cut to understand why Freud said that when you accept, when you
defer to the command of the super-ago, you are always more and more subjected to
its demands. So, what’s difficult about jouissance is that while desire is connected
to speech, and to signifiers, jouissance, on the contrary, is silence. And Freud spoke
mysteriously of the silence of the drives.


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