Guy Poblome – All is not written


All is not written; neither in the brain, nor in the genome, nor in language. This is what knots the contributions of this seventh edition of a-kephalos.

Gustavo Dessal underlines that in respect to a conjunction of real and symbolic science misses something of its limit. It misses that which isolates itself as imaginary for the Lacan of the 50s, and later as drive or jouissance, which inject meaning and life into the logic of the signifier. Thus, we move from the coldness of language to the palpitation of language.

Is it really the case that all is not written? For epigenetics everything is written in the genome but not necessarily immutably so. This is what Céline Aulit reports: the environment and contingencies of life, such as trauma, can leave traces in the genome and thus be transmitted through the generations. But what would be the nature of this trace?

This is the question posed by F. Ansermet who responds here to the provocative title of PIPOL9. He says to us that to situate the debate in a simple exclusionary relation poses a risk for psychoanalysis but also for neuroscience. Indeed language, considered by Lacan as an organ, knotted to the body, brings into play processes that go beyond a simple logical determinism to an implementation of an “illogical logic” that can lead the subject “beyond the pleasure principle”.

It is striking that it is precisely from the contingency of trauma that Freud wrote Beyond the Pleasure Principle. He says much about the brain, the body, and the very concept of life. If living organisms spend a lot of energy defending against internal or external threats in the name of the pleasure principle, in the end, for the speaking being “the purpose of all life is death” (1); he had just discovered the obscure jouissance of the death drive. To what logic does it respond?

Translation: Raphael Montague

(1) Freud, S. (1920/ 2001). “Beyond the Pleasure Principle.” In J. Strachey (Ed. & Trans.), The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. XVIII, pp. 3-66. London: Vintage.

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