The Lying Truth

The Lying Truth
Charis Raptis

In his testamentary writing “Preface to the English Edition of Seminar XI”, Lacan declares that he left the Pass “at the disposal of those who take the risk of testifying as best one can to the lying truth.” [1]

It is with these words that Lacan pins down what Jacques-Alain Miller calls “the Pass of the parlêtre.” Astonishing displacement: in the classical doctrine of the Pass, the subject is supposed to testify to a knowledge whereas the parlêtre can testify only to a lying truth; that is knowledge as elucubration, as fiction structured as a truth.[2]

At the end of Lacan’s teaching, as Miller explains to us, truth meets the question of the real by the category of the impossible and thus enters the real only to become a liar. The impossible constitutes a kind of de-limitation between truth and reality; a reality that is always encountered under the species of the impossible to say linked to the incompatibility of the word either with the confession of desire or with the fire of the drive.[3]

In this respect, as Bernard Seynhaeve points out, the urgency that pushes the parlêtre consists “of pursuing the truth that harbours the real”[4] a truth that is restive to the signifier. In this perspective, an analyst, would be someone who would be able to squeeze the gap between truth and real; and the pass would be the analytical means of passing the impasse of the impossible to say, or to hystorize – the improbable of jouissance.

Translation: Joanne Conway


1 Lacan, J., “Preface to the English Language Edition of Seminar XI”, tr. R. Grigg, The Lacanian Review 6, NLS, Paris, 2018, p. 27.

2 Miller, J.-A., “The pass of the parlêtre”, ibid., p. 135.

3 Miller, J.-A., “The Space of a Lapsus”, ibid., p. 71.

4 Seynhaeve, B., “Argument for the 2019 Congress of the NLS”, ibid., p. 20.