Urgency, Sometimes a Blunder

Urgency, Sometimes a Blunder  
Claudia Iddan

Lacan teaches us that urgency presides over all analysis, but urgency can also be present in the life of a community.

What precedes the act is, of course, urgency; that is to say, in urgency time is compressed into a conclusion that arises after the “moment of seeing” and of “understanding.” Sometimes this precedes the moment of the act if there is a real change of subjective position, a separation from the Other.

What is the place of sometimes in the sentence? Its purpose is to emphasize that the urgency related to action does not necessarily lead to the act. In Arabic there is the saying, “haste is the domain of the devil.” The expression of the idea of the devil is to me synonymous with the death drive. Indeed, in certain situations where action is preceded by urgency, one sometimes confuses the act and the passage to the act [le passage à l’acte].

The act creates a new subject from the moment it is situated in a discourse, which addresses the other, paradoxically, from a new position. This promotes the creation of a new symbolic fiction that can advance the discourse, whereas the passage to the act involves a letting fall, an exclusion capable of destroying this fiction and bringing out the real – the malaise in discourse.

In urgency, the intervention of the analyst, whether in the context of the analysis or in that of the life of a community, can push to the passage to the act, to admitting his point of view which excludes on his part the possibility of listening. The dimension of speech can find itself in danger and this can undo the link to the point of a break that would lead us to not being able to guarantee the continuation of the work, whether in analysis or in the life of a community.

“The Unbewust, that is to say the unconscious. In German, this means unconscious, but translated by the blunder [une bévue] it means something else, it means a stumbling, a tripping up, a sliding from word to word, and that is what it is concerned when we mistakenly use the wrong key to open a door that precisely this key does not open”. [1] Lacan adds that consciousness is the only support for these blunders. Indeed, urgency is sometimes likely to lead to error, to the sliding in the death drive, a position that does not allow us to “be a good pair” with the community or an analysand, in order to “be on a par”[2] with them, but on the contrary allows us to reveal certain elements of the fantasy.

Translated by Joanne Conway

1 Lacan J., The Seminar XXIV, L’insu qui sait de l’une bévue s’aile à mourre, class of 10 May 1977, unpublished.

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