chapter  4
“Perverse Solutions”
WithBogdan Wolf
Pages 21

Let’s ask again, following Lacan’s pursuit of the cause in the previous chapter, what causes desire? It is the fetish. At least this is his answer in Seminar IV “Object relation”. He articulates the fetish there as the symbol linked to the phallus in so far as the phallus marks what the mother lacks and what the phallus symbolises. It symbolises the lack. Fetish as a cause of desire is one of the answers Lacan gives to his own question. It is a different answer to the one we find in neurosis (2014, 102). As the symbol of the lack, fetish facilitates the child’s identification with the object the mother lacks and opens the field of the lack in the Other – not a symbolic lack but a real lack, what in the body remains unsymbolised. If this echoes some of Lacan’s pronouncements from Seminar IV, it is because he has now come to confront the yield of the object relation with the anxiety at the end of the road of the first decade of his teaching.