From Joyce-the-symptom to the sinthome
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From Joyce-the-symptom to the sinthome book
This statement of Lacan’s in Seminar XVII, we could suggest, is enigmatic. As enigmatic as any of Lacan’s statements, it is of course necessarily so. It at once seems to be delivered in a language all of its own, in toto – a ‘Lacanguage’ we could say, following Lacan’s predilection for punningly playing with his own name, as Joyce had, in Seminar XXIII – whilst appearing extremely precise in every detail.2 It in fact summarises each of the Lacanian points of departure we have enumerated heretofore – the terms of the principle of enverity, the halfsayableness of truth, and the ontological positioning of the Fall – in one expression. We first see the centrality of the fall in that it makes of the prepositions ‘upon’ and ‘from’ its two sides, two resultant actions that come about because the fall itself is not a clingable-or adherable-to constant for the subject; the subject must come down on, or from, either side of it. In so doing the truth of the fall cannot be fully said, only half-said, in that we are always only ever falling upon it or from it – and even if it could be adhered to fully, as Lacan says, it would
still only be half-said, if articulated, as the subject indeed ‘would not know what he is saying’. Thus we see how truth splits and makes fall what it speaks; this is the precise operation of enverity. To put this into the terms of the unificatory/ separatory principle we can see here clearly the refractivity of Position A; in its antagonistic core, which makes two sides of whatever fills the position, it also redirects either side’s attempts at adherence, in a moment of instantaneous inversion: to fall upon truth means equally to fall away from it; to hit upon truth will be to be batted away by it.