Report on the Knottings Seminar of the Hellenic society of the NLS


The Knottings Seminar of the Hellenic Society of the NLS took place on Saturday, October 22nd, in the eastern auditorium of the “Georgios Gennimatas” Athens General Hospital. This first event of the academic year was dedicated to the study of the theme of the next NLS Congress and was accordingly entitled, “About the Unconscious: Position and Interpretation of the Formations of the Unconscious”.

The seminar’s theoretical introduction by the vice-president of the NLS Bernard Seynhaeve bore the Freudian title, “The Royal Road to the Unconscious”. To put us on the pathway of the next NLS Congress, Bernard Seynhaeve spoke about the transition from the transferential to the real unconscious. He remarked that in Lacan’s original teaching, interpretation offered the subject effects of an illusion of the order of “it was written”; the unconscious-memory. Yet in the end of his teaching Lacan detached himself from the unconscious-memory, and the aforementioned illusion was subsequently replaced by a new writing, that of Lituraterre, the sinthome and the One that constitutes the antechamber of the real. There is therefore a sliding from the symptom to the sinthome, from the transferential unconscious to the real unconscious. Bernard Seynhaeve demonstrated this transition based on two formations of the unconscious, two dreams: 1) a dream that accompanied the beginning of his own analysis and 2) a dream of the Pass – not of his own, but rather Freud’s dream of Irma’s injection. Bernard Seynhaeve characterized this as a dream of the Pass thanks to the fact that in the second climax of the dream, following the horrendous vision of the inside of Irma’s mouth, Freud teaches us of a writing beyond which we cannot go.

The first clinical case of the day was presented by Alan Rowan, under the title “Not Wanting to Know”. Alan Rowan spoke of a female subject who visited him overwhelmed with anxiety stemming from an impasse in her marital life. Analysis offered that subject the space to speak about her history of romantic relationships and about her family history. It was concluded that the fragile symptom of the subject’s choice of a partner had been formed on the basis of “not seeing and not knowing”.

The next clinical case came from Joanne Conway. She presented us with the case of another female subject under the equivocal title “Keeping Mum”. This was the case of a woman who had experienced a traumatic encounter with an evil Other. An intervention by the analyst that showed the patient the possibility for another, benevolent type of Other, was followed by rigorous work with dreams.

The last clinical case of the day came from Argyris Tsakos. He presented the case of a young woman who came to see him accompanied by two signifiers linked to her relationship with her two parents. In the beginning, his pragmatic interventions bore impressive results. Much later came a dream thanks to which the patient became capable of following a new pathway that was not discouraged, although it meant leaving analysis.

This seminar was indeed a “knotting” of insightful theoretical and varied clinical work on the unconscious. Its outcomes will certainly act as guidance for the Hellenic Society’s work in the academic year that has just began.


Yannis Grammatopoulos

Hellenic Society of the NLS