The Seminar, Book XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis


By Claudia Iddan

[…] it is not the same thing to say that the unconscious is the condition of language as it is to say that language is the condition of the unconscious.  Language is the condition of the unconscious – that’s what I say.

Lacan, Jacques, The Seminar, Book XVII, The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, ed. J.-A. Miller, tr. R. Grigg, W.W. Norton & Co, London/New York, 2007, p. 41.


The unconscious makes it possible to situate desire. That is the meaning of the first, already quite complete, step Freud took, which was not merely implied but in fact fully articulated and developed in the Traumdeutung. This is already acquired knowledge when, at a second stage that opens with Beyond the Pleasure Principle, he states that we must take into account this function called what? – repetition.

Ibid., p. 45.


For the analysand who is there, in the $, the content is his knowledge. We are there in order to get to the point where he knows everything that he does not know even as he knows it. That’s what the unconscious is. For the psychoanalyst the latent content is on the other side, in S1. For him the latent content is the interpretation that he is going to give, insofar as it is, not this knowledge that we discover in the subject, but what is added on to it to give it a sense. This remark could be useful for some psychoanalysts.

Ibid., p. 113.