An account of the workday on the NLS Congress theme with Lilia Mahjoub, President of the NLS – Geneva, January 14th,


By Nelson Feldman, President ASREEP-NLS

In Geneva on Saturday, January 14th, in the new amphitheatre of the Paediatric Hospital, Lilia Mahjoub, President of the NLS, gave a conference entitled, “The Words of the Unconscious: Unbewusste, Parlêtre, Bévue”.
Lilia Mahjoub proposed a theoretical and clinical itinerary with precise references and points pertaining to the concept of the unconscious, as well as to formations of the unconscious in the works of Freud and Lacan. In a letter dating from 1980 that Lilia Mahjoub cited during her talk, Lacan affirmed that he was “still pursuing his work on the unconscious”.

Lilia Mahjoub presented the evolution of the concept of the unconscious in Lacan’s teachings, starting from his first seminars and going up to his Seminar XXIII and the clinic of Borromean knots. She highlighted the importance of the unconscious as being non-realised, whereas post-Freudians had considered it as only oriented towards the past, thus favouring its closure. She also recalled the notions of the gap and discontinuity in the fundamental concept of psychoanalysis itself. The trajectory of her development started from the passage of the word unconscious as a negation of the conscious, towards the signifier Unbewusste, followed by its replacement by the word parlêtre, and finally, in the terms of Lacan’s last teachings, a return to Unbewusste, translated as Une-bévue, that which subverts.

Her reading was punctuated by numerous references: The Interpretation of Dreams, Letter 52 from Freud to W. Fliess, Lacan’s seminars The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, Encore, and The Sinthome, Lacan’s conference at Columbia University, and Jacques-Alain Miller’s course entitled L’Un tout seul, among other works.

Lilia Mahjoub thus contributed to stimulating the transference of the work in ASREEP-NLS towards the April Congress with her in-depth teachings on words that designate the unconscious as well as address its status, accentuating the importance of the formations of the unconscious of Lacanian orientation in contemporary clinical practice.

In the afternoon, three members of ASREEP-NLS, Dominique Tercier, Violaine Clément and Sandra Cisternas presented case studies that were the basis of an enriching exchange.

The following Knotting Seminar of ASREEP-NLS at Lausanne on Saturday, 11 February maintained this transference of work towards the Paris NLS Congress on 29 and 30 April 2017. Bernard Seynhaeve, Vice-President of the NLS, Frank Rollier, NLS Cartel Delegate, and Anna Pigkou, President of the Hellenic Society were present.

Translated by Arunava Banerjee