Scilicet in English! For the first time, for the 9th Congress of the WAP, ‘A Real for the 21st Century’, Paris, 14-18 April, 2014.
If you go to the WAP Congress in April, you will receive a free copy of the Scilicet journal, which is offered this year for the first time, translated into English.
If you need to remind yourself about what's special about Scilicet you can talk to the wise old birds who've been around a long time, or look on wikipedia. They will tell you that Scilicet, the word, cropped up in Schreber’s memoires, and entered into Freud’s correspondence the year that he read it (1912). It means, literally, thou mayst know, and the early versions of journal – the first issue of the journal came out in Spring 1968 – had written on the front: Tu peux savoir ce qu’en pense l’École freudienne de Paris (thou mayst know what the École freudienne de Paris thinks about it).
The journal was revived in 2006 for the 5th WAP-Congress in Rome, with the theme of The Name of the Father. Then there was the issue 'Les objets a dans l'éxperience analytique’ in 2008 for the 6th WAP Congress in Buenos Aires. In 2010 it was ‘Semblants et Sinthome’, and in 2012 ‘L’ordre symbolique au 21st siecle’.
The one for this year's congress, promised in English for the first time, came out last November in French, and has also already been published in Spanish. 118 short texts (each one less than 1,000 words) arranged alphabetically like a dictionary, starting with Anxiety, and taking in Crime, Desire of the Analyst, Esthetic Surgery, Science, Magic, Homoparentality, Knot, the Shoah, all the way to Woman. The great majority of entries have been written by Spanish speaking analysts, the second largest language section has been translated from French. There has also been some translation from Portuguese, Italian and only the handful of English texts this time did not need to be put through this particular mill, this time round.
At the end of the book are 18 Scili-Tweets, another first. These are really short pieces inspired by 8 tweets by Leonardo Gorostiza, the outgoing president of the WAP. In this section there are short pieces on Dostoyevsky, Bret Easton Ellis, Pornography, Organic-Green, Racism, iPads and so on.
Thou mayest know what people in the Schools of the WAP think about a lot of interesting and pressing things.
Some of us in London, and many more elsewhere, already know about this book, on account of the fact we have been helping with the huge job of translating the texts into English. The work bears witness to a lively and rigorous community of analysts who have taken it in turns to invent, to write, to read and re-read, to check, to follow up footnotes, to proof-read and to create working relationships across the globe to get the job done.
Here we are, a few days before the production deadline, and ‘The job’ still seems nigh on impossible to finish. Did you ever watch the film Shakespeare in Love? Here is a bit which sums up what I think about our prospects of completing ‘the job’ at the moment:
Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Hugh Fennyman: How?
Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.
So, if you turn up at the WAP and pick up your copy, you may know that insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster were indeed the natural condition, and none of us know how we got it finished in time, though perhaps some of us know a bit more about the “nothing” that was needed to get it done...