4 de agosto de 2015

Report on "The Miracle of Love: From Feminine Sexuality to the Jouissance as Such". Visiting Lecturer: Silvia Tendlarz, by Cyrus Saint Amand Poliakoff




On Wednesday, July 22, New York Freud Lacan Analytic Group presented a guest lecture by Silvia Tendlarz, psychoanalyst and member of the Escuela de Orientacion Lacaniana (EOL) and the World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP). Held at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Department of Psychology, the presentation culminated a month-long summer program of NYFLAG dedicated to readings from Jacques-Alain Miller’s course, ‘The Experience of the Real in Psychoanalysis’.

Opening with the biblical creation of Eve from the rib of Adam, Tendlarz began her inquiry into feminine jouissance, masculine jouissance, and jouissance of the body beyond the Oedipal frame. The presentation charted the relationship between love, desire, and jouissance at important junctures in Lacan’s work. 

Tendlarz concluded by referencing Jacques-Alain Miller’s formulation of the ‘One alone’, shifting the focus to jouissance that is opaque to sense and concerns every speaking being.

Masculinity and femininity are not ‘biological essences but symbolic positions, and the assumption of one of these two positions is fundamental to the construction of subjectivity.’ From this central point that orients sexual difference in the Lacanian field, Tendlarz proposed that speaking beings can choose the subjective position of sex and the object of love.

Tendlarz titled the first passage of her presentation ‘The Gates of Hell’. Lacan’s early theories of love as imaginary relation foreground his elaboration of the dialectic of need, demand and desire that institutes the symbolic dimension of love. In this period, we already find a fundamental dissymmetry: ‘the lover is the one who doesn’t have and doesn’t know what is missing, and the loved one is who has, but doesn’t know what he or she has’. 

Continuing to Seminar X, Tendlarz highlighted love as a mediation between jouissance and desire. This exposed the antimony between an autoerotic jouissance and desire which reaches towards the Other.

The second part of the talk, titled ‘The Temptation of Desire’, examined the different dialectics of desire operating in the masculine and feminine subjective positions. In the feminine position, ‘desire and love have the same object’. Women have a certain freedom with the semblants, a freedom to produce masquerades that reveal a Not-All status before the Other. Tendlarz suggested that if women are ‘tempted by tempting’, then a direct access to the Other of Love results. Love is inseparable from jouissance. In contrast, as slaves to the semblants, men reduce the Other into the object a as the real partner.

Approaching the later Lacan, Tendlarz referred to Seminar XX in the third section of the presentation, ‘Love & Jouissance’. At this moment, Lacan opposed jouissance with the Other. Only love allows a relation to the Other, as jouissance is solitary. Women remain alone with supplementary jouissance; men stay alone with autistic jouissance. The sexual non-rapport that grounds Seminar XX indicates a sexual failure. Tendlarz remarked, ‘Sexuality makes a gap, nobody manages well because there is no relation with the Other, there is only a relation with an object.’ Feminine jouissance appears as an exception, which mixes jouissance and love, opening towards the Other. Lacan used Zeno's paradox to hypothesize that the phallic jouissance of man will never reach the infinity of feminine jouissance. Tendlarz noted the clinical consequences of jouissance found in the limitless demand for love, which no words will ever satisfy.

In the final section, ‘Jouissance as Such’, Tendlarz examined later paradigms of jouissance focused on the body event and the symptom ‘opaque to meaning’. Beyond analytic theories of prohibition, jouissance takes on a positive value. Lacan proposed a generalized jouissance: ‘when there is a body, we enjoy’. All bodies enjoy without the Other. With the category of the Sinthome, Lacan posited that there is no sexual relation, yet there is such a thing as One, and there is a body. Tendlarz clarified that the singular jouissance of the speaking being is inscribed in the body. In his seminar, ‘L'Un tout seul’, Miller described the reduction of the symbolic to One real, repeated again and again. This jouissance as iteration is beyond ‘man’ and ‘woman’. It implies a relation of One alone and the body.

In her concluding remarks, Tendlarz suggested that this formula has led the Lacanian field to reconsider the end of analysis. In the end we might encounter the One alone of jouissance we cannot change. The symbolic order isn’t what it used to be; the real no longer returns to the same place; the imaginary is ‘under construction’. Thus as analysands we approach the question of our jouissance, once again, anew.

The New York Freud Lacan Analytic Group wishes to thank Silvia Tendlarz for her ambitious presentation. In her paper we heard the work of Lacan, Miller, and Laurent but also Tendlarz’ unique clinical approach to desire, love and jouissance in the 21st century.


July 29, 2015
New York City

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