Prelude 19, Celeste Soranna

Strange stars stare at the Earth,
They are the colour of iron and wander in desire,
Searching for love with incandescent arms,
And reaching the cold of the air.

Élise Lasker Schüler

Of desire in spite of everything

No matter on what level we are in the graph, no one can declare desire, and all consideration or conceptual articulation can easily resound as a predicate. “What is desire if desire is the desire of the Other?” [1]

Lacan returns to this point on several occasions in the course of his work, and he interrogates this point each time as if it were the first. As if each time he were on the point of inventing something different, of elaborating new formulae, in order to subtract what does not come from the desire of the analyst (or what does not come every time): neither by the door of sexuation, nor by the exit door already paradoxically open. Let’s think about the “quantum formulae of sexuation” [“les formules quantiques de la sexuation”][2].

For the poetry of the third millennium, as for the desire of the analyst, a “system of anti-fragility” [“système d’anti-fragilité”] should be invented in order to safeguard the paradox. If the poetry of the third millennium is defined as a “fragile enigma” [“énigme fragile”][3], to the extent that it escapes the grasp of the saying, desire is sustained from paradoxes.

Let’s see what Henri Meschonnie says on the subject of poetry in Celebration of Poetry [Célébration de la poésie][4]: “For a poem, it is necessary to learn to refuse, to work on a whole list of refusals. Poetry changes only if we refuse it. As the world only changes through those who refuse it”.
Saying no in order to consent to what?

If desire does not coincide with what is true either, as Demosthenes shows us in one of his maxims, then, paradoxically, to say no to misleading love – love as semblant of knowledge – can signify consent in order that psychoanalysis continue to exist through a different love, a love that emerges from the discourse of the analyst.

Perhaps, but there is no love that is new, different. Let’s also remove the perhaps – we say there is nothing to do with the “wanting to know nothing about it” particular to each of us in relation to the horror, but… Yes there is a but. We mustn’t forget desire as objection (to jouissance, to impotence, to imposture…), but, again, psychoanalysis aims at a love that really points beyond the lure… Until proven otherwise.

Translated from Italian to French by Nathalie Dollez
Translated from French to English by Susan Schwartz

[1] Jacques Lacan, Le Séminaire, Livre XXI, Les non-dupes-errent, Lesson of April 9, 1974.

[2]Ibid.: “…In Rome … I was asked questions, namely if the quantum formulae – because there are four of them – could well be situated in a way that had some points of correspondence with the formulae of the four discourses. This is … this is not necessarily unproductive, since what I evoke, finally, is that the little a comes to the place of the x of the formulae that I call: the quantum formulae of sexuation”.
« …A Rome… on m’a posé des questions, à savoir, si les formules quantiques, parce que elles son quatre, pourraient bien se situer quelque parte d’une façon qui aurait des correspondances avec les formules des quatre discours. C’est… c’est pas forcément infécond, puisque ce que j’évoque, enfin, c’est que le petit a vienne à la place de x des formules que j’appelle: formules quantiques de la sexuation.»

[3]Giovanni Dotoli, La poésie française au début du 3eme millénaire ou l’énigme fragile, Schena Editore, Presses de l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne, Brindisi, 2002.

[4]Henri Meschonnie, Célébration de la poésie, pp. 252-254. “Pour un poem, il faut apprendre à refuser, à travailler à toute une liste de refus. La poésie ne change que si on la refuse. Comme le monde ne change que par ceux qui le refusent”