Intervention to the Strasbourg Congress, afternoon of 12th October 1968, published in Lettres de L’École Freudienne, 1969, No. 7, page 84

Translated by Russell Grigg

Published as ‘Note on the Father and Universalism’ : in The Lacanian Review, Number 3, Spring 2017, p11

Available at /lacan

Or published bilingual /Lacan (45. 1968 Note on the Father and Universalism)

Reference to Sigmund Freud

A seventeenth-century Demonological Neurosis : 1922 : Sigmund Freud : SE Vol IXX p69 to 108 : Index


Editor’s Note 69

Introduction 72

I The Story of Christoph Haizmann the Painter 73

II The Motive for the Pact with the Devil 79

III The Devil as a Father-Substitute 83

IV The Two Bonds 93

V The Further Course of the Neurosis 100

Introduction by Laura Sokolowsky :

p10 of The Lacanian Review : Spring 2017 :

Michel de Certeau, a Jesuit, philosopher and historian of religions, took part in the creation of the École Freudienne de Paris in 1964. He taught at the Department of Psychoanalysis between 1968 and 1971. The presentation to which Lacan refers here comprises two developments. The first concerns history in its twofold character, both as legend, and as an operative process that transforms the relationship between historians and past objects. This reflection leads to a denunciation of the way in which Freudian concepts like the death of the father the Oedipus complex, or transference, are sometimes used to make up for historians’ lack of knowledge.

The second point relates tothe1922 study that Freud devoted to the demonic neurosis of the painter Christoph Haitzmann, a 17th century artist who made a pact with the devil. After undergoing an exorcism, he became a priest of the Brothers Hospitallers. Freud interprets this archetypal case of possession without difficulty. Working from a description of the episode that had been preserved in Mariazell’s manuscript in Vienna, Freud shows how an ambivalent relation to the father accounts for the onset and trajectory of this neurosis. The pact with the devil came after the death of Haitzmann’s father; it was a solution to his melancholia. His subsequent entry into the order of the Brothers Hospitallers then allowed him to be a son, one of the faithful.

If Freud’s text is concerned with a series of masks worn by the degraded father, Michel de Certeau ends up asking what happens when there is no longer any father to dedicate oneself to. It is to this question, among others, that Lacan responds here.