Lecture given at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, 3rd February 1973. Published in the bilingual work (French-Italian) : Lacan en Italia 1953-1978. En Italie Lacan. Milan, La Salamandra, 1978, pp. 58- 77 as La psychanalyse dans sa reference au rapport sexuel.

Published, bilingual, translated by Anthony Chadwick at www.Freud2Lacan.com /Lacan (67. La psychanalyse dans sa référence au rapport sexuel—bilingual)

Comment on Lacan’s use of ‘rapport’ rather than ‘relation’
In translating Seminar IV, with the translation group [see Seminar IV The Relation from Object (La relation d’objet) & Freudian Structures (1956-1957) : from 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan, this site /4 Jacques Lacan 19561121], it has been found necessary to distinguish Lacan’s use of ‘rapport = relationship’ & ‘relation = relation (as in a mathematical sense). The French word is put in brackets after the translation.

See also discussion at “There is no sexual relation” What does it mean? Clinical Consequences of Lacan’s Formulae of Sexuation : 28th September 2013 (Dublin) : Patrick Monribot at this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Monribot) Probably ‘rapport’ should be translated as ‘relationship’ or in the mathematical sense ‘ratio’.

This distinction becomes blurred in probably both the transcription & translation of Seminar XVII 11th March 1970 & Seminar XX 12th December 1972 of ‘il n’y a pas de rapport sexual’.

Below are the transcription and two translations – one from tapes the other from the official translation edited by Jacques-Alain Miller. The transcription has not been checked with the original tape recording, but is assumed to be accurate. The translations seem to be interpretations rather than faithful to Lacan’s exploration

Seminar XVII 11th March 1970, (See Seminar XVII Psychoanalysis upside down/The reverse side of psychoanalysis (1969-1970) : from 26th November 1969 : Jacques Lacan, at this site /4 Jacques Lacan (19691126 or Index of Lacan’s texts)

-P69 of Staferla : et la prostitution c’est à peu près tout ce qui l’entoure, à savoir très probablement une époque, un contexte disons, où il y avait ce que le discours analytique – quand nous explorons le discours du Maître – découvre : qu’il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel,

je vous l’ai déjà exprimé fortement

-Internet translation : and prostitution is more or less everything that surrounds it, namely most probably a time [époque], a context, let’s say, where there was what analytic discourse – when we explore the discourse of the Master – discovers: that there is no sexual relationship, I’ve already made this very clear

-p116 of Russell Grigg’s translation : What the master’s discourse uncovers is that there is no sexual relation, I have already put this to you in strong terms.

-pVIII 19 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : What analytic discourse uncovers when we explore the discourse of the Master is that there is no sexual relationship.

Seminar XX 12th December 1972 (See Seminar XX Encore (1972-1973) : from 21st November 1972 : Jacques Lacan at this site /4 Jacques Lacan (19721121 or Index of Lacan’s texts)

-Transcription, p20 of Staferla : Et pourquoi pas après tout ne pas se demander quell est le statut de cette dimension pourtant bien présente. Car enfin il n’y a pas eu besoin du discours analytique pour que – c’est là la nuance – comme verité soit annoncé qu’« il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel ».

-An internet translation of Staferla : And why not, after all, ask ourselves what is the status of this dimension, yet very present? After all, we didn’t need the analytical discourse in order to announce as truth – it is there, the nuance – that “there is no sexual relationship”.

-P12 of Bruce Fink’s translation : Backing up from analytic discourse to what conditions it – namely, the truth, the only truth that can be indisputable because it is not, that there’s no such thing as a sexual relationship …

-PII 2 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : I can only place myself in the field of this encore and perhaps, by re-ascending a certain discourse which is analytique back to what conditions this discourse. (2) Namely, this truth, the only one that can be incontestable because it is not, that there is no sexual relationship.

Note : If the original transcription is consulted, the context surrounding ‘il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel’ differs from either of the translations.

Quotes from this text, Psychoanalysis in its reference to THE sexual relationship [rapport]

-P1 of Anthony Chadwick’s translation, www.Freud2Lacan.com : So, my title, I had initially delivered it to Contri, thanks to whom I am here. My title had been transmitted to him by my secretary – I have a wonderful secretary that everyone knows, in Paris of course. Her name is Gloria.

So Gloria said to him: Psychoanalysis in [dans] its reference to the sexual relationship.

I am quite happy, quite happy that this has been transcribed as: Psychoanalysis and its reference to the sexual relationship, that will give me a lot less trouble, that it is joined by a conjunction and not by an implication… it will give me a lot more freedom.

Note : Transcription errors occur as well as those of translation & transmission.

-P16-17 of Anthony Chadwick’s translation : At the level of jouissance, of sexual jouissance, is reference that for which it is useful, the said jouissance, that is to say, precisely, for the sexual relationship?

What do I designate by sexual relationship?

What does Freud designate by sexual relationship?

Because, after all, if one takes a little (72) trouble to read him… one has to take a little trouble, obviously, to realize that he is already saying everything that I say, he didn’t have any trouble with that… because he started from the same experience.

So, what does the term “sexual relationship” mean, there where I am putting it forward?

So, there is first of all the current, common usage: when you fuck you call that, generally, a sexual relationship.

Except, that is precisely to cut across the question: it is not clear that what one currently calls a sexual relationship, that means that it is no way sexual. [8]

If speech is jouissance – it’s jouissance which has a certain relationship with sexual jouissance – there is a thing that on the contrary analytical experience shows us quite well: it’s that sexual jouissance rarely establishes a relationship.

-P18-19 of Anthony Chadwick’s translation : … the one who, more or less precisely may designate himself, chromosomally then, as a male, it’s precisely in his function as male that he identifies himself the most with the subject.

I say subject here because it is as much as the subject determines himself from the fact of

language, that he identifies himself with the subject who… from the opposite side and

inversely, which… from where does all analytical experience start if not… of not from that hysteric about whom I have said, in the most Freudian way in the world, that [the hysteric] makes the man…

That kind of ambiguity – which is central even to those positions which are defined like that,

massively, roughly as, in humanity, constituting both parts, both partners – that ambiguity which is precisely that on which plays the whole of analytical experience, does not allow us to write its relationship in a way which might satisfy what the term “relationship [rapport]” means, the term “relation [relation]” means, for as little as it may be elaborated.

Elaborated up to a certain level of logic, which specifies as distinct, as two, the terms between which the relation [la relation] is situated.

It is certain that here, you can feel it I think, I am advancing to the level… in line… in the direct line of what may be elaborated in a scientific use of language. The scientific use of language rests on this: that its effects are pursued to the point where, properly speaking, it is a question of something which, without language, would be nowhere in the world, namely: the written [l’écrits].

That which is not written mathematically, this may always, as to the proper status of what is in question when expressed in language, be put in suspense.

That nothing at the level of a being who is subject – (74) that is to say a consequence of his living in a language – that nothing can be assured of the written… of a writing such that it defines and distinguishes the relationship: that is what I am putting forward as, not a hypothesis, but a consequence, a follow-up, a line in which we are led by the experience itself. [9]

There is no inscriptable relationship [rapport] which may be formulated, be instituted from the fact of everything which can be said at the level of this being, about whom you can see that it is not for nothing that in hesitating to call him man, I situate him only in this relationship [rapport] – to him [lui] [a] sure and certain relationship [rapport] of jouissance that he has to the place of the language. [JE translation has been altered, of – lui sûr et certain rapport de jouissance qu’il a à l’endroit du langage.]

Note : JE remains convinced that Jacques Lacan distinguishes ‘rapport’ from ‘relation’ (associated in this passage with mathematics) by his usage. Anthony Chadwick does not always translated ‘rapport’ as relationship. This may be seen as a mistake and it is necessary to check and to take your own position on this.


Probably p15-17 of Anthony Chadwick’s translation quoted in Logic and Love : 2019 : Catherine Millot, see this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Millot)