This comment was sent to the Seminar VII Reading Group after the 19th October meeting, which started reading at p145 of Dennis Porter’s translation, 10th February 1960, Ch XI – Courtly love as anamorphosis. (See Seminar VII The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (1959-1960) : from 18th November 1959 : Jacques Lacan at this site /4 Jacques Lacan (10591118 or Index of Jacques Lacan’s texts)

The Reading Group consisted of Alison Fish, Bruno de Florence, Dimitrios Poulikakos, Eddie Dorfman, Julia Evans, Nick Stylianou, Owen Hewitson

RE: A further note on the discussions last Saturday

“Il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel”.

The French word RAPPORT also has the mathematical meaning of RATIO. So just as you cannot add apples and stones, 1 human body + 1 human body does not give 1. This also implies that there is nothing natural to heterosexuality, although it is prevalent. Instead, we have various bricolages (Something made or put together using whatever materials happen to be available), such as courtly love or this:

object a becomes the place holder for whatever fetish you care to formulate, which in turn, will glue your bricolage [see below] together and give it some (imaginary) consistency.


For examination of the translation, see “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 (Other Authors A-Z (Monribot)

In summary ‘Rapport’ is either ‘ratio’ or ‘relationship’.


Lacan’s use of Bricolage

-See Seminar IX Identification (1961-1962) : from 15th November 1961 : Jacques Lacan at this site /4 Jacques Lacan (19611115)

Seminar IX 6th June 1962, p336 of Ben Hooson’s translation : To illustrate this still functioning within our reach, he lights on something that exemplifies it in a form which is undoubtedly not unique, but is privileged by his demonstration, namely what he calls “bricolage”.[15] Footnote 15 : Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Savage Mind, pp. 13 et seq. : 1962 : or

15 Ibid., pp. 16 et seq.Bricolage” is what a “bricoleur” does and the (uncredited) translator of the The Savage Mind has the helpful footnote: “ ‘bricoleur’ has no precise equivalent in English. He is a man who undertakes odd jobs and is a Jack of all trades or a kind of professional do-it-yourself man” (The Savage Mind, p.17).

P340 of Ben Hooson’s translation : … that, certainly, based on everything I know about the thinking and the statements of Claude Lévi-Strauss, might seem to us to be the move most opposed to his, because the status he gives to ethnographic research would seem to be produced in a position of aversion to the metaphysical or even ultra-metaphysical research of Heidegger. However, it is the same move that we find in the first step by which Claude Lévi-Strauss introduces us to the savage mind [la pensée sauvage] by way of bricolage, which is just the same analysis, only in different terms – a barely modified illumination (though making a use that is distinct) of the same relationship to utensility as that which both of them consider as prior, as primordial with respect to this sort of structured access that is ours, …

-See Seminar XIII The Object of Psychoanalysis (1965-1966) : from 1st December 1965 : Jacques Lacan at this site /4 Jacques Lacan (19651201 or index of Lacan’s texts)

Seminar XII 2nd February 1966

PIX 120 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : In a short and substantial chapter, the author of Dieu caché, Monsieur Goldman does not seem, for his part, to be at all reluctant to make of Pascal‟s Wager the prelude to the faith that the Marxist commits himself to in the advent of the proletariat.

I would be far from reducing to this limit, of which the least one can say is that it is a little bit too apologetic, the import of a chapter whose value as a discussion is undoubtedly enriching enough, no doubt, for us to rate this part of the enterprise as more than bricolage.

But it seems to me that nowhere has anyone gone into the text of the Wager from this point of view, that it is not a “one” that it is a matter of convincing, that this wager is the wager of Pascal himself, of an “I”, of a subject who reveals to us his structure, a structure that is perfectly verifiable and to be verified not at all from such and such an incident which confirms it in the biographical context, Pascal‟s deeds in a life in which it is only right to manifest the extremely complex steps, the gestures that are brought to completion with the approach of death in one or other wish which may appear exorbitant to us, the one to be brought to the incurables to end his existence there, this would mean pinpointing them very quickly and picking out in them the theme of (10) masochism. Whether a subject, whether a thinking which is able so admirably to distinguish, as you are going to see, in the strict formulation of essential positions, yields to us in a way its structure, is something which for us is only to be linked up to other points in which, also, the structure of the subject as such is manifested by him in a certain radical position, and if we have the honour of seeing there being affirmed, without for all that there being anything to say that there was here any message whatsoever, for after all we have these pieces of paper, almost after his death, death is perhaps not the limit of any beyond, it is undoubtedly one of the easiest limits to use when it is a question of pickpocketing. Pascal‟s pockets were picked. It has been done, let us take advantage of it.