Translated by Cormac Gallagher, from unedited tapes

Published at /Seminars

Session dates and references

(All sessions take place on a Wednesday):


1 : p1 : 16th November 1966

2 : p12 : 23rd November 1966

3 : p24 : 30th November 1966

4 : p30 : 7th December 1966

5 : p43 : 14th December 1966

6 : p59 : 21st December 1966


7 : p66 : 11th January 1967

8 : p79 : 18th January 1967

9 : p91 : 25th January 1967

10 : p103 : 1st February 1967

11 : p109 : 15th February 1967

12 : p123 : 22nd February 1967

13 : p134 : 1st March 1967

14 : p145 : 8th March 1967

p151 : Ernst Kris’s ‘fresh brains’ dream


Ego psychology and interpretation in psychoanalytic therapies (Dream ‘fresh brains’) : December 1948 [1951] : Ernst Kris. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Kris) or /Other Authors A-Z

Intellectual Inhibition & disturbances in Eating (Dream ‘fresh brains’) : September 1933 [Published1938] : Melitta Schmideberg. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Schmideberg) or /Other Authors A-Z

15 : p159 : 15th March 1967

16 : p162 : 12th April 1967

17 : p175 : 19th April 1967

18 : p186 : 26th April 1967

19 : p201 : 10th May 1967

p205-206 : Note : “Anatomy is destiny” is from

On the Universal Tendency to Debasement in the Sphere of Love (Contributions to the Psychology of Love II) : 1912 : Sigmund Freud

SE XI p177-190 See /Freud (1912) : p259 of James Strachey’s translation, Penguin Freud Library (pfl) : Why is the relation of the lover to his sexual object so very different?

It is my belief that, however strange it may sound, we must reckon with the possibility that something in the nature of the sexual instinct itself is unfavorable to the realization of complete satisfaction. If we consider the long and difficult developmental history of the instinct, two factors immediately spring to mind which might be made responsible for this difficulty Firstly, as a result of the diphasic onset of object-choice, and the interposition of the barrier against incest, the final object of the sexual instinct is never any longer the original object but only a surrogate for it. Psycho-analysis has shown us that when the original object of a wishful impulse has been lost as a result of repression, it is frequently represented by an endless series of substitutive objects none of which, however, brings full satisfaction. This may explain the inconstancy in object-choice, the ‘craving for stimulation’ which is so often a feature of the love of adults.

Secondly, we know that the sexual instinct is originally divided into a great number of components – or rather, it develops out of them – some of which cannot be taken up into the instinct in its later form, but have at an earlier stage to be suppressed or put to other uses. These are above all the coprophilic instinctual components, which have proved incompatible with our aesthetic standards of culture, probably since, as a result of our adopting an erect gait, we raised our organ of smell from the ground. [Footnote 3] The same is true of a large portion of the sadistic urges which are a part of erotic life. But all such developmental processes affect only the upper layers of the complex structure. The fundamental processes which produce erotic excitation remain unaltered. The excremental is all too intimately and inseparably bound up with the sexual; the position of the genitals – inter unrinas et faeces – remains the decisive and unchangeable factor. One might say here, varying a well-known saying of the great Napoleon: ‘Anatomy is destiny.’ The genitals themselves have not taken part in the development of the human body in the direction of beauty: they have remained animal, and thus love, too, has remained in essence just as animal as it ever was. The instincts of love are hard to educate; education of them achieves now too much, now too little. What civilization aims at making out of them seems unattainable except at the price of a sensible loss of pleasure; the persistence of the impulses that could not be made use of can be detected in sexual activity in the form of non- satisfaction.

Thus we may perhaps be forced to become reconciled to the idea that it is quite impossible to adjust the claims of the sexual instinct to the demands of civilization; that in consequence of its cultural development renunciation and suffering, as well as the danger of extinction in the remotest future, cannot be avoided by the human race. [Footnote 3 : James Strachey : Cf. two long footnotes to Chapter IV of ‘Civilization and its Discontents’ : 1930a, in which this idea is explored in greater detail. See Civilization and its Discontents : 1929 : Sigmund Freud, SE XXI p58-145, Download bilingual at /Freud/Philosophy (31. CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS (Das Unbehagen in der Kultur)]

Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex : 1924d : Sigmund Freud

SE XIX p173-179, Published bilingual at /homepage (The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex (Der Untergang des Ödipuskomplexes))

p320 of James Strachey’s translation, pfl : At this point our material – for some incomprehensible reason – becomes far more obscure and full of gaps. The female sex, too, develops an Oedipus complex, a super-ego and a latency period. May we also attribute a phallic organization and a castration complex to it? The answer is in the affirmative; but these things cannot be the same as they are in boys. Here the feminist demand for equal rights for the sexes does not take us far, for the morphological distinction is bound to find expression in differences of psychical development. [Footnote 2] ‘Anatomy is Destiny’, to vary a saying of Napoleon’s. [Footnote 2 : by James Strachey : See ‘Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction between the Sexes’ : 1925j, p331 of pfl. Much of what follows is elaborated there. See Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction between the Sexes : 1925j : Sigmund Freud, SE XIX p241-258. Published bilingual by /homepage (Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes (Einige psychische Folgen des anatomischen Geschlechtsunterschieds)) The paraphrase of Napoleon’s epigram had appeared already in the second paper on the psychology of love (1912d)]

20 : p216 : 24th May 1967

21 : p226 : 31st May 1967

22 : p238 : 7th June 1967

23 : p250 : 14th June 1967

24 : p262 : 21st June 1967

The therapeutic effect of inexact interpretation – a contribution to the theory of suggestion : October 1931 : Edward Glover.

p267 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Glover) or /5 Other Authors A-Z


Summary of Seminar XIV The Logic of the Phantasy (1966-1967) : July 1968 : Jacques Lacan

The summary of Seminar XIV was published in July. See this site /4 Jacques Lacan (19680701). This summary was also published in Autres Écrits, See this site /4 Jacques Lacan (Index of Jacques Lacan’s texts or 20010101) or /Lacan (2001)

Published in French

– Jacques Lacan, Le Séminaire livre XIV La logique du fantasme, Texte établi par Jacques-Alain Miller, Seuil & Le Champ Freudien, January 2023

– unedited from transcriptions of tapes, see or other sites


KNOT – The Theory of the Knot Outlined by Jacques Lacan : July 1996 [1997] : Jean-Michel Vappereau. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Vappereau) or /Other Authors A-Z (Vappereau)

Drive and Fantasy : June 1994 : Pierre Skriabine. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Skriabine) or /Other Authors A-Z

The Ordinary Topology of Jacques Lacan : 1986 : Jeanne Lafont. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Lafont) or /Other Authors A-Z (Lafont)


Seminar XIV 15th February 1967

The Ordinary Topology of Jacques Lacan : 1986 : Jeanne Lafont. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Lafont) or /Other Authors A-Z (Lafont)

Notes: Location of Jacques Lacan’s Comments on the ‘fresh brains’ Dream : 30th January 2014 : Julia Evans. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Evans Julia) or /Texts by date (August 2023 or August 2024….)

Seminar XIV : 12th April 1967

pXVI 167 of Cormac Gallagher, in “There is no sexual relation” What does it mean? Clinical Consequences of Lacan’s Formulae of Sexuation : 28th September 2013 (Dublin) : Patrick Monribot. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Monribot)

Seminar XIV : 10th May 1967

“The Unconscious is Politics” today (LQ518) ) : 30th May 2015 (Probably Nantes) : Éric Laurent – Footnote 2 & 5

[Footnote 2] refers to Seminar XIV : 10th May 1967 : pXIX 205-206 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : It is, undoubtedly, not something un-disturbing or something that may not appear to us, on occasion, to require to be highlighted, to remark that one or other thing that may happen in the world, and for example, quite simply at the moment, in a certain little district of South West Asia. What is at stake? It is a matter of convincing people that they are quite wrong not to want to be admitted to the benefits of capitalism! They prefer to be rejected! It is starting from there, it seems, that there ought to be posed questions about certain meanings. And specifically the following, for example, which will show us – which will show us no doubt, but today is not the day that I will even take the first steps in this direction – that if Freud wrote somewhere that “anatomy is destiny”, there is perhaps a moment, when people have come back to a sound perception of what Freud discovered for us, that it will be said – I am not even saying “politics is the unconscious” – but, quite simply, the unconscious is politics!

I mean that what binds men together, or what opposes them, is precisely to be justified by that whose logic we are trying for the moment to articulate.

Because it is for want of this logical articulation that these slippages can be produced. This means that before noting the fact that in order to be rejected, for the “to be rejected” to be essential as a dimension for the neurotic, the following, in any case, is essential: that he offers himself.

Note : “Anatomy is destiny” is from ‘On the Universal Tendency to Debasement in the Sphere of Love’ : 1912 : Sigmund Freud

[Footnote 5] refers to [5] Seminar XIV : 10th May 1967 : pXIX 213 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation : At this point, then, what is it? What is this Other, the big one, there, with a capital O? What is its substance? Huh?

I allowed myself to say – for in truth, even though in truth, you must believe that I allow myself to say it less and less, because one no longer hears, anyway, I no longer hear: it no longer comes to my ears – I allowed myself to say, for a time, that I camouflaged under this locus of the Other, what is called agreeably and, after all, why not, the spirit. The trouble is that it is false.

The Other, when all is said and done, and if you have not already guessed it, the Other here, as it is written, is the body!

Why would one call something like a volume or an object, in so far as it is subject to the laws of movement, in general, like that, a body? Why should one speak about falling bodies? What a curious extension of the word “body”! What relation is there between a little ball which falls from the tower of Pisa and the body which is ours, if not that it is starting from the fact that it is first of all the body, our presence as animal body which is the first locus in which to put inscriptions, the first signifier, as everything is there to suggest to us in our experience; except, of course, that things always impassion us. When one speaks about a wound, one adds narcissistic and one thinks right away that this ought to annoy the subject, who naturally is an idiot! Nobody imagines that what is interesting in a wound, is the scar.

The reading of the Bible could be there to remind us, with roses put at the bottom of the rushes where Jacob’s flocks are going to graze, that different devices to impose a mark on the body do not date from yesterday and are quite radical. That if one does not start from the idea that the hysterical symptom, under its simplest form, that of a “ragade” does not have to be considered as a mystery, but as the very principle of any signifying possibility. You do not have to rack your brains. The fact that the body is made to inscribe something that is called the mark would avoid a lot of worries for everyone and the resifting of a lot of stupidities. The body is made to be marked. It has always been done. And the first beginnings of the gesture of love, is always to outline more or less this gesture a little bit.

There you are. This having been said, what is the first effect, that most radical effect of this irruption of the One (in so far as it represents the sexual act), at the level of the body.

Seminar XIV

The Unconscious and the Body Event – the full interview : July 2015 : Éric Laurent. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Laurent Éric) or /Laurent

Body, Meaning and Knowledge : 8th October 2011 : Josephine Rostron. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Rostron) or /texts by date (August 2023 or August 2024 or …)

The Purloined Letter and the Tao of the Psychoanalyst : 10th March 1999 (Paris) : Éric Laurent. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Laurent Éric) or /Laurent

KNOT – The Theory of the Knot Outlined by Jacques Lacan : July 1996 [1997] : Jean-Michel Vappereau. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Vappereau) or /Other Authors A-Z (Vappereau)

Drive and Fantasy : June 1994 : Pierre Skriabine. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Skriabine) or /Other Authors A-Z

The Ordinary Topology of Jacques Lacan : 1986 : Jeanne Lafont. See this site /5 Other Authors A-Z (Lafont) or /Other Authors A-Z (Lafont)