Frames /sing


A Response to Larval Subjects

It seems that Larval Subjects and I had a bit of back and forth over the importance of Lacan in reading the projects of both Deleuze and Guattari. New to her/his weblog, I did not realize the extent to which she/he was committed to Lacanian principles, and my struggle to provide a Deleuzian/Spinozist critique of Lacan ended the conversation from her/his end.

Below is my last posted response to the exchange, for what it is worth, she/he thinking it best not to allow posted (which is fair). For the sake of completion I post my response here. I actually have appreciation for the Larval Subjects weblog, where some very interesting points are being made.

LS: “You seem to be of the view that the analyst is doing something to the analysand… Namely tracing everything back to lack or absence. In point of fact, nothing of the sort actually takes place in the analytic setting. The analyst barely says anything at all, often simply repeating certain phrases or remarks that the analysand makes, occasionally modifying them slightly.”

Kvond: You seem to slip back and forth between one-on-one analysis, and theories of Being meant for societal prescription (the second of which I thought we were talking about by and large), as you wrote,

[LS:]”I’m looking for is more along the lines of a social formation that doesn’t lead to Oedipal hierarchy on the masculine side or the search for the guru and unassailable network relations on the feminine side.”

I might say that I have read several Lacanian critiques of society, culture, politics. I admit that there IS a great deal of “repeating certain phrases”; if only that were ALL that there were, and everyone in society read them, I suppose then society would be “cured” into the proper relationship to lack, in one great transference.

But in terms of one-on-one therapy, it WAS this motionless, desireless way of talking that Guattari found insufficient, thus developing his theory of tranversality in surpass of mere binary tranference. When Guattari felt that changing the location where medication was dispensed at La Borde in order to unleash transversal flows, he was not “simply repeating certain phrases or remarks that the analysand makes, occasionally modifying them slightly”. That is the entire point. For Guattari the “cure” was political, and processional, not strictly a matter of transference.

LS: This is an odd observation. One can’t say everything. You could have also said that I left out Deleuze’s work on cinema or his discussions of Bacon, or I could have pointed out that you leave out Spinoza’s Theologico-Politico Treatise.

Kvond: Obviously, you leave out reference to Deleuze’s Spinoza and ATP, when discussing the relevance of Lacan to the projects of these two thinkings, and trying very hard to make the point that Guattari is a “radicalized” Lacanian.

It is precisely that by the time that Guattari co-wrote ATP (as cited by me, in Genosko), that he had achieved his greatest distance from Lacan. Citing Anti-Oedipus, in answer to ATP is a very odd way of responding. It is in reference to ATP that one comes to understand that perhaps seeing Guattari as a Lacanian is not the best way to see his thinking.

LS: “Perhaps you should actually talk to some “true Lacanians”, i.e., clinicians.”

Kvond: Well, this is the point. I am unsure, by virtue of being “true Lacanian clinicians” (those experiences or that standing) what they have to say about Being has much bearing on the weight we should give to Lacanian prescriptions for, or even analysis of, society. If one can only believe in Lacanian solutions to social ills by either going through Lacanian analysis or by talking to active clinicians who possess unique insight into society not available to those that read Lacan, I’m not sure such solutions are those I would want to believe in.

It was an interesting discussion, and though at times there may have been more heat than light, I think in many ways we are in agreement. What is not established is why Lacanian ontology (what Larval Subjects calls psychological Being) would be the best way to look at the possible freedoms available to both society and individuals, or, how it can be that Lacanian analystical assumptions about the subject do not foreclose avenues for freedom otherwise offered by a Deleuzian, Guattarian or Spinozist account.

One response to “A Response to Larval Subjects

  1. Pingback: Larval Subjects, Redux « Frames /sing

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