• irishcirclelacania

ICLO-NLS 10TH ANNUAL STUDY DAY MAY 7TH - Can’t Get No Satisfaction Repetition & Its Failure

BOOK HERE: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/iclo-nls-10th-annual-study-day-with-alexandre-stevens-nls-in-person-only-tickets-324097393027

NOTE: This event is in presence ONLY in Dublin

VENUE: Carmelite Community Centre, Aungier St, Dublin 2.

TIME: 10.30 am registration


It’s never hits the mark no matter how much we try.

As concepts, fixation and repetition are dense and complicated and are never without the satisfaction that we seek. Although distinct, their pathways interweave and span the entire oeuvre of psychoanalysis of the Lacanian Orientation with both Freud and Lacan, until finally coming to join together in one signifier, the sinthome. We hear repetition reverberate in our clinic today, in our formation as analysts, in discourse and know that within that there is something that insists. Our challenge is to put to the test how we read this.

In retracing and elaborating Freud’s footsteps, Lacan’s early teachings favoured the primacy of the symbolic. Repetition was therefore the repetition of what is always missed in language, it being fundamentally inadequate to capture that which lies outside it. Hence the wonderful paradigmatic example of a child’s insistence to have a story retold countless number of times with the use of the exact signifiers heard the first time, not allowing for any substitution. It is only this repetition that allows for some satisfaction - and yet, the signifier’s fate is destined to always fail, is incapable of succeeding, leaving us immersed in our self-woven fictions and always not quite satisfied.


With Seminar XI, we discover the distinction between the automaton of (symbolic) repetition and tuché, which introduces us to the real of repetition. This delineation paves another trajectory, one which begins with the real and jouissance and which transforms the unconscious.

This trajectory traces its logical path whereby the primacy of the symbolic as meaning to be deciphered is solely privileged no more, and we begin from the perspective of “there is jouissance as the property of a living body.”[1] This premises the body as living, as enjoying itself and does so without the Other. This is the real of the first markings of the signifier on the body of the subject of the unconscious - from the raw iteration of S1. It is this that is the object of fixation in the symptom “whose durable element allows us to infer a repetition.”[2] Jacques-Alain Miller beautifully describes the symptom as a fractal object, “showing that the reiteration of the same through successive applications gives […] the most extravagant forms.”[3]

It’s up to each one of us to find our own way of what these two signifiers provoke, what they push us to elaborate, allow us to verify so that “the contours of this shapeless thing will be drawn, this thing that pushes and seems to be satisfied in the suffering of symptoms.”[4]

The ICLO-NLS 10th Study-Day will explore these and other aspects of Fixation & Repetition.

Papers may take the form of theoretical or clinical presentations or perhaps contemporary commentary. Not without conversation with the audience and our guest speaker Alexandre Stevens, President of the NLS.

[1] Jacques-Alain Miller, “Six Paradigms of Jouissance,” Psychoanalytical Notebooks, Issue 34, December 2019, pg. 69 [2] Alexandre Stevens, “Fixation & Repetition Argument,” NLS Congress 2022, https://nlscongress2022.amp-nls.org/nls-congress/2019/1/4/the-argument-f9m84-z6f8a-mltkj-rlb5g-y65wb. [3] Jacques-Alain Miller, “Reading a Symptom,” Hurly Burly, Issue 6, September 2011, pg. 143-1522. [4] Anne Lysy, “What Becomes of Jouissance at the End of Analysis: The Pass of the Fantasy/The Pass of the Sinthome,” TLR, Journal of the NLS, Issue 11, Spring 2021, The Art of Singularities, pg. 242