Back to contents
Number 9: Winter 2013

Between Experience and Representation: Towards a Semiotics of Trauma

Robert Weiss

Could the oeuvre part of désoeuvrement refer somehow to analytic work? To be alive to the opacity of language, the psychoanalyst knows that speech is always deferred, mediated and removed from the thing itself, oscillating between representing and experiencing, silence and loquaciousness, presence and absence. What sort of work might this be?  What might the psychoanalyst listen out for? With this in mind, I’ll end with a quote from Michel Foucault, writing about Maurice Blanchot’s writing, from 1966.

And it becomes attentiveness to what in language already exists, has already been said, imprinted, manifested—a listening less to what is articulated in language than to the void circulating between its words, to the murmur that is forever taking it apart; a discourse on the non-discourse of all language; the fiction of the invisible space in which it appears. (Foucault, 1966: 25)

 

 

References

Barthes, R., (1964), ‘Rhetoric of the Image’, trans. Stephen Heath, in Image, Music, Text, London: Fontana, 1977, pp. 32–51.

Blanchot, M., (1980),  The Writing of the Disaster, trans. A. Smock, Lincoln NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1986.

Breuer, J. & Freud, S., (1893–95), Studies on Hysteria, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. II (henceforth. SE), London: Vintage, 2001.

Derrida, J., (1978), ‘Freud and the Scene of Writing’, in Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 196–231.

Foucault, M., (1966), ‘Maurice Blanchot: The Thought from Outside’, trans. Brian Massumi, in Foucault/Blanchot, New York: Zone Books, 1987, pp. 7–58.

Freud, S., (1915), ‘The Unconscious’, in SE XIV, London: Vintage, 2001, pp. 159–215.

___ (1925 [1924], ‘A Note Upon the “Mystic Writing Pad”’, in SE XIX, London: Vintage, 2001, pp. 227–232.

___ (1950[1896]), ‘Letter 52’, in ‘Extract from the Fleiss Papers’ in SE I, London: Vintage, 2001, pp. 233–239.

Heaney, S., (1966), ‘Ancestral Photographs’, in Death of a Naturalist, London: Faber & Faber, 1999.

Laplanche, J., (1993), ‘A Short Treatise on the Unconscious’, trans. Luke Thurston, in Laplanche, J., Essays on Otherness, Abingdon: Routledge, 1999, pp. 84–116.

Laplanche, J. & Pontalis, J. B., (1964), ‘Fantasy and the Origins of Sexuality’, Int. J. Psycho-Anal: 49, 1968, pp. 1–18.

Morris, D. & Morris, J., (2013), McCullin, in BBC Productions: Imagine, first broadcast 02/07/13.

Peirce, C. S., (1955 [1893–1910]), ‘Logic as Semiotic: The Theory of Signs’, in Philosophical Writings of Peirce, New York: Dover Publications, pp. 98–119.

Smock, A., (1986), ‘Translators Remarks’, in Blanchot, M.,  The Writing of the Disaster, trans. A. Smock, Lincoln NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1986, pp. vii–xiii.