“The starting point of reflection would, it seems, be to observe that perhaps the more a discourse is deprived of intention, the more it can be confused with truth, with THE truth, with the very presence of truth in the real, in an impenetrable form.
Must we conclude from this that it is a truth to no one until it is deciphered? What are we to think of a desire with which consciousness no longer has anything to do except to know it to be as unknowable as the ‘thing-in-itself’.”
From – Discourse to Catholics.
“V. The Word Brings Jouissance.
Q- According to what I have understood, in Lacanian theory, at the basis of man there is not biology or physiology but rather language. St John had already said: ‘In the beginning was the Word.” You have added nothing to that.
JACQUES LACAN - I have added a little something to it. ‘In the beginning was the Word.’ I couldn’t agree more, John, 1.1. But, before the beginning, where was it? That’s what is truly impenetrable. There is the Gospel according to John, but there is another thingy known as Genesis that is not altogether unrelated to the Word. People have jammed the two together by saying that the Word was the business of God the Father and that we recognise that Genesis was just as true as the Gospel according to John by the fact that it was with the Word that God created the world. Its a funny thingy.
In Jewish Scripture, Holy Scripture, it is quite clear what purpose is served by the fact that the Word was there not at the beginning but before the beginning. It is that, since it was before the beginning, God fells he has the right to make all kinds of reprimands to people to whom he has given a little gift, of the ‘little, little, little’ sort, like one gives to chickens. He taught Adam to name things. He didn’t give him the Word, for that would have been too big a deal. He taught him how to name. It is no big deal to name, it is altogether within human ken. Human beings ask for nothing more than that the lights be turned down. Light in itself is absolutely unbearable. Moreover, no one ever talked about light in the century of the Enlightenment; instead they talked about Aufklärung. ‘Bring me a small lamp, I beg you.’ That’s already a lot. Its already more than we can bear.
I am in favour of John and his ‘In the eginning was the Word’, but it is an enigmatic beginning. It means the following: for the average Joe – for this carnal being, this repugnant personage – the drama begins only when the Word is involved, when it is incarnated, as the true religion says. It is when the Word is incarnated that things really start going badly. Man is no longer at all happy, he no longer resembles a little dog who wags his tail or a nice monkey who masturbates. He no longer resembles anything. He is ravaged by the Word.”
From – The Triumph of Religion.
“The function of what we call a cultural trend is to mix and homogenise. Something emerges and has certain qualities, a certain freshness, a certain tip. It’s a bud. The said cultural trend kneads it until it becomes reduced, despicable, and communicates with everything.
It has to be said that this is not satisfactory, despite everything. Not for reasons to do with any internal necessity, but for commercial reasons. When it has been uprooted, it becomes exhausted. Although I’ve been using bad language I think I can take the liberty of repeating the formula that occurred to me in this connection. Eating shit is all very well, but you can’t always eat the same shit. So, I try to get hold of some new shit.”
From – My Teaching, its Nature and its Ends.