The Freudian School of Melbourne – School of Lacanian Psychoanalysis


Homage Abstracts

W – 2018

Saturday September 1st, Treacy Centre

126 The Avenue, Parkville 3052

9.00am- 4.00 pm


“Whether it wishes to be an agent of healing, training, or sounding the depths, psychoanalysis has but one medium: the patient’s speech. The obviousness of this fact is no excuse for ignoring it.” (Jacques Lacan)

“Now, if these things are true, as you know they are, surely you see how much less words are to be valued than that on account of which we use words.” (St Augustine)

Psychoanalysis finds its hesitant beginnings in the therapeutic field as a “talking cure” in which the fundamental rule was to speak as freely as possible, without constraint or censorship. This gave clear precedence to the act of speech and that which arises from speaking. This year the School returns to the not self-evident question of what constitutes the function, field and limitations of speech and language in psychoanalysis whereby talking begins to exceed the parameters of the “cure” as such.


The focus of the School’s work in 2018 will be Lacan’s written work The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis, delivered as 2 papers at the Rome Congress of 1953. This early and complex text, part critique, part diatribe, part poetry, remains inexhaustible in its richness; brimming with a kind of excess which is characteristic of Lacan’s style and the critique it constituted of the moribundly conservative tendencies in the psychoanalytic field. We find there Lacan taking up a critique which is evident through to the end of his teaching, endeavouring to restore to the experience of psychoanalysis the creative possibilities resident in the act of speaking.


Whilst perhaps mistakenly situated as a “talking cure”, the experience of psychoanalysis which the Lacanian critique directs us to is of a function of speech which engages the analysand in a richness of the language which inhabits them, pushing it to its limits and encountering there its creative possibilities.

The members of the School will present the fruit of their engagement with this subject of speech and language which remains enigmatically central to the psychoanalytic experience.

Choose it or Lose it

Malcolm Morgan, Analyst Member


... it's a fact that Joyce makes a choice, and in this regard he is, like me, a heretic.  For haeresis is precisely what specifies the heretic.  One has to choose the path by which to capture the truth.  (J.Lacan, The Sinthome, 18/11/75).


Lacan notes an homophony between his RSI and heresy. And, this RSI is a re-ordering of his 1953 ternary, SRI. In The Sinthome Lacan reminds his listeners that the word "heresy" derives from the Greek haeresis meaning to choose, or take a position. Joyce, says Lacan, chose.  Heresy is conventionally intelligible only within a context of orthodoxy - from whose doctrines it diverges in crucial, unforgivable ways.  So, choice becomes mistaken choice. This paper argues that Lacan's heresy is radically different to contemporary heresy.  Lacan sustains his heresy as heretical. His heresy is heretical unto itself.  It reminds this psychoanalyst that he must somehow maintain an heretical stance in relation to each and every one of his favourite ideas, which, by virtue of having become Proper Names, threaten to trap him in a web of doctrinal orthodoxy.

“It is the order explored beginning with my experience, I remind you, that has led me to this

infernal triad “

Jacques Lacan.


Download PDF

The Freudian School of Melbourne's Homage – Annual Conference

Why Speak? – 2018