• Debian's grub package now invents the new flag GRUB_DISABLE_OS_PROBER which is defaulted to true if not present in /etc/default/grub. I needed to explicitly set it to false to get my dual-boot setup to work. This is apparently an upstream change e346414725a70e5c74ee87ca14e580c66f517666.
  • Puppet was upgraded to puppetserver which is Clojure-based. This actually worked fairly easily; fair play to Puppetlabs for seemingly being pretty serious about their compatibility story. There were only two things to care about really. The puppetlabs-apache module had a bug which I needed to backport, and the path where agent reports were stored had changed from /var/cache/puppet/reports to /var/lib/puppetserver/reports.

When upgrading, there was an issue with PHP. I was required to remove existing PHP extensions that had been installed for 7.4, and replace them with the 8.2 versions.

Encountered bug 1000263. I solved most of these issues by installing the explicitly versioned PHP extension package from the archive. e.g., in my Puppet manifests, I previously had the following:

package { "php-xml": status => installed }

I changed this to:

package { "php${version}-xml": status => installed }

where $version is the version parameter. I am not totally sure why this succeeds. The exception is gettext for which I had to use php-php-gettext.

Conky issue 1443 -- this caused conky to die completely until I added a config workaround.

After the upgrade I suggest completely removing all emacs packages (use apt-get, not aptitude) and clear out the contents of /usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/elpa. My theory is that Debian packages ship elisp source which then gets compiled into this directory by maintainer scripts, but it can go stale and should be removed. This is true but you actually need to reinstall all packages you use that touch emacs which is rather hard. debian byte-compiles elisp in the maintainer scripts.

Posted 2023-08-13

Silver is a fun game that's slightly hamstrung by its awkward control system. It's marketed as an RPG but is actually a strange cross-genre mix. Its kindred spirits is hack-n-slash games like Diablo, plus a bit of real-time strategy (yes, really). The mouse control is cool, but awkward. It's very cool to be able to use the mouse gestures to adjust to situational combat, but in reality this is hardly necessary: you can easily get by just button-mashing, and the game doesn't reward using the mouse mechanics enough. Moreover, it's impossible to focus on fancy mouse techniques because your party is constantly being bombarded by group attacks. It's way too easy to select the wrong character and accidentally cancel your strategy. I frequently ended up with the wrong stuff equipped; switching between magic and melee strategies is similarly difficult.

Overall the game is solid, there's nothing wrong with it (except for a few bugs in the port), but it lacks any really spectacular moments. The voice acting is excellent. The story and worldbuilding are OK. The difficulty level is easy to medium; it would benefit from some more challenge in places, but you can't make it significantly harder without fixing the control system. e.g. I didn't block the entire game, until the very final fight which requires blocking.

The game is also hamstrung by the fact that the charcter models are actually rather nice, if blocky and FF7-ish, but you can barely see them most of the time because the view is so zoomed out. Your character is always extremely tiny.


  • Switch all your magic to L2/L1 because L3 drains MP reserves too fast.
  • All characters have reserves of all special moves, when they have melee weapons equipped.
  • Once you have heal magic, you can heal using this instead of using food. Food becomes nearly useless about half way through the game.
  • There are some bugs in the Steam version with using potions. Your character ends up with the potion equipped and you can't change weapons or attack.
Posted 2023-07-27

It's no secret to anyone that knows me: I bloody hate OAuth2. (I specifically say 2 because OAuth was a radically different beast.) I recently had occasion to use the Pocket API. I have very mixed feelings about this service, but I have paid for it before (for quite some time). Now I am trying to use the Kobo integration which syncs articles from Pocket. This seems a much better solution than Send to Kindle which I was previously using. However, to use it in practicality I had to somehow archive 5000+ links which I had imported into it, my ~10 year browser bookmark history.

I tried to use ChatGPT to generate this code, and it got something that looked very close but was in practicality useless. It was faster for me to write the code from scratch than to debug the famous LLM's attempt. So maybe don't retire your keyboard hands just yet, console jockeys.

import requests
from flask import Flask, redirect, session
import pdb

app = Flask(__name__)
app.secret_key = 'nonesuch'

REDIRECT_URI = 'http://localhost:5000/callback'
BATCH_SIZE = 1000    # max 5000

def test():

    resp = requests.post('https://getpocket.com/v3/oauth/request', json={
        'consumer_key': CONSUMER_KEY,
        'redirect_uri': REDIRECT_URI,
        'state': 'nonesuch',
    }, headers={'X-Accept': 'application/json'})
    data = resp.json()
    request_token = data['code']
    session['request_token'] = request_token

    uri = f'https://getpocket.com/auth/authorize?request_token={request_token}&redirect_uri={REDIRECT_URI}'

    return redirect(uri)

def callback():
    print("using request token", session['request_token'])
    resp = requests.post(
            'consumer_key': CONSUMER_KEY,
            'code': session['request_token']
        headers={'X-Accept': 'application/json'}

    print("Status code for authorize was", resp.status_code)

    result = resp.json()
    access_token = result['access_token']
    print("Access token is", access_token)

    resp = requests.post(
            'consumer_key': CONSUMER_KEY,
            'access_token': access_token,
            'state': 'unread',
            'sort': 'oldest',
            'detailType': 'simple',
            'count': BATCH_SIZE,
    x = resp.json()
    actions = []
    for y in x['list'].keys():
        actions.append({'action': 'archive', 'item_id': y})

    print("Sending", len(actions), "actions")

    resp = requests.post(
            'actions': actions,
            'access_token': access_token,
            'consumer_key': CONSUMER_KEY

    return f"<p>Access token is {access_token}</p>"

I believe it's mandatory to make this an actual web app, hence the use of Flask. I hate OAuth2. The Pocket implementation of OAuth2 is subtly quirky (what a freakin' surprise). Also, this API is pretty strange, it doesn't even make any attempt at being RESTful, though the operation batching is rather nifty. It's rather pleasant that you can work in batches of 1000 items at a time, though. I expected a lower limit. If I cranked the batch size up to 5000 I effectively KO'd the API and started getting 500s.

This script doesn't actually archive everything because it doesn't loop. That's left as an exercise for the reader for now.

Posted 2023-05-27

[!meta title="Abraham & Torok"]]

Having just read Mourning and Melancholia and the very first page of A&T's book proper, I'll make a crude prediction as to how I perceive their thesis will run:

Pankejeff was "two people in one" in the sense that Mourning and Melancholia describes. The melancholia process results in the loved object being reconsituted in the ego. "Attacks" and self-reproaches that characterize depression are really attacks on a lost object which has been absorbed into the narcissistic ego. Hence Pankejeff's sister Anna, who was literally lost due to her suicide, formed a sexually licentious internal counterpart which Pankejeff simultaneously perceived as being himself. He also reproached this internal dual-self for that licentiousness. There's probably something to be said about Freud's economic perspective on melancholia and mania, and the sudden return of these "investments".
If Pankejeff was repressed outside the consulting room, and then loudly proclaimed his libido inside the consulting room, perhaps this ghost-Anna is activated within him, while normally being repressed. Taking as an axiom the truth of the original seduction, this would fit with some of Freud's observations of his homosexual ambivalence.

Update: This is actually a bit of an understatement of what the theory is. The theory is one of 'incorporation' in a schizophrenic way. Note the particular pick-up of the description by RMB (Ruth Mack Brunswick) of the "small brother" and "preschizophrenic sister".

They make the claim that SP's seduction by the sister is the echo of a previous seduction (abuse, in fact) by the father.

First, the sister claimed to repeat with her younger brother a sexual scene that probably took place earlier between her and the father

The father, who later (unable to live with his grief) killed himself. The "incorporated" version of the sister, Tierka, comes to be filled by his wife, and then comes to be filled by his mother. There is a neat symmetry in this account. Perhaps Therese was always aware that she was Tierka, and her suicide finally confirmed this.

When his wife ended her life in 1938, the Wolf Man .... suffered an attack of depressive agitation worse than any he had ever experienced. ... He roamed the streets frenzied and repeated forlornly the stereotypical question: "Why, tell me why, did she do this to me?" This would be the same outcry of despair as that of Father, shattered by the suicide of his preferred object.

It's fascinating how A&T don't trust the literal truth of the analysis but like detectives use clues to draw out a secret truth. They say that Freud focused on the seduction not due to his theories needing support therein, but because his intuition led to his placing importance there.

He was barred from others and -- incapable of assuimilating them -- he could ohnly put them inside himself, as he had some with his sister. His life was made up of maneuverings to avoid hapless meetings and indiscretions. They were all there in him in order to maintain repression of a contradiction: a death-dealing pleasure. This repression appeared only in two images, each incomplete in its manifest state: first the erogenous image of a woman in the position of a scrubwoman, then the second one, a complement to the first, of a phobia-producing erect wolf.

On Cryptonymy

Among the applications of our discovery concerning the use of cryptonyms, we found most striking our realization that certain word suffered an extraordinary exclusion and that this same exclusion seemed ot confer on them a genuinely magic power. The verbs tieret (тере́ть) and natieret (натере́ть) had to be entierely banished from the active vocabulary and not only in the sense of rubbing, but also in the sense of waxing or scraping. What if these parallel meanings, these allosemes [allo prefix denoting "other meanings"], had to be stated? Each time they were, by means of synonyms, they obviously implied a constant reference, even if a negative one, to the taboo word.

In this example, the taboo refers to a particular signified ('seme') denoted by the signifier тере́ть. This is sense 1 ("to rub"), given by the above Wiktionary entry. However, "to scrape" is an alloseme of the taboo word. Per the above, direct references to scraping (by use of the signified тере́ть) must also be prohibited. However, indirect references to the notion of scraping would be encountered. e.g. 'scratch' is a loose synonym of 'scrape', that would constitute an indirect reference to 'tieret'. In the same sense, the Russian word for the verb "scratch" is "carápatʹ" (цара́пать). Every time this verb is referenced extant, it constitutes a reference to the excluded signifier tieret. And don't forget that this applies cross language, so German verbs like "reiben" (rub) or "schaben" (scrape) also touch the excluded tieret through their semic network.

It was, we thought, because a given word was unutterable that the obligation arose to introduce synonyms even for its lateral meanings, and that the synonyms acquired the status of substitutes. Thus they became cryptonyms, apparenly not having any phonetic or semantic relationship to the prohibited word. tzarapat (scratch, scrape) bears no apparent relation to tieret (to rub).

The synonyms for the unutterable tieret are designated "cryptonyms" and are infused with a power. In the example "carápatʹ" or "schaben" could become cryptonyms ("words that hide"). "carápatʹ" clearly has no phonetic relationship to tieret and has no direct semantic relationship to the actual prohibited signified (the rubbing) -- only an indirect semantic relationship.

In sum, no simple metonymic displacement is at work here, referring to one element of a concrete situation instead of another element actually intended (as when we say pen to mean style or writer), but a displacement on a second level: The word itself as a lexical entity constitutes the global situation from which one particular meaning is sectioned out of the sum total of meanings. This characteristic could be expressed by saying that what is at stake here is not a metonymy of things but a metonymy of words.

A metonym is where a one-for-one substitution happens: "Westminster" could be used as a metonym for the UK government. "The word itself..." -- This sentence is rather difficult. I think that "word itself" refers to a specific cryptonym, not "the word" in an abstract sense. The meaning that's "sectioned out" is presumably the excluded meaning "to rub" of tieret. A metonymy of things would be using one thing (an element of a concrete situation) to refer to another thing. A metonymy of words therefore here simply means that S.P.'s use of "scrape" does not simply allude or metonymize to a specific signified (i.e. the rubbing) rather it metonymizes to the entire orthographic unit of tieret including all its meanings -- which is clearly logically necessary given that the cryptonymic relation occurs through these allosemes.

The contiguity that presides over this procedure is by nature not a representation of things, not even a representation of words, but arises from the lexical contiguity of the various meanings of the same words, that is from the allosemes, as they are catalogued in a dictionary.

The contiguity = the links between the words. This is just reiterating that the metonymy works by traversing the graph of meanings rather than anything related to physical space (as in the Westminster metonym) or to a kind of orthographic space (concrete aspects of the signifier). "Lexical" is used here in a general sense meaning "relating to words" and includes both signifier and signified.

For tzarapina (scar), to evoke tieret (to rub), a form of lexical contiguity has to be inserted. Having understood the real originality of this procedure, we felt the need of applying to it a distinctive name, cryptonymy.

Cryptonymy refers to this process of metonymy orchestrated through traversal of the semantic network.

Chapter 4: In Some of Little Sergei's Dreams and Symptoms

This chapter proceeds to do a type of textual analysis of the meat of the dreams recorded by the case.

1: The dream of the lion. A&T use the homonym "lion" = "lying" and the homonym "Bett" = "bed". It's not clear whether these English homonyms are valid here because did SP know English? Bild -> Schreckbild -> kriekh is more plausible. kriekh is a cryptonym (perhaps?) for oriekh -- "walnut trees" is given by SP as "Nussbaume" but the cryptonym refers to the Cyrillic орех (orekh) just meaning "nut". But then the Russian грех (initial letter different) translates directly to... "sin". So this is what they are getting at with 'kriekh'. "nut" is punning on "sin". "kriekh" -> "picture of the sin" -> "wolf.. in a wide-open book" -> "wide-open goulfik". "Goulfik" is Гу́льфик, sometimes translated as codpiece instead.

An omission of the iv in filivs means "the witness is the son, not you". "iv" will later be used to refer to the visual appearance of a wide-open goulfik. The "IV" of the clock striking five repeats the scene of the emergence of the penis from the wide-open fly (the V). The 'primal scene' is thus precisely this emergence. But the phobia comes from the intervention of the mother to forbid the outbreak of a scandal if SP would tell what he saw. The IV is later linked to the sister: V + I = six = siestra.

An analysis of the holding of the breath symptom follows. Basically this is all due to concealment and holding things back: The constipation, the holding of the breath, the sympathizing with the deaf-mute, the orgasmic release of the pimple being popped, and the fantasy of the truth being "torn out" of him (as in the Wespe/Espe remark).

I personally relate to SP's hallucination of cutting through the finger, as I have experienced intrusive thoughts of a similar nature myself. A&T refathom the little finger as the "little guesser" that suspects: this has been cut because the truth is unspeakable. The truth of the "kriekh", of course. The fate of the father hovers in the background through the verbs 'sitzen' and 'sinken' -> 'herunterkommen', all transmogrified into something that SP himself does through dream displacement. A&T go on to claim that the sensitivity of the little toes is another displacement of this -- the little finger/toe is claimed to have some type of internal knowledge of the kriekh that is suppressed. The cutting off of the toe is explicitly alluded to in the Wolf Man's letter. So this castration is directly linked to the telling/revealing of the kriekh.


"ein paar weisse Wolfe sitzen" = wolf + (sitt)ing = wolfing = goulfik (by homophone to the Russian). Weisse = wide, so a wide fly.

"I dreamed" = "vidiet son" = "vidietz" (Russian) = "witness".

On The Later Analysis

A&T hypothesize that Miss Oven, the English governess, was "paid off" by the Pankejeff family. The mother is complicit and the mother's injunction is not to tell.

What set off the attack ... in 1926? His testimony in Freud's favour challenged his incorporated status as "broken witness" and also defied the mother's anxiety that required him in the first place to be a broken witness: The manuscript he sent to Freud contained indeed the reviled act of tieret.

Specifically this refers to:

In 1926 Freud had written to the Wolf Man asking him certain questions about the wolf dream. The Wolf Man replied to him on June 6, 1926.

This letter is construed to be the source of all the unconscious speech of the dreams analyzed by RMB. Isomorphically to the original topography, Freud now forms the father, Sergei now responsible for not "revealing some truth". Otto Rank had previously expressed doubts about the reality of the primal scene, saying the wolf dream was created as an effect of transference during analysis (Infantile Neurosis contains a large digression to this effect, contradicting Rank's view). SP had responded saying he was certain the wolf dream had occurred in his childhood and not during analysis. Therefore Freud forms the father in the triad, RMB forms the mother who he conceives as trying to coerce him to lie to prevent the father from "sinking".

Our analysis of the nightmare established its early childhood occcurrence beyond any doubt. The problem was simply that the Wolf Man faced the paradox that by testifying to the truth (i.e. the early occurrence of the dream), he thought he was being confirmed in his status of "false witness", a title conferred on him by Father, Mother and Freud. In other words, any testimony whatsoever would have functioned as a lie for him.

The increasing desire to speak out mobilizes the forces of countercathexis. They hark back to the period where the mother tried to use religious training to calm the temper tantrums of the "broken" witness.

She is not a true mother, however, but the mother's speech reversed a second time. Two negations do not quite make an affirmation, as we will see.

This "negation of the negation" is what will eventually calm SP and result in temporary remission of his symptoms.

A drama was nevertheless played out. And a truth admitted. Still, the world did not fly off its hinges. To a certain extent it was a symbolic play within a play taken to the second power. "No, Sergei did not lie"; "No, Father is not guilty". This was a wholly unexpected conclusion since, for Sergei, these statements should be mutually exclusive. He had to "have lied" in order to "clear" Father. This was and still is the basis of any sexual enjoyment.

Without knowing it himself and without letting anyone else know it, the Wolf Man was Anna. Why? We now know. There was a scandal stigmatizing the incestuous relationship he had witnessed with his own eyes. He innocently opened himself up to the shady governess who, in her English, turned his ideal of pleasure into sin, his father into a criminal, and himself, the little Sergei, into a court of law raised above his father. From then on this pleasure, jealously kept in his innermost safe, could only be the object of total repudiation. At the same time, the fact of not having been part of the scene aroused in him feelings of aggression. Those feelings found a happy companion in his new status as witness for the prosecution. The mother, with her Russian words, and the nurse, with her English words, closed two doors at once: the possibility of a sexual ideal, and also any form of aggression directed at the scene. All this did not keep the ideal from remaining alive within the Unconsious or even appearing later on Freud's couch. [Anna? DB]

This paragraph above seems important but I'm not totally sure why.

The analysis would have had to extend to the paternal grandparents and even to the great-grandparente, so that the Wolf Man could be situated within the libidinal lineage from which he was descended. Under such circumstances it is conceivable that the extreme emotional charge of the traumatic scandal would gradually have been diluted by the introjection of the stormy instinctual existence of his forebears. ... But this would have been an analysis in quite a different style.

Here A&T refer to their own theory of transgenerational haunting and contrast it to Freudian orthodoxy.

A&T reform the entirety of the analysis of the RMB dreams -- the symptom of the nose -- as being about the Freud letter.

From the Translator's Introduction:

In order to arrive at their discovery of cryptonymic procedures, Abraham & Torok have had to establish that the Wolf Man could not acquire an identity, be it sexual or psychological, unless he found some device for the suspension of the positional properties of language, that is, of its capacity to distinguish true from false and determine value. What prompts the authors to hypothesize a verbal mechanism that obstructs comprehension is their initial realization that the Wolf Man's material is unreadable. They do not in fact undertake to interpret isolated symptoms or dreams at first, but to transform the Wolf Man's unreadability itself into his foremost symptom. Once it is demonstrated that the Wolf Man is himself only when he creates himself as enigma, the question arises as to what situation necessitates the systematic evasion of the significant or telling aspects of lagnauge. The fundamental query is in short: What leads a person to make himself unintelligible?

(emphasis mine)

To paraphrase and perhaps simplify: A&T do not attempt a reading per se but rather rotate the viewing of the problem of S.P., and posit this "suspension" as the chief symptom. The reason for the suspension of the "telling"/"position" properties is that S.P. is caught in this double bind of being both a true and a false witness, caught between his mother and Miss Oven.

Fors: The Anglish Words of Nicolas Abraham & Maria Torok

"le for interieur" = the heart of hearts, conscience, or internal forum for interieur = heart of hearts, or internal forum for exterieur = external forum

Internal and external forum are concepts under Catholicism which means basically jurisidiction of the church as it relates to individual Christians and their conscience, external forum is the church on a "policy" level insofar as it relates to society.

Per the translator Derrida's project establishes a menagerie of antiphilosophical concepts, a history of disintegration that sits at cross purposes to the history of western philosophy. As such the "topique des fors" is a contradictory appratus, an "outside-inside", that sits alongside Derrida's other concepts (supplement, pharmakon, and so on). It is congruent with Derrida's project.

"English Words" aka "Les mots anglais" by Mallarme is a strange textbook by the French poet which "Anglish" in Derrida's introduction is an oblique reference to.

"fors" = "save, except"

On anasemia:

To invert the order of questions, no longer to consider the name "crypt" as a metaphor in any ordinary sense, would perhaps be to go on -- starting with psychoanalysis and, within it, starting from a new cryptology -- to an anasemic retranscription of all concepts, to that "radical semantic change that psychoanalysis has introduced into language".

The "radical semantic change" is a reference to The Shell & the Kernel. Anasemic is noted in the footnotes:

Ana indicates 1) upward, 2) according to, 3) back, 4) backward, reversed, 5) again. -semic indicates "pertaining to the sign as a unit of meaning". "Anasemia" is thus a process of problematizing the meaning of signs in an undetermined way.

My paraphrase:

"anasemia" means "undetermined semic manipulation" due to the ambiguous nature of the 'ana' prefix.

About this anasemic "conversion" that proceeds by "designifying", along the lines of an "antisemantics", more remains to be said. But it must nevertheless be designated immediately as the very condition of the whole enterprise, its element and its method. Instead of claiming to have access to this crypt through the ordinary meaning or common figure of a crypt, we must bend with a movement that it would be too simple, linear and unilateral to think of as the opposite of that type of access, as I hastily described it above, as if, by anasemia, the movement consisted of going back toward the rightful place and the proper meaning from out of this crypt.

This seems to speak about directionality: It's wrong to say we "get meaning" directly through "entering" the crypt. Likewise it's wrong to say that the meaning simply flows backward from out of the crypt. "Anasemia" is specifically chosen here because it mentally figures a type of nonlinear movement -- in the literal sense, movement not on a 1D line -- perhaps a knight's-move in 2D space or a similar diagonal in 3D space.

Neither a metaphor nor a literal meaning, the displacement I am going to follow here obeys a different tropography. That displacement takes the form of everything a crypt implies: topoi, death, cipher. These things are the crypt's same. They can be neither dissociated nor hierarchically ordered. They do not form a multiplicity of separable predicates, the contingent or essential attributes of a crypt. Their being together did not just happen; their unity is irreducible only with respect to the crypt they constitute through and through: That unity is only thinkable from out of this crypt, here.

displacement brings back the spatial metaphors. Derrida will talk about these items in turn: topoi, death, cipher. Topoi/death/cipher is the sum and being of a crypt. A crypt "implies" these logically, they are not a "multiplicity of separable predicates" e.g. although the words are clearly separate, some proper subset of them cannot exist together. They are logically bound up and analytically inseparable.

Introjection / incorporation: Torok wants to draw a sharp distinction. In introjection as defined by Ferenczi and Freud, a copy is made of the dead, it gradually forms part of the self and receives love (it's a libidinal process). In incorporation, a crypt is violently constructed, it doesn't interact with the self and remains as foreign object inside the self, it's antilibidinal and unacknowledged. The crypt marks the exclusion of desire towards the pleasure object but nonetheless the preservation of the pleasure object: "The crypt is the vault of a desire". Incorporation "intervenes at the limits of introjection", that is, incorporation constitutes a refusal to introject in the M&M sense. Derrida also wants to undermine that distinction but acknowledges its analytical usefulness / status as a theoretical fiction.

There's also a part earlier about the 3D structure and the "permeability" of the membranes of the crypt, we don't see it as a cube.

The crypt is always an internalization, an inclusion intended as a compromise, but since it is a parasitic inclusion, an inside heterogeneous to the inside of the self, an outcase in the domain of general introjection within which it violently takes it place, the cryptic safe can only maintain in a state of repetition the mortal conflict is is impotent to resolve.

Paraphrasing: The crypt, while incorporated, remains a foreign body. As the body continually attempts to reject a body piercing, the crypt never really becomes one with the self in the way that an introjection would. Rather the crypt stages a type of cinema inside the self that continually repeats the traumatic scene.

Derrida talks about Ferenczi's original elaboration of the concept of introjection which occurred in 1909 in the paper Introjection and transference. It's worth noting at this point that of course the Ferenczi/Freud correspondence remained unpublished for years but has now been published in French. A&T allude to this in having gained access to some previously concealed files (how cryptic!).

Sealing the loss of the object, but also marking the refusal to ourn, such a maneuver is foreign to and actually opposed to the process of introjection. I pretned to keep the dead alive, intact, safe (save) inside me, but it is only in order to refuse, in a necessarily equivocal way, to loave the adead as a living part of me, dead save in me, through the process of introjection, as happens in so-called normal mourning.

The implication here is that "normal" mourning is that as conceived in Mourning & Melancholia, referenced at the start of the text. Freud was (presumably) borrowing Ferenczi's concept of introjection.

For Torok, "incorporation, properly speaking", in its "rightful semantic specificity", intervenes at the limits of introjection itself, whe introjection, for some reason fails. Faced with the impotence of the process of introjection (gradual, slow, laborious, mediated, effective) incorporation is the only choice: fantasmatic, unmediated, instantaneous, magical, sometimes hallucinatory.

Truly SP as a patient seems to embody these characteristics and the utter frustration of the Wolf Man sometimes does seem "magical" and "hallucinatory": what use to reason with a patient who deals in these contradictions? The question occurs to the reader: what is the prevalence of the crypt? Does the crypt destabilize neurosis and the transference as concepts or does it constitute a special case, a type of psychosis perhaps, as Ruth Mack Brunswick was forced to conclude?

" A commemorative monument, the incorporated object marks the place, the date, the circumstances in which such-and-such a desire was barred from introjection: like so many tombs in the life of the Self"

The crypt functions as a marker and marks an exclusion.

Derrida wants to gently undermine the binary opposition traced by Torok between Ferenczi's introjection and the original A&T concept of incorporation. We get to this here:

Of course, if one starts with the possibility of compromise and passageways, and with the structural semi-permeability of the partition (which "the existence of such a vault is designed to block"), rather than with the partitions themselves and the spaces they divide, one could be tempted to see a simple polarity, a polarized system (introjection/incorporation) rather than the intractable, untreatable rigor of their distinction.

As in the rabbit duck illusion one may concentrate on the violently excluding crypt or the permeability and slips that emerge from it. I believe this is a signature Derrida move.

"panfantasism" is a concept elaborated by A&T elsewhere:

If one agrees to use the term "reality" (in its metapsychological sense) for everything that acts on the psychic system so as to bring about a topographical alteration -- whether through "endogenous" or "exogenous" constraint -- one can reserve the term "fantasy" for any representation, belief, or body state working to the opposite effort, that is, towards maintenance of the topographical status quo.

This passage quoted in Psychoanalysis in France illuminates what Derrida has to say about reality/fantasy.

An interesting angle on the book as a whole is the idea that the "theory of the symbol" was already extant before the test was made. This alludes to a tantalizing positivism.

The "fractured symbol" marked with "indetermination" by the absence of its other part, of its unconscious "cosymbol", can undergo a "supplementary" break: no longer the break that affects the original unity of the presymbolic order and gives rise to the unconscious, but the break that would "fragment the symbolic raw material" until it constituted a subject particularly resistant to analysis, a subject carrying within him a "puzzle of shards about which we would know nothing; neither how to put it together nor how to recognize most of the pieces".

The "gives rise to the unconscious" is presumably an allusion to Lacan and symbolic castration; I believe that this is necessarily post-Freudian. This "subject particularly resistant" calls back to the earlier discussion of the Wolf Man as unreadable, and Freud as deploying intuition while remaining eluded. Likewise, it's up for grabs the relation of SP's mute word-thing, tieret -- to the Lacanian Thing.

Thing would be that formation that is "complementary in the Unconscious" to a cosymbol fractured along the same line as the symbol... "This must be admitted, otherwise the word tieret, the Thing, would not need to come back as an indecipherable symbol"

Derrida says the symbolic theory of A&T implies a "divided id". The idea is of a "no-place" (non-lieu). This seems to correspond to an undefined point in a rational function: the moment of absolute pleasure.

[The no-place] indicates that the space of acquittal or engagement should never even have been drawn up. The trauma and the "contradictory" incorporation should (not) have taken place.

The "acquittal" and "engagement" relates to the false-witnessing concept elaborated by A&T in the Wolf Man case. But one does wonder, how specific and how general is this concept -- under A&T the child SP does indeed act as an indeterminate witness -- but how historically specific is this phenomenon?

I don't know what Derrida's concept of the "supplementary" is.

The word "hormis" is used by Derrida as a synonym for "fors", "save/except".

atopos is literally unusual or out of place. But death itself is far from unusual: indeed the purpose of the death drive is to draw the organism toward it per BTPP.

Cryptic Trope 2: Atopos / Death

The incorporation is never finished... It never finishes anything off... It is worked through by introjection. An inaccessible introjection but for which the process of incorporation alwas carries within it, inscribed in its very possibility, the "nostalgic vocation".

The incorporation by its existence nods to a refused introjection and hence is "nostaligc" for it.

[incorporation] installs a contradiction, or ... if contradiction always carries with it the telos of an Aufhebung, let us call it an undecidable irresolution. [...] The identification between the two penises [S.P.'s and the father's] both internalizes the contradiction and makes it insoluble.

The undecidable irresolution: Father/Sister, preserved in the crypt, must be both killed and kept safe. There's no Aufhebung in the Hegelian sense as the very function of the crypt is to prevent this.

In fact, beyond all the catastrophes (which could euphemistically be called "secondary") that recurred periodically in the Wolf Man's life, it must first be recognized that the crypt is itself the catastrophe, or rather its monument.

This is an affecting sentence. Once the crypt was created the life of S.P. is set and cursed. As with a Chinese finger trap the more S.P. struggles the tighter and more consolidated the crypt becomes.

he wanted to save two of his analysts (a Father and a Sister, separately or combined) [...] [in reference to The Magic Word] The analysts' desire (there are two analysts and the question of desire becomes less simple than ever) is fully engaged in the tale: it is never left obscure. That desire invests the entire space, is part of the operation, and even gives it its first push. [...] To save, then, not the Wolf Man, but his analysis. Plus two analysts... the co-signers of the Magic Word: "An irresistible force pulls us: to save the analysis of the Wolf Man, to save ourselves"

This begins to talk about what is the most obvious first reaction to The Magic Word: what's the truth value of the claims within and where does the desire of the authors stand. Could, in fact, the Father/Sister be not simply Anna and Konstantin, or even Sigmund and Ruth, but Nicolas and Maria themselves? After all, A&T are attributing the incorporation to S.P. A reversal of the causal arrows here would in fact be entirely in keeping with the key interrogations of the work itself with respect to Freudian theory (section 3, Translator's Introduction). "co-signers" is a neat pun on A&T's notion of the cosymbol.

A short discussion, near the end, asks: _"Can the Wolf Man be analyzed, and how?"

This refers back to p76 which brings in the "transgenerational haunting" perspective which I previously referred to, a striking point at first, but in fact not on the face of it ridiculous. The well-known Larkin poem, This Be The Verse attests to the intuition that drives this theory.

In unfolding the "drama" of the Wolf Man... the two analysts constructed: the analysis of a crypt, of course... but also, inseparably, the crypt of an analysis.

In Magic Word, A&T construct two things:

  • An understanding of the crypt that was actually created in the Wolf Man.
  • They themselves construct or speak of a crypt of the Freudian analysis: the Magic Word itself comes to encapsulate Infantile Neurosis which forms a mute "false unconscious" within the Magic Word.

What it was for them is held in reserve by their very designation of it, but they do not attempt, as is so often the case, to withold it in principle from the reader, to count it out of the scene. They even offer it, at one point, to a "third ear". In saving itself, the force of their double desire is no less part of the scene. It is part of what is shown there and part of what, as is always the case with force, escapes representation.

force is perhaps a deliberate translator's choice here to pun on fors. I don't know what a "third ear" refers to but the main point of this paragraph is to insist that the author's desire is not distinct from the work and is bound up in it, but is not entirely reflected or derivable from within the text: forming a neat matryoshka with Freud's desire in Infantile Neurosis.

Derrida goes on to discuss the formal diversity of the work and the point that the work stands apart from the body of theoretical work available in French. Formally, it stands as a foreign body as the crypt does, and the form derives this directly from its content. The demand of representing the crypt required new forms of expression, as novel/poem/myth/drama:

[the previous paragraph] does not explain the necessity of this recourse to all these "forms". that necessity, it seems to me, springs in the final analysis from the cryptic structure of the ultimate "referent". The referent is constructed in such a way as never able to present itself in "person", not even as the object of a theoretical discourse within the traditional norms. The Thing is encrypted. Not within the crypt (the Self's safe), but by the crypt and in the Unconsious.

The Thing of the crypt can only be glimpsed and observed from the side. Hence the notion of the "angle" that comes in later. The Thing can never be truly satisfyingly grokked or absorbed or intellectually consumed as an object of discourse. The crypt absorbs or frustrates attempts to shed light on it. The crypt itself can be talked about. The sublime pleasure of the Thing is literally unexperiencable in the "third person".

Derrids goes on to say that while the Magic Word is fiction, in a sense we can again reverse the causal arrows and say that the original text is an "asymptotic place of convergences among all the possible translations and betrayals... marked with fiction". Actually, A&T insist on the fictive nature of their analysis, Derrida refers to p26:

It should be clear that the preceding considerations relate to the Wolf Man only as a mythical person. Their wholly fictitious, though not gratuitious, nature illustrates an approach that can be of clinical use.

While stating this A&T go on to explicitly justify their work through evidence brought up post-facto (Theresa/Tierka coinciding from the memoirs which were published later.)

Derrida remarks:

We should not take this type of remark as [modesty], but neither should we hasten to oppose "science", "truth", or the "real" to this fiction. [...] A certain type of verification is constantly at work, whose procedures can depend only on new anasemic and metapsychological stipulations, notably the new topographical definitions of the Thing, Reality, Fantasy, etc. These stipulations are both produced and tested by this type of work. By their very nature they exclude gratuitousness, they leave no freedom for reordering the story or for tampering with the internal necessity of the translations.

These 'topographical definitions' are relating back to the definition of fantasy etc seen on pxviii. I believe these notions are defined in a prior text.

Now we get to some difficult stuff.

Lithograph = stone that writes, etymologically. Lithographica is the species name used in identifying the dinosaur Archaeopteryx. The 'arch-' prefix can often denote either beginning or ruling, or in the case of "archaeology", it denotes "ancient" or "primitive". This piece was published in "The shell and the kernel". This is something that will have to be investigated.

Psychoanalyis lithographica frequently comes back to the necessity of the "the poetic", of a "poetric truth" that loses nothing in breaking with "veracity", the scientistic, naively objectivist, or realist form of epistemological consensus.

We go on to discuss Ferenczi's Thalassa (which seems like a fascinating book) that Abraham wrote an introduction to. Clearly A&T take inspiration from Ferenczi, heavily leaning on the concept of introjection in the Magic Word, which was later purloined by Freud in Mourning and Melancholia. It sounds like he is attempting to get at the transphenomenality as a type of break with the "single-life" model of psychoanalysis. This is how I read Derrida:

The affect is recognizable, the joy of saving or delivering something by blowing up an internal partition, of putting an end to a kind of artificial hermeticism "within the self", or rather, of putting an end to an artifact, the quasi-natural, though accidental, production of an artifice or of an artificial mechanism.

The "partition" and "artifacts" are those produced by an ossified mainstream psychoanalysis that sees illness as partitioned within the lifecycle of a single organism and the "artifacts" are the analyses thereby produced.

The body already signs even before any "proper" name: "The language of bodily organs and functions would thus in turn be a set of symbols referring back to an even more archaic language, and so forth. This being deposited, it would seem logically flawless to consider the organism as a hieroglyphic text, deposited in the course of the history of the species ... We might add that the psychoanalytic method too proceeds by going back and forth incessantly between the outside and the inside".

It is unclear whether Derrida is quoting Ferenczi or Abraham here but this seems to tally with my previous statement. The logical piece of work being accomplished here is to break the boundaries of the single life and the single organism. This "chain" is genetic and emphasizing the vertical breaking of boundaries. Or in the case of the hieroglyphic: a palimpsest or 2-dimensional flattening of a properly 3-dimensional transparent structure extending depthwise. This is my reading, but this passage is rather difficult.

The 1961 program refers to "Le Symbole" "de la psychoanalyse a la transphenomenologie": https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Le_symbole_de_la_psychanalyse_a_la_trans.html?id=geKKzwEACAAJ&redir_esc=y This essay doesn't appear to have an individual English translation. to understand a symbol is to place it back into the dynamism of an intersubjective functioning. This seems congruent with the broad-brush critique of Freudian notions that they tend to abstract and downplay the distinctiveness of subject's mental lives. Clearly we do see that A&T restore the intersubjectivity: that's the drama that's played out within the Magic Word.

Nicolas Abraham rejected, without letting himself be turned off by, what was then taking over as a dogma, a facila answer, an oversimplification: the incompatibility of Husserlain phenomenology with the discoveries of psychoanalysis. How could transcendental idealism, phenomoneological reduction, or the return to the original givens of conscious perception, it was asked, possibly have anything inc ommon, or anything reconcilable, with psychoanalysis? The question was not illegitimate, but it hardened into a slogan and into a misapprehension.

Basic take on phenomenology of Husserl. Phenomenology is defined by Heidegger, Husserl and Merleau-Ponty. Perhaps a real layman's take is that Abraham's approach aims to combine the subjective specificity of phenomenology with the method of psychoanalysis. The "phenomenological reduction" is the epoche/bracketing operation: suspension of the question of the reality of an object or its "real" properties. hulê = matter, while form = morphê. These two were introduced by Aristotle. "intentional analysis" is how to move from the immanent (conscious givens) and the transcendent (what extends beyond consciousness). Husserl criticized "psychologism" and Abraham, per Derrida, occasioned a "critical break" with psychologism. Psychologism is broadly the grounding of transcendental forms in psychology, e.g logical psychologism is the view that logical laws are derived from psychological laws. This is normally construed as a perjorative something like 'opportunism', 'scientism' etc.

arch-psychoanalysis can be figured as a type of "genetic" psychoanalysis in the vein of genetic phenomenology: a psychoanalysis with the emphasis on "intersubjectivity, time, iteration, teleology, the original hulê".

Derrida discusses the various menagerie of A&T's concepts:

  • the hieroglyph
  • the secret
  • the symbol (and cosymbol?)
  • the crypt
  • the ghost effect

There is an interesting note included on the ghost effect:

Although the words "ghost" or "haunting" are sometimes unavoidable in designating the inhabitants of the crypt within the Self (the living dead as "foreign bodies in the subject"), one must rigorously distinguish between the foreigner incorporated in the crypt of the Self and the ghost that comes haunting out of the Unconscious of the other. The ghost does have a place in the Unconscious; but he is not an effect of repression "belonging" to the subject he comes to haunt with all kinds of ventriloquism; he is rather "proper" to a parental unconsious. Coming back to haunt [la revenance] is not a return of the repressed. Whence the strangeness of its analysis, the uselessness or impotence, sometimes, of transference. No ghost effect is pointed out in The Magic Word. It nevertheless remains that in spite of their strict difference, ghost effects and crypt effects (of incorporation) were discovered nearly simultaneously, in the same problematic space and the same conceptual articulations: What is in question in both is a secret, a tomb, and a burial, but the crypt from which the ghost comes back belongs to someone else. One could call this a heterocryptography. This heterocryptography calls for a completely different way of listening from that appropriate to the cryptic incorporation in the Self, even if it is also opposed to introjection and even if the "fantomogenic" words, in their verbal or nonverbal form, also follow the path of allosemes. The heterocryptic "ventriloquist" speaks from a topography foreign to the subject. The metapsychology of the "ghost" effect was dealt with in the following texts: Nicolas Abraham, Notules sur le fantome, Torok, Histoire de peur, L'objet perdu - moi.

This difficult footnote seems to point to a separate element of A&T's theoretical menagerie, the ghost effect; perhaps the ghost effect is that which properly continues down the family tree, a genetic haunting. By definition the ghost is resistance to transference. The references are unclear and I'm not certain if they've been published in English.

Derrida names the 1961 approach (in Le Symbole) as transphenomenological, while The Shell and the Kernel aims to cut ties. Derrida names the law of another generation while talking about the ghost (glossed above, but this phrasing is unclear). Abraham claimed Husserl had a misconception concerning the unconscious. paleonymy = the use of a pre existing word in a new context, the art of bolting meanings onto existing words. Abraham contends that psychoanalysis "introduces a radical semantic change into language" and this transformation he terms "conversion".

It produces and keeps up the "innumerable misconceptions and absurdities on which psychoanalytic literature feeds". What can be understood, for example, under the word "pleasure", of a "pleasure" that would not be felt as such, but (cf. Beyond the Pleasure Principle) as pain? (Let me note in passing that Maria Torok supplies an answer to this exemplary question in her essay on the "exquisite corpse".)

The referenced essay is The Illness of Mourning and the Fantasy of the Exquisite Corpse, from The Shell and the Kernel. Regarding the reference to Freud directly I am not sure what this broadly denotes aside from the death drive.

Overall in this passage I think that Derrida is discussing A&T's theory as operating an anasemic 'conversion' on psychoanalytic theory itself, but qualifying it, as not a complete overthrow but a sort of semantic displacement.

The theory of anasemia is designed to define in a systematic way (system alone can here limit this ceaseslessly recurring ambiguity) the law of this semantic conversion. It is a kind of theory of errata. In French, the metapsychological capital letters (the Unconscious, Perception-Conscious, the Self, Pleasure etc.) refer, through their artifice, to a semantic transformation foreign to phenomenological reduction and to the quotation marks that indicate it. The domain of psychoanalysis extends to the "ground of not-thought" of phenomenology. And yet this strange foreignness inhabits the same words, disguises itself in the same language and in the same discursive system. Whence the quesiton asked in "The Shell and the Kernel":

(begin quote from A&T)

It is within this hiatus, within this non-presence of the self to itself, the very condition of reflexivity, that the phenomenologist is standing without knowing it, to scrutinize, from the point of view of this terra incognita, his only visible horizon, that of the inhabited continents. Whereas the domain of psychoanalysis is situated precisely on that "ground of not-thought" of phenomenology. To note this is already to designate , if not to resolve the following problem: How can we include in a discourse, any discourse, that which, being the very condition of discourse, would by its very essence escape discourse? If non-presence, the core and ultimate reason behind all discourse, becomes speech can it -- or should it -- make itself heard in and through self-presence? This is how the paradoxical situation inherent in the psychoanalytical problematic appears.

"Quotation marks" is here I think referring to the bracketing/epoche of Husserlian thought. Regarding the "gorund of not-thought" -- psychoanalysis theoretically extends to cover the operation of phenomenology itself -- but finds its basis in it. non-presence of the self to itself is clearly denoting that reduction operation/epoche. Non-presence is construed as the basis of discourse per se but yet cannot itself be discoursed about. In fact if we think about the notion of crypt, there is a certain homology from this passage from Abraham to the notion of the crypt. They both contain the notion of a foreign and unrepresentable centre.

Returning to Derrida:

The capitalized words must thus both "designify" and refer back to the "foundation of meaning" by means of figures "absent from rhetorical treatises". We could take as a first example of this the very "figure" of the-shell-and-the-kernel. From the time it appeared in the theory of nuclearity (1961 manuscript) to its occurrence in the essay of the same name it had undergone a long anasemic operation.

Freudian metapsychological terms must be reconstructed and refer back to a phenomenological core of this non-presence, that's the operation that Abraham's project intends. The words and concepts strictly labelled as part of A&T's project are also subject to this operation.

This problematic is indispensable to any revolution (theoretical or otherwise) that tries to define rigorousely the strategy of its own discourse, the form of its irruption or its break into traditional discursive space. The irruption itself cannot be reduced to that strategy alone, of course, but neither can it without strategy, without that new type of "critique", protect itself against mystification, obscurantism, and pseudo-revolutionary catchwords.

The "theoretical revolution" of A&T's work has a mandate to perform this anasemic operation and "tie back", theoretically derive, concepts back to this basis in the "foundation of meaning". "Mystification" could eaisly be the result without this as one can easily see -- once something becomes unmoored from this "kernel" of meaning anything could happen.

"arch-psychoanalysis" is probably best inferred as being about "the first" or "the ultimate" thing. This is introduced in the Introduction to Hermann. No English translation exists as far as I am aware. "Arch" points back to both "ancient" and "ultimate". Arch-psychoanalysis appears to just name A&T's revolutionary project.

For example, on the subject of topography or topoi [lieux], we see that these words must be taken neither literally nor figuratively but as an "allusion to that without which no meaning -- neither literal nor figurative -- could come into being". "What we will call (intrapsychic) topos is the condition in us that enables us to speak of any place whatsoever; we will call (intrapsychic) force that without which we would not understand any phenomenon of intensity. These terms attempt the impossible: to grasp through language the very source from which language emanates. ... A psychoanalytical theory is recognized as such precisely to the extent that it operates by means of anasemias.

This is clearly referring back to the "grounding" of these certain meanings. Topos in this sense is not really figurative but referring to something that can't actually be signified. A figurative meaning would be referring back to something which itself can be signifed, so it's not figurative in that sense. Topos/force are both references back to the source. You can't speak about a specific place, or the concept of place, without a certain source of meaning; topos is the linguistic reference that points back to that source of meaning. "A psychoanalytical theory is recognized as such precisely to the extent that it operates by means of anasemias." -- Freud's theory is of course the paradigmatic one and on this view it itself operates by means of anasemias. Anasemia is in some sense more primary than Freud's metapsychology.

The condition necessary in order that this "impossible", "indescribable" "transphenomenal" "X ignotum" give rise to anasemic concepts is that the phenomenon be recognized as a symbol, and, by that very fact, as requiring a transphenomenal complement. In its singular case, The Magic Word strictly obeys this general rule.

I have no concept of what "X ignotum" is meant to refer to here, aside from "unknown". This sentence is a bit obscure to me. The phenomenon being recognized as a symbol is probably in reference to the crypt that occurred specifically in the case of S.P. The transphenomenal complement is presumably that which points beyond the phenomenon back to the source of meaning.

The "form" of the "Introduction to Hermann" is no less remarkable... a poem that itself recounts the "once upon a first time", the "inaugural event" that, however "u-topian" or "u-chronological" it may have been, nevertheless "really took place": the "deciphered" poem of what took place without taking place, without having ever been present, "of what has never been". There is a memory left of what has never been, and to this strange rememoration only a mythical narrative is suitable, a poetic narrative, but a narrative belonging to the age of psychoanalysis, arch-psychoanalysis and anasemia, "as fantastic as a fairy tale", perhaps, but "as rigorous as mathematics".

"u-topian" or "u-chronological": There is no place or time at which this inaugural event occurred. Hamlet's Ghost is another Abraham text. Derrida goes on to discuss how Abraham uses form to twist/blend the distinction between translator and original author. In a way is Derrida not doing the same thing here? "Each time the poetic translation or the psychoanalytic interpretation clears a new path for the other, orients the other without any unilateral privilege."

But the poetic translation is not an application, nor a verification, a follow-up; it belongs to the process of analytic deciphering in its most active, inaugural, ground-breaking phase. And this analytico-poetic transcription does not put the presumed author of a text on the couch, but rather the work itself. Nicolas Abraham often insists on this: "The privileged patient is none other than the poem" (The Case of Jonah), "the work of art (and not the artist!)" ...

Poetic translation as practiced by Abraham is actually a psychoanalytic interpretation of the text itself. Crucially it's not an analysis of the author but the text as distinct object from the author. There is an interesting footnote here:

[...] a type of psychoanalyic elaboration tests its coherence against a tremendously rich mass of material (Narcissus, Ulysses, Kafka, "what haunted Hamlet", the rhymtic patterns of Goethe's Sorcerer's Apprentice or of Poe's Raven, etc) in order to formulate the question of the "fictive" genesis, the "fictive" author, the author "induced by the poem" and the work's unconscious The measure of a "genuine work", writes Abraham, is its unconscious. That is its price (paid first by its author). Also its law, its rates, and proportions, as we will soon see.

This lecture was later published in English in Diacritics.

Next part: narrative account [recite], angle, sepulcher.

Even before all the reasons that impose a "narrative" or quasi-autobiographical form on this work, to the point of superposing the form of an "account" on everything -- the poem, the drama, the novel, the translation (I have just indicated some of those reasons, and connected them with the new topography of an event that took place without ever having been) -- the account will have been called for within the concept, within the workings of the concept, by the anasemic structure. That structure describes a story or a fable within the concept; the story is described as a path followed backward by the structure in order to reach all the way back beyond the origin, which is nonetheless not in any way a proper, rightful literal meaning. The concept is re-cited in the course of this journey.

The workings of the concept i.e. A&T's project, arch-psychoanalysis, call for or mandate this narrative taking place within. reach all the way back beyond the origin -- this is getting at the "transphenomenal complement" required by the thing itself. Beyond the formal necessity of making the account a narrative (referred to earlier under "the cryptic structure of the ultimate referent") there lies another fable/story, that of the transphenomenal, a recursive "tying back" of the symptom to its predecessors per Ferenczi.

Anasemia creats an angle. Within the word itself. While preserving the old word in order to submit it to its singular conversion, the anasemic operation does not result in a growing explicitness, in the uninterrupted development of a virtual significance, in a regression towards the original meaning, as would be the case if it followed the style of phenomenology. If anasemia "goes back to the source" of meaning, as is is said in "The Shell and the Kernel" and in the "Introduction to Hermann", that source is preoriginal. A change of direction abruptly interrupts the contiguity of the process of becoming explicit and imposes on it an anasemic angulation: the effect and the condition of psychoanalytic discourse itself.

Anasemia while it "ties back" does not result in a "growing explicitness", it does not follow the structure of signifier/signified in the tie that it creates. Phenomenology would attempt to use "intentional analysis" to move from the immanent to the transcendent. Arch-psychoanalysis moves at right angles rather than drawing a straight line and as such never aims at discovery / "growing explicitness". Although we do aim to touch "the source of meaning" anasemia bends this line and this bend itself comprises psychoanalysis.

If the anasemic process inaugurates a mytho-poetic arch-psychoanalytic science that diverts its account toward another object that takes place where it has neveer been, this is because the loss of the object (for example, in the arch-trauma of tearing away, even before the distinction between mourning and the refusal or sickness of mourning) does not simply play one role among many. It is "from out of" the possibility of this "loss" or of the "death" of the subject (these words to be read anasemically), from out of the possibility of a sepulcher, in one form or another, that the entire theoretical space is redistributed. The anasemic account thus has an essential relation to a sepulcher. A fortiori in the case (of the Wolf Man) where the trauma did not take place only once: One can less than ever dispense with a narrative account.

Arch-psychoanalysis disrupts the metapsychological objects of Freud's theory by diverting them towards the crypt, the ghost, the rest of its theoretical menagerie. The loss of the object is a prime mover in the functioning of this. The loss of the object creates the crypt in this case, per Ferenczi, a refusal of mourning. Likewise ghost effects can be construed as a reaction to the lost object. The sepulcher just names a generalization of the reaction to the lost object which may also be the subject (anasemically). In the case of the Wolf Man this loss occurred multiple times perhaps and thus the narrative account pointed at earlier is doubly mandated / overdetermined relative to a "normal" case.

When the process of introjection is thwarted, a contradiction sets in, as we have seen, and with it that opposition of forces that constructs the crypt, props up the partitions, organizes a system of transactions, a kind of market, inside it, evaluates the rates of pleasure or pain (this is by definiton the forum or for, the marketplace where jurisdiction, laws, rates and proportions are determined). The very thing that provokes the worst suffering must be kept alive. The outpouring of the libido at the moment of loss (whose intensity sometimes rises to the point of orgasm) is repressed, not in and of itself, as such, but in its ties with the dead. The mourning sickness takes root in this "supplementary repression", censuring its relation to the moment of orgasmic hallucination and to the "illegitimate delectation".

Derrida goes back to the metaphor of the forum. The forum creates a kind of sub-economy in the metapsychological sense in the enclosed space of the crypt. The "outpouring of the libido" brings to mind the symptom of the nose in the case of SP. The pleasure/jouissance is itself censured and cast out of sight/mind; the crypt itself does not constitute an active repression of the forbidden pleasure but marks the place where it was elided.

The "conservative" repression installs in the Unconscious what takes on for the Self the appearance of an exquisite corpse: apparently illegible and devoid of meaning, blurring the records by the segmented accumulation of pieces of folded sentences (the "surrealistic" effect) but also infallibly designating, when the flattened piece of paper loses its creases and reveals its challenge to semantics, the corpse of an exquisite pleasure, disguised by repression as an exquisite pain, the singular, precise, chosen (exquisite) spot where the repressed is to be exhumed.

"exquisite" is from the Latin "seek out" so exquisite is a chosen good. A miniature anasemia takes place by the crypt operations and designates the site of the buried/entombed pleasure associated with the lost object. This is mostly retreading what was already discussed in the start of Fors.

In 1968 Maria Torok had thus identified the theoretical strata on the basis of which, some years later, the analysis of the Wolf Man was to become possible: the opposition (both internal and external) between the process of introjective inclusion and the fantasy of incorporation; the cryptic structure of incorporative inclusion (the vault, the recumbent effigy, the exquisite corpse, the localized reversal of pleasure into pain, the insoluble contradiction within desire as "the cement of imaginal fixation", the specificity of analysis as an "exhumation", etc.)

There is a reference to a piece by Torok describing the exquisite corpse. [Continue]

What essential particulars will be required in order to adapt these general premises to the case of the Wolf Man? What intermediary schemes? They concern most imporatntly the function of the Self and of language in the psychic organization of the cryptophore.

cryptophore: greek root "bearer, carrier". Hence, the cryptophore is that which bears or carries the crypt. How does language and the self function in bearing or supporting the crypt?

The Self: a cemetery guard. The crypt is enclosed within the self, but as a foreign place, prohibited, excluded. The self is not the proprietor of what he is guarding. He makes the rounds like a proprietor, but only the rounds. He turns around and around, and in particular he uses all his knowledge of the grounds to turn visitors away. "He stands there firmly, keeping an eye on the comings and goings of the nearest of kin who claim -- under various titles -- to have the right to approach the tomb. If he agrees to let in the curious, the injured parties, the detectives, it will only be to serve them with false leads and fake graves."

The self does not own the crypt, it remains foreign, as Derrida keeps stressing. He "turns visitors away"; this is related to the earlier sense in which the crypt eludes representation: "the referent is constructed in such a way as never able to present itself in person". The reference to "false leads and fake graves" brings to mind the truly infuriating nature of the Wolf Man's symptomology.

As for language, it inhabits the crypt in the form of "words buried alive", defunct words, that is, words "relieved of their communicative function". They no longer point to the desire via the prohibition, as in hysterical repression, which they therefore threaten to the extent that they no longer carry on the effect of prohibition. They mark, on the very spot where they are buried alive, "preserved", the fact that desire was in a way satisfied, that the pleasurable fulfilment did take place.

Repression per classical Freud "points to" the repressed thing (the return of the repressed). Language inhabits the crypt, the words entombed within the crypt. One may suggest that in the case of Magic Word, tieret is such a defunct word. However, the question is open whether other words manipulated through anasemia are also "defunct". Are words like kriekh identifed also included here? It's telling here that the pleasure did in fact take place: it's not an excluded pleasure, but the tombstone of a "real" historical pleasure.

Beyond these intermediate schemes, an essential feature distinguishes the case of the Wolf Man: the supplementary relay or delay of a procuration. The word does not, as I recall, appear in The Magic Word, but twice, in connection with the Wolf Man, in "Introjection-Incorporation" and in "The Lost Object-Me". The Wolf Man's crypt does not shelter his own lost and incorporated object, as a melancholic's crypt would, but the illegitimate object of another, of his sister, of his sister seduced by his father. Thus, if a cemetery guard, though lacking ownership of the tombs, is at least entitled to his position, the Wolf Man, on the other hand, is only a proxy (by procuration) in the position of guard. At least as far as the relaying of the seduction is concerned. Hysterical to the extent that he is disappointed not to have been himself seduced by the father, he keeps the secret, he does not denounce, he does not betray, in those extraordinary "testimony" scenes, in order to "supplant" his sister. The words of his account will serve, according to this or that angle, both to speak out and to keep still, in order to experience maximum pleasure.

The object that was incorporated is in fact the father's object. The Wolf Man's self stands guard over his crypt but the lost object he guards is not his own. Derrida refers here ("he does not denounce") to the double-bind of the "false witness" notion that is elaborated on in Magic Word. He refuses to denounce in order to "supplant" his sister: to supersede her, to take her place as the once seduced. From a footnote: The position as guard is itself mortgaged; his "death pledge" [mortgage] as guard serves the transphenomenal wish of the father.

The Cipher (Mortgage)

A crypt, then, according to the angle of the words.

To crypt: I do not think I have yet used it as a verb. To crypt is to cipher, a symbolic or semiotic operation that consists of manipulating a secret code, which is something one can never do alone.

One can "never do it alone" in the sense that a code always requires a receiver, in the Alice & Bob sense of cryptography.

Up to now we have recognized the crypt as (1) a certain organization of places designed to lead astray and (2) a topographical arrangement of made to keep (conserve-hidden) the living dead. But the notion of a cipher, a code, had not yet seemed indispensable to the definition of the crypt: as if the ghostly bodies, the mere silhouettes, could go on floating past each other through funereal silence of the grounds without ever exchanging a sign.

Such exchange that takes place takes place between the "ghostly bodies" inside the crypt.

Nevertheless, what we now read here is a "crypted" text written on the very partitions of a crypt, a crypt on a crypt. But the partition does not preexist, it is made out of the very material of the text. The cipher is not deciphered on a parietal surface.

"parietal" refers to a wall, so the cipher is not deciphered on a pre-existing 'wall'. The text of Magic Word creates the wall itself.

In postponing access to the ciphering agency of the secret code, it is mainly the "verbal" nature of the cryptic operation that we have not yet been able to situate in its necessity. And yet, on first reading, the most theatrical discovery of the crypt effects, in The Magic Word, seems to involve verbal machinery or machinations, often lexical or even nominal. A machine, yes, and a calculating shrewdness: the mekhane was indeed a theater of words if what the authors invoked as the deux ex machina of their discovery, just an instant before the denouement, first took on the form of a dictionary. More than one dictionary. But who is holding the dictionaries? Who keeps them? And can all this really be kept, in the final analysis, in the hold of a dictionary?

We haven't fully elucidated the relation of the crypt to language, which we will try to do. Clearly Magic Word is a primarily linguistic treatment. Lexical is here contrasted to nominal in the sense of relating to names, proper names as we will distinguish later. deux ex machina derives from the physical machine used to lift an actor into the air in Greek theatre. Can the dictionary "hold" the account, in the manner a crane might?

The longest part of The Magic Word discusses sentences of dreams with a dialogue structure. Everything seems to be decided, in the interpretation, from step to step, according to what one would call language criteria: the masking of the archeonyms under the cryptonyms, the return of the childhood knowledge of English, a (conscious-unconscious) translation machine almost perfect in its finality, the operation of certain words in the wolf nightmare, etc. And finally, what must be kept absolutely secret, tieret, is still a word, isn't it? a particular species of word, certainly, a mute thing too, but still "something", that could not take "place", it seems, without language? Whence, one woudlsay once again, the necessity that the story become, infinitely enveloped in iteslf, the story of a story, etc. Already doubled since it recounts the history of the decipherment at the same time as it tells the object deciphered, it uncovers in that object the structure of a story. Not only, as a supplementary medium, because the documentary material takes the form of stories (notably accounts of dreams), but because the "event", the drama it re-counts is itself recognized by the analysts as a story of words, of words exchanged: words exchanged among several subjects in the dream itself, and words exchanging themselves with one another to lead the analyst astray, one word for the other from one safe to another.

archeonyms being the 'more basic' words, a term only briefly brought up by A&T, see later -- but for now this basically refers to the referent, the speech-concept hiding under the cryptonyms. The translation machine does seem to be perfect in the sense that S.P. flits between languages as a butterfly might. A&T remark on how tieret is mute. The account is clearly doubled because A&T discuss their own unravelling at the same time as creating the analysis. Wolf Man's drama forms a story, the witnesses coming forth, etc. Words become reified as things and are exchanged with each other.

Thenceforth, one will ask: isn't the crypt's cipher formed out of verbal, even nominal material? The answer to this question cannot be a simple yes or not, and its very formulation must be displaced by the object and protocol of the book itself.

It would seem obviously yes, but hopefully Derrida will elucidate.

The essential limitations of what I would call a "linguisticistic" reading of The Magic Word seem to me posted on theretical base of the enterprise.

The eventual autonomization of language strictly speaking, of verbal language, is comprehended, thus limited from the very beginning, from the first general premises, as an oral moment in the process of introjection. The mouth's empty cavity begins as a place for shouts, sobs, as "deferred filling", then it becomes a place for calling the mother, then, gradually, accoridng to the progress of introjection or autoaffection, it tends towards "phonic self-filling, through the linguo-palato-glossal exploration of its own void". One would thus witness a "progresive partial substitution" (emphasis mine): the "satisfaction of the mouth, full of the maternal object," would be replaced, partially, by "satisfactions proper to the mouth emptied of that object but filled with words addressed to the subject." ... To learn to fill the mouth's void with words is actually a first paradigm of introjection ... Thus the absorption of food in a literal sense becomes introjection in a figurative sense. To pass from one to the other is to succeed in transforming the presence of the object into an auto-apprehension of its absence. The language which is substituted in that absence, as a figure of presence, can only be comprehended within a 'community of empty mouths' ("Introjecter-Incorporer").

autonomization = becoming autonomous -- the words themselves become agents. This process is understood (comprehended) as... developmental stuff: the mouth fills itself with words as a substitute for ... food? Or the mother's breast. The words are "addressed to the subject" i.e. directed at the self. The self introjects the mother's breast and replaces it with self-directed words. The "community of empty mouths" is presumably the community of verbal adults, the others who receive the verbal cipher. All adults have "empty mouths" in this sense and language is a marker of the absence of the breast.

On the borderline between the outside and the inside, itself a system of edges, the buccal orifice plays this paradigmatic role in introjection only to the extent that it is first a silent spot in the body, never totally ceases to be silent, and only "speaks" through supplementarity. This general rule also informs the additional limitation and the catastrophic reversal that will occur with the fantasy of incorporation. That fantasy transforms the oral metaphor presiding over introjection into a reality; it refuses to accept (or finds itself prohibiting), along with introjection, the metaphor of the substitutive supplement, and actually introduces an object into the body. But the fantasy involves eating the object (through the mouth or otherwise) in order not to introject it, in order to vomit it, in a way, into the inside, into the pocket of a cyst. The metaphor is taken literally in order to refuse its introjective effectiveness -- an effectiveness that is always, I would be tempted to add, a form of idealization. If, on the one hand, incorporation could be said to resemble, paradoxically enough, an act of vomiting to the inside, then on the other hand a successful necrophagy in which the dead would be assimilated, and in which there would be an "alimentary communion amoung the survivors" would be a "preventative measure of anti-incorporation". No one will ever have asked the dead person how he would have preferred to be eaten: Everything is organized in order that he remain a missing person in both cases, having vanished, as other, from the operation, whether it be mourning or melancholy. Departed, nowhere to be found, atopique.

The mouth is first silent and remains silent in between speech. Speech is supplementary to the mouth. However incorporation violates this: It fills the mouth permanently. It refuses the supplement which is proper to introjection. The "cyst" here is the crypt. The object is eaten and then vomited. Introjection can be conceived as a "successful necrophagy". Mourning/melancholy eats the dead person and deprives them of their spatial location, incorporation deposits them within a space.

In order for the introjective metaphor to be taken literally, the limit prohibiting introjection has to be situated in the mouth -- as the very paradigm of introjection. No longer able to articulate certain forbidden words, the mouth takes in -- as a fantasy, that is -- the unnamable thing. It is only from that point on that incorporation passes through a crypt of language (whence the "linguisticistic" effect), but this is only because the forbidden moment of the oral function had first been a "substitute" for or a "figure" of a wordless presence. If some sort of metaphorization had not preceded it (in the body), the process of demetaphorization (which is also a hypermetaphorization) could not have pretended to ingest the unnamable thing -- another way of getting rid of it. The dead object must remains dead, must be kept in his place as dead; this must always be verifiable. He must not come back, not bring back with him the trauma of loss. He must pledge, on his own, warmly, to occupy his place as dead, not to budge from it. He must thus engage himself alive. That presupposes a contract: unilateral, as is always (or never) the case. The crypt is perhaps itself that contract with the dead. The cryptophore engages itself toward the dead, grants the dead, as collateral, a mortgage within iteslf, a pledge within the body, a cystic pocket both visible (blatant) and secret, the spot where a thanato-poetic pleasure can always catch fire again. Whence the double desire, the mortal contradiction assigned by every crypt. In order to keep life safe and put the dead in one's pocket (in a "matchbox", says Genet in Pompes funebres), that pocket has to be sewn in a place near the pudenda, an extra flap of cloth where the most precious thing is kept: money, a title, an active share in the stock market. Also a hold over its carrier for his own blackmail by another who always leaves one without resources when at night, around every corner, behind every angle in the road, he comes to threaten a desire: your wallet or your life.

The privileging of the actual mouth is key to incorporation. Because the mouth was first empty and was then filled by this substitution, incorporation manifests linguistically. (This is a point unexplored by The Magic Word it seems.) The metaphorization is the initial taking of words as a metaphor for the breast/sustenance. demetaphorization is the taking literally of introjection, eating the object in incorporation. (See Three Essays, perhaps?) The initial metaphorization creates the grounds/precedent for the later demetaphorization. Unlike mourning which vanishes the object, incorporation preserves the object as dead. Notably engage is pledge, similar to mortgage. Pledge himself alive. It seems a contract is never unilateral in fact. Cryptophore = crypt carrier, bearer. The cryptophore could actually be the self -- S.P. "thanato-poetic" -- a death-dealing pleasure, perhaps. pudenda is perhaps used in the sense of shame, its Latin root. The poetic part about the threatening blackmailer can be seen by S.P.'s paranoid attitude and the threat to tieret that he unconsciously perceives at every corner.

That presupposes that the cryptophore, having taken the bite (the bit) without being able to digest it, forced to keep it in inaccessible and impossible reserve, must constantly betray the cipher that seals and conceals it. To keep life safe and put death in one's pocket: to stay death in the very sentence that decrees it: as in Blanchot's title L'Arret de mort (Death Sentence and Stay of Death) -- perhaps a truly cryptic story.

S.P. constantly and involuntarily betrays his own cipher. Blanchot is a good pun here, which gets at the stopping and decreeing of death enacted by the crypt.

In spite of its enormous range, the whole machinery of the strategems of language, the entire crypto_nymy reconstituted by The Magic Word, couwld be entirely lacking in any functional relation either to the Wolf Man's drama or to the drama of analysis, without the instigating force of the reconstructed or conjectured trauma, without the organization of the libidinal forces, without the positions of the characters, without a desire doubly erect and bound within the "unlivable contradictions of the zero hour," without the economic function, without the "economically contradictory reasons" that maintain the traumatic scene "with its hidden words" and its excluded word; all these are so many constraining forces ("force est"... says The Magic Word repeatedly) that do not as such require any verbalization. It is in fact precisely because_ the verbal instance is only a derivative effect that the word-thing could constitute itself as such, re-become a kind of thing after the repression that cast it out. It is the topographical possibility of the crypt, the line of demarcation that it institutes between the process of introjection and the fantasy of incorporation, which would account for, but is not restricted to, the verbal function.

The father/sister seduction is the engine of the account. doubly erect in what form? Does this speak of an erect wolf? The zero hour I believe refers to the time of this trauma. "constraining forces" -- the things themselves do not require verbalization (by the Wolf Man, or by the analysts?) The point is that these structures, these forces are nonverbal. Derrida wants to make an argument that spatial forces are more primary than linguistic symptoms and the crypt is not a purely verbal phenomenon.

But one thing must be made clear: If it is true that nothing in this cryptonymy is purely verbal, it is nevertheless also true that nothing appears as a thing, given directly to perception. Perception itself, like all mute pictures, falls under the law of the cipher. All is cryptic, "hieroglyphic". Words and things are but pawns on a chessboard. Nothing there can be perceptible or verbalizable from the first, through and through. Without this general "hieroglyphia", we could never even understand the mere possibility that a crypt could take place, that its fantasy could be something other than a phenomenal or epiphenomenal illusion, that its inclusion could be real and its effectiveness so resistant.

"A thing given directly" reminds one of phenomenology. Nothing is purely linguistically mediated yet nothing clearly appears. Perception is a "mute picture" -- it's nonlinguistic. Any picture itself forms a cipher, a hieroglyph. "Things" are one with "words" in being not-directly-perceptible. The crypt's ontological status is contingent on this type of mediatedness/inexperiencability -- go back to the "glimpse", where the crypt could not "present itself in person". Presumably the effectiveness is resistant in the psychoanalytic sense, resistant to therapy.

Within these strict limits, the "verbarium" proper conserves its vast crypto_nymic_ scope, richness, and capacity for proliferation.

This ends/qualifies Derrida's discourse on the limits of the linguisticistic reading.

The first part of this book, "The Magic Word", provides the general matrix of the analysis. It is subdivided into two chapter scorresponding to two phases of the research, the positioning of the investigatory appartus and data, then the discovery. The first chapter reconstructs a traumatic scenography and the incorporation the accompanies it. It appears not to resort to any fact of language or any verbal material. A certain "nose language" is analyzed, but this is still (provisionally) a symptom in which no word can yet be read, a symptom made to be illegible in a lexical framework: a sort of writing without language, a "billboard" or "open book" covered with unpronounceable signs. The proposed translation is thus not yet that of a rebus. Another allusion to a mute hieroglyphic: the "mauve-colored stones" of a certain dream that "like the Rosetta stone, are awaiting their Champollion". The following chapter does not contradict the schema thus mapped out. But without hiding a certain rearrangement of the investigatory apparatus and a noticeable modification in the procedure, this time it does bring in verbal material. That material unfurls in a proliferating mass, but it is always contained, oriented, comprehended, at the most determinate moments of the interpretation, by the genreal structure of the previously recognized organization of the investigation. Why this this happen, and how?

The first chapter (Internal World) indeed constructs a sort of parallel and distinct take to the rest of the book. More traditional PA? Writing without language, imprinting symptomology on the flesh. Tattooing. A rebus would be a visual communication which deferred/pointed to words -- the language of the nose on the other hand does not indirectly refer to anything lexical. Behind the Inner World reveals the dictionary-method for analyzing cryptonyms. It is a good question as to how far Chapter 2 departs from the schema and to what extent the rest of the treatment returns to it.

Why: in order to explain that certain words, as a means of autotherapy, were both able and obliged to be treated as things, or even as Objects. That was indispensable to the fantasy of incorporation and to the topographical requirements already defined. If indeed the Wolf Man went on to a cryptic incorporation (the hypothesis of the first chapter), he had to have behaved in just such a way with words.

Capitalized Objects meaning here is unclear. The topos/spatial arrangement here continuees to be primary. Why was the procedure modified to bring in verbal material in Chapter 2: because his linguistic behaviour is a requirement for incorporation to take place and this is needed in order to support the hypothesis of an incorporation taking place.

How: The analysts begin, at both ends of the first verbal chain to be reconstituted, with two silent scenes, two visible (visualized) "tableaux" that had to have at their end the transformation of words into things and that thus, inversely, must be read as rebuses. Two "images", one phobogenic, the other erogenic. We cannot yet know whether they are complementary. On the one hand, we have the original dream. Schematically: The six in the six wolves (the number is maintained even though it had been corrected as seven and sketched as five), is translated into Russian (shiest, perch, mast and perhaps sex, close to shiestiero and shiestorka, "the six", the "lot of six people", close to siestra, sister, and its dimunitive siestorka, sissy, toward which the influence of the German Schwester had oriented the decipherment). Thus within the mother tongue, through an essentially verbal relay this time, the sister is associated with the phobic image of the wolf. But the relay is nevertheless not semantic: It comes from lexical contiguity or a formal consonance. If one passes through the virtual expression siestorka -- buka (siswolf) as deformed, in the nightmare of the star and the half-moon, into zviezda-luna, one would perhaps begin to see a confirmation.

Recall that a rebus is a picture pointing to a word. Or, paraphrasing, a thing (a non-word) pointing to a word: a thing that transforms into a word. What are the two silent scenes? They are the phobic moment (the wolf) and the libidinal moment (Grusha). Why read inversely? Because this is where the analysts start, at these pictures. complementary is to be read as opposite. The sister is associated with the wolf via the indirect link six -> sister. This link is clearly purely lexical and not semantic (formal consonance -- assonance between consonants). siestorka/zviezda and buka/luna -- there is a type of assonance of vowels occurring here, assuming we treat these as non-coincidental. So our theory is that the cryptonymic link is formal and nonsemantic.

But the sister-wolf association seems to break down in the nightmare about the skyscraper. The sister, it seems, is no longer there. The wolf is there, at least in the German word for skyscraper Wolkenkratzer, or in the other Russian word for wolf (not buka this time but Volk). However, if it is thus attested, the presence of the wolf is no longer associated with that of the sister, but only (as in the French name Grateloup, which I propose as a substitute for skyscraper) with the semantic family that certain languages group under the initial sounds gr, kr, skr, (the mechanism that interests us here in this "case" is that of these "motivations", whatever one may think about linguistic motivations in general): the Russian skreb, which is the root of skrebok, scraper-eraser, skroi't, to sharpen, skrip, scraping soiund, the German Krebs, cancer, which is like skreb backward, etc.

Grateloup is a French surname that translates as scrapewolf, which is just a neat coincidence. The idea that the scraping-words that A&T detail on p17 are "grouped by initial sounds" is an interesting one that undermines Saussure on the arbitrary nature of the sign. Is it an onomatopoeia?

The Grateloup family, apparently having no connection with the sister, is less unrelated, in its name, to her hypochondriac fears concerning the nose (scratches, scars, cancer) no doubt associated, along both semantic and phonic paths at the same time -- quasi-homonyms and quasi-synonyms (the play between the two, without any absolute privilege of either the signifier or the signified, is an indispensable part of the mechanism) -- with lupus seborrheus.

Grateloup family here is an epithet for this group of signifiers, family being a neat pun here -- the family of words elicited by the analysis starting from skyscraper. This family of words clearly does have a semantic connection to the scratching, scars etc which the sister did suffer from -- thus forming a semantic rather than lexical link. A quasi-homonym is where two words sound (almost) alike (a lexical link, privileging the signifier); a quasi-synonym is where two words almost mean the same (a semantic link, privileging the signified).
The grammar is quite difficult here -- "The family of words relating to scraping etc, which has no connection with the sister, DOES on the other hand have a connection to her fears about her nose." Lupus seborrheus is not well defined outside of this contact but presumably refers to a skin condition causing a rash, that can either be caused by lupus or by simple acne. "Lupus" of course links semantically back to the 'wolf'.

The hypothesis according to which the sister (the seduced seductress) was replaced in her absence by this lexical abundance around the focus Grateloup (scrape, scratch, scar) excluded, because of the very abundance and mobility of the substitutive vocabulary, the possibility that any single word with one single meaning could have been replace by another, according to some simple metonymic displacement. The rich, orderly polysemia of an unspeakable (hidden, crypted) word has to be lurking behind a regular -- in spite of a certain amount of play -- series of cryptonyms. But what was that unspeakable word?

A&T replaced the sister by a whole family of words. Taking the view of the goal of the analysts as a whole, that hypothetical move excluded a regular repression where one word was just substituted straightforwardly for another. The use of the "Grateloup family" constitutes a hypothesis about the "abundance and mobility" that means that the Magic Word was therefore theoretically called for. Note again the curious reversal of causation here. The hypotheses are rather like formal hypotheses in mathematical proof.

At this point we take up the chain from the other end. We follow it in the direction of a second mute scene, a second visualized tableau. Grusha, the floor scrubber, with her bucket and broom, seen from the rear, and the compulsive return to this erogenic image. It is a rebus of a particular kind. As soon as, in contrast with Freud, we focus on the act of rubbing, and turn our attention to the Russian words for that act (tieret, natieret) we will see that the catalogue of uses (allosemes) of these two words provides us with the whole range of associations and dissociations among the ideas of rubbing and/or wounding = scratching (tieret: 1. to rub, 2. to grind, 3. to wound, 4. to polish; natieret: 1. to rub down, 2. to rub, scrub, wax, 3. to scrape or wound oneself). The skyscraper as Grateloup could thus relate the wolf to the pleasure obtained by rubbing.

Here an alloseme is defined as a discrete sense of a word. The link therefore goes Wolkenkratzer -> Volk -> (semantics of Grateloup family) -> scrape -> rub.

The word tieret, forbidden because it would betray the scene of the encrypted desire would be replaced not by a single other word, nor by a thing, but by translations, into words or into rebus symptoms, of one of its allosemes. Cryptonymy would thus not consist in representing-hiding one word by another, one thing by another, a thing by a word or a word by a thing, but in picking out from the extended series of alloseme, a term that then (in a second-degree distancing) is translated into a synonym. The scar, for example (real in the symptom) is the bodily, visible, theatrical representation of a synonym of one of the magic word's allosemes (to scratch or wound oneself).

tieret would point too directly at the encrypted desire, the image of Grusha. Regarding "picking one from the extended series", refer to the quote earlier about how "one particular meaning is sectioned out". This is actually the clearest description of the metonymic process in the whole text; the term "second-degree distancing" is a clearer way of putting it than A&T manage themselves. Crucially, the synonym doesn't get instantiated necessarily verbally -- the scar is clearly nonverbal but is nonetheless a cryptonym.

It is as though the cryptonymic translation, playing with the allosemes and their synonyms (always more numerous in their open series than is indicated by a dictionary), swerves off at an angle in order to throw the reader off the track and make its itinerary unreadable. An art of chicanery: judicial pettifogging or sophistic ratiocination, but also a topographical stratagem multiplying simulated barriers, hidden doors, obligatory detours, abrupt changes of direction, all the trials and errors of a game of solitaire meant both to seduce and to discourage, to fascinate, and fatigue.

A dictionary tends to understate the actual allosemes (discrete senses) of a word and combines them into larger blocks. This swerving is precisely expected as we know S.P. intends to mislead the analyst. Chicanery is of course trickery but also a chicane denotes a "serpentine curve in a road", while also a lawyer delaying or filibustering. Pettifogging is taking excessive care over the details, language-lawyering: one might argue that I am doing so precisely now! Solitaire (patience) is noted precisely for its trial and error which describes the task of the analyst. Of course, S.P. surely seduce and fascinate Freud.

It is because of the angular, zigzagging procedure of this cryptonymy, and especially because the allosemic pathways in this strange relay race pass through nonsemantic associations, purely phonetic contaminations, it is because these associations in themselves constitute words or parts of words that act like visible and/or audible bodies or things, that the authors of The Magic Word are hesitant to speak of metonymic displacement here, or even to trust themselves to a catalogue of rhetorical figures.

Note that contamination is a term in linguistics: A process whereby words with related meanings come to have similar sounds, so contamination is very appropriate here. A lexical/homonym link, a link through a signifier, is potentially an "audible thing". Obviously a "scar" as it related to tieret is a visible thing. A catalogue of rhetorical figures would aim to name all the modes of linkage between word-things, e.g. "assonance", "onomatopoeia" etc, but the authors (per Derrida) do not feel safe to create one feeling that it would be misrepresentation.

That supposes that each lexical element, whether or not it is repressed (in the strict sense of the word) as (a) thing, has an angular, if not crystalline, structure, like a cut gem, and meaintains, with its allosemes or other words, contact -- a contiguity sometimes semantic, sometimes formal -- according to the most economical line or surface.

A lexical element may be "repressed as a thing" in this view, but I don't totally understand that. Crystalline would mean a lattice structure with meanings criss-crossing each other in multiple dimensions, a weaving-together. All meanings exists in a type of higher-dimensional matrix where points can be related semantically or lexically. The structure alluded to by Derrida here is very close theoretically to a word embedding.

Regarding "repressed as a thing, let's return to A&T p20:

It is not a situation including words that becomes repressed; the words are not dragged into repression by a situation. Rather, the words themselves, expressing desire, are deemed to be generators of a situation that must be avoided and voided retroactively. In this case, and only in this case, can we understand that repression may be carried out on the word, as if it were the representation of a thing, and that the return of the repressed cannot have at its disposal even the tortuous paths of metonymic displacement.

This just emphasizes that words can be repressed as a thing, given a sufficiently "catastrophic situation". This is one possible mode of their repression and voids the operation of the return of the repressed. The situation is not itself repressed, but the word.

One of the first consequences of this placement is the recognition of the cryptonymic character of certain meanings that had hitherto been interpreted uncircuitously and inflexibly: for example, the threat of castration. The terms in which that threat is evoked would themselves be but "cryptonyms of repressed pleasure words".

Certain meanings have a new cryptonymic character under the new hypothesis. Previously the hypothesis was that the sister "attached to the resulting pleasure (in her brother) the meaning of castration". However A&T revise this to say "We now in fact know that the terms that in the material seemed to evoke castration are simply the cryptonyms of repressed pleasure-words".


The sister would have boasted about the privilege she had over her little brother, and in the process would have threatened him with castration at the moment of pleasure.


The type of repression that chases the pleasure word toward the Unconscious where it functions like a thing (rather than like the representation of a thing) is different from neurotic repression: No verbalization is possible as such, which must mean that the trauma must not have taken place: no-place in any safe. Chronic constipation sat most symbolizes this "retention of saying", this impossibility of expressing, of placing words on the market. In place of verbal symbolization, the floor scrubber scene makes tieret visible, the erogenic fantasy translates the taboo word as a rebus, and from then on functions as an undecipherable fetish.

In the case of neurotic repression verbalization is theoretically possible. However when a pleasure word is repressed as a thing it loses its representational quality and becomes unspeakable. S.P.'s constipation is a clear symbol of retention, of the inability to "put forth".

On the fetish quote A&T:

[Re Grusha] The face, the person of the woman are of no importance, provided she illustrates, she embodies the taboo word. It is in this sense that we are going to call this erogenous image, this good-luck-charm fantasy, this magical taboo dodger: a fetish. Beneath the fetish, the occult love for a word-object remained concealed, beneath this love, the taboo-forming experience of a catastrophe, and finally beneath the catastrophe, the perennial memory of a hoarded pleasure with the ineducable wish that one day it shall return.

This is playing on the well-known meaning of "fetish" as "charm" and also perhaps "covering".


The "word" tieret, subjected to a "true repression" that banishes it into the Unconscious, can thus only have the status of a word-thing. From out of the Unconscious, the tieret, as a Thing of the cryptic unconscious, a cosymbol marked by the same dividing line as the symbol broken by the crypt, can return along two routes that attest to its double density: the route of the alloseme that crosses the border of the Unconscious directly in order to fix itself in a tableau or a symptom, or the route of the allosemes's synonym in the case where, as a word (conscious or unconscious, illuminated by the lucid reflecting agency of the crypt), it crosses the intrasymbolic crack, the partition of the crypt, without passing through the Unconscious. It is then disguised as a cryptonym in the strict sense, that is, in the form of the word. This machinery would attest to the existence of the crypt in the divided self but also to "another fate of the same word": its fetishization in the Unconscious.

"word" as it's not a true word post-repression. How can tieret return, its concept? It's a "cosymbol", a referent which is broken off by the crypt. It's "doubly dense" because there are two methods for expressing tieret. One via direct instantiation of allosemes as in Grusha: tableau, or another via synonyms of allosemes (the second-degree distancing talked about earlier) -- the form of the word. "fetishization in the unconscious" -- not sure on this.

In both cases, the crossing of an interrupting partition follows an angular detour. That is due to the fact that the partition itself was constructed by joining polygonal or even polyhedral pieces together. Not only because of polyglotism, the dialogue between mother and nurse in the Wolf Man's dreams, but because, already within a single language, every word multiplies its faces or its allosemic sides, and multiplies the allosemic multiplication by further crossing formal grafts and combining phonic affinities.

The "angular detour" is simply a "swerve". The escape from the crypt is always vaguely lateral. Why? Because the crypt is made out of these lateral pieces and escape is easier that way. Every word "multiplies its allosemes": each word links to every other word in a kind of Cartesian product. In addition to that, "formal" and "phonic" -- homonyms (homographs/homophones) form an additional axis of relations creating this complex structure. The "dialogue between mother and nurse" is the hypothetical Russian/English dialogue after the "outbreak of the scandal", hence polyglotism.

A single example. I lift it, out of so many others, from the middle of that prodigious interpretation of dreams that The Magic Word deploys into an immense polyphonic poem. This interpretation of dreams, it should not be forgotten, draws its cryptonymic (in the strict sense, intrasymbolic and lexical) inferences from the hypothetical matrix: the crypt in the Self and the repression of a single word-thing tieret into the Unconscious. Here is the example: In order that, in the sentence Ich stehe vor dem Kasten, the phrase "I am standing" should mean "I am telling a lie", at least three combined operations are necessary: (1) A system of reversals proper to this dream. The mainspring of these reversals cannot be linguistic (neither semantic nor formal) and in another dream, I am standing up will indeed mean I am not lying down whereas here it "means" ich liege, I am lying down. (2) A translation from one language [German] into another [English] in the orignary sense. Here the same meaning is maintained in another discourse: synonymy: ich liege = I am lying down. (3) A formal equivalence (a homonymic contamination, if you like) within the English language: I am lying, I am in a supine position; I am lying, I am telling an untruth. These operations belong to three essentially different systems. The passage from one technique to another is part of a particular stratagem but its possibility belongs to the hieroglyphic's polyhedral structure.

"hypothetical matrix" -- refers back to "the general matrix of the analysis". Ich stehe vor dem Kasten refers back to the dream of the gray wolves, p61 in this volume, the dream that was recounted to Ruth Mack Brunswick. Kasten is traditionally translated as "wardrobe" in this telling (although is this actually correct in RMB's original account?)

The system of reversals is "proper to this dream" i.e. it is specific to and contingent on this dream alone. The reversal refers back to the translation of geschlossenen Tuer that is established on p61. The dreamer tries to reverse the content of the main wolf dream. Where the window opened by itself, now the door is closed; and where the dreamer was lying down he is now standing.

JD differentiates three cryptonymic methods and remarks that the lattice-like, polyhedral structure of the crypt enables these methods.

In some ways The Magic Word seems to implicate and devleop certain Freudian propositions: less those concerning the Wolf Man himself than those touching on the splitting of the ego (Fetischismus, 1927; Die Ichspaltung..., 1939), or earlier, on the topographical distribution of the representations of words (the preconscious-conscious system) and the representation of things (the unconscious system).

The topographical speculation was surely present as far back as Interpretation of Dreams. A&T make explicit reference to the 2 cited Freud works which seem in their eyes to namecheck the Wolf Man's case while refusing to name him explicitly. Any explicit differentiation of words and things in a way that woudl explain

Remarkable because yes, actually how much is this book about the Wolf Man and how much is it about psychoanalysis? Arch-psychoanalysis insists on the specificity of its findings so it implicitly critiques any notions of primal scene, castration anxiety, etc, building blocks of the Freudian approach. An explicit differentiation of the representation of words vs things in the metapsychological sense is something I am not aware of in the literature but it may well exist.

In fact, the very possibility of the cryptic structure within the divided self, as well as the analysis of the partitions in the intrasymbolic surface, proposes a total rethinking of the concept of Ichspaltung. Especially when, given that tieret is not simply the representation of a word in the Unconscious, that it is not even a representation nourishing a mnemic trace, but, in the new sense of the unconscious cosymbol, the Thing, we recognize it neither as a word nor a thing. In the Unconscious, this "word" is a "mute word," absolutely heterogeneous to the functioning of other words in other symptoms. How would one be able to contain, within the oppposition between words and things, the trace this "word" constitutes of an event that has never been present? The Thing does not speak and is not a thing. Its testamentary structure organizes all the funereal pomp and circumstance of the cryptic functioning. That structure requires an entirely different graphology, an entirely other topology, an entirely new theory of the symbol

Ichspaltung = splitting of the ego. This is a reasonably obscure essay that is published in the Standard Edition, volume 23. The first page of this paper will get at a dilemma that almost exactly describes what A&T regard as the contingent basis for the formation of the crypt. Ego-splitting is "a rift in the ego which never heals but which increases as time goes on". Surely this is "the divided self"? The word that's repressed into the unconscious cannot be treated as a word, as it doesn't function as one anymore; it's "mute". The Ichspaltung as in the 1938 essay doesn't seem to directly follow any word/thing distinction, though, unless it would perhaps be the disavowal/negation of the "word"/symbolic value of the castration threat. This line is underdeveloped. "Testamentary" structure -- refers both to the concept of death (a will/pledge), but also the concept of witnessing which is so important in Magic Word. The main point here is that the Ichspaltung is too theoretically weak to explain the functioning of the crypt and the Thing, and a simple opposition word:thing does not suffice to explain it.

That new theory is dealt with in the last chapter ("The Broken Symbol_). We find in it, sometimes to the letter (the process of "indetermination", the "complete symmetrical core," etc), the program of 1961.

The 1961 program is Le Symbole, the transphenomenological approach. Per Chapter 8 the 'indeterminacy' is the lack of a referent to the symbols provided to the analyst. "Symbol" implies a pre-unconscious unity which was fractured by the occasion/inauguration of the unconscious. Cryptonymy implies a further divided self.

It is now confirmed that whereas the archeonyms, the "original words" that never announce themselves openly, produce the "speech" of a "word" -- not rhetorical figures but what we will here call "rhymes" (semantic or formal, through meaning, sight or sound, or even through the absence of any rhyme), an entire poetics in fact calls for a translator-poet-psychoanalyst -- tieret on the other hand, tieret alone produces no speech at all.

Rough grammar, let me rephrase:

The archeonyms produce the "speech" of a "word". The rhymes are the speech of a word (archeonym): the archeonyms speak through the rhymes. tieret is silent.

'Archeonym' = 'original word'. The archeonyms are given explicitly and introduced on p83. These are essentially the psychoanalytic translations/interpretations of the cryptonyms appearing in the dream. Each archeonym has one or more rhymes associated with it. Rhymes are constructed across various formal or semantic axes. Each rhyme might have an equivalent in German or English. This table forms a mapping of the cryptonymic process as deployed in the case of the Wolf Man. Note that the archeonyms are in fact literal samples of dialogue -- the archeonyms are themselves words that, according to A&T's hypothesis, have been literally pronounced at some point in a traumatic past.

The pleasure it gives rise to is only that of a living tableau. But tieret is not contrasted with this tableau-fetish in the way that the thing itself is traditionally opposed to its fetish. This Thing is not the thing-in-itself philosophers speak of. It is a mark or a cipher, a piece of a cipher that can only be translated into a vast interminable sentence or into the scene of a tableau with more than one subject, more than one object, more than one entrance or exit. A trace with no presence in its wake, a Thing, ein Ding, une Chose without a cause, "Cause" to be designified in the name of anasemia.

Re tieret as tableau, recall "the alloseme that crosses the border of the Unconscious directly in order to fix itself in a tableau or a symptom". A fetish is traditionally an icon that hides/occludes the thing-itself. tieret is a mark -- I am reminded of the billion laughs attack -- a semantic node that when it is encountered can never be resolved. The notion of the Third seems to be alluded to here but I cannot quite be sure as I am conceptually shaky on this.

With the edification of the crypt complete, it must now be sealed. The exit will have had to be condemned and signed.

But with what name?

No crypt without edification: an edifice, an edifying speech. Take a look at the one he signs, under the title Memoires, with the name the Wolf Man. It consolidates the crypt: to lead the reader astray with the stamp of the final seal. But if the edification of such a safe implies more than one, always -- who signs and with what ciphered seal?

Edification is building or construction in the Latin root, instruction or elucidation or improvement is a later root. Edifying speech improves. The Memoirs are obviously imbued with a certain authenticity for the reader, coming from the "horse's mouth". This is said "final seal", but the Memoirs in fact consolidate the crypt, S.P. continues to psychotically signify cryptonymically throughout the piece. The building of a safe implies more than one in the sense of perhaps an artifact left in a will (testament); any cipher is always a communication between A and B as remarked earlier.

He had edified a crypt within him: an artifact, an artificial unconscious in the Self, an interior enclave, partitions, hidden passages, zigzags, occult and difficult traffic, two closed doors, an internal labyrinth endlessly echoing, a singular discourse crossing so many languages and yet somewhere inside all that noise, a deathly silence, a blackout. He will die with or through the crypt within him.

This should be rather transparent given the preceding text. 'two closed doors', on the other hand; I am not sure to what this refers.

As he saw it, first, as he lives it still, for he is still alive at the very moment I write this without knowing.

This was written at some time preceding 1976; the Wolf Man died in 1979. We assume that he remains oblivious to the crypt.

But who, he? Who returns here? where? to whom? to what?

Will it have ended up working well for him, this cryptic machination? If yes, no, if no, yes. To this day his cryptonyms had so successfully disguised his identity, scrambled the tracks of his real name (and first and foremost in the very eyes of him who says I) that it seemed the goal had been attained. Everything had worked out very well. But also very badly: What was kept safe was the moment of a catastrophe and the permanent possibility of its return. And it is to the extent that the crypt closed badly that a chance still remained: the proof. But one can never sufficiently ponder the fact that the proof came, for him, too late.

It worked in that he managed to fool Freud, the "genius of the unconscious". His "real name" is a metaphor here -- it refers to not his birth name, but the reason behind him and his behaviour. It "first and foremost" scrambled this "real name" to himself. Of course "the crypt itself is the catastrophe" -- 'catastrophe' meaning 'overturning'. The crypt formed imperfectly, refer to the 'structural semi-impermeability' discussed earlier. To that extent S.P. is salvageable through analysis. The "proof" here I can imagine is A&T's work.

For him, but who? Would he ever have been able to read what is written here on his own crypt? Would it all come back to him? A ghost returning form where?

Something like his proper name is what his cryptonyms kept secret. Cryptonymy is said first of his proper name.

the Thing (tieret) would perhaps be the Wolf Man's name if there were any such thing here as a name or a proper name. He gave himself no name. Beneath the patronymic he received from civil society without having been present to the certification of his birth, beneath the second name he pretended to adopt from the international psychoanalytic community and with which he signs his memoirs and his will, another cryptonym, he seems to call himself by the name of the Thing. When in secret he dares, barely aware of it, to call himself, when he wishes to call himself and to call his wish by its (his) name, he calls himself by the unspeakable name of the Thing. He, but who? The Thing is part of a symbol. It no longer calls itself. The entire body of a proper name is always shattered by the topoi.

Patronymic is of course the name of the father, Konstantinovitch in S.P.'s case. "Wolf Man" is of course his 'second' name. tieret is at some base level his identity, it cannot be literally pronounced but only known. Of course there's a paradox, who is doing the calling, one yet unnamed? "The Thing is part of a symbol" -- it's only part, it's fractured, a whole symbol "calls" itself, make reference. The topoi is the layout, the arrangement of the crypt; that shattered the proper name.

As for the "word" that says the Thing in the word-thing, it is not even a noun but a verb, a whole collapsed sentence, the operation of a sentence and the sentence of an operation engaging several subjects, several instances, several name bearers, several places, a desire excluded precisely by that which inhabits it like a voluble contradiction, forbidding him to call himself simply, identically, by a single glorious word. And to sign one single time with only one hand, in a single continuous stroke, without breaking the seal.

A proper name is a proper noun, representing a unique thing, a privileged case. The representation of the Thing tieret is the verb 'tieret': the crux of a sentence (grammatical predicate) -- it's a collapsed sentence, of course sentence operates as a pun with its double meaning as 'death sentence' etc. Of course 'signing' is also the act of symbolizing, if tieret became expressible it would be an act of symbolization.

If it did not enter into the possibility of such structures and such topographical machinations, the problematic of name effects and signature effects would circle around and miss the places (taking place and no-place) where everything is decided. It would continue to let us believe that the I signs when it authenticates the seal of an "I sign", that a proper-name phenomenon stops at what goes back to the father, to the name given by the legal father: Sergei P., or by the father of psychoanalysis: the Wolf Man.

As theorists trying to decide what name effects and signature effects entail we must 'engage' with the notion that a name could mean something like tieret, the very being of the Wolf Man.

And even under the cover of these two battle names, "he" kept more than one in reserve. More than one password. In spite of its exclusive privilege, tieret is not the only one. The edifice of the name is supported by at least three columns:

The names S.P. and "Wolf Man" are 'battle names' in the sense that S.P.'s existence is a constant misleading/intelligence operation. 'edifice' is used to recall structure/construction.

"The Wolf Man created a magic word that, without betraying anyone, allowed him to obtain actual or sublimated sexual satisfaction, that would be the word tieret. But he also had a lot of other secrets ... goulfik, 'fly' (of a pair of pants), the father's occult attribute, the real name of his ideal, transformed into Wolf, his cryptic family name. In the same fashion, he carries inside him a third disguised word, the name of his vocation as a witness: vidietz. These three words... seem to constitute the three invisible but solid columns that the Wolf Man edified upon his impossible desire to occupy one place or the other in the scene he witnessed, his true 'primal scene'. These three columns have supported, for some eight decade, a booby-trapped life still struggling under the influence of the inaugural infantile hypnosis."

All this is given in the main text. goulfik is of course related to the father, the wide-open fly. Of course 'goulfik' is formally rhymed with 'wolf'. I love the description of his life as "booby-trapped".

Little has been said about the mother's name. The Magic Word's authors mention at one point the fact that, with respect to the seduction scene between father and daughter, the Wolf Man and his mother were "both under the same sign". In a certain way, the Wofl Man also occupies his mother's place. Freud spoke of the Wolf Man's "identification with his mother". Within the range of this common position, the Wolf Man also signs with her name; he calls himself his mother. And in the dream of the icons, it is upon her that he confers the task of fulfilling "his own desire".

We know the Wolf Man is caught up with the idea of the witness and the necessity to keep the secret, that's what the mother compelled him to do. Of course in the primal scene as Freud had it, S.P. desired to take his mother's place. In the dream of the icons he is surprised that RMB wants him to talk, to become a 'true witness'; as false witness he can continue taking a masturbatory, fetishistic pleasure in tieret. RMB should act as the real mother and decry the accusations and the scandal -- smash the icons and denounce them as obscenities.

For the same reasons, a problematic of the sign's "motivation" or "arbitrariness", of the "mimetic" powers or illusions of language, if it did not pass thorugh this new logic of name effects or signature effects, would simply bypass what effectively produces both the effect of arbitrariness and the effect of motivation. That problematic would to this day remain enclosed within the narrow limits: the conscious representations of "words" and "things" for a self speaking within the "internal" system of language. Within the strict limits of this "internal" functioning governed by the principle of the arbitrariness of the sign, no effect, even an illusory one, is explicable.

"mimetic" = "imitative" or "representational". The notion of these 'name effects' and 'signature effects' referred to earlier (what is S.P's name? who does 'he' "sign" as?) is essential to get to the causal root. Arbitrariness and motivation are polar opposites theoretically but they are both second order effects in this diagnosis. J.D. criticizes linguisticism here and endorses the 'transphenomenological' attempt to root the symbolizing in an external way. Perhaps this also points back at the 'general matrix' sketched out in Chapter 1 of the main work.

Mallarme's English Words, that strange dream of ordering the system of mimetic motivations in a language, would remain less than a game, less than "a neat little potboiler... about which the less said the better", an aberration with no foundation or future. But the situation would be quite different if we focused on what is produced in speech or in writing by a desire for idiom or an idiom of desire. There a system is wrenched open within the system, general (national) codes are diverted and exploited, at the cost of certain transactions, in a type of economy that thenceforth is neither purely idiomatic (the absolutely undecipherable) nor simply commonplace (conventional and transparent).

'mimetic motivations' = motivation for imitation, perhaps "why does this word rhyme semantically or formally" -- 'motivation' in this context means 'non-arbitrariness of the sign'. Idiom means 'peculiarity' so the commonplace meaning is quite misleading. Idiom is itself specificity. Idiom entails making oneself unreadable or reducing the range of one's readability. "purely idiomatic" is readable to no one. The name and signing is important, authorship entails making one type of choice within this polarity -- absolutely idiosyncrasy to absolute regularity.

Motivation is actually a Saussurian term:

Note that the terms 'motivation' (from Saussure) and 'constraint' are sometimes used to describe the extent to which the signified determines the signifier. The more a signifier is constrained by the signified, the more 'motivated' the sign is: iconic signs are highly motivated; symbolic signs are unmotivated. The less motivated the sign, the more learning of an agreed convention is required.

Back to JD:

The Wolf Man's Magic Word shows how a sign, having become arbitrary, can remotivate itself. And into what labyrinth, what multiplicity of heterogenous places, one must enter in order to track down the cryptic motivation, for example in the case of TR, when it is marked by a proper-name effect (here, tieret) and when consequently, it no longer belongs simply to the internal system of language. Such motivation does nevertheless function within the system and no linguistic consciousness can deny it. For example, when Turok (Turk, the Turkish flag in the dream of the moon with the star) says (?), means (?), translates (?), points out (?), represents (?), or in any case also imitates, induces the word-thing tieret. For example. In this connection, let me refer the reader to the note entitled "To weep on the tomb of a poet" (the title of a poem by Lermontov); or to the paragraph in "Introjection-Incorporation" on the sister's suicide from mercury poisoning (thing and word, rtout), which the Wolf Man seeks, hermetically of coruse, to hide from Freud: by saying that she shot herself; or again the note on the case of the hidden TR that tells of "the central importance for the Wolf Man of the root tr, tor, (tor; the past tense of the verb tieret)"; or yet again the Wolf Man's letter telling of his interest in comparative linguistics and noting in passing: "I have become aware of the Germanic root of certain Russian words. For example the first name Trude comes form the Germanic Trud, which means 'force'. This old Germanic word is very litkely the root of the Russian Trud, since in Russian trud designates the 'effort' one needs in order to work." (I leave an elliptical pause here for those who, like me, might be interested in the great chain: Ich stehe: Ich liege: I am lying, not to speak of truth and all its "rhymes", collected at the end of The Magic Word, and finally Trud, force, and thus an entire history of being.)

The sign "remotivates itself" through the crypt? Formally the plethora of crypt effects operate through the sign's arbitrariness but produce themselves a second-order motivation. TR induces tieret. The note is note 2 on the Wolf Man's letter from p31 on the word Trude. truth has various tr-rhymes. its various 'tr-' rhymes. Lermontov note p121, note 4. It's unclear whether Turok here is a rhyme or a reference to Torok which would change the entire meaning of the paragraph.

The passage from Introjection-Incorporation reads as follows:

The young woman died from the consequences of a delirious act that we consider suicidal only because of its fatal effects: she drank a bottle of liquid mercury. Now the Russian word for mercury is rtut, which is the phonetic inversion of a somewhat guttural rendition of teret (as in the glottal pronunciation t.r.t). It is as if, with this delirious and tragic act, the daughter had wanted to rehabilitate her ideal object's spurned desire. She did so by eating, by proclaiming that it was "fine to eat" the word that had become excremental to others and was now objectified in a toxic substance (mercury). Let us note in passing, because it makes our position clear, that though tempting for some, it would be a grave misjudgement to interpret the young woman's ingestion of mercury as a disguised wish to perform fellatio. It was the word, the demetaphorized and objectified word that had to be swallowed in a display of coprophagic bravado.

Back to JD:

As for the secret seal of this or that proper name, the act of decrypting would be impossible, the very temptation would be prohibited, if the analyst's own desire was reluctant to engage itself, as was said earlier, and if he did not also work doubly, in his own name, on his own name.

But here, in this case, by what name should the analyst be called?

And if -- verification made -- a proper name is already never just one single simple vocable, if it always describes, beneath the articulation of a sentence and a scene, a multiple economy of places, instances, and safes, what happens, what supplementary complication, when the analyst is several? Double which in no way limits, on the contrary, that plurality? When the analyst does not say I, but as we see it here, a distinctly un_editorial we_?

Decrypting is removing the secret seal, unsealing -- seal itself is derived from signum or signing. The desire of the analyst is bound up in the enterprise and "works on their own name". A proper name itself is always several, JD says, but here the analyst themselves are several, double to be precise. The analyst "works doubly" -- two analysts work! We is the term used throughout the Magic Word and not in the sense that a single academic may use it in a paper, but to engage and express the desire and action of the two specific analysts A&T.

To whom? To what does a name go back? But a present going back, a going back in the present, a bringing back to the present, to whatever kind of haunting return or unheimlich homecoming -- isn't that already the law of the name?

"Go back" seems to refer to a referent -- something belonging in the past. But the causal arrows reverse again and actually the name "brings back" the past to the present -- a 'haunting return' -- the proper name brings about the thing in the present.

In rushing, at the risk of cutting off, the question "Who signs here?" I am not asking, that goes without saying, which of the two, but how are they first-named, in their proper and common name(s): Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok?

Striking demonstration of Cryptonymy: the crack in a symbol, the upright column of a name, for example, or the blank voice of a scruple, always extends out on the other side, beyond the Self.

I am thinking (detached illustration) of the paleontologist standing motionless, suddenly, in the sun, bewitched by the delicate stay of a word-thing, an abandoned stone instrument, like a tombstone burning in the grass, the double-edged stare of a two-faced medusa.

And then I can feel, on the tip of my tongue, the angular cut of a shattered word.

Why try to say -- what Nicolas Abraham lived, in his own name, what he saw in a name, in Maria Torok. And in others, among them his friends.

In you, anonymous reader in this much-sealed case.

I believe that scruple here refers to doubt/uncertainty and then that's the "blank voice", the scruple fundamentally refers to fear of a symbolic disconnect. The pun on 'scruple' as 'stone' may be intentional here. The name-effect in some sense extends out of the person, a column, a piece of stone. Medusa of course turned to stone; the paleontologist unearths ancient tombs, the word-thing is visible there, a 'burning tombstone' -- it marks the site of pleasure, it cannot be glimpsed directly. An apt metaphor. Did A&T dare to stare at the tombstone? Were A&T themselves the two faces of said Medusa? The metaphor is loose, poetic and mysterious, and a fitting end.

Posted 2023-05-15

I've recently finished watching series 2 of "Tunna blå linjen", The Thin Blue Line (not the classic British sitcom). It's fair to say I loved this show. It's a show that bristles with modernity. The pulsating electropop score brings to mind the "sad-boi" scene that we associate with contemporary Swedish music. It's fundamentally a cop show, but not in the same way as something like The Wire is. It's not a searing social critique, but rather it's a focused look into the characters themselves and how they're affected by social issues. Indeed, the first scene has new cop Sara attempting to help a young addict by allowing her to stay at her house, only to have her idealism burst; after that, she's significantly more guarded in her behaviour. The show is full of emotional gut-punches. It steers just clear of being manipulative due to the tasteful filming involved.

From a social perspective, as a "elder millenial", the traditional life-markers of our generation sometimes seem infinitely deferred. It's absolutely fascinating to see the absolutely unresolved nature of the characters. Sara is confused, frantic, wildly drifting and utterly unmoored from any centre of meaning. Magnus is deeply repressed, bitter and moody. Leah is a "broken person" due to utter neglect from her psychotherapist mother, and directly experiences burnout and actual psychosis. Jesse is the most authoritative figure but still we see his struggle with the demands of fatherhood and his own lack of self-control when confronted with temptation during his affair with young recruit Fanny. Khalid is shown in series 2 as a neglectful partner, preoccupied with his social media persona and lacking any real ethical centre. Faye and Danijela's blossoming relationship is tastefully sketched out (lesbian representation is not quite foregrounded but is certainly prominent in the show).

I have to give a special call out to the relationship between Magnus and Sara here. It's rare to see what seems like a realistic portrayal of a workplace relationship here. Though perhaps I misspeak, because it's not so much a workplace relationship as a crush -- and frankly it harms both of them, but at the same time the counterfactual situation is not possible -- it's an unavoidable unfolding. One could imagine a kind of harsh critique of this type of relationship, but that's not what's employed here, nor is it romanticised. Rather, Magnus's love for Sara is unrequited, or more specifically half-requited. Sara cannot make up her mind about Magnus, while Magnus' mind is firmly made up. As a result they relentlessly damage each other. In the workplace, they cannot simply avoid each other, although each one tries, and they're drawn back together over and over again.

Posted 2023-05-04

We visited Malta 25th March - 4th April. These are a few notes.

We tried to find a good place to go clubbing. From the research I did, a good club if you like the more noncommercial techno is 'Tigullio Club', along with 'Liquid'. But the problem is that the club scene only functions on Fridays and Saturdays, meaning we couldn't experience it directly.

Gozo is insanely gorgeous. Regarding getting to Gozo, the fast ferry from Valetta is now a much better choice than bus to Cirkewwa and means travelling there becomes frankly ridiculously easy. We stayed one night on the island and if I was going back I might choose to stay there for longer.

We visited in the shoulder season. There are a few quirks to this. Off-season means that opening times are often flat wrong. Also, temperature was all over the place. When it rains, the entire country closes down because none of the infrastructure expects it (exaggeration, but from a tourist perspective it seems to be the case.) If you bring a t-shirt and a jumper everywhere you'll likely be fine, you don't need a coat. You don't need gloves anywhere but you might need a hat on overcast days. On the other hand, some days are flat-out sunny and getting down to t-shirt weather for a UK resident.

For the rest of the post I'll restrict myself to giving a few reviews on restaurants and food.

Tipping's expected in restaurants but not in cafes.

Cafe Du Brazil in Birgu. I ate here twice, both times the food was fantastic. The price is good for what you get. An astonishing chicken & parma ham wrap, and a Maltese ftira (Tomato paste, tuna, olives, Maltese broad beans, Maltese peppered cheese, lettuce, tomato. Served with crisps & salad) -- great lunch snack. This is the best place in Birgu in my view, which is why it's crowded nearly all the time.

D'Orsini restaurant in Birgu is good for very cheap food with table service, don't expect anything amazing though.

D-Centre is a restaurant that also rents out rooms, we rented from them and tried the restaurant. Sadly I wasn't too impressed with the food here.

Avoid any of the restaurants on Birgu's waterfront, they are price-gouging tourist traps.

Taste of Vietnam -- As the name suggests, this is a Vietnamese restaurant in Birgu. It's rather mid-tier food-wise but is decent given that it's the only Asian restaurant in the area. Great service but avoid the beer (Bia Saigon) which is overpriced. I had a beef pho-style dish (Bún bò Huế) and it was expensive but justified the price.

Cisk is beer with such a thin body, it tastes like a shandy already. I found the Cisk Chill to be quite acceptable on a hot day; you treat it like a soft drink and not like a beer. Hopleaf is a much better beer which is less widely available.

Sesame Dim Sum, Valetta -- Very overpriced but the vegan noodles were OK. The dim sum is good and I'd recommend it, although they don't have har gow. The portion sizes are quite good.

DATE art cafe, Cospicua -- Great location, a bit pricy. One of the few places with an explicit vegan option. Vegan platter seemed delicious (but not that substantial). I had tuna foccaccia, which was amazing. Great flavours all round and the location makes you feel cool and cosmopolitan.

"Black Eagle" anisette liqueur is available in the airport duty-free lounge on the way back, this is a full-strength liqueur that is not amazing tasting but is remarkably cheap -- it was about €9 for a 70cl bottle. You can drink it like French pastis or ouzo by diluting it.

One great thing about the food in Malta is that everything gets seasoned properly, unlike in the UK where flavourless & bland is the rule.

Posted 2023-04-11

Recently I have been reading Muriel Gardiner's The Wolf Man and Sigmund Freud. This book tells the story of Sergei Pankejeff in his own words. The "Wolf Man" is one of Freud's most famous case studies. Any student of psychoanalysis knows that there are remarkably few documented case studies in Freud's history. The Wolf Man is one of the most famous and perhaps the most important case study, in that it is among the richest, revealing a lot of the theoretical apparatus that psychoanalysis would depend on. I could not pass up the chance to read the Wolf Man in his own words. Knowing Freud's talent as a weaver and storyteller, would the story reveal fabrications and distortions in Freud's treatment (On the History of an Infantile Neurosis)?

Pankejeff's memoir largely corroborate the raw material of Freud's analysis. The real fascination, however, lies in the story of his tumultuous life, punctuated and buffetted by the geopolitical shocks of the early 20th century which still largely define today's worldview. This is a man born into immense privilege, who searched around the great cities of Europe in a desperate attempt to cure his neurosis. What was his illness? A tendency to melancholia? The actual content of his neurosis is strikingly absent in this memoir. It forms a type of absent centre that the whole document orbits around. In its name he would try every cure known to the fledgling science of psychology, and find them wanting, before encountering psychoanalysis.

The Wolf Man's adult life was immediately defined by tragedy. His sister and confidante, Anna, committed suicide at the age of 22, by consuming poison. The memoir positions her as being unable to come to terms with her feminine role. In her young womanhood, she eschewed all suitors and immersed herself in intellectualism. (This intellectualism calls to mind the type of sublimated pleasure that Freud remarks upon in the later chapters of Beyond the Pleasure Principle.) Later she became uncomfortable with her physical appearance and concerned that she would be unable to marry. A kind of role reversal plays out here: as a child, Sergei envies Anna her dolls, while Anna attempts to try on a masculine role, but is rebuffed by her peers. Her suicide comes out of a kind of suppressed despair, perhaps, and she repents her act on her deathbed, but cannot be saved.

Likewise Pankejeff's father is diagnosed adoitly as a manic depressive. He lives his public life his 'manic' phase, and simply withdraws to German sanatoria for months at a time when the 'depressive' phase comes. Pankejeff however does not find the same relief from his torments in these sanatoria. The relationship between father and son is uncomfortable, calling to mind Adler's notion of 'masculine protest'. His father dies at 49, at the peak of health. His death is not named as a suicide in this volume, but it's drily remarked that he probably took an overdose of his sleeping medicine. An Infantile Neurosis contains material on Pankejeff's "homosexual posture" and how it relates to his father. His father is never grieved for explicitly, rather, Pankejeff transfers his grief onto others and channels it into landscape painting.

Pankejeff eventually embarks on a love affair with Therese, a nurse in a German sanatorium: a "servant", falling into his familiar pattern of attraction which Freud remarks upon. Therese has a "Southern European aspect" which later turns out to be a complete phantasm. Their relationship is stormy, Therese being an archetype of the maddening woman who "drives some men to throw themselves at her feet, and others off the parapets of bridges" (de Maupassant -- who is himself referenced in this volume, along with Lermontov, whose figure looms over it.) Pankejeff eventually makes the "breakthrough to the woman", his greatest victory, in Freud's eyes; their courtship tale defies all modern logics.

After his analysis, seemingly cured, Pankejeff enjoys a life of petty-bourgeois domesticity with Therese for 20 years in the interwar period, working as a functionary at an insurance firm. Until one day he returns home and finds that Therese has gassed herself to death. Pankejeff is 52. Therese has been a troubled woman since their earliest encounter. Her suicide looks premeditated, "a decision made with forethought and reflection", the consequence of unbearable pain: "I am so sick in body and soul". The 20th century marches woefully on: Therese's act coincides with the Nazi occupation of Vienna and a wave of suicides among the Jewish population, though Therese was not herself Jewish. The memoir ends here.

As she was the only stable structure in my changeable life, how could I, now suddenly deprived of her, live on?

Freud's analysis works as a feat of psychic reverse engineering. It proceeds from a hypothesis about the dream's cause (the primal scene), and attempts to illustrate the process by which the manifest content is formed. In the case of the wolf dream, the process goes: Primal scene -> grandfather's story of the wolves -> the Seven Goats fairy tale.

What follows is a discussion of the reality of the primal scene. Freud invokes a set of imaginary critics who counterpose that the memories associated with the primal scene are in fact fabrications or phantasies. Freud claims that these critics retain the name of psychoanalysis while rejecting its profoundest and most disruptive insights. To Freud these critics (Jung and Adler) keep psychoanalysis "in name only", while Freud's theory itself already encompasses the aspects these critics choose to focus on. Specifically Freud visualizes strictly Freudian psychoanalysis as a bidirectional theory of psychic causation. That is, influence flows forward from childhood, rather than flowing exclusively backward as Jung and Adler would have it. Though Freud does not discount a backward causation. It's unclear on the exact meaning of the term primal scene and whether it always indicates an observation of coitus as in the case of the Wolf Man, or whether it simply indicates a childhood experience with the aforementioned power to cause neurosis.

Note that the primal scene is the Urszene, using the German 'ur-' prefix.

Later we encounter some of the Wolf Man's letters. This text gives some insights into Pankeyeff's own attitude to his memoirs, among other things. He has some poignant remarks on aging.

You see my work int he office gives me absolutely no inner satisfaction, not even when I have a great deal to do and when my ability there is appreciated. I inherited this restless spirit from my father, in contrast to my mother, who is more inclined to a contemplative life.

Later he expands further on this

I thinkt that the problem of aging depends very much on the individual. My mother, for instance, that she was happier in old age than in her youth, although she had lost her entire fortune and lived, as an older woman, in poor surroundings and among strangers. Her relatives, to whom she was deeply attached, either remained in Russia or had died. All very unfortunate circumstances. But in her youth she had suffered rather a lot with my father, and with many upleasant events in her family, whereas in age she could live a quiet and contemplative life to which she had always been inclined. So she worked out for herself a philosophy that suited her nature, and she was much more satisfied than in her youth or middle age. After all, in youth one asks more of life than in old age, and must therefore experience many disappointments.

Aside from this he makes several cogent points about his own senescence:

  • His libido begins to tail off, but at a very late age -- in his mid-seventies.
  • His "aggressive drives" such as they are seem amplified.
  • His conflicts remain unattenuated.
  • He becomes paranoid about his age-related weaknesses.
  • He finds his delights and recreations diminished.
  • He finds that psychic symptoms visit themself upon him accompanied by simultaneous physical symptoms (hysterical?)

For many years I have thought that I, through the many hard blows of fate which I have suffered, would at least in age become somewhat more mellow and would acquire some sort of philosophic outlook upon life. I thought that in old age I could at least spend my last years at a distance from the emotional struggles of which I had had so many in my life. But it seems that these are illusions also. I am still far way from the capacity for a contemplative life. Various inner problems pile up before me, which are completely disconcerting.

Gardiner's post script, Diagnostic Impressions, reveals several facts. The contested nature of the account is emphasized even within this volume. Some aspects of Pankejeff's personality come in for criticism.

Just as when a child at camp or boarding school writes home about the bad food or the rain, about this mean boy or that stupid teacher, rather than about all the fun and interesting things to do or to learn, so the Wolf Man ... naturally tresses the negative far more than the positive.

Gardiner disputes some of Brunswick's analysis. Brunswick was later a pioneer of the psychoanalytic treatment of psychotic disorders. Brunswick diagnosed Pankeyeff with paranoia, delusions of grandeur, etc, based on his delusion about his nose. However Brunswick even admitted that the Wolf Man's case was atypically susceptible to analysis. Gardiner seems to moot that Brunswick may have been attempting to fit a square peg into a round hole, because none of Pankeyeff's later behaviour admitted of a psychotic diagnosis. [It should be remembered in mitigation that Brunswick also stressed the extent to which Pankeyeff's behaviour was discontinuous with that described in Freud's paper so she was not unaware of this.]

Posted 2023-02-24

1998 exoticness...

Posted 2023-02-23

Back in 2003, Amazon.com had a feature which was called “The Page You Made”. This page would automatically collect every item that you clicked on during a session on the site, and automatically add it to list which it would present to you. It's rather similar to the current feature, Your browsing history, except the latter doesn't seem to expire items. It would also show recommendations.

We want to make it easy for you to find what you're looking for at Amazon.com. The Page You Made and Your Recent History are meant to help you keep track of some of the items you've recently viewed and help you find related items that might be of interest. As you browse through the store, we will bring to your attention items similar to those you are looking at. Since your browsing habits change frequently, Your Recent History changes as well. Your sessions expire after a few days and are not stored on the Amazon.com site. This way we can offer you the most relevant purchase suggestions for your recent shopping sessions on the Page You Made. We also give you the ability to alter Your Recent History, by removing recently viewed products or clearing all items. To add pages to Your Recent History, just visit new items that interest you.

There is no punchline or upshot to this; just recording the existence of such a thing. 20 years later, traces of it on the internet are nearly entirely gone.

Posted 2022-12-27

In the sales I purchased a large Western Digital external HDD. I don't really trust hard disks anymore, but all other options are uneconomical or equally untrustworthy, so it's all I have for now. At least it's guaranteed. Anyway I face some troubles when backing up. I had to use gdisk to create the GPT partition instead of parted, for reasons I can't really fathom, but I'll probably stick with gdisk until further notice now.

After repartitioning the new drive the next task was to consolidate 2 generations worth of backup data onto it. I usually stick with rsync -aPv to mirror file trees. I copied all the data from both generations into subdirectories on the same disk. However, it also contains several complete Linux filesystems with archived copies of /sys, /proc, /run, and other data that I don't really care about.

rsync -aPv expands to rsync -rlptgoDPv. -D is not really wanted, though; it's an abbreviation for --devices and --specials, which we don't want. However, all other options we want. We want to be able to do all operations as a regular user. Although some files are sensitive, the backups live in a privileged space, so perhaps we don't care too much about security within the space itself. In this case we can do chmod -R o+rX /tree. This uses X for "special execute" which will make directories world-executable while not affecting the status of the execute bit for files. It will also make everything world-readable which obviously comes with heavy caveats.

We can add the -u or --update option to the rsync command, this will overwrite identically named files in the tree with newer versions from the source. Obviously this does have the potential to lose data, but it may be a reasonable trade-off to make the filesystem more manageable; YMMV. As we're not using --delete the target tree will essentially be an accretion of files; files that get moved will potentially create duplicates. We consider this an OK trade off relative to the dangers of using --delete.

You can use the --log-file=foo.log option to store all progress to a log file which you can examine afterward. You'll want to vet the transfer reasonably carefully to make sure everything completed and you're not deleting potentially valuable things.

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