“Wanting a Child?”
If the formulation of the theme of the next Congress of the EuroFederation of Psychoanalysis seems to evoke, in its splendid simplicity, the evident and irrepressible nature of the desire for a child, also and above all it resonates with many contemporary questions and controversies: there are those who really do not want children, those who demand it as a right, to which science should respond – since very often it can – those who vacillate and doubt before the place that they would then occupy in the history of generations, from their origin to their death; those who are ready to pay thousands and go around the world to hold a child, their child, in their arms. Should one take offence to that? As analysts, it is above all a matter of looking at this real, the real of conception and its most recent turbulences. “Let’s not be spectators, let’s not give up […] but let’s not tell each other stories!”(1)A firm invitation as issued by J.-A. Miller during his audience before the Senate, at the time of the Bill on marriage for all, in 2013.
The Plenary session on Sunday will be an opportunity to follow his indication to the letter, emphasizing, thanks to the diversity of the guests, the scope of this theme: we are counting on European philosophers, lawyers and scientists to teach us on what is most current in their work. But also, we count on artists, so that they can offer us their new insights into the theme and “pave the way” (2) towards the unknown. And finally, on our colleagues, recently appointed Analysts of the School, to testify as to how this question resonated in their analysis: those who have experienced the end.
This is how we will have the chance to hold fast to the thread of our orientation, the one that Jacques Lacan indicated to us throughout his teaching, beyond the Name of the Father, to “meet at its horizon the subjectivity of [our] time” (3).
Translation by Raphael Montague
1. Miller, J.-A., “Audition de M. Jacques-Alain Miller au Sénat concernant l’ouverture du mariage aux couples de personnes du même sexe, [Audience of Jacques-Alain Miller before the Senate concerning the opening of marriage to couples of the same sex]”, Chaired by J.-P. Sueur, on the 12th of March 2013. Available online at senat.fr
2. Lacan J., “Hommage fait à Marguerite Duras, du ravissement de Lol. V. Stein”, in Autres écrits, Paris: Seuil, 2001, p. 193.
3. Lacan J., “The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis”, in Écrits, The First Complete Edition in English, New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2006, p.264.