Forth Lesson: The Escabeau and Sublimation. Reading "Joyce the Symptom"
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"The escabeau is not a ladder, it's smaller than a ladder, but it's got steps. What is the escabeau? I mean the psychoanalytic escabeau, and not just the one that you use to reach books in a library. Generally speaking, it is what the parlêtre hoists himself onto, hauls himself onto in order to make himself beau. (...)The escabeau is a transversal concept. It provides a colourful translation for Freudian sublimation, but in its intersection with narcissism. And this is a connection that is specific to the era of the parlêtre. The escabeau is sublimation, but in so far as it is grounded on the first I'm not thinking of the parlêtre. What is this, I'm not thinking? It is the negation of the unconscious by which the parlêtre believes he is the master of his Being. And with his escabeau, to this he adds the fact that he believes himself to be a maître beau, a fine master. What we call culture is nothing but the escabeaus "in reserve" that one can draw on to brag and flout one's vanity”.
Jacques-Alain Miller, "Presentation of the theme for the Xth Congress of the WAP” - Río 2016.
101:52 minutes | Audio in French | Recorded 03.02.2015