Miami, JANUARY 24 & 25, 2015

In his 1998 Seminar, “The Experience of the Real,” Jacques-Alain Miller remarks that to explore the concept of the Real, we shouldn’t formulate the question “What is the Real?,” as that puts the question of the Real in the domain of Truth.  Truth and the Real exclude one another.

In the trajectory of Lacan´s teachings, the Real is first situated outside the analytic experience, as it is the unconscious, as a personal history to be recovered through the psychoanalytic experience. Later, after Seminar XI, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (1964), the Real is situated in the signifier, where the unconscious is no longer history, but knowledge. This is the first algorithm. However, in his final teachings Lacan articulates a Real which is not in the signifier, which is beyond meaning and knowledge. In this second algorithm, the Real is outside discourse or speech, present as an indecipherable kernel in the symptom.

The notion of the Real in Lacan has more than one approach. Throughout his teachings, we find sentences like “The Real always returns to the same place,” and “The Real as impossible,” and, “Pieces of Real.” Moreover, when he talks about “Encounters with the Real,” he is referring to the contingent aspect of the Real, the unexpected happenings that may emerge both in life and in the analytic experience.

For these Study Days, we invite our guests to present clinical cases that say something about these encounters with the Real, which can tell us about what is, in the final word, outside speech.