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Le pis de (ma)mie

MELMAN Charles
Date publication : 23/03/2020
Dossier : Traduction éditoriaux
Sous dossier : En anglais

 

Le pis de (ma)mie[1] 

I agree straightaway that wordplay is execrable, but its excess has become our friend. Here it is a question of the transmission of an epidemic which is precisely a lamentable excess.

But this is a nice occasion to recall that there are two modes of transmission, and only two. One operates from a real that is imposed upon all of us: tyranny, religion, and the father, by whose grace everyone is bitten in the same way. The other passes from one signifier to the other, by direct touch, by direct contact, thus unmediated, searching for the limit that would arrest a necessarily unhealthy process because nothing in it supports life.

I am persuaded that, in this, our friends recognised straightaway the processes that operate in discourse, different on one side to on the other.

By the same stroke they identified—and that’s their privilege—the logical mechanism of populism, the transmission by contact and the demand for a strong system of power that would be imposed upon everyone, and would stop the propagation of the epidemic. And our “comrades” who quibble about the usefulness of psychoanalysis, the bazaar opened by Lacan, can always be the Kapos of the camps to be opened. “But how”, they will exclaim, “could a natural process, the propagation of a virus, be informed by the law of the signifier?” We will have to ask them, whilst noting that, like it or not, to be able to interpret we have no other means at our disposal than this one.

It is because this law remains unknown, and that we have no vaccine against populism, that the one against the virus will come

C. Melman
11th March 2020
 
 
Traduction faite par Michael Plastow
 

[1] A play on words that together conveys “epidemic”, but is open to various significations such as “the udder of my grandmother”, “the worst of my ladylove”, the “worst of my crumbs”, and any combination of these.

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