At the age of twenty-three, Violette d’Urso wrote her first novel, Even the noise of the night has changed (Même le bruit de la nuit a changé). Daughter of Inès de la Fressange and Luigi d’Urso, she lost her father at the age of six, as did the heroine of her book, Anna. The author says: “I couldn’t write a story about him because he is made up of fantasy. During the writing process, the imaginary saved me. It was a door of light. It enabled me to escape, at regular intervals, from the harshness of reality”.
This book is above all a book about the relationship with lack and loss. Anna questions the relationship between her father and her mother. Why did they each live in a different flat? Were they separated? In “Los padres in the direction of the cure” (Los padres dans la direction de la cure), Jacques-Alain Miller highlights what “this family history tells, this history between what takes place between father and mother and everything that goes with it in the family”. What counts is “the way in which the subject was separated from the primordial object, how it was affected by this loss […] and what emerged for it from this loss, what fantasy arose from it, what jouissance was recovered from this catastrophe”.
For several years, Anna indulged in her orphan status, while at the same time glorifying her father, an imaginary, heroic father. If Lacan was able to write that “We mourn but for he of whom we can say I was his lack”, how can we be this object α, that is, what we are for the Other? Anna will first maintain this mourning by weaving “bonds only with people who have lost one of their parents. […] Because you haven’t […] lived with this parent, you haven’t been able to create habits with them, you can’t identify the moments when their presence is missing, and then one day you find yourself faced with a hole […] I didn’t know my father any more. If someone had spoken to me about him a few months after his death, I would have been able to talk about him, say what he said and how, but now I’d lost him”. But to identify with other orphans is a mistake, and it says nothing about the role her father played for this young girl.
At the age of seventeen, Anna set off in search of her father. She travelled to several Italian towns to find out who he was. Surprise! Everyone has their own version. Arnoldo, one of her father’s friends, told her that her father not only drank, but also took heroin – the worst kind of drug for Anna. “Hero really terrified me. […] I used to dream of meeting my father, but all of a sudden he was my nightmare”. Faced with a paternal deficiency, a subjective mutation takes place. The father changes place: “It was hard being the daughter of a heroin addict, but it was just as hard being the daughter of a hero, a perfect man”. Anna continues her journey, from discovery to discovery, not always joyful, just like the journey of an analysis. She goes to meet a psychoanalyst, and even two at the same time, the first not receiving her sufficiently in her opinion. We know nothing about these sessions. A veil is thrown.
On learning that her paternal grandmother also took drugs, and that she had died racing in a car with a friend when her father was only nine, Anna wonders about the function of drugs for him, and his relationship with lack. It is, among other things, a word from Anna’s father that the young girl now interprets differently which allows her, at the end of this epic, to put her father “in his place, quite simply [and to no longer consider] his loss to be the most interesting part” of her. It is impossible as such to be the lack of the Other. It took the resort to the fantasy to veil this real, and then to confront it.
References from the author:
 d’Urso V., Même le bruit de la nuit a changé, Paris, Flammarion, 2023.
 Delorme M.-L., « Comment la fille d’Inès de la Fressange, Violette d’Urso, a enquêté sur son père, mort en 2006 », Le Journal du dimanche, 21 mars 2023, disponible sur internet.
 Miller J.-A., « Los padres dans la direction de la cure », Quarto, n°63, automne-hiver 1997, p. 4-11, (untranslated in English), our translation
 Ibid., p. 10, our translation
 Lacan, J. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book X, Anxiety, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller, translated by A. R. Price. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2014, p. 141.
 Cf. Leguil C., « Marie Laurent interviewe Clotilde Leguil », entretien avec M. Laurent, Ironik, n°9, 29 septembre 2015, publication en ligne. (www.lacan-universite.fr)
 D’Urso V., Même le bruit de la nuit a changé, op. cit., p. 67-68.
 Ibid., p. 90.
 Ibid., p. 98-99.
 Ibid., p. 296.
Translation: Polina Agapaki
Proofreading: Sébastien Dauguet
Picture : © Samira Bakhash