The tripartition of the paternal function – real, imaginary and symbolic – in Lacan’s teaching is a fundamental conceptual reference point for distinguishing the fathers targeted in the various critiques of patriarchy. The symbolic father insofar as he is dead, is not the ferocious imaginary father and agent of deprivation, nor the real father, too often interpreted in the imaginary register, a father who is always failing to fulfil his function.
Lacan distinguished two functions of the Name-of-the-Father. That of the paternal metaphor, the importance of which Valérie Lorette reminds us, and then towards the end of his teaching, that of nomination, which Liana Velado addresses in her text, against the background of the present-day pulverisation of the father identified by Jacques-Alain Miller.
It is a real father who died when Violette d’Urso was a child that she writes about in her novel, read by Frédérique Bouvet, a father whose story she is trying to write in order to deal with her loss. This is a heroic father, a far cry from the enjoying father the singer Johnny Cash recounted the impact on his life in his autobiography, read here by Guillaume Miant. Another version of the dead father, a father produced by science in the service of a will expressed by a deceased subject, can be found in José R. Ubieto’s text.
Isabelle Rialet-Meneux discusses the new radicalism of contemporary political lesbianism, which focuses more on male domination as a consequence of patriarchy than on the paternal function, and shows us that this lesbianism is not without participating in a rejection of the unconscious.
Finally, the actuality of the war reminds us of the nightmare that takes shape when the ferocity of the imaginary father becomes embodied in a political authority, as Egor Tsvetkov shows in his text, an authority that manifests itself here by touching language.
Translation: Ana-Marija Kroker
Proofreading: Benjamin Wimmer
Picture : © Atelier d’Art de la Baraque