Book//mark - Bartleby, the Scrivener | Herman Melville, 1853

The Piazza Tales, 1856                                                                                 Herman Melville, 1819 - 91

“One of the coolest and wisest hours a man has, is just after he awakes in the morning.”

“My first emotions had been those of pure melancholy and sincerest pity; but just in proportion as the forlornness of Bartleby grew and grew to my imagination, did that same melancholy merge into fear, that pity into repulsion.”

“To a sensitive being, pity is not seldom pain.”

“Ah, happiness courts the light so we deem the world is gay. But misery hides aloof so we deem that misery there is none.”

“Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance.”

“But thus it often is, that the constant friction of illiberal minds wears out at last the best resolves of the more generous.”

“The truth was, I suppose, that a man of so small an income, could not afford to sport such a lustrous face and a lustrous coat at one and the same time.”

“But indeed, nature herself seemed to have been his vintner, and at his birth charged him so thoroughly with an irritable, brandy-like disposition, that all subsequent potations were needless.”

“His dinner is ready. Won't he dine to-day, either? Or does he live without dining?"
"Lives without dining," said I, and closed his eyes.
"Eh!—He's asleep, aint he?"
"With kings and counselors," murmured I.”

“They err who would assert that invariably this is owing to the inherent selfishness of the human heart. It rather proceeds from a certain hopelessness of remedying excessive and organic ill. To a sensitive being, pity is not seldom pain. And when at last it is perceived that such pity cannot lead to effectual succor, common sense bids the soul rid of it. What I saw that morning persuaded me that the scrivener was the victim of innate and incurable disorder. I
might give alms to his body; but his body did not pain him; it was his soul that suffered, and his soul I could not reach.”

“I would prefer not to.”

“At last I see it, I feel it; I penetrate to the predestinated purpose of my life. I am content. Others may have loftier parts to enact; but my mission in this world, Bartleby, is to furnish you with office-room for such period as you may see fit to remain.”

“It is not seldom the case that when a man is browbeaten in some unprecedented and violently unreasonable way, he begins to stagger in his own plainest faith.”

“I can see that figure now -- pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn! It was Bartleby.”

“Conceive a man by nature and misfortune prone to a pallid hopelessness, can any business seem more fitted to heighten it than that of continually handling these dead letters, and assorting them for the flames?.”

“I procured a high green folding screen, which might entirely isolate Bartleby from my sight, though not remove him from my voice.”

“Ah, happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay, but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none.”

“Aside from higher considerations, charity often operates as a vastly wise and prudent principle -- a great safeguard to its possessor. Men have committed murder for jealousy's sake, and anger's sake, and hatred's sake, and selfishness' sake, and spiritual pride's sake; but no man that ever I heard of ever committed a diabolical murder for sweet charity's sake.”

Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener 1853

a short story first serialized anonymously in two parts in the November and December 1853
issues of Putnam's Magazine, and reprinted with minor textual alterations in his The Piazza Tales in 1856.

Wall Street, 1867

Flick Review < Les Cousins | Claude Chabrol, 1959

Le libraire: What would you like, then?
Charles: I could be tempted by a Balzac.
Le libraire: From the provinces, eh?
Charles: Is it obvious?
Le libraire: Not really, but reading Balzac at your age smacks of the provinces.

Les Cousins, 1959
Directed by Claude Chabrol
Stars: Gérard Blain, Jean-Claude Brialy, Juliette Mayniel
scenario Claude Chabrol / dialogue Paul Gégauff  
Cinematography  Henri Decaë
Editing  Jacques Gaillard

Les Cousins, 1959                                                                                                Les Cousins, 1959
Jean-Claude Brialy, Gérard Blain and Claude Chabrol on the set of Les Cousins (1959)


I / The Other / Love / Anxiety / Gaze / Truth | Jacques Lacan, 1901- 81

Jacques Lacan, Avoiding the capture of the image, a theory.


“I think where I am not, therefore I am where I do not think. I am not whenever I am the plaything of my thought; I think of what I am where I do not think to think.”

“I identify myself in language, but only by losing myself in it like an object. What is realised in my history is not the past definite of what was, since it is no more, or even the present perfect of what has been in what I am, but the future anterior of what I shall have been for what I am in the process of becoming.” *

“In other words, the man who is born into existence deals first with language; this is a given. He is even caught in it before his birth.”

“The reason we go to poetry is not for wisdom, but for the dismantling of wisdom”

“What is realised in my history is not the past definitive of what it was, since it is no more, or even the present perfect of what has been in what I am, but the future anterior of what I shall have been for what I am in the process of becoming.”

“My thesis is that the moral law is articulated with relation to the real as such, to the real insofar as it can be the guarantee of the Thing.”+

The real relationship between the two is that they are each other's limit.

The Other

"All sorts of things in this world behave like mirrors."

"The Mirror Stage as formative in the function of the I as revealed in psychoanalytic experience."

"A geometry implies the heterogeneity of locus, namely that there is a locus of the Other. Regarding this locus of the Other, of one sex as Other, as absolute Other, what does the most recent development in topology allow us to posit?"

"The I is always in the field of the Other."

"The unconscious is the discourse of the Other."

"The unconscious is structured like a language. The unconscious is structured by a language. The unconscious is structured like the assemblages in question in set theory, which are like letters."

"The best image to sum up the unconscious is Baltimore in the early morning."

Jacques Lacan, Graph of Desire, 1960
Jacques Lacan, In You More Than You, Seminar XI 
The return of Objet petit a ("object little-a") the unattainable object cause of desire. The "a" stands for "autre" (other).


"Love is giving something you don't have to someone who doesn't want it."

“What does it matter how many lovers you have if none of them gives you the universe?

“A secret to which truth has always initiated her lovers, and through which they have learned that it is in hiding that she offers to them most truly.”

"Desire, a function central to all human experience, is the desire for nothing nameable. And at the same time this desire lies at the origin of every variety of animation. If being were only what it is, there wouldn’t even be room to talk about it. Being comes into existence as an exact function of this lack."

''When one loves, it has nothing to do with sex. '' ~

''From an analytic point of view, the only thing one can be guilty of is having given ground relative to one’s desire'' +

"Desire is always what is inscribed as a repercussion of the articulation of language at the level of the Other."

"Castration means that that jouissance has to be refused in order to be attained on the inverse scale of the Law of desire."

“I love you, but, because inexplicably I love in you something more than you - the object petit a - I mutilate you.” *

There is something in you I like more than yourself. Therefore I must destroy you”

"Love makes the Real of desire accessible without its tragic dimension."

''Love is a pebble laughing in the sun.'' #

Jacques Lacan, Imaginary, Symbolic, and Real


"We believe that Sade is not close enough to his own wickedness to recognize his neighbor in it. A trait which he shares with many, and notably with Freud. For such is indeed the sole motive of the recoil of beings, sometimes forewarned, before the Christian commandment. For Sade, we see the test of this, crucial in our eyes, in his refusal of the death penalty, which history, if not logic, would suffice to show is one of the corollaries of Charity."

“The sufferings of neurosis and psychosis are for us a schooling in the passions of the soul, just as the beam of the psychoanalytic scales, when we calculate the tilt of its threat to entire communities, provides us with an indication of the deadening of the passions in society.”

“But what Freud showed us… was that nothing can be grasped, destroyed, or burnt, except in a symbolic way, as one says, in effigie, in absentia.” *

''The power of the id expresses the true purpose of the individual organism’s life. This consists in the satisfaction of its innate needs. No such purpose as that of keeping itself alive or of protecting itself from dangers by means of anxiety can be attributed to the id. That is the task of the ego, whose business it also is to discover the most favourable and least perilous method of obtaining satisfaction, taking the external world into account. '' -

''The forces which we assume to exist behind the tensions caused by the needs of the id are called instincts. After long hesitancies and vacillations we have decided to assume the existence of only two basic instincts, Eros and the destructive instinct. The contrast between the instincts of self-preservation and the preservation of the species, as well as the contrast between ego-love and object-love, fall within Eros.''

“Anxiety, as we know, is always connected with a loss…with a two-sided relation on the point of fading away to be superseded by something else, something which the patient cannot face without vertigo”

"Symptoms, those you believe you recognize, seem to you irrational because you take them in an isolated manner, and you want to interpret them directly."

 Jacques Lacan, diagram of the visual field


"The gaze that I encounter--you can find this in Sartre's own writing--is, not a seen gaze, but a gaze imagined by me in the field of the Other."

"The evil eye is the fascinum, it is that which has the effect of arresting movement and, literally, of killing life. At the moment the subject stops, suspending his gesture, he is mortified. This anti-life, anti-movement function of the terminal point is the fascinum, and it is precisely one of the dimensions in which the power of the gaze is exercised directly."

"If psychoanalysis clarifies some facts of sexuality, it is not by aiming at them in their own reality, not in biological experience."

"The narration, in fact, doubles the drama with a commentary without which no mise en scene would be possible."

"Aside from that reservation, a fictive tale even has the advantage of manifesting symbolic necessity more purely to the extent that we may believe its conception arbitrary."

Lacan, The Subversion of the Subject  1960
Jacques Lacan, Love and Hate, Seminar I, 1953-54 


"I always speak the truth. Not the whole truth, because there's no way, to say it all. Saying it all is literally impossible: words fail. Yet it's through this very impossibility that the truth holds onto the real."

“I am there where it is spoken that the universe is a defect in the purity of non-being.”

“It is only true inasmuch as it is truly followed.”

“Meaning is produced not only by the relationship between the signifier and the signified but also, crucially, by the position of the signifiers in relation to other signifiers.”

"For the signifier is a unit in its very uniqueness, being by nature symbol only of an absence."

"The real is what resists symbolization absolutely." ^

"The sentence completes its signification only with its last term."

"Writings scatter to the winds blank checks in an insane charge. And were they not such flying leaves, there would be no purloined letters."

Jacques Marie Émile Lacan, 1901- 81

Psychoanalyst and psychiatrist. His ideas had a significant impact on post-structuralism, critical theory, linguistics, 20th-century French philosophy, film theory and clinical psychoanalysis.

 ^ Freud's Papers on Technique, 1953- 54  / + The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1959-1960 / # Seminar III / - Seminar XXIII /
* The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1973 /~ On Feminine Sexuality, the Limits of Love and Knowledge, 1981

Jacques Lacan, student card of the University
Jacques Lacan, 1901-1981 
Jacques Lacan his daughter Judith and Sylvia Bataille
Jacques Lacan, 1931
Jacques Lacan, Henri Ey, Pierre Male at Sainte-Anne's Clinique de Maladies Mentales et de l'Encéphale,1932
Jacques Lacan, 1901-1981 
Jacques Lacan's Office

Jacques Lacan, 1901-1981 

June 16, 1944 in Picasso's studio at 7 Rue de Grands-Augustins in Paris. Jacques Lacan, Cecile Eluard, Pierre Reverdy, Louis Leiris, Pablo Picasso, 
Fanie de Campan, Valentine Hugo, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Michel Leiris, Jean Baier. Photo by Gilberte Brassaï

Martin Heidegger, Costas Axelos, Jacques Lacan, Jean Beaufret, Elfriede Heidegger, Sylvia Bataille, 1955
Jacques Lacan, Sylvia Bataille. Feldberg, Germany
Émilie BaudryJacques and Alfred Lacan 

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