top of page

Psychoanalysis 101: Literature of the Unconscious


This psychoanalysis course is based on the main object of study of the theory, the unconscious, and its multiple stipulations. It is a theoretical series that aims to explore the complexity of psychoanalysis not only from a clinical view, but a social one as well. It will discuss the science behind psychoanalysis, a debate this school of thought has had since the beginnings of Freud. A century ago, neurologist Sigmund Freud developed a theory from a medical and scientific perspective, yet found himself dealing with the impossibility of positioning psychoanalysis in such disciplines. This generated a century-long discussion where the value of psychoanalysis has been constantly questioned. However, its clinical and philosophical value remains intact nowadays. There is not one exclusive way of studying psychoanalysis, to think of this theory as a general worldview science is to disregard the vision this theory has: singularity. To study the unconscious is to study that which is singular, that which is unknown. The aim is to create a paved road of the psychoanalysis theory where the reader can walk through it with a considerate timeline on one hand while grasping the fundamental concept of the unconscious and its diverse applications when studying the human mind.

Psychoanalysis Theory 101 is divided into the following sections:

  1. Psychoanalysis Theory 101: Epistemology of Psychoanalysis

  2. Psychoanalysis Theory 101: The Interpretation of Dreams

  3. Psychoanalysis Theory 101: The Language of the Unconscious

  4. Psychoanalysis Theory 101: Literature of the Unconscious

  5. Psychoanalysis Theory 101: Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis

  6. Psychoanalysis Theory 101: Psychoanalysis and Art

  7. Psychoanalysis Theory 101: Psychoanalysis and Cultural Discontents

Psychoanalysis Theory 101: Literature of the Unconscious

The unconscious has a particular structure, which Lacan classifies as the structure of language. Its process and mechanisms function the same way as a language is organized and used. However, the unconscious has no language itself. It manifests through conscious processes in the form of language, symbolizing through the mechanisms of condensation and displacement, or what Lacan later on identifies as metaphor and metonimia. Hence, to read the unconscious is not a simple task. We may only access the unconscious through these manifestations, but we must understand that even if they are coded in language, the literature of the unconscious is not like any text or coded message. Its structure is much more similar to poetry than to any other narrative text. There is a proximity between psychoanalysis and poetry, two fields that intersect through language and share the function of evoking, creating, and signifying. Both the analytic word and the poetic word share the transcendence of metaphors: to take something somewhere else, to move meaning beyond. For there to be poetry, the suspension of the universal rules of language is necessary. The poet achieves saying what cannot be said.

This article aims to unveil this homology between psychoanalysis and poetry; to take a closer look at the unconscious and how we can "read" it. This is about the semantic and structural aspects of the unconscious, which aims to conduct an analysis of the question: What is it about the unconscious that allows for diverse meanings depending on its reader (analyst)? In turn, to think of the poetic structure as a fundamental axis to think the structure of thought, where poetry as literature brings us closer to what may be considered as the most singular thing that can be revealed of a subject: that which the analyst seeks in the analyzing discourse, poetry reveals it in its literature. The intention is to take a journey through Freudian theory, linguistic theory, and Lacan's reading of both, in order to elucidate philosopher Alain Badiou's attempt to philosophically rescue poetry and its academic relevance. Badiou contends "the poem is an operation on language" (Montalbetti, 2020, p. 34), which will serve as the axis of this interpretation. Poems operate on language insofar as they give material form to a void that allows itself to be filled with meaning, and this operation is mirrored in the function of the unconscious structure.

As has been mentioned before, in language, there is no stable correspondence with what Lacan calls the signifier and signified, meaning that every unconscious is characteristically singular. This is why the psychoanalytic practice is based only promoting an articulation of the analysand's desire and not to give its interpretation. To codify the singular in language is to exclude it from its own singularity, it is to universalize one's own experience. The homology between the praxis of psychoanalysis and poetry is fundamental: both speak to us of a construction of signifiers that do not maintain a stable relationship with meaning but rather the opposite, they vary depending on the reader. Therefore, the importance of studying both the analytical word and the poetic word comes as inevitable (Herrera, 2008).

First, it is fundamental to punctuate the need for a deeper language in this field of study, one that requires an interpretation of the self, and this is where psychoanalysis finds the importance of metaphorical language, which is essential for its theory and practice. Psychoanalysis not only requires such language to find coherence in its theoretical system, it also brings to light the importance of the use and interpretation of metaphor within analytic practice. Moving briefly to the literary field, poetry is a genre of literature that handles an extensive metaphorical field. The constructions and products of the unconscious, such as dreams, are an expression of a poetic type. The unconscious, just as it is the factory of dreams, is also the factory of poetry (Herrera, 2020). For psychoanalysis, the speculative dimension is inevitable. Freud introduces us to the observable aspects of his theory that allow us to account for the existence of an unconscious, but there comes a time when we find the impossibility of making an episteme of the unknowable, of that which the consciousness does not know. Through its manifestations, we can only navigate within a language that allows interpretative depth, and it is here where the theory finds the importance of metaphorical language (Tizón, 1995).

Figure 1: "The Uncertainty of the Poet" (de Chirico, 1913).

In other words, language does not say everything, and this is precisely what allows creation. There is a dimension of impossibility in language, an abyss between the word and the thing, between being and representation. The structure of language contains lack, and the subject, captured in this structure, manages with the possibility of transgressing its legality. When the speaker is overwhelmed by the word, this is what Freud locates as the manifestations of the unconscious: the dream, the failed act, the symptom, the joke and, we might add, the poetic creation. Since linguistics is the science that studies the whole verbal structure, poetics is considered as an object of research under that disciplinary field. Even so, we know that poetics is not limited to the art of the verbal, and this happens because there is a possibility of intimate translation that concerns poetry, a matter argued later on. Nevertheless, many poetic elements do not belong only to the science of verbal language but encompass the whole theory of signs: semiotics.

Julia Kristeva (1992), in her studies on Semiotics II, states that the poetic word as a sign maintains a non-synthetic idea. She says that the meaning of it is of ambiguous background, the meaning of the poetic is not thought of as the affirmative; rather, it refers to improper things in reality. In other words, the poetic word transcends from a conceptual discourse to a level of generality that allows an ambivalent reading and meaning: "It is a matter of outlining that other space that poetic language (taken as a tool, a production of meaning) opens up through the logic of speech, and which a rationalism imprisoned by that speech is incapable of conceiving" (p. 86). This discernment about a relation between meaning and referent as non-synthetic in poetic language is enormously appreciable in order to detach us from the ancient discord proposed throughout history.

It is proposed that in the realm of poetry, the representative word does not blend with the conceptual meaning of the language; rather, they can exist separately. In similar reference to this, Montalbetti (2020) says that "the poem tries to force a singularity from a generality" (p. 27). It is as if poetry distances itself as much as possible in language, seeking to differentiate itself, to distance itself from the concept, from the most specific that can be reached in the descriptive use of it, in order to make this separation that Kristeva mentions, in which "it refers and does not refer to a referent; it exists and does not exist, it is at the same time a being and a non-being" (p. 64). He considered this for the same reason Badiou (2011) says that "poetry uses, for this unprecedented invention, the maximum resources of the difference, including sonorous, between names of the inherited language" (p. 46). In this regard, let us make a last turn towards the understanding of what poetry is under this notion.

There are many attempts and efforts to explain a literary exercise that expresses the aesthetic experience and knows the world through it. Starting from the most primitive concept, poetics is a saying, a way of giving an account of reality, a concrete and literary way of mimicking the world. But, in order to pay attention to poetic action, it is relevant to conceive our closeness to language, to the movement of the word. It is in the theory of language where we not only speak of the mere expression of thought in words but where we understand the historicity of meaning and of man.

Figure 2: "The lyre of Pindar: the play at Olympia" (Knapp Linson, 1896).

It happens that a poem is only a poem if it has been touched by poetry. The literary form of writing in metrics, stanzas, and rhymes has existed since ancient times, but it is not for this reason that all literature made in this rhetorical mechanism, in the form of poems, has been considered poetic. Previously, art was understood as an imitation of reality through aesthetics. Music, painting, and dance were related in terms of their imitative element, but their styles and ways of expressing imitation was what they differed in. Poetry was, then, the art of imitation through language, through meter. The epic, for example, was the poetic style to relate legends of a heroic character or of people written in meter, in verses. Homer, then, was considered a poet, but not for the imitative nature of his work, which was art, but for the metrical form of his epic tales. Empedocles, however, delivered his philosophy under the same structure, in meter, and was not considered a poet but a philosopher (Aristotle, 335a-323a).

Poetry, then, is not reduced to verbal language written in verse. One could take a book about Newton's laws, break down the prose into verse and give it a metrical style, and one would still be reading only about Newton's laws, not poetry. However, poetry also exists under other forms than the poem, under other signs. Poetry can be written in prose, it can be achieved in an image, in an object, and this can be considered "poetic". In this regard, Mexican poet Octavio Paz (1973) says the following:

A sonnet is not a poem, but a literary form, except when that rhetorical mechanism—stanzas, meters, and rhymes—has been touched by poetry. There are machines for rhyming but not for poetizing. There is also poetry without poems; landscapes, persons, and events are often poetic: they are poetry without being poems. Now, when poetry is given as a condensation of chance or when it is a crystallization of powers and circumstances alien to the poet’s creative will, we are in the presence of the poetic. When—active or passive, awake or sleeping—the poet is the wire that conducts and transforms the poetic current, we face something radically different: a work. A poem is a work. Poetry is polarized, assembled, and isolated in a human product: painting, song, tragedy. The poetic is poetry in an amorphous state; the poem is creation, poetry standing erect. (p. 5)

Both form and substance are key elements that, for poetry, could not exist independently. In the poetic, form and substance are one and the same. A poem is a verbal organism that contains poetry. It is, then, what a poem expresses. Under the academic gaze, the gaze of science, this is somewhat problematic when trying to give a relevance to poetry. This type of expression of poetic language assumes that it only deals with the emotive and the evocative, leaving aside reason. This conception is relevant under the dualistic position of knowledge between the natural sciences and the sciences of the spirit, as well as under the conception of reason. For, if it is true that poetic language is radically different from scientific language, the criticism that the only value of poetic language is affective, because it only evokes the emotive, while scientific dialectics evokes truth, is strongly debatable.

Indeed, the language used by poets is far from an obvious and natural sense. Effective and rational communication between men demands a precision and logical concatenation that promotes a more structured posture of linguistic use towards mathematical rigor. For the same reason, it has been slightly jumped to the conclusion that poetry only has the function of evoking affective questions; it does not communicate ideas nor does it contribute to the knowledge of being and reality. From this point of view, poetry lacks an instrumental value for understanding the psyche, serving only as an artistic demonstration of man's creative capacity. However, the dialectics of psychoanalysis has overturned this position and increasingly approaches poetry as an essential reference for the study of the subject. The issue of emotional and affective processes in the face of objectifiable facts of reality has come into discussion since the Greeks and, for the general systems of science, the poet is perceived as a misfit. Octavio Paz, in an interview in The Lannan Foundation: Writers Uncensored (1991), said the following:

The poetry, in some way, is dissident, always, in these modern times. It’s marginal, the poet is outside society. His subjects, in appearance, only in appearance, seem to be also marginal but they’re not, they’re central. Poets talk about the central questions from a marginal point of view. That is the important thing of poetry.

Figure 3: "Portrait of Charles Baudelaire" (Courbet, 1848).

To define poetry would be contradictory to this thesis, since that would be to limit it, to close it, and poetry only allows the opening, the possibility within the impossible, the in-between, the impasse or the—short—detention of time, the absence, the emptiness. An attempt could be made to point out, in a naive way, the direction for an absurd and untenable proof of understanding poetry. The first stanza of a poem Paz writes in Decir: Hacer (1987), which he dedicates to linguist Roman Jakobson, reads as follows: "between what I see and say, between what I say and keep quiet, between what I keep quiet and dream, between what I dream and forget, poetry" (p.1). Verses that reflect with certain clarity and gallantry what poetry could be. It would be, in such a case, an encounter, an almost imperceptible and scarce, ephemeral point, of man with the unspeakable. Wherever meaning is given to poetry, the mere pretension of codifying it, we would be subtracting it from its property.

For there to be poetry, the suspension of the universal rules of language is necessary. The poet achieves a saying of what cannot be said. It is understood, then, that just as in the discourse of psychoanalysis, the discourse of poetry also works with a hollowness, with an impossibility of saying, that which Lacan calls lalangue. Lalangue is the most singular and impossible expression of the subject, the "speech" made of pure jouissance, which in its reading offers itself as meaningless and acts as a hole. In short, it is a non-existent signifier that allows, that constitutes, the creative character of language, and its effect is to establish the missing word in the language that promotes the subject to fill this lack. It occurs before the subject comes into understanding and using language, before consciousness in a child is fully formed. His first mumbling sounds, his use of phonemes but not of words, which have meaning only to the child itself and which produces a jouissance as the child begins to explore the use of his tongue in relation to the world around him, to make some meaning since it begins to feel unbearable to live in a meaningless world. (Rabinovich, 2018) In Poetry and Psychoanalysis: Encounter in the Misencounter, Gerber (2007) writes the following:

Lalangue, as an equivocal and homophonic signifier, sets in motion this paradox that the word, which gives the impression of eliminating the lack, the impossibility, is the one that finally refers to it and its incompleteness; the paradox of the metaphor, the substitution that fills this hollowness simultaneously refers to it. Thus, poetry extends far beyond the conventional and it is possible that it alludes to the facts of lalangue. (p. 83)

On the other hand, Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges, in his speech What is poetry? (1977), states that "language is an aesthetic creation (...) each word is a poetic work" (p. 2), and he is not far from the truth, since he proposes a relevant thesis as to what poetry concerns. If poetry is considered simply as the manifestation of aesthetic experience, Borges says that this is completely true, but it is not for this reason that we should think that poetry is only relevant for ornamental matters, devoid of a relevant use beyond its beauty. For the author, it is about what an aesthetic question makes humans feel, a word, a verse, a phrase; with its rhyme, its sonority, its phonetic or morphological composition, the question is that which inspires it. "I have for me that beauty is a physical sensation, something we feel with the whole body. It is not the result of a judgment, we don't arrive at it by rules; we feel beauty or we don't feel it" (Borges, 1977, p. 45). Poetry is in charge of this, of aesthetic creation through the letter, and its function is provoked by being just that. That which moves the being, which touches, strums, and ignites, is not a matter of morality or formalism, and much less a matter of law; on the contrary, it comes from the pure and the proper, from the singular. Isn't this what we mentioned earlier about lalangue? When we suspend all form of logic or reason, and delve into the effects that involve one's body, one's tongue for example, a different form of meaning seems constituted in this, evoking that which lies more under the unconscious than in consciousness.

German philosopher Martin Heidegger, in his text What are poets for? (2001), speaks of the risk that poets take with language, so much so that their song does not pretend anything, nor trade anything; it does not ask for anything more than to introduce itself to the internal space of the world, of the entity. Taking Herder's verse "... adventurous more sometimes than Life itself is, more daring by a breath..." (p. 134), he states that "because these more venturesome ones venture Being itself and therefore dare to venture into language, the province of Being, they are the sayers. And yet, is not man the one who by his nature has language and constantly ventures it? Certainly. And then even he who wills in the usual way ventures saying, already in calculating production. True. But then, those who are more venturesome cannot be those who merely say. The saying of the more venturesome must really venture to say. The more venturesome are the ones they are only when they are sayers to a greater degree" (p. 135). Poets, through poetry, express the silenced, make an inversion towards openness, unprotected by recalling their lack of salvation. We could then discuss if what they say is really more, since we consider under this thesis that what they say is, simply, the unsaid. And they do this by pointing to the emptiness itself, outlining in language the absent signifier. For Paz (1956), for example, a poet is "someone who transcends the limits of language" (p. 23).

Figure 4: "Limits of Reason" (Klee, 1927).

Transcending the limits of language is completely debatable, and French philosopher Alain Badiou's thesis, interpreted by the linguist and poet Mario Montalbetti, focuses mainly on this pretext. Perhaps transcending is impossible, and not even imagining ourselves to be outside, to surpass, the limits of language can do so. We can say, then, that we are inside language, and if so, we could think of language as a closed object. In that case, if language is a closed object, it means that it has a delimitation, a circumference, and in that Paz is right, language has its limits.

First of all, Badiou seeks to integrate the poem as a generator of truth, while maintaining the notion of mathematics. This becomes extremely relevant for psychoanalytic study and practice. To present the poem in terms comparable to mathematics is not only to break once again with the dichotomous and dualistic barrier promoted by science, it is also of instrumental value for the theory of psychoanalysis. Badiou proposes that "the poem is a form of thought" and, for the interest of the thesis, our main questions would be the following: How does the poem think, and how is this relevant to psychoanalysis?

In his essay, El pensamiento del poema (2020), Mario Montalbetti reviews Badiou's postulates (1988) and takes the statement "language is a closed object enclosed by meaning" (Badiou, 1988, as cited in Montalbetti, 2020, p. 2) as the central axis to expose his interpretations. Badiou (1988) locates, in the limits of this closed object, mathematics on the one hand and the poem on the other. That is to say, both mathematics and the poem border language, and if what closes the object is meaning, then they are between what has meaning and what does not have meaning, between language and what is non-language (Montalbetti, 2020). Benveniste (1971) says that meaning is the "very being" of language, so that the absence of meaning would be the very absence of language. Understanding this, if poems and mathematics are at the intersection of, at the limit of but not in, language, then neither of them has meaning and, at the same time, both could have it. We already knew this about mathematical expressions. If you take an algebraic formula such as a + b = c, this mathematical expression means nothing until we insert the values of a, b and/or c. But these could be any (7 + 3 = 10, 4 + 2 = 6, and so on). However to think that a poem has no meaning is a bit peculiar. In that case, a poet is not someone who transcends the limits of language, they are someone who plays on the limits of language itself, as mathematic operations do. Therefore, one can understand the difficulty we encounter in defining poetry (Montalbetti, 2020).

On the other hand, the poem is an aspect of language that cannot be reduced to being an object of study for linguistics. Linguistic tools can be implemented to explore a poem, a verse, but not to create a grammar of it, since this would already be taking a normative stance about poetic creation, which precisely escapes from that. Nor are there norms of how to read (interpret or decipher) a poem, so the production and reception of it is free of regulatory and universal laws (Montalbetti, 2020). So, if a poem does not mean, what does the poem do? Montalbetti (2020) answers this question as follows:

I have suggested in a study of a poem by Blanca Varela that a poem is a change in the physical (not chemical) state of language. Just as we can squeeze, fold, tear a sheet of paper but the result is still paper (unlike setting it on fire, which is a chemical change), so too the poem can operate on language (squeezing, folding, tearing) and the result would still be language. (p. 32)

Figure 5: "The Great Masturbator" (Dalí, 1929).

The Unconscious

From the Freudian notion of the lost object, Lacan makes an important reading that leads him to distinguish the process of the symbolic register and its relation to the lack. He theorizes this with respect to frustration and proposes that it is this that introduces the subject into the order of symbolization. He says that frustration is an imaginary function, since it is prior to the real lack of a symbolic object. And, by forming the bond with the mother, the agent of frustration, it is assumed that there is language through the demand of the object, symbolization is established. Then, following Lacan's dialectic, this demanded object comes from the Other, it is a gift of the Other, a sign of their love, an object whose value is composed without substance; it is composed of nothing. It is a sign of what the Other gives, of what the subject does not have (Miller, 2010, p. 37).

The lack is, then, structuring the relation with the object. This is the metonymic status mentioned above, the status of the symbolic object, which admits that the object is nothing more than a substitute, always a neighbor of the lack. In very basic terms, this is where desire comes from, from the demand for the lost object. The paradox of desire is that this object that is demanded, the Other does not have it, and yet it is in a condition for the subject to retain it. Lacan relates this to the term das Ding, a concept shared by both Heidegger and Freud, defining it as that which is outside of meaning, that which is not there, that which is absent and where there is no mathematics. He proceeds to name it as the Thing (Miller, 2010). Concerning this, in Joël Dor's Introduction to the Reading of Lacan (1986), he writes the following: "Language possesses, then, the singular property of representing the presence of something real by means of its own absence as such; that is, as Lacan puts it, 'thanks to the word that is a presence made of absence, it is absence itself that is named'" (p. 62).

We can understand that, as well as art, the poem works as an organization of the void, as Lacan's first aesthetics presents it; it borders the central void of the Thing (Recalcatti, 2006). In this void, we find the object, an object of which there is no concept nor elements that constitute it in an idea, an object of jouissance; we speak, then, of an order of the real. This process of organization can be considered as an energetic process, or what psychoanalysis calls sublimation. When we speak of energy in psychoanalytic theory, we are speaking of drive. However, Freud formulates this reasoning based on the law of conservation of energy, proposed by the German physicist Helmholtz, which says that energy is one, it cannot be destroyed or created, only transformed (Nadeje, 2018).

The thesis proposed by Freud in 1905 distinguishes human instinct from their sexual drive, the drive being understood as free energy that impels the subject towards indeterminate objects that can offer them full satisfaction. The subject, in search of pleasure, must find a way to bind this energy in a socially acceptable way. Freud suggests that this is the very constitution of culture in society. These ways of finding satisfaction through "different" objects, in a singular way, is what will later be developed as sublimation. A transformation of the bound sexual drive away from the primary sexual desire. For the same reason, artistic activity such as poetry is based on the transformation of real energy into desire for the subject. Thus, the concept of sublimation that Freud formulates in the Lectures on Introduction to Psychoanalysis in his Collected Works (1917) is the following according to Dör (1986):

It is important to emphasize that not every satisfaction of the drive is sublimation, not every bound energy (libido) or reorientation of the drive towards an object is a sublimatory process. The essential difference is the position of the subject before the object. In Lacanian terms, to sublimate is "to elevate an object to the dignity of the Thing. (Dör, 1986 quoting Lacan, p. 112)

This implies that the object is placed in the position of the Thing, of the emptiness or essential lack mentioned above. However, not just any object can be placed in this position, since the anguish would be unbearable for the subject when approaching the "extreme good" that the Thing can offer him, this emptiness. Therefore, the object that is placed as close to the Thing must be something unrepeatable, something that contains a singular and inaccessible beauty (Gerber, 2007).

For psychoanalysis, this place of emptiness, the place of nothingness, is also the place of truth (Gerber, 2007). Thus, creation borders this place of truth, it makes the material contour to contain the emptiness, to contain the "truth". Inaccessible, never known, impossible to know and eluding knowledge, creation (sublimate) manages to position the subject of enunciation before it. This is what metaphor, in its function of substitution, accomplishes to structure the materiality of the poem, it creates the empty whole.

Žižek (1992), in Enjoy the Symptom!, quotes Lacan when he says that the "word is murder of a thing, not only in the elementary sense of implying its absence - by naming a thing, we treat it as absent, as dead, although it is still present..." (p. 59). If one cannot have the thing (the lost object) one kills it, by symbolizing it through the word. Thus, the metaphorical process that occurs when the subject is inscribed in language is understood. From what has been referred to above, we can conclude that it is impossible to arrive at the truth by means of the word. However, a poem, through the word, brings us enigmatically closer to it. This work of nomination that the poem does in language is the thesis to understand this approach. Badiou (2011) says that "poetry is the creation of a previously unknown Name-of-being" (p. 46).

When poetry appears as one in its plurality, in its diversity, it can be said that the poem is a thinking poem. The translation of emptiness that Badiou speaks of, which Montalbetti later takes up to interpret it, is not about a translation of the idea, of the theme of the poem, as its main void-constructing essence. It is rather the structure and the form in which the poem is composed that produces the materiality that shapes the empty whole. The elements exposed in this brief analysis are some of the mechanisms that the poem uses as a way of thinking. The metaphor, the figurative sense, the rhyme and the metric, the verbs, etc., are the resources by which poetry uses the word in an evocative, memorative function. The architecture of the poem is not based on an imprisoning construction, it wants to show the experience of humanity in the world.


On one hand, despite Freud's attempts to propose psychoanalysis within the branch of the natural sciences, we have witnessed an epistemic and scientific crisis over the years. At a time of fundamental changes in society, especially in academia, Freud's work captures immense value in terms of his advocacy for understanding psychoanalysis within scientific research. Even so, he did not circumscribe psychoanalytic language but rather expanded it with the understanding that it requires much more than empirical science could serve. Ahead of his time, Freud instructed us in science, linguistics, mathematics, economics, art, and poetry. Not only did he present the latest Copernican theory that revolutionized an entire conception of humanity, he also spoke to us of the multidisciplinary, of the limits of science, and the importance of language in the study of thought.

Because of this, the relevance of metaphorical language in psychoanalytic theory could be discussed in indefinitely. It has even been proposed in the studies of epistemology of pscyhoanalysis as a necessity from which science should not be blinded and, at present, it allows us to position the poetic structure as a fundamental axis to think the structure of thought. Its linguistic structure resembles and speaks to us in the same sense. The interpretation of psychoanalytic theory and interpretation in its practice make use of what poetry has to offer. Poetry, as well as psychoanalysis, have never set foot on solid ground, on certainty.

Undoubtedly, poetry has its many shapes and forms. Writer Marcel Proust (1871-1922) once pointed out that men do not write about what they see but about what they have read of what they see: reading becomes evidence of experience. To marginalize the poet is to marginalize the poetic saying of culture, of society. What poets express, society feels. If we say that poetry is made of absence, we would not be lying. Oppositely, it is true to say that poetry turns absence into presence. The gaze of the poem is a singular gaze that allows the expression of another gaze of the same nature.

Bibliographical References

Aristóteles (335a-323a) La Poética Editorial Gredos, Madrid,. Primera edición , 1974. 3.a

Badiou, A. (1988) El ser y el acontecimiento traducción de Raúl J. Cardeiras, Alejandro A. Cerletti y Nilda Prados, Manantial, Buenos Aires, 2015

Badiou, A. (2011) Wittgenstein's Antiphilosophy translated and with an Introduction by Bruno Bosteels. ed Verso, London.

Benveniste, E. (1971) El aparato formal de la enunciación en Problemas de Lingüística General II, México, Siglo XXI

Borges, J. (1977) Seven nights: What is poetry Conferences

Dor, J. (1986) Introducción a la Lectura de Lacan: El inconsciente estructurado como un lenguaje Editorial Gedisa

Freud, S. (1905). Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, trans. James Strachey (1962). New York: Basic Books.

Freud, S., Strachey, J., Freud, A., & Rothgeb, C. L. (1953). The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis.

Gerber., D. (2007) Discurso y Verdad: Psicoanálisis, Saber, Creación Editado Escuela Libre de Psicología, México

Heidegger, M. 1889-1976. (2001). Poetry, language, thought. New York :Perennical Classics,

Herrera, R. (2008) Poética del psicoanálisis / por Rosario Herrera Guido : prólogo Néestor A. Braunstein – Mexico

Kristeva, J. (1992), Semiotics II

Lacan, J. (2002) Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Bruce Fink. (New York: Norton, 2002)

Miller, J.-A. (2010) Extimacy. 1st ed.- Paidós. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Montalbetti, M. (2020) El pensamiento del poema: Variaciones sobre un tema de Badiou. Barcelona, España

Nadeje, M. (2018) Acerca del Trieb [pulsión] en Freud. Brasil

Paz, O. (1945) Vigilias: Diario de un soñador

Paz, O. (1973) The Bow and the Lyre translation from University of Texas Press

Paz, O. (1991) The Lannan Foundation: Writers Uncensored Entrevista

Rabinovich, N. (2018) Goce poético y goce del inconsciente. Jornadas de Lacantera Freudiana, Chile

Tizón, J. (1995) ¿Existen las ciencias interpretativas?: una reflexión acerca de los limites epistemológicos del conocimiento psicoanalítico. Universitat de Barcelona, España

Virgilio, M. (2012) Das ding y los límites de la simbolización Anuario de Investigaciones, vol. XIX, 2012, pp. 161-168 Universidad de Buenos Aires Buenos Aires, Argentina

Žižek, S. (1992) Enjoy your symptom! Jacques Lacan in Hollywood and out. Taylor & Frances/Routledge.

Visual Sources


Author Photo

Gabriella Yanes

Arcadia _ Logo.png


Arcadia, has many categories starting from Literature to Science. If you liked this article and would like to read more, you can subscribe from below or click the bar and discover unique more experiences in our articles in many categories

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
bottom of page