“I did not write Écrits in order for people to understand them, I wrote them in order for people to read them.”

“I did not write Écrits in order for people to understand them, I wrote them in order for people to read them. Which is not even remotely the same thing. People don’t understand anything, that is perfectly true, for a while, but the writings do something to them. And this is why I would be inclined to believe that—as opposed to what one imagines when one peers from the outside—people do read them. One imagines that people buy my Écrits but never open them. That's false. They even wear themselves out working on them. Obviously, when one begins my Écrits, the best thing one can do is to try to understand them. And since one does not understand them, one keeps trying. I didn't deliberately try to make them such that people don't understand them— that was a consequence of circumstance.I spoke, I gave classes that were very coherent and comprehensible, but, as I turned them into articles once a year, that led to writings which, compared to the mass of things I had said, were incredibly concentrated and that must be placed in water, like Japanese flowers, in order to unfold. The comparison is worth whatever it's worth.”

— Jacques Lacan, The Triumph of Religion


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