Alexey Tkachev. Imaginary seam of melancholy. Vol. 3. No. 2. 2018

Publication Details

Imaginary seam of melancholy
Title in the language of publication: Воображаемый шов меланхолии
Alexey Tkachev
Master of Software Engineering, Psychoanalyst at the Freud-Lacan Psychoanalysis School.
Address: 18A Bolshoy Prospekt of Petrograd Side, St. Petersburg 197198, Russia.
P. 51–62.
Language: Russian
Document type: Research Article


The intention to describe graphically the psychic process is appropriate for psychoanalysis from the times of Freud himself. The human mentality structures revealed by Freud were ultimately entangled with each other, besides, the character of their interconnections suffered permanent modifications from one to another stage of progress of neurosis. The first Freud’s theory of psychic apparatus was based on the spatial disposition of consciousness systems, namely preconscious and unconscious. To pinpoint the structural relationship between them, Freud applied topical situses.

For “analysis situs” was the very term by which Leibnitz called what had to eventually become topology. In the most general way, it is a branch of mathematics studying the relationship between spatial images and law of connectivity of their structures regardless of the relations between measures and values. The topology concerns with spaces remaining unalterable at permanent deformations. This distinguishes its specific optics which Lacan takes up after Freud in order to represent his famous third topics — imaginary, symbolic, real.

Nevertheless, in Lacan’s theory, much more significant place is allocated to topology than that of an auxiliary toolkit serving for framing images to clarify the text. Lacan makes his bet on it as on something able to overcome the contradiction between the synchrony of language and the diachrony of speech in the course of translation of knowledge. For the topological figures never lose its margins and holes, as well as they do not acquire those new, and the only thing able to modify them is “the cut”, which Lacan interprets as an analytic act.

By now, the melancholy remains a pending issue. The complexities of its development take origin from Freud: in “The Ego and the Id” he speaks on identifying with the dead Father, and in “Mourning and Melancholia” on identifying with the object. To detect the difference between the melancholic structure and psychotic and neurotic ones, in the present research we will follow Lacan’s approach in “On a Question Prior to any Possible Treatment of Psychosis”, while framing a topological object which evidently represents the melancholy in Lacan’s theory.


Psychoanalysis, topology, melancholy, Lacan, Moebius strip, cross-cup, verwerfung, object a.


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© Alexey Tkachev, 2018

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