On the way to Cerisy , Beaufret, Axelos, and the Heideggers stopped at the summer house of Jacques Lacan. Beaufret was in analysis with Lacan at the time and Lacan had asked him to invite Heidegger to stay for a few days before the conference. Lacan had hoped to commence a dialogue with Heidegger based on what he perceived to he their mutual interests, but soon found that the two had little to discuss. Axelos, who served as translator, describes the five-day stay as “agreeable” but also notes the empty nature of the visit. “Heidegger did not know any of Lacan’s works and had no inlerest in psychoanalysis. Lacan had an incomplete (lacunairement) knowledge of Heidegger. Thus there was no dialogue. There was no discussion at all. They spoke of banalities and everyday things. Lacan understood German but could not speak it and Heidegger refused to speak single Word in French.”
The issue of language is essential here but one can also point to a divergence in philosophical interests between Heidegger and one of his French interlocutors that would come to dominate the second phase of the reception of Heidegger in France between 1961 and the present. The force of this disconnect and the frustration and disappointment of Lacan can be seen in an incident that occurred during the Heideggers’ stay. While Axelos and Beaufret were translating Heidegger’s “What Is Philosophy?” from German to French, Lacan and his wife, Sylvia Bataille—Lacan, took Heidegger and Elfride on a day trip to the cathedral in Chartres. Lacan was driving, Heidegger sat in the front seat, and the two women sat in the back. In the words of Elisabeth Roudinesco, "Lacan drove his car as fast as he ran his sessions" and the Heideggers grew increasingly uncomfortable. Heidegger did not flinch but Elfride voiced her discomfort, in response to which Lacan increased his speed. The ride home from Chartres was spent in silence except for the continued protests of Elfride, which provoked Lacan to press even harder on the gas pedal.
Is someone writing history in the Greek style? As it seems no one other than the four mentioned passengers was present and none of them is attributed as the source of the information, this must be history as it should have happened?
Sort of scary but JL had a somewhat DeSadean sort of grandeur--one reason the Surrealists hung out with him ( much of his "Theory" seems to be ..an ad hoc,quasi-freudian, pseudo-linguistic Mindf*ck--..as surrealism, understandable perhaps. In terms of helping mental patients, however,-- not so copacetic).