The word as a tool to recover the personal universe

The war is traumatic. Not only for the material bullets that hurt the bodies, but also for the fact that their blows hit the heart of symbolic resources, the only plot in which a person can take place. The core of the traumatic lies in this being devoid of the imaginary-symbolic veils versus the real.

In war, the resort to violence is the sign of the failure of the symbolic universe of a human community.

After the war the damage persists at different levels in the silence of the victims regarding the suffering and in the difficulty in finding interlocutors who can succeed in lending an ear to the terrible. The trauma will persist until to find another to talk to.

The horror of exposure to the real without processing can only be conjured with the recontruction of scheme of the symbolic universe. This means that it must possible to establish a social bond. Its establishment cannot consist in specifically allying itself with others in a common cause, numbing the singularity itself in the identification of an illusory collective that compacts itself by denying all fissure and projecting all the fault outwards, in the imaginary construction of an enemy. This deficit figure of alterity is usually a resource at hand in the face of the blow by war to the possibilities of the social bond, but it is not able to restore it to the extent that it supposes an illusory silence of one’s own singularity. Talking to another is only possible from this emptiness constitutive of subjectivity. And establishing a social bond means finding another to talk to.

It will be after the war, and facing its perverse act of replacing the word with the act and its explosion of the foundations of the desired structure, to reopen the paths to the word, so that something can be said to someone which can be heard, so that, around that irrepresentable, they can be inscribed border letters that have access to the discursive circulation.

1972 (AP Photo/Nick Ut)


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