“The articulation, and I mean the algebraic articulation, of the semblant-and because of this we are only dealing with letters-and its effects, this is the only apparatus which enables us to designate what is real. What is real is what opens up a hole in this semblant, in this articulated semblant which is the scientific discourse. The scientific discourse progresses without even worrying if it is a discourse of semblance or not. All that matters is that its network, its texture, its lattice, as one is used to say, makes the right holes appear at the right place. The only reference reached by its deductions is the impossible. This impossible is the real. In physics, we aim at something which is real with the help of the discursive apparatus which, in its crispness, encounters the limits of its consistency.” *
* : Jacques Lacan, Le seminaire, Livre XVIII: D’un discours qui ne serait pas du semblant, Paris: Seuil 2006, p. 28. My thanks to Alenka Zupancic, who drew my attention to this passage.
quoted in Slavoj Žižek 2012 Less Than Nothing, p.780