‘There was a time when I felt that I had grasped Lacan’s essential being from within – that I had gained, as it were, an apperception of his relation to the world, a mysterious access to that intimate place from which sprang his relation to people and things, and even to himself. It was as if I had slipped within him.’ In this short book, Catherine Millot offers a richly evocative reflection on her life as analysand and lover of the greatest psychoanalyst since Freud. Dwelling on their time together in Paris and in Lacan’s country house in Guitrancourt, as well as describing their many travels, Millot provides unparalleled insights into Lacan’s character as well as his encounters with other major European thinkers of the time. She also sheds new light on key themes, including Lacan’s obsession with the Borromean knot and gradual descent into silence, all enlivened by her unique perspective. This beautifully written memoir, awarded the André Gide Prize for Literature, will be of interest to anyone wishing to understand the life and character of a thinker who continues to exert a wide influence in psychoanalysis and across the humanities and social sciences.
What is it about "having a life"- which is to say, about having a sense of separate existence as a subject or self - that is usually taken for granted but is so fragilely maintained in certain patients and, indeed, in most of us at especially difficult times? In Having A Life: Self Pathology After Lacan, Lewis Kirshner takes this Lacanian question as the point of departure for a thoughtful meditation on the conceptual problems and clinical manifestations of pathologies of the self. Beginning with the case of Margaret Little, analyzed by D. W. Winnicott, and proceeding to extended case presentations from his own practice, Kirshner weaves together an avowedly American reading of Lacan with the approaches to self pathology of an influential coterie of theorists. By drawing out common threads in their respective discourses on the self, Kirshner achieves an original integration of Lacanian theory with other contemporary approaches to self pathology. Of special note is his ability to sustain a dialogue between Lacan and Kohut, whose shared clinical object, discernible through divergent vocabularies and conceptions, is the struggle of the subject to avoid fragmentation that would obliterate a sense of aliveness and preclude active engagement with the world. Kirshner's opening chapter on the gifted, troubled Margaret Little and his concluding chapter on the eminent political philosopher Louis Althusser, whose self pathology culminated in his strangling of his wife, Hélène Rytman, in 1980, frame a study that is brilliantly successful in bringing "self" issues down to the messy actualities of lived experience. Analytic therapists no less than students of the human sciences will be edified by this cogent, readable attempt to infuse Lacanian concepts with the conceptual rigor and clinical pragmatism of American psychoanalysis and to apply the resulting model of therapeutic action to a fascinating range of case material.
Professor of English & Comparative Literature Jean-Michel Rabate
Recounts the conflicts surrounding Lacan's break with the institutional framework of Freudian orthodoxy, the popularity of Lacanianism in the 1960s and 1970s, and its encounters with the women's movement
Adrian Johnston and Catherine Malabou defy theoretical humanities' deeply-entrenched resistance to engagements with the life sciences. Rather than treat biology and its branches as hopelessly reductive and politically suspect, they view recent advances in neurobiology and its adjacent scientific fields as providing crucial catalysts to a radical rethinking of subjectivity. Merging three distinct disciplines—European philosophy from Descartes to the present, Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalysis, and affective neuroscience—Johnston and Malabou triangulate the emotional life of affective subjects as conceptualized in philosophy and psychoanalysis with neuroscience. Their experiments yield different outcomes. Johnston finds psychoanalysis and neurobiology have the potential to enrich each other, though affective neuroscience demands a reconsideration of whether affects can be unconscious. Investigating this vexed issue has profound implications for theoretical and practical analysis, as well as philosophical understandings of the emotions. Malabou believes scientific explorations of the brain seriously problematize established notions of affective subjectivity in Continental philosophy and Freudian-Lacanian analysis. She confronts philosophy and psychoanalysis with something neither field has seriously considered: the concept of wonder and the cold, disturbing visage of those who have been affected by disease or injury, such that they are no longer affected emotionally. At stake in this exchange are some of philosophy's most important claims concerning the relationship between the subjective mind and the objective body, the structures and dynamics of the unconscious dimensions of mental life, the role emotion plays in making us human, and the functional differences between philosophy and science.
This book sets out to determine the validity of an accusation made against Jacques Lacan by Noam Chomsky in an interview in 1989. He stated that Lacan was a “charlatan” – not that his ideas were flawed or wrong, but that his entire discourse was fraudulent, an accusation that has since been repeated by many other critics. Examining the arguments of key anti-Lacanian critics, Mathews weighs and contextualizes the legitimacy of Lacan’s engagements with structural linguistics, mathematical formalization, science, ethics, Hegelian dialectics, and psychoanalysis. The guiding thread is Lacan’s own recurrent interrogation of authority, which inhabits an ambiguous zone between mastery and charlatanry. This book offers a novel contribution to the field for students and scholars of psychoanalysis, philosophy, sociology, critical and literary theory.
The Lacanian Review (TLR) is a semiannual English-language journal of psychoanalysis, with bilingual (French - English) presentations of texts by Jacques Lacan and Jacques-Alain Miller. TLR publishes writing from prominent international figures of the Lacanian Orientation, featuring new theoretical developments in psychoanalysis, testimonies of the pass, dialogues with other discourses, and articles on contemporary culture, politics, art and science. Each issue explores a theme intersecting the symptoms of our era and emerging work in the New Lacanian School (NLS) and the World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP).The thematic concept for The Lacanian Review 9: 'Still Life?' began with an equivocation between English and French: Still Life - Nature Morte. It implied an orientation to the drive, persistence, even still, on the side of life, and a painterly gesture towards the drive on the side of death that permeates nature. Nature Morte--Dead Nature. Fallen tulip petals and decomposing fruits plucked from the source, encaptured in composition, life made still by the gaze. For how many decades have scientists and activists warned of the death of nature? From Silent Spring to the unravelling of the Paris Climate Accord. How to persist in living when it has already been too late for us for so long? Yet, we keep doing it, still, despite the momento mori that accumulates from the production of life, waste. Lacan said in 1974, "To be waste is what anyone who is a speaking being aspires to without knowing it." The encounter with a second signifier of our silent spring, corona, reinterpreted our still life. In the span of one month, the world, our nature, came to a standstill, the pause that brought global production to its knees: a lockdown of social movement. The death count passed one million worldwide and then next day the media highlighted astonishing drops in carbon emissions, clear waters in Venice, blue skies, and the flourish of bird calls heard this spring in empty city streets. The dead and nature. An ordered pair in an inverse relationship. Our patients speak of the paradoxes of time during this pause. A shifting global study of the real of time and space impacting the speaking body. A crisis of temporality: when will this be over? How long will this last? It exposes a lack in the Other. Nobody knows, neither science, nor government. Yet analysands willing to push the inert real of their symptom to the very end, have been able to say something about how it ends. Not the end of the world, not the apocalyptic fantasy of the pandemic, just the end of analysis. Thus this volume of The Lacanian Review collects a dossier of testimonies and texts on the pass presented in Ghent, at the Premiere Event: The Pass in Our School - Interpretation Encore. They attempt to transmit what can be said about the end.TLR is published by the New Lacanian School (amp-nls.org) and distributed by the Lacanian Compass Bookshop (lacaniancompass.com) and Eurl Huysmans (ecf-echoppe.com).
A. Kiarina Kordela steps beyond extant commentaries on Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism—from A. Sohn-Rethel to L. Althusser, É. Balibar, Slavoj Žižek, and others—to show that in capitalism value is the manifestation of the homology between thought and being, while their other aspect—power—is foreclosed and becomes the object of biopower. Using monistic Marxian/Lacanian structuralism as an alternative to dominant models from Plato and Kant to phenomenological accounts, deconstruction, and other contemporary approaches, Kordela expertly argues that Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism is a reformulation of the Spinozian thesis that thought (mind) and things (bodies or extension) are manifestations of one and the same being or substance. Kordela’s link between Spinoza and Marx shows that being consists of two aspects, value and power, the former leading to structuralist thought, the latter becoming the object of contemporary biopower. Epistemontology in Spinoza-Marx-Freud-Lacan intervenes between two dominant lines of thought in the reception of Marx today: on the one hand, an approach that relates Marxian thought to psychoanalysis from a Hegelian/dialectical perspective and, on the other hand, an approach that links Marxism to Spinozian monism, at the total exclusion of psychoanalysis. This book will interest scholars and researchers who study Marxism, (post)structuralism, psychoanalysis, critical theory, ontology, epistemology and theories of representation, theoreticians of cultural studies and comparative literature, aesthetic theory, including the relation of art to economy and politics, and biopolitics.
The authors examine implications of Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic theory of discourse for the understanding of theological language. Topics include self, desire, post-structuralism, the unconscious, the father's rule, dwelling (in Heidegger's sense), Anselm, ontological argument, alterity, utopia, signifiers/signifieds, God, reason, and text.
*Shortlisted for the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book Prize, 2016*The wide-ranging and brilliant ideas of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) have had a major influence on modern thought. His 'followers' are loyal and legion. Yet his ideas are complex and densely conveyed. Lacan's detractors have accused him of obscurantism, pretentiousness and even incoherence, his psychoanalytic practice and his personal life were complicated - he was famous and contentious in equal measure.Martin Murray provides a lucid account of Lacan's key concepts, including the mirror stage, and his relationship to Freud's ideas, amongst many others. Tracing their origins in his diverse interests: art, psychiatry, philosophy, anthropology, linguistics and psychoanalysis. Murray also investigates Lacan's professional life, personal life and institutional influence in an attempt to understand the charismatic and controversial person he became.
An elucidation of the fundamentals of Lacanian theory - letter, fantasy, woman, repetition, phallus, father, - with reference to popular culture and films such as "City Lights", "Sophie's Choice" and "The Elephant Man" amongst others.
The Singularity of Being offers a Lacanian interpretation on what makes each of us a unique and irreplaceable creature. Focusing on the Lacanian real, it builds a theory of individual distinctiveness while also intervening in critical debates about subjectivity, agency, resistance, the self-other relationship, and effective political and ethical action.
D.W. Winnicott and Jacques Lacan are arguably two of the most important psychoanalytic theoreticians since Freud, and, somewhat ironically, seemingly two of the most incompatible. Lewis Kirshner and his colleagues attempt to demonstrate how the intellectual contributions of these two figures - such as Winnicott's self and Lacan's subject - complement productively despite their apparent contrast. Throughout the book, their major concepts are clarified and differentiated, but always with an eye toward points of intersection and a more effective psychoanalytic practice. Furthermore, these contri.
Jacques Lacan (1901-1980) is undoubtedly the central figure of psychoanalysis in the second half of the 20th century. He not only revolutionized the psychoanalytic practice, but in his 'return to Freud', he also deployed a global reinterpretation of the entire structural linguistics and semiotics.The influence of Lacan's work is widespread. It gave rise to passionate discussions not only in France, but also in the UK, US, Germany, Italy, Latin America, Japan and Eastern Europe, stretching beyond the field of psychoanalysis itself, to philosophy, the social sciences and cultural studies.The texts selected present the entire scope of the Lacan debate focusing on the four main domains of Lacan's influence: psychoanalytic theory and practice; philosophy; social sciences and cultural studies.
The immensely influential work of Jacques Lacan challenges readers both for the difficulty of its style and for the wide range of intellectual references that frame its innovations. Lacan’s work is challenging too, for the way it recentres psychoanalysis on one of the most controversial points of Freud’s theory – the concept of a self-destructive drive or ‘death instinct’. Originally published in 1991, Death and Desire presents in Lacanian terms a new integration of psychoanalytic theory in which the battery of key Freudian concepts – from the dynamics of the Oedipus complex to the topography of ego, id, and superego – are seen to intersect in Freud’s most far-reaching and speculative formulation of a drive toward death. Boothby argues that Lacan repositioned the theme of death in psychoanalysis in relation to Freud’s main concern – the nature and fate of desire. In doing so, Lacan rediscovered Freud’s essential insights in a manner so nuanced and penetrating that prevailing assessments of the death instinct may well have to be re-examined. Although the death instinct is usually regarded as the most obscure concept in Freud’s metapsychology, and Lacan to be the most perplexing psychoanalytic theorist, Richard Boothby’s straightforward style makes both accessible. He illustrates the coherence of Lacanian thought and shows how Lacan’s work comprises a ‘return to Freud’ along new and different angles of approach. Written with an eye to the conceptual structure of psychoanalytic theory, Death and Desire will appeal to psychoanalysts and philosophers alike.
Jacques Lacan continues to be subject to the most extravagant interpretations-some of them idolizing, some demonizing. To recall Lacan's career, now that the heroic age of psychoanalysis is over, is to remember an intellectual and literary adventure that occupies a founding place in our modernity. For, if Lacan went against the current of many of the hopes aroused by 1968, he embraced their paradoxes, so that his language games and wordplay resonate today as so many injunctions to reinstate society in the face of a degraded individualism. Widely recognized as one of the leading authorities on Lacan, Elisabeth Roudinesco here undertakes to revisit Lacan's life and work- what it was-and what it remains.
Although many books have been published on Jacques Lacan that attem0pt to explain his work and to provide insights into the relationship between his work and his life, most of them depend largely on the small number of texts that were published in his lifetime. Unlike Freud, however, Lacan expressed his ideas not through voluminous writings and carefully considered case studies, but through his lectures. He was a volatile figure on the French psychoanalytic sce≠ his feuds and friendships and ever-changing professional alliances go a long way toward explaining his views. JACQUERS LACAN, published to great acclaim in France in 1986, has now been translated into English. It is the first look at Lacan and his work from within the French context. Marcelle Marini, a knowledgeable insider, presents Lacan in two parts. The first part focuses on the actual situation of psychoanalysis in France, attempting to efine the impact of Lacan on it and its effect on him, his life, and work since 1926. Marini describes scandals and battles, as well as material on Lacan's original concepts and major theories. In the second half of the book Marini provides a full chronological, biographical, and bibliographical dossier - year by year - of the progress of Lacan's work. Lacan's lectures are given proper attention, extending our view far beyond the written texts. JACQUES LACAN is indispensable reading for anyone who truly wants to understand the man and his work.
This book discusses Jacques Lacan’s contribution to understanding the life and work of James Joyce, introducing Colette Soler’s influential reading to English readers for the first time. Focusing on Lacan’s famous Seminar on Joyce, the reader will no doubt learn much from Lacan, but also, as Soler shows, what Lacan learned from Joyce and what perhaps, without him, he would not have approached with so much confidence. Le Sinthome. This is the title Jacques Lacan chose for his seminar devoted to Joyce in 1975–76. He wrote the word 'sinthome' in its original spelling, from the Greek, and thus used the technique so dear to Joyce: the equivocation between the sound that is heard and the graphic representation that is seen. Is it surprising that the author who recognised in 1956 with 'The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious' that the Freudian practice of speech revealed an unconscious that writes – something Jacques Derrida found quite remarkable – would end in 1975–76 with Joyce? Lacan Reading Joyce will be of great interest to professional and academic readers in the respective fields of Lacan and Joyce studies, including psychoanalysts in practice and training, as well as researchers and students in psychoanalytic and modern literary studies.