Reading Seminar XI: Lacan's Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis: The Paris Seminars in English

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This book provides the first truly sustained commentary to appear in either French or English on Lacan's most important seminar, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. The 16 contributors unpack Lacan's notoriously difficult work in simple terms, and supply elegant illustrations from a variety of fields: psychoanalytic treatment, film, literature, art, and so on. Each of Lacan's fundamental concepts--the unconscious, transference, drive, and repetition--is discussed in detail, and related to other important notions such as object a cause of desire, the gaze, the Name-of-the-Father, the subject, and the Other. This volume also includes a translation of Lacan's companion piece to Seminar XI, "Position of the Unconscious" (an article from the French edition of the Ecrits that has never before appeared in English), by one of the foremost translators of Lacan's work, Bruce Fink. As an indication of the important of this article, Lacan considered it to be the sequel to his "Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis," arguably his most important paper in the 1950s.

The contributors include many of the best minds in the Lacanian psychoanalytic world in Paris today. Chapters include "Excommunication: Context and Concepts" by Jacques-Alain Miller, "The Subject and the Other I and II" by Colette Soler, "Alienation and Separation I and II" by Eric Laurent, "Science and Psychoanalysis" by Bruce Fink, "The Name-of-the-Father" by Francois Regnault, "Transference as Deception" by Pierre-Gilles Gueguen, "The Drive I and II" by Marie-Hele`ne Brousse, "The Demontage of the Drive" by Maire Jaanus, "The Gaze as an Object" by Antonio Quinet, "The Phallic Gaze of Wonderland" by Richard Feldstein, "The 'Evil Eye' of Painting: Jacques Lacan and Witold Gombrowicz on the Gaze" by Hanjo Berressem, "Art and the Position of the Analyst" by Robert Samuels, "The Relation between Voice and the Gaze" by Ellie Ragland, "The Lamella of David Lynch" by Slavoj Zizek, "The Real Cause of Repetition" by Bruce Fink, "Introductory Talk at Sainte-Anne Hospital" by Jacques-Alain Miller, and "The End of Analysis I and II" by Anne Dunand.
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About the author

Richard Feldstein is Associate Professor of English at Rhode Island College.

Bruce Fink is a Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Member of the Ecole de la Cause freudiennce, and Associate Professor of Psychology at Duquesne University.

Maire Jaanus is Professor of English at Barnard College.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
291
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ISBN
9781438402512
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In this collection of essays, Lacan's early work is first discussed systematically by focusing on his two earliest seminars: Freud's Papers on Technique and The Ego in Freud's Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis. These essays, by some of the finest analysts and writers in the Lacanian psychoanalytic world in Paris today, carefully lay out the background and development of Lacan's thought. In Part I, Jacques-Alain Miller spells out the philosophical and psychiatric origins of Lacan's work in great detail. In Parts II, III, and IV, Colette Soler, Eric Laurent, and others explain in the clearest of fashions the highly influential conceptualization Lacan introduces with the terms "symbolic," "imaginary," and "real." Part V provides the first sustained account in English to date of Lacan's reformulation of psychoanalytic diagnostic categories--neurosis, perversion, psychosis, and their subcategories--their theoretical foundations, and clinical applications (ample case material is provided here.)

Parts VI and VII of this collection take us well beyond Seminars I and II, relating Lacan's early work to his later views of the 1960s and 1970s. Slavoj Zizek explores the complex philosophical relations between Hegel and Lacan regarding the subject and the cause. And Lacan's article, "On Freud's 'Trieb' and the Psychoanalyst's Desire"--that appears here for the first time in English and is brilliantly unpacked by Jacques-Alain Miller in his "Commentary on Lacan's Text"--takes a giant step forward to 1965 where we see a crucial reversal in Lacan's perspective: desire is suddenly devalued, the defensive, inhibiting nature of desire coming to the fore. "What then becomes essential is the drive as an activity related to the lost object that produces jouissance."
An introduction to psychoanalytic technique from a Lacanian perspective. What does it mean to practice psychoanalysis as Jacques Lacan did? How did Lacan translate his original theoretical insights into moment-to-moment psychoanalytic technique? And what makes a Lacanian approach to treatment different from other approaches? These are among the questions that Bruce Fink, a leading translator and expositor of Lacan's work, addresses in Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique by describing and amply exemplifying the innovative techniques (such as punctuation, scansion, and oracular interpretation) developed by Lacan to uncover unconscious desire, lift repression, and bring about change.

Unlike any other writer on Lacan to date, Fink illustrates his Lacanian approach to listening, questioning, punctuating, scanding, and interpreting with dozens of actual clinical examples. He clearly outlines the fundamentals of working with dreams, daydreams, and fantasies, discussing numerous anxiety dreams, nightmares, and fantasies told to him by his own patients. By examining transference and countertransference in detail through the use of clinical vignettes, Fink lays out the major differences (regarding transference interpretation, self-disclosure, projective identification, and the therapeutic frame) between mainstream psychoanalytic practice and Lacanian practice. He critiques the ever more prevalent normalizing attitude in psychoanalysis today and presents crucial facets of Lacan's approach to the treatment of neurosis, as well as of his entirely different approach to the treatment of psychosis.

Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique is an introduction to psychoanalytic technique from a Lacanian perspective that is based on Fink's many years of experience working as an analyst and supervising clinicians, including graduate students in clinical psychology, social workers, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and psychoanalysts. Designed for a wide range of practitioners and requiring no previous knowledge of Lacan's work, this primer is accessible to therapists of many different persuasions with diverse degrees of clinical experience, from novices to seasoned analysts.

Fink's goal throughout is to present the implications of Lacan's highly novel work for psychoanalytic technique across a broad spectrum of interventions. The techniques covered (all of which are designed to get at the unconscious, repression, and repetition compulsion) can be helpful to a wide variety of practitioners, often transforming their practices radically in a few short months.
Quintessentially fascinating, love intrigues and perplexes us, and drives much of what we do in life. As wary as we may be of its illusions and disappointments, many of us fall blindly into its traps and become ensnared time and again. Deliriously mad excitement turns to disenchantment, if not deadening repetition, and we wonder how we shall ever break out of this vicious cycle.

Can psychoanalysis – with ample assistance from philosophers, poets, novelists, and songwriters – give us a new perspective on the wellsprings and course of love? Can it help us fathom how and why we are often looking for love in all the wrong places, and are fundamentally confused about “what love really is”?

In this lively and wide-ranging exploration of love throughout the ages, Fink argues that it can. Taking within his compass a vast array of traditions – from Antiquity to the courtly love poets, Christian love, and Romanticism – and providing an in-depth examination of Freud and Lacan on love and libido, Fink unpacks Lacan’s paradoxical claim that “love is giving what you don’t have.” He shows how the emptiness or lack we feel within ourselves gets covered over or entwined in love, and how it is possible and indeed vital to give something to another that we feel we ourselves don’t have.

This first-ever commentary on Lacan’s Seminar VIII, Transference, provides readers with a clear and systematic introduction to Lacan’s views on love. It will be of great value to students and scholars of psychology and of the humanities generally, and to analysts of all persuasions.
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