Clinical Practice and the Subject of the Unconscious
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: State University of New York Press
List of Figures
We gratefully acknowledge the sources of the following material: Lacan, Jacques.
Introduction: The Dialectic of Theory and Clinic
The Parisian psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901–1981) is widely considered to have been the most important and provocative thinker in psychoanalysis since Sigmund Freud. Philosophers, critics, and intellectuals across the humanities have been energized by Lacan’s formulations on human subjectivity—its development, its structure, its interaction in the world. His theories have inspired many dozens of books and hundreds of ...
1. The Trauma of Language
Human beings are living creatures capable of speech and, as such, have been exiled from the animal kingdom regulated by the logic of the natural satisfaction of needs. Lacan described as “real jouissance” such unmediated satisfaction as is sought by the animal who pounces on its prey out of hunger or follows the rhythms of its mating instinct. But however far...
2. The Jouissance of the Other and the Sexual Division in Psychoanalysis
Anyone who approaches psychoanalysis through Lacan is immediately struck by the central place occupied by certain concepts. Among these is surely the concept of jouissance. In current use, this concept refers most globally to the notion of a sexual satisfaction that is full, complete, and without any remainder. And yet the reader is confronted immediately with the unsettling fact that in Lacanian usage, the concept of jouissance ...
3. The Signifier
In thinking of the question of the signifier, a question not unlike a hidden door leading to the subject of the unconscious, my own thoughts were stirred by two memories, one of the wings of the Paris Opera House, the other of the sewers of the City of Lights. Several years ago, a musician friend, then a consultant for the Paris Opera, invited me to visit the wings and the backstages of that historic cultural site. For two hours ...
4. The Work of the Dream and Jouissance in the Treatment of the Psychotic
According to Lacan, the newborn “drops” into a world of language1 and is consequently diverted irrevocably from the immediate and total satisfactions that answer biological need, and is submited instead, through the use of signifiers, to cultural requisites and parental demands. These signifiers, linked one to another by the signifier of the Father, repress the impossibility of jouissance—that is, complete and immediate satisfaction for ...
5. From Delusion to Dream
It is tempting, at first sight, to emphasize the similarity of form that exists between dream and delusion. In dreams, as in delusions, one often finds a content that seems bizarre or impossible to common sense. Moreover, the narrative of the dream, like that of the delusion, is full of logical gaps that barely disguise where the cuts—the signs of something missing—show through, as if the dream or delusion were a crudely censored movie. As a child reveals the place of the object that he or she ...
6. The Letter of the Body
Under the rubric of the “letter of the body,” we have developed in our clinical work with psychotics a psychoanalytic conception of the body as, precisely, the writing of a lost jouissance in the speaking being. Such a concept of the body is latent in Freud’s own writing, but Lacanian theory brings it to a fuller articulation, proposing the theoretical conditions of its limit and its clinical action. Such a conceptualization may find its ...
7. The Symptom
Let us begin, therefore, with the question of the precise jouissance at stake in the writing of the symptom.Within the writing of the symptom, we find, there is a jouissance which resists complete inscription in such a way as to become the central element of the fantasy and regulate the future of desire. The structure of this jouissance determines both the ethical axis of an analysis and the logic that organizes the unfolding of its specific term. The importance of understanding this particular jouissance, then, cannot be overstated. ...
8. From Symptom to Fantasy
In our clinical teaching in Qu
9. Perverse Features and the Future of the Drive in Obsessional Neurosis
Some have read Freud to say that homosexuality is a perversion of the sexual drive. But a Lacanian, for whom clinical interest is aimed at structure, rather than at diagnoses based on phenomenological features, must ask whether homosexual fantasies or behaviors necessarily suggest a perverse structure.That is, do such phenomena necessarily serve to negate the symbolic phallic function of the Father and the Law of language? To ...
10. Perversion and Hysteria
There are two ways to approach perversion: through the clinical or subjective experience, or through the writings and cultural works of perverts who have marked history with their singular contribution to philosophy, literature, and the arts in general. The study of these texts seems essential since it broadens the perspective on perversion by displacing it out of the narrow field of sexual deviation or psychopathology to which it has too easily been reduced and confined. In such writings, one can discern what is really at stake in what might be called “the politics of ...
11. The Fate of Jouissance in the Pervert-Hysteric Couple
A woman under analysis had long complained of her frigidity. One day, she related with both astonishment and anxiety that she had experienced “jouissance” while reading a seemingly banal passage from a book she had casually plucked from a friend’s library. In her powerful bodily response to mere words on a page, one can see how in human beings, something in the language- and word-based ...
12. Violence in Works of Art, or, Mishima, from the Pen to the Sword
Some works of art so profoundly move the spectator that they arouse a sort of vertiginous fascination, a kind of insidious anxiety, or else seize the spectator in the shock of true horror. In such instances, the aesthetic impression is registered with a violence that is all the more powerfully felt in that it is impossible to describe or to represent at the moment of its greatest force. Something unspeakably alien is glimpsed in these ...
List of Contributors
Page Count: 198
Illustrations: 6 figures
Publication Year: 2002
Series Title: SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture
Series Editor Byline: Henry Sussman See more Books in this Series
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