How to Read Lacan

How to Read Lacan

by Slavoj Žižek

These books use excerpts from the major texts to explain essential topics, such as Jacques Lacan's core ideas about enjoyment, which re-created our concept of psychoanalysis.Lacans motto of the ethics of psychoanalysis involves a profound paradox.

For Lacan, psychoanalysis is a procedure of reading and each chapter reads a passage from Lacan as a tool to interpret another text from philosophy, art or popular ideology.

  • Series: How to Read...
  • Language: English
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Rating: 3.92
  • Pages: 144
  • Publish Date: January 17th 2007 by W. W. Norton Company
  • Isbn10: 0393329550
  • Isbn13: 9780393329551

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To share some of the flavor of Slavoj ieks instruction on how to read Lacan, here are several quotes from the book coupled with my comments: Lacan started his return to Freud with the linguistic reading of the entire psychoanalytic edifice, encapsulated by what is perhaps his single best-known formula: The unconscious is structured as a language. For Lacan, this notion of the unconscious belongs to the Romantic philosophy of life and has nothing to do with Freud. It does not show an individual the way to accommodate him- or herself to the demands of social reality; instead it explains how something like reality constitutes itself in the first place." ---------- Perhaps this is why nowadays Lacan is encountered more in academic departments of philosophy, linguistics and literature rather than actual clinical practice: his theory isnt about curing sickness or improving peoples ability to function in society; rather, his psychoanalytic framework can provide a more penetrating approach to the ways in which we construct the building blocks of our perception and understanding of the world. In order to unlock the secret treasures of Freud, Lacan enlisted a motely tribe of theories, some from the linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure, through Claude Levi-Strausss structural anthropology, up to mathematical set theory and the philosophies of Plant, Kant, Hegel and Heidegger." ----------- Slavoj lets us know right in his introduction that he will not delve into the details of linguistics or anthropological theory as it is used in psychoanalytic treatment. ----------- Slavoj iek provides a lucid explanation of how a society and nations legal institution with its body of law forms this effective symbolic fiction to make sure the judges words have much more punch than simply those pronounced by a single individual.

Actually the book should be called "How to Read Zizek's Reading of Lacan to Read X".

Telling, how much iek utilizes the Bard here, as opposed to his "typical" Hitchcock.

This book might help you less in readings of Lacan and more in readings of Zizek and Badiou.

Still enjoyed it quite a bit overall, but now that I have a little more Lacan under my belt I felt a little less enthralled by Zizek's treatment of his themes and concepts.

But entertaining me for a couple of hours does not help me fully understand Lacan, or how to read him. I think Zizek fails because he tries to teach me to reach Lacan in a Lacanian way. Apparently there are corresponding writings for each seminar, and Zizek also recommend a couple of books on Lacan, by the likes of Miller, Roudinesco (to be read with caution), Bruce Fink and Sean Homer.

He doesn't stop at showing you where the water is or what conditions of epistemic knowledge make it possible for said water to be constituted as such, or whatever; rather, he points to the water, leads you to the water, helps you understand the possible consequences of being made to drink the water might be, and then he shows you how to build your own goddamn pond where water tastes like rainbows and gets you birthday-style drunk.

A useful but limited introduction to Lacan Zizek is such a sui generis intellectual that it is inevitable that any How to read manual will be tainted by his worldview. In this book, he doesnt even try to be objective, and uses most of his library of examples to illustrate Lacan.

iek is well known for his use of the works of 20th century French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan in a new reading of popular culture. In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País he jokingly described himself as an "orthodox Lacanian Stalinist".