Jacques Lacan

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Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 11:35 pm
So I bought a copy of Lacan's Ecrits. It was on sale for $2 and it was a hardcover book with an excellent binding. I was able to get through the first 5 pages before I got so tired and went to take a nap. The next day, I decided to pick it up again and just skim through. While I was flipping through the pages at ludicrous speed, I noticed there were some mathematical diagrams in the chapter "On a Question Prior to any Possible Treatment of Psychosis". Because I like pictures and diagrams, I stopped to read the surrounding text.

"Boys have the dick, girls have the c*nt. Freud thus unveiled the imaginary function of the phallus as the pivotal point in the symbolic process that completes, in both sexes, the calling into question of one's sex by the castration complex. ... The signification of the phallus must be evoked in the subject's imaginary by the paternal metaphor whose formalization I can only recall here, namely, the formula for metaphor or for signifying substitution:"

http://latex.codecogs.com/gif.latex?\300dpi&space;\inline&space;\frac{S}{\not&space;S'}&space;\cdot&space;\frac{\not&space;S'}{x}\rightarrow&space;S\left&space;(\frac{1}{s}&space;\right&space;)

He later replaces the variables with the Oedipus complex theory:

http://latex.codecogs.com/gif.latex?\200dpi&space;\inline&space;\frac{Name-of-the-father}{Mother's&space;Desire}&space;\cdot&space;\frac{Mother's&space;Desire}{Signified&space;to&space;the&space;Subject}\rightarrow&space;Name-of-the-Father\left&space;(\frac{A}{Phallus}&space;\right&space;)


The Name-of-the-father and the Mother's desire are signifiers while the Phallus is the signified, while Signified to the Subject is an unknown signification. The results of the signifiers here indicate that the Mother's Desire is cancelled out and that the unknown signification becomes the Phallus to the Name of the Father which is the signified.

So my question is what does this all mean?! That a boy thinks the father has a phallus?!
 
Parapraxis
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 08:50 am
@Victor Eremita,
...it's just not fair!

I presumse it's the full collection and not selected essays of?
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 07:40 pm
@Parapraxis,
Not sure if i really want to start Lacan, I've only second hand info through Zizek
 
Parapraxis
 
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 02:47 am
@GoshisDead,
Lacan can be challenging, but worthwhile. It is important to try and grasp a sense of the original text/thinker, especially if you end up liking it.
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 12:41 am
@Parapraxis,
Parapraxis wrote:
...it's just not fair!

I presumse it's the full collection and not selected essays of?


Yep. I was surprised when I found it in the bargin bin at the university library.
 
Maladjusted
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 02:32 am
@Victor Eremita,
Even though Zizek should not (especially these days) be taken for being Lacan, I do think that his (early) work is probably the best way to get into Lacan. Something like "Looking Awry" or "Enjoy your Symptom!" is a good place to start. I also remember, getting hold a copy of Ecrits years ago and just thinking what the ...hell...is this? I've now read a few of Lacan's (again, early seminars) with some level of comprehension, but they're still fairly crazy. Oh, and one particularly strong piece of advice: do not get hold of seminar XI, on the grounds that it is called "The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis" and that it thus may constitute an 'introduction'. It is as difficult as Ecrits at leas. I would start with Zizek then seminars up to about VIII.

Regards,

-Mal
 
Parapraxis
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 02:35 am
@Maladjusted,
How To Read Lacan (subtitle might have originally been "...with great difficulty") which may be worth looking at.

I'm awaiting the day for someone to attempt to right Lacan: A Very Short Introduction.
 
Maladjusted
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 02:50 am
@Victor Eremita,
"How to Read Lacan" is for good or ill a massive collection of extracts from other books by Zizek arranged, if one were being uncharitable arbitrarily. Not bad 'though.
 
Parapraxis
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 02:59 am
@Maladjusted,
Oh it sounds rubbish then.
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 03:06 am
@Victor Eremita,
I borrowed How to Read Lacan. It was full of Zizek's personality, and I didn't get the impression I was learning how to read Lacan at all.
 
Parapraxis
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 03:15 am
@Victor Eremita,
I would recommend Dylan Evans' An Introductory Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis, it certainly can help when battling with .
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 03:17 am
@Victor Eremita,
Thanks for the tip, I'll look into that.
 
Maladjusted
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 05:07 am
@Victor Eremita,
Well, indeed. Zizek is famous for self-plagiarising, but "How to read Lacan" is almost continuous Zizek-self plagiarism. I think "Looking Awry" + "Enjoy your symptom" would probably be a better bet than "How to Read...", but they do STILL contain lots of idiosyncratically Zizekian things that are not...Lacan.

Having said that, I still stand by the idea that Zizek did hel me when I started looking at the early seminars. Although, Victor you should still probably take Parapraxis's suggestion. I mean, if I had a really sophisticated understanding of Lacan, I should be able to translate your initial post (the Ecrits extract) into decent English prose, which I most certainly cannot.

-Mal
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 11:36 am
@Victor Eremita,
Victor Eremita wrote:
I borrowed How to Read Lacan. It was full of Zizek's personality, and I didn't get the impression I was learning how to read Lacan at all.


I quite agree, but i still love me some good Zizek, the whole fun in reading him is that he's not afraid to put personality in his writing. For a person like me who is not particularly interested in the nuts and bolts of psychoanalasis and already familiar with the nuts and bolts of social analysis I find it an entertaining way to pass the time.

cheers,
Russ
 
Parapraxis
 
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 04:50 pm
@GoshisDead,
Dictionary's title of "Lacanian Psychoanalysis", the good thing is it imbues neither philosophical credence or clinical application when examining core terms of Lacan.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 10:46 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;53358 wrote:
I quite agree, but i still love me some good Zizek, the whole fun in reading him is that he's not afraid to put personality in his writing. For a person like me who is not particularly interested in the nuts and bolts of psychoanalasis and already familiar with the nuts and bolts of social analysis I find it an entertaining way to pass the time.

cheers,
Russ


Yessir, Zizek is great! His tone is great. I love some of references he drags in, quite unexpectedly. As far as Lacan goes, a good misreading can be as good as a reading. Misreading is creative. I find Lacan fascinating, but (predictably) obscure. I read much of the Dylan Evans' book. It was good. Afterword, I found an essay by Evans rebuking or dropping Lacan.
 
 

 
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