Lacan: The Silent Partners

Overview

Jacques Lacan is the foremost psychoanalytic theorist after Freud. Revolutionising the study of social relations, his work has been a major influence on political theory, philosophy, literature and the arts, but his thought has so far been studied without a serious investigation of its foundations. Just what are the influences on his thinking, so crucial to its proper understanding?

In Lacan: The Silent Partners Slavoj Žižek, the maverick theorist and pre-eminent Lacan scholar, ...

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Overview

Jacques Lacan is the foremost psychoanalytic theorist after Freud. Revolutionising the study of social relations, his work has been a major influence on political theory, philosophy, literature and the arts, but his thought has so far been studied without a serious investigation of its foundations. Just what are the influences on his thinking, so crucial to its proper understanding?

In Lacan: The Silent Partners Slavoj Žižek, the maverick theorist and pre-eminent Lacan scholar, has marshalled some of the greatest thinkers of our age in support of a dazzling re-evaluation of Lacan’s work. Focussing on Lacan’s ‘silent partners’, those who are the hidden inspiration to Lacanian theory, they discuss his work in relation to the Pre-Socratics, Diderot, Hegel, Nietzsche, Schelling, Hölderlin, Wagner, Turgenev, Kafka, Henry James and Artaud.

This major collection, including three essays by Žižek, marks a new era in the study of this unsettling thinker, breathing new life into his classic work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The Ultimate aim of this present volume is to instigate a new wave of Lananian paranoia: to push readers to engage in the work of their own and start to discern Lacanian motifs everywhere, from politics to trash culture, from obscure ancient philosophers to Franz Kafka.”—Slavoj Žižek
Library Journal
Jacques Lacan, who thought of himself as a psychoanalyst, was a much-talked-about, if somewhat mysterious, figure of the Parisian intellectual community from the 1920s until his death in 1980. His rewriting of Sigmund Freud's work, metaphysical speculations, tangled love life, and often stormy relations with other thinkers assured him a place at the top of the gossip list. For sociologist, philosopher, and cultural critic iek (The Sublime Object of Ideology) and his 13 contributors, Lacan deserves meticulous attention. Their aim is to reveal the works Lacan drew on but didn't mention. Leading French philosopher Alain Badiou writes about the pre-Socratics; others explore the influence of Friedrich Nietzsche, Henry (not William!) James, Hegel, Badiou himself, and many others. The essays are carefully argued, though the prose in some doesn't seem to be quite English. The authors were almost bound to succeed in finding hidden references, for, admit it or not, nearly all philosophers are touched by the major thinkers. As iek and three of the contributors are Slovenian, the book offers a rare glimpse of Slovenian intellectual life. For all libraries with strong holdings in philosophy.-Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844675494
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 4/15/2006
  • Series: Wo Es War Series
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Pages: 406
  • Product dimensions: 5.97 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, four volumes of the Essential Žižek, and many more.

Alain Badiou teaches philosophy at the E?cole normale supérieure and the Collège international de philosophie in Paris. In addition to several novels, plays and political essays, he has published a number of major philosophical works, including Theory of the Subject, Being and Event, Manifesto for Philosophy, and Gilles Deleuze. His recent books include The Meaning of Sarkozy, Ethics, Metapolitics, Polemics, The Communist Hypothesis, Five Lessons on Wagner, and Wittgenstein’s Anti-Philosophy.

Bruno Bosteels, Professor of Romance Studies at Cornell University, is the author of Badiou and Politics, Marx and Freud in Latin America, and The Actuality of Communism. He is also the translator of several books by Alain Badiou: Theory of the Subject, Can Politics Be Thought? and What Is Antiphilosophy? Essays on Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Lacan. He currently serves as the General Editor of Diacritics.

Joan Copjec is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture at the State University of New York, Buffalo.

Fredric Jameson is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Duke University. The author of numerous books, he has over the last three decades developed a richly nuanced vision of Western culture’s relation to political economy. He was a recipient of the 2008 Holberg International Memorial Prize. He is the author of many books, including Postmodernism, Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, The Cultural Turn, A Singular Modernity, The Modernist Papers, Archaeologies of the Future, Brecht and Method, Ideologies of Theory, Valences of the Dialectic, The Hegel Variations and Representing Capital.

Alenka Zupan?i? is a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy in the Slovene Academy of Sciences, Ljublijana

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    the roots and background of the thinking of the influential philosopher Lacan

    The aim of the idiosyncratic philosopher and critic Zizek--Co-Director of the International Centre for Humanities at Birbeck College, U. of London--in bringing together these 16 essays by an international group of thinkers is 'not to enable readers to approach Lacan in a new way but, rather, to [begin italics in original] instigate a new wave of Lacanian paranoia [end italics in original]: to push readers to engage in work of their own, and start to discern Lacanian themes everywhere.' Jacques Lacan's ideas and perceptions have been a major influence on psychology, epistemology, semiology, and identity in the era of postmodernism. They have become so absorbed into postmodern thinking that they are only rarely attributed to him any longer. These essays do not so much work to give credit to Lacan, for this isn't necessary with those to whom this would mean anything nor work to expound his ideas and perceptions for those unfamiliar with them. The essays put Lacan in the context of the broad philosophical tradition of Western philosophy, and in so doing relate him to many and varied specific philosophers, Nietzsche, Plato, Descartes, and Heidegger among them. This is what the subtitle 'silent partners' denotes. Zizek has four of the essays. Many American readers will recognize the name Frederic Jameson as author of one of the essays. Other authors are from Europe and Asia. Lacan is woven into the fabric of Western philosophy in such as way that his distinctive, seminal ideas and interests are identified so that readers can 'discern Lacanian themes everywhere' in the world around them.

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