This book describes how Freud attempted to chart hysteria, yet came to a standstill at the problem of woman and her desire, and of how Lacan continued along this road by creating new conceptual tools. The difficulties and upsets encountered by both men are examined.
This lucid presentation of the dialectical process that carries Lacan through the evolution of Freud’s thought offers profound insights into the place of the “feminine mystique” in our social fabric. Patiently and carefully, Verhaeghe applies the Lacanian grid to Freud’s text and succeeds in explaining Lacan’s formulations without merely recapitulating his theories. The reader is informed, along the way, not only of Lacan’s take on Freudian ideas, but also of the array of interpretations emerging from other trends in post-Freudian literature, including feminist revisionism.
|Publisher:||Other Press, LLC|
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About the Author
Paul Verhaeghe is senior professor at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and head of the Department for Psychoanalysis and Counseling Psychology. He teaches clinical psychodiagnostics and psychoanalytic psychotherapy and works as a psychoanalyst in private practice as well. He is the author of Does the Woman Exist? (1999) and On Being Normal and Other Disorders (2004), which won the Goethe Award for Psychoanalytic Scholarship, all available from Other Press.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In a rare moment of optimism famous French psychoanalyst Lacan reassured that his difficult writings would become obvious within 10 years. That was 1966. However, at the beginning of the century it seems that his stylistic example, Irish writer Joyce, was more realistic with his prospect of occupying universities for at least a 100 years. Indeed discussion about Lacan is still very much alive (cfr 'flame wars' on internet, about his ideas on the end of the psychoanalytic cure as the base for a new type of association, the School). Today psychoanalysts, but also intellectuals of all kinds, are still struggling with Lacan's ideas, and their relation to Freud's - one of the main problems being how to 'transfer' to others (colleagues, other sciences, students, public) what one has picked up and understood of Lacan. The way to this 'communication' has been shown by Jacques-Alain Miller. But someone like the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek is also trying to make his own way with Lacan, in the English-speaking world. With this book from Belgian psychoanalyst Paul Verhaeghe we witness the beginnings of yet another promising 'particular & problematic reading' of Lacan. Having read Freud in German and Lacan in French, PV reintroduces psychoanalysis in the English-speaking world, but in a more clinical way than has been the case until now. PV has understood that the beginning of cultural subversion is the conceptual and clinical stripping bare, very slowly, of the inexistence of The Woman behind the different veils of hysterical masquerade. In this sense readers may experience the reading of his book as one long preliminary pleasure to ... the next book by PV. Indeed, as PV demonstrates, the fact that The Woman does not exist (in the symbolic or unconscious) does not dispense anybody from relating to one or several women in one way or another. A rich book from the conceptual and clinical point of view, which opens questions of sexual ethics.