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February 09 , 2011

How To Read Lacan


The only thing of which one can be guilty is of having given ground relative to one's desire' Jacques Lacan. Is psychoanalysis dead or are we to read frequent attacks on its theoretical 'mistakes' and clinical 'frauds' as a proof of its vitality? Slavoj Zizek's passionate defence of Lacan reasserts the ethical urgency of psychoanalysis. Traditionally, psychoanalysis was expected to allow the patient to overcome the obstacles which prevented access to 'normal' sexual enjoyment. Today, however, we are bombarded from all sides by different versions of the injunction 'Enjoy!' Lacan reminds us that psychoanalysis is the only discourse in which you are allowed not to enjoy. Since for Lacan psychoanalysis itself is a procedure of reading, each chapter uses a passage from Lacan as a tool to interpret another text from philosophy, art or popular ideology, applying his ideas to Hegel and Hitchcock, Shakespeare and Dostoevsky.

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