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Sartre, Lacan, and the Ethics of Psychoanalysis

A Defense of Lacanian Responsibility

Blake Scott

being closer than is often portrayed in the literature. One reason I think that such a comparison has proved so difficult in the past is the continuing strength of the polemics between humanism and structuralism, which, at least in the English literature

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Kristian Klockars

In my book, Sartre’s Anthropology as a Hermeneutics of Praxis (1998), I characterise the standpoint of the later Sartre – initially developed in Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960, hereafter CDR) – as a ‘hermeneutics of praxis’. The primary aim is reconstructive: by means of generalising Sartre’s conception in a certain direction I hope to be able, so to speak, ‘to go beyond Sartre by means of Sartre’. This implies both emphasising the strengths and distinguishing the shortcomings of Sartre’s standpoint, but also a serious attempt to develop it. One of my aims here is to work out the options that are opened up by such a generalisation.

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Nature, Science and Witchcraft

Interview with Fay Weldon

Joanna Zylinska and Fay Weldon

JZ: I realise that quoting excerpts from other people's essays on your work may seem ironic, as it creates a danger of 'monumentalising' the author and letting others speak 'in your name'. Nevertheless, I would like to take the risk of beginning with the words of Lorna Sage. In her preface to The Life and Loves of a She-Develop Lorna Sage writes: 'Fay's lack of respect for "nature" . . . is one of her greatest strengths: she knows it's fetish and attacks it with its own weapons'. I wonder, could you comment a little on your relation to nature?

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Ian Birchall

It is one of Sartre's greatest strengths that his declared aim was 'to write for his own time'. From the 1940s onward, he became ever less interested in 'timeless' questions, and ever more concerned to explore the concrete realities of his own age. This engagement with the contemporary makes it particularly tempting to consider what Sartre's responses to the events of our own age would be. Ever since his death in 1980, those of us who have drawn insight and inspiration from Sartre's works have tended to ask how Sartre might have judged particular political developments. And because of the central place given to violence in his thought, as well as his detailed reflections on the Second World War and the wars in Algeria and Vietnam, it is only natural to ask how Sartre would have responded to the appalling events of 11 September 2001 and the subsequent 'war on terror'.

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Kenneth Margerison

The French monarchy's determination to suspend the trading rights of the Compagnie des Indes in 1769 stimulated a lively public debate over the establishment of commercial liberty in the Indies trade. Since mid-century, Vincent de Gournay and his disciples had advocated increased liberty in French commerce, and the Compagnie des Indes' privileged trading monopoly offered a tempting target for these reformers. Working on behalf of the ministry, the abbé Morellet undertook the task of convincing public opinion of the benefits that liberty of commerce in the Indies trade would bring to France. However, the company's principal banker Jacques Necker and physiocrat Pierre-Samuel Dupont raised serious doubts concerning both the feasibility and the value of such reform. These critiques challenged any expectation that commercial liberty would increase French strength in the Indies trade or contest British political hegemony in India after the Seven Years' War.

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Matthew C. Ally

This essay revisits the question of Sartre's method with particular emphasis on the posthumously published Notebooks for an Ethics, Critique of Dialectical Reason (Volume II), and “Morale et histoire.” I argue that Sartre's method—an ever-evolving though never seamless blend of phenomenological description, dialectical analysis, and logical inference—is at once the seed and fruit of his mature ontology of praxis. Free organic praxis, what Sartre more than once calls “the human act,” is neither closed nor integral, but is rather intrinsically open-ended and integrative. Thus a philosophical method that seeks at once to illuminate human experience and human history must itself be both a reflection and inflection of the essential openness and integrativity of praxis itself. In the conclusion, I argue that the openness and integrativity of Sartre's method are its core strengths and the sources of its continued philosophical worth.

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Masculine Appearances

Male Physicality on the Late-Victorian Stage

David Haldane Lawrence

James Eli Adams, in Dandies and Desert Saints: Styles of Victorian Masculinity (1995), has written of the ‘intractable element of theatricality in all masculine self-fashioning, which inevitably makes appeal to an audience, real or imagined … even the normative is typically asserted as an unending performance’. It could also be argued that ‘masculine self-fashioning’, and the necessity for display to an audience gaze, is taken to its extreme in the world of entertainment, where men appear on stage, in costume, wearing make-up, and acting out aspects of masculinity often alien to their own personae. Through applying this debate to nineteenth-century popular culture, this article discusses men who confronted the gaze of both sexes while posing as living statues, displaying muscular strength, or encouraging idolatry through their charismatic presences on the legitimate stage.

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The Rape of the Lock

Desire between Couple(t)s – a Counselling Intervention

Dennis Brown

I want, here, to focus on this originary motive for the poem, and to suggest ways in which it informs the poet’s larger purpose – to create a social poem which negotiates tensions within the age-old battle of the sexes. The finished masterpiece, I shall argue, has relevance not only to contemporary debates about the ideology of gender3 but, in particular, to the rise of our now-ubiquitous ‘counselling’ culture. For such a discussion it is important that the ‘Offence’ occurred within a tightly knit, ‘marginal’ group, and that the poetic strategy develops a phantasmagoric ‘interpretation’ of the incident, as a proto-Freudian6 narrative in which attentive intelligence has transformed the strength of Desire into mock-heroic sweet reason.

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Touring the Dead Lands

Emily Eden, Victorian Famines, and Colonial Picturesque

Pablo Mukherjee

There is a striking tonal similarity amongst those who reviewed Emily Eden’s account of her journey with her brother George Auckland – the recently appointed Govenor-General of British India – across the northern provinces of the country between 1837 and 1840. On its publication in 1866, the Athenaeum decided that like Lawrence Sterne’s Sentimental Journey, Eden’s book had no information of interest to the Statistical Society. The Fortnightly Review agreed: ‘it is true that very little of what is commonly called “useful knowledge” will be found in these volumes’. Yet, it is precisely Eden’s failure to provide ‘useful knowledge’ that was seen as the strength of her work. Freshness, humour, feminine vivacity, grace, and charm were the typical adjectives employed to describe Eden’s prose. Moreover, the reviewers seem to have decided that Up the Country was best evoked in visual terms. The Athenaeum praised Eden for capturing the ‘picturesque appearance of Indian life’ and representing her ‘picturesque misery and magnificence’; the Fortnightly Review applauded the book as ‘a series of pictures true to life. In her letters we do not read about India; we see it’.

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Amy Cox Hall, Sergio González Varela, Jessica S.R. Robinson, Peter Weisensel, and David Wills

struggled with. The great strength of these essays is that they also reflect on how these experiences may have impacted their research. They offer insight and advice without being a “how-to” guide. Given that recurring themes in the essays include advice