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Sartre, Lacan, and the Ethics of Psychoanalysis

A Defense of Lacanian Responsibility

Blake Scott

period—from the Frankfurt school in Germany to Sartre and his successors in France—one can see how any significant overhaul to Freudian theory, such as Jacques Lacan’s proclaimed “return to Freud,” might also be of concern to contemporary philosophical

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What Would I Do with Lacan Today?

Thoughts on Sartre, Lacan, and Contemporary Psychoanalysis

Betty Cannon

Sartre and Lacan Reconsidered At the time I wrote Sartre and Psychoanalysis , 1 many of the writers Scott quotes in his essay were not available in translation––or, in some cases, they had not even been published. Indeed a great deal of Jacques

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Marie-Andrée Charbonneau

An encounter between Sartre and Lacan did in fact take place. What I propose to do in the following text is examine a particular moment of that historical rendezvous, in 1936. The evidence for such a rendezvous cannot be denied for a number of reasons. First of all, the philosopher and the psychoanalyst frequented the same intellectual milieu. Lacan’s interest in philosophy led him to attend Alexandre Kojève’s seminar on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit that ran from 1933 to 1939 at the École pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. In fact, he was listed as “regularly present” at the seminar from 1934 to 1937. Sartre also attended this seminar which “would adjourn to the Café d’Harcourt for further discussions.”

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The Lacan Ward

Pharmacology and Subjectivity in Buenos Aires

Andrew Lakoff

This essay describes the use of medication by Lacanian psychoana- lysts in an acute psychiatric ward in Buenos Aires. In this chaotic and difficult setting, psychotropic drugs provided a way to sustain the object of psychoanalytic knowledge—patient subjectivity. Such drugs enabled the patient to speak—as long as such speech did not include discussions of medication. This ‘ironic’ use of medication was premised on a strict division of labor between the task of the physician and the task of the analyst—and, more fundamentally, on a distinction between the body and the subjectivity of the patient, known as ‘structuralist dualism’. In effect, physician-analysts in the ward gave medication not to treat the illness directly, but in order to remain Lacanian.

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Looking Awry at Georgian Caricature

Lacan and the Satirists

David Morgan

Through the word – already a presence made of absence – absence itself gives itself a name …  – Jacques Lacan Lacanian Analysis and the Satirical Muse In a significant and provocative article, Eirwen Nicholson bemoaned the absence of a

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Guillermine D.E. Lacoste

The theory of the gaze elaborated in L’Etre et le Néant has long been a classic, used, quoted and criticised by a plethora of writers, Lacan among them. There are at least ten references to Sartre’s gaze in Lacan’s Séminaires from 1954 to 1964. In an essay entitled ‘A Lacanian Elucidation of Sartre’, in which I used Lacan’s terminology on neurosis, I called the gaze the first phobia of the neurotic. I viewed it and the other two phobias I discerned in L’Etre et le Néant (le trouble and the viscous) as forming a link in the chain of Sartre’s autoanalytical writings (from La Nausée through L’Etre et le Néant, Baudelaire, Saint Genet, to L’Idiot de la famille).

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Back to the Future

Subjectivity and Anamorphosis in Richard I

Vance Adair

Internalising the gaze of the Other, in this case that of Lady Anne, Richard’s acquisition of a looking glass is accompanied by an idealisation of body image that is redolent of the ‘jubilation’ experienced by the subject of Lacan’s mirror stage. Briefly, in the mirror stage the ego is formed in terms of identification with one’s specular image, the infant who has not yet mastered the upright posture upon seeing himself in the mirror will ‘jubilantly assume’ the upright position (Lacan 1977, 2). The apparently ‘orthopaedic’ effect of captation by the mirror image would appear particularly apposite for a character that is frequently disposed to descanting upon on his own deformity. This transition from an uncoordinated body image, the corps morcele, to the Gestalt of bodily wholeness, however, is irreducible to a myth of origins. As Jane Gallop has argued, the mirror stage involves a temporal dialectic at once anticipatory and retroactive which is of paradigmatic significance for Lacan’s understanding of the relationship between subjectivity and the signifying chain

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Debra Bergoffen

Jean Pierre Boulé's Sartre, Self Formation and Masculinities argues that we cannot adequately understand Sartre without taking account of the unique ways in which he negotiated the gender mandates of patriarchy. Taking Boulé's cue, I call on Lacan, Cixous and Beauvoir to interrogate Sartre's relationship to women, to his body and to writing. I argue for Boulé's approach but against several of his conclusions. Further, I credit Boulé with providing ammunition for challenging Lacan's universal account of the mirror stage, and for pushing me to read Beauvoir's "Must we Burn Sade?" as a critique of Sartre's betrayal of the erotic's ethical demands.

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Rudi Visker

A few years ago, while reading Sartre’s ‘reflections on the Jewish question’ in the course of a seminar on Being and Nothingness,1 I was literally dumbfounded by the uncanny similarity between some of Sartre’s expressions and what I had written myself under the influence of authors like Lyotard or Lacan, whom I took to be his antipodes. The more I read, the less difference I saw and the more I underwent a kind of depersonalisation.

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Facing the Thing

The Green Man, Psychoanalysis and Kingsley Amis

Robin Sims

A range of texts published since the late nineteenth century take for their theme the forest, presented as an ambiguous and ‘uncivilised’ space, as deadly as it is seductive, and as frightening as it is bursting with life; they portray the wooded realm as the habitat of shadowy supernatural presences which embody these contradictory qualities. The work of the anthropologist Sir James George Frazer suggested every wood to be teeming with imagined vegetation spirits; the eerie fin-de-siècle fictions of Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood presented sylvan settings as the garden of the Arcadian Pan, reborn as a creature of ecstasy and terror. Latterly, such imagery has often centred on a supposed British wood-god, the ‘Green Man’. It is my contention that this marginal, though persistent, tradition can be understood in the terms of a theory that the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan set forth, in a wholly different context, in 1959–1960: that of the Thing, the life-giving yet deathly object of the drive to escape the ‘original curse’ of language. This article aims to elucidate Lacan’s theory, and its relevance to ambivalent visions of the mythic forest, in a reading of Kingsley Amis’s novel of death, desire and the supernatural, The Green Man, published in 1969.