A Lacanian Concept

By Néstor A. Braunstein
Translated by Silvia Rosman
Introduction by Silvia Rosman

Subjects: Psychoanalysis, Literary Theory, Philosophy, Gender Studies, Queer Studies
Series: SUNY series, Insinuations: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Literature
Paperback : 9781438479040, 300 pages, January 2021
Hardcover : 9781438479033, 300 pages, August 2020

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Table of contents

Translator's Note

Introduction: Translating Jouissance
Silvia Rosman

Part I. Theory

1. Jouissance: From Lacan to Freud
In the Beginning . . .
Jouissance in Freud
A Return to Freudian Beginnings
Beyond Pleasure

2. Jouissology, Logic of Jouissance
Between Jouissance and Language
Jouissance Is (Not) the Satisfaction of a Drive
Speech: Diaphragm of Jouissance
The Thing and Object @
Castration and the Name-of-the-Father
The Barriers to Jouissance
The "Causation of the Subject" or Beyond Angst

3. Jouissance and Sexuality
Equivocations of Sexuality
Jouissance of Being, Phallic Jouissance and Jouissance of the Other
Castration as Cause
The Three Jouissance(s) and the Mobius Strip
Freud (Lacan) or Foucault

4. Deciphering Jouissance
Jouissance Is Ciphered
Letter 52
Psychoanalysis in Proust's Way: Jouissance and Time

Part II. The Clinic

5. Jouissance and Hysteria
The Psychoanalyst and the Hysteric
In Function of Jouissance
Hysteria and Savoir

6. Perversion, Disavowal of Jouissance
The "Positive" Side of Neurosis?
The Perverse Phantasm: Savoirjouir
Perversion and Feminine Jouissance

7. @-diction of Jouissance
Psychosis Is Not Chosen
Psychosis and Discourse
Drug @-diction

8. Jouissance and Ethics in Psychoanalytic Experience
A Langagière Practice
Pro(pulsions) and Their Vicissitudes
The Duty of Desire
The Act and Guilt
The Immunological Analogy
Letter to His Father
Give Up on Desire?
For Three Jouissance(s), Three Superegos
On Love in Psychoanalysis


A comprehensive discussion of an important but elusive Lacanian concept within the field of psychoanalysis, as well as its relevance for philosophy, literature, gender, and queer studies.


Whether inscribed within the context of capitalist or neoliberal logic and its imperative to "enjoy," as a critique of all forms of heteronormativity, a liberating force in a positive reading of biopolitics, the point of inflection in the ethics of psychoanalysis, or articulated in the knot of the sinthome, the concept of jouissance is either the diagnosis, response, or solution for a wide range of contemporary discontents. Why does jouissance occupy such a central place in contemporary psychoanalytic discourse? What is jouissance the name for? Originally published in Spanish in 1990, later expanded and translated into French and Portuguese, with multiple reprints in all three languages, this book addresses both theoretical and clinical applications of jouissance through a comprehensive overview of key terms in Lacan's grammar. Néstor A. Braunstein also examines it in relation to central debates within the fields of psychoanalysis, philosophy, queer theory, and literary studies to further explore the implications of Lacan's concept for contemporary thought.

Néstor A. Braunstein is an Argentine Mexican psychoanalyst, author, professor, and editor who has published extensively on psychoanalysis, philosophy, visual arts, and literature, and whose work has been translated into French and Portuguese. In English, his work appears in The Cambridge Companion to Lacan. Silvia Rosman teaches at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her books include Being in Common: Nation, Subject, and Community in Latin American Literature and Culture.


"…a thorough, rich account of Jacques Lacan's notion of jouissance … Positioning his text in relation to contemporary debates in literary analysis and queer theory, Braunstein presents a formulation of the ethical dimensions of jouissance that is novel and often polemical. This book will appeal to students of psychoanalysis, literary criticism, and philosophy, who may now engage with the text directly thanks to the careful translation of Silvia Rosman." — CHOICE