Reading Seminars I and II

Lacan's Return to Freud

Edited by Richard Feldstein, Bruce Fink, and Maire Jaanus

Subjects: Literary Theory
Series: SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture
Paperback : 9780791427804, 460 pages, February 1996
Hardcover : 9780791427798, 460 pages, March 1996

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Table of contents


Part I: Introduction

An Introduction to Seminars I and II
Lacan's Orientation Prior to 1953 (I)

Jacques-Alain Miller

An Introduction to Seminars I and II
Lacan's Orientation Prior to 1953 (II)

Jacques-Alain Miller

An Introduction to Seminars I and II
Lacan's Orientation Prior to 1953 (III)

Jacques-Alain Miller

Part II: Symbolic

The Symbolic Order (I)

Colette Soler

The Symbolic Order (II)

Colette Soler


Colette Soler

Time and Interpretation

Colette Soler

The Oedipus Complex

Éric Laurent

The Subject and the Other's Desire

Bruce Fink

Lacan and Lévi-Strauss

Anne Dunand

Part III: Imaginary

Melanie Klein and Jacques Lacan

Françoise Koehler

The Imaginary

Marie-Hélène Brousse

Language, Speech, and Discourse

Marie-Hélène Brousse

The Mirror of Manufactured Cultural Relations

Richard Feldstein

Part IV: Real

The Nature of Unconscious Thought or Why No One Ever Reads Lacan's Postface to the "Seminar on 'The Purloined Letter'"

Bruce Fink

An Overview of the Real, with Examples from Seminar I

Ellie Ragland

A Discussion of Lacan's "Kant with Sade"

Jacques-Alain Miller

Part V: Clinical Perspectives

An Introduction to Lacan's Clinical Perspectives

Jacques-Alain Miller

Hysteria and Obsession

Colette Soler

Clinical Vignette: A Case of Transsexualism

Françoise Gorog

"Black Jacket": A Case of Transitory Fetishism

Claude Léger

A Case of Childhood Perversion

Dominique Miller

From Freud to Lacan: A Question of Technique

Robert Samuels

On Perversion

Jacques-Alain Miller

Part VI: Other Texts

"A Civilization of Hatred": The Other in the Imaginary

Maire Jaanus

Logical Time and the Precipitation of Subjectivity

Bruce Fink

The Ethics of Hysteria and of Psychoanalysis

Vicente Palomera

Hegel with Lacan, or the Subject and Its Cause

Slavoj & Zizek

Part VII: Translation from Lacan's Écrits

On Freud's "Trieb " and the Psychoanalyst's Desire

Jacques Lacan

Commentary on Lacan's Text

Jacques-Alain Miller



In this collection of essays, Lacan's early work is first discussed systematically by focusing on his two earliest seminars: Freud's Papers on Technique and The Ego in Freud's Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis. These essays, by some of the finest analysts and writers in the Lacanian psychoanalytic world in Paris today, carefully lay out the background and development of Lacan's thought. In Part I, Jacques-Alain Miller spells out the philosophical and psychiatric origins of Lacan's work in great detail. In Parts II, III, and IV, Colette Soler, Eric Laurent, and others explain in the clearest of fashions the highly influential conceptualization Lacan introduces with the terms "symbolic," "imaginary," and "real. " Part V provides the first sustained account in English to date of Lacan's reformulation of psychoanalytic diagnostic categories--neurosis, perversion, psychosis, and their subcategories--their theoretical foundations, and clinical applications (ample case material is provided here. )

Parts VI and VII of this collection take us well beyond Seminars I and II, relating Lacan's early work to his later views of the 1960s and 1970s. Slavoj Zizek explores the complex philosophical relations between Hegel and Lacan regarding the subject and the cause. And Lacan's article, "On Freud's 'Trieb' and the Psychoanalyst's Desire"--that appears here for the first time in English and is brilliantly unpacked by Jacques-Alain Miller in his "Commentary on Lacan's Text"--takes a giant step forward to 1965 where we see a crucial reversal in Lacan's perspective: desire is suddenly devalued, the defensive, inhibiting nature of desire coming to the fore. "What then becomes essential is the drive as an activity related to the lost object that produces jouissance. "

Bruce Fink is a Lacanian Psychoanalyst and Associate Professor of Psychology at Duquesne University. Maire Jaanus is Professor of English at Barnard College. Richard Feldstein is a Professor of English at Rhode Island College and co-editor (with Willy Apollon) of Lacan, Politics, Aesthetics, also published by SUNY Press. All three edited the companion volume to this one, Reading Seminar XI: Lacan's Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, also published by SUNY Press.