The Book of Love and Pain

Thinking at the Limit with Freud and Lacan

By Juan-David Nasio
Translated by David Pettigrew & François Raffoul

Subjects: Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture
Paperback : 9780791459263, 151 pages, November 2003
Hardcover : 9780791459256, 151 pages, November 2003

Table of contents

Translators' Acknowledgments

Translators' Introduction

Clémence, or the Experience of Pain


Psychical Pain, Pain of Love

Archipelago of Pain

Corporeal Pain: A Psychoanalytic Conception

Lessons on Pain

Excerpts from Freud and Lacan Concerning Psychical Pain

Excerpts from Freud Concerning Corporeal Pain



Addresses the limits in treating pain psychoanalytically, and offers a phenomenological description of psychic pain, particularly the pain of a lost loved one.


In The Book of Love and Pain, Juan-David Nasio offers the first exclusive treatment of psychic pain in Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalytic literature. Using insights gained from more than three decades as a practicing psychoanalyst, Nasio addresses the limits faced by the analyst in attempting to think and treat pain psychoanalytically. He suggests that while pain is about separation and loss, psychic pain is intensified by paradoxical overinvestment in the lost loved one. Included are discussions of the pain of mourning, the pain of jouissance, unconscious pain, pain as an object of the drive, pain as a form of sexuality, pain and the scream, and the pain of silence. In offering a phenomenological description of psychic pain, The Book of Love and Pain fills a gaping void in psychoanalytic research and will play an important role in our understanding of the human psyche.

Juan-David Nasio is a psychoanalyst who lives and works in Paris and was the first psychoanalyst to be inducted into the prestigious French Legion of Honor. David Pettigrew is Professor of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University. François Raffoul is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Louisiana State University and the author of Heidegger and the Subject. Their previous translations include Jean-Luc Nancy's and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe's The Title of the Letter: A Reading of Lacan and Juan-David Nasio's Five Lessons on the Psychoanalytic Theory of Jacques Lacan, both published by SUNY Press. They have also coedited Heidegger and Practical Philosophy and Disseminating Lacan, both also published by SUNY Press.