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وبلاگ شخصی آرش رحمانی

An Introduction to Jacques Lacan + Download Ecrits

جمعه, ۲۳ اسفند ۱۳۹۲، ۰۹:۳۳ ق.ظ
Jacques Lacan
École Freudienne de Paris
. Undoubtedly the most influential psychoanalyst after Freud, Lacan combined  
 to produce a powerful theoretical synthesis that had an enormous influence over almost the whole field of the human and social sciences, though nowhere more so than in  
film studies
 where it became a virtual doctrine. 
Today, Lacan's work continues to exert a strong influence thanks to the tireless efforts of followers, particularly 
. The son of a wealthy merchant family, Lacan was raised a Catholic and educated at the same school as future French President  
de Gaulle
. He studied medicine and psychiatry at university but took an active interest in the arts as well. As a student, he met the surrealist
 and he heard  
 give readings of  
) at the famous Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Co. He read Nietzsche
 in the original German and in  
, at the tender age of 22, he encountered Freud's theories. It took several years, however, for Freud to become the focal point of Lacan's interests. It was his reading of the Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí's provocative essay ‘L'Âne pourri’ (The Rotten Donkey) that paved the way by suggesting a new way of thinking about the connection between the mind and language and shifting his focus of attention from hysteria
 to psychosis
. Dalí argued that paranoid delusions are not errors of perception, but creative interpretations of reality that have their own distinctive logic.  
 developed this thesis into a method he termed critical
 paranoia, Lacan set about rethinking what paranoia meant in clinical terms. The first fruit of this labour was his PhD thesis, 
De la psychose paranoïaque dans ses rapports avec la personnalité
 (Paranoid psychosis and its relation to personality), defended in  
. Although Lacan scrupulously avoided any mention of his Surrealist inspiration in his thesis so as not to put off the medical establishment, it was the Surrealists rather than the psychiatric community who first recognized its brilliance. For the next four years, as part of his training as a psychoanalyst Lacan underwent analysis with the Jewish-Polish exile  
, during which time he wrote very little. In  
 he began attending the seminars of the Russian émigré philosopher  
 who together with his countryman  
's thought to an entire generation of French scholars. Following Kojève Lacan recognized the distinction between an ‘I’ that thinks and an ‘I’ that wants, and this became the basis of his renovation of psychoanalysis as a philosophy of desire. Lacan's first major statement to this effect, which after a stumbling start was to be his entrée to the world stage as a major psychoanalyst, occurred in  
 at the  
International Psychoanalytical Association
) congress in Marienbad. Lacan presented the first version of his paper on the mirror stage, arguing that the child's sense of self is based upon a misrecognition
(‘méconnaissance’). The child sees the image of itself in a mirror and says ‘that's me!’ even though in actuality it is merely a reflection. By this means the child attains an imaginary mastery over self. This insight would later be taken up by the French Marxist Louis Althusser in his rethinking of the concept of ideology. During World War II, Lacan worked as a military psychiatrist, writing nothing for the duration of hostilities. He maintained his hand in the field by corresponding with  
, and others, but increasingly found himself at odds with them. After the war, Lacan's profound disagreements with his peers in France and abroad over theoretical issues as well as his refusal to desist from his controversial practice of shortening analytic sessions to as little as 10 minutes instead of the IPA prescribed 60 minutes resulted in his being ostracized by a large proportion of the professional psychoanalytic community. In  
, he founded his own group, École Freudienne de Paris (The Freudian School of Paris), and broke definitively with both the national and international psychoanalytic statutory bodies. The membership list of this new school reads as a virtual who's who of French theory—it includes such as figures as  
Michel de
, and  
. Shortly before his death Lacan unilaterally dissolved the École Freudienne de Paris. Lacan's published output in his own lifetime was comparatively small. He never wrote a straightforward or complete account of his theory. He developed it in a peripatetic fashion through interventions at conferences and his weekly seminars. In  
 a large collection of his conference papers running to some 900 pages was published under the bland title of  
 (the English translation is published under the same title). In spite of its unwieldy size it sold 5,000 copies in two weeks, which is unheard of for such an abstruse work. In the main, however, Lacan's thought has been disseminated via the haphazard publication of his seminars edited by his son-in-law  
. The product of transcriptions of Lacan's actual seminars and subject to variable editorial control, these books are both stimulating and frustrating, as rich in ideas as they are elusive in their explanations of those ideas. Sadly, less than half of the seminars are available in this form, but bootleg versions abound. Lacan's writing is notoriously difficult and it is probably best to approach his work via an expert guidebook. Lacan's version of psychoanalysis is distinctive for its emphasis on the concept of lack (‘manque’). According to Lacan, having is never sufficient by itself to extinguish wanting, therefore desire must be thought of as the gap between the two. Even when we have what we want, it doesn't stop us from wanting more, so in theory we never really have what we want. Desire is in this sense impossible to fulfil. Lacan was a prodigious inventor of concepts, many of which have passed into the standard idiom of critical theory, e.g. floating signifier
 , imaginary, Phallus, objet (petit) a , symbolic, and real
. Perhaps his most famous statement was his rallying cry that we must return to Freud. He meant two things by this—firstly, and obviously, that we should read Freud's texts (and not those of his followers), preferably in the original German; secondly, and much more importantly, he meant that we should focus on the analytic situation, namely the relation between analyst and analysand, which is where psychoanalysis first took form. 

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