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The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan is a uniquely complex writer and the originator of an especially unsettling view of the human subject.

But the singularity of Lacan's achievement has been understated by many of his critics. Often he is seen merely as a figure famous for being famous--an essential reference point in structuralist and poststructuralist debate--rather than as a theorist whose writings demand and reward detailed scrutiny.

Malcolm Bowie traces the development of Lacan's ideas over the fifty-year span of his writing and teaching career. The primary focus is on the fascinating mutations in Lacan's interpretation of Freud. Bowie reinserts the celebrated slogans--"The unconscious is the discourse of the Other," "The unconscious is structured like a language," and so forth--into the history of Lacan's thinking, and pinpoints the paradoxes and anomalies that mark his account of human sexuality.

This book provides a firm basis for the critical evaluation of Lacan's ideas and the rhetoric in which they are embedded; it is based on a close reading of Lacan's original texts but presupposes no knowledge of French in the reader. Although Bowie is sharply critical of Lacan on several major analytic questions, he argues that Lacan is the only psychoanalyst after Freud whose intellectual achievement is seriously comparable to Freud's own.

Lacan provides the ideal starting point for any exploration of the work of this formidable thinker. Margaret Mauldon has worked as a translator since Malcolm Bowie. Language and the Unconscious.

Symbolic Imaginary. Inventing the T.


Malcolm Bowie

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There are currently no reviews Be the first to review. A straight- forward introduction to Lacan, and an intelligent and accessible account of his theories. Our customers have not yet reviewed this title. Be the first add your own review for this title. Sign in to My Account. Karnac Books on Twitter.


How to read Jacques Lacan is a question. Lacan may be read, Malcolm Bowie suggests, as "one who can think fruitfully only from inside someone else's text" 7. The image of a creative renovator--occupying the texts of others, mounting extensive changes, and yet retaining features of the original work--partly explains why Lacan's texts continue to generate an industry of introductions. It is not only the style of his theoretical statements nor his calculated cultivation of obscurity. Lacan is a great appropriator. The task of the explicator is complicated by the alterations and rearrangements that concepts culled from diverse sources undergo in his work. Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen studies Lacan's debts to philosophical modes of thinking.

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