Stijn Vanheule, Derek Hook and Calum Neill, eds.
Reading Lacan’s Écrits
New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in French StudiesNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in PsychoanalysisNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books Network July 15, 2019 Jordan Osserman
Lacan published his Écrits in 1966, a compilation of his written work up to that middle period in his teaching. Notoriously difficult to read, the editors of the book we’re discussing today describe the Écrits as “an unwieldy, conglomerate ‘urtext’ … not a book at all … but ‘the waste’ of his teaching: elements he didn’t discuss in public … and sensitive points to which his audience would have reacted with reluctance.” It wasn’t until 2007 that, thanks to work of translator Bruce Fink, the complete edition of the Écrits were finally published in English. Now, Stijn Vanheule, Derek Hook and Calum Neill have brought us the three volume work, Reading Lacan’s Écrits (Routledge, 2018), which features world renowned Lacanian scholars and clinicians explicating in detailed paragraph-by-paragraph commentary each of the essays in the Écrits. Thanks to this publication, coming to grips with the Écrits in all its complexity has suddenly become possible. Lacan’s cryptic pronouncements are miraculously, lucidly reformulated, revealing them in their original and enlightening contributions to the practice and theory of psychoanalysis. What was involved in putting together this monumental and challenging work of exegesis? What does it say about the Lacanian tradition today — in all its differing styles, emphases and factions? Join us in conversation with Derek, Calum and Stijn as we explore this and more.
Jordan Osserman grew up in South Florida and currently calls London home. He received his PhD in gender studies and psychoanalysis from University College London, his MA in psychosocial studies from Birkbeck College, and his BA in womens and gender studies from Dartmouth College. His published work can be found here.