News – June 2023
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Beginning with the latest publications, and two new introductory books were released last month. Jacques Lacan: The Basics by Calum Neill was published by Routledge and provides a clear and succinct introduction to Lacan’s work, explaining the key concepts and the context behind his ideas with examples from popular culture to illustrate. Secondly, Lacanian Psychoanalysis: A Contemporary Introduction by Shlomit Yadlin-Gadot and Uri Hadar traces the philosophical influences that inspired Lacan, presenting the elusive Lacanian subject as a drama of desire and jouissance decentred through language and culture.
The World Association of Psychoanalysis released two new books in June as part of its Libretto series. The first is a translation of Jacques-Alain Miller’s L’os d’une cure, published under the English title Analysis Laid Bare. Like a stone in one’s path, or a bone in the throat as we speak, Miller presents the work of analysis as akin to the sculpting or shaping of this bone, a “reduction-operation”. To quote from the French original: “The word revolves around this bone, in a spiral, squeezing it closer and closer, until it sculpts it. It is the metaphor that is woven in Lacan’s texts where it is a question of encircling, of tightening, of forming the turn.” This is a novel and poetic presentation of the role of the psychoanalyst as ‘shrink.’ The second book in the series is a polemical work by Nathalie Jaudel titled The Dark Legend of Jacques Lacan: Elisabeth Roudinesco & Her Historical Method. It presents a critique of the presentation of Lacan’s life given by Roudinesco in the only biography of Lacan published to date. Like the first book, this one was originally published in French under the title La légende noire de Jacques Lacan.
Lacan, Jouissance, and the Social Sciences by Raul Moncayo was also published by Routledge at the end of June. Using Lacan’s idea of surplus jouissance to understand four types of socio-economic value (productive value, exchange value, surplus value, and profit), Moncayo locates different levels of “jouissance-value” as drivers of the movement of capital and organisation, arguing for the importance of the place of subjectivity in the study of leadership in cultural and political theory.
Newly-announced for release at the end of the year as part of the Palgrave Lacan Series is Lacan and the Biblical Ethics of Psychoanalysis by Itzhak Benyamini. The reading he presents in this book is informed by Foucauldian discourse analysis and sets out to argue for how Lacan’s work was built from Judeo-Christian foundations. By connecting the concepts of the ‘Father’ and the ‘Other’ drawn from these theological traditions, Lacan attempted, he believes, to create a clinical ethic that would reflect neither a single worldview nor ideology but be guided instead by the analysand’s desire alone.
Among the journals, Psychoanalytical Notebooks Issue 40, Spring 2023, was published last month. Titled ‘Love Event’ it is edited by Bogdan Wolf and contains papers on the theme of love in the clinic, ‘negative transference’ and the ‘event’ of love.
Scríobh, the journal of the Irish Circle of the NLS published its Issue 12 in June. It is available to download for free on the group’s site and features papers by Raphael Montague, Gustavo Dessal, Fabian Fajnwaks and Yves Vanderveken.
Turning to events, on 6th July the Center for the Clinical Arts is hosting poet, essayist, editor, filmmaker, and educator C.I. Aki whose talk Romance & Repetition: The Insecurity Between Love and Desire will take place on Zoom 6pm CST/7pm EST/8pm Brasilia. The event will be simultaneously translated between English and Portuguese. Tickets available on Eventbrite via the link above.
GIEP, the NLS Group in Israel, will host Eric Laurent on Saturday 8th July for an event marking the publication of his book on autism into Hebrew. The online event in English will feature two clinical cases, a lecture and discussion. Tickets available here.
The Lacan Circle of Australia will begin its four-week Winter Webinar series, ‘The Body as Rim-Bot’ on Saturday 8th July. Presented by Serena Smith, it is open to all and entirely by Zoom. The Lacan Circle’s Seminar on Psychosis and Lacan’s Seminar III will also start on Saturdays from 12th August.
Looking at events further ahead, the next NLS Congress has been announced for 11th-12th May 2024, and will be taking place in Dublin under the title ‘Clinic of the Gaze’. The presentation of the theme, written by Daniel Roy, is available in English on the NLS site (see Congress tab at the top of the page – link will automatically download the paper). Following the 2023 Congress, which took place last month, a series titled ‘Punctuations’ is available on the Congress’ blog. These are a collection of four texts presenting the four themes which were worked on during the Congress: War, Conspiracy, Catastrophies, and the Body.
Lastly, on YouTube there are several new talks and events of interest that have been uploaded over the past month. Lacan in Scotland’s recent seminar with Eve Watson on ‘Re-evaluating Spectatorship with the Drive and Gaze: From the Case Study to Films’ considers spectatorship with case studies, vignettes, and film used to illustrate to gaze as object a. On his YouTube channel, Derek Hook provides an introduction to Lacan’s ‘Seminar on ‘The Purloined Letter” as well as an interview with Dr. Daniel Garcia, one of the speakers at last year’s Lacan: Clinic and Culture conference on how Lacanian psychoanalysis might inform psychological and personality assessments. Finally, Revolutionary Left Radio has an interview with Todd McGowan on ‘Learning about Lacan‘, and McGowan also joins The Vanishing Mediators to discuss Lacan’s Seminars II and III which the pair have been reading together in a series of videos published over the past year.
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