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Beginning with the latest new books, A Lacanian Reading of Anorexia by Domenico Cosenza will be published by Routledge in early August. Drawing on 25 years of clinical experience, Cosenza uses case material, research and theoretical insight to present a Lacanian understanding of anorexia in terms of refusal and the ‘object nothing.’ He also assesses historical contributions from other analytic schools, and theoretical approaches outside the analytic milieu. Cosenza is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Milan, Italy. He is an Analyst Member and past President of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis (SLP) and a member of the World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP).

Lacan, Kris and the Psychoanalytic Legacy: The Brain Eater by Sergio Benvenuto is also out in early August and looks at the case of the man famous to Lacanians thanks to the reading Lacan gives in his ‘Direction of the Treatment’ paper from the Ecrits. Seen by both Ernst Kris and Melitta Schmideberg, both of whom commented on his case, Benvenuto reconstructs the history of the case and what we know of the man whom he calls ‘Professor Brain.’ Via the first-hand accounts of his analysts, and later Lacan, the story of this unfortunate academic is placed in the context of the debate in the post-Freud analytic movement of the 1940s-1950s. Benvenuto plots Lacan’s confusing comments on the case – which are too often presented as simply an attack on the ego psychology that Kris favoured – and revisits Lacan’s perplexing ‘diagnosis’ of “mental anorexia”, and the questionable reading Lacan offers of the source material.

Mohamed Tal’s The End of Analysis: The Dialectics of Symbolic and Real was released in the last month and looks at the theories of analytic endings from Freud to Lacan. Tal argues that notions of mourning, renunciation, liquidation of the transference, and traversal of the fantasy “cannot serve as a settlement for the castration complex (i.e., central to neurosis) but are rather prey to the castration complex itself.” The book also reformulates the problem of transference in terms of dialectics, locating its foundations in the mechanism of alienation from Descartes to Hegel, Kierkegaard’s concept of anxiety, as well as the concepts of authority and value in Durkheim, Mauss, and Marx.

Pablo Lerner’s Speculating on the Edge of Psychoanalysis: Rings and Voids is another new arrival from Routledge this past month. Attempting to go beyond the usual emphasis on language and jouissance, Lerner proposes that there exists a primordial real void outside and independent of language, and uses this idea to frame a reappraisal of Lacan’s three registers. In his model, “Silence, darkness, and emptiness are the names of the voids within the symbolic, the imaginary, and the real, and, in the gaps between these orders, the voids converge.” Creation, poetry, death, solitude, intuition and mysticism form themes of his chapters in this short thesis. Lerner is a psychologist and psychoanalyst based in Paris, France, offering psychoanalytic psychotherapies in private practice. 

Lacan and Capitalist Discourse: Neoliberalism and Ideology  by Jorge Alemán came out at the start of August, with English translation by Daniel Runnels. Alemán employs Lacan’s so-called fifth discourse – the capitalist discourse Lacan outlined in his Milan seminar of 1972 – to theorise neoliberalism in the context of the COVID pandemic and the resurgence of the far right. Lacan is the primary focus of this short book, in which Alemán also engages with Heidegger, Marx, Laclau, Foucault, Butler, Badiou, and Althusser.

Carol Owens and Sarah Meehan O’Callaghan edit the new collection Psychoanalysis and the Small Screen: The Year the Cinemas Closed which will be out from Routledge later in August. Looking at the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on our subjective and aesthetic desires, the contributors assess what the shift to the small screen of domestic space meant from a Lacanian perspective. Topics include the representation of psychoanalysis as artifice, Lacan appearing on television, the travails and tribulations of computer mediated analysis, the ‘traumatrope’, and the techno-inflected imagined social bond of what Jacques Lacan called the ‘alethosphere’. 

Newly-announced for release towards the end of the year is Megan Sherritt’s Dancing an Embodied Sinthome: Beyond the Phallic Jouissance. Due out in December, it is the first book-length study of dance from a Lacanian perspective. Using the concept of the sinthome, Sherritt argues that dance operates similarly to the way that Lacan thought writing operated for Joyce. Dance is “a process that likewise allows one to play with the real” but goes further in that “it teaches someone how to play if one doesn’t already know how.” Sherritt is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, and completed her PhD at the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at Western University, Canada.

Towards Identity in the Psychoanalytic Encounter: A Lacanian Perspective by Colette Soler will come out in English in December. Addressing the paradox that the subject attempts to find an identity through words which are forever foreign to it, Soler examines how Lacan addresses this problem clinically in his work. With the subject’s sufferings riveted in the body, this shifts the question of identity to the register of the real, which Soler explores here as in her previous works.

Turning to events, the Lacan Circle of Australia will be starting its seminar series Psychosis and Lacan’s Seminar III, convened by David Ferraro, from 12th August. The series will run across ten Saturdays between 10am-12pm AEST, in person and via Zoom. Open to all, including beginners, and the full details are here. Additionally, Eugénie Austin’s study group on Seminar V meets weekly on Wednesday evenings between 7-8:30pm AEST. It is free, open to all, entirely by Zoom, and recorded. No prior knowledge is assumed and you may join in at any time. Full details are here. Finally, a Call for Papers has been issued for the group’s journal PsychoanalysisLacan Volume 7, ‘The Ruthless Criticism of All That Exists’. Full submission details here.

The new podcast series from Lectures on Lacan on Lacan’s pivotal 1968-1969 seminar From an Other to the other (Seminar XVI) has begun. And because there are 21 episodes in the series, two episodes per week will be released: one on Mondays, another on Thursdays, and all completely free. Once this podcast series is complete, all of the materials on Seminar XVI — video recordings, complete diagrams, and the like — will be added to the Lectures on Lacan Archive. A new English translation of this Seminar will be published by Polity next month.

On YouTube, Derek Hook’s lecture on Lacan before Lacan, or: Lacan as Avant-Garde Psychiatrist, is now available. Given in London in June, Hook revisits the alternative origin story that Lacan recounted about his transition from psychiatrist to psychoanalyst, as described in Lacan’s short paper in the Ecrits ‘On My Antecedents.’ Meanwhile, recording of Lacan in Scotland’s seminar with Dr Matthew Flisfeder from May, titled ‘Freedom and Alienation; Or, A Humanism of the Non-All’ is also up. Beginning with Freudian and Marxist conceptions of a social humanity, Flisfeder ties together Hegelian and Lacanian conceptions of ontological incompleteness to argue that it is precisely in our constitutive alienation that we discover the freedom required for ethical action.

Among new resources, Richard G. Klein’s excellent Freud2Lacan.com now carries a translation of an early Lacan paper Essai sur les réactions psychiques de l’hypertendu from 1948. See the Lacan page on his site (regularly updated, so use CTRL+F to find its placing) for links to download.

Finally, sad news about the passing last month of Gérard Pommier. Founder of the European Foundation for Psychoanalysis with Charles Melman, Claude Dumezil and Moustapha Safouan (among others), Pommier was a psychiatrist as well as a psychoanalyst and director of the journal La Clinique Lacanienne. His doctoral dissertation was on writing as a solution in psychosis, and it was through his work on psychosis that he is perhaps best known. His article on psychosis and the signifier is available to download on Freud2Lacan.com. The Association Lacanienne Internationale posted a short tribute on its Facebook page.

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