News – November 2023
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Starting with the latest new books, A Psychoanalytic Biography of Ye: The Legacy of Unconditional Love by Robert K. Beshara is out now from Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Use the code PROMO25 on the Cambridge Scholars website for a 25% discount. An interview with Beshara and an extract from the book are also available on the site. Taking a Freudian-Lacanian perspective, this book – which includes a foreword by Tommy Curry – is a theoretical biography of Ye. It particularly focuses on the 5-year period from 2016 to 2021 (the Shaky-Ass Years) in an effort to think psychoanalytically about his complex subjectivity, his struggle with manic-depression, the thin line between the personal and the political when it comes to celebrity culture, and, of course, his aesthetic productions – be they in the form of music, video, or fashion – which Beshara regards as also being ethical and political projects/objects. The book takes what Ye says seriously, as opposed to dismissing him through the use of stigmatizing terms. Beshara specifically aligns his desire with Donda’s in an attempt to see him from her point of view – that is, through the legacy of unconditional love.
Jealousy, Femininity and Desire: A Lacanian Reading, by Dana Tor-Zilberstein, has just been published as part of the Palgrave Lacan Series. Drawing on Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, this book intervenes into debates concerning the relation between jealousy and envy on the one hand, and sexual difference on the other. The author presents an original distinction between what is termed “feminine” and “phallic” forms of jealousy while mapping and theorizing other types of jealousy that she finds in the writings of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan. The discussion performs literary-critical readings of texts by Olivia Shakespear and Marguerite Duras as a means of shedding light on the topic and the distinction. Further, it discusses the challenge posed by jealousy’s particular mode of jouissance and its possible vicissitudes. Though the experience of jealousy can be ravaging, the author claims, it also provides the subject an opportunity to reorient its relation to jouissance and thereby experience significant psychical change. In doing so, it provides a new outlook on jealousy as being connected to both femininity and desire, unveiling its complex character, features, and vitality within a Lacanian psychoanalytic framework. It will appeal in particular to those with an interest in psychoanalysis, literary theory and critical theory.
Jack Black’s The Psychosis of Race: A Lacanian Approach to Racism and Racialization has just been published by Routledge at the start of December. The book explores how the delusions, anxieties, and paranoia that frame our race relations help us to understand the pervasive appeal of race. Key concepts from the Lacanian study of psychosis are employed – including foreclosure, the phallus, the Name-of-the-Father, the sinthome and the object a – to give a detailed psychoanalytic account of the significance of race, illustrated with examples from politics and popular culture – such as Candyman, Get Out, and the music of Kendrick Lamar.
Studying Lacan’s Seminar VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis has also just been published by Routledge in the past month. Edited by Carol Owens, who co-edits previous collections in this series, this volume interrogates the 1959-1960 Seminar and Lacan’s discussion of das Ding, Antigone, sublimation, and ‘the Good’ within it. The essays in this volume promise a radical engagement of what it means to act in conformity with one’s desire – with respect to racism, inequality, capitalism, education and subjectivity.
Objective Fictions: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, Marxism, edited by Adrian Johnston, Boštjan Nedoh, and Alenka Zupančič, was published by Edinburgh University Press last month. This collection offers a rethinking of the relationship between objectivity and fiction through engaging with a series of ‘objective fictions’, including such topics as fetishes, semblances, lies, rumours, sophistry, fantasies and conspiracy theories. It does so through engagement with modern and contemporary philosophical traditions and psychoanalytic theory, with all of these orientations being irreducible to either nominalist or realist approaches. Contributions to this collection come from an array of renowned thinkers and thinkers from the new generation, including Slavoj Žižek, Mladen Dolar, Frank Ruda and Samo Tomšič.
Lastly among new publications, Michal Shapira’s Sigmund Freud and his Patient Margarethe Csonka: A Case of Homosexuality in a Woman in Modern Vienna has just been released and will be of interest for its study of Freud’s case history published under the title ‘The Psychogenesis of a Case of Homosexuality in a Woman’ in 1920. Putting Margarethe Csonka at its centre, Shapira gives an account of Csonka’s background and life before and after her encounter with Freud, and then broadens to a consideration of the scientific-medical purview of the times, and the opportunities afforded to women and assimilated Jews through growing equality and modernisation of urban life in 1920s Vienna.
More updates to Richard G. Klein’s invaluable Freud2Lacan.com in the past month. On the Lacan page (numbers 10-17) is a new complete bilingual translation of Lacan’s doctoral thesis from 1931, De la psychose paranoïaque dans ses rapports avec la personnalité (‘On paranoid psychosis in its relation with the personality’). The mammoth Jacques Lacan Séminaire 1952-1980, Index référentiel – an absolutely vital tool for any serious Lacan scholar – is under number 41. Additionally, under number 3, there is also a new translation of an early report by Lacan from 1928, Roman policier. Du delire type hallucinatoire chronique au delire d’imagination (‘Detective story. From chronic hallucinatory delirium to delirium of imagination’). And finally, a piece by Lacan when he spoke at the Vinatier Psychiatric Hospital in Lyon in 1967 is available as ‘Place, Origin and the End’ (number 58).
Lacanian Compass Express (LCE) Volume 7, Issue 1 was released last month and features a text by Jean Luc Monnier, ‘Transference and Interpretation in Lacan’s Last Teaching.’ It is available to download for free from the Lacanian Compass site. The paper discusses Freud’s concept of transference as ‘false connection’ but also ‘true love’, and then moves to Lacan’s Proposition of 1967 where famously the Pass is introduced.
Among events, the 2024 NLS Congress – which will be held in Dublin on 11th-12th May 2024 under the title ‘Clinic of the Gaze’ – launched its blog, newsletter (Pop-Up) and the first of seven orientation texts in the last month. Registration for the Congress is also now open. Short contributions (‘Flashes’) are welcomed, in English and French, based on a theme corresponding to one of the blog’s seven sections: The Body and its Adornments – The Stain in the Picture – Seductions – The Blind Master – Captive of the world – The Reign of the Image – Beauty and Modesty. ‘Flashes’ will be published regularly in advance of the Congress and submission criteria are on the blog.
Equally, preparations continue for the AMP/WAP (World Association of Psychoanalysis) Congress – ‘Everyone is Mad’ – that will take place 22nd-24th February and will be broadcast online. The Congress newsletter is available in the five languages of the WAP, the English version of which can be subscribed to here. Subscribe also to the Congress YouTube channel which uploads a series of short-form TikTalks published twice weekly throughout the Congress preparatory period, and a fortnightly programme TLMF (Tout le monde est fou) in which WAP members discuss crucial issues for psychoanalysis linked to the theme of the Congress. Subtitles into English are available for all. Registration for the Congress is also now open.
Lastly, Lacan, The Exhibition: When Art Meets Psychoanalysis opens at the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France on 31st Dec 2023 and runs until 27th May 2024. The exhibition explores Lacan’s close relationship with the art and artists of the 20th century. As the curators note, for Lacan art was not just an object of fascination but an object that looks back at the viewer. As a collector, commentator, and student of art all his life, this exhibition promises a new perspective on Lacan’s continued fascination with art, artists, and the artistic.
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