When I decided to explore the question of Witz, or wit, with you this year, I undertook a small enquiry. It will come as no surprise at all that I began by questioning a poet. This is a poet who introduces the dimension of an especially playful wit that runs through his work, as much in his prose as in more poetic forms, and which he brings into play even when he happens to be talking about mathematics, for he is also a mathematician. I am referring to Raymond Queneau. While we were exchanging our first remarks on the matter he told me a joke. It’s a joke about exams, about the university entrance exams, if you like. We have a candidate and we have an examiner. – “Tell me”, says the examiner, “about the battle of Marengo.” The candidate pauses for a moment, with a dreamy air. “The battle of Marengo...? Bodies everywhere! It’s terrible... Wounded everywhere! It’s horrible...” “But”, says the examiner, “Can’t you tell me anything more precise about this battle?” The candidate thinks for a moment, then replies, “A horse rears up on its hind legs and whinnies.” The examiner, surprised, seeks to test him a little further and says, “In that case, can you tell me about the battle of Fontenoy?” “Oh!” says the candidate, “a horse rears up on its hind legs and whinnies.” The examiner, strategically, asked the candidate to talk about the battle of Trafalgar. The candidate replies, “Dead everywhere! A blood bath.... Wounded everywhere! Hundreds of them....” “But my good man, can’t you tell me anything more precise about this battle?” “A horse...” “Excuse me, I would have you note that the battle of Trafalgar is a naval battle.” “Whoah! Whoah!” says the candidate. “Back up, Neddy!” The value of this joke is, to my mind, that it enables us to decompose, I believe, what is at stake in a witticism. (Extract from Chapter VI)
Within the context of a careful review of the psychology of religion and prior non-Lacanian literature on the subject, Raul Moncayo builds a bridge between Lacanian psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism that steers clear of reducing one to the other or creating a simplistic synthesis between the two. Instead, by making a purposeful "One-mistake" of "unknown knowing", this book remains consistent with the analytic unconscious and continues in the splendid tradition of Bodhidharma who did not know "Who" he was and told Emperor Wu that there was no merit in building temples for Buddhism. Both traditions converge on the teaching that "true subject is no ego", or on the realisation that a new subject requires the symbolic death or deconstruction of imaginary ego-identifications. Although Lacanian psychoanalysis is known for its focus on language and Zen is considered a form of transmission outside the scriptures, Zen is not without words while Lacanian psychoanalysis stresses the senseless letter of the Real or of a jouissance written on and with the body.
"Whether inscribed within the context of capitalist or neoliberal logic and its imperative to "enjoy," as a critique of all forms of hetero-normativity, a liberating force in a positive reading of biopolitics, the point of inflection in the ethics of psychoanalysis, or articulated in the knot of the sinthome, jouissance is either the diagnosis, response, or solution for a wide range of contemporary discontents. Why does jouissance occupy such a central place in contemporary psychoanalytic discourse? What is jouissance the name for? Originally published in Spanish in 1990 and translated into French and Portuguese, with multiple reprints in all three languages, Jouissance: A Lacanian Concept addresses both theoretical and clinical applications, and includes discussions of key terms in Lacan's grammar in order to provide a comprehensive overview of this elusive concept. In addition, Nâestor A. Braunstein discusses jouissance in relation to other key figures in the fields of psychoanalysis and philosophy, and turns to literary texts and queer theory to further explore the implications of these interpretations for contemporary cultural debates"--
The Écrits was Jacques Lacan’s single most important text, a landmark in psychoanalysis which epitomized his aim of returning to Freud via structural linguistics, philosophy and literature. Reading Lacan’s Écrits is the first extensive set of commentaries on the complete edition of Lacan’s Écrits to be published in English. An invaluable document in the history of psychoanalysis, and one of the most challenging intellectual works of the twentieth century, Lacan’s Écrits still today begs the interpretative engagement of clinicians, scholars, philosophers and cultural theorists. The three volumes of Reading Lacan’s Écrits offer just this: a series of systematic paragraph-by-paragraph commentaries – by some of the world’s most renowned Lacanian analysts and scholars – on the complete edition of the Écrits, inclusive of lesser known articles such as ‘Kant with Sade’, ‘The Youth of Gide’, ‘Science and Truth’, ‘Presentation on Transference’ and ‘Beyond the "Reality Principle". The originality and importance of Lacan’s Écrits to psychoanalysis and intellectual history is matched only by the text’s notorious inaccessibility. Reading Lacan’s Écrits is an indispensable companion piece and reference-text for clinicians and scholars exploring Lacan's magnum opus. Not only does it contextualize, explain and interrogate Lacan's arguments, it provides multiple interpretative routes through this most labyrinthine of texts. Reading Lacan’s Écrits provides an incisive and accessible companion for psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists in training and in practice, as well as philosophers, cultural theorists and literary, social science and humanities researchers who wish to draw upon Lacan’s pivotal work.
~~lcolm Pines and Lise Rafaelsen The Seventh International Congress of Group Psychotherapy organized in Copenhagen by the International Association of Group Psychotherapy was one of the largest and most representative congresses on this subject that has yet been held. Probably for the first time we achieved the declared aim of the International Association: that of bringing together representatives of the different approaches to group psychotherapy in the same forum to allow for communication, exchange, and development of our relation ships. Previous congresses have been less representative and it seems to augur well for the future of the Association and of it's congresses that there was this strong force and wish for unification and for exchange within the field of group psychotherapy. The Congress theme, "The Individual and the Group: Boundaries and Interrelations in Theory and Practice" was chosen because it gave an opportunity once again to examine the very basis for group ~sycho therapy as theory and as practice. The basic theme, stated in the opening papers by Professor Marie Jahoda and Professor James Anthony, was replayed daily with new developments and variations according to the theoretical position of each subsequent speaker.
This is the first collection of essays to offer a comprehensive analysis of, and reflection on, the major themes emergent in Jacques Lacan’s seminars of 1955-56 and 1956-57: Seminar IV – the object relation, and Seminar V – formations of the unconscious. Assessing the value of a clinical approach orientated around the question of the object lack in the contemporary clinic, the book comprises 16 chapters which follow the development of a range of concepts elaborated by Lacan in these seminars, including sustained engagement with his critique of object relations theory. It considers the effectiveness of these early ideas in clinical practice in relation to hysteria, phobia, fetishism, obsessional neurosis, and of the so-called "Borderline" case. Lacan’s early concepts are also subjected to critique for engagement with Queer theory, and research in asexuality or the operation(s) of the signifier Phallus. The chapters build to provide an invaluable resource to interpret and evaluate Lacan’s early teaching, and to find in his early concepts a fresh utility and scope for both clinical work and psychoanalytic research and enquiry. The book will be of great interest to Lacanian scholars and students, as well as psychoanalytic therapists, and analysts interested in Lacan’s early work.
It would be easy to assume that, in the eighteenth century, slavery and the culture of taste--the world of politeness, manners, and aesthetics--existed as separate and unequal domains, unrelated in the spheres of social life. But to the contrary, Slavery and the Culture of Taste demonstrates that these two areas of modernity were surprisingly entwined. Ranging across Britain, the antebellum South, and the West Indies, and examining vast archives, including portraits, period paintings, personal narratives, and diaries, Simon Gikandi illustrates how the violence and ugliness of enslavement actually shaped theories of taste, notions of beauty, and practices of high culture, and how slavery's impurity informed and haunted the rarified customs of the time. Gikandi focuses on the ways that the enslavement of Africans and the profits derived from this exploitation enabled the moment of taste in European--mainly British--life, leading to a transformation of bourgeois ideas regarding freedom and selfhood. He explores how these connections played out in the immense fortunes made in the West Indies sugar colonies, supporting the lavish lives of English barons and altering the ideals that defined middle-class subjects. Discussing how the ownership of slaves turned the American planter class into a new aristocracy, Gikandi engages with the slaves' own response to the strange interplay of modern notions of freedom and the realities of bondage, and he emphasizes the aesthetic and cultural processes developed by slaves to create spaces of freedom outside the regimen of enforced labor and truncated leisure. Through a close look at the eighteenth century's many remarkable documents and artworks, Slavery and the Culture of Taste sets forth the tensions and contradictions entangling a brutal practice and the distinctions of civility.