Écrits Reading Group

Écrits Reading Group For many years, Lacan’s work, unheard and untranslated, indeed even cast aside, remained inaccessible to those who did not speak or read French, or who were not involved in the academic study of philosophy, film or literature. His contributions to psychoanalysis were significant, however, and his ideas were bound to spread. And so they have with the translation of his work.

Understanding Lacan’s work, however, does not always follow from its reading. Lacan himself said, “I did not write my Écrits in order for people to understand them, but in order for people to read them.” To read them is to experience being immersed in a collection of signifiers so dense their meaning (like that of the patient on the couch) may be revealed only through time and effort linking words and phrases, exploring the ways certain signifiers “slide,” or represent different meanings simultaneously or over a period of time.

The backbone of Lacan’s teaching finds its metaphor in his method. What we may grasp of it remains, by dint of his syntactical choices, just out of reach, and so a space is carved out for our desire. This is where we begin to form a praxis. As readers we find our way into a text much as children find their way into language, and much as analysts find their way into a patient’s discourse. A signifier here, a signifier there, a profound sense of disorientation, an equivoque, a link, and an investment for the promise of a certain return, never quite capturing the thing but living through and forming something of our experience nonetheless.

In this seminar, now in its second year, we’ll continue working through Lacan’s Écrits, reading each essay and meeting once per month to discuss.

Faculty: Nathan Lupo
Date and Time: Second Sunday of the month, September 2020 – May 2021, 9:00 – 11:00 AM PST
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Required Text: Lacan, J. Écrits. (2006) Trans. by Bruce Fink. New York: Norton.
Recommended Text: Vanheule, S., Neill, C., and Hook, D. (2018-2020). Reading Lacan’s Écrits. Routledge