For many years Lacan’s work, unheard and untranslated, remained inaccessible to those who did not speak or read French, or who were not involved in the academic study of film or literature. His contribution to psychoanalysis cannot be understated, however, and his ideas were bound to spread. And so they have with the translation of his work.

Now, the number of secondary texts in English relating to Lacan’s work—case studies, theoretical works, and explications—is more than one could read in a lifetime. This presents an opportunity and a dilemma. Secondary texts offer knowledge, but Lacan was determined to obfuscate. His manner of speaking and especially of writing purposefully leaves his audience at a loss, a méconnaissance. This lack of understanding allows us to form our own chains of signification from the structure he provided, and thereby to make the practice of psychoanalysis unique to each clinician. It is hard work, however, and one may easily lead oneself astray.
We want to know what Lacan meant. Stijn Vanheule, Calum Neill and Derek Hook have put together a text that aims to satisfy that desire. Reading Lacan’s Ecrits is a three-volume, paragraph-by-paragraph reading of every essay in Écrits, aiming to contextualize and interpret Lacan’s meaning.
In this seminar, we’ll read Écrits alongside these secondary texts with an eye toward the possible effect of foreclosing the desire Lacan worked to help sustain, keeping in mind the question, “what do we make of our understanding?”

Required Texts
Lacan, J. (2006). Écrits. Trans. by Bruce Fink. New York: Norton.
Vanheule, S., Neill, C., and Hook, D. (2018) Reading Lacan’s Écrits: From “Signification of the Phallus” to “Metaphor of the Subject”. Routledge

Faculty: Nathan Lupo, MFT
Meeting Dates and Time: Monthly, 2nd Sunday of the month 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Pacific Time from September 2019 through May 2020.
Where: Zoom
Contact: Fees: Free