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Lacan: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides) Paperback – 1 Apr 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (1 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851686371
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851686377
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Well-written, carefully structured and broadly accessible. The author offers lucid explanations of key Lacanian concepts, without over-simplifying or having recourse to 'Lacan-light'." --Dany Nobus, Chair of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, Brunel University and author of 'Jaques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of Psychoanalysis'<br /><br />"Simply the clearest explanation of Lacan anywhere. The author succeeds where almost everyone else has failed. Highly readable and entertaining." --Peter Fonagy, Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis, UCL and Chief Executive at the Anna Freud Centre, London

"Simply the clearest explanation of Lacan anywhere. The author succeeds where almost everyone else has failed. Highly readable and entertaining." --Peter Fonagy, Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis, UCL and Chief Executive at the Anna Freud Centre, London

Review

"Well-written, carefully structured and broadly accessible. The author offers lucid explanations of key Lacanian concepts, without over-simplifying or having recourse to 'Lacan-light’." (Dany Nobus - Chair of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, Brunel University and author of Jaques Lacan)

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Augustine on 9 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having previously read both the Writers and Readers Lacan for Beginners and Introducing Lacan books and now this introduction, I have to say that this is easily the best out of the three. The other two readings came across at times as cribbed notes or condensed primers that would supplement previous learning rather than a straight forward guide for the novice. There is no getting away from the fact that Lacan offers a system of thought that has to be learnt, and once the building blocks are in place a rich journey awaits. Maybe to over-simplify at the beginning could actually confuse matters. However it is with irony that re-reading the cartoon guides again, brought a whole layer of rich meaning that was locked out first time round. They have an almost poetic resonance that Bailly's book more than amply fleshes out.

Particular highlights for me are the very strong explanations of the 'four discourses' of the Hysteric, Institution, Master and Analyst which based on 'mathemes' I found inpenetratable elsewhere. Also the description of 'sexuation' in establishing gender is lucidly described after the groundwork for understanding this concept in preceding chapters is logically and plainly layed down.

Lacan is famed for his emphasis on the capturing of the image at the 'mirror stage' in the development of the ego and the representation of the Other in language, i.e. the imaginary and symbolic registers as alienating features of the Subject or Self. A considerable amount of explication is provided to the rest of the interconnecting web of Lacan's theory, in his notions of the Real, the Sinthome, the Object Petit a, The Name of the Father, Desire, Jouissance and The Phallus.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 1 Sep 2014
Format: Paperback
I've read a number of books on Lacan. The majority of them are difficult to read. This isn't because Lacan's ideas are that difficult or at least difficult to explain in a clear and accessible manner. It's because, in my opinion, the authors of these books are attempting to copy Lacan's high culture style. And if that sounds like I'm saying pretentiousness then you'd be right. Bailly on the other hand makes Lacan accessible to the masses, as do Bruce Fink and Darian Leader.
Lacan spoke and wrote about returning to Freud. But one main point about Freud is that he made the territory of the unconscious available to everyone. On his voyage to New York in 1908 he noted that a ship's steward was reading a copy of one of his books , The Psychopathology of Everyday Life'. The reason why this is so notable is that prior to Freud people like this were given the implicit message that the mysteries of being were not for crude creatures like them because they lacked the subtlety of their more complex betters . The poets were of a higher breed and only people like this could gain access to the mysteries of intuition. Freud overturned that apple cart when he demonstrated that dreams, symptoms, art and poetry, the deeply non discursive and inaccessible was something that could be made communicable in straight forward writing. Freud's writing is notable for it's clarity. He made the deepest mysteries available for anyone who could read and had an interest.
Lacan however made his version of psychoanalysis more inaccessible by the way he presented his ideas. In part this was because Lacan had a difficult relationship with language with an obsessional need to be precise. Paradoxically this resulted in his writing and speech becoming at times incomprehensible.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. E. Reade on 20 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am two chapters into the book and I have learned so much, not only about Lacan, but about Psychoanalysis. I have read many books around psychoanalysis and this one is proving to be one of the best. I am learning so much of value. I have stopped underlining helpful text because there is more underlined in these first two chapters than not underlined! Thanks Mr Bailly. Enormous value.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. Fonagy on 19 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the best book on Lacan you are likely to read anywhere! It is (a) understandable, (b) clinically relevant and (c) entertaining and witty. It is obviously the work of someone with an exceptional intellect who is also a highly talented communicator. I thoroughly enjoyed it and warmly recommend it to anyone, by no means just the beginner. I would not consider myself one, yet I profited more from this book than 50 others I could list.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on 15 July 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is undoubtedly one of the best books to on the work of the French Psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Lionel Bailly skillfully introduces major Lacanian concepts in an accessible way. This book is for readers who may not know about the work of Jacques Lacan or who have been discouraged to engage with his complex, and some say, obscure writings. The author seems to have had the reader in mind and it feels that he has spent much time thinking about the best way to explain Lacanian concepts. The book is nicely structured and very well-written. Chapters are illustrated with case studies and clinical examples that support a better understanding of the concepts that are presented in each section. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to discover the work or Lacan.
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