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The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis Paperback – 10 Aug 2011


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Jamieson Webster's reflections on psychoanalysis have a crystal clarity. As a writer, she introduces us time and again to the moment that inaugurates desire, including the desire for psychoanalysis. Her paragraphs move in a set of careful sequences that call into question their own possibility, registering at every juncture the seriality and detours of desire itself, a desire registered in psychoanalytic theory and practice, but also, clearly, in the practice of reading itself. Although she deftly and economically recapitulates the major philosophical questions implied by psychoanalytic practice, she also shows us why and how they dawn on us, what captures our attention, and what remains enigmatic. In this way, we are solicited to read with her, to follow a set of paths with no one outcome, and so to move away from dogmatic conceptions of psychoanalysis to an embodied and relational encounter with texts and the persistent and opaque desires they register. With great conceptual lucidity and argumentative edge, Webster brings us close to that passionate knowledge that is psychoanalysis and that defies every systematization. --Judith Butler, author of Giving an Account of Oneself

This unique book shows us how psychoanalytic writing can be reinvented. Neither traditional academic discourse nor clinical case, it pursues the question of desire through a perpetual process of unbalancing the boundary we might expect between form and content. Thought-provoking, unnerving, and spunky, it will interest anyone working in the field of psychoanalysis. --Darian Leader, author of The New Black

About the Author

Jamieson Webster, PhD, is a psychoanalyst in New York City. She teaches at Eugene Lang College and New York University. Her work focuses on clinical and theoretical psychoanalysis with an interdisciplinary focus on feminine sexuality, philosophy, and aesthetics.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Life and Continuance of Psychoanalysis 11 Aug 2014
By David H. Cook, Ph.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of this volume is wrong with respect to the word “death” as will be explained soon. This book presents the author’s recounting of her life as an analysand and as a psychoanalyst to include the transition in between – and, of course, the many layers of the transference that overlap the entire experience. Beyond the word “death” there are two values in this book, (1) the author being introspective about her life, and (2) the author relying on Freud and those who followed. Of note is Freud’s source, aim, object has an equal in the psychoanalysis of today – Being, Subject, Truth, which in turn is followed by, as Freud himself declared to be true – Done, for evidence one only need to retrace Breuer’s well-documented case “Anna O”, the “talking cure”. Regarding the word “death”, psychoanalysis has, as she points out, more critics within the discipline than without, but fearing that the demise of psychoanalysis is not preventable because of the power of the likes of cognitive psychology. What she is missing is those in the field of psychoanalysis have never been accused of unethical behavior such as plagiarism, while since the advent of cognitive psychology we have an massive growth in software designed to detect plagiarism, check any web search engine. In a 2014 paper authored by a team of cognitive neuroscientists they report that “Memories are sparsely encoded, but little is known about how neurons are recruited/allocated to a memory trace. [The team lead], et al. show that neurons compete for allocation to a memory trace, and more excitable neurons are more likely to ‘win’ this competition”, a bizarre conclusion given that we humans as upscale primates possess a huge collection of neurons that by some algorithm store real and/or imagined experience but unlike the primates possess reasoning that goes well beyond physical existence. This volume should be read with “death” a given to insure a sense of urgency in the capture of what has been accomplished. Cognitive psychology has over-played its hand, not so with psychoanalysis as long as there are persons, such as the author, who are willing to brave their unconscious.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Truth is a rare commodity 30 Aug 2013
By carl jacobs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jamieson Webster fills this book with truth, folowing Adorno, Badiou and Lacan , Webster focuses on the pivot points between many concepts that would ordinarily contradict each other, this book is a travelogue of intellectual as well as emotional journey. take the ride and read it
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