Lacan to the Letter: Reading Ecrits Closely Paperback – 20 Mar 2004
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About the Author
Bruce Fink is a practising Lacanian psychoanalyst and analytic supervisor who trained in France with the psychoanalytic institute that Jacques Lacan created shortly before his death, the Ecole de la Cause freudienne in Paris. He has translated several of Lacan's works into English, including 'Ecrits: The First Complete Edition' and 'Seminar XX: Encore', and is the author of numerous books on Lacan, including 'The Lacanian Subject, A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis', 'Lacan to the Letter', 'Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique', and most recently 'Against Understanding'.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are 2-3 grammatical mistakes in the book and there is also a mistake in the number of pages in the Amazon description; the number of pages is 192.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It is this same brilliant reputation that also makes Fink's writing often seem secondary. As if they were mere explanations of Lacan's difficult texts. Like the biblical John the Baptist who was only the herald of the coming messiah, whose sandal lace he was unwrothy to tie, Fink always seems to position himself as the lone voice crying in the Freudian field, calling all who will hear to repent and return to the letter of Lacan's text. This is certainly true of Fink's earlier works. But this book has a different force behind it. Don't get me wrong: these are rigorous commentaries on Lacan's texts. But somehow, through some kind of magic, Fink is able to push commentary to the limit such that it emerges as an original voice itself. In other words, Fink here speaks as Fink. The herald cannot tie even his own lace as it were! This is why I especially recommend this book to long time readers of Lacan and of Fink. In this book, you get something that approximates a Finkian psychoanalysis. The highlight is Chapter 3 on The Letter--a brilliant piece of writing that sounds all by itself.
In the era where deconstructing the ambiguous meaning of a text seems the hegemony, it is quite refreshing to see someone practising COMMENTARY. That is, the practice of unpacking what is actually in the letter. Commentary, it seems to me, is much more interesting than interpretation or, what is now referred to as, "reading."
Lacan once said that commenting on a text is like analysis. Then, it is no wonder that Fink, an accomplished analyst, can present a beautiful piece of commentary such as this!
In particular, it was truly rewarding to read Fink's detailed exposition of Lacan's critique of ego-psychology and his instructive breaking down of the rather overwhelming graph of desire.
What's more, lots of other details fell into place, such as the lack in the Other S(A/) and the notion of separation (as opposed to alienation). Indeed, this book clarifies why the Lacanian subject finds itself between language and jouissance, cf. the title of Fink's first book (I have to admit I wasn't quite sure after having read his book about the Lacanian subject).
Overall, everything Fink has written is highly recommended. Fink is without a doubt my number one reference when it comes to clinical psychoanalysis and the registers of the imaginary and the symbolic. As regards the symbolic/real-connection, it still seems that one has to turn to Zizek & the eccentric Slovenians.