Ecrits is one of the few pieces of work that Lacan prepared specifically for publication. He selected the papersd to be published from among his work and did most of the editing himself. This is in stark contrast to his published seminars which were edited by his son-in-law, Jacques-Alain Miller, although with the Master's approval. Lacan also selected the reduced number of papers that Alan Sheridan translated for his 'selection'. However, more recent reading of Lacan's work has cast doubt on Sheridan's translations. In many cases it was not entirely his fault, tied as he was to James Strachey's translations of many of Freud's concepts. However, the work of modern Lacanians, such as Bruce Fink has made a number of Sheridan's passages appear extremely suspect. It can also be argued that Sheridan and Lacan did not necessarily select the best papers from the original, Lacan's analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's short story 'The Purloined Letter' is a case in point here. With Bruce Fink's new retranslation of the selected Ecrits now available, and his translations of the remaining works hopefully soon to appear then these books could well be a better choice.
It's time to stop reprinting this old translation. Sheridan made a brave attempt some 25 years ago to render Lacans difficult prose into English, but Sheridan's command of French left a great deal to be desired, and his knowledge of Lacans numerous seminars (that form the backdrop of most of his writings) was non-existent; after all, almost none of them were available even in French at that time. This old translation should no longer be reprinted: it is virtually incomprehensible at times and is often quite inaccurate. Readers seeking to study the Ecrits should consult the 2002 translation by myself; the paperback version will be out very shortly, will be competitive in price with this old translation, and is vastly superior in readability and accurary.