Lacan, Mortality, Life and Language
Clinical and Cultural Explorations
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This work presents thoughts on the Lacanian subject: what are we as a speaking being? What makes us a human subject from a psychoanalytic perspective? Is it feelings and affect that make us a human? Or was it the Freudian invention of the unconscious that drew a line between human and a non-human?
What can be learnt from the subject of the unconscious in the clinic of psychoanalysis that can help us to approach the above questions? Berjanet Jazani takes examples from the psychoanalytic clinic as well as cultural references ranging from ancient Persia to London’s Theatreland in order to elaborate the question of subjectivity, reality and truth from a psychoanalytic perspective. In the era of hyperreality, the agency of branding and marketing strategies have overshadowed the reality of a human being, his true nature and agency. The hyperreality of contemporary society creates in each individual a false hope of becoming a high-fidelity copy of their idols, and such a fallacy has led many to believe that this is what determines their being in a social bond. Jazani explores the question of the reality and mortality of a subject through a Lacanian prism, from the theorising of analytical subjectivity that starts with the Freudian Oedipal myth more than a century ago to the futurist aspiration to fabricate human beings according to some ideal model.
Lacan, Mortality, Life and Language will be important reading for students and academics of Lacanian psychoanalysis, as well as professionals concerned with complex social problems.
Table of Contents
Introduction Some Thoughts on the Lacanian Subject: From Oedipal Myth to Poetry of Knots Reality and Mortality
Chapter 1 Freud’s Second Topic and the Lacanian Subject of the Unconscious
Chapter 2 Symptom Formation
Chapter 3 Subjectivity and Fairy Tales
Chapter 4 Psychoanalysis and Clinical Diagnosis
Chapter 5 The Body
Chapter 6 Feelings
Berjanet Jazani is a medical doctor and practising psychoanalyst in London, UK. She is the president of the College of Psychoanalysts and a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research, and author of Lacanian Psychoanalysis from Clinic to Culture (Routledge).
"With her "EastWorld" of an Iranian childhood ever present, Jazani’s personal and poetic exploration of what makes us human – mortality, suffering, bodies, feelings - by way of myth and fairy stories, film and poetry situates Lacanian theory firmly in the clinic, with her rich accounts of her psychoanalytic practice."
Dr Anne Worthington, The College of Psychoanalysts, UK; Chair of Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research
"In her own unique style, weaving together Lacanian theory, clinical vignette and autobiography, Jazani explores the questions of subjective structure, the body and the symptom. This takes her to less familiar territory in Lacanian psychoanalysis: the formative effects of fairy tales and the function and phenomenology of feelings, which she approaches through their role in Persian culture. The book has a momentum and sweep that takes the reader on a stimulating, illuminating and often unexpected journey, opening up new lines of thought and encouraging us to question old ones. Unlike so many Lacanian texts today, Jazani manages to bring theoretical expositions back to clinical situations and examples that readers will find both helpful and clarifying. The use of autobiographical elements gives the book a charming and surprising candour, and despite the recurring themes of mortality and pain, this is a book that is intensely alive.
'Lacan, Mortality, Life and Language' is unlike other books in the field in the breadth of its themes and the very individual knotting together of theory, example and autobiography. It will appeal to anyone interested in Lacanian psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis more generally, as well as to students of related fields such as literature, social studies, anthropology and the arts."
Darian Leader, psychoanalyst, author and founding member of Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research