1st Edition

Lacan and Marx
The Invention of the Symptom

ISBN 9780367334017
Published August 26, 2019 by Routledge
254 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Lacan and Marx: The Invention of the Symptom provides an incisive commentary on Lacan’s reading of Marx, mapping the relations between these two vastly influential thinkers.

Unlike previous books, Bruno provides a detailed history of Lacan’s reading of Marx and surveys his references to Marx in both his writings and seminars. Examining Lacan’s key argument that Marx "invented the symptom", Bruno shows how Lacan went on to criticize Marx and contrasts Marx’s concept of surplus-value with Lacan’s surplus-enjoyment. Exploring the division between Marxist and psychoanalytic perspectives on social and psychological need and Lacan’s formalisation of the capitalist discourse, the book compares the positions of Althusser, Deleuze and Guattari, and Žižek on the relations between Lacan, Marx and capitalism, using a wide range of cultural examples, from Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Brecht’s Joan Dark and Pierpont Mauler. Through these readings, Bruno also elaborates an extended commentary on Lacan’s central idea of the division of the subject. His focus is not only on showing how we can exit from capitalism but also, and just as importantly, on showing how we can make capitalism exit from us.

This book will be of great interest to scholars and readers of Lacan and Marx from across the fields of psychoanalysis, philosophy and political economy, and will also appeal to Lacanian psychoanalysts in clinical practice.

Table of Contents

Translator’s Preface


Part One: The Splitting of the Subject

Chapter One: London/Berlin

Chapter Two: From A to Z

Part Two: The Capitalist Discourse

Chapter Three: UMHA

Chapter Four: The Capitalist Exemption

Appendix 1: Lacan’s Portrait of Marx

Appendix 2: The Insatiable


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Pierre Bruno is a psychoanalyst based in Paris. He is a former professor of psychoanalysis at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, and he is a member of the psychoanalytic association Le pari de Lacan (Lacan’s Wager) and the editorial board of the journal Psychanalyse.