This is the first collection of essays to offer a comprehensive analysis of, and reflection on, the major themes emergent in Jacques Lacan’s seminars of 1955-56 and 1956-57: Seminar IV – the object relation, and Seminar V – formations of the unconscious.
Assessing the value of a clinical approach orientated around the question of the object lack in the contemporary clinic, the book comprises 16 chapters which follow the development of a range of concepts elaborated by Lacan in these seminars, including sustained engagement with his critique of object relations theory. It considers the effectiveness of these early ideas in clinical practice in relation to hysteria, phobia, fetishism, obsessional neurosis, and of the so-called "Borderline" case. Lacan’s early concepts are also subjected to critique for engagement with Queer theory, and research in asexuality or the operation(s) of the signifier Phallus.
The chapters build to provide an invaluable resource to interpret and evaluate Lacan’s early teaching, and to find in his early concepts a fresh utility and scope for both clinical work and psychoanalytic research and enquiry. The book will be of great interest to Lacanian scholars and students, as well as psychoanalytic therapists, and analysts interested in Lacan’s early work.
"A stellar constellation of readers analyze two of Lacan’s major seminars here, one on our relation to the object and the other on "unconscious formations" like dreams, daydreams, and fantasies. Fascinating work will be found here on phobia, fetishism, and perversion more generally, as well as on witticisms, lack, metaphor, the phallus, castration, and clinical practice with children and adults." --Bruce Fink, Lacanian psychoanalyst, author of several books on Freud and Lacan, translator into English of Lacan’s Ecrits and Seminars VI: Desire and Its Interpretation, VIII: Transference, and XX: Encore
"At last, a scholarly examination of Lacan’s Seminars IV and V by practitioners who know how to read Lacan and show us the intimate link between conceptual developments and clinical work. This book couples two seminars, enabling us to trace the to and fro in Lacan’s Seminar between subject and signifier, and here from lack to desire." --Ian Parker, Psychoanalyst, Secretary Manchester Psychoanalytic Matrix.
"Studying Lacan’s Seminars IV and V represents a fundamental breakthrough in the understanding of Jacques Lacan’s thought. Through a series of fecund essays unpacking the intricacies of two of the more difficult early seminars, this volume sheds light on key problems like phobia, the phallus, and lack. Anyone who wants to know anything about the psychoanalytic project must view the collection that Carol Owens and Nadezhda Almquist have put together as utterly essential." -- Professor Todd McGowan, University of Vermont
"As if live-streaming the seminars, this excellent collection highlights Lacan’s contemporary relevance by putting it into action. Punctuated with clinical material, the book moves with ease between theory and practice, astutely deploying controversial psychoanalytic notions such as lack, desire, and the phallus. Drawing useful distinctions between phobias, fetishism, and perversion, the authors explain the clinical use of dreams and jokes. These forceful essays, all written with verve and clarity, set a model for the transmission of psychoanalysis while providing an indispensable companion to Lacan’s seminars IV and V." --Patricia Gherovici, psychoanalyst and author, Transgender Psychoanalysis: A Lacanian Perspective on Sexual Difference (Routledge, 2017)
ABOUT THE EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS
CAROL OWENS AND NADEZHDA ALMQVIST
Drawing the Urinary Trait: Fantasy and Analytic Technique in Ruth Lebovici’s Treatment of a Transitory Perversion
The lessons of little Hans
Leonardo S. Rodríguez
"Once Bitten, Forever Smitten": phobias, fetishes, and small boys
The Phobic and Fetish Objects
Privation: A Logical Step between Castration and Frustration
Asexuality, Absence, and the Dialectic of Substitution
Much Ado about More than Nothing: Thoughts on "difficult" cases and Lacan’s Seminar IV
The Phallus of the Fifties – Those Years of ‘‘Tranquil Possession’’
Olga Cox Cameron
The Phallus: Crossroads or Impasse? Queering Desire via Seminar V
Sarah Meehan O’Callaghan
To be or not to be the phallus: Lacan, Genet, and Wilde
Lacan reading Freud: on the relationship of Seminar V to Jokes and Their Relationship to the Unconscious
P. G. Young
"Did you hear that Tom’s dick was hairy?" Witz, Cure, and the Transmission of Psychoanalysis
Jamieson Webster and Marcus Coelen
GRAPH OF DESIRE
On the Development of Lacan’s Graph of Desire
Father Love - From Oedipus complex to Paternal Metaphor
"Why Can’t a Woman be More Like a Man?"
The Signifier and the Obsessional
Obsessional Desire in Seminar V: The Exploits of Tantalus
Transitory Sexual Perversion in the Course of a Psychoanalytic Treatment
Studying Lacan’s Seminars brings together leading Lacanian scholars and practitioners from across the globe to participate in a contemporary examination of Lacan’s seminars, many of which are newly translated into English. Featuring practical examples from case studies and packed with cultural illustrations from film, literature and beyond, these books will provide vital companions for students and readers of Lacan. The first dedicated series on Lacan’s seminars, each book will cover the fundamental concepts while at the same time applying a contemporary perspective informed by the standards considered important by scholars and practising Lacanian psychoanalysts today.