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Hall, K. (1998). A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Theory and Technique by Bruce Fink. Published by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, 1997; 297 pages; £23.50. Brit. J. Psychother., 14(3):378-380.
(1998). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 14(3):378-380
A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Theory and Technique by Bruce Fink. Published by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, 1997; 297 pages; £23.50
Review by: Kirsty Hall
The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance by Bruce Fink. Published by Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1995; 219 pages; £13.50.
Many years ago I visited Chambord, a well-known château on the Loire. One of its chief claims to fame is a spectacular double spiral staircase. If you climb one set of stairs, then intriguingly (and also rather disturbingly) you can see people climbing the other at the same time. My irrational and illogical expectation was that at some point my path would cross with that of the people ascending the other staircase but, of course, only at the top on the balcony did I meet them!
There is a need for a view from the balcony. As with other forms of psychoanalysis, in a Lacanian analysis the use of speech is the main tool, the whole treatment may take a number of years, the analysand may be invited to use the couch and some relief of a human being's suffering may occur as a result. Therefore, like the staircases, the starting and endpoints are not in precisely the same place, but nevertheless bear some relationship to each other since the architecture of the enterprise is essentially the same.
Bruce Fink's A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis is the first book I have come across in English which sets out in straightforward terms, the clinical approach adopted by Lacanians and links it in an accessible way to some elements of Lacan's extremely complex set of theories. Fink assumes no previous knowledge on the part of the reader and he has a beautifully clear style.
[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]