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Sauvayre, P. (2015). Introduction. Contemp. Psychoanal., 51(1):135-136.

(2015). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 51(1):135-136

The Lacan Corner


Pascal Sauvayre, Ph.D.

In 2011, Contemporary Psychoanalysis published “Lacan in the United States: An Interview with Bruce Fink” (Vol. 47(4), pp. 549–557). This was our first published article focusing on Lacanian theory and practice in recent years (there were others in the late 1980s and 1990s), which we hoped would be a step toward countering the long-standing disregard of Lacan by the American psychoanalytic establishment. Indeed, it is striking that such an important (if not dominant) figure in the rest of the psychoanalytic world is given such short shrift here. Of course, there are many historical and theoretical reasons for this, but the absence of a dialogue—even a contentious one—is a trend that we feel should be reversed.

We hoped that “Lacan in the United States” served as a useful introduction to Lacan for our readers, and there is no better guide for us than Bruce Fink, the foremost American translator and interpreter of Lacan. Fink points out how difficult reading Lacan is, particularly for the American reader. This is due both to the dense style of his writing and to how heavily loaded it is with cultural references. More important, the aim of Lacan's writing (and of his clinical interventions) was not to be “understood” but to “evoke.” This is the fundamental theme of Fink's latest commentary on Lacan, Against Understanding, which Shiva Kumar Srinivasan brilliantly reviews in terms “we” can understand, and which will “evoke” our curiosity and interest.

So, let's follow Lacan's exhortation to his reader to “mettre du votre” (Seminar XIX), a standard French expression that Fink translates as to put “some elbow grease” into the reading (Fink, 2004, p. 178).

[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.]

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