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Tip: To review the bibliography…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Muller, J.P. (1983). The Imaginary Signifier. Psychoanalysis and the Cinema: By Christian Metz. Translated by C. Britton, A. Williams, B. Brewster, and A. Guzzetti. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982. 327 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 52:641-647.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:641-647

The Imaginary Signifier. Psychoanalysis and the Cinema: By Christian Metz. Translated by C. Britton, A. Williams, B. Brewster, and A. Guzzetti. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982. 327 pp.

Review by:
John P. Muller

The subtitle of this important book should have been "Psychoanalysis, Semiotics, and the Cinema," for in attempting to show how psychoanalytic notions can be useful in analyzing films, the author makes a greater contribution in clarifying contemporary structural linguistics. The book consists of four independent essays written between 1973 and 1976. The longest, on metaphor and metonymy, first appeared in the French edition, Le signifiant imaginaire: Psychanalyse et cinéma (Paris: Union Générale d'Éditions, 1977). The author, a faculty member at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, draws heavily on recent French scholarship in linguistics, psychoanalysis, and film analysis. The influence of Lacan's work is especially prominent as Metz elaborates the relationship between linguistics and psychoanalysis, but the American reader can be grateful to Metz for having avoided the most troublesome stylistic features of Lacanian writing. This is an eminently readable book. It does not simplify either Lacan or Freud and, in fact, can serve as a useful introduction to the French re-reading of Freud.

What

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