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Bernstein, J.W. (2006). Love, Desire, Jouissance: Two out of Three Ain't Bad. Psychoanal. Dial., 16(6):711-724.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16(6):711-724

Love, Desire, Jouissance: Two out of Three Ain't Bad

Jeanne Wolff Bernstein, Ph.D.

The author demonstrates in this paper the different dynamics of love, desire, and jouissance. This impossible affair of loving whom one does not desire and desiring whom one does not love is analyzed through the writings of Jacques Lacan and Stephen Mitchell. The author illustrates Lacan'suse of the “objeta” as the fragment in the Other that gives the desiring individual the illusion of completeness whereas the desired Other has no notion for whom or what she or he is desired. Desire is unmasked as this hide-and-seek game of narcissistic illusions where one is wanted for what one does not have and one desires what one cannot have. Both Lacan and Mitchell suggest that love is a far more risky encounter because all narcissistic illusions risk to be jettisoned. Although Mitchell suggests that it is only through the Other that one can discover the otherness in oneself, Lacan states that to love is to give nothing of oneself and to accept the emptinessin the Other. Texts from popular culture are used to illustrate the dynamics of live and desire and the limits of jouissance.

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