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Rendon, M. (1993). Lacan and the Subject of Language, Ellie Ragland-Sullivan and Mark Bracher (eds.). Routledge, Chapman and Hall, 1991, 227 p.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 53(1):96-97.

(1993). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 53(1):96-97

Lacan and the Subject of Language, Ellie Ragland-Sullivan and Mark Bracher (eds.). Routledge, Chapman and Hall, 1991, 227 p.

Review by:
Mario Rendon, M.D.

This publication from the Lacanian group contains the keynote addresses at a conference on the subject held at Kent State University in May 1988. It consists of a series of chapters organized around the topics of language, psychoanalysis, and literature, all from a Lacanian viewpoint. The essays are diverse and of varying complexity, or perhaps I should say, intelligibility. The introduction to the book attempts to bring together the different articles but suffers from excessive Lacanian lingo accessible only to the orthodox. As with Lacan's works, and with so many of the related publications from his followers, the main problem is the level of difficulty one has at times in following the very closed language. In the present book the level of complexity is varied. Some of the author's efforts to explain the variegated and complex concepts are more successful.

I found the chapter “Theory and Practice in the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Psychosis,” by Willy Apollon, particularly interesting. It describes the author's psychoanalytic clinic in Montreal. The aproach is through a team, but with great emphasis on the primary therapist. The article sheds light on how Lacanian theory is applied, seemingly with good results (although the goals of the treatment are modest). The author states that Lacanian theory is a step forward from Freud's regarding the treatment of psychosis, allowing for therapeutic optimism.

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