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Ver Eecke, W. (2005). Écrits. A Selection by J. Lacan (B. Fink, Trans.), W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 2002, $39.95.. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 33(3):578-581.

(2005). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 33(3):578-581

Écrits. A Selection by J. Lacan (B. Fink, Trans.), W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 2002, $39.95.

Review by:
Wilfried Ver Eecke, Ph.D.

This is a new translation by the same publisher of nine chapters from the original French book which has 35 chapters. The new translator, Bruce Fink, has announced the plan of translating the whole of the French Écrits in the near future. Compared with the translation by Alan Sheridan, the new translation has several important advantages. I will describe these advantages and then give the reader some advice on what one can find in the book and what secondary sources to use as a guide.

The new translation has a number of nice features. First, the pagination also includes the pagination of the French publication of Écrits. Second, the index for Freud's German terms and the one for proper names refer to the French pagination so that one can find them back both in Fink's translation which includes the French pagination and the original French edition.

In an interview the new translator explains his goals (Warner, 2003) He decided to avoid the mistakes and infelicities of the previous translator and he wanted to end up with a text which was more readable (Interview.)

Let me start by giving an example of an important improvement-I would even say the avoidance of a mistranslation—by the new translator. It concerns the following French text: “lui nous demandâmes tout uniment ce qui en ell-même avait pu se proférer l'instant d'avant” (Lacan. Écrits, 534). The previous translation by Sheridan writes: “went on to ask her what she might have said the moment before” (Sheridan, Trans., 182). This translation assumes that Lacan thinks of the patient as a more unified subject than Lacan actually implies. Lacan does not ask the patient what she had said. Rather, Lacan asks what words were spoken in her.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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