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Mulliken, R. (1982). Returning to Freud: Clinical Psychoanalysis in the School of Lacan. Stuart Schneiderman (Ed.). New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980, vii + 265 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 69(2):314-316.

(1982). Psychoanalytic Review, 69(2):314-316

Returning to Freud: Clinical Psychoanalysis in the School of Lacan. Stuart Schneiderman (Ed.). New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980, vii + 265 pp.

Review by:
Richard Mulliken

The title of this collection states a claim the Lacanians advance: that they in effect hew more closely to Freud than even those who claim to be classical Freudians. This book demonstrates ways in which the claim may be substantiated—and ways in which it cannot. One way in which the assertion may be supported lies in the Lacanian/Structuralist reading of the Freudian text. Lacanians read Freud with a close and original attention, and without reverence. Freud would approve the method, if not the conclusions. The deductions Lacanians draw are sometimes startlingly original, sometimes simply outrageous. While Lacan's well-known discussion of Freud's counter-transference problems with Dora earns respect, Charles Melman's discourse on the Rat Man in this volume is another matter. Briefly, Melman holds that the Rat Man got better because he was inwardly overjoyed at the ineffectualness of Freud's knowledge! The idea is not altogether untenable. Glover has taught us about the worth of inexact interpretations. Nonetheless such a bold claim must be carefully documented. Close textual analysis by itself constitutes neither argument nor proof.

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