Download Death and Desire: Psychoanalytic Theory in Lacan's Return to by Richard Boothby PDF

By Richard Boothby

The influential paintings of Jacques Lacan demanding situations readers either for the trouble of its type and for the big variety of highbrow references that body its ideas. Lacan's paintings is not easy too, for how during which it recentres psychoanalysis on probably the most debatable issues of Freud's concept - the concept that of a self-destructive force or "death instinct". "Death and wish" provides, in Lacanian phrases, a brand new integration of psychoanalytic conception during which the battery of key Freudian options - from the dynamics of the Oedipus complicated to the topography of ego, identification, and superego - are obvious to intersect in Freud's such a lot far-reaching and speculative formula of a force towards demise. Boothby argues that Lacan repositioned the topic of loss of life in psychoanalysis with regards to Freud's major trouble - the character of destiny and wish. In doing so, Lacan rediscovered Freud's crucial insights in a way so refined and penetrating that triumphing exams of the dying intuition may perhaps need to be re-examined. This publication may be of curiosity to pros in education and perform, undergraduates and graduates within the fields of psychoanalysis, literary feedback, philosophy and feminist conception.

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Extra resources for Death and Desire: Psychoanalytic Theory in Lacan's Return to Freud

Sample text

Masochism is not inverted sadism, the phenomenon of aggressivity isn't to be explained simply on the level of imaginary identification. II, 232) No doubt there exists in human beings a form of aggression akin to the animal violence that originates in the frustration of an impulse directed by the imaginary. But it is not with that in mind that Lacan so closely associates aggressivity and narcissism. The phenomenon he tries to bring into focus in "Aggressivity in Psychoanalysis" draws its motive force from a dimension that is beyond the imaginary.

Before turning to that task, it is useful to note the way in which the opposition between ego and subject underlies Lacan's treatment of aggressivity. T h e topic of aggressivity will take us back to the problem of the death drive and will serve to link the death drive with narcissism. In his 1949 paper on "Aggressivity in Psychoanalysis," Lacan rearticulates the 37 Reflections on Narcissism Freudian connection between aggressivity and self-destructiveness by pointing to the special relation between human aggressivity and the Gestalt of bodily wholeness that models the primitive ego.

T h e theory of the mirror phase suggests something both about the imaginary outline of das Ding but also about why human desire longs to "re-find" an object that was in fact never possessed, an object that existed only as a mirage, indeed, that may have existed only as the shadow of a mirage. The Imaginary Ego Lacan uses the concept of the imaginary and of the mirror phase to rethink the notion of the Freudian drive but also to recast the theory of the ego. For Lacan, the ego is essentially a formation of the imaginary.

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