These are my notes from ‘The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance’, by Bruce Fink, with supplementary notes where. I will not uy to demonstrate the existence of the Lacanian subject, for no such Paris, organized by Richard Feldstein, Bruce Fink and Ellie Ragland-Sullivan in. 1 CLINICAL NOTES ON THE LACANIAN SUBJECT Brue Fink (). ‘The Lacanian Subject,’ The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and.

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This book presents the radically new theory of subjectivity found in the work of Jacques Lacan. Against the tide of post-structuralist thinkers who announce “the death of the subject,” Bruce Fink explores what it means to come into being as a subject where impersonal forces once reigned, subjectify the alien roll of the dice at the beginning of our universe, and make our own knotted web of our parents’ desires that led them to bring us into this world.

Lucidly guiding readers through the labyrinth of Lacanian theory–unpacking such central notions as the Other, object athe unconscious as structures like a language, alienation and separation, the paternal metaphor, jouissance, and sexual difference–Fink demonstrates in-depth knowledge of Lacan’s theoretical and clinical work. Indeed, this is the first book to appear in English that displays a firm grasp of both theory and practice of Lacanian psychoanalysis, the author being one of the only Americans to have undergone full training with Lacan’s school in Paris.

Fink Leads the reader step by step into Lacan’s conceptual system to explain how one comes to be a subject–leading to psychosis. Presenting Lacan’s theory in the context of his clinical preoccupations, Fink provides the most balanced, sophisticated, and penetrating view of Lacan’s work to date–invaluable to the initiated and the uninitiated alike. Fink provides the first clear, comprehensive, systematic account of Lacan’s work in English. The influence of this book is certain to be immense on theorists and therapists alike as it provides the fully articulated foundations for a Lacanian pedagogy, and makes generally available a radically new understanding of the analyst’s role.

A magnificent piece of intellectual synthesis, an imposing and original contribution to psychoanalytic thought.

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A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. A Very Short Introduction. How to Read Lacan How to Read.

The First Complete Edition in English. Lacan To The Letter: From Scientific American Fink provides the first clear, comprehensive, systematic account of Lacan’s work in English.

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Please try again later. This is an excellent first step into the world of Lacanian Psychoanalysis. At the time I read this book, I considered myself a dogmatic Heideggerian, sniggering arrogantly whenever the topics of “subjectivity” or “objects” were brought up. By the time I finished it, I had overcome many of my ossified theoretical hangups and also learned how to embrace a more creative attitude towards practical life in general. This is the most “philosophical” of Fink’s Lacanian introductory subuect, and is thus the best suited for “intellectuals” and other dentists of the mind.

If your primary concern is psychoanalytic practice, Fink’s other two books “Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique” and “A Clinical Introduction” would be better options.


Overall, I strongly recommend this book, which I anticipate will be increasingly useful in the coming years. This is a hard book for me to rate or review. I thought the first few chapters of the book were great, especially the sections where Fink analyzes the way that symbolic bruuce can produce impossibilities, and take on a logic of their own. I did not like the middle sections nearly as well chapters four through eightand was planning on giving the book a slightly negative review.

But then I thought the last two chapters were fairly good again. Theory and Techniquewhich I read a number of years ago.

The Lacanian Subject : Between Language and Jouissance by Bruce Fink (, Paperback) | eBay

So rather than trying to come up with gink objective rating, I thought I would just list what I think some of the pros and cons of lacahian book are. I should state upfront that I am an absolute newcomer with Lacan. I have read almost nothing that Lacan has actually written, and have actually found reading Lacan to be quite frustrating, but I am interested in a number of French philosophers who were influenced by Lacan, either positively or negatively esp.

Deleuze and Badiou so I thought I had better try to understand him. So my review is written from that perspective. If you already know Lacan fairly well then my review will probably be of little interest to you. I am writing for people who are looking for a good introductory text on Lacan.

I guess I will start with the cons. There are two major problems I had with the book. First, I did not feel like Fink did a good enough job defining Lacan’s terms, or his mathemes, or giving concrete examples, to illustrate Lacan’s concepts. This was not universally true. There were places where I felt like Fink did a lacaniah job at illuminating Lacan’s concepts with examples, but there were also places where I felt like Fink left something to be desired.

There were times where I felt like I was getting a good formula definition of Lacan’s concepts, but still had a hard time lacaniah how those concepts played out in the real world.

I could repeat the formula lacanoan pressed. I could, for example, define object a as the cause of desire, but what does that actually mean? I would have a hard time saying exactly.

When I read an introductory text I do not just want to have the formulas so that I can go around saying “Lacan thought x about y”. I want to “see” how the concepts really work. I think that when we first learn concepts they need to be attached to empirical content.

Subjecf analyzed the sentence “This leaf is green” in terms of the pure concepts of particularity thisbeing isand quality greenbut in order to understand those pure concepts we first need to understand them attached to some content.

In other words, we need to move from the sentence “This leaf is green”, which is full of empirical content, to the pure concepts. If we start with the pure concepts we are going to get very lost. For much of the book I felt like Fink was starting with the pure concepts, and not spending enough time attaching them to content, and so, even though I could usually follow what Fink was saying, many of the concepts Fink was working out were never made entirely intelligible to me.

The places where Fink did attach the concepts to empirical content, and there were plenty, were the best parts of the book. Second, I felt as I was reading that the organization left a lot to be desired.

I did not feel like Lavanian explained things in an orderly way. Sometimes his discussions seemed to depend on notions that he only elaborated later in the book, so they were hard to follow.


They seemed chronologically out of place, and Fink confirmed my suspicions lacaanian the afterword where he admits that the book was never conceived as a whole, but was pulled together from a selection of papers given at different times under different ladanian.

That is not a huge problem, but it did make the book harder to follow in some places since the concepts were not worked out in an orderly fashion, each new concept building on the last, etc.

Subjet, that would probably not be a problem for someone who is already more familiar with Lacan’s concepts than I was, but for the absolute newcomer it can be a problem. Alright, onto the pros. Fink is, in general, a pretty clear writer.

He is really attempting to make Lacan intelligible, and to give the reader some sense of how Lacan’s concepts play out in a clinical setting.

He is fairly successful in those tasks. I think, perhaps, part of the difficulty in understanding Lacan is that many readers, such as myself, lack any detailed clinical knowledge or experience of how his concepts actually work.

The Lacanian Subject : Between Language and Jouissance by Bruce Fink (1996, Paperback)

Fink points out that psychonalysis is a praxis, not just a theory. Sometimes concepts that may have proven themselves in clinical contexts seem very strange and implausible to us outsiders who are not in the profession.

Fink is aware of that, and does a pretty good job trying to relate the concepts to clinical experience. I actually wish that he gave more examples from his clinical experience, because the examples he did give almost always proved illuminating.

There is certainly no doubt that Fink has spent a lot of time studying Lacan, and has first hand knowledge of how his concepts apply in a clinical context. All in all, I would say this was a pretty good introduction to Lacan. I think the ideal audience for this book might be people with a little more knowledge of Lacan than I had going in. I am not sure that the absolute beginner is the ideal audience for this book.

It seems like it would have been beneficial if I had read a little more Lacan first hand before reading this book. I have just started it and it seems to me to be a little bit closer to what I was looking for with this book: Then it would probably be a good idea to read some Lacan first hand, and then, once you have that background, I think Fink’s book would probably be a very worthwhile read.

I intend to re-read it after I have read some Lacan on my own, and perhaps I will update my review after I read it for a second time. All of the postmodern thinkers in philosophy today claim Lacan as their inspiration. Therefore, every thinker needs to investigate this psychological contribution.

This book by Fink gives you an adequately in-depth look where you don’t just get skimmed-over summary material but some relevant thought to apply to philosophy. The book is structured perfectly and so don’t skip around. Start on page one and proceed. The book takes you logically through each structural step of the emerging “self” in Lacan’s theory.

Lacan gives Freud some radical ontological weight which inspired a lot of what we are reading today. Lacan flourished in the 60’s when French philosophy was lacaanian re-born. I’m not going to give you all of the details; but it is not a difficult book to grasp.