Mark Bracher Lacanian Theory Of Discourse-pdf
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- Bracher, Mark - Lacan, Discourse, And Social Change, A Psychoanalytic Cultural Criticism
- Publications & Lectures
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Bracher, Mark - Lacan, Discourse, And Social Change, A Psychoanalytic Cultural Criticism
The important role of hysteria for psychoanalysis is well known—it guided Freud and helped him invent psychoanalysis and discover the unconscious. What was the role of hysteria for Lacan? Is there a Lacanian theory of hysteria? The hysterical pursuit of perfection—marked by the impossible conflation of a comparative and a superlative—seemed destined to come to a halt. Hysteria was declared dead in when the diagnosis was eliminated from the official American psychiatric nomenclature.
But the termination of the entire disease form was rather a semantic suppression than the real elimination of the illness. The reasons behind the split were theoretical, directly affecting the practice of psychoanalysis.
He had been supporting liberal academics and intellectuals on the question of lay analysis and opposing the authoritarianism of those who argued in favor of medical training for the practice of psychoanalysis.
Lacan foregrounded the transference bond in the analytic cure, and above all, to the role of the analyst within the transference. Freud, in contrast, did not vacillate: he not only admitted the existence of transference, but was also courageous enough to publish his first major case study on hysteria, although it would fail.
This unsuccessful case, however, taught him an important lesson on transference. Furthermore, it may suggest that psychoanalysis is best grasped through its own failure. He offers this case as a testimony open to criticism, maybe even inciting it. Let us note that phase refers to a stage one undergoes and may eventually overcome. This leaves us with the problem of posing a sequence that suggests a development with an aim. What was Dora searching for? Freud talks about a virile object; yet the blunt display of virility, the excesses of machismo, are the utmost expression of femininity as masquerade.
Yet the footnotes reveal that the story was quite different. Mitchell contends that:. In terms of her sexual desire, Dora is a man adoring a woman. Hysteria is not produced by any innate disposition. It follows that if Dora can have a masculine identification there be no natural or automatic heterosexual drive p. Hysteria opens up the problem of the object of the drive and the problem of sexuality as an enigma to resolve. Dora, a woman, can love another woman, like a man—or even not know whom she loves, a man or a woman.
Heterosexuality is an outcome of sexuality as arbitrary and labile as an outcome of homosexuality. If an object appears, the relationship to this object is at least enigmatic. Hysteria and psychoanalysis bring forth the same issues: desire, jouissance, the drive, and the contingency of the sexual object.
Not in vain did the one incite the invention of the other. Let us mention that knowledge has a profound relevance to transference. On the one hand, it seems that the riddle of hysteria offers the chance for a great revelation in each failed attempt at resolving it.
The Sphinx knows the answer to her riddle but seems not to know from where her knowledge comes. Why is it that hysterics disown the knowledge they produce? How is it that they do not know what they know?
As Oscar Masotta suggests, it is because what they resist knowing is at the origin of the symptoms they are unconsciously sustaining: they do not want to know that there is no knowledge about sexuality p. Sexuality for the speaking being is never simply sexuality; it is problematic; it is never evident, natural, nor clear. We can define sex for the speaking subject as the rapport between two fantasies, as the resulting interaction of two subjects through the lens of their fantasies.
One classic trope is that of a man having sex with a woman while thinking he is having sex with another woman; meanwhile, the woman is thinking that she is the other woman her partner is thinking about. Fantasies play a crucial role in our psychic life. Freud located only three protofantasies, all related to the Oedipal complex: seduction scene, castration, and primal scene.
The seduction scene, has to do with the parents as sexual objects; the fear of retaliation if the desire of sleeping with the mother is fulfilled, constitutes the castration protofantasy; and the wish to separate the parents, breaking the unbearable union that threatens the importance of the child for the mother, forms the protofantasy of the primal scene. The Oedipus complex also introduces the question of the phallus.
The phallus, far from being an organ, is a theoretical speculative assumption applied to both women and men.
Moreover, the phallus, since no one can be nor have it, most importantly introduces the dimension of the lack that defines human sexuality. This lack has a theoretical function in psychoanalysis, and it results from the clinical material, that is, what analysands actually say during the analytic sessions.
The knowledge he disseminated touched upon something beyond morality. It is well known that hysteric patients revealed the unconscious to Freud and helped him invent psychoanalysis. In the s, when Lacan announced his famous inauguration call of a return to Freud, hysteria, as we have seen, was quickly disappearing.
This return to hysteria meant for Lacan the undoing his early training in clinical psychiatry. Lacan, like most French neurologists and psychiatrists of his generation, started his clinical career as a Babinskian. While this separation established foundations for modern neurology, it was accompanied by the complete dismemberment of hysteria. Hysteria suffered a semantic suppression as Babinski replaced it with pithiatisme.
Pithiatism was coined from the Greek words peithos I persuade and iatos curable Babinski, This new term conveyed that hysteria was a kind of simulation curable by suggestion. But during this time, the surrealists were flamboyantly celebrating hysteria. Above all, they opposed the eradication of the theory of hysteria, made invisible but no less powerful.
The surrealists celebrated hysteria as a poetic creation and proposed a novel encounter between the Freudian unconscious and language. Printed in capitals, it began:. Reacting against Babinski, Breton and Aragon concluded their manifesto with a new definition of hysteria. They paid homage not to Charcot but to Augustine, his famous, beautiful patient.
There, Babinski was presented correctly as a representative of medical science whose aim was erasing hysteria by replacing it with a pithiatism that was curable by persuasive suggestion. Babinski reintroduced the idea of deviance to the diagnosis of hysteria. Suggestion and simulation became synonyms for Babinski, who considered that hysterics were either primitive people susceptible to suggestion or simple malingerers. In view of such treatments not far from torture, Evans concludes that one can understand why Babinski could assert in the year before the war that hysteria had disappeared p.
He never saw another hysteric during the entire time of his service at the hospital. Lacan, like Breton and Aragon, studied medicine. From to , he was at the Saint Anne Hospital, one of the most prestigious mental hospitals, where he studied mental and cephalic disorders.
The word hysteria is not employed once in the five-page case study. The subject of the study was a woman who had seen her house destroyed by an artillery shell on June 22, She suffered superficial wounds: her leg had been trapped in the shattered floorboards when her house collapsed.
She walked as if performing a complex choreography of strange dance steps. She would take little steps on tiptoes. She would slide her feet on the ground, and cross her legs one in front of the other.
Often, she would walk backwards. The backward walk was the most complex one: she would advance, turning on herself, spinning. From then on, she walked with her body thrust forward, rocking from side to side and scuffing her feet. This case presents particularly insistent echoes of a Beckettian character whose strange ways of walking allegorize a sense of inner collapse.
The patient was a relatively well-known case. She went from hospital to hospital where she received all sorts of treatments including electric shocks without any sign of improvement.
In fact, the young Lacan was not then interested in hysteria, since his truly original work dealt with paranoia. By , Lacan was reading Freud, which could not but lead to a different understanding of this case. A few years later, Freud successfully treated Elisabeth von R. Like the poets, the hysterics use language for its associations, for its images, in ways that are creative and can even at times subvert commonsensical expressions producing a new grammar of metaphor.
Freud was probably all the more aware of the poetic condensation at work in the discourse and bodily symptoms of the hysterics, as his own literary preferences were for the principles at work, devices and motifs, form and structure, of the novel. However, Freud noted that precisely because his cases read like novellas, they lack the serious stamp of science. Lacan would be closer to the hysteric because of his own fondness for poetry.
For most readers, professional or not, his writings have been found to be obscure or excessive, baroque. For the young Lacan, the surrealist movement and their poetic creations would act as an antidote to the reductionism of Babinski and his school. True, the young Doctor Lacan was known in surrealist circles as a brilliant specialist in psychosis. Lacan was learning more from psychosis than from any other psychic structure.
At the time, Lacan was elaborating a new conception of language. He analyzed the paranoid structure in its semantic, stylistic, and grammatical peculiarities. He noted that the extravagant language of paranoids resulted from a process tantamount to the one at work in the poetic experiments of the Surrealists.
His innovative view was expressed in its accomplished form in his doctoral thesis of on paranoid psychosis. In the footnote, Lacan claims that even when hysteria results from an organic lesion or modifies a physical function, this fact does not preclude the possibility of a psychic organization at play.
He argues that one can act upon the symptom by one causal chain or the other. Lacan recommends that one should not exclude either mechanism and refers the reader to the case of abasia that we have discussed. Since in Lacan had approached this case of hysteria with a Babinskian terminology that conformed to psychiatric orthodoxy, his position in was complex. On the one hand, his loyalties were on the side of traditional psychiatry, and his main focus of interest was psychosis, supposedly a barren field for psychoanalysis.
On the other hand, he implicitly criticized the psychiatric legacy by putting forward a completely new notion of psychosis.
Publications & Lectures
Lacan: desire and lack-of-being. Derek Hook is a scholar and a practitioner of psychoanalysis with expertise in the areas of Lacanian psychoanalysis, post-colonial theory the work of Frantz Fanon in particular , the psychology of racism and critical social psychology. Though Lacanian theory has long had a privileged place in the analysis of film, film theory has tended to ignore some of Lacan's most important ideas. At this time the idea that language was fundamental to human existence had become popular and Lacan used psychoanalysis to subvert the theories of de Saussure, who had published the seminal work Course in General Linguistics, in Film theory is not to be confused with general film criticism, or film history, though these three disciplines interrelate. Freud and Lacan provide us insight into doing media studies from a psychoanalytic approach by how we view certain things.
Convinced that cultural criticism need not merely be an academic exercise but can help improve people's lives, Mark Bracher proposes a method of cultural criticism which is based on the principles of psychoanalytic treatment and which aims to alter subjectivity and behavior. In this forceful and engagingly written book, Bracher first accounts for the failure of contemporary cultural criticism to achieve significant social impact. He then offers a model of analysis that draws on Lacan's theoretical insights into the structure of subjectivity and the psychological functions of discourse, asserting that the use of this model can promote collective psychological change. While cultural criticism has generally focused on texts, Bracher instead analyzes audiences' actual responses—to a variety of discourses from "high" as well as popular culture: the political speeches of Ronald Reagan and Jesse Jackson, anti-abortion propaganda, pornography, Keats's "To Autumn," and Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Through analyzing these responses, Bracher is able to uncover the unconscious identifications and fantasies of the respondents—an intervention that, he argues, has the potential for altering subjectivity.
LI, No. A20; Reviewed by Choice , September , p. XXXV, no. Kadish ; American Journal of Psychotherapy , vol.
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Except for brief quotations in a review, this book, or parts thereof, must not be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher. First published by Cornell University Press. This book grows out of my conviction that literary and cultural studies have the potential to be of considerably greater human benefit than they have been up to now. On this score Ifindmyself in sympathy with the growing sentiment that the present state of the humanities represents a betrayal of the public trust; after all, millions of students each year are required tospend their time and money for the privilege of discussing and writing about books that someone has decided are important for them to read, when in fact no one seems to know exactly what the benefits of such a study might be. At the same time, however, I have little sympathy with the assumption that the basic function of the humanities should be to indoctrinate students into a monolithic system of ideals, values, knowledge, and belief.
Дверь открылась, и коммандер помахал ей рукой. - Спасибо, что пришла, Сьюзан. Я тебе очень благодарен. - Не стоит благодарности. - Она улыбнулась и села напротив шефа. Стратмор был крупным кряжистым мужчиной, чье невыразительное лицо скрывало присущие ему решительность, настойчивость и неизменное стремление к совершенству. Серые глаза светились уверенностью, с которой сочеталась профессиональная скрытность, но сегодня в них проглядывали беспокойство и нерешительность.
Действительно хорошая новость. ГЛАВА 54 - Пусти. А потом раздался нечеловеческий крик.
Я обязан об этом доложить, - сказал он вслух. В подобной ситуации надо известить только одного человека - старшего администратора систем безопасности АНБ, одышливого, весящего четыреста фунтов компьютерного гуру, придумавшего систему фильтров Сквозь строй. В АНБ он получил кличку Джабба и приобрел репутацию полубога. Он бродил по коридорам шифровалки, тушил бесконечные виртуальные пожары и проклинал слабоумие нерадивых невежд.
Она показала на экран. Все глаза были устремлены на нее, на руку Танкадо, протянутую к людям, на три пальца, отчаянно двигающихся под севильским солнцем. Джабба замер. - О Боже! - Он внезапно понял, что искалеченный гений все это время давал им ответ. - Три - это простое число! - сказала Соши.
- Но будем надеяться, что он этого не узнает. ГЛАВА 76 У подъезда севильского аэропорта стояло такси с работающим на холостом ходу двигателем и включенным счетчиком. Пассажир в очках в тонкой металлической оправе, вглядевшись сквозь стеклянную стену аэровокзала, понял, что прибыл вовремя.
Крошечные частички пыли, пленницы мощной системы деионизации купола, простодушно устремлялись вверх широкой спиралью. Наклонные стены помещения, образуя вверху широкую арку, на уровне глаз были практически вертикальными. Затем они приобретали как бы полупрозрачность, завершаясь у пола непроницаемой чернотой - посверкивающей черной глазурью кафеля, отливавшей жутковатым сиянием, создававшим какое-то тревожное ощущение прозрачности пола.