Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists

Joan Copjec s book almost feels like a class in Lacan using many of his key ideas to discuss stuff ranging from Bergsonian time to utilitarianism to vampires to Judith Butler to detective fictio

Joan Copjec's book almost feels like a class in Lacan—using many of his key ideas to discuss stuff ranging from Bergsonian time, to utilitarianism, to vampires, to Judith Butler, to detective fiction and noir film, Lacan is championed as the savior of psychoanalysis, insisting that only the Lacanian psychoanalytic approach will acquaint us with our limitations, and the nature of our freedom as modern subjects. And maybe because while I read, I nod and blink, I totally dig it...Psychoanalysis is, according the Copjec, the way in which the subject comes to an understanding of themself, even if the understanding is more often a very crude one. So, why insist on such an unfashionable vocabulary? 'Ego', 'id', 'superego', *blech* aren't we over that garbage? NO! Psychoanalysis insists on exposing the 'cruel enunciator, the sadistic superego', which speaks the moral law because it,'[...] demonstrates the ethical necessity of hearing the otherness of this voice and maintaining our distance from it. It is always and only this division of the subject that psychoanalysis insists on, not only because the attempt to establish an ethics on the basis of its disavowal is a *mistake* but—more importantly—because it is *unethical*. The principal of maximization of happiness on which the ethics of utilitarianism is based is a product of this disavowal; it is also responsible for some of the most violent aggressions against our neighbors.'If we understand that the subject as a noxious void of negativity, we an then understand the turning towards the symbolic community, establishing ourselves not as people trying to fuck each other over (as in the United States, for *this* is what passes for wisdom, essentially) but as discontents who are searching for a kind of cosmic justice, together. It is the fantasy structure which allows for anything we may call an understanding. Copjec reminds us in her chapter, 'The Unvermögender Other','As opposed to the American conception, which believes justice only has to be distributed, this psychoanalytic conception believes justice must be created.'It's important to add that the Lacanian emphasis questions many of the things Foucauldian historicism might likewise find problematic. Nevertheless, the difference lies in how one marks the limit of any given point of view—while the deconstructionist/historicist/classical postmodern method finds the limit within what Copjec calls 'external collisions'. The instability of a system lies not in a Foucaildian power play, collisions, between an array of points of view, but is inherent to the point of view as such. Here, the crucial tension is not within petty bickering between viewpoints so much as in any symbolic order, both the subject and the symbolic peerage remain incomplete.Enough. Oh, and a much clearer read than Zizek! A total 4.5A viral Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists By Joan Copjec is Book In Read My Desire, Joan Copjec stages a confrontation between the theories of Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault, protagonists of two powerful modern discourses psychoanalysis and historicism Ordinarily, these discourses only cross paths long enough for historicists to charge psychoanalysis with an indifference to history, but here psychoanalysis, via Lacan, goes on theIn Read My Desire, Joan Copjec stages a confrontation between the theories of Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault, protagonists of two powerful modern discourses psychoanalysis and historicism Ordinarily, these discourses only cross paths long enough for historicists to charge psychoanalysis with an indifference to history, but here psychoanalysis, via Lacan, goes on the offensive Refusing to cede historicity to the historicists, Copjec makes a case for the superiority of Lacan s explanation of historical process, its generative principles, and its complex functionings Her goal is to inspire a new kind of cultural critique, one that would be literate in desire, that would be able to read what is inarticulable in cultural statements.From the Trade Paperback edition.. Joan Copjec is a philosopher, theorist, author, feminist, and prominent American Lacanian psychoanalyst She is the director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture at the University of Buffalo.. Bestseller Book Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists Joan Copjec's book almost feels like a class in Lacan—using many of his key ideas to discuss stuff ranging from Bergsonian time, to utilitarianism, to vampires, to Judith Butler, to detective fiction and noir film, Lacan is championed as the savior of psychoanalysis, insisting that only the Lacanian psychoanalytic approach will acquaint us with our limitations, and the nature of our freedom as modern subjects. And maybe because while I read, I nod and blink, I totally dig it...Psychoanalysis is, according the Copjec, the way in which the subject comes to an understanding of themself, even if the understanding is more often a very crude one. So, why insist on such an unfashionable vocabulary? 'Ego', 'id', 'superego', *blech* aren't we over that garbage? NO! Psychoanalysis insists on exposing the 'cruel enunciator, the sadistic superego', which speaks the moral law because it,'[...] demonstrates the ethical necessity of hearing the otherness of this voice and maintaining our distance from it. It is always and only this division of the subject that psychoanalysis insists on, not only because the attempt to establish an ethics on the basis of its disavowal is a *mistake* but—more importantly—because it is *unethical*. The principal of maximization of happiness on which the ethics of utilitarianism is based is a product of this disavowal; it is also responsible for some of the most violent aggressions against our neighbors.'If we understand that the subject as a noxious void of negativity, we an then understand the turning towards the symbolic community, establishing ourselves not as people trying to fuck each other over (as in the United States, for *this* is what passes for wisdom, essentially) but as discontents who are searching for a kind of cosmic justice, together. It is the fantasy structure which allows for anything we may call an understanding. Copjec reminds us in her chapter, 'The Unvermögender Other','As opposed to the American conception, which believes justice only has to be distributed, this psychoanalytic conception believes justice must be created.'It's important to add that the Lacanian emphasis questions many of the things Foucauldian historicism might likewise find problematic. Nevertheless, the difference lies in how one marks the limit of any given point of view—while the deconstructionist/historicist/classical postmodern method finds the limit within what Copjec calls 'external collisions'. The instability of a system lies not in a Foucaildian power play, collisions, between an array of points of view, but is inherent to the point of view as such. Here, the crucial tension is not within petty bickering between viewpoints so much as in any symbolic order, both the subject and the symbolic peerage remain incomplete.Enough. Oh, and a much clearer read than Zizek! A total 4.5

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  1. Joan Copjec is a philosopher, theorist, author, feminist, and prominent American Lacanian psychoanalyst She is the director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture at the University of Buffalo.

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Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists Comment

  1. Joan Copjec s book almost feels like a class in Lacan using many of his key ideas to discuss stuff ranging from Bergsonian time, to utilitarianism, to vampires, to Judith Butler, to detective fiction and noir film, Lacan is championed as the savior of psychoanalysis, insisting that only the Lacanian psychoanalytic approach will acquaint us with our limitations, and the nature of our freedom as modern subjects And maybe because while I read, I nod and blink, I totally dig itPsychoanalysis is, acc [...]


  2. Copjec is no Zizek but she takes Lacan literally than Zizek does, which is good for understanding the finer points of the clinical side of Lacanian theory But this book focuses mainly on Lacanian discourse analysis and film theory the chapter on noir is outstanding But the main point Copjec wants to get across and I think she does a good job of it is that neo Foucauldians have largely misunderstood Lacan over and over again as well as Foucault for that matter because they don t take the time to [...]





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