Freud: The Theory of the Unconscious
A clearly written and highly organized introduction of the work of one of the twentieth century’s greatest thinkers
Octave Mannoni worked in France, Madagascar, and Africa throughout the twentieth century to develop Lacanian psychoanalytic methods in the feld of ethnology. He is best known for his research on the psychic affects of colonization: domination of a mass by a minority, economic exploitation, paternalism, and racialism.
Positioning his perspectives within the Freudian framework, Mannoni’s book Freud: The Theory of the Unconscious is a well-crafted and concise introduction to the Austrian neurologist’s life, work, and theories. The major part of this book consists of an intellectual biography of Freud that traces the various crucial Freudian concepts key to understanding his work. Along with an introduction, the book also provides a critical account of the various shortcomings in Freud’s work.
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Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists
Pits the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan against the historicist approach of Michel Foucault to develop a profound critique of historicism
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 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.
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The Weary Sons of Freud
A Communist, feminist, and analysand asks what the social function of psychoanalysis should be and condemns what it has become
In this passionately written and controversial book, first published in 1978, Catherine Clément, Communist, feminist and analysand, asks what the social function of psychoanalysis should be and condemns what it has become.
She attacks psychoanalysis as an institution disdainful of treatment and cure, serving the interests of a new intelligentsia, the nouveaux riches of a narcissistic literary culture and publishing industry. Contrasting the insights of psychoanalytic theory to the obsessive imitations of Jacques Lacan by those who followed him as a practitioner-trainer, she offers an anthropological perspective and a political critique of Parisian psychoanalysis as a profession. How has the attentive ear of the analyst become deaf to questions about the social and political meaning of his or her work? Does a woman who is both a socialist and analysand necessarily hear such questions more clearly and answer them differently? Clément reflects on her own history, the history of psychoanalysis and the history of the French left to demonstrate what an activist and feminist restoration of psychoanalysis could be.
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The Dialectics of Liberation
A revolutionary compilation of speeches which produced a political groundwork for many of the radical movements in the following decades
The Congress of the Dialectics of Liberation, held in London in 1967, was a unique expression of the politics of modern dissent, in which existential psychiatrists, Marxist intellectuals, anarchists, and political leaders met to discuss the key social issues of the following decade. Edited by David Cooper, this volume compiles speeches by Stokely Carmichael, Herbert Marcuse, R. D. Laing, Paul Sweezy, and others. The collection explores the roots of violence in society.
Against the backdrop of rising student frustrations, racism, class inequality, and environmental degradation, this conference aimed to create genuine revolutionary momentum by fusing ideology and action on the levels of the individual and of mass society. These speeches clearly indicate the rise of a new, forceful, and (to some) ominous style of political activity.
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