Read My Desire: Lacan against the Historicists PDF/EPUB

Read My Desire: Lacan against the Historicists (October Books) [BOOKS] ✮ Read My Desire: Lacan against the Historicists (October Books) Author Joan Copjec – Thomashillier.co.uk In Read My Desire Joan Copjec stages a confrontation between the theories of Jacues Lacan and Michel Foucault protagonists of two powerful modern discourses – psychoanalysis and historicism Ordinar In read My Desire Joan Copjec stages a Desire: Lacan PDF ✓ confrontation between the theories of Jacues 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 Read My MOBI :↠ 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 critiue one that would be “literate My Desire: Lacan PDF ´ in desire” that would be able to read what is inarticulable in cultural statements From the Trade Paperback edition.


10 thoughts on “Read My Desire: Lacan against the Historicists (October Books)

  1. Andrew Fairweather Andrew Fairweather says:

    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 acuaint 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 according the Copjec the way in which the subject comes to an understanding of themself even if the understanding is 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— 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 uestions 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 deconstructionisthistoricistclassical 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 incompleteEnough Oh and a much clearer read than Zizek A total 45


  2. Peter Mathews Peter Mathews says:

    I have read Read My Desire twice the first time was in a rush and I was unable to appreciate fully the subtlety of Copjec's arguments while on the second reading I made sure to take care to understand the precise outlines of her thesis It was worth the effortCopjec's argument as I see it is not really with Foucault or the historicist's despite the subtitle of the book but with an erroneous assumption that all human desire can be rationalized and explained historicism in particular seems to believe that if there are gaps in this respect it is only because we haven't looked hard enough I'm not at all convinced that this is Foucault's position especially in light of his essay Nietzsche Genealogy History which does take into account the importance of contingency In Lacanian psychoanalysis by contrast the subject is something that fails to come into discourse that is detectable only by the hole that it leaves in language That is the essence of Chapter 1Chapter 2 takes this critiue a step further by applying it to film studies and its appropriation of the FoucauldianBenthamite idea of the panoptic gaze Again Copjec shows that this conception of the subject as the product of the gaze of the law means that the subject is located purely within the realm of the symbolic Lacan's theory of the gaze by contrast is instructive here for there the gaze is defined not by what it sees but again by a certain kind of failure remember in Seminar XI when the tuna can sees Lacan in the boat It is this failure this absence that once again defines the subject's place at the intersection of the real and symbolicIn Chapter 3 Copjec contemplates Henri Bergson the death drive and Zeno's paradox in order to try and explain the difference between the symbolic and the real In Zeno's paradox for instance it is impossible to represent properly the movement of Achilles as he overtakes the tortoise but this event does ultimately occur in the real For Copjec psychoanalysis continues to subscribe to the principle of sufficient reason but it differs from the usual scientific assumptions because the actual cause is never directly representable to consciousness except as an absenceChapter 4 was my favorite part of the book a brilliant piece of analysis that starts unexpectedly with Clérambault's bizarre collection of photographs of North African people draped in cloth Copjec interweaves these pictures with a meditation on how utilitarianism and functionalism have changed architecture buildings are now defined primarily by their use an attitude that spills over into clothing and then into the functionalist definition of humanity itself which now becomes defined by useful work clothing in this perspective becomes merely a decorative and inessential supplement Copjec brilliantly shows how utilitarianism begins from an erroneous assumption about what human beings ought rationally to want a logic that it then uses to justify tyranny the tyrant out of a perverse sense of care commands subjects to learn to do what is good for them and imperalism with the colonizer using the same tyrannical logic on colonized peoplesChapter 5 shows an unexpected link between stories of vampirism and the championing of breastfeeding There are some interesting discussions about anxiety in this section especially about how human beings use the symbolic order's capacity for ritual in order to try and control the eruptions of the real that make us anxious The actual connection between vampirism and breastfeeding however was difficult to follow and I'm not sure I understand it very wellIn Chapter 6 Copjec looks at how a politician like Ronald Reagan can repeatedly tell lies and get away with it because the people love something that is beyond truth about him People want that love above all else and it is this illusion of love that he gives them in return whether he lies or not is thus irrelevant It is a desire that cannot be rationalized people want love regardless of whether what they are actually given is good or bad true or false This leads to a meditation on the figure of the detective a figure who unlike the policeman has learned to disregard the outward signifiers of a speaker like Reagan and instead has become an expert at reading the irrational desire that makes people follow his messageChapter 7 contains a masterful analysis of the locked room paradox in film noir This involves further ruminations on detective fiction and its connection to statistics and the probable Again Copjec argues that the policeman is too literal too stuck in the literalness of the symbolic whereas the detective locates desire at the point of the real where the symbolic failsThe final section Chapter 8 is an extended rumination on sexual difference via Judith Butler and Immanuel Kant While praising Butler's perceptiveness Copjec argues that the problem with her ideas is that she ultimately locates sexuality atthe level of the signifier rather than tracing its position in the real Copjec then launches into a very complex and hard to follow discussion of Lacan's theory of sexuation and how it relates to Kant She demonstrates how the subject comes into existence or rather fails to come into existence in two different ways that somehow translate into male and female I understand the failure part but I remain baffled as to why this euates to sexual difference A difference of desire Yes A different way of approaching authority and the symbolic order Yes But sexual difference I don't see it as much as I dislike Butler I agree with her that masculine and feminine belong firmly to the realm of the symbolicCopjec's book does reuire some background knowledge of both Lacan and Foucault but compared to many other similar titles it is clearly written and accessible For me Chapter 4 with its amazing critiue of utilitarianism is the argument's high point a genuinely original and innovative argument that has enormous conseuences for how we can counter the devastating effects of utilitarianism on our world


  3. Miguel Miguel says:

    This book is incredible Not because every argument is bulletproof but because it is audacious comprehensive and necessary To separate Lacan and Foucault is an essential task in modern philosophycritical theory To understand the functioning of historicism and the science of psychoanalysis is eually crucial Copjec aids her readers in achieving these goals As heart stopping as Copjec's introduction is Foucault is less involved in this text than one might realize Instead Copjec spends her time deep in the complexities of Lacan's thinking exposing obvious contradictions with historicism and Foucault's major workCopjec's introduction is wonderful and serves as a great mission statement for the project of this text Copjec aligns the primal father of Freud's Totem and Taboo the death drive and the generative principle of a given society as opposed to its 'cultural content' as extra discursive figures of a different order of what they precipitate the society of eual brothers the pleasure principle and the aforementioned cultural content respectively This paradigm is crucial to all of Copjec's arguments as they proceed and she seeks to analyze what desire evinces despite it potentially existing outside of the sphere of discourse Copjec claims via Lacan that desire can be articulated even if it is not manifest in discourse in the way that what desire precipitates is manifestThe strongest chapters beyond the introduction are the 3rd and 6th Still just about every one has some value The 6th chapter in particular deserves special attention in the age of Trump Copjec even mentions Trump in the same breath as Reagan I imagine her sense of vindication is a vexed one Copjec argues that the media attacks on Reagan could never destroy the object a the object cause of desire that made American's love him Critics of Trump would be wise to consider this chapter closely and Copjec's call for a cultural studies literate in desire broadlyBrilliant thinkers can't always be right however Copjec is at her worst making baffling conflations of indeterminate terms In her final chapter she uses Lacan's articulation of sexual intercourse to make a critiue of sexual difference This is an enormous mistake Intercourse and sexual difference must be taken differently outside of the linguistic accident that one word 'sex' can refer to both Overall her final chapter leaves a lot to be desired Still it is a fascinating argument that offers a worthwhile if incomplete rendering of Lacan's writing on sexgenderI would much prefer a big failure to a small success However Copjec manages to mostly succeed and her minimal failures stem from an argument audacious enough to make them marvelous in their own right Copjec's missteps are worth consideration than most thinker's most valued contributions to philosophy


  4. Thai Divone Thai Divone says:

    I can't say I fully understood this book and yet as a Foucauldian this book is no less than a sheer revelation It is somewhat immodest to say the least and yet it is totally is Mainly though it leaves me with a burning uestion why didn't I put emphasis on learning Lacan on studying his writings And why to say the least isn't he's taught in other departments As a sociologist I now feel that I need some Lacan and if this is not a compliment to Copjec's masterful tour de force I don't know what is


  5. Khashayar Mohammadi Khashayar Mohammadi says:

    I can't emphasize enough how much I love Verso One of my favorite books this year


  6. Colin Cox Colin Cox says:

    Early in Joan Copjec's Read My Desire Lacan Against the Historicists she describes the predominant distinction between Lacanian psychoanalysis and Foucauldian historicism as one of desire specifically how and what each of these approaches does with desire She writes Psychoanalysis via Lacan maintains that the exclusivity of the surface or of appearance must be interpreted to mean that appearance always routs or supplants being that appearance and being never coincide It is this syncopated relation that is the condition of desire Historicism on the other hand wants to ground being in appearance and wants to have nothing to do with desire As it relates to being according to Copjec psychoanalysis sees discord By contrast historicism seeks to repress discord As she later explains historicism refuses to believe in repression In The Sublime Object of Ideology Slavoj Zizek makes a similar point about appearance and being never coinciding when he writes The subject is constituted through his own division splitting 204 This distinction matters for Copjec She suggests that too often these two theories Lacanian psychoanalysis on one side and Foucauldian historicism on the other have failed to be perceived as different The shape of historicism many credit to Foucault was the dominant mode of critical inuiry when Copjec published Read My Desire in 1994 Copjec wants to unmoor Lacan from Foucault by emphasizing the radicality of Lacan and psychoanalysis Copjec explains how historicism disentangles the jumbled messy contours of being Psychoanalysis by contrast attempts to sustain and reveal those messy contours Copjec also returns her reader's understanding of the gaze to its psychoanalytic roots Laura Mulvey popularized a reading of the gaze in film studies as a process that places spectators in a default male position Because of the constitutive role of the male gaze women or the woman become objects of desire This gaze creates the conditions for women to be either voyeuristic objects or fetishistic objects Conversely Copjec reads the Lacanian gaze as located 'behind' the image as that which fails to appear in it and thus as that which makes all its meanings suspect Copjec continues The gaze is not clear or penetrating not filled with knowledge or recognition; it is clouded over and turned back on itself absorbed in its own enjoyment As I read it the gaze is not something the subject can channel or harness because The subject is the effect of the impossibility of seeing what is lacking in the representation what the subject therefore wants to see The gaze the object cause of desire is the object cause of the subject of desire in the field of the visible In other words it is what the subject does not see and not simply what it sees that founds it Therefore what the subject does not see establishes subjectivity The gaze structures the subject; it is not a weapon the subject deploys Copjec also clarifies significant differences between desire and drive and how both modes affect and influence the subject She writes The psychoanalytical subject is not infinite it is finite limited and it is this limit that causes the infinity or unsatisfiability of its desire One thing comes to be substituted for another in an endless chain only because the subject is cut off from that essential thing that would complete it She continues The subject is never fully determinate according to psychoanalysis which treats this indeterminateness as a real feature of the subject This is why the historicist response to the psychoanalytic concept of the subject is so misguided The responseapproaches the universal subject as a vague concept that can with or less effort and a better knowledge of history be given precise attributes Certain words and phrases finite cut off and indeterminateness are essential for understanding psychoanalysis's approach to the subject especially in contrast to historicism Recognizing the subject as barred flies in the face of as Copjec's sees it historicism's desire to unknot and disavow contradictions and inconsistencies This is what is at stake for psychoanalysis It wants all of us to see the degrees of inconsistency that are constitutive to our being


  7. Mesut Bostancı Mesut Bostancı says:

    excellent book Reads beautifully offers meandering analysis the chapter on Clérambault is like well written fiction and the juxtaposition between Lacan and Foucault is really thoughtful and nuanced in a way that most works aren't To extrapolate her argument into your own work is tricky but ensures you'll actually be adapting it rather than just cutting and pasting a pull uote But if you have to have a pull uote the introduction is rich


  8. Eurethius Péllitièr Eurethius Péllitièr says:

    While some critiues stood but it was largely nebulous


  9. The Awdude The Awdude says:

    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 give psychoanalytic theory a chance It's the most complicated branch of critical theory there is so of course it's unpopular but Judith Butler converted and so cancer you Foucault is sect what with his groovy modalities of power and what not but the fact is that the entire Foucauldian oeuvre is covered in about one fourth of the Ecrits But whatever


  10. Naeem Naeem says:

    Similar terrain as Zizek but perhaps easier to read The essay with photos of men and women veiling is haunting


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