‘The Lacan Tradition’ by Lionel Bailly

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The Lacanian tradition is unique among psychoanalytic schools in its influence upon academic fields such as literature, philosophy, and cultural and critical studies. This book aims to make Lacan’s ideas accessible and relevant to mainstream psychoanalysts and to showcase developments in Lacanian thinking since his death in 1981.

This volume highlights the clinical usefulness of such concepts as the paternal metaphor, the formula of fantasy, the psychic structure, the central role of desire, and the interlinking of the individual subject in the matrix of the Other. While these themes are woven through all the papers, each is a highly individual reflection upon some aspect of Lacanian theory, practice, or history.

Bernard Burgoyne’s close study of the sources of Lacan’s academic inspirations clarifies many of his ideas; Sara Flanders’ remarkable overview of the field of French psychoanalysis situates Lacan firmly at its center; and Lionel Bailly’s exposition of Lacan’s version of the Oedipus Complex reclaims a currently fashionable area of psychoanalysis for the man who alone in the 1950s made the case for the necessity of the tripartite structure of object-relations in the psyche. Berges and Balbo’s work shows Lacanian thinking presaging recent evidence-based ideas of how mother-baby interactions bring into being the ability to mentalize and the development of subjectivity itself. Nobus’ paper encapsulates the trajectory and aim of a Lacanian analysis.

It is the editor’s hope that these pages will open the reader’s eyes to the fertility and importance of the Lacan tradition and bring it closer into the fold of psychoanalytic thought.