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I am not concerned with the truth that may be contained in the theories which I am rejecting, nor shall I attempt to refute them…I wish merely to show that these theories controvert the fundamental principles of analysis…and that for this reason they should not be known by the name of analaysis. In the fall of , Lacan paid a rare visit to the United States. Convinced that he was a world-famous superstar, he announced upon his arrival in New York that he wanted to make a private visit to the Metropolitan Opera House. His academic hosts were a bit flustered, but knowing the consequences of crossing their imperious guest, they hit upon an ingenious solution: an urgent call was placed to the director of the Metropolitan, telling him that Jean-Paul Sartre wanted to visit, with the caveat that the visit would be absolutely incognito.
Flattered and delighted by the prospect of entertaining such an eminent celebrity, the director agreed at once. Having been warned in advance not to address the French visitor by name, the gracious reception came off without a hitch, and a delightful and memorable day ensued.
It was said that Lacan could not have been more delighted by his welcome. Roudinesco, , p. While this peculiarly American divide does not imply an a priori problem 1 , taking it up as such is the motivation for Michael J. As is widely known, the early Lacan was highly engaged in a critique as passionate as it was unique, a rallying cry for psychoanalysts to return to the radicalness of the unconscious and its laws as discovered by Freud. Lacan called upon psychoanalysts to return to the unheimliche nature of the Freudian discovery, locus of fantastical evanescent surprises such as the dream, the lapsus, the parapraxis, and the joke witz.
As a graduate of the Duquesne University program, Miller had the rare experience as a clinical psychology graduate student of being taught by a practicing Lacanian analyst and author also one of the foremost translators of Lacan , Dr.
Bruce Fink. Thus, Miller pairs four of his own clinical examples with a particular Lacanian essay or concept that he believes the case best illustrates or vice versa. Nevertheless, I believe that this book cannot simply be counted as an addition to the cannon of secondary literature that is indespensable to all of us who have the desire to read Lacan.
Its contradictions, paradoxes, and misuses of languge require us to interrogate at what point application practical as it may be becomes an act of obliteration of its source. Significantly, this lack lends itself to the creation of an illusion of synonymy, as if there could be a perfect rapport between the two.
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Miller presumes continuity, whereas psychoanalysis according to both Freud and Lacan is the product of a rupture and exclusion, its exile from bordering disciplines such as psychology, psychiatry, and philosophy the cause for its very existence. What is most revealing, however, is that there where Miller does mark the distinction between psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, he does so in the form of an authorial disclaimer:. I am not an psychoanalyst…although I do consider my work with these patients to have been analytic in nature…This admittedly curtails my rights to speak as an authority, and puts my project in danger of relying on too little knowledge… While this is a viable objection, I must clarify that my aim is not to speak as a psychoanalyst, nor do I wish to portray myself as an authority on all matters Lacanian…This may be problematic to those who are invested in a purist approach to Lacanian praxis whatever that may be , but I contend that my position—as a non-analyst—helps the honesty and rigor of this project.
Of course, not every treatment is a psychoanalysis, nor it is necessary for every clinician to be a psychoanalyst, but it is essential to know the difference.
While this may function as the support for his claim that psychoanalytic listening can be learned from a book, there is absolutely no support for attributing such a notion to Lacan. While this statement may appear at first glance to be a perfect example of the inscrutable style that Miller disparages, if we do not turn away too soon, we may notice that its peculiar structure is not a tautology. My Account. Remember to clear the cache and close the browser window. Search For:. Advanced Search.
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