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How to Read Lacan (How to Read...)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,026 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
The How to Read series provides a context and an explanation that will facilitate and enrich your understanding of texts vital to the canon. These books use excerpts from the major texts to explain essential topics, such as Jacques Lacan's core ideas about enjoyment, which re-created our concept of psychoanalysis.
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Published (first published 2006)
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Eric The author takes short passages from Lacan's writing and explores it using texts Lacan himself read or likely read.
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Glenn Russell
Jun 05, 2016 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Slavoj Žižek - Slovenian psychoanalytic philosopher, cultural critic and all around Marxist bad boy. You might not agree with his philosophy or politics but one thing is certain - he has the uncanny ability to explain difficult theories and concepts in vivid, comprehensible language.

Since one of my own areas of interest in Jungian psychology, I thought it wise to gain at least a basic understanding of another major theorist in the world of psychoanalysis - Jacques Lacan. To this end I tried read
May 30, 2016 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theory
It does not merely enable a human being to accept the repressed truth about him- or herself; it explains how the dimension of truth emerges in human reality.

It is a testament to my sloth and stupidity that I reaped so much from this text as well as Z's other primer Event. Telling, how much Žižek utilizes the Bard here, as opposed to his "typical" Hitchcock. (anyone want to ponder the skeletons in Dakota Johnson's baggage claim?). No, Shakespeare is placed beside Stalin, while the "true" defendan
Jonathan Widell
A terrific summary of Zizek's reading of Lacan. It could be more appropriately called "How to Read Zizek's Reading of Lacan" than simply "How to Read Lacan". An impressive number of his examples are familiar from his other works, especially The Parallax View. Having Zizek's Lacan illustrations published in one book makes it a lot easier to make sense of his reading of Lacan.

There is just this one "but". Zizek does not really read Lacan. Rather, he uses his reading of Lacan to read something els
Hamid Hasanzadeh
داستان کارگری را به خاطر بیاورید که مشکوک به دزدیش بوند : هر روز غروب، وقتی که کارخانه را ترک می کرد، گاری دستی اش را با نهایت دقت وارسی می کردند، اما نگهبان ها نمی توانستند چیزی پیدا کنند، و گاری همیشه خالی بود. عاقبت فهمیدند قضیه چیست : اموال مسروقه چیزی نبود مگر همین گاری ها. همین نوع چرخش خود بازتابنده را در امر ارتباط نیز می توان مشاهده کرد : نباید از خاطر برد که محتوای یک عمل ارتباطی شامل خود آن هم می شود، زیرا معنای هر عمل ارتباطی در عین حال، به شیوه ای بازتابنده اعلام می کند که یک عمل ار ...more
Jul 04, 2015 Behzad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I've just read 144 pages about Jacques Lacan "the enigma" without once feeling confused, or bored, or tired. Zizek is a genius! He knows how to explain Lacan's most complicated psychoanalytic concepts to you like you're a two year old. He provides unbelievably interesting and sometimes uproariously funny examples from Politics, media, music, literature, cinema and just about everything so as to narrow down everything to a manageable size for slow brains!
If you've read Sean Homer'
Mohammad Mahdi Fallah
کتاب با چیره دستی تمام، تفسیری انحصاری ژیژک از لکان را با ارجاعات مکرر به فیلم ها، رمان ها و نمایشنامه را نمایندگی می کنند. درون کتاب از عبارات های ثقیل خالی نیست ولی راحت فهمی نوشته های ژیژک در نهایت معنایی رو منتقل میکنه.
کتاب رو با دوستی خوندیم و برای همین قدری طول کشید ولی قطعا اونقدر جدی نیست. تلاش ژیژک برای پرده برداری از مفاهیم کلیدی اندیشه لکان قابل تقدیره؛ مفاهیمی مثل دیگری بزرگ و کوچک، امر واقعی و امر نمادین و ...
به هرحال گویا سری "چگونه ... را بخوانیم" اونقدرم دم دستی نیست و شدیدا مشتا
Tanuj Solanki
The book is divided in seven chapters each of which start with a text from Lacan and then dwell upon the concept it contains. We are given the notions (in no particular order here) of the big Other, the small Other, fantasy, perversity, the unconsciousness of God, intersubjectivity, the other as an unknown behind the wall of language, et cetera. Zizek's extrapolation of Lacan's view of psychoanalysis as a method of reading ends at finding a Lacanian method of reading everything. Zizek also menti ...more
Apr 25, 2008 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Is there anyone smarmier and more annoying that Zizek?

Oh wait, possibly the professor for whom I have to read Zizek.
The Awdude
Dec 27, 2010 The Awdude rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What's great about Zizek is also the answer to the question people always ask about critical theory ("that's interesting and all but what do I do with it?"). Zizek is the master of practical illustration and application of theory. He doesn't stop at showing you where the water is or what conditions of epistemic knowledge make it possible for said water to be constituted as such, or whatever; rather, he points to the water, leads you to the water, helps you understand the possible consequences of ...more

The great Slavoj Zizek, the sage of Lubjana, writing about something he knows inside and out. It's illuminating, engaging, vibrant and complex.

A lot of what's in here has really made sense of some of my own observations about life and human psychology come into clearer focus. I'm going to refer back to it again and again.

Part of what I really appreciate about Zizek's writing is that he is master of the accessible, anecdotal pop culture reference to illustrate what term or insight Lacan has to
Tom Syverson
This is a pleasurable book to read about Lacan, but it does not even begin to give the reader what it purports to offer, namely instruction on how to read (or understand) Lacan. Like all of Zizek's writing on Lacan, it does not actually do a very good job communicating what Lacan is really all about. Rather, we're getting Zizek-on-Lacan with a pretty heavy emphasis on Zizek. For readers new to Lacan, the book as a whole should be taken with a grain of salt.

This can function as a great first boo
A useful but limited introduction to Lacan
Zizek is such a sui generis intellectual that it is inevitable that any “How to read” manual will be tainted by his worldview. In this book, he doesn’t even try to be objective, and uses most of his “library” of examples to illustrate Lacan. A lot of these illustrations are also found in his movie “The Pervert's Guide to Cinema”, for instance. At the same time, Zizek favorites strategies—dialectic reversals, paradoxes and outright provocation—are inconsp
Vikas Lather
Jan 09, 2016 Vikas Lather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Fantastic and brilliant
لکان از آن متفکرانی است که احاطه بر آموزه هایش به راحتی ممکن نیست. ارجاعات مکرر وی به ریاضیات، فلسفه، منطق، زبان شناسی و ... و رفت و آمدهایش بین حوزه های گوناگون دانش از یک طرف و ابداعات غریبش در حوزه لغات و واژگان از سوی دیگر، سبب می شود ترجمه تحت اللفظی آثارش چندان مفید نباشد.
اسلاووی ژیژک نیز دست کمی از لکان ندارد! تصور کنید قرار است لکان را از خلال مقالات ژیژک بشناسید که خودش به پیچیده نویسی شهره است و به ارجاعات مکرر و غامض لکان، هالیوود و تلویزیون را هم اضافه می کند.
به نظرم مطالعه این کتاب
Georgia gray
Jan 17, 2008 Georgia gray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a better intro to zizek i think
Silvia Urite
May 15, 2016 Silvia Urite rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El autor expresa de manera bastante simple los conceptos fundamentales del Psicoanàlisis lacaniano, a travès del anàlisis de pelìculas como Casablanca, Ojos bien cerrados, 21 gramos, Alien entre otras. Tambièn hay referencias a Kafka, Dostoievski y otros autores literarios.
Pieter-Jan Beyul
Mar 28, 2015 Pieter-Jan Beyul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-shelf
Quick overview of Lacan in a style every reader of Zizek will be familiar with by now, namely by referencing to popular culture, film and literature while dealing with the thinker himself.
Which is exactly what Lacan did too in order to get to a more Freudian model of psychoanalysis than Freud himself did. Thanks to this I got a better understanding of some of the counterintuitive theories he postulates, but it's still a long way to go.
So even though this small book gives you the jist of some of
birds of fire
May 14, 2016 birds of fire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In contrast to the frequently convoluted and occasionally incoherent style on display in other works, here Zizek employs a straightforward and insightful explication of some of the major concepts in Lacanian psychoanalysis. Every chapter begins with a passage from Lacan, upon which Zizek then develops, creating a mix of colorful illustrations of the Lacanian conceptual apparatus and his own insights into culture, language, and the unconscious. I will admit to struggling quite a bit with Lacan's ...more
Jun 14, 2014 Goodacre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The French philosopher of psychoanalysis Lacan is famously difficult and arguably bonkers. How to Read Lacan brims with personality. Our guide Zizek is peculiarly and exceptionally contrary and always wants to one-up your intuition; paired with Lacan, the result would be too combustible to print if it weren't for Zizek's very friendly habit of explaining himself with movies. This really works. Each chapter begins with roughly a paragraph of seemingly incoherent text followed by Zizek's trademark ...more
Daniel Cheng
Apr 12, 2016 Daniel Cheng rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a general rule of thumb I never give these kinds of intro books 5 stars, but this short work is truly a delightful exception. As one would expect of Slavoj Zizek, we don’t find the typical kind of summarization normally seen in this genre. This book is very much Zizek’s interpretation of Lacan and shouldn’t be understood as a “standard” reading of Lacan’s works. However, what this book does provide are incredibly lucid explanations of basic Lacanian concepts along with hilarious jokes and exa ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
How to read Lacan,2007, Slavoj Žižek
عنوان: چگونه لاکان بخوانیم؛ نویسنده: اسلاوی ژیژک؛ مترجم: علی بهروزی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، رخداد نو؛ 1392، در 157 ص، فروست: روانکاوی؛ شابک: 9786006457314؛
عنوان: لاکان به روایت ژیژک؛ نویسنده: اسلاوی ژیژک؛ مترجم: فتاح محمدی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، هزاره سوم؛ 1390، در 178 ص، فروست: روانکاوی؛ شابک: 9789649698526؛
Apr 11, 2016 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For people interested in Lacan as a psychoanalyst, this book is almost entirely worthless, hence my disappointment, though to be fair the author acknowledges this early on. With socialist ideological leanings, it does seem (as others have commented) that this book seems to be more about Zizek's philosophical ideas than it is about Lacan. So pronounced is this emphasis that the title ought instead to read, "Zizek comments on a few novels and historical events with occasional reference to Lacan." ...more
Jul 03, 2014 Kane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parts of this book are absolutely excellent. Despite this, I continually found examples taken from novels and films to be more contrived than actually demonstrating the underlying concepts.

It is definitely worth the read, and is easy to get into and to understand. I couldn't help feeling that the part about God being unconscious rather than dead purposefully brushed over Nietzsche's statement that although God is dead, "his shadow still looms."

I found myself oscillating between agreeing and disa
Nov 19, 2014 Ioanna-Violet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! I would highly recommend it to those who like Zizek and want to read Lacan's main ideas in a concise and interesting way.
Jack Lindgren
As I'm sure others have mentioned, this book isn't exactly a Lacan primer, per se, but rather a collection of Žižekian explications of Lacanian concepts using examples from pop culture. Although I'm pretty sure that all of the material in this book can be found elsewhere (in Žižek's various other books that use pop culture to illustrate Lacan, in youtube lectures by Žižek, etc.), this volume was handy.
(aside: I have a theory that Žižek's incredibly large oeuvre can be condensed into maybe a doz
Apr 11, 2013 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who am I kidding? I can't really write a review about this book. It's still destroying my brain. I can't compete with Zizek, whose name I can't even write properly because I don't know where the symbols that should be above the "z"s are on my keyboard. It is a BRUTAL book about philosophy. It analyzes the ideas proposed by Lacan, who, as far as I understand was a psychologist. I will admit I had never heard of him before reading this book, and obviously I hadn't read anything written by him. I d ...more
Aug 09, 2013 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To start, I'm am not in any way sufficiently familiar with Lacan's own work to offer any judgment on whether Zizek offers any sort of fair or accurate analysis. Those in the post-structuralist/post-modern/psychoanalytic know may or may not consider Zizek to be a rogue Lacanian, but beyond knowing that, I have little to offer.

Insofar as Zizek being Zizek, this book fits right in with the rest of his rapidly expanding corpus, with its strange kaleidoscope of revolutionary politics, cultural criti
Dec 23, 2014 Mitchell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
This book is one in a series of, How to Read . . . “great thinkers and writers” produced by the New School of Social Research. The intention of the series is to bring the reader “face-to-face with the writing itself in the company of an expert guide.” While I don’t question the expertise of the author/guide, in this instance, I do believe the title, "How to Read Lacan" is misleading. In my opinion, a more appropriate title might be: "A Condensed Reading of Žižek: Lacan Unplugged."

Just as a come
Jul 05, 2009 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my follow-up to reading those essays I read from _Ecrits_, and I thought it was pretty helpful.... Zizek's primary interest here seems to be in exploring what Lacan means by the symbolic. And I think Zizek does a really good job with that-- I certainly think I get it a lot more than I did before, and in lots of places, Zizek's examples are very clear and mostly current, so that's all good.

My quibble here, then, is one of focus. I might just be idiosyncratic in my interests or my reading
Saman Nourai
Feb 10, 2016 Saman Nourai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
یکی از میلیون ها کارهایی که از ژیزک منتشر شده
به نظر من جدای این کار و محتواش باید به نشر این کاری و مجموعه کارهای مشابه که منتشر شده احترام گذاشت
فقط به نظر اسم این مجموعه مناسب نیست
مجموعه چیزی بیشتر از یه کار مقدماتی یا صرفن نوعی آشنایی با متفکرینه
من چگونه فروید بخوانید رو هم بشدت پیشنهاد می کنم
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Slavoj Žižek is a Slovene sociologist, philosopher, and cultural critic.

He was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia (then part of SFR Yugoslavia). He received a Doctor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Ljubljana and studied psychoanalysis at the University of Paris VIII with Jacques-Alain Miller and François Regnault. In 1990 he was a candidate with the party Liberal Democracy of Slovenia for P
More about Slavoj Žižek...

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“For Lacan, psychoanalysis at its most fundamental is not a theory and technique of treating psychic disturbances, but a theory and practice that confronts individuals with the most radical dimension of human existence. It does not show an individual the way to accommodate him- or herself to the demands of social reality; instead it explains how something like ‘reality’ constitutes itself in the first place. It does not merely enable a human being to accept the repressed truth about him- or herself; it explains how the dimension of truth emerges in human reality.” 1 likes
“For Lacan, language is a gift as dangerous to humanity as the horse was to the Trojans: it offers itself to our use free of charge, but once we accept it, it colonizes us.” 1 likes
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