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Lacan: A Beginner's Guide

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Jacques Lacan was one of the most important psychoanalysts ever to have lived. Building upon the work of Sigmund Freud, he sought to refine Freudian insights with the use of linguistics, arguing that “the structure of unconscious is like a language”. Controversial throughout his lifetime both for adopting mathematical concepts in his psychoanalytic framework and for advoca ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Oneworld Publications
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This book is fabulous -- For anyone (i.e., most of us) who doesn't know or understand a damn thing about Lacan, and feel guilty about it, this Lacan-for-dummies is written by no dummy. Bailly lays out the theoretical foundations with great clarity (though even here, the material on desire and on 'l'objet petit a' does get rather gritty).

Moreover, Baily stresses, quite rightly (it seem), that in spite of its theoretical interest, Lacan is really about the psychoanalytic practice (and not about t
The biggest excuse for dismissing Lacan's work has always been that it is obfuscating, opaque, obscurantist nonsense that can't be properly critiqued because there's nothing there to engage with. The only engagement I've had with Lacan has been via Zizek, Laclau, Butler and Badiou- all of whom did a good job of convincing me that there may be nothing to his work, but maybe they created something interesting out of the mess, like a great remix of a bad song. However, this book convinced me that L ...more
I'm fairly certain I didn't experience the "Mirror Stage" until I was a full 12 years old. According to this book, that is not a good thing.
Jonathan Widell
No matter how long you have been studying Lacan, you say to yourself many times while reading Bailly's book: "Oh now I get it!" Hence, the rating 10/5. Unfortunately you are only allowed 5/5.

Bailly starts with a brief history. He moves to the Imaginary, Symbolic and the Real and the Borromean knot pretty fast, although the Borromean knot was a late development in Lacan's topology. Bailly builds his presentation on a very helpful explanation of the relationship between the Phallus and the Name-o
Tom Syverson
This is the perfect book for anyone completely new to Lacan. Bailly assumes the reader knows practically nothing about Freud, the history/context of French psychoanalysis, philosophiy, structural linguistics, etc. and yet still manages to discuss the broad arc of Lacan's career in a concise way. He hits all the major topics with remarkable clarity.

Great as this book is, the beginning reader should know that this is of course only an introduction. Virtually every topic is boiled down and explain
Laura Carter
Excellent intro to Lacan. I recommend reading this---or a different intro---before getting into Lacan himself. I think this one goes into enough detail to get you started. I continue to be interested in Lacan's work and the variations that have grown from what he left the world.
The older I get the more important I believe it is to have a functioning understanding of psychology to cross-fertilize with other interest. Lacan took Freud's ideas to the next level but oddly his popularity is among students in the philosophy and linguistic departments and not in psychiatric studies. My interest in having a deeper understand of Slavoj Zizek's ideas led me to Lacan, Hegel and Marx and this is what the joy of reading is all about. PS. I have about ten of these Oneworld beginner' ...more
simply its a febulous book
Jerrett Lyday
Lacan's concepts are not easy to grasp. This os a great beginner's guide, but probably should be read along with or after a few other books/articles on Lacan. This is not a book you want to blaze through. It is best read slowly, turning back to reread things that were unclear or not initially comprehended.

Overall, an outstanding introduction on the condition that it is very hard to really "introduce" Lacan.
Michael Mena
Completely inspired to look further into Lacan.
Dec 30, 2013 Maggie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Best by far of the very few books that summarize Lacan's theories in civilian language.
Paul Johnston
Excellent introduction to Lacan. Very readable style and some helpful clinical examples to illustrate some of the concepts and the approaches.
Fantastic primer on Lacan.
Gabriel Aguilar
Gabriel Aguilar marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2015
Rambling Reader
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