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On Feminine Sexuality, the Limits of Love and Knowledge: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX: Encore

(Le Séminaire #20)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  472 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Often controversial, always inspired, Jacques Lacan here weighs theories of the relationship between the desire for love and the attainment of knowledge from such thinkers as Aristotle, Marx, and Freud. He leads us through mathematics, philosophy, religion, and, naturally, psychoanalysis into an entirely new way of interpreting the two most fundamental human drives. Long a ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published November 17th 1999 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1975)
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Start your review of On Feminine Sexuality, the Limits of Love and Knowledge: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XX: Encore
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: durcharbeiten
I read this very quickly so I could hasten a re-reading, hopefully mouthing every syllable into the flesh of my loved One. It's arch-Lacan--what's not to love, hate, or ignore?

Someday some "I" will enunciate a realer review below. That one will convince [convaincre] you to vanquish [vaincre] the asshole [con] who doesn't read Lacan. It's too condign that this stage of Lacan's teaching overlaps with Pynchon's enticing barb: "this is not a disentanglement from but a progressive knotting into."
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I tried reading this several times and couldn't make head or tail of it

EDIT: Having read numerous secondary sources on Lacan now (chiefly Bruce Fink's books) I think I understand this a bit better and I have to say it's really good. Lacan's schema of sexuation is just genius and a maybe step forward in how we think sexual difference, not to mention his musings on language, knowledge, and jouissance. I'm gonna dock a star cuz it's just so hard to read but damn this is a wonderful seminar.
Luke Widlund
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm incredibly disappointed with how inaccessible this seminar is...

A lot of my experience reading this started to feel arbitrary considering that I had no clue why Lacan was using so many self-created terms without entirely explaining them. This text failed to inspire questions considering the psyche and instead only inspired the reader to question "what the fuck is Lacan saying"?

Still, there are few gems to be found in this seminar. One in particular is the idea of sexual relationship's inabi
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Εάν η σεξουαλική συνεύρεση με το σώμα του Άλλου δεν προσδιορίζει κάποια "σχέση" μεταξύ των φύλων, μήπως αυτή η σχέση μπορεί ν΄αναζητηθεί στο δεσμό που δημιουργεί η αγάπη; Μήπως ο έρωτας επιτρέπει στο Ένα να έχει πρόσβαση στο Άλλο φύλο;"
Aug 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Let me jump into the text at one of many critical points.

For every speaking being, the cause of its desire is, in terms of structure, strictly equivalent, so to speak, to its bending, that is, to what I have called its division as subject. (114-115)

If each pair of the following set of interpretations is not quite mutually-implying, at least each is linked to the entire set, Borromean-fashion. Perhaps, this is not a defect when it comes to a reading of a text whose central formal inspiration li
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
On reading Lacan, people offer a lot of advice. They say you must read him twice, or that perhaps you must know of what he speaks before you read. These are adequate suggestions, but far from exhaustive. My advice is to always keep in view the unholy alliance between Lacanian psychoanalysis, postmodernism, and surrealism.

With that aside, this seminar offers three crucial points that I can outline although they are far from exhaustive. Encore offers the most sustained meditation on Lacan's well k
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Libro de magia y alquimia del cual entendí alrededor del 35%, debido a distracciones innombrables en los últimos días y a falta de mejores herramientas teóricas. Seré buena y no mencionaré demasiado que la oralidad de Lacan bordea lo insoportable y lo obtuso. Luego de leer Reading Seminar XX: Lacan's Major Work on Love, Knowledge, and Feminine Sexuality y algunos seminarios previos, volveré.
(2.5*? - calificación irrelevante en este estado larval)
Derek Brown
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
I don't know what the big deal is. I feel like I was reading the ramblings of a timeshare salesman.
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The four stars are mostly for the two critical introductions: they are simply excellent.
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Didn't finish it. Barely remember much of it at all. Was frustrated with it.
Tom Syverson
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a valuable read for intermediate students of Lacan. You should be well versed in his basics in terms of sexuality and desire, as these texts will likely be too difficult to just walk blindly into. As Bruce Fink has noted, you really need to know what Lacan means before you read him saying it.

The first two introductory essays are fantastic, but mostly just set up the "problem of femininity" in the history of psychoanalysis. In fact, most of the book is dedicated to wrestling with, to no
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychoanalysis
Lacan's Seminar XX is one of the most fascinating of his seminars, and I think that the term "fascination" is a very accurate way to describe this seminar. Throughout the reading, the accurate reader will notice this fascination, gently interwoven in the words. On the one hand, this fascination makes this seminar very appealing, on the other - it is a fascination which one should consider its implications.

One thing is sure - it is another brilliant seminar, which contributes to psychoanalysis gr
Katerina Papadopoulou
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Interesting , well organized , clear thoughts without losing the magic of a psychoanalytic perspective.
The limits of love is not an appropriate title in my opinion because it is not clarified inside the book. However who am I to tell what are the true limits of love.
Jan 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the theory is fascinating and of course pivotal for the development of lit theory, but the style became at times impossible to negotiate, because Lacan's playfulness and enactment of ideas took precedence over communicating meaning.
Nov 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
he is kind a funny
Leonard Houx
Jun 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
this book taught me how to have a way with the ladies.
Richard K. W. Hsu
Sep 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychoanalysis
the part of sexuation is a must-read if you don't have time to go through the whole book.
Mar 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I give this a five not because I agree with all the claims, but because it's such a joy to engage with (and much more of an invitation to engage than, say, Ecrits).
Tomasz Gil
Very important book. I would wish to elaborate the jouissance de l'Autre. However, I learned more from commentators such as Joan Copjec.
Marshall Wayne Lee
Jul 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: resources
Very difficult book for me to read. I read it like poetry, putting each sentence in my own words. It is Freudian theory.
Matthew B.
Apr 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
I don't get it and I don't want to.
Egor Sofronov
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A 'poet and mathematician' here gives the most elliptical, polysemic text I've probably ever read (of prose).
Lacan propone mucho, y muchas cosas interesantes. A la hora de sistematizar, nos apabulla con fórmulas y definiciones contradictorias. Su escritura dice que se tacha, pero más bien es una no poposición, de la que hay que rescatar momentos y calibrar el punto de contradicción que TODOS los conceptos tienen entre sí. De alguna manera, faltaría siempre una revisión en el que él diera un acabado a sus parloteo que gusta tanto del juego de palabras gratuito, que se quiere instituir como tesis, como q ...more
Kevin Wright
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Realizing that his Borromean knot (Real-Symbolic-Imaginary) comes apart when just one of the rings gets the snip, this the crucial moment when Lacan relinquishes science for feminine jouissance. 20 years too late?
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
“The facts I am talking to you about are facts of discourse from which we solicit an exit in analysis - in the name of what? Of letting go of the other discourses” (11).

Advise: This can be a difficult read if you have not already been exposed to Lacan or other psychoanalytic research.
Sergey Kochergan
proof of love
Аnna Beria
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hardest but the most beautiful 146 pages
Marcelo Scalabrin Müller
I wanted to check this in the original, and I am not sure I was able to learn anything. I can say the experience is worthwhile, but, as Lacan himself implicitly says in one of his passages, his discourse is not made to clarify. The French he uses is not difficult to understand, but his text is anything but clear. The main themes are desire, love and our relation to the Other, but it is hard to be sure what his point is. As I don't have a psychology background, most of the time I wasn't sure if i ...more
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Jacques-Marie-Émile Lacan was a French psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and doctor, who made prominent contributions to the psychoanalytic movement. His yearly seminars, conducted in Paris from 1953 until his death in 1981, were a major influence in the French intellectual milieu of the 1960s and 1970s, particularly among post-structuralist thinkers.

Lacan's ideas centered on Freudian concepts such as

Other books in the series

Le Séminaire (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Freud's Papers on Technique
  • The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book II: The Ego in Freud's Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis, 1954-1955
  • The Psychoses 1955-1956 (Seminar of Jacques Lacan)
  • El seminario 5: La formación del inconsciente = Substance Abuse
  • Le Séminaire, Livre VI: Le désir et son interprétation
  • The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1959-1960 (Seminar of Jacques Lacan)
  • Il seminario. Libro VIII. Il transfert (1960-1961)
  • Seminario 9: "La identificación" 1961-1962, Versión íntegra
  • Anxiety - The Seminar of Jacques Lacan | Book X
  • The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (Seminar of Jacques Lacan)

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