The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis
|The Four Fundamental
Concepts of Psychoanalysis
1981 Norton edition, with variant spelling of psychoanalysis
|Original title||'Les quatre concepts fondamentaux de la psychanalyse'|
|Illustrator||Jay J. Smith|
|Cover artist||François Leclaire (photo)|
|Series||Seminars of Jacques Lacan|
|Publisher||Éditions du Seuil|
Published in English
|Media type||Hardback, paperback|
|Preceded by||Seminar X|
|Followed by||Seminar XII|
The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (French: Les quatre concepts fondamentaux de la psychanalyse) is the 1977 English-language translation of a 'transcription of the Seminar held by Jacques Lacan at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris between January and June 1964'. It was first published by the Hogarth Press in the UK, and later by Norton in the US. Subsequent paperback editions have been printed by Peregrine and Penguin.
The blurb describes the book as providing "illuminating insights into the mind of the most controversial psychoanalyst since Freud"; and the Seminar, it has been suggested, 'marks the beginning of a new and difficult phase in Lacan's teaching...shift[ing] the central focus of his teaching away from the letter of Freud's texts'.
The 1994 edition contains an introduction by David Macey.
Lacan's "Seminar" - an annual occurrence over many decades, of which this is the first transcript to be published (though of the eleventh, not the first year) - was 'a central institution in Lacan's long and stormy career as the France's most prominent and most controversial psycho-analyst'.
The Seminar 'was a forum for Lacan rather than for a collective exploration...and although the Seminar played a vital role in the education of a generation of psycho-analysts, it was not part of any formal training programme'.
Lacan sought in his eleventh Seminar to cover what he called 'the major Freudian concepts - I have isolated four that seem to come within this category...the first two, the unconscious and repetition. The transference - I hope to approach it next time -...[&] lastly, the drive'.
On the drive, 'Lacan reread Freud...in order to emphasize that the four components of the drive — pressure, object, aim, and source — are not natural phenomena: the drive is a montage'.
The appearance during its course of what he called 'the newly published, posthumous work of my friend Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Le Visible et l'invisble ' led Lacan however - 'free as I am to pursue...the way that seems best to me' - into a long detour midway upon 'the eye and the gaze - this is for us the split in which the drive is manifested at the level of the scopic field'. In particular, 'Lacan spends some time on the "otherness" and alterity of mimesis in relation to the gaze'.
The French edition contained Lacan's 1965 "Report" on the Seminar and a "Postface" penned in 1973 on the occasion of the French publication. Both were omitted from the 1977 English-language translation in favour of a specially written "Preface". The original "Report" and "Postface" can be consulted in English elsewhere.
- David Macey "Introduction", Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis (1994) p. vii
- J. S. Lee, Jacques Lacan (1991) p. 10
- Lee, p. 133
- Macey, p. vii
- Macey, p. viii
- Lacan, p. 19
- M.-C. Laznik, "Subject of the Drive"
- Lacan, p. 70-3
- V. C. Sobchack, Carnal Thoughts (2004) p. 92
- Lacan, Jacques "Report on the 1964 Seminar" Hurly-Burly 5 (2011) 17-20 & "Postface to Seminar XI". 'Hurly-Burly 7 (2012) 17-21.
- Feldstein, R. et al. eds., Reading "Seminar XI" (1995)
- Lacan, Jacques "Report on the 1964 Seminar" Hurly-Burly 5 (2011) 17-20
- Lacan, Jacques "Postface to Seminar XI". 'Hurly-Burly 7 (2012) 17-21