Formations of the Unconscious

Formations of the Unconscious : The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book V

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When I decided to explore the question of Witz, or wit, with you this year, I undertook a small enquiry. It will come as no surprise at all that I began by questioning a poet. This is a poet who introduces the dimension of an especially playful wit that runs through his work, as much in his prose as in more poetic forms, and which he brings into play even when he happens to be talking about mathematics, for he is also a mathematician. I am referring to Raymond Queneau. While we were exchanging our first remarks on the matter he told me a joke. It s a joke about exams, about the university entrance exams, if you like. We have a candidate and we have an examiner. Tell me , says the examiner, about the battle of Marengo. The candidate pauses for a moment, with a dreamy air. The battle of Marengo...? Bodies everywhere! It s terrible... Wounded everywhere! It s horrible... But , says the examiner, Can t you tell me anything more precise about this battle? The candidate thinks for a moment, then replies, A horse rears up on its hind legs and whinnies. The examiner, surprised, seeks to test him a little further and says, In that case, can you tell me about the battle of Fontenoy? Oh! says the candidate, a horse rears up on its hind legs and whinnies. The examiner, strategically, asked the candidate to talk about the battle of Trafalgar. The candidate replies, Dead everywhere! A blood bath.... Wounded everywhere! Hundreds of them.... But my good man, can t you tell me anything more precise about this battle? A horse... Excuse me, I would have you note that the battle of Trafalgar is a naval battle. Whoah! Whoah! says the candidate. Back up, Neddy! The value of this joke is, to my mind, that it enables us to decompose, I believe, what is at stake in a witticism. (Extract from Chapter VI)show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 160 x 233 x 47mm | 890g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 0745660371
  • 9780745660370
  • 121,196

About Jacques Alain Miller

Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) was one of the twentieth-century's most influential thinkers. His many works include Ecrits, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis and the many other volumes of The more

Table of contents

Translator s Note Abbreviations The Freudian structures of wit I. The Famillionaire II. The Fat-millionaire III. The Miglionaire IV. The Golden Calf V. A Bit-of-Sense and the Step-of-Sense VI. Whoah, Neddy! VII. Une Femme de Non-Recevoir, or : A Flat Refusal THE LOGIC OF CASTRATION VIII. Foreclosure of the Name-of-the-Father IX. The Paternal Metaphor X. The Three Moments of the Oedipus Complex (I) XI. The Three Moments of the Oedipus Complex (II) XII. From Image to Signifier D in Pleasure and in Reality XIII. Fantasy, Beyond the Pleasure Principle THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PHALLUS XIV. Desire and Jouissance XV. The Girl and the Phallus XVI. Insignias of the Ideal XVII. The Formulas of Desire XVIII. Symptoms and Their Masks XIX. Signifier, Bar and Phallus The dialectic of desire and demand in the clinical study and treatment of the neuroses XX. The Dream by the Butcher s Beautiful Wife XXI. The Still Waters Run Deep Dreams XXII. The Other s Desire XXIII. The Obsessional and his Desire XXIV. Transference and Suggestion XXV. The Signification of the Phallus in the Treatment XXVI. The Circuits of Desire XXVII. Exiting via the Symptom XXVIII. You Are the One You Hate APPENDICES The Graph of Desire Explanation of the Schemas Editor s Note Translator s Endnotes Indexshow more

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