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Talking to Brick Walls A Series of Presentations in the Chapel at Sainte-Anne Hospital JACQUES LACAN Translated by A.R. Price ‘“I’ve been talking to brick walls”, says Lacan, meaning: “Neither to you, nor to the Big Other. I’m speaking by myself. And this is precisely what interests you. It’s up to you to interpret me.” These brick walls are those of the chapel at Sainte-Anne hospital. Getting back in touch with his younger years as a junior doctor, Lacan amuses himself, improvises, and lets himself go. The intention is a polemical one: the best of his pupils, captivated by the idea that analysis evacuates all prior knowledge, have been raising the banner of non-knowledge, borrowed from Bataille. No, says Lacan, psychoanalysis proceeds from a supposed knowledge, that of the unconscious. One gains access to it by the path of truth (the analysand ventures to say what comes to mind, frankly and with no frills) when it comes to an end in jouissance (the analyst interprets what the analysand says in terms of libido). However, two further paths bar access to this one: ignorance (to devote oneself to it with passion is always to consolidate established knowledge), and power (the passion for might obliterates what is revealed by parapraxes). Psychoanalysis teaches the virtues of powerlessness: this, at least, respects the real. A wise lesson for an era, this era of ours, that has seen bureaucracy, arm in arm with science, dreaming of changing humankind in its deepest reaches – through propaganda, through direct manipulation of the brain, through biotechnology, and even through social engineering. Admittedly things were no better before, but tomorrow they could be far worse.’ Jacques-Alain Miller 190 x 124mm / 126 pages / Sep 2017 UK /Oct 2017 US HB / 978-0-7456-8242-6 / £16.99 / €21.90 / $19.95

Transference The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VIII JACQUES LACAN EDITED BY JACQUES-ALAIN MILLER Translated by Bruce Fink ‘In this extraordinary text Lacan teaches us that to become Lacanians would be to miss the point. To understand transference, Lacan shows us with his usual wit and precision, is to understand how and why people get stuck in their relationships to people, and to ideas. This is Lacan at his breeziest and most incisive. He reveals once again, in his own inimitable way, that to talk well about psychoanalysis is always to talk about so much more than psychoanalysis.’ Adam Phillips, Psychoanalyst and writer 229 x 152mm / 464 pages / 2015 HB / 978-0-7456-6039-4 / £30.00 / €38.90 / $45.00

Formations of the Unconscious The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book V JACQUES LACAN EDITED BY JACQUES-ALAIN MILLER Translated by Russell Grigg ‘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, asks 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) 229 x 152mm / 544 pages / May 2017 UK / July 2017 US HB / 978-0-7456-6037-0 / £30.00 / €38.90 / $45.00

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