Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis – Bruce Fink

A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis by Bruce Fink may, in my opinion, be regarded as a book it is almost impossible not to have, read and re-read if interested in Psychoanalysis, in Lacanian Psychoanalysis in particular and in wishing to become an analyst oneself. Introductions are just that: introductions. They introduce a subject, and unless the writer goes beyond this aim, which it would be more appropriate to call commentaries, they cannot replace the original text.

Still, Fink’s introduction is welcome for its plain English. It may eventually bring the experienced and dedicated analyst a smile everytime he hears how almost despairingly tricky Lacan is to read, but he or she would do well to remember his or her first days trying to grapple with those ideas. At the time of his seminars, Lacan’s pupils did not have a book written by a Fink to go back to in their quiet moments. The very experience of not understanding while simultaneously sensing that something important is being exposed may be quite anxiety provoking, if not altogether uncanny. This is why, again, Fink is a relief to have at hands. One can only be impressed by the amount of work and reflections Lacan demands to make a coherent sense of the mountain of insights the French psychoanalyst offers. If anything, Fink’s A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis saves the anxiety that may potentially arise from a too direct and immediate encounter with Lacan. The danger, of course, and one that Lacan himself would let define his style, was the one of understanding too quickly. Fink’s book is of great help, no doubt, but some would point out the risk of being almost too clear and with this the dangers of taking Lacan’s ideas as set in stone, immutable, or ‘The Truth’. The reality is that Lacan’s thoughts were always in movement, always fluctuating and changing.

Fink’s book is almost essential to have, but it ought not to be forgotten that it is but the first step towards Lacan’s writing itself: impossible to dodge if one is serious about his training towards becoming an analyst.


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See My Short Introduction on the signifier here

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Book details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Chicago Publisher: Harvard University Press; New Ed edition (5 Aug. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780674135369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674135369
  • ASIN: 067413536


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