My Presentation at Eroticon 2015


I did manage to record my presentation at Eroticon 2015, but I have to apologize in advance for the very poor sound quality of some of it. At some point, I will try and produce a podcast which is more listenable, but for now, this is what I have: Listen to the podcast version here, or subscribe to my iTunes page.

Also uploaded is the pdf of the slides, although this is just a framework to concentrate the mind, and doesn’t represent the meat of the talk.

As promised, I’m also including links to some resources. I strongly suggest, if you are going to get into reading this stuff, you buy a cheap subscription to Scribd. A LOT of the resources are up on there (legally or not).

Lacan developed his theories in the context of Freud. If you know very little about Freud, that can present a problem. It’s helpful to get your head around some of Freud’s main concepts: the unconscious, the Oedipus Complex, the Pleasure and Reality Principles, Beyond the Pleasure Principle and the Death Drive.

Online Resources

A good 20 minute introduction to Lacan by Marcus Pound on YouTube

[slideshare id=15632447&doc=psychoanalytictheory2-121213222649-phpapp02]

Nice, succinct summary of some of the main Lacanian concepts as they apply to literary theory.

A very good but frustratingly slow webinar on the Real, the Imaginary and the Symbolic by Jacques Siboni.

Underlying much of Slavoj Zizek’s philosophical outlook is a Lacanian structure of perception, desire and jouissance. He’s a very engaging and intelligible speaker once you get past his twitches, because his examples and metaphors are fantastic. He also gets around and does a LOT of free stuff. Just Google him, or search on YouTube – you’ll get addicted.

LacanOnline’s entry on Jouissance


General introductions to Lacan:

Homer, S. Jacques Lacan. London: Taylor & Francis, 2005.
I think this is the most accessible, inviting introduction. (It’s here, for free)

Bailly, Lionel. Lacan: A Beginner’s Guide. London: Oneworld, 2009.
Although it goes into more historical biographic detail than necessary, this also offers some really good summaries of key concepts.

Hill, P, and D Leach. Lacan For Beginners. Red Wheel/Weiser, 2009.
Although this is set out as a comic and should be really accessible, I found it left me hanging and confused on key concepts.

Bowie, Malcolm. Lacan. Harvard University Press, 1993.
Often referenced but I found very hard to read.

Focused Texts on Lacan

Fink, Bruce. A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997. Print.

Fink, Bruce. The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995. Print.

Fink, Bruce. Lacan to the Letter: Reading Ecrits Closely. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004. Print.

Fink is a practicing psychoanalyst, so his focus is clinical and therapeutic. He’s great, but I sometimes find his reading of Lacan too clinically and practically focused for my purposes as an erotic fiction writer looking at ways to write desire and jouissance.

Grosz, Elizabeth. Jacques Lacan: A Feminist Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2005.

Lacan uses a lot of terms and examples that might infuriate a die-hard feminist. Grosz’s introduction clears away some of the icky terminology and looks at the core concepts beneath.

Edelman, Lee. No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

An intersection of Queer and Lacanian Theory. Really confronting and controversial argument for Queers to embrace negative social labels and subjective destitution.

Ruti, Mari. The Singularity of Being. New York: Fordham University Press, 2012. Print. Psychoanalytic Interventions.

One of my very favourite Lacanian texts looks at possibilities for embracing our asocial ‘singularities’ and embracing the fleeting radical resistance that jouissance offers in everyday life.

  2 comments for “My Presentation at Eroticon 2015

  1. Jane Anne
    October 4, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you for the introduction to Lacanonline. Jouissance has a much deeper, wider sense than I realized. A gift. Merci.

    • October 5, 2015 at 1:06 am

      Oh, you’re so welcome. I’m not any kind of authority on Lacan. It’s really just my take. There are lots of people reading and interpreting Lacan in a lot of different ways.

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