The wide-ranging and brilliant ideas of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) have had a major influence on modern thought. His ‘followers’ are loyal and legion. Yet his ideas are complex and densely conveyed. Lacan’s detractors have accused him of obscurantism, pretentiousness and even incoherence, his psychoanalytic practice and his personal life were complicated – he was famous and contentious in equal measure.
Martin Murray provides a lucid account of Lacan’s key concepts, including the mirror stage, and his relationship to Freud’s ideas, amongst many others. Tracing their origins in his diverse interests: art, psychiatry, philosophy, anthropology, linguistics and psychoanalysis. Murray also investigates Lacan’s professional life, personal life and institutional influence in an attempt to understand the charismatic and controversial person he became.
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