In Read My Desire, Joan Copjec stages a confrontation between the theories of Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault, protagonists of two powerful modern. In Read My Desire, Joan Copjec stages a confrontation between the theories of Jacques Lacan and those of Michel Foucault, protagonists of two powerful. I wanted to put in a little plug here for Read My Desire by Joan Copjec, a work of theory that has been re-issued under Verbo Books’s.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Lacan Against the Historicists by Joan Copjec.

Ordinarily, these discourses only cross paths long enough for historicists to copejc psychoanalysis with an indifference to history, but here psychoanalysis, via Lacan, goes on the offensive. From the Trade Paperback edition. Hardcoverpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Read My Desireplease sign up. Lists dexire This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Joaj 06, Andrew Fairweather rated it really liked it Shelves: Joan Copjec’s book almost feels like a class in Lacan—using many of his key ideas to discuss stuff ranging from Bergsonian time, to utilitarianism, to vampires, to Judith Butler, to detective fiction and noir film, Lacan is championed as the savior of psychoanalysis, insisting that only the Lacanian psychoanalytic approach will acquaint us with our limitations, and the nature of our freedom as modern subjects.

And maybe because while I read, I nod and blink, I totally dig it Psychoanalysis is, Joan Ddsire book almost feels like a class in Lacan—using many of his key ideas to discuss stuff ranging from Bergsonian time, to utilitarianism, to vampires, to Judith Butler, to detective fiction and noir film, Lacan is championed as the savior of psychoanalysis, insisting that only the Lacanian copjrc approach will acquaint us with our limitations, and the nature of our freedom as modern subjects.

Psychoanalysis is, according the Copjec, the way in which the subject comes coppjec an understanding of themself, even if the understanding is more often a very crude one. So, why insist on such an unfashionable vocabulary? Psychoanalysis insists on exposing the ‘cruel enunciator, the sadistic superego’, which speaks the moral law because it, ‘[ The principal of maximization of happiness on which the ethics of utilitarianism is based is a product of this disavowal; it is also responsible for some of the most violent aggressions against our neighbors.

It is the fantasy structure which allows for anything we may call an understanding. The instability of a ccopjec lies not in a Foucaildian power play, collisions, between an array of points of view, but is inherent to the point of view fead such. Here, the crucial tension is not within petty bickering between viewpoints so cojpec as in any symbolic order, both the subject and the symbolic peerage remain incomplete.

Oh, and a much clearer read than Zizek! Nov 08, Peter D. I have read Read My Desire twice: It was worth the effort. Copjec’s argument, as I see it, is rexd really with Foucault or the historicist’s, despite the subtitle of the book, but with an erroneous assumption that all human desire can be rationalized and explained – historicism in particula I have read Read My Desire twice: Copjec’s argument, as I see it, is not really with Foucault or the historicist’s, despite the subtitle of the book, but with an erroneous assumption that all human desire can be rationalized and explained – historicism in particular seems to believe that, if there are gaps in this respect, it is only because we haven’t reaf hard enough.

I’m not at all convinced that this is Foucault’s position, especially in light of his essay “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History,” which does take into account the importance of contingency. In Lacanian psychoanalysis, by contrast, the subject is something that fails to come into m, that is detectable only by the hole that it leaves in language. That is the essence of Chapter 1. Again, Copjec shows that this conception of the subject as the product of the gaze of the law means that the subject is located purely within the realm of the symbolic.

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Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists by Joan Copjec

Lacan’s theory of the gaze, by contrast, is instructive here, for there the copiec is defined not by what it sees, but again by a certain kind of failure remember in Seminar XI, when the tuna can “sees” Lacan in the boat? It is this failure, this absence, that once again defines the subject’s place at the intersection of the real and symbolic. In Chapter 3, Copjec contemplates Henri Bergson, the death drive, and Zeno’s jozn in order to try and explain the difference between the symbolic and the real.

In Zeno’s paradox, for instance, it is impossible to represent properly the movement of Achilles as he overtakes the tortoise, but this event does ultimately occur jan the real. For Copjec, psychoanalysis continues to subscribe to the principle of sufficient reason, but it differs from the usual scientific assumptions because the actual cause is never directly representable to consciousness except as an absence. Copjec interweaves these pictures with a meditation on how utilitarianism and functionalism have changed architecture buildings are now defined primarily by their usean attitude that spills over into clothing, and then into the functionalist definition of humanity itself, which now becomes defined by useful work – clothing, in this perspective, becomes merely a decorative and inessential supplement.

Copjec brilliantly shows how utilitarianism begins from an erroneous assumption about what human beings ought “rationally” to want, a logic that it then uses to justify tyranny the tyrant, out of a perverse sense of “care,” commands subjects to learn to do “what is good for them” and imperalism with the colonizer using the same tyrannical logic on colonized peoples.

Chapter 5 shows an unexpected link between stories of vampirism and the championing joqn breastfeeding. There are some interesting discussions about anxiety in this section, especially about how human beings use the symbolic order’s capacity for ritual in order to try and control the eruptions of the real that make us anxious.

The actual connection between vampirism and breastfeeding, however, was difficult to follow, and I’m not sure I understand it very well.

In Chapter 6, Copjec looks at how a politician copjsc Ronald Reagan can repeatedly tell lies and get away with it: People want that love above all else, and it is this illusion of love that he gives them in return – whether he lies or not is thus irrelevant.

It is a desire that cannot be rationalized: This leads to a meditation on the figure of the detective, a figure who, unlike the policeman, has learned to disregard the outward signifiers of a speaker like Reagan ddsire instead has become an joqn at reading the irrational rewd that makes people follow his message.

Chapter 7 contains a masterful analysis of the “locked room” paradox in film noir. This involves further ruminations on detective fiction and its connection to statistics and the probable. Again, Copjec argues that the policeman is too literal, too stuck in the literalness of the symbolic, whereas the detective locates desire at the point of the real, where the symbolic fails. The final section, Chapter 8, is an extended rumination on sexual difference via Judith Butler and Immanuel Kant.

Coojec praising Butler’s perceptiveness, Copjec argues that the problem with her ideas is that she ultimately locates sexuality atthe level of the signifier rather than tracing its position in the real. Copjec then launches into a very complex and hard-to-follow discussion of Lacan’s theory of sexuation and how it relates to Kant.

She demonstrates how the subject comes into existence or rather, fails to come into existence in two different ways that somehow translate into male and female. I understand the failure part, but I remain baffled as to why this equates to sexual difference. A difference of desire? A different way of approaching authority and the symbolic order? I don’t see it – as much as I dislike Butler, I agree with her that masculine and feminine belong firmly to the realm of the symbolic.

Copjec’s book does require some background knowledge of both Lacan and Foucault, but jpan to moan other similar titles it is clearly written and desie. For me, Chapter 4, with its amazing critique of utilitarianism, is the argument’s high point, a genuinely original and innovative argument that has enormous consequences for how we can counter the devastating effects of utilitarianism on our world.

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This book is incredible. Not because every argument is bulletproof, but because it is audacious, comprehensive, and necessary. To understand the functioning of historicism and the science of psychoanalysis is equally crucial.

Copjec aids her readers in achieving these goals. As heart-stopping as Copjec’s introduction is, Foucault is less involved in this text than one might realize. Instead, Copjec spends h This book is incredible.

Instead, Copjec spends her time deep in the complexities of Lacan’s thinking, exposing obvious contradictions with historicism and Foucault’s major work. Copjec’s introduction is wonderful and serves as a great mission statement for the project of this text. Copjec aligns the primal father of Freud’s Totem and Taboothe death drive, and the generative principle of a given society as opposed to its ‘cultural content’ as extra-discursive figures of a different order of what they precipitate the society of equal brothers, the pleasure principle, and the aforementioned cultural content respectively.

This paradigm is crucial to all of Copjec’s arguments as they ny, and she seeks to analyze what desire evinces despite it potentially existing outside of the sphere of discourse. Copjec claims, via Lacan, that desire can be articulated even if it is not manifest in discourse in the way that what desire precipitates is manifest.

The strongest chapters beyond the introduction are the 3rd and 6th. Still, just about every one has some value. The 6th chapter, in particular, deserves special attention in the age of Trump.

Copjec even mentions Trump in the same breath as Reagan! I imagine her sense of vindication is a vexed one. Copjec argues that the media rwad on Reagan could never destroy the object athe object cause of desire, that made American’s love him.

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Critics of Trump would be wise to consider this chapter closely, and Copjec’s call for a cultural studies literate in desire more broadly. Brilliant thinkers can’t always be right, however.

Copjec is at her worst making baffling conflations of indeterminate terms. In her final chapter, she uses Lacan’s articulation of sexual intercourse to make a critique of sexual difference. This is an enormous mistake. Intercourse and sexual difference must be taken differently, outside of the linguistic accident that one word, ‘sex,’ can refer to both. Overall, her joxn chapter leaves a lot to be desired. I would much prefer a big failure to a small success.

However, Cojpec manages to mostly succeed, and her minimal failures stem from an argument audacious enough to make them marvelous in their own right. Ckpjec missteps are worth more consideration than most thinker’s most valued contributions to philosophy.

Mar 13, Thai Divone rated it it was amazing Shelves: I can’t say I fully understood this book, and yet, as a Foucauldian, this book is no less desure a sheer revelation. It is somewhat immodest, to say the least, and yet it is totally is. Mainly, though, it leaves me with desite burning question: And why, to say the least, isn’t he’s taught more in other departments?

As a sociologist, I now feel that I need some more Lacan, and if this is not a compliment to Copjec’s masterful to I can’t say I fully understood this book, and yet, as a Foucauldian, this book is no less than a sheer revelation.

As a sociologist, I now feel that I need some more Lacan, and if this is not a compliment to Copjec’s masterful tour de force, I don’t know what is. Jan 17, The Awdude rated it liked it. Copjec is no Zizek but she takes Lacan more literally than Zizek does, which is good for understanding the finer points of ocpjec clinical side of Lacanian theory.