Welcome to the Summer 2005 issue of The Letter. We have had enormous pleasure in assembling this issue which brings to the reader articles from writers who have published previously in The Letter along with articles from newcomers to these pages. We have cast our net far and wide and the result is – if not exactly a ‘mixed grill’ as Lacan refers to the ingredients of his seminar on Ethics – then something that will equally arouse the appetite. Most of these articles are expanded versions of work presented at conferences, symposia or clinical meetings.
The issue opens with two articles concerning Lacan’s treatment of Antigone. Firstly we have Calum Neill’s consideration of the ethical significance of Antigone. Calum will argue that it is not so much the case that Antigone’s act functions as the quintessential ethical act but rather, that the ethical significance of the play lies in the manner in which it would relate to the desire of the spectator. A new writer for The Letter, Calum is a lecturer in Social Psychology at Napier University in Edinburgh. His research interests lie in Lacanian theory, ethics, decision-making and enjoyment.
Next we have Helena Texier’s thesis on Antigone. Helena critiques Lacan’s treatment of Antigone as grounding of an ethics of psychoanalysis, asking instead whether Lacan’s idealization of Antigone risks incurring a malaise which Helena calls a ‘Malady of the Ideal’. Helena’s article was first presented at a meeting of Les Formations Cliniques du Champ Lacanien held in Paris at the end of June this year, an English-speaking seminar organized around The Ethics of Psychoanalytic Treatment. It is worth mentioning that the Forums began this initiative in 2003 with the English- speaking seminar dealing with Lacan’s seminar on Transference and is proving to be an ongoing spectacularly interesting and invigorating event attended by psychoanalysts from Israel, North America, Argentina, Australia, France, England and Ireland with large numbers of APPI members showing up for their fix of Lacan in Paris!
The next two articles are both written by Kazushige Shingu. Kazushige is a psychiatrist, and professor of Human and Environmental Studies of Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. He was recipient of the Suntory Award for Academic and Cultural Works in 2000, and has also received the Research Award of the Japan Society of Pathography. His major research interests are: the unconscious structure of psychopathological experiences; the relationship of psychopathology to creative activities and the psychosocial import of dreaming. He is the author of many books on clinical psychiatry and psychoanalysis, including Being Irrational: Lacan, the Objet a, and the Golden Mean, and has long been engaged in the development of Lacanian theory and clinical practice in Japan, particularly as the Japanese secretary of the Groupe franco-)aponais in the Champ freudien, which is led by Judith Miller. His first article here on Freud, Lacan and Japan was presented at the Second International Conference of the Japanese-Korean Lacanian Psychoanalytic Groups, on 5th March 2005.
His second article on the History of the Self-Containing Structure of the Mind was presented at a symposium on Lacanian Psychoanalysis and East-Asian Psychiatry at a meeting of the World Congress of Psychiatry held in Yokohama, Japan in August, 2002. We are delighted to publish Kazushige’s work here.
Next we have Lieven Jonckheere’s article which tracks the development of Anxiety and Desire in Lacan’s work in the seminars on Anxiety and Transference in order to interpret and mobilize the signifier ‘franchissement’. This move will lead Lieven to propose that ‘Desire is a franchissement of anxiety’. This proposition, as we shall see, has implications for the desire of the analyst in the treatment of anxiety. Lieven’s article was first presented here in Dublin in February this year at a clinical meeting of the Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland (APPI).
The next article comes to us from Jongju Kim, another newcomer to these pages. Kim began his career as a neuro-psychiatric specialist at Severance hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine. From 1984-1987 he was professor at the Department of Neuro-Psychiatry, at Wonkwang University College of Medicine. In 1998 he founded the Korean Society for Lacanian and Contemporary Psychoanalysis, of which he served as president for two years. Since 1994 he has been working in private practice in Seoul as well being clinical professor of his Department of Psychiatry, at Yonsei University College of Medicine. His article on Depression and Confucian Ethics was first presented at the XII World Congress of Psychiatry, August 2002, at the symposium on Lacanian Psychoanalysis and East-Asian Psychiatry under the title, Prozac and Confucian Ethics.
Masaaki Hoshima is another of our Japanese newcomers and another participant at the World Congress of Psychiatry meeting in 2002. His short article on Sublimation critically investigates the concept for Freud and Lacan from the point of view of metapsychology. A psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Masaaki began his career in psychiatry in 1982 at a hospital affiliated with Nagoya Municipal University. From 1988 to 1993, he worked as a psychiatrist at Sainte-Anne Hospital, while studying at Paris VIII. From 2004, he has been in private practice as a psychoanalyst.
Finally, we present the work of Geoff Boucher, a philosopher who has plenty to say about Lacan’s “Formulae of Sexuation”. Geoffs article takes us from Aristotle to Gödel, from Priest to Russell to Quine, in order to test the hypothesis that Lacan’s formulae have a valid logical status and can be regarded as valid theoretical formalizations. Publishing here in The Letter for the first time, Geoff completed his dissertation on Post Marxian discourse theory in 2003. He works as a research fellow for the Centre of Psychoanalytic Studies and lectures in philosophy at Deakin University in Melbourne.
In the spirit of a Peter Greenaway movie, we bring you the Social Psychologist, the Psychoanalysts, the Neuro-Psychiatrists and the Philosopher, from Seoul to Melbourne, from Kyoto to Edinburgh, from Ghent to Dublin. How then can we not agree with Miller’s statement – psychoanalysis is much more than psychoanalysis?