William J. Richardson – Lacan for Beginners

THE LETTER 14 (Autumn 1998) pages 1-2

Dear Cormac,

It is time for celebration, and I have been invited to take part. I do so with pleasure and with embarrassment: pleasure, because it is indeed gratifying to look back over the years and realise how much you have achieved for the cause of Psychoanalysis—not only in Ireland but for us Anglo-Saxons in America,, too- since you definitively left Paris for home; embarrassing; because I have nothing to offer by way of gift at the present time that is sophisticated enough to merit publication in a professional review of quality such as The Letter. But the most recent issue contained an Appendix of sorts (containing two short contributions of your own), entitled Lacan for Beginners. When I saw it, I said immediately ‘That’s for me’.

For my most recent endeavour was an attempt to respond appropriately to an invitation from the ‘Division for Psychoanalysis’ of the American Psychological Association to deliver the keynote address at its Annual Convention, dedicated to the theme, ‘The Ethics of Psychoanalysis.’ Specifically, I was asked to present as cogently as possible a philosophical understanding of what ethics is. All my psychologist friends urged me to be as simple and straightforward as possible,…

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