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Main page » Non-Fiction » Writings on Psychoanalysis by Louis Althusser

Writings on Psychoanalysis by Louis Althusser


Louis Althusser is perhaps better remembered for strangling his wife to death during a fit of temporary insanity than for most of his writings (with the possible exception of his essay on the "ideological state apparatus," an explication of normalizing social institutions that has become standard fare in academic postmodernism), but he was one of the key figures in postwar French philosophy. Writings on Psychoanalysis is a collection of essays, article drafts, and correspondence that displays the extent of his intellectual grappling with Freud's writings and with contemporary psychoanalytic theorist Jacques Lacan, a former friend whom Althusser would gradually come to view as a "magnificent and pitiful Harlequin." (Two of the pieces here deal with the 1980 conference at which Althusser vehemently broke with Lacan, ostensibly over the latter's stifling position of dominance among their colleagues.) Writings on Psychoanalysis is a bit heavy-going and theoretical in places, but of unique historical interest.

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Tags: Althusser, Psychoanalysis, Writings, Lacan, writings