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Book Review - Hill's Lacan for Beginners

The Letter, Issue 13, Summer 1998, Pages 125 - 127

Book Review


Written by Philip Hill and illustrated by David Leach.

New York, 1997, Writers and Readers Publishing Inc.

Is it misguided to write a 'beginners book' on a thinker as complex, obscure, fluid and rich as Lacan? It depends perhaps, on to whom the book is addressed.

In the opening to the French edition of the Ecrits, Lacan states that 'the style is the man'. He then wonders is it 'the man to whom he addresses himself?' He further states that 'in language our message returns from the Other in inverted form' and again he wonders about something. This time he wonders 'if man was to be reduced to the place where all our discourse goes back to, wouldn't the question itself then be whether there is a point in asking him at all?' Indeed, what is the point? What is the point of interrogating and working through all these difficult and obscure Lacanian texts? What is the point of asking him?

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