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Comments on the Presentations given By Ian Parker and Kazushige Shingu

The Letter, Issue 37, Summer 2006, Pages 114 - 119



Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker

The text written by Kazushige Shingu examines the relations between the symptomatic expressions of anorexia and eating disorders with certain mythical narratives from the Japanese Buddhism. Thus a curious association between eating and mourning is brought up, especially that of a mother mourning the loss of a child. The argument's clinical details are very persuasive. They show thematic and discursive similarities between the trajectory of unresolved mourning and the saga of mythical heroes. An analogy is suggested between the present experience of a Japanese young woman and many ordeals or obstacles faced by the gods, considering that they both aim at resolving an initial state of unbalance and conflict with the same type of narrative resort.

The article written by Ian Parker apparently follows an opposite line when addressing the topic of translating Lacan's texts both to linguistic and cultural universes - distant from where psychoanalysis was originated, such as Japan and the Far East - and to current English. The motion picture, Lost in Translation, works as a sort of allegory for the problem showing how translation always loses something. The trust in the permanence of sense and in the semantic fidelity of concepts is, in some way, tensioned by the same psychoanalytical principles extracted from Lacan on language and transmission of culture. This is confirmed by closely reviewing the references made by Lacan in regard to the famous case of the Fresh Brains Man, treated by Ernst Kris in the forties. There is also something lost in the translation of Lacan's reading, albeit it does not invalidate the reading's originality.

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