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Issue 31/32: Editorial

The Letter, Issue 31/32, Summer/Autumn 2004, Pages i - iv


With the new year upon us, we bring to you a double issue of THE LETTER comprising issues 31 and 32. This double issue marks a change in the production of the journal with DBS stepping down from its involvement with THE LETTER after three years. We would like to take this opportunity to thank DBS for its support over the years and especially David Slattery for his commitment and support to the journal. We welcome back Jean Kilcullen to the editorial board in the position of chairperson. Henceforth, the journal shall be produced by the editorial board in conjunction with the School of Psychotherapy, St. Vincent's University Hospital, and APPI.

We also take this opportunity to warmly welcome Andrew Lewis, editor of Analysis, as our new corresponding editor in Australia, and Professor Ian Parker, from Manchester Metropolitan University to our advisory board. Rik Loose of the Unit of Psychoanalysis, DBS School of Arts, shall henceforth act as corresponding editor in addition to his role on the editorial board, and Paul Verhaeghe moves from his position as corresponding editor to serve on our advisory board.

This double issue brings to the reader a diverse range of topics and theoretical trajectories and, as always, a rich engagement with the clinic. In issue 31, we kick off with Eve Watson's article on crime and punishment. Eve discusses Lacan's work on the Function of Psychoanalysis in Criminology in order to critique naive and mundane scientific explorations of the "criminal mind". Next up we have Miquel Bassols' article on law and desire. Miquel's reading of Lacan's Kant avec Sade pinpoints the moment at which Lacan 'begins to place the Law beyond the symbolic father, beyond the Oedipus complex'. As such Miquel is concerned in this article to mobilize a discussion of a clinic involving the structural fact of this 'beyond' which Miquel calls the ‘Poly-Oedipus'.

Next we have two articles that look at the subject 'disturbed' by anxiety. Ros Woods treats us to an insightful reading of Forster's A Passage to India, where she charts the progression of Forster's narrative alongside a commensurate examination of the 'breakdown' experienced differently by the two main characters in the novel subsequent to their visit to the Marabar caves. Pauline O' Callaghan examines Stendhal’s syndrome - the name given to a 'strange illness' afflicting a number of visitors (mainly women) to Florence, by the Freudian psychoanalyst, Graziella Magherini. Both articles examine the trajectories of anxiety as theorized by Lacan.

The next two articles in issue 31 deal with the symptom. Marie Walshe's article taken from her thesis on the subject considers Lacan's statement that 'the symptom is the way in which each person derives jouissance from the unconscious' in the context of three clinical vignettes. Barry O' Donnell revisits Lacan's seminar on Anxiety in his article which he presented at the sixth annual conference of the Affiliated Psychoanalytic Workgroups held in Omaha, Nebraska in September 2004.

The final article in issue 31 comes from Andrew Lewis, editor of Analysis, and is informed by his doctoral thesis. Andrew takes us through the temporal concepts of punctuation, historicity and repetition as the requirements of a logic of the psychoanalytic treatment, along with a systematic examination of the formal representations and demonstrations which are used to illustrate these concepts.

In issue 32 we begin with Donna Redmond's article on Asperger's syndrome. Having worked with two teenage boys diagnosed with the syndrome, Donna became interested in the condition and began to wonder if psychoanalysis could offer any insights into it. Her article takes us through the debates within psychoanalysis surrounding autism in general, and Asperger's syndrome in particular.

Colette Chouraqui-Sepel's article on Lacanian psychoanalysis and psychosis provides an historical context for the elaborations of the principal Freudian and Lacanian 'takes' on psychosis. She then goes on to give us an account of her own clinical experience with a psychotic patient.

Next, Joanna Fortune's article taken from her thesis examines female subjectivity in pregnancy. Starting with the work of Helene Deutsch, Joanna charts the key theoretical moments involved in the ordering of a female subjectivity per se, before moving on to discuss what she calls 'daughtering' in the light of Lacan's work Encore, and in the context of a clinical case.

Another recent graduate, Joanne Conway, presents her thesis in the form of an article which makes the case for a differential diagnosis of melancholia. Revisiting Freud's important paper on Mourning and Melancholia, and informed by the Lacanian perspective on perversion, Joanne proposes that where a perverse clinical structure is extant, melancholia is actively engaged in as a perverse act itself.

Finally, we have huge pleasure in presenting to you an extensive article by Oscar Zentner. Trained in Buenos Aires, Argentina, former Analyst (AE) of Escuela Freudiana de Buenos Aires, Oscar introduced Lacan in Australia where he has lived since 1977. He was the co-founder of The Freudian School of Melbourne with Maria-Ines Rotmiler de Zentner in the same year, director of the school until 1989 and editor of Papers of The Freudian School o f Melbourne from 1979 until 1991. He resigned from the School in 1992. From 1981 until 2001 he was in charge of the analysis of control and the teaching of psychoanalysis at the Alfred Hospital, CAMHS. In recognition of this work, the authority of Mental Health officially created the position of Consultant Psychoanalyst for the first time in the history of psychoanalysis in Australia. Since 2001 he has conducted his yearly seminar in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, at the University of Melbourne. He is interested in literature and has published extensively in the clinical and theoretical field of psychoanalysis. His work has been published into French, English, Portuguese and Spanish. He is co-author of El problema economico en Freud published by Nueva Vision, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1970 and author of the book A escuta psicanalitica efeito de uma etica published by the Centre of Freudian Studies of Recife, Brazil, 1997.

This article which we publish here takes us from Blooms-day to dooms-day as he challenges the taken-for-granted assumption by many who write of James Joyce as being psychotic. As well as taking us through vast amounts of Joyce's work, Oscar weaves in and out of the works of Lacan, paying particular attention to the seminar Le Sinthome in order to arrive at the pulsating crescendo that the subject 'James Joyce' escapes as much from Lacan as it escapes from us, his readers. It seems particularly apropos to have this great article before us now especially as on Blooms- day 2005, we here in Dublin can say: here comes everybody!

Carol Owens


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