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Issue 42: Editorial

The Letter, Issue 42, Autumn 2009, Page v


This issue of The Letter opens with a psychoanalytic discussion of “case presentations” in psychiatric hospitals and elsewhere. Where Kraepelin tended to treat his patients as objects when presenting them to his students, Cormac Gallagher argues for the particularity of the patient as subject by applying Lacan‟s formulae of sexuation to the clinic. He is critical of clinical vignettes being used in teaching, but he does see a place for the case presentation in the formation of psychoanalysts and he contends that Lacan's “re-presentations” at Sainte-Anne demonstrated the primacy of “saying” over “the said”.

We are delighted to publish here the translation of Lacan's 1962 text, “Kant with Sade”, by the renowned Heideggerian and Lacanian scholar, Bill Richardson, Emeritus Professor at Boston College and corresponding editor of this journal. This text relates Sade's Philosophy in the Bedroom to Kant's Critique of Practical Reason and interprets Sade's perversion in terms of Kant's universal maxim. Tony Hughes provides a helpful scholion to accompany the reader, and he has also added section headings so as to make Lacan's text more readable.

And, staying with ethics, Daragh Howard examines Lacan's claim in Seminar VII that Saint Paul and Freud tell us the same thing about the Good – in that they both deny a complementarity between it and pleasure – and he argues that, for Lacan, the problem with traditional ethics is its misrecognition of the nature of the object upon which pleasure depends.

The Letter is running slightly behind schedule, but the next issue – which will include the first part of the second turn of “L'étourdit” in English – will appear shortly. Lacan called Scilicet an “aperiodical” and Jones complained in February 1921 about the Journal being three numbers behind schedule. So perhaps we are not doing too badly.

Tom Dalzell

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