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Style Is The Man Himself

The Letter, Issue 37, Summer 2006, Pages 120 - 143


STYLE IS THE MAN HIMSELF[1]

Christian Ingo Lenz Dunker


Introduction

I would like to begin our dialogue by briefly recounting the path that led me to this moment. I believe it may be used as an example for the proposed objective, which is to introduce some Lacanian concepts and place them within a context. Therefore, the questions are: Which context? Context for whom?

Six years ago I was completely at a loss at a psychology conference being held in Venezuela. I don't know if you have had the opportunity to participate in one of these mega conferences. There are hundreds of things going on at the same time and none of it is leading anywhere. It's almost like a supermarket of lectures, strictly controlled by the flow of time that is coordinated by speech and activity between one meeting-room and another. It was under these circumstances, taken over by inconvenient red tape typically found at universities, and by exaggerated consumption, typically encouraged by the hype of masses, that I had a strange experience. I came across Erica Burman criticizing developmental psychology. All of a sudden I heard familiar references: Lacan, Benjamin, Freud, Derrida, and Foucault. It was also there that I met Ian Parker and 7 discovered that there were people who were interested in Lacan s school of thought in the United Kingdom. Each new encounter and each of my rereadings of the work of the group from Manchester allowed me to perform an exercise in awareness and versatility, one that offered alternatives to issues and the forms by which they are generally dealt with in the Lacanian universe. Some elements were known, others not so well known, but, above all the relationships were new and, mainly, there was something that later on I could recognize as style. It is a style of thinking and dealing with theoretical relationships, and with their clinical and political implications.

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