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Cormac Gallagher – Lacan for Beginners


THE LETTER 13 (Summer 1998) pages 117-124


The two notes that follow formed the basis of a discussion with psychiatric and nursing colleagues in St Vincent’s Hospital who at that time (1981) were rather skeptical about the clinical relevance of Lacan’s work. They are reproduced here for the convenience of students who claim they still help clarify the way in which Lacan re-articulates Freud’s case histories.


The note on Dora is based on Intervention on transference (1951) which has since been translated into English. That on Hans gives a very condensed account of Lacan’s exhaustive commentary on the case in the still untranslated seminar on ‘La relation d’objet’ (1956-1957).


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The Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (1905) was Freud’s first extended account of the process of a treatment using the psychoanalytic method; the first also in which he tried to deal with the question of his own position – the position of the analyst – in such a treatment. Here, for the first time in the literature, the problem of transference and counter-transference emerged as being of decisive importance in the success or failure of an analysis.

Lacan for Beginners

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