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Erik Porge – The Place and Contribution of Handwriting in Clinical Psychoanalysis


THE LETTER 22 (Summer 2001) pages 39-58


By way of introduction 


Freud made use of hieroglyphics (in dream analysis), whilst Lacan drew inspiration from Chinese writing. Having studied the basics of this, Lacan went so far as to say, ‘it is perhaps only because I studied Chinese in the past, that I can now call myself Lacanian’.


Not only did Lacan find the same ambiguity in Chinese characters as in the signifier – thus re-enforcing the claim that the unconscious is structured like language – but he went further and placed emphasis on the particular dimension specific to the written word. He demonstrated (for example, using Edgar Poe’s The Purloined Letter) how the instance, the insistence of the letter determines the subject’s wishes. Each individual is determined by the letters from language, whether poetic or scientific, relative to his personal life story. Lacan was himself taken in by the letter when he invented a form of writing specific to analytical discourse.

The Place and Contribution of Handwriting in Clinical Psychoanalysis

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