Sometimes a book review is so amazing, it doesn’t matter than you have no wish or intention to read the book itself. File under shock-snark.
In his defence, Roudinesco points out that Lacan never pursued the physical side of things in his consulting rooms. One suspects that, given the design of the analyst’s couch, this was dictated by mechanical rather than ethical constraints.
jacques lacan: the shrink from hell
I got there after I’d read most of a blog belonging to a very peevish psychoanalyst, who is sorely distressed by, amongst other things, psychiatry and CBT. And Monsieur Lacan features heavily, with his neo-Freudian model of psychoanalysis. He’s quite grumpy about science and pseudoscience too, all of it measured and articulate, but I still suspected him of frothing at the mouth somewhat.
People who dismiss entire disciplines and concepts with sweeping sentences scare me. I wouldn’t dream of getting irate and cursing psychoanalysis in its entirety. Firstly, it’d be grossly unfair and secondly, it just wouldn’t occur to me, because it’s shoddy logic.* Not to mention arrogant. Those dismissters and misses … I suspect they’re the kind of people who get jobs packing other people into trains to gulags. (See how neatly I sort of almost avoided Godwin’s Law there?) Is there a faction of angry psychiatrists dissing psychology somewhere?
I’ve had good and bad experiences with psychoanalysis, one good experience with CBT and three good ones with psychiatry. I’ve had a psychologist and a GP look askance at me when I asked for a referral to a psychiatrist, none of the psychiatrists said anything negative about psychoanalysis. That’s not a representative cross section of anything except my own obviously subjective experience.
Anyway I read a bunch of stuff about Lacan and then I thought hmmm, I bet someone has called him a … and I started typing Lacan is a and Google search quickly autocompleted charlatan, followed by the same phrase in two other languages. Bazinga! I knew it. Noam Chomsky called him one, but said positive things too and appears to have respected him. And then I got to that book review, stopped thinking so hard and just laughed.
A long and winding way to get to a laugh, but no less enjoyable for that. Thank you, cross psychoanalyst.
*I am talking absolute bollocks. I’d totally nuke scientology, the westboro baptist church and noisy eaters.