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Subjective Experience and the Logic of the OtherReview - Subjective Experience and the Logic of the Other
by Romulo Lander
Other Press, 2006
Review by Petar Jevremovic
Jan 23rd 2007 (Volume 11, Issue 4)

This book is built on the paradox. It is meant to be an acceptable exposition of psychoanalytic theory and technique inspired and by the original  structural, logical, mathematical, and philosophical ideas of the French school of psychoanalysis, particularly Jacques Lacan, Jacques Alain Miller and other European and Latino-American post-Lacanian thinkers. It is designed almost like a lexicon.

Reading Lacan is far from being easy and without any serious problems. Lander's highly personal style is hermetic, to often surrealistic. The logic of his thinking is rather idiosyncratic, lucid and original, but not easy to follow. Thinking about Lacan's psychoanalytic legacy, thinking about his school, is far from being something selfunderstanding.  Many volumes of his opus are still waiting to be decently prepared for official publishing and for its further critical reception. There has been many controversies concerning his school in last few decades.

One of the most important characteristics of Lacan's way of doing and thinking psychoanalysis was something that we could really name as the authentic speculatively of his thought. Or, speaking in another words, there were no easy (no self-evident) solutions for him. During his famous seminars he had articulated something that today we could call his own style of reading and understanding Freud himself and psychoanalysis in general. Historically speaking, he was one of the most controversial figures in all history of the psychoanalysis. Doctrinally speaking, he is one of the most productive authors in psychoanalysis. During last decade his influence had spread  all over the world. His opus is no longer just one of most bizarre and most autistic representatives of French (surrealistic and post-surrealistic) style. Lander's book is (I believe obviously) highly affected with this peculiarity of Lacan's and of Lacanian's discourse.

Lander's text  is really reader friendly. It is understandable, clear and logically organized, easy to follow. Chapters are ordered in systematic fashion: The logic of Desire, The logic of Signifier, The Three Orders (RSI) and the Borromean Proposition, The Logic of Anxiety, The Logic of Phallus, The Logic of the Object,  The Logic of the Subject, The Logic of the Other, The Logic of Object (a), The Logic of Jouissance, The Logic of the Cause, The Logic of Symptom, The logic of Fantasme, The Logic of Symphantasme, The Logic of Hysteria, The Logic of Phobias, The Logic of the Obsessive, The Logic of Depression, The Logic of the Suicidal Act, The Logic of Borderline States, The Logic of Psychoses, The Logic of Perversion, The Logic of the Perverse Structure, The logic of Transference, The Logic of Transference Structure, The Logic of Negative Transference, The Transference Graph, The Logic of the Analytic Act (I), The Logic of the Analytic Act (II), The Logic of Specificity, The Logic of Psychoanalytic Supervision.

In some points Lander is really convincing and creative. He is especially good when he is interpreting and elaborating Lacan's well known (and far from being easy to grasp) graphical schemes. This could be also said about his understanding of the relation between object and desire. Great quality of this text is Lander's didactic approach. He is clear, systematic, and almost always practical. Disparate speculativity and all divergent associations of Lacan's discourse are here reduced to the minimum.

This volume is (as far as I know) the first handbook on Lacanian clinical practice specifically designed for American readers. Dispensing with jargon and elliptic formulations, Lande accomplishes the tour de force of making Lacanian discourse sound like something that is (as I already said) really  user friendly.  Of course, it is not always clear enough is he writing about Lacan himself, or about Lacanians. Also, when it is obvious that he is writing about Lacan himself, it is not always clear enough what period of Lacan's work he is having in his mind. Problem is that Lander's Lacan is much more coherent, even pragmatic, then Lacan himself ewer was. As it is well known, Lacan's discourse was intentionally problematic. And it was never (also intentionally) pragmatic in Lander's (or in the American) sense. 

Lander's simplification and pragmatization of Lacan's theory and practice could be misleading. His (Lacanian) understanding of psychopathology (especially of the borderline and narcissistic personality structures and disorders) are far from being convincing. The same could be said about his understanding of the psychoanalytic situation and of the transference.





© 2007 Petar Jevremovic


Petar Jevremovic: Clinical psychologist and practicing psychotherapist, author of two books (Psychoanalysis and Ontology, Lacan and Psychoanalysis), translator of Aristotle and Maximus the Confessor, editor of the Serbian editions of selected works of Heintz Kohut, Jacques Lacan and Melanie Klein, author of various texts that are concerned with psychoanalysis, philosophy, literature and theology. He lives in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.


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