A Lacanian reading of Dora

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This chapter will consider the articulation of love, desire, and jouissance in the neurotic structure of hysteria through a Lacanian reading of Dora, one of Freud's five substantial case studies. Clearly, the pertinence of returning to Dora a century after Freud's paper was first published is not to be assumed. Yet the case of Dora, perhaps not Freud's most successful in terms of its outcome, remains crucial in that, beneath the symptomatology of Freud's patient, the invariant traits of hysteria can be discerned. And so Lacan episodically refers to different aspects of Dora in order to expose, successively, the structure of Dora's identifications, the symbolic logic of her unconscious, and the mode of her jouissance as paradigmatic. In so doing, Lacan isolates the respective modalities of love, desire, and jouissance in hysteria in a process of logical reduction. In turn, this logical reduction will orient the direction of the analytic treatment in this particular neurotic structure.

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... In the discussion of the development of her case above, I referred to the presence of the twofold hysterical truth, which concerns the castrated master and the jouissance of notwhole (Voruz, 2007). With a view to summarising more practical aspects of the treatment, the following last paragraphs are dedicated to the handling of transference and its relation to repetition. ...
This paper discusses the reasons for the termination of the psychoanalytic treatment of a neurotic woman. The patient presented early enough the layout of a hysterical neurosis, built around the question of femininity, for posing which various triangles were created. When jouissance drew the patient to the side of repetition, a psychoanalytic act brought her back to working-through inside transference. The dreams that followed this act led to the emergence of an element that revolved around the mark of femininity on the body, which was linked to the jouissance of the not-whole and thus lied beyond the structure of hysterical desire. This time the analyst failed to encapsulate this element in transference, due to his mistaken attempt at one more interpretation at the phallic level. Consequently, like Freud’s famous case study of Dora, the patient decided to end the treatment. This failure is discussed with regards to Freud’s analysis of Dora and the dream of Irma’s injection, and Lacan’s views on them.
... Now we are in a position to grasp the implications of this as a materialist account of psychoanalysis: 'The analyst does not interpret the analysand's unconscious from the " outside " ; on the contrary, the patient's unconscious is produced in the analytic relation.' (Voruz, 2007: 177). The 'unconscious' is not like the contents of a pot bubbling away inside each individual's head, but it appears in quite specific and peculiar conditions, conditions of speech, and that unconscious, unconscious in a psychoanalytic meaning of term, is the site of fantasy and affect. ...
This article uses the feminist-psychoanalytic scholarship of Bracha L. Ettinger to consider a relationship between the discourse of the hysteric and the discourse of transgender (trans*). Both discourses struggle to articulate a dimension of being that lacks symbolization in the socio-Symbolic. My contention is that trans* subjectivity is metonymically linked to the discourse of the hysteric, and that both demographics are attuned to what Ettinger calls an Other Sexual Difference. Moreover, they are both writing something in excess of the phallic signifier that can, in Lacanian terms, circumscribe the man (as one) but not the woman (as not whole).
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Is the creative act like a volcano: an outburst that lights up the universe? This volume connects reason with desire and the arts in ways that enable us to imagine how creativity can bring us closer to the truth. The artistic quest for freedom stands in stark contrast to philosophy's call to subordinate art to reason and tradition. The struggle between them has culminated in artistic attempts to subsume philosophical matters within the domain of art. One central question in this study is what the consequences will be of a final dissolution of the boundary between the two domains: will all that remains of the artwork be an abstract howl of the rock – our rock, the planet – itself?
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Anxiety and hysteria proliferate in contemporary postcolonial, post-apartheid South Africa, where it is always intimately related to the question of the Law and, specifically ‘the Constitution’. I begin by tracing Freud’s discussions of the co-occurrence of anxiety with hysteria, after which I consider Lacan’s unique account of anxiety as the ‘lack of the support of the lack’. I continue to offer a re-interpretation of the Master’s discourse (here, of liberal authority), namely as a discourse that in its very structure exposes the (postcolonial) subject to the production of the object of anxiety. I then consider two possible ways in which anxiety may affect the discourse of the Hysteric: acting out and the passage à l’acte. I conclude that Lacan’s shorthand for the relationship between the Hysteric and the Master is also an accurate description of the present moment in the postcolony: ‘she reigns and he does not govern’.