Review of Lorenzo Chiesa: The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan (MIT Press, 2016, 251+xxiii pp.)
According to Otto Fenichel, boredom is the sign of a conflict between the Id and the Ego, between the push of the first to reach the goal of our drives and of the second to inhibit them—an unstable equilibrium between movement and calm, frenetic agitation and catatonic immobility. This thesis provides the interpretive key to two of the most important concepts on boredom of this last century: 1) the concept of “deep boredom” elaborated in 1930 by Martin Heidegger in the text of his lecture on The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics. World, Finitude, Solitudes, and 2) the concept of boredom as “stiffened restlessness” elaborated in good part in the 1930s by Walter Benjamin in the section of Passagen Werk in “Boredom, the Eternal Return”.
A contribution to the study of the relationship between the tradition of spiritual exercises and psychoanalysis
The same can be said of boredom as Saint Augustine said of time: everyone knows what it is but no one knows how to define it. What’s more, a colossal amount has been written on the subject, in fields ranging from the literary to the psychiatric and psychoanalytic. (Maggini, Dalle Luche 1991).
Published in the Journal for Lacanian Studies, vol. 4, nr. 1, 2006, pp. 99-120. 28/02/2017
Since Jacques Lacan regards James Joyce’s father, John Joyce, as a “deficient father”, this paper understands Joyce’s writing, especially Finnegans Wake, in terms of the failure of his father to fulfil his paternal duty and of Joyce’s attempt to redeem himself. It is argued, with Lacan, that Joyce had a latent disposition to schizophrenia due to a de facto foreclosure of what Lacan calls the “Name of the Father” and that, just as Finnegans Wake is structured like a Borromean knot which is constructed by the crisscrossing of three circular lines, Joyce’s making a name for himself through his work repaired the error in the knotting of the three dimensions of his subjectivity, the Real, the Symbolic, and the Imaginary, and so restored the paternal function for him which in turn prevented the precipitation of schizophrenia.
In this paper the author considers, by a careful reading of the Regula Benedicti (RB) and its sources, the claim by Michel de Certeau that some of Lacan’s ideas are based on Benedictine monasticism. As well as the four concepts that de Certeau identifies (analyst as monk; master; school; and work-as-speech) the author also considers whether four additional notions (desire; the uniqueness of the subject; nothingness; and empty speech)—the latter two of which may have been mediated to Lacan by Heidegger—which come from the Regula Benedicti.