A Commentary on Lacan’s Reading of Plato’s Symposium
in Seminar VIII, Transference
What is love and what part does it play in psychoanalysis? Where are the analyst and the analysand situated in relation to the roles defined as those of the “lover” and the “beloved”? Jacques Lacan explores these and other questions in Seminar VIII, Transference (Cambridge, UK, and Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2015), by providing an extensive commentary on Plato's most famous dialogue on love, the Symposium. This talk will outline some of the major points about love that grow out of Lacan's reading of the dialogue and examine their relevance to the analytic setting. Can the analyst be characterized as a sort of modern-day Socrates?
Bruce Fink is a practicing Lacanian psychoanalyst and analytic supervisor who trained in France with the psychoanalytic institute Jacques Lacan created shortly before his death, the École de la Cause freudienne in Paris. He has translated several of Lacan’s works into English—including Écrits: The First Complete Edition in English, Seminar XX: Encore, and Seminar VIII, Transference—and is the author of numerous books on Lacan, including The Lacanian Subject, A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Lacan to the Letter, Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique, Against Understanding (2 volumes), and most recently Lacan on Love. A board member of the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center, he has also penned several mysteries involving a character loosely based on Jacques Lacan: The Psychoanalytic Adventures of Inspector Canal, Death by Analysis, Odor di Murderer/Scent of a Killer, and The Purloined Love.