Hello again from the American Midwest,
I've got very little time to write an introduction today, so I'm just going to get into what I've been up to over the past week.
This past week I finally completed (edited and mixed) InForm: Podcast 053, the second in a series I'm doing with Jason and Chris from The Regrettable Century, where we read the book Psychoanalytic Politics by Sherry Turkle and do a chapter by chapter commentary. (The first part of the series can be found here.)
This particular episode took a long time to get out for many different reasons.
- I'm just busy as hell. I've got four classes I'm teaching, I've got the psychoanalytic practice, and I've got two small kids.
- I've been trying to up my audio production game. I tried a few different things to make this episode sounds good.
- We recorded the episode late at night after all three of us were tired. There were lots and lots of digressions. I kept the relevant-enough ones in, but I had to edit out several.
The most popular episodes of InForm: Podcast at this point are:
- 051 – Interview with Peter Rollins, the psychoanalytic theologian, and community organizer.
- 050 – A discussion of Surplus Jouissance in Art, Psychoanalysis in the Hospital, Meds, & [S][J][P]
- 045 – An interview with Todd McGowan & Psychoanalysis in the Classroom
I've started to do another text-based (i.e., writing) project called The Quoditian Associations. It is similar to AM⌭PM, but it is more like a pure blog because I'm not sending it out as an email. The goal is to write 100 of these short sorts of posts. Beyond that, I'm not sure how to describe TQA, but here is a clip from TQA-002 & 005.
002 – Knowledge & Truth
I've been getting ready to teach a class by trying to explain to myself the difference between truth and knowledge from a Lacanian perspective. I've been at it for a bit now, and I want to write down what I believe I've worked out.
Knowledge is comprised of things we can say. It is the stuff we can speak or explain to ourselves and others. I can share knowledge, and others can share knowledge with me.
Empirical pursuits like Science produce knowledge.
The truth is outside of knowledge. It is what remains unsaid.
Even though we can't "speak the truth" (at least not all of it), it is good to try.
005 – Libido, Object, Jouissance...
When I was first learning about psychoanalysis, someone told me, "psychoanalysis can be described in lots of different ways, but I think that fundamentally it is the examination and description of the relationship between the subject and their object."
Freud used the concept of libido to describe the emotional investment people (i.e., subjects) have in particular objects. An "object" can be lots of different things, a person, an experience, an ideology, so on and so forth.
Lacan added to Freud's theory of libido by explaining how the presence of the libidinally invested object creates jouissance --a sensation (i.e., affect) of excitement that is felt in the body.
Libidinal (emotional) investment --—> Object --—> Sensation of Jouissance
Something important to keep in mind when dealing with libidinally invested objects: The sensation of jouissance is addictive! We are all addicts. We are all addicted to whatever it is that gives us a sense of satisfying excitement.
Just as much as having the object makes us feel good, not having it makes us feel awful. The absence of the libidinally invested object creates an affect of frustration. Having whatever feeds our addiction to jouissance makes us feel great, but the absence of this object (i.e., the absence of what gets us high on jouisance) creates a feeling of withdrawal.
What satisfies us can also frustrate us. This is a structural thing, and it can't be any other way.
That's it for this edition of the newsletter. Till next week: Make glorious mistakes.