The Style is the Man Himself

Last year, while I was in the thick of researching hysterical neurosis, I found myself ever more surprised by what laid waiting for me within Lacan’s teachings. This year I am studying obsession. I think the most interesting point to be made is that Lacan’s thinking on obsession remained largely the same from the beginning of his thinking toward the end. This can not be said about his thinking on hysteria. But then by what form does the teaching get taught throughout Lacan’s decades-long work? By repetition. He repeats the same points about obsession each year. Nothing else changes except the context in which the discussion is situated. There is something truly remarkable about this – it implies, at the very least, that Lacan was a man of style and that his style transmitted the teaching perhaps more faithfully than the knowledge. On this point, I agree entirely with Davide Panagia when he claims that we ought to emphasize style in writing over substance. However, I believe that the style fundamentally depends upon some very essential things, such as, for example, whether one intends to discuss hysteria or obsession.

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