LACAN AND KAFKA: Knowledge, Enjoyment and the Big Other

Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
Event time
10am - 5pm
Full price
1 Oct 2017
Next event: 1 Oct 2017

There are only three passing references to Kafka in the entirety of Lacan’s vast oeuvre. In this one-day intensive course, we will scrutinise these passages in their context and show how they can nonetheless throw light on key aspects of Lacanian psychoanalysis.

More generally, through a comparative reading of Lacan’s Seminars and Kafka’s The Castle and The Burrow, we will introduce a number of pivotal psychoanalytic notions such as the object a, the big Other, the fantasy of absolute knowledge, and surplus-enjoyment.

The course will close with an outline of Lacan’s epistemological, ethical, and political stance in his visceral opposition to the so-called university discourse, the contemporary late-capitalist Castle.

Course tutor: Lorenzo Chiesa

No prior knowledge of Lacanian psychoanalysis is required for this course, but absolute newcomers to psychoanalysis should consider doing some background reading first.

Course outline and reading list

Lorenzo Chiesa is a philosopher who has published extensively on psychoanalysis. His works in this field include Subjectivity and Otherness: A Philosophical Reading of Lacan (MIT Press, 2007); Lacan and Philosophy: The New Generation (, 2014); The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan (MIT Press, 2016); and The Virtual Point of Freedom (Northwestern University Press, 2016). Since 2014, he has been Visiting Professor at the European University at Saint Petersburg and at the Freud’s Dream Museum of the same city. Previously, he was Professor of Modern European Thought at the University of Kent, where he founded and directed the Centre for Critical Thought.