Fredric Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent

Seduction of the Innocent by Fredric Wertham My rating: 2 of 5 stars When I was younger—say in the late 1980s, early 1990s—the concept of free artistic expression was associated with the social and political left. The totalitarian states of international communism were discredited and second-wave feminism had clearly overreached in its anti-porn crusades; meanwhile, tirades … Continue reading Fredric Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent

Élisabeth Roudinesco, Lacan: In Spite of Everything

Lacan: In Spite Of Everything by Elisabeth Roudinesco My rating: 4 of 5 stars First, what is "everything"? And second, how does le maître survive in spite of it? "Everything" for Roudinesco includes Lacan's often obscurantist vocabulary; his late belief in mathematics as the key to formalizing his theories of subjectivity and society; his inability … Continue reading Élisabeth Roudinesco, Lacan: In Spite of Everything

Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Beyond the Pleasure Principle by Sigmund Freud My rating: 4 of 5 stars In this famously transitional work of 1920, Freud sets out to explain the prevalence of psychic activity that cannot obviously be attributed to the organism's inclination to reduce tension, the reduction of which produces pleasure. After all, as a clinician, he was … Continue reading Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle