Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In the 1950s, Jacques Lacan marshaled the concepts of structural linguistics in order to assert the homology between Sigmund Freud’s primary processes of condensation and displacement and the rhetorical tropes of metaphor and metonymy in unconscious formations. His anti-mimetic theory of language, the symbolic, emphasized the power of metonymy to express the individual’s desire for being and the potential of metaphor to create the signified that would capture the unique being of the analysand. In the 1960s, Lacan abandoned his earlier belief in the creative power of the symbolic; now it had become the realm of the universal in which all are the same. In his last years, Lacan reinstated poetry and rhetoric as the key players in the process of psychoanalysis, but now it was their ability to transgress the rules of language that allowed them to aim toward the inexpressible uniqueness and dignity of the individual.

Keywords: rhetoric, psychoanalysis, Lacan, unconscious, language, metaphor, metonymy, primary processes, structural linguistics, mimesis

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.