One of Žižek’s most sustained engagements with the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan is How to Read Lacan (2006). This book (abbreviated Lacan below) elaborates the philosophical implications of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. In Lacan — as in most of his own works — Žižek focuses primarily on Lacan’s later theory and re-inscribes key Lacanian concepts in order to analyze our current social and libidinal predicament from his own (unorthodox) Marxist perspective. These Lacanian concepts include (among others) the unconscious, the big Other, symbolic performatives, desire, anxiety, the Real, the forced choice, the fundamental fantasy, the lamella, superego, and jouissance.

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Wood, Kelsey. "How to Read Lacan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 February 2013
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]