Feminine Law: Freud, Free Speech, and the Voice of Desire

Author(s) : Jill Gentile, Author(s) : Michael Macrone

Feminine Law: Freud, Free Speech, and the Voice of Desire

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : 2016
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 330
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 36895
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782202776
  • ISBN 10 : 1782202773

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Creatively bringing together the Founding Fathers and the father of psychoanalysis, Jill Gentile begins with the foundational ideas of free speech in democracy and free association on the couch, opening up a fascinating unexplored space that illuminates the magic of language and the paradoxes, limits, and complexities at the heart of desire. This is an erudite, bravura performance that makes good on a long deferred hope that psychoanalysis can bring deeper understanding to our political confusions.’
-- George Makari, MD, author of Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind and Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis

‘Jill Gentile has written a passionate love letter to psychoanalysis and democracy, to free association and free speech. Reaching beyond the phallocentrism of earlier psychoanalytic thought, Gentile reconfigures feminine "lack" as a generative space of potentiality. Gentile revolutionizes Freudian theory while deftly paying homage to what was revolutionary about it in the first place. The effect of her stunningly erudite and original interpretation is akin to what Alain Badiou calls a "truth-event": it shatters conventional mythologies regarding femininity and its (lack of) social status, and reveals a whole new universe of (feminine) possibility.’
-- Mari Ruti, PhD, Professor of Critical Theory, University of Toronto, and author of Between Levinas and Lacan: Self, Other, Ethics

‘The repudiation of femininity can be nothing else than a biological fact, a part of the great riddle of sex. So stated Freud. Jill Gentile takes this assumption as an invitation to go beyond, in this rich and expansive exploration of the possibility of naming the feminine. Ranging across semiotics, political theory, and the panoply of contemporary psychoanalysis, Gentile renews both clinical theory and democratic philosophy. Playful and incisive, this work opens new spaces for contemplation.’
-- David Lichtenstein, PhD, editor of DIVISION/Review

‘Feminine Law is amazing in its erudition and in the ways it uses a seemingly simple analogy between freedom of speech and free association to explore vast areas of political life. The further analogy between analyst and government is just as illuminating. Gentile gestures towards a particular theory of democracy - call it emancipatory democracy - that restates psychoanalysis’s core mission but in the public sphere. Its project would firstly liberate oppressed or ignored or invisible people. But it would also emancipate the “people” themselves as a collective actor with an interior life.’
-- John Ferejohn, PhD, Samuel Tilden Professor at New York University Law School

‘This is perhaps the most unusual psychoanalytic book I have read. And the most unusual essay on the nature of democracy. In assuming the inherent "rights" of human desire, it frames something essential about both the psychoanalytic and American experiments in claiming our desire. Freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and the freedom to desire in relation to sexuality, gender and the body are essential elements in this ambitious discussion. That Jill Gentile is able to bring the reader into a shared fascination with what is common in these disparate ideas, is a monumental accomplishment.’
-- Jonathan H. Slavin, PhD, ABPP, former president, Division of Psychoanalysis (39), American Psychological Association; Clinical Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

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