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2001: A Space Odyssey and Lacanian Psychoanalytic Theory | The Palgrave Lacan Series
Bristow, Daniel
Palgrave Macmillan / Hardcover / 2018-01-01 / 331969443X
Psychoanalysis and Cinema / Lacan
price: $96.95 (may be subject to change)
132 pages
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In 1968, Stanley Kubrick completed and released his magnum opus motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey; a time that was also tremendously important in the formation of the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan. Bringing these figures together, Bristow offers a study that goes beyond, as the film did. He extends Lacan's late topological insights, delves into conceptualisations of desire, in G.

W. F. Hegel, Alexandre Kojeve, and Lacan himself, and deals with the major themes of cuts (filmic and psychoanalytic); space; silence; surreality; and `das Ding', in relation to the movie's enigmatic monolith.

This book is a tour de force of psychoanalytic theory and space odyssey that will appeal to academics and practitioners of psychoanalysis and film studies, as well as to any fan of Kubrick's work.


“Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is the iconic soundtrack and cosmic screenplay of the contemporary world in every imaginary dimensionality. Beginning with but also quite apart from Slavoj Žižek, Daniel Bristow’s masterful Lacanian coding unlocks 2001 in his book: offering the reader a tour, complete with color and sound, of the filmic imaginary, symbolic, and Real, a well-written and richly rewarding study.” (Babette Babich, Executive Editor, New Nietzsche Studies)

“In many ways the book reminds me of the first time watching the film. Within its pages are fascinating insights into not just the theory and writing of Lacan, but also new revelations regarding Kubrick’s masterpiece. It, like the film to which it responds, will be a work to return to, in the firm expectation of gaining something new from it, with each visit.” (Jon Greenaway, Literary Theorist and Blogger, @thelitcritguy)

“This amazing book jump cuts from Lacan to 2001 and back again. Bristow cuts into the Symbolic stuff of A Space Odyssey to show us that it is psychoanalysis that is at stake as the architecture of fantasy today, he cuts through Imaginary representations of Kubrick’s classic that hypnotically bind us to it as if it were merely a sci-fi film, and he cuts us into a view of reality – of outer space and our inner space – that enables us to appreciate the place of the Real. This book proves that film is nothing without the traces of fantasy, and that Lacanian psychoanalysis is now secreted in every nook and cranny of cinematic enjoyment.” (Ian Parker, psychoanalyst, Manchester Psychoanalytic Matrix)

About the Author:

Daniel Bristow is author of Joyce and Lacan: Reading, Writing, and Psychoanalysis, and contributing editor and co-creator of the Everyday Analysis Collective.

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Psychoanalysis and Cinema
The Palgrave Lacan Series