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The essays in this book constitute an introduction to the spaces of human subjectivity. Such spaces are much finer than physical space: among them are spaces of phrases, spaces of passions, spaces of the after-echoes of thought. The fabric of these spaces determines the predicament of a human being, caught up in the networks of the signifying chain. The book contains a series of investigations into the relation between theory and technique in psychoanalysis. In doing so it looks at spatial notions--neighborhood and boundary, interior and exterior--as they are found to be operative in psychoanalytical work. It also contains some surprising results about the foundations of the sciences, the main one being that the structure of sexual love gives a new orientation to the field of mathematics. In its ten chapters it distinguishes the spaces of autism and phobia, neurosis and psychosis, feminine and masculine sexuality: all these give different determinations to excitation, to satisfaction, and to the tension of desire. The human subject attempts to find pathways through these spaces but often will remain trapped in their impasses, forced to accept the isolation that they impose. The challenges taken up by Henry Fonda and William Shawn, Freud's "Wolf Man", and the poet HD are looked at in this light. What was it that prevented them from escaping their isolation? What was it that made their pathways so difficult to find? Desire is located in these spaces: their boundaries are made up of patterns of insistence and desire. Children seek out safe regions in these spaces. Repetition and failures in love follow old and dated pathways in these spaces. Ideals are formed and lost in these spaces. The spaces are not metaphorical: their texture is felt in the everyday realities of life.
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