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New Left Review I/55, May-June 1969


New Left Review

Editorial Note on ‘Freud and Lacan’

At our request, Louis Althusser has agreed to let us reproduce the following article, which was written in 1964 and published in the French Communist Party journal, La Nouvelle Critique.

Louis Althusser himself reckons that ‘there is a danger that this text will be misunderstood, unless it is taken for what it then objectively was: a philosophical intervention urging members of thepcfto recognize the scientificity of psychoanalysis, of Freud’s work, and the importance of Lacan’s interpretation of it. Hence it was polemical, for psychoanalysis had been officially condemned in the 50’sas “a reactionary ideology”, and, despite some modification, this condemnation still dominated the situation when I wrote this article. This exceptional situation must be taken into account when the meaning of my interpretation is assessed today.

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