‘“I Shall Be with You on Your Wedding-Night”: Lacan and the Uncanny’ by Mladen Dolar

Source: October, Vol. 58, Rendering the Real (Autumn, 1991), pp. 5-23


The dimension of the uncanny, introduced by Freud in his famous paper, is located at the very core of psychoanalysis.’ It is the dimension where all the concepts of psychoanalysis come together, where its diverse lines of argument form a knot. The uncanny provides a clue to the basic project of psychoanalysis. And yet Freud appears to be somewhat at a loss about how to make use of this clue. Although he enumerates a number of instances of the uncanny, giving an array of examples embellished with theoretical reflections, he leaves us in the end with only a sketch or a prolegomenon to a theory of the uncanny. Exactly how the different pieces fit together remains unclear.

Mladen Dolar is Professor and Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana since 1982 and has served as the Advising Researcher in Theory at the Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, Netherlands. He is also Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. His principal areas of research are Psychoanalysis, Modern French Philosophy (Lacan, Foucault, Derrida, Badiou, et. al.), German Idealism, and Art Theory, especially Musicology. With Žižek and others, Dolar was the co-founder of the Ljubljana Society of Theoretical Psychoanalysis, whose main aim is to read late 18th cent. and early 19th cent. German Classical Philosophy through the frame of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. His main field of expertise is the philosophy of Georg W. F. Hegel, on whom he has written several papers, including a two-volume interpretation of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit first published in Slovene between 1990 and 1991. Dolar has lectured extensively across many different Universities in Europe and the United States and is author of hundreds of papers in different scholarly journals and in various collected volumes. Apart from over twelve monograph publications in Slovene, his books published in English most notably include A Voice and Nothing More and Opera’s Second Death, both of which were translated into several languages. His new book The Riskiest Moment is forthcoming with Duke University Press.

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