Althusser

David Galbraith galbrait at epas.utoronto.ca
Sat Aug 13 09:20:29 MDT 1994


It is nice to see Althusser discussed seriously.  It's a body of work
which seemed remarkably resistant to the techniques of reading and
appropriation which have been performed on so many of his contemporaries.

To try to look for a single concept which is "most significant" seems
to me a bit misplaced.  Gene Holland is certainly right in questioning
the concept of the break in Marx's work; it's rather more relevant,
though, to Althusser's.  His work is susceptible to periodization.  In
addition, different texts (and concepts) had very different receptions
and afterlives.  The ideology/science opposition is associated with
the early texts; the interpellation thesis with the manuscript which
ended up as the "isa" paper.  This (and the Freud/Lacan article--if
only for its metaphor of the continents, and its attempt to align his
own and Lacan's concepts of the imaginary) had the greatest impact on
cultural studies.  The earlier work enters literary studies for the
most part only in a
very mediated way, through Macherey's early sixties essays.

I understand that Althusser's writing on psychoanalysis (including his
correspondence with Lacan) has been published in France.  Does anyone
have the reference for this?
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David Galbraith						(416) 585-4406
Dept. of English				galbrait at epas.utoronto.ca
Victoria College
University of Toronto
73 Queen's Park Cres.
Toronto, M5S 1K7, Ontario, Canada
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