© 2017

Irrepressible Truth

On Lacan’s ‘The Freudian Thing’


Part of the The Palgrave Lacan Series book series (PALS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 15-33
  3. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 35-51
  4. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 53-65
  5. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 67-92
  6. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 93-107
  7. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 109-122
  8. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 123-134
  9. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 135-150
  10. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 151-168
  11. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 169-194
  12. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 195-216
  13. Adrian Johnston
    Pages 217-228
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 229-257

About this book


This book offers readers a uniquely detailed engagement with the ideas of legendary French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. The Freudian Thing is one of Lacan’s most important texts, wherein he explains the significance and stakes of his “return to Freud” as a passionate defence of Freud’s disturbing, epoch-making discovery of the unconscious, against misrepresentations and criticisms of it. However, Lacan is characteristically cryptic in The Freudian Thing. The combination of his writing style and vast range of references renders much of his thinking inaccessible to all but a narrow circle of scholarly specialists. Johnston’s Irrepressible Truth opens up the universe of Lacanian psychoanalysis to much wider audiences by furnishing a sentence-by-sentence interpretive unpacking of this pivotal 1955 essay. In so doing, Johnston reveals the precision, rigor, and soundness of Lacan’s teachings.


psychology Ovid prosopopoeia le Séminaire truth

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.HumanitiesUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

About the authors

Adrian Johnston is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of New Mexico, and a faculty member at the Emory Psychoanalytic Institute in Atlanta, USA. His most recent book is Adventures in Transcendental Materialism: Dialogues with Contemporary Thinkers. 

Bibliographic information


“This book is a textually faithful, painstaking exposition of Lacan’s seminal écrits ‘The Freudian Thing, or the Meaning of the Return to Freud in Psychoanalysis’ … . The book is stimulating and enlightening (and, importantly, clear) reading for both the uninitiated and initiated alike.” (Gregory Trotter, Continental Philosophy Review, Vol. 51, 2018)