Lying on the couch, the patient must tell all. And yet, as the psychoanalyst well knows, the patient is endlessly unable—unwilling—to speak the truth. This perversity at the heart of psychoanalysis, a fine focus on intimate truths even as the lines between truth and lies are being redrawn, is also at the center of this book of essays by the renowned historian of psychoanalysis John Forrester. Continuing the work begun in Dispatches from the Freud Wars, Truth Games offers a rich philosophical and historical perspective on the mechanics, moral dilemmas, and rippling implications of psychoanalysis.
Lacan observed that the psychoanalyst’s patient is, even when lying, operating in the dimension of truth. Beginning with Lacan’s reading of Freud’s case history of the Rat Man, John Forrester pursues the logic and consequences of this assertion through Freud’s relationship with Lacan into the general realm of psychoanalysis and out into the larger questions of anthropology, economics, and metaphysics that underpin the practice. His search takes him into the parallels between money and speech through an exploration of the metaphors of circulation, exchange, indebtedness, and trust that so easily glide from one domain to the other.
Original, witty, incisive, these essays provide a new understanding of the uses and abuses and the ultimate significance of truth telling and lying, trust and confidence as they operate in psychoanalysis—and in the intimate world of the self and society that it seeks to know.