To understand the achievement of Jacques Lacan, one must turn to his roots. This book explores the grounding of Lacan’s psychoanalytic work in the intellectual and artistic movements of the modernist period. More specifically, it examines masculine anxiety in the modernist novel in terms of Lacan’s work on psychosis, masochism, and narcissism, viewed against the broader cultural context of the modernist era. In the process, this book illustrates how Lacan’s intellectual apprenticeships and encounters (both real and imaginary) play out in his mature work, beginning with the first seminars of the 1950s. Like other thinkers of the early twentieth century, the trajectory of Lacan’s psychoanalytic career is shaped by tendentious confrontations with peers, forebears, and intellectual traditions.