Lacan only published one book in his lifetime - Écrits. Écrits is not an introductory text but the summation of a lifetime's teaching and clinical practice. Each paper contains a multiplicity of allusions and references that need to be unpacked, if we are to begin understanding Lacan's ideas. "The Mirror Stage", for example, is only seven pages long, while "The Signification of the Phallus" is just nine, but each of these papers has generated volumes of explication, critique and applications.
The English translation, Écrits: A Selection by Alan Sheridan (London: Tavistock Publications, 1977), contains many of the key texts we have discussed in the preceding chapters: 'The Mirror Stage', 'The Rome Discourse', 'The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious', 'The Meaning of the Phallus' and 'The Subversion of the Subject and the Dialectic of Desire', but it still only consists of one-third of the French edition. A new translation of this selection has recently been produced by Bruce Fink (Écrits: A Selection, New York: Norton, 2002) but his translation of the complete Écrits is still awaited. Fink's extensively annotated translations will undoubtedly become the standard authoritative texts of Lacan in the coming years but as this is not yet the case all references in this introduction are to the Sheridan edition.