Freud's invention of psychoanalysis was based on his own desire to know something about the unconscious, but what have been the effects of this original desire on psychoanalysis ever since? How has Freud's desire created symptoms in the history of psychoanalysis? Has it helped or hindered its transmission? Exploring these questions brings Serge Cottet to Lacan's concept of the psychoanalyst's desire: less a particular desire like Freud's and more a function, this is what allows analysts to operate in their practice. It emerges during analysis and is crucial in enabling the analysand to begin working with the unconscious of others when they take on the position of analyst themselves. What is this function and how can it be traced in Freud's work? Cottet's book, first published in 1982 and revised in 1996, is a classic of Lacanian psychoanalysis. It is not only a scholarly study of Freud and Lacan, but a thought-provoking introduction to the key issues of Lacanian psychoanalysis.