Presented at « Il padre oggi » Conference (organized by the Istituto Psicoanalitico per la Ricerca Sociale and by I.R.E.P.) Rome, La Sapienza University, October 26-27, 2019
Given that several psychoanalysts have expressed regret at the scarcity of published clinical cases, I thought it would be of interest to choose and group together three cases of anorexia nervosa having the same origin: strong and unsatisfied attachment to the mother.
The author stresses the extent to which analytic literature represses the issue of money and how its significance to the analytical relationship ought instead to be analyzed. Starting from a widespread fantasy among analysands, where the analyst is felt to be a prostitute, the author expands upon the limits of the analytical setting, which has been suffering from a sort of phobia of the gift since the days of Freud. To the concept of psychoanalysis “of the answering” by the analytical establishment, the author opposes a more living concept of “psychoanalysis of the questioning”.
A filmed 1972 encounter between Jacques Lacan and a Situationist student occasioned prophetic comments from the analyst about the relationship between revolt, knowledge acquisition and the evolution of communications technology. The historic exchange here serves as the narrative scaffold for a palimpsest in which fragments of found text, italicized throughout, compose a larger fabric assaying the current stakes for psychoanalytic praxis.
The theater and the psychoanalytic clinic are counterposed in a reading of Peter Weiss’s play Marat/Sade, casting Lacanian conceptions of repetition, death drive, and the act as potential forms of revolt against the “society of the spectacle” prefigured by Sade.
This paper considers the staying and straying of early Freudian itineraries of the symptom, as they pass through the brambles of the classically delineated neuroses of defense – obsessional neurosis, paranoia, and hysteria. The author hypothesizes a relationship between the current DSM diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and the hysteric’s reckoning with the rim of the traumatic void via boundary ideas, and concludes with a hope for a poetics of the return that would swerve out of the fast lane of pathological aberration, to meet and greet the late aromas of the thorn roses of historical contingency.
I thank Benvenuto and Strandberg for their interesting comments to my paper Benvenuto: https://www.journal-psychoanalysis.eu/articles/commentary-to-hannes-nykanens-paper-wittgensteins-radical-ethics/ Strandberg. https://www.journal-psychoanalysis.eu/psycho-analysis-and-the-morally-charged-nature-of-personal-relations-a-response-to-hannes-nykanen/
In these sterile plains, nothing will ever grow that could be useful to man; not a single grain would ripen into corn among its stony furrows. Every living thing is born fully formed, struggles briefly from its first to its last breath and then dies, without knowing youth or old age and without resignation. Nothing here is latent; everything simply is, all at once. But even though there is no hope, yet there is beauty, fleetingly miraculous and eternally dazzling. Deserts are places of beauty, pointless but irreplaceable. Their only crops are flowers that have but a day or two in which to germinate, bloom, and vanish. Yet their sudden sprays of multicolored poppies and campanulas are resplendent even as they fade and die. Some plants wait a full ten years before flowering. Then they blossom and disappear in a single day. (Camus, 1954, 942)
What does a signifier have to do with a body? Having watched Lacanian psychoanalysis—or rather the stereotypes of it that manifest both in the opposition and the rank and file practitioners—swing from an over-emphasis on the signifier and language back to the body and jouissance, which is now said to be untouchable by language, the question couldn’t be more pertinent, especially when one considers questions of analytic technique. This was one important reason that Conversion Disorder as a theme seemed important to take up (see Webster, 2018).