Suicide and Death-Drives

The death-drive runs as a red thread through a reading of Lacan. Starting from a clinic of suicide, Lacan proposes a theory whih is based on a split that is present at every level of the human structure: the real (biological), the imaginary (narcissistic), the symbolic (linguistic), up to and including the fantasma (primordial masochism). We attempt to draw a lesson from this concerning the cure and the problematic field of mental health.

Automutilation: A Clinical Fragment. Frederic. Who was (I for) my Mother? A Dangerous Quest

In this article the author reports on his clinical work with a young man who is severely automutilating. Still very young, the patient is not only confronted with the death of his mother but moreover with a dead and unbearable silence about it. If, during adoles¬cence, the original trauma in a retroactive movement is reactivated, this results in whole¬sale autodestruction. Based in clinical conversation material, a number of dynamics that could ground automutilation are explored. It is argued that when the subject cannot contemplate his place in the desire of the first Other, that a break-through of the real takes place which produces an unlimited jouissance. The author also defends the assertion that working with these patients demands that the therapist takes up an active position. Signi¬fiers must be offered in order to protect the subject against a destructive confrontation with the real. This is only possible within a therapeutic alliance where trust and safety are sufficiently guaranteed.

Hysteria’s doing well, in fact she has never had it so good: Reflections starting from Showalter’s Hystories

This is a review of Elaine Showalter’s book concerning the modern appearance of hysteria. We focused mainly on the Incest Recovery Movement and Multiple Personality Disorder, the new way for the hysteric to give shape to the impossible sexual relation. What can properly be defined as the forclusion of the subject and desire in modern trauma therapy, leaves only the option of the Real and its psychotic effects open to the patient.

The Logical Times of Sublimation and Architecture

This article begins by analyzing Lacan’s famous formula from the seminar The ethics of psychoanalysis: sublimation “elevates an object to the dignity of the Thing” (Lacan, 1986 [1959-1960]: 133). Our hypothesis is that this operation has a logical sequence. We will demonstrate that Gothic architecture can account for the logic of sublimation and we will articulate the difference between “primitive sublimation” and sublimation as “elevation”: the former describes a sublimation that works without the imaginary – we shall refer to this as the creation of “holy (sacred) void” of architecture – the latter works with the imaginary but through a symbolic elevation that puts us in an indirect relationship with the real.

Finding one’s Tongue

For children who are deaf – that is to say, who cannot hear sound – from the outset communication involves what they can see, touch, feel, sense, and transmit to others through gestural signs (body language). This happens intuitively , and this process is as incomprehensible to those who use speech as it is to these children. In analysis the deaf (and those who try to “get through to them”) attempt to convey, despite efforts to validate their experience and the historic disparagement of sign language, the difficulty of finding a language that is shared by all. It needs to be understood that a deaf child is neither dumb nor stupid and that a mainstream system of education that recognizes this reality is required.