Referring to Freud’s correspondence with Wilhelm Fließ, it is argued that Freud did not so much “apply” clinical insight concerning his own archaic and incestuous desires onto literature, i.e., Hamlet (Shakespeare) and Oedipus Rex (Sophocles). On the contrary, it was only after he had assimilated the significance of Hamlet’s words, “The readiness is all”, that he arrived at his interpretation of Hamlet’s behaviour and the effects of both tragedies on the spectator. In this sense, it was Shakespeare who “read” and interpreted Freud, rather than the other way round. This important episode in the history of psychoanalysis also illustrates how literature can function as Other, i.e., in the position of the psychoanalyst.
In this paper the author investigates the precise manner in which Freud applied the technique of construction in his clinical practice. Not withstanding the fact that construction comprised an obvious part of Freud’s technique, he seldom mentioned it in his works. Light is shed on Freud’s technique of construction by revisiting the analogies he used to describe psychoanalytic practice, i.e., the psychoanalyst as archeologist (1937d) and psychoanalysis as travel (1920a), and the sixth and seventh sessions of his analysis of the Ratman (1909d). It appears that for Freud construction not only formed an integral part of his technique but was also the focus of a dialectical working through. Attention is paid to the role of working through in the subjectivation process as part of the psychoanalytic cure. To conclude, the author presents a third analogy in order to elucidate the range of the technique of construction: the analogy of an oeuvre.
The Mastering of the Drive in African Art and its Collecting: An Interview with Julien Quackelbeen, March, 2006
This interview explores the origins of the African art collection of the psychoanalyst Julien Quackelbeen. A small Ikoko mask of the Pende tribe was the first object in his collection. This was given to him when he was just five years old and was then stolen. In this way it was to become the mythical first object of the collection he has been cultivating for more than seventy years. His fascination for Congolese art lies in what he calls “the mastering of the drive” which this art witnesses so strongly. This mastering of the drive is also implied in collecting in general. Several of its aspects are highlighted: the urge to possess, the financial aspect, fetishism, the viewing pleasure.
Can psychoanalytic technique be used to investigate creativity? With reference to MacMillan’s work (MacMillan et al., 2003) on Freud’s essay on the Moses of Michelangelo (Freud, 1914b), the author begins this article by arguing that this is not always productive. In Freud’s analysis of Michelangelo’s sculpture and of the artist’s intentions, Freud made use of introspection in a way that is analogous to the free floating attention of psychoanalysts. However, Freud’s construction can be discredited when one takes into account: 1. Michelangelo’s original plan for the tomb of Julius II; 2. two iconographical conventions used by the artist; and 3. the biblical text. The author goes on to argue that psychoanalytic technique can provide an adequate frame of reference for research on creation and creativity. Besides the speech of the artist, he discovers in the aim of repetition a handle on the interpretation of art. This point of view is illustrated with the work of Johan Clarysse, Edgar Allan Poe and Paul Auster.
Dit gesprek vond plaats op 19 maart 2009 naar aanleiding van de vertoning van Silvia Defrances (2009) film Candy DarZing in FilmPlateau te Gent. Haar film ging een jaar eerder in première en werd sindsdien geselecteerd voor een 40-tal internationale filmfestivals en sporadisch getoond in het circuit van de beeldende kunsten. De afgelopen twee jaar kreeg de film zeven internationale prijzen en één speciale vermelding toegewezen in het internationaal filmcircuit De belangrijkste daarvan waren: The Special Prize to the Best Short Film at the San Francisco Short Film Festival 2009; Award in the category Direction at The Chicago Short Film Festival 2009; Award in the category Editing at The New York Short Film Festival 2009; Award in the category Best Experimental Film at The European Independent Film Festival (ÉCU) 2009 in Paris. De film werd onlangs ook aangekocht door Canvas en zal spoedig op de Nationale zender uitgezonden worden.