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From the Mirages of Knowing to the Docta Ignorantia, a reading of “Variantes de la cure-type”

This article offers a close reading of Lacan’s text “Variantes de la cure-type”. Starting from the notion of deviation implicit in the title of this work, it is situated in the context of the institutional crises that marked the history of psychoanalysis in France in the period between 1953 and 1964. A second step dismantles the question of variations on the standard-cure as a pleonasm. In an attempt to avoid the aporia this implies, Lacan recenters the question around the position of the analyst in the field that founds itself in the relation of the subject to speech. The notion of narcissism as a function of the death drive and as the basis of knowledge is then introduced. Where common knowledge functions as a shield, a symptomatic manifestation of our own passion for ignorance, it has to be concluded that in the formation of the analyst a changed relation to knowledge holds a central place, a relation that permits the analyst to find his standard in a docta ignorantia.

Remembering versus Repeating

Taking Kierkegaard, i.e. one of Lacan’s main references with respect to the notion of repetition, as a starting point, the author firstly situates this reference in Lacan’s seminar. It is argued that Lacan confronts Kierkegaard’s notion of repetition with the Platonic idea of reminiscence. Further it is shown that according to Lacan it is repetition rather than reminiscence that structures human experience. Secondly the author revisists Kierkegaard’s On repetition (1843) and argues that a sharp distinction should be drawn between Kierkegaard’s conception of repetition and the Greek one. Finally it is shown that Kierkegaard’s philosophical insights were at odds with the very way in which he faced life (Regine) and death (father).

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“Why return?”, On the Notion of the “Wiederkehr” and its Implications for the Clinic of Toxicomania

This paper reviews the Freudian notion of the “Wiederkehr”, or “return”, as elaborated in Lacan’s Seminar on The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. Futhermore, the author describes how the possibility of a return is implied in the psychoanalytic intervention strategy on a psychiatric ward for crisis intervention with drug addicts.

Writings around Das Ding

In this article das Ding is characterized as the structural a priori condition for memory and, more broadly, for the subject in its desire. First, the fundamentally conflicting nature of the psychical apparatus as outlined by Freud in his Project for a scientific psychology (1950a[1895]) is examined. The elaboration of the opposition between the primary processes or the pleasure principle on the one hand and the secondary processes or the reality principle on the other is of crucial importance. The ambiguity that characterizes this opposition is related to the Freudian notion of das Ding as the residue of the process of judgement through which a subject tries to grasp the outside world and the Nebenmensch. Das Ding, as the primordial outside of the subject, is then characterized, with Lacan, as the centre around which the subjective world of the unconscious is organised but from which it is nevertheless excluded. Finally, the implications of this theory for the desiring subject on the one hand and for an articulation of the ethics of psychoanalysis on the other are addressed.

Overwhelming encounters in Fioretti: On the necessity of the outside for living and working in a child and youth psychiatric ward

This paper witnesses the author’s first experience with child and youth psychiatry. It starts from a description of the architecture of Fioretti as space constitutes a fundamental dimension in which clinical phenomena become readable. The initially overwhelming effect of the encounter with the children and youths, leads the author to the perspective that both movement and the dimensions of the outside are key elements that may transform overwhelming encounters into creative, psychoanalytical encounters.

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