Freud’s Essay on Leonardo: The Debate 1910-2000

Starting from a critical reading of Freud’s essay A Childhood Memory of Leonardo da Vinci, the author tries to assess whether it is still valuable. The historical debate between Schapiro and Eissler as well as to the more recent work of Maïdani Gerard and Collins is discussed. It appears that the central element of Freud’s psychobiographical contribution, i.e., the interpretation of Leonardo’s affective indifference and his inhibition in his artistic creation by his latent homosexuality, has found more support in recent biographical and iconographical research. More specifically, it is argued that Freud’s intuitions, both with respect to the circumstances of Leonardo’s early childhood, and to the uniqueness of his St. Anne with Two Others, have finally been accepted.

Repression, the Drive and the End of the Analytic Treatment

The article treats of the double etiology of psychopathology. From the beginning Freud and Lacan stressed that repression is not the only cause. The article mainly considers the topic of the fixation of the drive (Freud) or the real jouissance (Lacan) as being the ultimate cause of psychopathological symptoms. Finally, it discusses Lacan’s final developments on the end of the analytical treatment. According to Lacan, the end of the analytical treatment or the removal of symptoms in a permannent way has to do with the relation from the subject to his jouissance.

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A case of erotomania

Psychiatric classification of erotomania yields a variety of possibilities, situating erotomania along a continuum with personality disorders on one end and the schizophrenic disorders at the other end. The “Postulat Fondamental” of de Clérambault breaks with this tradition. With Freud and Lacan it gives rise to a structural analysis. In considering the relation to the Other, it facilitates the differentiation between erotomanic (psychotic) and neurotic (hysterical) structures. In this case special attention is given to the fragile libidinal balance, a support supplying erotomania that can easily tip over into a terrifying eroticomania.

How do Institutions deal with the Impossibility in Assistance?

In this paper the author considers the central problem in therapeutic assistance: the powerlessness of the therapist. Lacans discours-theory is used to illuminate this problem. Next the author considers the statute of the ego-ideal as a proposed solution to man’s impotence. In considering how institutions deal with this impossibility, several strategies are situated: denying the relationship, standardising interactions, passing on responsibility, elevating details and using medication as a resort. Last but not least a possible psychoanalytic alternative is proposed.