On the enchantment of angels, some remarks on love at first sight

This paper examines the temporal and spatial properties of enchanted discourse on love at first sight. The encounter with the object of desire is almost always presented as a sudden, unexpected event. Based on Barthes’ Fragments d’un discours amoureux, Slauerhoff’s De verzuimde liefde and Sollers’ Une curieuse solitude, it is argued that the encounter with the object of desire is a mise en-scène directed by the subject itself. The specific modality in which Lacan’s categories of the real (the object of desire) the imaginary (the image in which this object is presented to the subject) and the symbolic (the discourse that gives the image its consistency) are connected in this encounter are demonstrated.

Psychoanalysis and Education: Is it possible to fail successfully? An exploration starting from D.W. Winnicott

According to Freud, psychoanalysis and education are considered as two impossible professions, both necessarily failing on the rock of castration. At this point the subject has to create an original construct. It is argued that the theoretical concepts good enough mother and true self can be read as the particular constructs of the subject D.W. Winnicott. His particular position towards castration is explored as revealed in the idea of the transitional object. It is not only the content of his work, but, perhaps more importantly, also his style of writing that tries to “hold” the reader. It is precisely in his ideas about a good enough mother/good enough analyst who knows how to hold the child/patient in order to create a true self, that Winnicott’s solution for the impossible professions is found. Psychoanalysis and education are thus conceived of as transforming into another potentially impossible profession: that of creating a desiring subject.

Time in obsessional neurosis

The way in which obsessional neurosis is dominated by the attempt of the subject to liberate itself from the grasp of the mother is illustrated with a fragment from the analysis of an obsessional man. Both the castration of the mother and the problematic character of the Name-of-the-Father take a central place. It is observed how the subject is hired by the mother in her search for an object capable of filling her lack. This is the seduction of the mother: by pretending that the child would be able to be or to have what she is missing, she strokes its narcissism, and in the process, she rejects the desire of the future obsessional. For its part, the subject starts to desire what the mother demands and is captivated by the metonymic glide of objects, none of which are able to fill the maternal lack. Because of the mortal immobilisation and the constant frustration following from the identification with the phallus, the subject will try to buy itself out of being the phallus by having it. That is what happens at the stage of privation. Refusing to accept the castration of the mother, whether through identification, possession or exploitation of the phallic object, each time the desire of the mother surfaces, it presents an anxious threat for the obsessional, who fears being reduced to that same phallic object. Trying to fine-tune anxiety and desire leads him to construct a paradoxical universe, the frame of which is formed by an Other, designed as both total and without object simultaneously. This Other is no longer grounded in a cut, but is based on a distance: everything which belongs to the field of the real is being pushed into the realm of the hypothetical. Delay and doubt play an important role in this and help to create an “impossible” object, enabling the virtual existence of the Thing to contine.

Some Thoughts on “Empty” and/or “Full” Speech

Starting from the effects of the power of speech, the relation between free association and “full speech” is questioned. It is argued that, whereas “empty speech” (i) confirms the very necessity of speech and (ii), establishes or re-establishes the social bond, “full speech” is constitutive on the level of the subject. In addition, some psychoanalytical techniques are highlighted which enable the psychoanalyst to support speech in its different functions.

Freud and the Lodge “Wien” of the B’nai B’rith. On the Modernity of the Reflections on Jewish Identity

What are the characteristics of the Jewish identity when it is not inscribed in religious tradition? Reviewing the history of the international B’nai B’rith and Freud’s activities in the lodge “Wien”, his Jewishness and his Jewish identity are discussed in reference to (i) the goals of the B’nai B’rith “Wien” and its place in the traditions of the Enlightenment and of Jewish humanism as formulated by S. Ehrmann; (ii) the way in which Freud’s Jewish identity was perceived by his fellow brothers, E. Hitschmann and E. Braun. It is argued that Freud’s own perception of his Jewish ness matches with Braun’s, as well as with Ehrmann’s, view.

“The Readiness is All” or How Shakespeare Read Freud

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.

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