Repetition in Psychosis: A Theoretical Question

This article investigates the theoretical issue of whether the concept of repetition is applicable to psychosis. In the neurotic subject, repetition is a reaction to the lack in the Other. The subject is confronted with a lack, a chance event, a question to which he has no answer. As a consequence, the neurotic is passively subjected to the Other. A case study makes it clear that the psychotic reacts differently to the lack in the Other. On the one hand, the psychotic can find an answer in the jouissance of the father and this jouissance will repeat itself during the course of his or her life. This “repetition” can be traced back to the sinthome which is not the case in neurosis. On the other hand, some psychotics may be unable to find an answer to the lack in the Other and they will experience a return in the Real. In these patients, a repetition is traceable, but this time to the concept of le retour dans le réel. Therefore, it is concluded that the application of the concept of repetition is inadequate in terms of the psychotic structure.

The Bodily Subject and the Subjective Body. From Theory to Clinic

The subject of this article is the body within the clinic of neurosis. A chronological summary of Jacques Lacan’s theory of the body is presented and some crucial clinical implications are highlighted. Throughout Lacan’s teaching, the Imaginary, Symbolic and the Real respectively are of primary importance in the construction of the body’s reality. The body is a bodily image that is construed in the field of the Other in response to the fragmentation of the Real drive. Thus the author will argue that the body is the main feature in Lacanian ontology: psychological reality is constructed simultaneously with bodily reality. Therefore, subject and body cannot and should not be separated in the clinic. This point will be illustrated by two case studies. The case of Pirandello’s novel One, No One and One Hundred Thousand (2001) shows that the subject is first and foremost a bodily subject; whereas the case of Alessandro provides a clear illustration of the fact that the body is a subjective body that has to be treated and listened to as such. As an introduction to the second case, the author will briefly deal with the works of Jean Bergès and Julian de Ajuriaguerra.

Psychoanalysis in the Netherlands during World War II

To understand what happened in the psychoanalytic world in Holland during the German occupation (1940-1945) we must have knowledge of the conflicts within the Dutch Society of Psychoanalysis in the nineteen-thirties. Those conflicts mainly deal with the subject of lay analysis, the compulsory training analysis and in general if compliance with foreign, with IPA rules was advisable. These differences of opinion reached their peak when four Jewish psychoanalysts arrived from Germany in 1933. The Dutch Society broke up in two parts, but was reunited in 1938. During the German occupation the training was finally regulated according to the IPA rules. This lead to a new splitting in the world of Dutch psychoanalysis that has not been healed to date.

Japanese Calligraphy: A Significant Coincidence for Pierre Alechinsky

Starting from the biography and evolution of the art of Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky, a psychobiographical hypothesis is formulated concerning an important shift in the artist’s work, namely, his choosing to combine painting with calligraphy and writing. This “choice” was made when the artist found himself in an artistic impasse. It is shown how the signifier “graph” appears over and over again in his artistic evolution and apparently functions as a master signifier. Based on biographical material from his childhood, it is argued that the left-handed Alechinsky, in choosing calligraphic painting, was able to circumvent the Oedipal threat and, in so doing, could identify himself with the desire of his mother who, not coincidentally, was a graphologist.

Download full text

On the Nature of the Creative Process in Art Brut, Reflections Inspired by the Work of Arthur Perreira

Starting from the viewpoint that Art Brut cannot be differentiated from professional art on the basis of an analysis of either its style or its content, the author questions the nature of the creative process in Art Brut, with reference to his observation of a psychotic artist and to the work of Jean Oury on Creation and Schizophrenia (1989). It is argued that in Art Brut there are three main elements: (i) the need to create which manifests itself as an attempt to cure; (ii) a characteristic attempt to communicate or to install a social bond; and (iii) endless repetition. However, while these elements may be particularly explicit in Art Brut and therefore suggest an interesting perspective for the study of the creative process in general, it is concluded that they do not in themselves constitute a set of distinctive criteria with which to differentiate “Art Brut” from professional art.