The clinical interpretation of Don Quixote

In this contribution we take a psychoanalytic look at the novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. We follow the clinical adventures of Don Quixote and the diagnostic interpretations he comes across on his journey. We discuss a number of psychoanalytic case formulations that situate the knight in the realm of psychosis and that endeavour to construct the clinical logic of his adventures. Via a discussion of Lacan’s remarks on bovarysm and a consideration of the relationship between literature and psychoanalysis, we come to a second section, where we find our knight again, now no longer as a model of madness, but as a paragon of normalcy. Here Don Quixote has become a paradigmatic example of the way human identity and subjectivity are rooted in narrative and fantasy. Here each one of us becomes a Don Quixote, wandering through the world, guided by delusions and misapprehensions. We conclude with an examination of the way in which the fiction of psychoanalysis relates to the fiction of the subject. Here we encounter the psychoanalyst as a Don Quixote.

Dancing as Delila

This paper starts by addressing a number of common interpretations of love. Initially we recognise a conceptualisation of love as a ‘compatibility degree’, interspersed with an idyllic and rational set of ideas where the other is searched for as a duplicate of the self. We contradict this mindset by formulating an alternative that is primarily backed up by elements of the Graphe, where the emphasis is put on the interplay between lack and desire. In our effort we create space for an idea of love where tragedy can be reintroduced and hereby demonstrate facets like difference, subversion and incalculability. The theory is subsequently given a vivid and human illustration because different myths and a parable lend themselves excellently towards this task. The figurehead of the interplay between lack and desire is to be found in the parable of Samson.

Le dansêtre – on psychoanalysis and dance

This article tries to provide a few concepts that can be of interest when thinking about dance, a theme that’s been rarely explored within psychoanalytic literature. Based on interviews conducted with professional dancers, we develop the idea of the dansêtre, in analogy to what Lacan specifies as the parlêtre. With this term we refer to the dancer who carries out a singular dance consisting of repetitive movements which are linked with a bodily jouissance. This entails that, through these movements, the real of the body can partly be experienced while at the same moment the dance movement offers a way of coping with this bodily jouissance. At this point something sinthomatic appears, a way of dealing with the real which has no sense. The factor that drives the singular dance doesn’t seem to belong to the symbolico-imaginary and is therefore unknown to the dancer. Yet the own singular dance is expressed anyway and it is by expressing it that the dansêtre takes shape. By elaborating this concept, we aim to invite future research regarding dance. The way in which the bodily jouissance takes place in dance, seems a question that can lead to interesting findings, taken that we are all confronted with the capricious real of the body.