With Serge Tisseron: Looking for the Family Secret of Hergé

In this paper Serge Tisseron’s analysis of the work of Georges Remi is revisited from a Lacanian point of view. Special attention is paid to the function of the signifier and to the function of narrative in the phenomenon of the transmission of the unsaid. Hergé’s questioning of the father is analysed both at the level of the narrative of Les aventures de Tintin (The Adventures of Tintin) and at the level of his biography. It is shown, moreover, that the link between these different narratives is to be found in the signifiers.

Art and psychoanalysis: An inspirational encounter

The sixth colloquium of A.L.E.P.H. (11/12/2004-12/12/2004) united psychoanalysts, art historians, philosophers and artists in the Fine Arts Museum of Tourcoing on the theme “Art and Psychoanalysis”. In this article, three authors reflect on what touched them during this colloquium and on what resonated with them afterwards. Jean-Pierre Van Eeckhout was inspired by the detail in which the particular is expressed and he emphasizes the value of the “scene” in “body art”. Sarah Willems saw this colloquium as an invitation to listen psychoanalytically to contemporary art and to comment on the psychoanalytical interpretation of an art work as a symptom. This idea particularly concerned Els Buytaert whose interest is in creative therapy. Each author offers some considerations from their particular field of activity and suggest that the encounter between art and psychoanalysis paves the way for an inspiring journey.

On Applied Psychoanalysis and Applied Literature

“Applied literature” appears to be replacing Freud’s “applied psychoanalysis” in which literary works are interpreted by means of psychoanalytic theories. The starting point here is that insights from depth-psychology operate within literature itself which raises certain questions and which in themselves could influence the further development of psychoanalysis. In the “postmodern” novel, in which preoccupations with family and relations reminds one of certain Freudian case studies, the nearly forgotten concept of “hysteria” makes a comeback. Siri Hustvedt’s novel What I loved serves as an illustration of this. This novel is analysed as a story in which hysteria is displayed in several different ways and forms the nucleus of a scene in which the author shows us a glimpse of her desire.

“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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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.