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Samenvatting: We bespreken in dit artikel twee films van Lars von Trier die ons iets leren over de melancholische depressie. De film Antichrist illustreert hoe we een psychose vooral niet mogen benaderen als we een gewelddadige passage à l’acte willen vermijden. Door te focussen op het therapeutische proces in deze film verhelderen we de logica van de passage à l’acte, die tracht het kakon of het ‘kwade object’ in de ander te treffen. In de film Melancholia zien we hoe krachtig een melancholicus zich kan aangezogen voelen door een vol object zonder tekort, zoals een planeet. Deze film leert ons hoezeer de neurotische depressie van de psychotische depressie verschilt, met name in de verhouding tot het reële object, tot das Ding en tot een echte ramp.

On the Death Drive: From Compulsion to Repeat to the Reference to The Thing

This article broadly discusses the concept of the death drive. It demonstrates how a biological frame of reference is inadequate for interpreting the (sexual) drive. The notion of the compulsion to repeat helps us to understand why Freud was forced to introduce the death drive and, at the same time, to acknowledge it as being the underlying determining principle of every drive. Making use of the notions das Ding and objet a we show how Lacan’s reading of this controversial concept of the death drive precludes an organic interpretation. Finally, two clinical fragments illustrate how the activity of the death drive may reveal itself.

Writings around Das Ding

In this article das Ding is characterized as the structural a priori condition for memory and, more broadly, for the subject in its desire. First, the fundamentally conflicting nature of the psychical apparatus as outlined by Freud in his Project for a scientific psychology (1950a[1895]) is examined. The elaboration of the opposition between the primary processes or the pleasure principle on the one hand and the secondary processes or the reality principle on the other is of crucial importance. The ambiguity that characterizes this opposition is related to the Freudian notion of das Ding as the residue of the process of judgement through which a subject tries to grasp the outside world and the Nebenmensch. Das Ding, as the primordial outside of the subject, is then characterized, with Lacan, as the centre around which the subjective world of the unconscious is organised but from which it is nevertheless excluded. Finally, the implications of this theory for the desiring subject on the one hand and for an articulation of the ethics of psychoanalysis on the other are addressed.