The Addicted Subject caught between the Ego and the Drive: The post-Freudian Reduction and Simplification of a Complex Clinical Problem

Texts by Abraham, Rado, Glover and Gross are explored in order to investigate post-Freudian literature on the question of addiction. The reduction of the Freudian field is analysed in order to produce new foundation stones for a theory on addiction by confronting the (post-Freudian) reduced elements with each other. A reading of the post-Freudian literature shows that it is possible to distinguish between different periods in psychoanalytic thinking about addiction. These periods represent, in their own style, a reduction of Freud’s work. A confrontation between the earlier drive-theory and the later ego(self)psychology period, interestingly enough, does not lead to a synthesis of the two into a higher order of thinking on addiction. Surprisingly, it results in the production of new theoretical elements and a shift in thinking about addiction. Thus, despite the lack of fecundity in most post-Freudian thinking on addiction, the possibility nevertheless exists to produce some material on addiction, providing one analyses or interprets, not just the relevant texts, but precisely what is lacking in these texts.

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Finding one’s Tongue

For children who are deaf – that is to say, who cannot hear sound – from the outset communication involves what they can see, touch, feel, sense, and transmit to others through gestural signs (body language). This happens intuitively , and this process is as incomprehensible to those who use speech as it is to these children. In analysis the deaf (and those who try to “get through to them”) attempt to convey, despite efforts to validate their experience and the historic disparagement of sign language, the difficulty of finding a language that is shared by all. It needs to be understood that a deaf child is neither dumb nor stupid and that a mainstream system of education that recognizes this reality is required.

The unnameable voice of Beckett

What is there to say when there is no story, how to speak about the experience of reading, of reading Beckett. Not speaking about, but within a text, to continue the text, not deprived of hysteria, to start saying something else with the same words, always a new beginning. To experience as such psychical notions that do not exclude each other but rather produce a tension: reading/writing, to disappear/to appear, pleasure/jouïssance. To name this field of tension the drive, in this case, the case of reading Beckett, in particular the drive of the voice that comes to the surface whilst reading.