There’s more than the Real. The so-called Abandonment of the Seduction Theory and the Incest Recovery Movement

The recognition of the prevalence of incest and sexual abuse, coincides with a new focus on the seduction theory. The person and the work of Freud are vehemently attacked, first and above all by the Incest Recovery Movement. As a rule, their criticisms are embedded in a purely political discourse and consist, for the better part, of personal attacks on Freud. They also fail to recognise the revolutionary character of his discovery: the importance of fantasy in psychic reality, and the phantasmal nature of the working?through of traumatic events. Every notion of fantasy and unconscious conflict is vehemently rejected. The subject is left with no possibility to act and to question his own subjective implication. Here one can only oppose this with the psychoanalytic ethic, which stresses the dimension of speaking well.

Suicide and Death-Drives

The death-drive runs as a red thread through a reading of Lacan. Starting from a clinic of suicide, Lacan proposes a theory whih is based on a split that is present at every level of the human structure: the real (biological), the imaginary (narcissistic), the symbolic (linguistic), up to and including the fantasma (primordial masochism). We attempt to draw a lesson from this concerning the cure and the problematic field of mental health.

From Phrase to Fantasy: Roland Barthes and the Knowledge of Imagination

Different approaches to literature in literary theory can often be reduced to Lacan’s four fundamental discourses. However, in his later work, Roland Barthes investi¬gates the possibility of another, alternative discourse, namely that of the lover. In this discourse, the Imaginary plays a key role. The Barthesian Imaginary functions as an active (in the Nietzschean sense of the word) and creative hermeneutic tool. Important here is the Phrase, a literary sentence supplied by the discourse of the Other, that almost “magically” helps us to name something of our desire. Barthes also closely links this Phrase to his interpretation of the fantasy as the moving force behind our reading. In this way, literature forces us, as subjects of desire, into confrontation with the deconstructed, but indestructible, sinthome of our love, our desire: our ego.

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Silently self evident: on memory and fantasy

The author argues that there is a self evident relation between memory and fantasy. In the first part of the paper some fantasies about memory are brought to the fore. Also several factors that play a part in the availability of memories are discussed. Special consideration is given to conscious and unconscious repression. The second part concerns the inseparable interrelation of memory and fantasy, at which point the author explains the statement that every act of memory is also an act of imagination. Finally the vicissitudes of certain fantasies and their significance for implicit relational patterns are discussed. Particular attention is paid to the possible transition of a fantasy from the explicit to the implicit memory system.

Outsider Art: On the Importance of Repetition in the Artist’s Work and on the Traces of Matter in his Mastersignifier

In the context of the debate on the art value of outsider art (in the two following senses: valuable art versus devalued art, and the value of outsider art for art history) the author investigates the central place of repetition for the artist in the creative process. Firstly, the surplus-aesthetic-value of an outsider-work-of-art is partly assigned to the manifest repetition that is found in this work. Support for a connection between aesthetics and repetition is found, on the one hand, in the work of established artists like Andy Warhol and, on the other, in Lacan’s seminar L’ éthique de la psychanalyse (1959-1960). Secondly, repetition, as it manifests itself in art, is interpreted as being the frame of the fantasy that protects the subject but that also simultaneously compels him or her. This compulsive repetition is often related to the signifier of the Name-of-the-Father as anchoring point for the fantasy in the work of outsider art artists. Different forms of the repetitive and compulsive appearance of the Name-of-the-Father are illustrated using short vignettes about outsider art artists. Thirdly, the fundamental importance stressed of the material that is repeatedly and compulsively incorporated as object a is established. It is proposed that this material, via association, can be transformed into an independent thinking language from which, via repetition, the master signifier and the signature of the artist develop.