Working and the Death Drive: On Literature and Children with Behavior Disorder

With reference to Mannoni (1979), it is argued that the clinical practitioner must, based on his own experience, continuously “retranslate” his theoretical language into his mother tongue. As an example, this paper focusses on how the author retranslates the Freudian notion of the death drive and Lacan’s category of the real, based on his educational and therapeutic work with children with behavior disorder. It is argued that these theoretical conceptions cover something that is not there but that nevertheless is operative. What is one to do when confronted with something that is not there but nevertheless is operative? The answer proposed is that one has to inscribe the subject in the sexual relation through the act of writing. This directive is illustrated via clinical work with children suffering from a psychically “silent” mother and is argued through a revisiting of the work of Fernando Pessoa.

The poetical identity implosion of Fernando Pessoa – a psychoanalytical reading and interpretation of a literary oeuvre

First and foremost, this article deals with the process of reading and interpreting the oeuvre of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Furthermore, it wants to examine whether freudo-lacanian psychoanalysis anno 2008 is still relevant for analysing and unlocking the personality structure of an author. By means of four central remarks this article describes the practical and theoretical pitfalls the interpreter must be aware of if he to avoid losing sight of the oeuvre and person of Pessoa. The article ends with illustrating how psychoanalysis, in order to analyse the personality of Pessoa based on some biographical elements and his literary inheritance, forces the interpreter into a continuing process of reflection. In conclusion the author stresses the importance of an attitude that does not trivialize the gap between the (symbolic) dimensions of knowledge and the (real) dimension of truth that lies beyond every theory.