The Laws of Repetition, A Meditation

In this meditation, the author enumerates, in reference to his clinical practise as well as to his reading of Freud and Lacan, six laws of repetition: 1. repetition is continuous; 2. repetition operates in function of life; 3. repetition does not come down to mere reproduction but exists only through variation; 4. in repetition, smaller and bigger “rounds” are to be differentiated; 5. repetition operates in function of the cruelty of jouissance; 6. when one realizes that, beyond any mastering of the smaller rounds of repetition, the big round finds its way, then it already is too late.

Automutilation: A Clinical Fragment. Frederic. Who was (I for) my Mother? A Dangerous Quest

In this article the author reports on his clinical work with a young man who is severely automutilating. Still very young, the patient is not only confronted with the death of his mother but moreover with a dead and unbearable silence about it. If, during adoles¬cence, the original trauma in a retroactive movement is reactivated, this results in whole¬sale autodestruction. Based in clinical conversation material, a number of dynamics that could ground automutilation are explored. It is argued that when the subject cannot contemplate his place in the desire of the first Other, that a break-through of the real takes place which produces an unlimited jouissance. The author also defends the assertion that working with these patients demands that the therapist takes up an active position. Signi¬fiers must be offered in order to protect the subject against a destructive confrontation with the real. This is only possible within a therapeutic alliance where trust and safety are sufficiently guaranteed.

Oedipus, Freud’s dream

It is argued that Freud’s analysis of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex should be read in the context of his Interpretation of Dreams. There it figures in the chapter on typical dreams of the death of beloved persons, dreams from which Freud infers a murderous desire directed to the father. Later, Freud admitted that this view involved his own reaction to the death of his father. For Freud, the latter constitutes the most importance experience in a man’s life. From then onwards however, the theme of the murder of the father is revealed as a fantasm that hides the castration of the father with which the son is confronted when his own father dies. With reference to the hellenistic commentaries on Oedipus Rex, a Lacanian interpretation of the tragedy is proposed. It is argued that Oedipus Rex is the tragedy of the subject and his responsibility when Mythical discourse was replaced by the Master discourse, in which the Master figures both as father of a castrated reality and as mythical father who escapes castration. Castration consists precisely of the loss of jouissance introduced by the Master discourse. Eventually it is argued that, for Lacan, the castration complex comes down to the truth of the Oedipus complex.

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Repression, the Drive and the End of the Analytic Treatment

The article treats of the double etiology of psychopathology. From the beginning Freud and Lacan stressed that repression is not the only cause. The article mainly considers the topic of the fixation of the drive (Freud) or the real jouissance (Lacan) as being the ultimate cause of psychopathological symptoms. Finally, it discusses Lacan’s final developments on the end of the analytical treatment. According to Lacan, the end of the analytical treatment or the removal of symptoms in a permannent way has to do with the relation from the subject to his jouissance.

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Sexuality and the Real in Psychosis. Clinical Vignette

This article deals with the case-study of a psychotic subject in which jouissance and the fragmented body play a dominant role. The jouissance of an abusive mother is inscribed on the body of this subject, a subject who is compelled to mutilate his or her body in order to ensure its unity and as such to make it his or her own. It is the same mother with her same jouissance, that appears in the Real to this subject. Through discussion of elementary phenomena – which, within the Lacanian structure of psychosis, can be divided into two categories: one the symbolic, as that which is signified by the Name-of-the-Father (P°) and consequently one which concerns the body and the jouissance (?°) of the Other signified by the phallus – it is argued that this case is situated beyond the two sexes by negating sexuality as a non-sexed being.