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Summary: This paper explores an array of errant language experiences in relation to psychoanalysis and the unconscious, such as word play with signifiers at the end of analysis, an accident in printmaking as a source of new writing, and, with respect to the psychotic structure, visual and literary examples of the sinthome. The paper, constructed as a poetics of the human, follows the associative logics and ethics of psychoanalysis itself.

On the pitfalls and perils of publishing/poubellication: some lessons from the field

This paper will present the results of a field study that was inspired by the theories of Maleval on the functions of writing for the psychotic subject. More particularly, we wanted to find out to what extent these theories remain valid in the specific context of Villa Voortman, a non-residential meeting place for people with double diagnosis (psychosis and drug abuse) in Ghent (Belgium), where a substantial part of the visitors is engaged in writing. While the study confirmed the three major functions of writing as identified by Maleval (depositing of excess jouissance through the physical act of writing, pouring enjoyment into signifiers, and dumping excess jouissance through publishing), a fourth and major function emerged: the identification with an artist. It is reasonable to suggest that this is a particular effect of Villa Voortman’s policy to facilitate and stimulate subjects to build up an identity beyond their psychiatric label.

The clinical interpretation of Don Quixote

In this contribution we take a psychoanalytic look at the novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. We follow the clinical adventures of Don Quixote and the diagnostic interpretations he comes across on his journey. We discuss a number of psychoanalytic case formulations that situate the knight in the realm of psychosis and that endeavour to construct the clinical logic of his adventures. Via a discussion of Lacan’s remarks on bovarysm and a consideration of the relationship between literature and psychoanalysis, we come to a second section, where we find our knight again, now no longer as a model of madness, but as a paragon of normalcy. Here Don Quixote has become a paradigmatic example of the way human identity and subjectivity are rooted in narrative and fantasy. Here each one of us becomes a Don Quixote, wandering through the world, guided by delusions and misapprehensions. We conclude with an examination of the way in which the fiction of psychoanalysis relates to the fiction of the subject. Here we encounter the psychoanalyst as a Don Quixote.

“I don’t stop; I start again.” The position of the analyst in ‘long term care’

From a lacanian orientation, the relation between ‘treatment’, ‘coaching’ and ‘care’ is questioned in case of what one calls ‘long term care’. This question is approached from the perspective of a case study. A young man accuses himself constantly of not adapting enough to society and even of attacking society. His attempts to find a solution though, are situated both in his failure and his singular answers to this failing, as well as in his self-incrimination about his failure. Indeed, the real problem is neither the lack of adaptation nor the self-incrimination, but the feminine enjoyment that he is confronted with, over and over again. Theoretically, Lacan’s conceptualization of the symptom as a knotting element forms the framework.