Object and Symptom in Sergei Pankejev. Part 1: A Special Case of “Obsessional Neurosis”. Prelude to a Topological Reading

This article is the first part of a twofold contribution in which the case of Sergei Pankejev or Freud’s “Wolf Man” is reread from a topological point of view. In this first part, it is proposed that diagnosis of this case as either a neurotic or a psychotic structure from a Freudian or a classical Lacanian point of view inevitably leads to a dead-end. Instead the author makes use of the notion of “ordinary psychosis” from a topological point of view (knot theory). It is hypothesized that we see a disconnection of the Other in the initial stages of the mental illness followed by a manifest psychosis in the later period. Via this disconnection, the Wolf Man made use of a series of “neurotic”-like symptoms that helped him to avoid the triggering of the psychosis. The question of which symptoms he made use of will be treated in the second part of this case study.

Object and Symptom in Sergei Pankejev. Part 2: A Russian that had to give Money

In the first part of this contribution on Sergei Pankejev (Freud’s Wolf Man), the author proposed the hypothesis that the Wolfman avoided a psychotic breakthrough via a series of (seemingly “neurotic”) symptoms. This article investigates the nature and topological logic of these symptoms. Three distinct groups of symptoms are identified. Each group is situated on another cutting point in the knot that links the Real, the Symbolic and the Imaginary. A recurring element is the extraction of the anal object a as an answer to the feminine jouissance, the exact status of which is examined in detail. This leads to the formulation of new hypotheses related to the triggering moments of psychosis in the case of Pankejev.