Passion for the Human Subject: A Psychoanalytical Approach Between Drives and Signifiers
By: Bernard Penot
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The dream-work, for example, organizes "thing representations" in accordance with the principle of contiguity, condensation and non-contradiction that Freud attributes to the primary thought process - so that we must decipher these clues as we would figurative signs in another language (like that of ideograms and rebuses). Undoubtedly echoing Plato's famous myth of the cave, Freud says in the Interpretation of Dreams (1900) that unconscious complexes are played out on "another stage" of representation than that of our waking psychical life.For this structural heterogeneity within the human being, Freud's topics of the psychical apparatus offer models that engender, not a new psychology, but rather, as Feud himself emphasizes, a meta-psychology. This book will not conceive of the subject as supposed to represent the human person as a whole, nor as the narcissistic image the latter can have of him/herself, still less as the reflexive notion of self which tends to designate an overall self-referential ("self-centered") function.
The subject the author is trying to define psychoanalytically is not characterized by plenitude or naturalness, but seems rather to define itself as a precarious function, resulting from the human newborn's condition of prematuration, and therefore from the earliest drive transactions between the baby and its mother, including the mother's verbal and gestural responses.Working as a psychoanalyst to help a patient establish better bonds between the different registers of his psyche does not imply giving in to unifying, globalizing, simplifying, or isolating illusions, but rather requires that we never lose sight of the heterogeneity (including the irremediable differentiation of the sexes) which is just what Freud's metapsychology introduced. Thus the ordeal of otherness - with regard to the sex we don't have, the language we don't speak, the means we don't possess - is indispensable in affirming a subjectivity.
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