Catherine Clément's The Weary Sons of Freud (Radical Thinkers) PDF

By Catherine Clément

A Communist, feminist, and analysand asks what the social functionality of psychoanalysis can be and condemns what it has become

The Weary Sons of Freud lambasts mainstream psychoanalysis for its failure to grapple with urgent political and social issues pertinent to its patients’ situation. proficient with perception and forced through fury, Catherine Clément contrasts the unique, inspirational psychoanalytical paintings of Freud and Lacan to the obsessive imitations in their uninspired followers—the weary sons of Freud.

The analyst’s as soon as attentive ear has turn into deaf to the wider questions of healing perform. Clement asks even if the viewpoint of socialism, delivered to this research by means of a lady who's herself an analysand, can fill the distance. She displays on her personal historical past, in addition to on that of psychoanalysis and the French left, to teach what an activist and feminist recovery of the speaking therapy may well glance like.

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Extra info for The Weary Sons of Freud (Radical Thinkers)

Example text

Some people who have within themselves a functional splitting impose on their immediate circle the creation of a situation that itself generates splitting. That brought to my mind, as I was thinking about Melanie Klein’s theories, the idea: “Split thy neighbour as thyself”—but in order to do so, an incestuous psychic complicity is necessary. If that complicity is acquired either by seduction or by the oedipal desire for a child, for example, it becomes possible to use the other person’s energy to fill in any gaps and contain one’s own drive-related impulses.

Over time, “Ralph” began to open up and assist in the following reconstruction: At some point after Mary’s adolescence and the transformation that occurs during that turbulent time, the disavowal of the reality of her female gender identity required more ego-weakening dividedness of her psyche as her incestuous relationship with her mother continued. She remained “on call” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the mother’s pleasure. No matter what the patient was doing, she might be interrupted by her mother’s calling her name in a certain melodic way as if to say, “Oh, Mary, do you know what time it is?

Whose “clouds”, surly agitated moods, and hysterical symptoms would fluctuate as she amnestically shifted from her very disturbed self to her usual self. Utterly devastated by the physical deterioration and death of her beloved father, this very ill, grief-stricken young woman required both high doses of chloral hydrate and the “talking cure”—a term she herself coined. When it was determined that “the motive for splitting of consciousness . . was that of defence” (p. 166), psychoanalysis was truly born.

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