Ferenczi Dialogues

On Trauma and Catastrophe

Raluca Soreanu, Jakob Staberg, and Jenny Willner

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Contemporary reading of Sándor Ferenczi’s trauma theory

Ferenczi Dialogues presents the contribution of Sándor Ferenczi to a psychoanalytic theory of trauma and discusses the philosophical, political and clinical implications of Ferenczi’s thinking. To a far greater extent than Freud, Sándor Ferenczi centered his psychoanalytic thought around trauma.

Ferenczi's work pluralizes the notion of catastrophe, as being both destructive and a turning point. This book addresses Ferenczi’s work in terms of thinking in times of crises, by considering contemporary situations in constellation with various scenes from the past: the outbreak of the First World War, the crisis of psychoanalysis as an institution, the disastrous final encounter between Ferenczi and Freud, the rise of Fascism and National Socialism, and the impending exile of the founding members of the psychoanalytic movement. Against this backdrop, the authors show how Ferenczi's late work outlines a new metapsychology of fragments. Ferenczi Dialogues situates the legacy of Ferenczi within the broad interdisciplinary landscape of the social sciences, literary theory, psychoanalytic theory, and clinical practice, and highlights Ferenczi’s relevance for contemporary philosophical discussions in poststructuralism, feminism and new materialism.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

This book will be made open access within three years of publication thanks to Path to Open, a program developed in partnership between JSTOR, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), University of Michigan Press, and The University of North Carolina Press to bring about equitable access and impact for the entire scholarly community, including authors, researchers, libraries, and university presses around the world. Learn more at https://about.jstor.org/path-to-open/

Foreword by Adrienne Harris 

Reading Ferenczi
A Pirouette Backwards in Seven-League Boots 
An Introduction by Jenny Willner, Jakob Staberg and Raluca Soreanu

Cuts Through the Contemporary Scene 
Ferenczi Dialogues – an Outline 
The Seven Threads of the ‘Ferenczi Revival’ 

Instead of Language: Confusion
Sigmund Freud / Sándor Ferenczi 
Jakob Staberg

Ferenczi in the Psychoanalytic Milieu 
The Domain of Dreams 
A Painful Encounter 

‘Too much of the father’: A Schreberian Pre-History 
response to Jakob Staberg, by Jenny Willner

The Tactile Eye and Queer Spectrality 
response to Jakob Staberg, by Raluca Soreanu

Catastrophes and Genitality
Ferenczi’s Thalassa and the Politics of Bioanalysis 91
Jenny Willner

Freud’s Theory of Sexuality Meets Popular Darwinism
in a Soldiers’ Library 
The Fish-Orgy:
Wilhelm Bölsche’s Herrings and Ferenczi’s Thalassa 
Weltanschauung: Fetishistic Disavowal in Popular Darwinism 
Neurotic Evolution: Bioanalysis vs. Biologism 
Heroic Organs, Hysteric Organs: The Method of Bioanalysis 
The Politics of Bioanalysis 

Reading Against the Grain: On How Organs Crave Interpretation 131
response to Jenny Willner, by Jakob Staberg

What Does an Organ Do? 137
response to Jenny Willner, by Raluca Soreanu

Catastrophe and the Creativity of Fragments
Toward a Phenomenology of the Scene of Trauma
Raluca Soreanu

A Frame: On Ferenczi’s Model of Memory 

The Dream of Fragments in The Clinical Diary 
On the Identification with the Aggressor 
Moment 1: Paralysis 
Moment 2: Dematerialisation 
Moment 3: Traumatic Imitation 
Moment 4: Guilt 
Moment 5: Getting Beside Oneself 
Moment 6: Traumatic Progression 
Moment 7: Autotomy 
Moment 8: Neo-Formations 
Moment 9: Orpha 
Moment 10: Reconstruction 

There is Hope for Life in Fragments: Thinking with Ferenczi’s Images 193
response to Raluca Soreanu, by Jenny Willner

Toward an Eventful Psychoanalysis 203
response to Raluca Soreanu, by Jakob Staberg

About the Authors 

Format: Monograph - ebook

256 pages

ISBN: 9789461664860

Publication: October 02, 2023

Series: Figures of the Unconscious 19

Languages: English

Jakob Staberg is a practicing psychoanalyst and member of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is an assistant professor of Comparative Literature and lecturer in aesthetics at Södertörn University.
Jenny Willner is assistant professor at the department for comparative literature, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Raluca Soreanu is a psychoanalyst, member of Círculo Psicanalítico do Rio de Janeiro, and professor in Psychoanalytic Studies at the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex.
The interdisciplinarity and the format of dialogue among this threesome has produced a powerful work – in regard to psychoanalytic theory, its history and to the history and importance of Sándor Ferenczi.
Adrienne Harris, New York University (NYU)