A Non-Oedipal Psychoanalysis?

A Clinical Anthropology of Hysteria in the Works of Freud and Lacan

Philippe Van Haute and Tomas Geyskens

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The different psychopathologic syndromes show in an exaggerated and caricatural manner the basic structures of human existence. These structures not only characterize psychopathology, but they also determine the highest forms of culture. This is the credo of Freud's anthropology. This anthropology implies that humans are beings of the in-between. The human being is essentially tied up between pathology and culture, and there is no ‘normal position' that can be defined in a theoretically convincing manner. The authors of this book call this Freudian anthropology a patho-analysis of existence or a clinical anthropology. This anthropology gives a new meaning to the Nietzschean dictum that the human being is a ‘sick animal'. Freud, and later Lacan, first developed this anthropological insight in relation to hysteria (in its relation to literature). This patho-analytic perspective progressively disappears in Freud's texts after 1905. This book reveals the crucial moments of that development. In doing so, it becomes clear not only that Freud introduced the Oedipus complex much later than is usually assumed, but also that the theory of the Oedipus complex is irreconcilable with the project of a clinical anthropology. The authors not only examine the philosophical meaning of this thesis in the work of Freud. They also examine its avatars in the texts of Jacques Lacan and show how this project of a patho-analysis of existence inevitably obliges us to formulate a non-oedipal psychoanalytic anthropology.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction
A Clinical Anthropology of Hysteria
Hysteria as a Philosophical Problem

Chapter 1
Between Trauma and Disposition
The Specific Aetiology of Hysteria in Freud's Early Works
Introduction: From Real Trauma to Oedipal Phantasy?
1. Trauma and Disposition in Studies on Hysteria
2. The Seduction Theory
3. After the Theory of Seduction
Conclusion 43

Chapter 2
Dora
Symptom, Trauma and Phantasy in Freud's Analysis of Dora
Introduction
1. Two Traumas
2. The Meaning of Dora's Symptoms
3. The Oedipal Legend in the Case of Dora
4. Bisexuality and its Consequences
Conclusion: Dora's un-Oedipal Desires

Chapter 3
From Day-dream to Novel
On Hysterical Phantasy and Literary Fiction
Introduction: a Disposition towards Literature?
1. Hysterical Phantasying
2. The Novel and Hysteria
3. Sources of Pleasure - the Joke and Literature
Conclusion: The Novel as Sublimation of Hysteria

Chapter 4
The Indifference of a Healthy Lesbian Bisexuality versus the Oedipus Complex
Introduction
1. From Bisexuality to the Oedipus Complex
2. From Oedipus Complex to Bisexuality
Conclusion

Chapter 5
Lacan's Structuralist Rereading of Dora
Introduction
1. Structure versus Psychogenesis
2. The Female Oedipus Complex: Frustration and Gift
3. L acan's Reading of Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria ("Dora")
4. Dora and the L-scheme
5. The Lesson of Lévi-Strauss
6. The Hysterical Desire for an Unfulfilled Desire: the Dream of the Beautiful Butcher's Wife
7. Dora and the Dream of the Beautiful Butcher's Wife
Conclusion

Chapter 6
Lacan and the Homosexual Young Woman: between Pathology and Poetry?
Introduction
1. Dora versus the Homosexual Young Woman
2. A Lacanian Clinical Anthropology of Hysteria and Perversion?
Conclusion

Chapter 7
Beyond Oedipus?
Introduction
1. Freud reads Sophocles
2. A Psychoanalytical Origin Tale: Totem and Taboo
3. Freud's Dream
4. Castration as the Truth of the Oedipus Complex
5. Oedipus as Incarnation of the Master
6. Dora and the Search for a Master
Conclusion

Chapter 8
Return to Freud?
Lacan's Pathoanalysis of Hysteria
Introduction
1. The formulas of Sexuation
2. Hysteria and the Formulas of Sexuation
3. Courtly Love and the Jouissance of the Other
Conclusion 151

Conclusion
The Project of a Psychoanalytical Anthropology in Freud and Lacan
1. Freud and Hysteria
2. Hysteria and Literature
3. The Oedipal Trap
4. Development versus Structure
5. The Human as a Being of the In-between
6. The Hysterical Subject, its Master and Female Jouissance
7. Beyond Hysteria...
8. Freud versus Lacan: the Position of Science

References

Index

Format: Monograph - paperback

Size: 240 × 160 × 10 mm

180 pages

ISBN: 9789058679116

Publication: May 3, 2012

Series: Figures of the Unconscious 11

Languages: English

Stock item number: 66161

Philippe Van Haute is professor of philosophical anthropology at the Radboud University Nijmegen, a practising psychoanalyst at the Belgian School for Psychoanalysis and Fellow at Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, South Africa.

Tomas Geyskens is doctor in philosophy and a practising psychoanalyst (Belgian School for Psychoanalysis).


Deze bijzonder heldere studie die (en dat zullen de auteurs mij, gelet op hun conclusie, wel vergeven) bijna leest als een detectiveroman, laat op toegankelijke wijze zien hoe psychopathologische symptomen de basisstructuren van het menselijk leven blootleggen die tevens de bron zijn van de hoogste vormen van cultuur. Het boek is in ieder geval aanbevelenswaardige lectuur en stimuleert tot nadenken, zowel binnen het domein van de filosofie, van de klinische praktijk als van de psychoanalytische theorie.
Mariska Christianen, Tijdschrift voor Psychoanalyse, 2012, nummer 3


 

A strength of the book is that Van Haute and Geyskens make Freud and Lacan accessible to those who may have only a cursory knowledge of the two thinkers and their often confusing technical terminology. Van Haute and Geyskens' careful explication of two of Freud's clinical cases (Dora and the young homosexual woman) serves as the evidential ground from which they pose theoretical claims regarding hysteria and its implications for human existence. Correspondingly, this book may serve as an excellent beginning text for philosophers to inquire into the field of psychoanalysis. Van Haute and Geyskens raise a number of points which may be fruitful to pursue in more depth and from certain philosophical perspectives (especially metaphysical), including the hysteric's relation to knowledge and the non-rapport between the symbolic and the real or language and the void.
Stephanie Swales Scalambrino, Independent Scholar, Texas, Philosophy in Review XXXIV (2014), no. 3-4


 

Deze bijzonder heldere studie die (en dat zullen de auteurs mij, gelet op hun conclusie, wel vergeven) bijna leest als een detectiveroman, laat op toegankelijke wijze zien hoe psychopathologische symptomen de basisstructuren van het menselijk leven blootleggen die tevens de bron zijn van de hoogste vormen van cultuur. Het boek is in ieder geval aanbevelenswaardige lectuur en stimuleert tot nadenken, zowel binnen het domein van de filosofie, van de klinische praktijk als van de psychoanalytische theorie.
Mariska Christianen, Tijdschrift voor Psychoanalyse, 2012, nummer 3