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2. The evolution of Psyche

Meg Harris Williams Karnac Books ePub

The tragic element in the aesthetic experience resides, not in the transience, but in the enigmatic quality of the object: “Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips / Bidding adieu.” Is it a truthful object that is always reminding the lover of the transience, or a tantalizing one, like La Belle Dame? The aesthetic conflict is different from the romantic agony in this respect: that its central experience of pain resides in uncertainty, tending towards distrust, verging on suspicion. The lover is naked as Othello to the whisperings of Iago but is rescued by the quest for knowledge, the K-link, the desire to know rather than possess the object of desire. The K-link points to the value of the desire as itself the stimulus to knowledge, not merely as a yearning for gratification and control over the object. Desire makes it possible, even essential, to give the object its freedom.

Donald Meltzer1

The genesis of the Romantic poets’ view of the aesthetic object— the Muse with her storehouse of poetic images—lay in Satan’s description of Eve in Paradise Lost:

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1. Clare Winnicott: her life and legacy

Joel Kanter Karnac Books ePub

Joel Kanter

We must have clicked at once—Clare was a rebel and so was I— but she was a much cleverer one than me. …. A memory—it was October and I had a new tweed suit that I was longing to wear. So one morning with a chill in the air I put it on, arriving at the office first. When Clare came—wearing a thin summer dress—she stopped short and exclaimed “Gwennie, what on earth are you wearing THAT for?” I protesting, said “well, it is October and getting chilly”. “Don’t be daft”, said Clare, “look at the sun, it’s still summer and I’m going to make it last as long as possible. I’m not shedding my summer dresses ‘til I have to.”

I think I remember that because it says something important to me about Clare. She lived every part of life to the full. She took from life with both hands. No doors were closed to her. She looked in them all and usually found something to enjoy …. the theatre, music, concerts, “Match of the Day”, poetry, Torvill and Dean, Wimbledon …. It was because she took so much from life and enriched herself that she was able to give so much to us her friends and all whom she came in contact……Hers was somehow a very complete life.

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CHAPTER SIX: Afterword

Mikita Brottman Karnac Books ePub

“It is difficult to imagine a theory of what they call the unconscious without a theory of telepathy. They can be neither confused nor dissociated… Telepathy is the shadow of psychoanalysis”

(Derrida, 1988, p. 14)

We desperately want to maintain a separation between “rational” practices and those that originate from the emotions, the heart, or the spirit. These we connect not to science and reason, but to passion, sorcery, magic, and miracles. We are anxious most of all to defend our territory against what Chertok and Stengers refer to as the “creators of reality”: “not only hypnotists but also shamans, magicians and other conjurers, practitioners of ‘soft’ medicine, animal tamers, fortune tellers and sorcerers” (p. 269). The liminality of psychoanalysis is, as Whitebook observes, “undoubtedly one of the reasons [it] evokes so much anxiety and animosity in the general population” (2002, p. 1216). As I have tried to make clear in this book, contemporary psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists, the latter often working in mental health clinics, seem to be trapped in a quest for legitimacy, for the acceptance of their work in the wider psychiatric world. In October 2009, for example, a meta-analysis of twenty-three studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy was more effective than short-term treatments. Such studies imply that psychoanalysis is replicable, scientific, a materialist field of study rather than a doorway to the unconscious with its obscure and often disturbing communications and connections.

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71. Spectrophobia. [1915]

Sandor Ferenczi Karnac Books ePub
Medium 9781782201670

Chapter 2 - Rat People

Salman Akhtar Karnac Books ePub


The compulsion to repeat dominates the lives of people who have been seduced or beaten by psychotic and psychopathic parents. In my book Soul Murder (1989), I have stressed the importance for these people of fixation on the cannibalistic level of libido development and regression to it, with concomitant maldevelopment and regression of the ego and superego. Overstimulation continues to be a central problem in the lives of these people, and therefore also in their analytic transferences.

The clinical conditions I have been describing as the effects of soul murder sometimes appear in combination with a preoccupation with rats. Obviously not all soul murder victims are rat people, and whether all people who are preoccupied with toothed creatures and rodents have suffered actual overstimulating experiences as children must also be subject to doubt. But such a preoccupation, evidenced by the frequent appearance of rats in analytic associations, should alert the observer to the possibility of soul murder. All the rat people I have described in my book were victims of soul murder, and my generalizations about them are applicable to other victims.

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