A non-oedipal psychoanalysis? : a clinical anthropology of by Haute, Philippe van; Freud, Sigmund; Geyskens, Tomas; Lacan,

By Haute, Philippe van; Freud, Sigmund; Geyskens, Tomas; Lacan, Jacques

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Extra info for A non-oedipal psychoanalysis? : a clinical anthropology of hysteria in the work of Freud and Lacan

Example text

But we cannot conclude from these short remarks that the theory of seduction is followed by a theory in which the Oedipus complex stands central. The abandonment 36 Between trauma and disposition of the seduction theory does not immediately lead to the discovery of the Oedipus complex, but in the first place to the re-evaluation of the role of the hereditary disposition in the aetiology of neuroses. In the letter in which he writes that he has to abandon his theory of seduction, Freud posits: “The factor of a hereditary disposition regains a sphere of influence from which I had made it my task to dislodge it” (Freud 1985, 265).

According to Freud, the reproaches against her father conceal self-reproaches with the same content (Freud 1905a, 35). On this point Freud writes: “I met her half-way by assuring her that in my view the occurrence of leucorrhoea in young girls pointed primarily to masturbation and I considered that all the other causes which were commonly assigned to that complaint were put in the background by masturbation. I added that she was now on the way to finding an answer to her own question of why it was that precisely she had fallen ill – by confessing that she had masturbated, probably in childhood” (Freud 1905a, 76).

Hence, neurotic disgust is nothing other than an exaggeration of normal disgust. More specifically, the hysteric’s relation to sexuality is characterised by the imminent and insurmountable threat of contamination that the excremental poses to the sexual. According to Freud, this threat and disgust with erotic pleasure that accompanies it constitute the (“organic”, or constitutionally determined) hysterical disposition. On this point Freud remarks that Dora was suffering from a genital catarrh5 and that she linked this condition to her father’s venereal disease.

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