Death and Identity: Being and the Psycho-Sexual Drama by Michel de M'Uzan

By Michel de M'Uzan

It is a selection of articles through the eminent French psychoanalyst Michel de M'Uzan, collated from various assets initially released through Gallimard. this is often the 1st time those articles and essays come in English and seem as a part of the IPA's influential Psychoanalytic rules and Applications sequence, the purpose of that's to target the medical construction of important authors whose works are extraordinary contributions to the improvement of the psychoanalytic box and to set out proper rules and topics, generated in the course of the heritage of psychoanalysis, that should be mentioned via current psychoanalysts.

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Sample text

Theoretically, this movement could lead to the actual transposition of one into the other; but actually there is hardly any risk of this occurring in practice, for the narcissistic libido always continues to circulate and oscillate between its extreme poles. If one wanted to identify certain traits characterising the analyst’s personality, one would have to include, together with a special disposition for primary identification, comparable to that of the psychotic or the pervert, a combination of maternal fantasy and an aptitude for depersonalisation.

But how is one to reconcile this conception, which, by the author’s own admission, is of a moral or philosophical order, with the purely material act that is supposed to give life and death alike their full dignity? If death is no longer only an ultimate biological accident, the T H E W O R K O F DY I N G 35 final effect of somatic degradation, then we are bound to consider it as a psychical event and to act accordingly. Psychoanalytic reflection, as we know, has approached the problem of death essentially through the phenomena of repetition and aggression— that is to say, through phenomena that are observable in life.

You will perhaps have noticed that the opposition I have described between the same and the identical coincides in many respects with an opposition that Freud defined, but to which he never returned—namely, between the psychoneuroses and the actual neuroses. Now the actual neuroses are closely associated with traumatic neuroses which, precisely, constitute one of the clinical anchoring points of Freud’s last formulation concerning the compulsion to repeat. The same deficiency of representational activity, and the same prevalence of the quantitative factor, represented either by powerful external stimuli or by somatic excitation, exists in both cases.

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