“Laplanche’s work is much more accessible than Jacques Lacan’s; is it too much to hope that his brilliant work will help to reconcile American intellectuals to. “Laplanche’s work is much more accessible than Jacques Lacan’s; is it too much to hope that Life and Death in Psychoanalysis. Front Cover. Jean Laplanche. Life and Death in Psychoanalysis. Jean Laplanche translated by Jeffrey Mehlman. “Laplanche’s work is much more accessible than Jacques Lacan’s; is it too.

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And it is on the territory conquered through that discovery that we analysts continue to function, if it is indeed true that the core of oife work consists in an explicitation and analysis of unconscious fantasy.

Far from the vital order resulting in sexuality through its efflorescence, it is through its insufficiency that it provokes the intrusion of the adult universe. It was translated into English inand its thirteenth French edition was published in The play of “cathexes” i. Thus the “propping” consists initially in that support which emergent sexuality finds in a function linked to the preservation of life. But at this point, Freud goes further and poses the problem again in relation to normal functioning: Our consideration of the second Essay will center on a passage which delineates the psychoanalysiss of the matter in that it redefines sexuality as a function of its infantile origins.

Life and Death in Psychoanalysis

The “scene”—and we shall soon see how—must necessarily come into contact with the domain of sexuality. They have taken their imagina- tion for reality, and more fundamentally, they have translated—accord- ing to specific laws of transposition—their desire into reality: Our study of thumb-sucking or sensual sucking [taken as a model of oral sexuality] has already given us the three essential characteristics of an infantile sexual manifestation.

In so doing, he needed a new definition of sexuality, since he came to realize that the old one—referring to genital sex with fixed aim and specific object—had proved unacceptable. We shall simply recall that the principal pojnt of reference here is the analysis of the “Wolf Man” and the discussion, to which numerous pages in the case history are devoted, of whether the “primal scene”—the witnessing of parental intercourse—was in fact observed by the patient or simply refabricated from later events or virtually insignificant clues.


Jean Laplanche seemed to live exclusively in Pommard until his death two years later. No doubt, in practice certain contradictions may prove to be relatively “extrinsic” or adventitious, the results of polemic or of hasty formulation; but even in such cases, they cannot be discarded without a certain loss.

He deals primarily with temporal perspectives on issues such as masochism and sadomasochism, the ego and narcissism, seduction theory, and most importantly the death drive. Whence the ultimate question of knowing what finally motivates these reorganiza- tions: She would introduce into the chronology of psychpanalysis stages established by Freud an unheard-of reversal.

Life and Death in Psychoanalysis by Jean Laplanche

And yet it is that second scene which releases the excitation by awakening the memory of the first one: In the Three Essays, on the contrary, Freud founds his notion of perversion strictly on the sexual perversions. A scene, then, which has no immediate sexual effect, produces no excitation, and provokes no defense; and the term Freud uses to laplanchhe it effectively conveys drath ambiguous or even contradictory quality: Something has been added to A that has been subtracted from B [B has been entirely emptied of all psychical energy, or in more technical terms, it has been decathected.

Without wanting to discuss that term—on which current fashion has seized—I hope to demonstrate that in Freud, throughout the changes in theory, it is the permanence of an exigency and the repetition of the journal of a discovery that are being expressed in a conceptualization which does not always succeed in immediately finding its adequate scientific form. For “pansexuality” does not necessarily mean that sexuality is “everything,” but perhaps that in “everything” there is sexuality.

The structural apposition of the two terms, “thing” and “slippage,” resembles and to a certain degree repeats the production pstchoanalysis a specific vocabulary, where the placement of the terms determines not only a synchronic dimension, but a diachronic one, as well. Feb 19, M.

Certainly your point that the italic part of the sentence foregrounds the methodological crux of the deatg is well taken. That is, however, a conclusion which follows, without any other justification, a development that is oriented quite differently: Whence our concern that the following remarks not be attributed simply to the meticulousness of a translator. What is called the economic point of view in psychoa- nalysis is quite precisely that of a “demand for work”: Therein lies the key to the essential “duplicity” situated at the very beginning of the sexual quest.


Jean Laplanche

Now, in the case of repression, we encounter a primary process which governs not so much the wish as the defensive mechanism. But here, we should go a step further and not restrict ourselves to the pure laplanchw of stimulat- ing actions, if indeed such “materiality” can ever be conceived of in isolation.

After returning to France, Laplanche began attending lectures and undergoing psychoanalytic treatment under Jacques Lacan. That complexity is, of course, in part due to interpolations dating from different kinds of arrangement: Laplanche is most interested with the economic ,ife of constancy that are inherent in Freud’s theory of the death drive, and the life drive.

Then suddenly init emerges at the center of the system, as one of the two fundamental forces—and perhaps even as the only primordial force—in the heart of the psyche, of living beings, and of matter itself. It is as though a biological scheme existed which would secrete sexuality from certain predetermined zones, exactly as certain physiological setups give rise to the need for nourish- ment through certain local tensions; we thus find the idea of a source in a strictly physiological sense.

Now Melanie Klein would introduce into this scheme total conceptual and chronological disorder: For what has authority in this reading is, in the final analysis, the perverse rigor with which a certain bizarre structure of Freud’s text persistently plays havoc with the magisterial pronouncements—or authority—of Freud.

Refracted or represented in quite diverse ways, neither life nor death are thus direct terms of reference for psychoanalytic practice.

Such, we maintain, is the most profound sense of the theory of seduction and, above all, the sense which Freud ultimately gave to the very notion of seduction: