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By Jean Laplanche

Because the demise of Jacques Lacan, Jean Laplanche is now thought of to be one of many worlds optimal psychoanalytic thinkers. inspite of the effect of his paintings during the last thirty years, remarkably little has been to be had in English. Essays On Otherness offers for the 1st time in English lots of Laplanche's key essays and is the 1st booklet to supply an summary of his pondering. It bargains an advent to the various key topics that characterise his paintings: seduction, persecution, revelation, masochism, transference and mourning. Such topics were more and more either in psychoanalytic suggestion and in continental philosophy, social and cultural conception, and literature making Essays On Otherness integral studying for all these fascinated by the consequences of psychoanalytic concept at the present time.

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Laplanche’s objection has been that to say that the sexual drive ‘is propped on’ the instinct or function (or even more the instinct ‘props up’ the drive) is to reassign agency from the Freudian usage in which it is the sexual drive that actively ‘leans on’ the instinct or function. This objection might be met by putting Mehlman’s term in reflexive form and saying that the sexual drive ‘props itself’ on the instinct. 30 See ‘Instincts and their Vicissitudes’ (1915c), SE XIV, pp. 109–40; and Laplanche and Pontalis’s commentary on ‘Instincts of Self-Preservation’, The Language of Psychoanalysis, op.

The reification of thing-like presentations, their enchainment in determinate sequences as the fixed and fixating scenes of unconscious fantasy, are in Laplanche’s hyperarchaeological metaphor ‘at one and the same time a cataclysm (like the engulfment of Pompeii) and a permanent preservation (like the burial of Tutankhamen’s objects in his tomb)’. Unlike history or memorisation, repression ‘is as different from memorisation as the engulfment of Pompeii is from Joinville’s Chronicle of the Seventh Crusade of Louis IX’ (‘Interpretation between Determinism and Hermeneutics’, p.

34 The second requirement is that these causes are of the order of representation—memories, fantasies, imagos—but they are representations with two distinctive features that are the result of repression. Most obviously, they are unconscious and a part of them can never be made conscious and directly experienced as such. They can only be approached asymptotically, as it were, through successive constructions and approximations. But the most striking feature of Laplanche’s description is his account of the reification of these representations and their reduction to an alien materiality.

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