Paper 5 – Introducing the Dupe, the Double and Desire

Freud in “The Uncanny” introduces a notion of the mirror stage with the concept of the double. [1] Following Rank he tells us that the double has connections with the mirror reflection, and is a creation from a very early mental stage. It has a friendly and an unfriendly aspect. Its origins in primary narcissism which is the friendly aspect assure the subject of his immortality. [2] Lacan has given me the idea that immortality is the key to Freud’s concept of narcissism. In its unfriendly aspect the double, one year before the death drive appears formally introduced, is the harbinger of death. [3] In this sense “The Uncanny” becomes the preface to Beyond the Pleasure Principle.

Paper 6

Psychotic false recognition syndromes

Several years ago I discovered a second source for Lacan’s notion of foreclosure. The latter term is his translation of Freud’s Verwerfung. He is very voluble about the Freud source which relies on two case histories, namely, the Schreber case [1] and the Wolf Man case. [2] A number of years ago my attention was drawn to this second source by Thibierge. [3] It led me to what is called the delusional misidentification syndromes and especially to a case history published in 1923 by Capgras, entitled ‘L’illusion des sosies dans un delire systematise chronique’. [4] We can call the phenomenon of doubles the delusion of doubles, a delire d’interpretation or the Capgras syndrome. It is a singular psychotic phenomenon within a wider context of paranoia, and that is equivalent to a chronic systematic delusion. It must have been the patient who found the name of her own delusion in Molière’s play called Amphitryon. It must have been her who called it an illusion.

Paper 7

The term Verwerfung is used in ‘The Neuro-Psychoses of Defence’ (1894), although Freud does not exploit the idea in 1894. He won’t have an interesting case of psychosis until 1896. This case will also be explained entirely by the concept of repression. We shall see that Freud does not find it easy to give up his notion of repression. It is the cornerstone of his system.

Paper 8 – Loss of Reality in Neurosis and Psychosis

In his paper, ‘The Loss of Reality in Neurosis and Psychosis’, Freud put his finger on a problem which was, according to Lacan, not the loss of reality but of what takes its place. [1] Freud doesn’t focus on it only in 1924 but also in 1911 in the paper on Schreber where he writes that what distinguishes Schreber’s case from others is its further development and the transformation it underwent. [2] What counts for Freud, and Lacan follows him, is the subject’s compensatory invention producing a transformation in the case. The transformation is the effect of what Freud called variously, compensation, construction, sublimation, new reality and even a patch.

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