John FletcherFreud and the Scene of Trauma

Fordham University Press, 2013

by Jamie Katz on September 29, 2014

John Fletcher

View on Amazon

Putting Freud’s books — not the man but the writings — on the couch, listening closely for the breaks, the retractions, the internal conflicts, the sudden about-faces. John Fletcher, professor of English literature, reads Freud very, very closely. When we view Freud’s work as an unfolding process, the main themes are often not even what Freud himself conceptualized. In Freud and the Scene of Trauma (Fordham University Press, 2013), Fletcher traces how Freud’s thought — including on trauma, seduction, memory, the transference, child development, the death drive — is pulled toward two wildly opposed positions simultaneously: a de-centering of human subjectivity, where the other person with a sexuality and an unconscious acts on us to form the basis of psychical life; and a recoiling, re-centering of the idea of the individual, now seen as sui genris, formed entirely from the inside out. This movement between these two poles is meticulously followed as Freud’s ideas oscillate — often from paragraph to paragraph. The entire spectacle is seen as a sort of enactment of a psychoanalytic conflict where a reaction to the too-muchness of the other is the basis of our formation.

25 lectures from Fletcher’s undergraduate course, which can act as a sort of introduction to his book, can be found here.

{ 0 comments }

Mari RutiThe Call of Character: Living a Life Worth Living

September 21, 2014

Exploring everything from the impact of her own psychoanalysis on her mode and mien to the effect of consumer culture on the psyche, the delightful Mari Ruti keeps the ball rolling.  We pondered with her so many things that the interview feels like xmas morning! Traversing the advent of self-help books, Lacan, the Frankfurt School, [...]

Read the full article →

Elizabeth LunbeckThe Americanization of Narcissism

August 21, 2014

Elizabeth Lunbeck has made a major contribution to the historical study of psychoanalysis with the publication of The Americanization of Narcissism (Harvard University Press, 2014). Exploring the concept of narcissism and how it is deployed at the level of culture, she has produced a multi-textured book that is one part history of ideas, one part history of [...]

Read the full article →

Claudia LuizWhere’s My Sanity? Stories That Help

August 2, 2014

Join us for a maximum dopamine experience as Dr. Claudia Luiz discusses the making of her book Where’s My Sanity? Stories That Help, an everyman’s tour de force that’s poised to create a seismic shift in the cultural consciousness.  Psychoanalysis has been as yet unsuccessful in seducing the gentry that lying on the couch is [...]

Read the full article →

Adam PhillipsBecoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst

July 28, 2014

For those who are savvy about all things psychoanalytic, be they analysts, analysands, or fellow travelers, the existence, presence, work, writing, and imprimatur of Adam Phillips is given long, as opposed to short, shrift. It is safe to say that his voice is singular in its mellifluousness and its range. I first encountered his writing [...]

Read the full article →

Sharon K. FarberHungry for Ecstasy: Trauma, the Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties

May 20, 2014

It may seem silly to ask why we seek ecstasy. We seek it, of course, because it’s ECSTASY. We are evolved to want it. It’s our brain’s way of saying “Do this again and as often as possible.” But there’s more to it than that. For one thing, there are many ways to get to [...]

Read the full article →

Steven KuchuckClinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst’s Life Experience: When the Personal Becomes Professional

April 26, 2014

Steven Kuchuck converses with NBiP about his newly edited book Clinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst’s Life Experience: When the Personal Becomes Professional (Routledge, 2013). It focuses on the impact of the analyst’s life experiences vis a vis their clinical mode and mien. The book, with 18 essays, (written by mostly relational or interpersonal analysts with the notable [...]

Read the full article →

R. D. HinshelwoodResearch on the Couch: Single-Case Studies, Subjectivity and Psychoanalytic Knowledge

March 2, 2014

Renewing and traversing the never-ending debate as to whether psychoanalysis is a science, R. D. Hinshelwood, British and on the Kleinian side of life, prompts listeners to consider how we might produce and buttress our knowledge base via implementing scientific methods. By discussing research as an offensive tactic, as opposed to a defensive one, in [...]

Read the full article →

Camille RobcisThe Law of Kinship: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Family in France

February 6, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in French Studies] Only in a place like France do the texts and theories of towering intellectual figures like Claude Levi-Strauss and Jacques Lacan come up in public and political discussions of family policy and law. Camille Robcis’s new book, The Law of Kinship: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Family in France (Cornell University Press, 2013) was [...]

Read the full article →

Robert StolorowWorld, Affectivity, Trauma: Heidegger and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis

January 6, 2014

In this interview with one of the founders of intersubjective psychoanalysis, Robert Stolorow discusses his interest in Heidegger and the implications of that interest for the psychoanalytic project overall. What do “worldness”, “everydayness”, and “resoluteness” bring to the clinical encounter? What is the role of trauma in bringing us to a more authentic place? Stolorow [...]

Read the full article →