Freud on Schreber: psychoanalytic theory and the critical by Charles Barry Chabot

By Charles Barry Chabot

Booklet through Chabot, C. Barry

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By Charles Barry Chabot

Booklet through Chabot, C. Barry

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Additional info for Freud on Schreber: psychoanalytic theory and the critical act

Sample text

Actually, the operative assumption is more complex. " Or so I used to think. The present essay takes a different tack. I have nothing explicit to say about the creative process; nor, except by way of exemplification, am I here concerned with the interpretation of any particular text. Rather, I go behind such activities to inquire into the nature of the interpretive process in psychoanalysis: primarily what it must assume, but also its affiliations with psychoanalytic theory, the steps it evolves through, its criteria for validity.

Of late claims of this sort frequently have a decidedly French accent. I refer, of course, to the increasing body of work taking its inspiration from Jacques Lacan. Because his name will appear most infrequently hereafter despite the many apparent parallels between our projects, a word or two by way of explanation seems in order. Like Lacan and his followers, I take seriously the fact that psychoanalysis uses as its object the language of an individual; and like them again, I pursue the implications of this fact primarily through a reading of Freudin this instance, chiefly of his essay on Schreber.

At one point God tried to unman Schreber, planning then to allow his "body to be prostituted like that of a female harlot" (M, 99). But this achieved exactly the reverse effect, for the ''gradual filling of [his] body with Page 23 nerves of voluptuousness (female nerves)" (M, 99) only increased his soul-voluptuousness and, hence, power of attraction. At other times God tried to murder Schreber. For a while scorpions were repeatedly placed on his head, no doubt to "carry out some work of destruction, " but this too failed because the scorpions, recognizing the "purity of [Schreber's] nerves and the holiness of [his] purpose" (M, 99), withdrew.

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