Freud and the Scene of Trauma by John Fletcher

By John Fletcher

This booklet argues that Freud's mapping of trauma as a scene is significant to either his scientific interpretation of his patients' signs and his building of successive theoretical versions and ideas to give an explanation for the ability of such scenes in his patients' lives. This realization to the scenic kind of trauma and its energy in picking out signs results in Freud's holiday from the neurological version of trauma he inherited from Charcot. It additionally is helping to give an explanation for the affinity that Freud and plenty of for the reason that him have felt among psychoanalysis and literature (and inventive construction extra generally), and the privileged position of literature at sure turning issues within the improvement of his inspiration. it's Freud's scenography of trauma and delusion that speaks to the coed of literature and painting.

Overall, the ebook develops the thesis of Jean Laplanche that during Freud's shift from a nerve-racking to a developmental version, besides the undoubted profits embodied within the conception of childish sexuality, there have been an important losses: in particular, the popularity of the function of the grownup different and the anxious come upon with grownup sexuality that's entailed within the traditional nurture and formation of the childish topic.

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Charcot’s Hysteria 21 accident victims. “That a vigorous artisan, well-built, not enervated by high culture, the stoker of an engine for example, not previously emotional, . . should after an accident to the train, by a collision or running off the rails, become hysterical for the same reason as a woman, is what surpasses our imagination” (Lecture XVIII, in Charcot 1889: 222). ” A mere tap on the shoulder of a hypnotized subject, like the often minor impact of an accident, can operate as a suggestion in certain conditions: Upon the assumption of this hypothesis, the peculiar sensation felt .

This is the model of a closed homeostatic entity, the breach of whose boundaries from the outside will entail fluctuations in energy levels that need to be restored. This is the principle of constancy. In par ticular, any increase in excitations will need to be discharged or ‘abreacted,’ otherwise the accumulated, undischarged excitations will act as a psychical equivalent of a trauma. Freud is in fact giving the notion of trauma as a breach or breaking of boundaries a quantitative or economic dimension.

By contrast, in organic paralyses the anatomical structure of the ner vous system, with its different relations of projection or representation between its two different sets of conductive fibers, is the primary determinant, while the localization and the extent of the lesion play a secondary part subject to the structural conditions set by the primary determinant. This has implications for Charcot’s orga nizing thesis that poses the whole question of hysteria within the 28 The Power of Scenes framework of neurology: the thesis of a dynamic or functional lesion that leaves no traces for postmortem analysis.

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