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Deferring the Self


Szymon Wrobel

This book is a result of studies on psychoanalysis, politics, and art. The topics in this book range from populism, the limits of the political, identity, melancholy, the peculiarity of psychoanalytical interpretation to the connection of theatre and politics. Psychoanalysis is a form of practicing personal truth, which needs to be one’s own and which is not a result of anonymous discourse. Politics is the practice of being with others; it is the cultivation of antagonistic relations with others. Art is the practice aiming at giving one’s life the mark of something unique, it is the very practice of life.


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I. Consent and Resistance to Psychoanalysis Widerstand.-Es.: resistencia.-Fr.: résistance.-I.: resistenza.-P.: resistência. In psycho- analytic treatment the name ‘resistance’ is given to everything in the words and actions of the analysand that obstructs his gaining access to his unconscious. By extension, Freud spoke of resistance to psycho-analysis when referring to a hostile attitude towards his discoveries in so far as they exposed unconscious desires and inflicted a ‘psychological blow’ upon man. Jean Laplanche, Jean-Bertrand Pontalis1 Why this interest in psychoanalysis, an interest justified neither by the competence of an analyst nor by the experience of having been analyzed? Paul Ricoeur2 Although The Interpretation of Dreams was published over a century ago, the integration of psychoanalysis into the broad matrix of modern social and cultural history has barely begun. Eli Zaretsky3 1. The renaissance of psychoanalysis in question In his booklet, which is a sort of introduction to the psychoanalysis of Jacques Lacan, Slavoj iek says explicitly that “it is only today that the time of psychoanalysis has arrived” as “Freud’s key insights finally become visible in their true dimension”.4 The true dimension of psychoanalysis, if I correctly understand the logic behind it, is now being elucidated by visual, political and literary culture. Erica Jong’s pronouncements on German toilets, Dick Cheney’s stand on torture, Hans Christian Andersen’s narrative The Emperor’s New Clothes, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s final dialogue in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, the deadly creature in Ridley Scott’s Alien, a few scenes in one of the...

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