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September 2021

From symbols to flesh: The polymorphous destiny of narration

Journal/Book: Int J Psychoanal. 2000; 81: 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1M 7Rd, England. Inst Psycho-Analysis. 771-787.

Abstract: The author analyses certain aspects of the narration of a generally taciturn hysterico-phobic obsessional patient as they appear in the transference relationship, pinpointing its phallic mastery and the sadistic impact of the domination over the audience/analyst that underlies this mode of discourse. She examines them in relation to Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu', discussing the place of perversion in analytic listening and interpretation. She then outlines some of the key structuralist and formalist views of narration as a form of syntactic structure expanded by the resolution of an enigma via a hero's ordeal, arguing that if syntactic structure exists, it consists neither of affirmation nor of negation but rather of interrogation. The author notes that what makes psychoanalytic theory radically different from other interpretive theories is the co-presence of sexuality and thought: psychoanalysis reinforces the formal description of a signifying act by the unconscious psychosexual conditions of its possibility. She then discusses the poetic narrative of Nerval and also that of Proust, which is dominated by the acting out of perverse fantasy, the resulting polyphony of various psychosexual registers, its philosophical and metaphysical impact and its relevance to the analyst's own interpretive acts when formulating stories within the countertransference relationship.

Note: Article Kristeva J, 76 Rue Assas, F-75006 Paris, FRANCE

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