This book takes the reader on a captivating journey leading from an erroneous founding assumption inherited from Freud, to the proposal of a principle better suited to allowing the psychoanalyst to accompany the patient out of his impasse. The founding assumption of the book, already questioned by many analysts among whom Sandor Ferenczi figures as a brilliant forerunner, was the author's starting point in re-examining the basic precepts of psychoanalysis.Reading Kafka made the author conclude that this masterful storyteller describes borderline situations, so familiar to him, better than anyone. An avid reader of Freud, Kafka suggests that the human capacity to bear a paradoxical position between life and death is t given to the child naturally, at birth. Kafka seems to say that giving life is easy, but that giving it the necessary support in the form of the trace of death is more problematic. Moreover, when the child is deprived of this trace, he faces the void and, in a panic, must use emergency measures to construct a substitute for the necessary trace of death; and he can only do so by sacrificing his sexuality, his ability to feel, his initiative or his judgement. When the conditions necessary for primal repression are t provided to the child by others, he creates them himself at great cost. What he gives himself is t life, but life-death, and he pays the price for doing so. When primal repression is destroyed - something which can happen at any age - we speak of soul murder . At the very instant when it occurs, a new Subject comes into existence, a Subject who pushes back the threat of destruction. The new Subject constructs otherness out of an object or out of a part of himself, a part he sacrifices in order to recover the primal repression destroyed by the trauma.This book will interest t only psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, philosophers and students of literature, but also a wide range of readers with a passion for the complexities of the human soul.
Philippe Refabert obtained his medical degree in 1962 and after working as on-staff doctor in psychiatric hospitals between 1962 and 1966 set up private practice as a psychoanalyst in 1967. Between 1963 and 1973 he was a member of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society, and subsequently became a member of the College of Psychoanalysts and the Federation des Ateliers de Psychanalyse. He served as President of the latter between 1991 and 1992. He is also a prolific author, known for his work on the first years of the psychoanalytic movement, and particularly on Freud's relationship with Fliess, Jung, and Ferenczi. He has led seminars and published articles on psychoanalytic practice, epistemology, analytic commitment, memory and forgetting, and analytic procedure. He is currently leading a workshop on the theme of 'Giving Time', and preparing a book on this primal paradoxical endowment. In this endeavour, he makes use of his clinical experience, and of the light and shadow found in the works of poets like Fernando Pessoa and Paul Celan.