The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

By Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

In 1896, Sigmund Freud awarded his innovative “seduction theory,” arguing that acts of sexual abuse and violence inflicted on childrens are the direct explanation for grownup psychological sickness. 9 years later, Freud thoroughly reversed his place, insisting that those sexual thoughts have been truly fantasies that by no means occurred. Why did Freud retract the seduction thought? And why has the psychoanalytic neighborhood long gone to such lengths to hide that retraction? during this landmark ebook, drawing on his designated entry to previously sealed and hidden papers, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson dares to discover the reality approximately this serious turning aspect in Freud’s occupation and its enduring effect at the idea and perform of psychoanalysis. 

The attack on fact finds a truth that neither Freud nor his fans may well undergo to stand. Bracing in its honesty, gripping in its revelations, this is often the ebook that brought on Masson’s holiday with the psychoanalytic community—and introduced his next exceptional occupation as an autonomous philosopher and author.

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22 of The Standard Edition, ed. and trans. , 146,149. 8. Sigmund Freud, ”Analysis Terminable and Interminable,” in vol. 23 of The Standard Edition, ed. and trans. , 243. ” See Jacques Lacan, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book 11, The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954-1955, ed. Jacques-Allain Miller and trans. Sylvana Tomaselli (London: Norton, 1988), 70. 9. Freud says as much explicitly: ”But this struggle between the individual and society is not a derivative of the contradiction-probably an irreconcilable one-between the primal instincts of Eros and death.

The death of a loved one somehow manages to render the inaccessible accessible, to intimate the unthinkable: one’s own death. The death of a loved one is the category in and through which Freud theorizes the insertion of the ”No” into the psyche, the dynamics by way of which the psyche comes to intuit its own finitude. In and through the death of a loved one, the psyche is presented with an 24 Chapter 2 opportunity to correct its ignorance of its own death. 41 According to Freud, the death of a loved one transforms the coexistence of opposing trends in the unconscious into a contradiction generating pain and anxiety, making a demand for work, insisting to be appeased.

Love is always love of what will die. As distinct from the pessimistic poet's, that is, Freud's attitude is less a call Eros, Loss, and Death 31 for resignation than an attempt to (re)claim death as an occasion to be born. Freud grasps the wound of death not as an argument against life, but as an opportunity to deploy an eroticism that has made truthfulness a condition of its love. In proposing a new attitude to death, Freud proposes a new attitude to life. And this new existential mood is the deeply erotic content of our “first duty” as living beings.

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