Psychoanalysis and Repetition
Why Do We Keep Making the Same Mistakes?
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Addresses unconscious repetition, a concept that is crucial to an understanding of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis.
In Psychoanalysis and Repetition, Juan-David Nasio, one of the leading contemporary Lacanian psychoanalysts in France, argues that unconscious repetition represents the core of psychoanalysis as well as no less than the fundamental constitution of the human being. Through repetition, the unconscious memory of the past erupts, without our knowledge, in our choices and actions, to such an extent that, for Nasio, we are our past in action. While Nasio explains that repetition is both healthy and pathological, the book is primarily concerned with the repetition of unconscious trauma, as trauma engenders trauma, through unconscious fantasms that are expressed, in turn, as symptoms. Through vivid clinical examples, as well as trenchant theoretical explications involving repetition, Nasio illuminates a range of fundamental concepts in Freud and Lacan and offers a rethinking of the psychoanalytic tradition in the context of this theme. Nasio's approach is richly interdisciplinary, incorporating passages from philosophers Descartes and Spinoza, for example, and from such literary figures as Pindar, Proust, and Verlaine. The interdisciplinary fabric of Nasio's discourse conveys the crucial importance of the concept of repetition in psychoanalysis and in the human condition.
Juan-David Nasio is a psychoanalyst who lives and works in Paris. He was the first psychoanalyst to be inducted into the prestigious French Legion of Honor. David Pettigrew is Professor of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University. He is the coeditor and cotranslator of many books, including Nasio's Oedipus: The Most Crucial Concept in Psychoanalysis (cotranslated with François Raffoul), also published by SUNY Press.
"A clear, accessible, and highly readable contribution to psychoanalytic literature in the Freudian and Lacanian traditions. Nasio's writing, and its translation by Pettigrew, is extremely lucid, especially by the standards of much Lacanian literature. This is a very worthwhile book in its own right. " — Adrian Johnston, author of Irrepressible Truth: On Lacan's 'The Freudian Thing'