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When describing the two instincts in his work “The Ego and the Id”, Freud says that the “Eros, by bringing about a more and more far-reaching combination of the particles into which living substance is dispersed, aims at complicating life and at the same time, of course, at preserving it”. This complication, which I consider to be rather an increased complexity, can be found in the patients’ discourse through the diversification of means of expression and attributed significations, when their “stories” open up to us and to new meanings… However, when stories are meant to free the body of the burden of a stigmata, which must be covered with histories and significants, how can we identify the flux of the Eros in the counter-sense of a Thanatos that, as Freud said, “tends to return the organic to the lifeless state”? I therefore propose that we try and explore this effort to tell the story of the body expression forms trough words, in Mario Vargas Llosa’s novel, The Storyteller…
The work of mourning and organization of the mental space may be seriously disturbed by the real loss of the object and the way how communication with the “still alive” objects is built. Certain obstacles in communication with significant people make the mental separation difficult. The problem of separation, individuation and building of somebody’s own mental space is linked to the way in which the child mourns in relation to the central objects of early childhood. Especially the real loss of a parental object during the early childhood implies a traumatic moment which will excessively dramatize the oedipal issues. In this context, the analysis of the infantile material and development of an analytical work, which would perlaborate the trauma of the loss under a full oedipal conflict of one of the parents, as well as the subjectivation difficulties deriving from this trauma are the indispensable elements of a psychoanalytic work.
The theory of matriarchy still enjoys wide popularity, even among psychoanalysts. Following Freud’ ideas, they invoke the passage from matriarchy to patriarchy as a historical analogue to the individual psychosexual development.
After a review of anthropological discussions, some hypotheses vis-a-vis this persistence are proposed: matriarchy is a secular cosmogonic myth, developed within the evolutionary paradigm; a fantasy of origin of mankind within the mother’s primacy constellation, both defensive formations against underlying anxieties constitutive of societal institution.
Having recourse to Peirce’s and Green’s concept of thirdness, a critical approach of linearity is undertaken. Finally, a structural correlation between gynaecocracy and matriarchal theory is proposed.
The clinical vignettes evoked in this text open up, I hope, new lines of thinking and reflection, necessary in approaching the following fundamental issue: what does the archaic aspect of the analytic relationship consist of, considered a determining element for the changes and transformations induced by the psychoanalytical protocol? An indispensable question for the deepening of means of evolution for the psychoanalytical technique, directly determined by the diversity of personality structures and defence mechanisms which the method has been confronted with the past years. All the more so that what can be brought to light from the past never represents a faithful witness of the prehistoric age, but rather a heterogeneous product to the extent that every stage of life traversed by the human subject modifies in its turn « primitive » experiences. This is also the reason for which states of pathogenic regression do not allow an exact reconstitution of original situations. Especially since there is not much said about origin. Only the paradox can be noticed, that the origin is different from the archaic. An archaic that continues to produce meaning in the present, forcing psychoanalytical practice and its practitioners to adapt to modernity, thorough the strangest and most unexpected clinical forms thus convoked.
The present paper is an attempt to create bridges of understanding between the subjective investigation in the psychoanalytic situation and the empirical research concerning a subject not enough explored in its earliest dimensions – the place and role of the father in the first year of the child’s life. As part of a more extensive empirical research on the dynamics of child development in the first year of life, the research presented in this article was built and articulated within the psychodynamic theories of development, it was conducted in the form of a standardized research and generated a series of results that are re-integrated into the psychoanalytic understanding, validating and being validated by psychoanalytic knowledge. The central point of this encounter between the psychodynamic understanding and the results of empirical research is that the father is an active presence in the development of the child from the first year of life, in a formula of internal and external triadic relationship and that one of the most important function of the father in this early stage of life is to facilitate a way for the child to build his own loving and creative relationship with the world.
In “Constructions in analysis” (1937), S. Freud compared the analyst’s work to that of the archaeologist searching among vestiges, with the big difference that the object of our work is alive, and working with it causes fear, pain and suffering. Last year, during a visit to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, impressed by the strangeness of the atmosphere, by people carbonised by lava, eternal statues in a shocking atemporality among the archaic objects and traces of the place, I picked up the thread of psychoanalytic reflections on such ruins, vestiges, the layers of “ash” also present in the human psyche and their relevance in the work of the analytic cure. How to communicate the unthinkable, the unsayable, the un-representable, the barely figurable? How to transform traces of your “ancestors’ ancestors’ ancestors”, even as passed down from Superego to Superego, or via inter-transgenerational transmissions? How to transform the formless into form?
From S. Freud to D. W. Winnicott, and W. Bion, from A. Green and J. McDougall, via D. Anzieu and R. Roussillon, the author is proposing to revisit the psychic vestiges as they are expressing during the analytic process.