Todd Dufresne

In keeping with an apocalyptic tone appropriate for the fin de siècle, and no doubt exaggerated by the close of the millennium, it has become fashionable in many quarters to announce the failure or bankruptcy of psychoanalysis, if not its immanent death.Whether one takes such dire prophesies seriously or not, it is at least superficially true that the “psychoanalytic century” has finally drawn to a close. Of course, many critics declared the “death” of psychoanalysis well before its founder, Sigmund Freud, died in 1939. For them, psychoanalysis was always something of a con game, a stillborn science, the sublimated gift of Freud’s own anality. As one critic put it, psychoanalysts are mere psychoanalen.
At the same time, the chorus announcing the death of psychoanalysis has slowly become its own “tradition” within psychoanalysis. In interminable controversy has had an ironic result: more may have been written about Freud’s life and work than almost any other figure in Western history.

2 thoughts on “Todd Dufresne

  1. shinichi Post author

    Tales from the Freudian Crypt: The Death Drive in Text and Context

    by Todd Dufresne

    (2000)

    Tales from the Freudian Crypt is a fundamental reassessment of the Freud legend that aims to shake the very foundations of Freud studies. Writing from the perspective of intellectual history, the author traces the impact that Freud’s essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle has had, and continues to have, on twentieth-century thought. Designed as both an introduction and a corrective to the vast literature on Freud, the book explores the trail left by Freud’s late theory of the death drive, paying special attention to its ramifications in the fields of biography, biology, psychotherapy, philosophy, and literary theory. The author ironically concludes that if there were such a thing as a death drive, it would look like this seemingly endless and in many ways arbitrary proliferation of the literature on Freud. After first undertaking to demystify the pretensions of this literature, from the works of Sandor Ferenczi to those of Jacques Lacan, the author proposes a theory that sheds new light on the so-called cultural works of Freud’s final years. He argues that the death drive theory was an elaborate ruse that Freud adopted to insulate his “findings” against criticism directed from outside the field of psychoanalysis―that Freud’s troubling recourse to metapsychology was closely tied to his lifelong fear of suggestion. The author delivers a carefully reasoned, sustained blow to the culture of psychoanalysis―theoretical, therapeutic, institutional―which is driven by what it desires and fears most: death. In sum, Tales from the Freudian Crypt is offered as a kind of bankbook, audit, and investment plan for future work in Freud studies.

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  2. shinichi Post author

    〈死の欲動〉と現代思想

    by トッド・デュフレーヌ

    translated by 遠藤 不比人


    〈死の欲動〉と現代思想 [著]トッド・デュフレーヌ

    評・斎藤環(精神科医)

    https://book.asahi.com/article/11646038

     20世紀は「精神分析の世紀」だった。いまや精神分析は、効果の疑わしい過去の治療法として、共産主義よりは緩慢な死を迎えつつある。
     精神分析は二度死ぬ。一度目は治療の技法として。二度目は批評理論として。心理学者ハンス・アイゼンクらの手によって、一度目の死は確認された。問題は二度目のほうだ。思想や批評理論における精神分析の影響は、いまだきわめて大きい。
     デュフレーヌは賢明にも後者に的を絞った。この領域ではフロイトが“発明”した〈死の欲動〉こそが諸悪の根源なのだ。
     フロイトは、そのもっとも思弁的な論文「快感原則の彼岸」において、孫の遊びに注目する。糸巻きを投げては引き戻す遊びを、母親の不在の苦痛をあえて再演する行為と考え、そこに自己破壊衝動、すなわち〈死の欲動〉を見いだす。
     著者はこの概念が、すでに過去の遺物となったヘッケルの発生理論やラマルクの進化論から決定的な影響を受けていることを厳密に論証してみせる。次いで、この“トンデモ”な概念が、精神分析はもとより思想界にどれほど深甚な影響をもたらしたかが徹底的に検証される。
     このくだりだけでも本書の資料的価値はきわめて高い。
     しかし、序文でボルク=ヤコブセンも指摘する如(ごと)く、フロイトのメタ心理学は実にしたたかだ。叩(たた)かれ、批判されることで息を吹き返し、批判者をいつの間にか分析的思考に取り込んでしまう。そう、たとえばデリダがそうであったように。
     それゆえ物足りなさも残る。たとえばラカン。〈死の欲動〉の誰よりも忠実な相続人であった『エクリ』の著者を前に、デュフレーヌの舌鋒(ぜっぽう)はいささか鈍る。彼はラカンがフロイトの理論から非科学的要素を巧妙に取り除いた点を批判するのだが、これではただの否認にすぎない。
     本書は、ラカン派たる私を“改宗”させるには至らなかった。ただしメタ心理学的世界観が「他者への無関心」とナルシシズムにつながるという本質的批判に対しては、実践をもって反証に代えるしかないだろう。

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