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


    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.

  2. shinichi Post author


    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




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