Adrian Johnston – The Object of its Affection – Reconsidering Temporality and Object-Choice in Lacan’s theory of Sexual Difference

THE LETTER 16 Summer 1999, pages 92-126


…  when  one  gives  rise  to two  (quand un fait deux),  there  is never  a return. They don’t  revert  to making one again,  even if it is a new  one.   Aufhebung  is one  of philosophy’s pretty little dreams.

Despite  its  foundational  orientation  towards  the   notion   of  sexualitv, Freudian  psychoanalysis  ironically    spends  a   scant   amount  of     time speaking of what  one is most inclined  to associate  with ·making love’  -that is, love  itself.  It is only  as regards two  interlinked phenomena that  Freud feels  compelled  to  address the  topic  of amorous sentiments. The  first location where love  finds  a place in psychoanalysis is the  dynamic of the transference. In the transference, love is merely the emotional epiphenomenon of a duped,  deceived ego that misrecognises its interlocutor.  The  second schema to which  analysis relegates love  is the mechanism of object-choice.   The notion  of such  a mechanism maintains that  the  individual’s personal history   of loving relationships is  nothing more than  the  repetition of a limited  number of childhood refrains: ‘love consists of new editions of old  traits.  But this is the essential character of every  state  of  being  in  love. There  is no  such  state  which  does  not reproduce infantile prototypes’. In  both   the  transference  and…

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