Audrey McAleese – An Incorrect Interpretation

The Letter 59 & 60 Summer – Autumn 2015, pages 63-68

This paper explores Ruth Lebovici’s question as to whether or not she has
made an incorrect interpretation.1 Lacan’s critique offers insight into the
possible role Lebovici played in the transitory perversion provoked in her
patient in the course of his analysis with her. But the probing question for the
analyst as to what interpretation is, remains to be grappled with in the direction
of the treatment.
Keywords: interpretation, Ruth Lebovici, transitory perversion, phantasy,
castration anxiety, transference/countertransference, the signifier, the laws
of the unconscious
Ruth Lebovici (1913-2003) – from maths teacher to psychoanalyst
Ruth Roos was born in Alsace and raised in a traditional Jewish family. A gifted
student , she became a maths teacher. In 1942 she married Serge Lebovici
(1915-2000) who later became a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and president of
the International Psychoanalytical Association. After the war Lebovici chose
to follow her husband’s career and trained as a psychoanalyst.
The Nazi Occupation of France was devastating for her and her family. In
August 1942 Lebovici went to the Gestapo in Paris to try and save her Jewish
father-in-law, Solo Lebovici, a well-known doctor of Romanian origin. It
was her decision not to wear the yellow star that saved her life. The Germans
admonished her for marrying a Jew and advised her to divorce him. Solo
Lebovici died in Auschwitz. Lebovici’s father, Charles Roos, four uncles and
aunts and three cousins were deported in June 1944 and died in concentration
camps. During the Occupation her husband was protected by Communist
resistants. After the war she trained as an analyst with Marc Schlumberger
and was supervised by Jacques Lacan. Like her husband, Lebovici was a
member of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris and remained there after the…

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