Helena Texier – My Possible Impossibility – Death in the Life of the Obsessional

THE LETTER 29 (Autumn 2003) Pages 203-222

“What, he wondered, did dying mean?

It was as though the sound of the word

must tell him. How frightful it must be

not to see, or hear, or feel anything. He

completely failed to notice his faulty

conclusion … “

When in 1955 Freud’s day-to-day record of his encounters with a young obsessional man was published for the first time as an addendum to the case history of 1909, we were privileged. We were privileged not only in so far as we were permitted a rare access to the historical moment of the process and the progress of Freud’s day-to-day engagement, by means of which psychoanalysis was emerging, unfolding as it was being practiced, but also in so far as the rambling record, in a very tangible way, manages to carry, and sustain within its text the presence of the subject with all it’s vital force. There is evidence there of the tension, the liveliness inherent to the clinical encounter, which is often eradicated in more prepared reports of the case history, where the ‘meaning-full’ theoretical constructs tend to hermetically seal, in the symbolic vaults, the real nut of…

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