THE LETTER 23 (Autumn 2001) pages 1-21
Car Vexactitude se distingue de la verite, et la conjecture n’exclut -pas la rigueur.
A century after the appearance of psychoanalysis in the field of the medical clinic and science its position is not easy to define: received with enthusiasm, it is also equally enthusiastically rejected and maliciously misunderstood. To be more precise, in psychiatric circles it is ‘good form’, often on the basis of an extremely simplistic, not to say caricatured conception of psychoanalysis, to deny its right to exist in the clinical field and to relegate it with well-meaning misunderstanding to the ‘general culture’ box in which, to the right-minded scholar, literary theories, hermeneutics, philosophy, theology and suchlike belong. Nevertheless, general psychiatry makes eager use of a watered-down version in which a few vaguely recognizable psychoanalytic concepts are to be found and for a number of patients – sometimes as the last remedy – the address of an analyst is dug up out of the drawer. Yet psychiatrists – often the same…