Psychoanalysis: the impossible profession, Janet Malcom

30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 16 Dec 2022 12:22
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    • THE PHENOMENON OF TRANSFERENCE-HOW WE ALL INvent each other according to early blueprints-was Freud's most original and radical discovery. The idea of infant sexuality and of the Oedipus complex can be accepted with a good deal more equanimity than the idea that the most precious and inviolate of entities-personal relations-is actually a messy jangle of misapprehensions, at best an uneasy truce between powerful solitary fantasy systems. Even (or especially) romantic love is fundamentally solitary, and has at its core a profound impersonality. The concept of transference at once destroys faith in personal relations and explains why they are tragic: we cannot know each other. We must grope around for each other through a dense thicket of absent others. We cannot see each other plain. A horrible¬∑ kind of predestination hovers over each new attachment we form. "Only connect," E. M. Forster proposed. "Only we can't," the psychoanalyst knows.
      • Is that what transference is?
    • the incongruity derives, perhaps, from Freud's own struggles to reconcile the unwieldy findings of psychoanalysis with the orderly positivism of the Helmholtz school of science, in which he had been educated. An unfinished early work called Project for a Scientific Psychology was his strenuous, doomed effort to give a physiological source to the psychological phenomena e was discovering.