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Markotic, L. (2001). There Where Primary Narcissism Was, I Must Become: The Inception of the Ego in Andreas-Salomé, Lacan, and Kristeva. Am. Imago, 58(4):813-836.

(2001). American Imago, 58(4):813-836

There Where Primary Narcissism Was, I Must Become: The Inception of the Ego in Andreas-Salomé, Lacan, and Kristeva

Lorraine Markotic


This essay explores the psychoanalytic work of Lou Andreas-Salomé, specifically in relation to theories of the development of the ego. That Andreas-Salomé's writings have received so little attention is especially regrettable in light of the many ways in which they anticipate current discussions. Andreas-Salomé perceives an inconsistency in Freud's thinking on the formation of the ego; she senses, even when she does not explicitly state, that in this respect his theories need reworking.

The topic of ego development has played a central role in the debates between mainstream and French psychoanalytic theorists. Whereas in Freud's time other psychoanalysts (especially Jung and Adler) rejected Freud's concept of sexuality because they thought he overemphasized its importance for the development of the self, today his concept of sexuality is accepted by most French analysts (though not by many others), but his account of the development of the ego is widely challenged. This holds true not only for Jacques Lacan but also for Catherine Clément, André Green, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and Jean Laplanche. Here I focus on Kristeva's writings and the writings of Lacan that influenced her, examining the theories of both in relation to those of Andreas-Salomé. I am concerned, above all, with Andreas-Salomé's rethinking of Freud's theory of ego development, but I would also like to elucidate the points of connection between her work and the theories of Lacan and Kristeva.1

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