Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To zoom in or out on PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Are you having difficulty reading an article due its font size? In order to make the content on PEP-Web larger (zoom in), press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the plus sign (+). Press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the minus sign (-) to make the content smaller (zoom out). To go back to 100% size (normal size), press Ctrl (⌘Command on the Mac) + 0 (the number 0).

Another way on Windows: Hold the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel up or down to zoom in and out (respectively) of the webpage. Laptop users may use two fingers and separate them or bring them together while pressing the mouse track pad.

Safari users: You can also improve the readability of you browser when using Safari, with the Reader Mode: Go to PEP-Web. Right-click the URL box and select Settings for This Website, or go to Safari > Settings for This Website. A large pop-up will appear underneath the URL box. Look for the header that reads, “When visiting this website.” If you want Reader mode to always work on this site, check the box for “Use Reader when available.”

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Constable, L. Janowitz, N. (2009). Preface. Am. Imago, 66(3):269-276.
    

(2009). American Imago, 66(3):269-276

Preface

Liz Constable and Naomi Janowitz

Years after the death of his beloved daughter Sophie, Freud showed Hilda Doolittle a charm that he wore on his watchband, stating as he pointed to it, “She is here” (Doolittle 1956, 77). It would be hard to imagine a more dramatic example of a lost object that is not lost. In Freud's poignant gesture, the deceased person, now transformed, has become part of the mourner's life. The charm (object permanence) is juxtaposed with the timepiece (the passing of time).

As the essays in this special issue of American Imago argue, Freud's gesture is emblematic of the interrelatedness of psychic and social responses to loss. Although Freud initially posited an apparently firm distinction between mourning and melancholia, this premise is called into question not only by his own later work, and that of other psychoanalysts, but especially by contemporary approaches to the workings of remembering and forgetting.

Freud could baldly ask Marie Bonaparte, “Why should a thing that emanates from man endure on that account, when everything in the universe must perish?” (qtd. in von Unwerth 2005, 177). This might seem an odd question coming from the man who worked while seated at his desk surrounded by his collection of antiquities, lost objects that had been recovered from the ground. Yet Freud insists to Bonaparte that it would be incorrect to exempt humans from being part of the natural world and its unending change. In the natural world, he points out, birth and death are facts of life, and this finitude endows the world with beauty: “A flower that blossoms only for a single night does not seem to us on that account less lovely” (1916, 306). His example seems contrived, since no matter how much we may enjoy a flower, we know that in the next season new flowers will grow to replace the ones that die. We do not value them as individuals.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.