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House, J. (2017). The Ongoing Rediscovery of Après-Coup as a Central Freudian Concept. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 65(5):773-798.
   

(2017). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 65(5):773-798

The Ongoing Rediscovery of Après-Coup as a Central Freudian Concept

Jonathan House

Après-coup, Freud's Nachträglichkeit, is an essential psychoanalytic concept structuring each of four concepts, four mental processes that lie at the foundation of Freud's thinking: psychic trauma, repression, the creation of the unconscious, and the creation of infantile sexuality. It is argued here that infantile sexual drives, in contrast to the self-preservative instincts, arise from a two-step process of translation and repression in which the residues of failed translation become source-objects of the drives. These residues of failed translation have an associative resonance with adult sexuality, and the child is driven to ongoing attempts to translate them, to make them meaningful après coup. Thus, après-coup is at the heart of the human subject as a sexual creature who requires, desires, and creates meaning.

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