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(1991). Jean Laplanche talks to Martin Stanton. Free Associations, 2(3):323-341.

(1991). Free Associations, 2(3):323-341


Jean Laplanche talks to Martin Stanton

Jean Laplanche is internationally renowned for a whole range of talents: his pioneer and revolutionary work on Freud, which has obliged scholars to return to the German texts and address the whole problem of translation; his ardent attack on false distinctions between theory and clinical practice, which has inspired the innovatory doctoral programme in psychoanalysis at the University of Paris 7; finally, his elaboration of ‘new foundations’ for psychoanalysis, which propose a radical rethink of psychoanalytic theory and practice around the theme of seduction. He visited England in May 1990 to give lectures and seminars on his work at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Kent, the Freud Museum and the Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA), London. This interview was conducted in the midst of this, and reflects the range of issues addressed by Professor Laplanche during his stay.

Although Laplanche is recognized as a major figure in contemporary psychoanalysis, surprisingly little is known of his life, education and psychoanalytic practice. We thought it appropriate, therefore, to preface the interview with a brief biographical sketch.

He was born in Paris on 21 June 1924 into a family of Burgundy wine-producers. He has kept strong connections with Burgundy, and divides his time between Paris and Pommard. He began his secondary education at the Collège Monge at Beaune, then moved to the Lycée Henri IV in Paris to prepare for the entrance exam for the École Normale Supérienure (ENS).

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