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Edelheit, H. (1975). Crucifixion Fantasies and their Relation to the Primal Scene: A Reply to the Discussion by Eugenio Gaddini. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 56:239-240.

(1975). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 56:239-240

Crucifixion Fantasies and their Relation to the Primal Scene: A Reply to the Discussion by Eugenio Gaddini Related Papers

Henry Edelheit

Dr Gaddini has given my paper (Edelheit, 1974) the kind of heartening reception that authors can usually expect only in their most heroic fantasies. I thank him for the encouragement and also for his stimulating questions and suggestions (Gaddini, 1974). I agree that the concept of the primal scene schema would benefit from the addition of a developmental point of view, one that I have hardly been able to introduce (except in one respect which I shall detail below). Such a point of view must remain speculative for someone who, like myself, does not work directly with children. In fact, my formulation bears the hallmark of psychoanalytic work with adults—explanation through the interpolation of regressive fantasies. A large part of the explanatory impact of the primal scene schema (essentially, the identification with both members of a copulating pair) derives from the defensive superimposition of a secondary or regressive form of that schema (the identification with both members of a nursing pair). In the ritual imagery that forms the major theme of the present paper, a Madonna and Child are regularly superimposed on the bloody business of the Crucifixion. It is this duality of patterning that makes possible the elaborate efflorescence of imagery which characterizes the erotic fantasy life.

I am tempted, therefore, to look upon Dr Gaddini's interesting suggestion that the infant's second object evolves from a meiotic splitting of the first, as a special case of the regressive identification with both members of a nursing pair—caught in the act and, in that instant, temporally reversed—interpreted, i.

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