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Chauvel, P. (1997). L’objet; ou l’objet, l’absence et l’ombre. : By Jean Guillaumin. Paris: L’esprit du temps (distributed by Presses Universitaires de France). 1996. Pp. 286.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 78:630-632.

(1997). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 78:630-632

L’objet; ou l’objet, l’absence et l’ombre. : By Jean Guillaumin. Paris: L’esprit du temps (distributed by Presses Universitaires de France). 1996. Pp. 286.

Review by:
Pierre Chauvel

As indicated by its title, which means ‘The object; or the object, absence and the shadow’, this book by Jean Guillaumin, a member of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society and member of the Lyon Psychoanalytic Institute, links together two important subjects: the object and loss of the object. A moment's reflection tells us that it is impossible to separate them, but our ‘objective’ thinking habits often lead us to consider them independently of each other. The marshalling of concepts is a requirement of both the scientific and the analytic spirit. However, the resulting risk of impoverishment of thought must not be overlooked, as Guillaumin's work constantly reminds us.

This approach to the theme of the object presupposes that the subject also be taken into account. The author points out that the very term ‘subject’, which is traditionally contrasted with the object in philosophical definitions, was seldom used by Freud. The current analytical trend in France, as embodied in particular in Raymond Cahn's paper presented at the Congrès des psychanalystes de langue française in 1991, restores its well-deserved importance; it is not then contrasted with the ‘ego’ but has the connotation of a subject in the process of formation and development, for which the vehicle is symbolisation, a process in which forward movement alternates with failure.

The

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