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Schmid-Kitsikis, E. (2000). Entre séduction et inspiration: l'homme [Man—between seduction and inspiration]: Jean Laplanche. Paris: Quadrige. Presses Universitaires de France. 1999. Pp. 338.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 81(3):613-616.

(2000). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 81(3):613-616

Entre séduction et inspiration: l'homme [Man—between seduction and inspiration]: Jean Laplanche. Paris: Quadrige. Presses Universitaires de France. 1999. Pp. 338.

Review by:
Elsa Schmid-Kitsikis

This compendium of texts published by Jean Laplanche between 1992 and 1999 further develops the topics covered in New Foundations for Psychoanalysis (1987), in La révolution copernicienne inachevée [The unfinished Copernican revolution] (1992), which contains material published between 1967 and 1992 and in Fourvoiement biologisant de la sexualité chez Freud [How Freud led sexuality astray into biology] (1993).

Choosing to debate mostly with Freud but a little with Lacan, the author here displays the tenacity that was the hallmark of his previous books and continues his exploration of the role played in psychic development by the relationship of seduction, seen as the essence of the phenomenon of seduction. He describes this relationship in terms of activity—passivity, because the active protagonist is characterised by a greater unconsciousknowledge’, which is responsible for the emergence in the relationship of a specific entity, namely the enigmatic signifier. This he places at a deeper level than the limited vicissitudes of infantile seduction (the perverse father) and early seduction (maternal care), defining it as primal seduction in the context of his theory of generalised seduction (Laplanche's concepts are defined and discussed at length in Laplanche 1987, 1995, 1997).

The author's themes fall into two main groups. The first, which is the subject of Chapters 4, 7, 9 and 11, is ‘the ideological, institutional and political imperialism … of Freudism’, of which Lacanism is stated to be ‘merely one of the most accomplished manifestations’, as well as the institutional and training model of the French Psychoanalytical Association (APF), which is described as ‘freshly hatched from Lacanism’.

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