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Stimmel, B. (2004). The cause is worse: Remeeting Jocasta. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(5):1175-1189.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(5):1175-1189

The cause is worse: Remeeting Jocasta

Barbara Stimmel

This paper will help bring Jocasta, a figure relatively neglected by psychoanalytic theory, whose lens upon her son has left her to the side, into greater focus. It is not that Jocasta is completely ignored but rather that, when studied, she appears as the dangerous, castrating, forbidden woman to be placated or avoided at all costs. So, although she stands at center stage as the fulcrum of Oedipus's destruction, it is never as a mother longing for her son. The author contends that Jocasta is the personification of an on going developmental need on the part of all mothers to separate from their children coupled with a universal longing for reunion. As with Oedipus, Jocasta—a character in a play—is an example of the perverse outcome of forbidden gratifications; but also, as with Oedipus, she is the figurative presentation of normal variations on a theme.

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