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Sanchez-Cardenas, M. (2009). On: The Mother in the Text: Metapsychology and Fantasy in the Work of Interpretation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(3):633-636.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(3):633-636

Letters to the Editors

On: The Mother in the Text: Metapsychology and Fantasy in the Work of Interpretation Related Papers

Michel Sanchez-Cardenas

Dear Editors,

I was delighted by Fausto Petrella's text on the concept of the return of the repressed in Delusions and dreams in Jensen's ‘Gradiva' (Freud, 1906; Petrella, 2008). Petrella shows us that this concept can be understood both in a strict sense and in terms of possible associations emerging from Freud's text. I should, however, like to suggest one further idea based on Petrella's text. Through the examples of Horace, the student, Rousseau and Rops, Petrella in fact reveals his own intuition, which is that Freud's associations ultimately converge on the female body and “perhaps” (Petrella, 2008, p. 632) he says, on the maternal body, on matrem nudam (cf. Freud's letter to Fliess, 3 October 1897). Now it seems to me that Petrella might in fact have reached the same conclusion through a much denser associative network arising both from Freud's and from Jensen's text. This would have pointed the way towards the maternal body as an implicit theme of Freud's associations but also, more specifically, to the theme of the dead mother. In fact, if, as Petrella suggests (p. 632), we allow ourselves to associate starting from ‘smaller islands’ of a text to combine them into an ‘archipelago’ that discloses the coherence of their hidden meaning, we can discern the following elements, which seem to have a degree of internal coherence:

(a)‘Gradiva' is an anagram of ‘Gravida’: how many young analysts in training, certainly French analysts, make this verbal slip (or play on words)! So here we find ourselves immediately in the register of Gravid-ity just by inverting two letters.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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