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Cupelloni, P. (2019). Desire that enjoys mourning [Il desiderio che ama il lutto] by Sarantis Thanopulos. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 100(1):157-159.

(2019). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 100(1):157-159

Desire that enjoys mourning [Il desiderio che ama il lutto] by Sarantis Thanopulos

Review by:
Patrizia Cupelloni

This work by Sarantis Thanopulos, which has a very appealing title, comes across as a sort of passionate defence of some new perspectives that could make psychoanalysis itself an object of desire if they were to deal bravely with illusion and loss. The discipline of psychoanalysis owes its vitality to research and the awareness that it is degraded and demeaned by clinging to dogma.

It is a short book; rich and original, which is articulated around the theme of lack, understood as the guarantor of all difference. Thanopulos delves into the theoretical core of identification and, in particular, hysterical identification, which he distinguishes from and compares with narcissistic identification. These are some of the central themes concerning the intersection and connection between hysteria and identification that I found in my reading. Beyond Freud, but starting from Freud, Thanopulos focuses on the theme of desire and its object. Freud describes desire as a drive, different from the satisfaction of a need, searching in vain for the primary object that has been lost forever. The source of desire can thus be traced back to a replacement of the original satisfaction at the breast, which is no longer present in the perception of the real primary object but is achieved instead through a hallucinatory retention of it. This transition allows for its recovery and, through the first perception, its reappearance.

[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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