Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To use the Information icon…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The Information icon  (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Sigg, B.W. (1990). Moses Hiding the Empty Tomb. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 17:205-222.

(1990). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 17:205-222

Moses Hiding the Empty Tomb

Bernard W. Sigg

Freud's striking conception of the life and death instincts remains one of the most controversial parts of the psychoanalytic theoretical edifice. Some ignore or even demolish it, for a variety of ostensible reasons. The same thing happened in architecture, in particular at the time of Violletle-Duc, and the process still, incidentally, continues with respect to the entire body of Freud's work, although more insidiously. One need only mention the unfortunate term 'applied psychoanalysis', which he let slip, in order for a given text to be relegated to the status of an insignificant prop. However, this is to assume that the creation of theory is no more than the stringing together of random finds. This paper attempts to disprove this proposition.

The reference to death is in fact no less fundamental than the sexual reference, and it is inconceivable that Freud should have failed to recognize its significance for years, only to discover it, as some claim, when confronted with a particular event, however tragic: the world war, deaths in the family or the diagnosis of his own cancer. Two unpublished letters will help me to plot the course of the conceptual genesis of this idea over a period of more than 20 years, on the basis of the history of the man and in two of his most disparaged works.

In this way it proves possible to reconstruct the process of theoretical production, thereby perhaps enabling it to bear new fruit. A large number of different routes may ultimately

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2017, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.