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(1977). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XXXVIII, 1974: From Writing to Inscription, or the Scribe of the Unconscious. Jean Cournut. Pp. 57-73.. Psychoanal Q., 46:179-179.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XXXVIII, 1974: From Writing to Inscription, or the Scribe of the Unconscious. Jean Cournut. Pp. 57-73.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:179-179

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XXXVIII, 1974: From Writing to Inscription, or the Scribe of the Unconscious. Jean Cournut. Pp. 57-73.

In the field of psychoanalysis, which involves a relationship based on verbalization and silence, why do so many analysts as well as patients turn to writing? Even Freud, a prolific writer, criticized writing. Cournut investigates concepts about the function of writing from Egyptian mythology and from Plato. Plato distinguished between hypomnesis and mneme—between writing which serves to weaken and corrupt memory and to diminish the access to truth, and writing which serves truth. An example of the detrimental use of writing in analysis would be a patient's written record of a dream which hampers free association and access to the unconscious. In contrast, there is authentic or scientific writing which aids in the search for truth. The negative attitude toward writing, evident in both Plato and Freud, developed because of its potential for subverting truth and simulating memory. On the other hand, writing can be used for the expression of scientific laws and for interpreting universal myths. These two seemingly contradictory functions of writing in psychoanalysis are explored.

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Article Citation

(1977). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XXXVIII, 1974. Psychoanal. Q., 46:179-179

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