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Wilson, E., Jr. (1992). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: The Gaze, Eroticization, and Psychosomatic Illness. Jacques Cain. Pp. 1183-1195.. Psychoanal Q., 61:143-143.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: The Gaze, Eroticization, and Psychosomatic Illness. Jacques Cain. Pp. 1183-1195.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:143-143

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984: The Gaze, Eroticization, and Psychosomatic Illness. Jacques Cain. Pp. 1183-1195.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

Cain discusses Freud's 1910 study, "The Psycho-Analytic View of Psychogenic Disturbance of Vision," as well as Freud's generalizations in other papers concerning somatic involvement and secondary eroticization of other organs. Freud used the notion of somatic compliance for the last time in the 1910 article. It was a concept which had a relatively short life span, appearing for the first time in the Dora case, and then disappearing ten years later, after this article. However, it is a term that is still current in psychiatric thinking, possibly encumbering it. Freud may have seen that the notion was no more explanatory than the notion of the "dormitive" power of opium. Or perhaps he disliked explanations that closed the door to further research, and wanted to place in question again the problem of the body and the why and wherefore of a corporal meaning. The choice of a particular neurosis or of a given mechanism of defense is often no more explicable than the passage of conflict to the somatic sphere. Cain considers the notion of the gaze (regard) and its role in psychoanalytic and philosophic theory. It has become important in psychoanalysis through work with infants. Lacan discussed it in his important article on the mirror stage, and Winnicott paid great attention to it. We are aware now how important the gaze is in the essential moments of development that lead to the structuring of the personality of the infant. The eroticized body of the other, perceived by the gaze, is constituted as an object of desire as well as the desiring object. It is by the mnemic trace of such an incorporation that the first elements of fantasy life become established in the child. In the encounter of the two gazes the structuring of the neonate's psychic life begins. Cain and his co-workers refer to this encounter of gazes as complicity (connivance), implying a secret agreement between two persons. The "between" is the important element here.


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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1992). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVIII, 1984. Psychoanal. Q., 61:143-143

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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.