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Troubé, S. Barriol, C. (2020). Le Petit Prince ou la mélancolisation de l'enfant modèle. Rev. fr. psychanal., 84(1):105-115.

(2020). Revue française de psychanalyse, 84(1):105-115

Le Petit Prince ou la mélancolisation de l'enfant modèle

(The Little Prince or the Melancholia of the Model Child)

Sarah Troubé et Céline Barriol

This article postulates that the story of The Little Prince was published in the context of a meeting-point between societal questioning about the status of the child in the post-war Western world and a moment of existential disarray in its author. The character of the Little Prince appears in this connection to be a typical cultural figure of the model child - in the sense of a perfect child, but also of a model of psychic maturation. However, the strangeness and the enigma of which he is the bearer places him on the side of an absolute or lost ideal which could be the sign of a melancholisation of this child who is too much of a model, thereby bringing him closer to the disillusioned knowledge of the wise baby. Understood as a myth, The Little Prince raises questions about the irreducible gap between every societal representation of a model of the child and the infantile aspect that is always marked by what is undicipherable and menaces the child in the adult and the adult in the child with splitting. The story seems to open up perspectives concerning the position one adopts clinically in relation to this melancholic dimension.

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