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Eshel, O. (2017). Beyond Sexuality, Beyond Perversion: The Annihilated Last Scream. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 18(3):154-166.

(2017). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 18(3):154-166

Beyond Sexuality, Beyond Perversion: The Annihilated Last Scream

Ofra Eshel, Psy.D.

Starting with an ancient, dark story from the Babylonian Talmud, the paper proposes that beyond severe sexual perversion lies—buried, silenced, annihilated—an infant’s last scream. This is explored in the theoretical-clinical psychoanalytic writing on the last scream, early breakdown, madness, and catastrophe and illustrated through a detailed account of an analysis with a severely fetishistic-masochistic patient. In this long and difficult analysis, the cessation of perverse practices led to an extreme collapse into breakdown, profound devastation, emptiness, psychic death, and suicidal despair. Working within this collapse in analysis enabled the deep reason for the patient’s breakdown in early life to unfold. And most important, it engendered the crucial possibility of reliving the patient’s unbearable breakdown, deadness, and last scream—this time patient-with-analyst t(w)ogether—and experientially coming through it differently. Yet it still remains without an ending of love.

[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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