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Lindell, J. (2001). The Rupture in the Represented: Lacan as Drive Theorist. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 24(1):17-33.

(2001). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 24(1):17-33

The Rupture in the Represented: Lacan as Drive Theorist

Juhani Lindell, Leg. Psych.

The core elements of modern western thinking, the classical theories of negation and modalities, one-way determinism, the idea that the universe is solely constituted of a positive substance, are all members of the same family of viewpoints (‘the logic of presence’) as the dichotomy of ego (- psychology) and object (-relations theory). The postmodern refers to crossing the (close) boundaries of the modernist world view and strives to bring to light the limitations of the western way of thinking and its Platonic foundations. Freud's notion of retroactivity supports the view of a rupture in the represented, pure unconscious as such, which breaks the illusion of the idea of the concept's identity with itself. The element of rupture, which Derrida calls the “diffrance” and Lacan object (a) refers to an influential factor that is irreducible to the object relation. Object (a) is postulated as a metaobject of psychoanalysis and especially its metapsychology. The present paper studies its significance from the point of view of the relationship between the theory of instincts and the theory of object-relations. The article supports the argument that the rupture is a classical theory of instincts. At the same time, it presents an epistemological critique of the theory of object relations, and is above all aimed at Fairbairn's effort to replace the concept of libido-seeking pleasure with a concept of object-seeking libido and besides that to Klein's concept of unconscious phantasy, which according to the writer is a phantasmatic articulation of the mother's body as “das Ding”. In the theory of object relations, the object became an a priori part of the libido and was responsible for satisfaction. And yet the rupture proves itself an ally of the theory of instincts in that it is an indication of the non-complementarity of the instinct and the object. The rupture as an unobjectivizable object means that what is represented is not all that “exists” and, secondly, that something always remains outside knowledge. The object of rupture, object (a), is irreducible and guarantees the maintenance of the difference between knowledge and truth. Freud named that “das Unheimliche”. The object-relations theory describes the experiential as that which becomes realized as an object-relationship. The object of rupture, by contrast, is impossible to have a relationship with, as any relationship with it is mediated by contingency. It is the paradigm of the impossible and absolutely strange. However, it belongs to this world and is the cause of desire that connects the instinct to the object. In the interpretation which takes the rupture into consideration, the death drive means that there is no such object present as is postulated by the object-relations theory, and that desire seeks something “beyond”. The death drive is not incestuous. It is symbolization at work; the object has to be created.

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