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Lussier, A. (1991). Un Interprète En Quête De Sens. By Piera Aulagnier. Paris: Editions Ramsay, 1986, 425 pp., 195 F.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 39:783-787.

(1991). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 39:783-787

Un Interprète En Quête De Sens. By Piera Aulagnier. Paris: Editions Ramsay, 1986, 425 pp., 195 F.

Review by:
Andre Lussier, Ph.D.

This book is a selection of Aulagnier's major papers under the initiative of Maurice Dayan, who presents the author in a helpful and scholarly introduction. The book is divided in three sections, each composed of several chapters. All in all, it could be seen as a substantial introduction to three outstanding books by Aulagnier (1975), (1979), (1984).

The first section is called "The Practice of Analysis," and covers the years from 1968 to 1979. Aulagnier was, at the time, concerned for psychoanalysis when it was seemingly "appropriated" by a given culture: When psychoanalysis no longer represents a threat to the established sociopolitical system, it loses something of its essence, which is to put everything in question by uncovering the hidden motivational forces in action. Aulagnier reminds us that when psychoanalysis is put at the service of the established order, the innoculation against the "plague" is working well; pseudo knowledge reigns, rendering the unconscious more perniciously unconscious.

Aulagnier's reference to the cultural milieu permitted her to investigate analytically and wisely the functioning of psychoanalytic societies and institutes. I know of no institute that could not benefit from her wisdom. Her investigation might be seen as well as a vigorous, lucid, and courageous attempt to demonstrate the pitfalls and the perversity of the aims and attitude of Lacan at his Ecole de Paris. She masterfully analyzed the situation where the analytic experience is transformed into an enterprise of seduction for the sole benefit of the power of "Le maître." In such a process, the transference is eluded and the discipleship ensured. Le maître is the winner, psychoanalysis the loser, together with the victim, the candidate who can but identify with the ideas and wishes of Le maître-analyste. These pages are full of considerations on the danger of alienation induced in the candidate either by the countertransferential interests of the (training) analyst or by the influence—often insidious—of the training body.

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