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Solms, M. (2015). Psychoanalysis in Pursuit of Truth and Reconciliation on a South African Farm: Commentary on Gobodo-Madikizela. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 63(6):1147-1158.

(2015). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(6):1147-1158

Psychoanalysis in Pursuit of Truth and Reconciliation on a South African Farm: Commentary on Gobodo-Madikizela Related Papers

Mark Solms

I will use this opportunity to comment on Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela's paper by telling the story of a recent experience of my own, as a white South African—an experience which I think exemplifies and illustrates many of the theoretical points made in her paper. I will not make the theoretical issues explicit; rather, I will let my story speak for itself.

Solms-Delta is the name of a South African wine estate situated in the Franschhoek Valley, originally established in 1690.1 became custodian of this estate when I returned to South Africa in 2001, after many years abroad. Having grown up in South Africa as a beneficiary of the apartheid system, I wanted to make a citizen-sized contribution to the reconstruction of the country, by fixing the social fabric of just this one farm. I considered it appropriate to think small, as an individual citizen can easily be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task faced by the country as a whole. However, I was aware of the symbolic significance of my historic farm. It was, after all, with the granting of such farms that the country's troubles began.

Particularly daunting to me was the fact that when one acquires a farm in South Africa, even today, it typically comes with a community of black people who live on it. Not to put too fine a point on it, the farmer inherits the people who live on his land.

[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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