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Sánchez-Pardo, E. (1998). Melancholia as Constitutive of Male Homosexuality: A Kleinian Approach. Gender and Psychoanalysis, 3(1):47-79.

(1998). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 3(1):47-79

Melancholia as Constitutive of Male Homosexuality: A Kleinian Approach

Esther Sánchez-Pardo, Ph.D.

“The Effects of Early Anxiety Situations in the Sexual Development of the Boy,” is one of Melanie Klein's central papers in her work The Psychoanalysis of Children (1932a). In this paper, I read the Kleinian account of the psychosexual development of the boy, focusing on its most interesting section, “Adoption of Homosexuality,” and on the case of Klein's patient Mr. B. The latter is the only case history of an adult male homosexual narrated anywhere in Klein's entire body of work. Its importance leads me to analyze and to reflect upon what I see as the Kleinian primal scene of male homosexuality and to formulate that homosexuality and melancholia appear inextricably linked in a heterocentric system of sexual difference.

In my analysis of the intricacies of the Kleinian text, I read Klein's endeavor as animated by a deconstructive impulse that undermines the possibility of ever attaining either a homosexual or a heterosexual position, rendering both of them undecidable.

I also read a selection of Herbert Rosenfeld's experiences with paranoid patients, specifically in his formulation of “the secondary and defensive nature of the paranoiac's homosexuality” and I attempt to identify the aporias in his analysis. I argue that the central place of melancholia is overlooked in some of his cases, specifically the relationship between melancholia and the law that I explore in depth.

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