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Lussier, A. (1974). A Discussion of the Paper by J. Chasseguet-Smirgel on 'Perversion, Idealization and Sublimation'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:359-363.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:359-363

A Discussion of the Paper by J. Chasseguet-Smirgel on 'Perversion, Idealization and Sublimation' Related Papers

André Lussier

The paper by Mme Chasseguet-Smirgel (this issue) represents a valuable contribution to our psychoanalytic knowledge. It sheds a new light on the role played by anal erotism and idealization in the formation of perversions and of pseudo-creative work, thus extending the line of thought followed by Freud, (1910), (1913), Abraham (1921), Jones (1918), Grunberger (1964) and a few other contributors to this field.

The author brings to the fore, in a most convincing way, the relationship that exists in the fantasy world of the pervert between the ego ideal and anal omnipotence (in my opinion, ego ideal being used here in the sense of Lagache's ideal ego). In a clarity of style worth mentioning as it is in no way irreconcilable with the profundity of her thinking, Mme Chasseguet-Smirgel gives us the main lines of the pervert's dynamic and fantasy history by means of some of its most meaningful manifestations.

Chasseguet-Smirgel's argument is a rigorous one and on the whole carries conviction. It brings up many questions and hypotheses of a major interest. Time permits me to discuss but a few of them.


If the male child denies the absence of the penis and the presence of the vagina in the mother, can one really say that it is basically as a protection against the narcissistic injury that would result from a confrontation with his own genital inadequacy? This theoretical view, which is shared by Grunberger, does not totally convince me. Of course, I am no judge of my own unconscious prejudices nor of my illusions, but I would rather believe that I am motivated by my clinical experience if I express some doubt and wish to underline another aspect of the unconscious conflict.

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