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Anzieu, D. (1974). A Discussion of the Paper by Gisela Pankow on 'The Body Image in Psychosis'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:415-416.

(1974). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 55:415-416

A Discussion of the Paper by Gisela Pankow on 'The Body Image in Psychosis'

Didier Anzieu

Dr Pankow's paper (this issue) forms part of the clinical and technical research into psychosis that she began over 20 years ago. After setting out her main thesis, illustrated by the treatment of two cases of psychosis (Pankow, 1956), Mme Pankow then enriched her ideas and technique from her experience with psychotics and pre-psychotics as well as from the seminar which she has led in Paris from 1958 on the analytic psychotherapy of psychosis. This has resulted in two more complete and important publications (Pankow, 1968), (1969). More recently, she has written on Solzhenitzyn's novella Matryona's House(Pankow, 1972), in which she also studies the case of the Belgian poet, Rodenbach, who died insane. Solzhenitzyn's novella seems to her to centre on the theme of the 'disarticulated house', a concept which itself originates in an important 'hiatus' in Matryona's youth. This occurred when Matryona, believing that her fiancé had died in the war, married his brother, and when her fiancé came back he threatened to kill her. Afterwards the secret identity of Matryona and of the beam supporting her house—which in the end was to cause her death—is established. Lived time stopped for Matryona with this threat; space became open and dangerous for her, and she let herself die when the time came for the 'open' to suck in its victim. Treatment of psychotics requires stopping such a development, first leading the patient to rediscover his body limits, this being the fundamental condition which allows him to recover his identity and his past.

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