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Green, A. (2008). Freud's Concept of Temporality: Differences with Current Ideas. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(5):1029-1039.

(2008). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 89(5):1029-1039


Freud's Concept of Temporality: Differences with Current Ideas Language Translation

André Green

I am going to speak about Freud's concept of temporality and you will be able to see the differences with the current ideas. Time and space are not supposed to be concepts of classical theory, I mean, there is no special chapter in Freud's work either on space or on time. But after Freud there were many contributions on the topic of space. I shall only mention potential space by Winnicott and also transitional space, and this is supposed to be the space in which reunion and separation occur and of course it is revealed by maturation and the setting. There is also the concept of analytic space by Serge Viderman that is less known. It is easier to propose a theory about space because there is the limited space of the setting. But time has been dealt with differently. It has not been a topic of elaboration in the same way, probably because it is a much more difficult question to deal with. Here we have found a complexity in Freud's work. But I would like to avoid a misunderstanding. I am going to speak about Freud's work in detail but please do not think that I believe that Freud tells the truth. What I believe is that Freud allows me to have a representation of time in the specific way in which it is dealt with in psychoanalysis, for which I have found no better equivalent. What we are going to do is a kind of investigation and see what happened to the concept of time in Freud's work. Just to give you one detail, I have found as I was preparing this lecture (which of course was easier for me because I already wrote on that topic) eighteen different items about time.

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