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Mango, E.G. (2014). J.-B. Pontalis, a Thinker of Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(3):525-532.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(3):525-532

Jean-Bertrand Pontalis

J.-B. Pontalis, a Thinker of Psychoanalysis Language Translation

Edmundo Gómez Mango

Seven years before J.-B. Pontalis died, his close friends arranged to pay him a tribute and got together to commemorate the man and his work. For a week during September 2006, a conference was held and many psychoanalysts, poets, novelists, essayists, critics and art historians took part. It was hosted at the Cerisy's International Cultural Centre (Centre Culturel International de Cerisy) in Normandy, a prestigious venue in the French cultural tradition. The conference proceedings were published under the title Le royaume intermédiaire [The In-Between Realm] (Pontalis, 2007), a Freudian phrase of which J.-B. Pontalis was especially fond.

The ‘in-between realm’ - the Freudian Zwischenreich - first refers to the very heart of the analytic experience: that space ‘between illness and real life’ which is created by the transference. J.-B. Pontalis never renounced the intimate experience of psychoanalysis. He never ceased to inhabit and explore that space of the intermediate, going through other forms of ‘between’ or ‘in-between’, terms that often recurred under his pen. Entre le rěve et la douleur [Between Dream and Pain] is the title of one of his books. He often dwelled in-between psychoanalysis and literature or, in the space of art, between the hallucinatory fulfilment of the life of desire and real life, between language and things. He was a ‘ferryman’, fostering the crossing of borders, drawn to the edges of psychoanalysis, where the latter may converge with other human sciences in a fruitful dialogue.

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