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André, J. (2016). Quartiers aux rues sans nom [Districts Where Streets Have No Names] by Dominique Scarfone Éditions de l'Olivier, Penser/rêver, Paris, 2012; 117 pp; €12. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(2):527-530.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(2):527-530

Quartiers aux rues sans nom [Districts Where Streets Have No Names] by Dominique Scarfone Éditions de l'Olivier, Penser/rêver, Paris, 2012; 117 pp; €12

Review by:
Jacques André

This review is part of a specially commissioned set of reviews of books by Quebec Francophone authors. Please read the introduction from the Book Review Editor in Canada, Richard Simpson here:

Prague, in the spring of 1968: the party is over, freedom to act is finished. Soviet tanks invade the country and its capital. In a last-ditch effort, the people of Prague try, if not to defeat the aggressor, then at least to lose him. In the hope, undoubtedly naïve, of disorienting the enemy or even driving him crazy, the people tear down the names of streets transforming the districts of the city into districts without names.

This historical scene provides the metaphor for the title of Dominque Scarfone's book; a metaphor for what Scarfone seeks to grasp from the psychoanalytic situation. Like any metaphor, this one has the seductive force of an image and suffers from some approximation. From the invasion of Prague to the scene of transference, we have to take one more step: “Analysis one day leads to unconscious configurations, where ‘something’ presents itself without having a correspondence on the side of psychic representation. In these districts, the streets never had names; for that matter, they are not even streets but indistinct traces of barely passable pathways” (p. 12).

Condensed into these few words, we have the project of the book. Whatever thematic variations there are from one chapter to the next, the reader is always brought back to this navel of analysis where for the first time the trace becomes representation.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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