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Wilson, E., Jr. (1984). Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIII. 1979: The Present of the Past. The Foundation of Psychoanalytic Treatment. Jacques Caïn. Pp. 615-623.. Psychoanal Q., 53:150.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIII. 1979: The Present of the Past. The Foundation of Psychoanalytic Treatment. Jacques Caïn. Pp. 615-623.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:150

Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIII. 1979: The Present of the Past. The Foundation of Psychoanalytic Treatment. Jacques Caïn. Pp. 615-623.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

Caïn discusses the philosophical role of time in psychoanalysis and in memory, with references to St. Augustine and to Spinoza. He chooses to concentrate on the handling of time by the Argentine writer, Jorge Luis Borges. He discusses the use of time in three stores, "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," "The Garden of Forking Paths," and "Funes the Memorious." In "Tlön Uqbar" a planet is depicted on which only the present exists, while in "The Garden of Forking Paths," all possible times are introduced. This appears to Caïn as a paradoxical relationship to time, and as an example of what is found in an analysis. Such a relationship to time is at the basis of analytic theory as well as therapy. One must accept simultaneously the ordering of time as the chronology of the calendar as well as the detemporalized unconscious. Time also appears in psychoanalysis in the periodicity of analytic sessions and the length of the sessions. After considering anniversary phenomena and the temporal occurrences of symptoms such as hesperian depression and Sunday neurosis, he turns to the origin of the sense of time. He suggests that the rhythmicity of bodily functions may provide the origin, and he emphasizes especially the libidinal lines. Caïn concludes that psychoanalytic treatment takes time as an axis to provide an objective temporal reference for the timelessness of the unconscious. Psychoanalysis does this without the reification of time such as occurs in psychogenetic theories. On the other hand, psychoanalysis utilizes time on a structural level in which the initial time factor matters little after passage into the preconscious with secondary elaboration and reconstruction in the analysis. The time that comes to matter is that given by the reconstruction in the course of an analysis. Caïn concludes by modifying Freud's dictum to read: "Where no time was, let time be."

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1984). Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIII. 1979. Psychoanal. Q., 53:150

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