Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: Books are sorted alphabetically…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The list of books available on PEP Web is sorted alphabetically, with the exception of Freud’s Collected Works, Glossaries, and Dictionaries. You can find this list in the Books Section.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Wilson, E., Jr. (1984). Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIII. 1979: The Memory, A Lie Which Always Tells the Truth. Alain de Mijolla. Pp. 679-687.. Psychoanal Q., 53:152-153.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIII. 1979: The Memory, A Lie Which Always Tells the Truth. Alain de Mijolla. Pp. 679-687.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:152-153

Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIII. 1979: The Memory, A Lie Which Always Tells the Truth. Alain de Mijolla. Pp. 679-687.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

De Mijolla points out the editing, screening, and falsifying characteristics of memory. He even claims that a memory, in becoming conscious, can only be a "lie" with respect to the historicity of the past event. A memory is a complex ensemble of multiple mnemic traces which pull in opposite directions. It offers a combination of images, sounds, and affects of which the original and pure state can only be mythical. Yet truth lies hidden in the folds of this complicated lie. For de Mijolla, the essential truth is that of the present of the subject and the situation in which the memory appears. The contemporary analyst is thus in a situation similar to Freud's when he realized that his patients were presenting fantasies as memories, for we must recognize that this fantasy aspect is characteristic of all memory. Viderman has recently argued against the historicity of the past as it is constructed or reconstructed in the course of a psychoanalysis. De Mijolla feels that even with the development of videotape recording which might someday provide an authentic and complete family archive, one would not find altered one iota the discourse of patients and the use they make of memories. In treatment, memories still must be seen as fantasies. The value of the reported memories as truth is secondary in analysis to the use the patient makes of them. De Mijolla questions whether an analyst is ever in a position to say definitively that the parents of his patient were "thus and so," or that "such and such an event occurred." Such a manner of speaking is a holdover from a prepsychoanalytic past in which the therapist was an exterior observer of events, making scientific medical observations. The

- 152 -

patient's memories "of the past" are really events in the present of treatment. The analyst should not develop an insistence on historical veracity. He must rather suspend judgment and must always expect that other versions of the same memory will emerge to contradict or elaborate what he has just heard.

- 153 -

Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1984). Revue Française De Psychanalyse, XLIII. 1979. Psychoanal. Q., 53:152-153

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.