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Wilson, E., Jr. (1984). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Eurydice or Sublimation. Claude Le Guen. Pp. 823-840.. Psychoanal Q., 53:636.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Eurydice or Sublimation. Claude Le Guen. Pp. 823-840.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:636

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Eurydice or Sublimation. Claude Le Guen. Pp. 823-840.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

The precept, "Don't analyze a sublimation," has validity. One learns through experience that even to ask anything about sublimation may cause it to disappear, like Eurydice returning to the underworld. Le Guen reviews three major characteristics of sublimation: its change of aim, its aconflictual nature, and its social value. As a corollary of the change in aim, there is a change in act which nevertheless retains a close relationship with the original act. The new action is a creation, not just a production. Le Guen sees creation as the instrument linking sublimation with society and culture, involving the recognition of others and recognition by others. He suggests that sublimation begins in sexual conflict and ends in conflict, but that there is an interval in which the act is desexualized. This exclusion of conflict is due to the social and collective character of the fantasies involved in sublimation and is necessary in order to situate creation in the socius (the individual as a social unit). The model for sublimation may be found in Winnicott's transitional object. Sublimation would seem to involve this potential space between inner psychic reality and the external world. Deconflictualization is necessary so that this level can be discovered, thus preparing the way for cultural experience and creation. Sublimation, then, is a passage between the individual and society, between the psyche and the socius. It also involves the imposition upon the socius of a dream of infantile megalomania, causing society to recognize this omnipotence. Sublimation represents not only having a child, but also making oneself the child. There is a narcissistic triumph with a fusion with the introjected mother. The father has no place in this birth process, but his role is the important one of looking on and approving.

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1984). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979. Psychoanal. Q., 53:636

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