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Wilson, E., Jr. (1984). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Aspects of Psychoanalytic Representation. Nicos Nicolaïdis. Pp. 1031-1064.. Psychoanal Q., 53:639.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Aspects of Psychoanalytic Representation. Nicos Nicolaïdis. Pp. 1031-1064.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:639

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979: Aspects of Psychoanalytic Representation. Nicos Nicolaïdis. Pp. 1031-1064.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

Nicolaïdis develops several hypotheses concerning the relationship between representation or idea, body image, language, and signifier. Laplanche and Pontalis have suggested that Freud's representation (Vorstellung) is similar to the linguistic notion of the signifier. However, the linguistic signifier is different from the psychoanalytic signifier. In psychoanalysis, the signifier does not represent a concept, but rather the impulses. It leads us not to the sign as in linguistics, but to the unconscious, that is, to thing representations. It is diachronic, in contrast to the synchronicity of the linguistic sign. Nicolaïdis suggests that prior to what Freud discussed as hallucinatory wish fulfillment, the infant experiences a sort of hallucination of the referent in which the libidinal impulses are represented by a concrete image of the object, yet signifier and signified are not yet distinct. This is representation prior to the development of signifying representation. The representation becomes a signifier and is incorporated into the psychic apparatus and acquires an autonomy in its protosymbolic function when separation and differentiation from the mother has occurred. Nicolaïdis connects the evolution of the signifier with the evolution of writing and language. He discusses Freud's use of language as well as his ideas about pictographic writing and proposes that writing is a sort of corporal prototype of language. In hieroglyphics the primary process is expressed, and the representation of words and things (signifier and signified) is not sufficiently distinguished. Nicolaïdis claims that language is only a verbalizable inscription of representations of things, a virtual writing, based on mnemic traces which are preeminently corporal. Writers have noted that the body image develops in close linkage with the acquisition of language in the child, between the ages of nine and twelve months. There is a sort of mirroring in pictographic writing, in which there is a primacy of the representation of things. The author finds this relationship between object and representation to be derived from the mimicry and gesticulations exchanged with the mirroring mother.

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1984). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIII, 1979. Psychoanal. Q., 53:639

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