Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To refine your search with the author’s first initial…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

If you get a large number of results after searching for an article by a specific author, you can refine your search by adding the author’s first initial. For example, try writing “Freud, S.” in the Author box of the Search Tool.

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

Wilson, E., Jr. (1987). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVI, 1982: L'après-coup. Claude Le Guen. Pp. 526-534.. Psychoanal Q., 56:590-591.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVI, 1982: L'après-coup. Claude Le Guen. Pp. 526-534.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:590-591

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVI, 1982: L'après-coup. Claude Le Guen. Pp. 526-534.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

Le Guen comments on the difficulty of explaining l'après-coup, the inadequacies of its various translations, and Freud's original term, Nachträglichkeit, from which the English and French have drawn differing implications. The translation used in the Standard Edition, "deferred action," is particularly unsatisfactory. Laplanche and Pontalis have criticized the term "deferred action." They define après-coup as an elective rearrangement of something that, at the moment it was lived, could not be fully integrated into a meaningful context. A rearrangement is precipitated by events which permit a new type of meaning for the past experience. It is a rearrangement of psychic elements favored by the evolution of human sexuality. The après-coup is, for Le Guen, quite simply the moment when, all at once, it (the id, ça) is organized in the unconscious with new relationships and emerges in consciousness to take meaning. The best example is the reconstitution of the first castration complex in the Wolf Man, illustrated by his first anxiety dream. Three psychic periods

- 590 -

are evident; that of the first primal scene; that of an active latency; and that of the après-coup and its disruptive effect. The après-coup is the "heir" of the work carried out during latency, and it brutally joins together the two menaces of the primal scene: castration and the perception of the female genital. Trauma presupposes a blow (coup) but does not have any effect except in the après-coup. Everything takes place exactly as if the blow had never happened, until it is organized afterwards. Trauma is not an action of the external world but a psychical process with respect to a perception which cannot be reduced to a matter of within and without. But we are led back to the same paradoxical question. How can something which does not exist provoke an event which will make it exist? That is the main question about the après-coup. Le Guen deals with some of the questions of causality raised by the concept and finds parallels in other sciences.

- 591 -

Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1987). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVI, 1982. Psychoanal. Q., 56:590-591

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.