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Acklin, T. (1994). The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93. François Mitterand: Personality and Politics. Micheline Guiton. Pp. 27-72.. Psychoanal Q., 63:178.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93. François Mitterand: Personality and Politics. Micheline Guiton. Pp. 27-72.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:178

The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93. François Mitterand: Personality and Politics. Micheline Guiton. Pp. 27-72.

Thomas Acklin

This psychobiographical analysis of Mitterand seeks to analyze certain personality traits which might account for aspects of his politics. Guiton notes profound presence and absence in his relationship with his mother, as well as the division of his early years between his parents and his maternal grandparents. She finds in Mitterand a reflection of some of the attitudes of his mother in his strong commitment to working against the injustices of society and to independence in religious matters. Despite some problems which might have arisen from his mother's intense devotion to Mitterand's older brother, Robert (who reminded her of her brother), Mitterand seems nonetheless to have developed a good attachment to his father, as evidenced, for instance, in his aversion to cruelty and violence. Noting an easygoing oral phase, followed by a disruptive severe education during the next phase, Guiton considers the possibility that Mitterand developed a rejection-fixation focused on his mother because of the separations from her while under the authoritarian regimen of his grandfather. Guiton notes ongoing conflicts from this fixation, including obstinancy, shyness, anxiety in his relationship with money and time, and vacillation between resistance and submission. Ambivalence, hesitations, and contradictions of various sorts are described in his political life. An investment in the intellectual realm of words and concepts perhaps constitutes an attempt to displace libidinal energy and to master anxiety in social situations. Guiton reflects upon how the desire for power becomes stronger when there have been emotional frustrations and loss of a love object; eroticism is transformed into the desire for power.

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Article Citation

Acklin, T. (1994). The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93.. Psychoanal. Q., 63:178

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