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Danon, G. Lauru, D. (2015). Interview with Jean Laplanche. Psychoanal. Rev., 102(5):709-718.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Review, 102(5):709-718

Interview with Jean Laplanche

Conducted by Gisèle Danon and Conducted by Didier Lauru

The starting point for this interview with Jean Laplanche is a question regarding the place of infantile sexuality within psychoanalysis today. Laplanche begins by underscoring the audaciousness of Freud's characterization of infantile sexuality and the significance of the expansion of the field of “the sexual” that this characterization entails. He goes on to outline his celebrated “general theory of seduction.” In doing so he explains key terms associated with it, such as the “enigmatic message” and the “fundamental anthropological situation,” and clarifies how the theory seeks to account for sexuality in the expanded sense. In particular, Laplanche stresses the intersubjective origins of “drivesexuality in infancy, its chaotic evolution, its unique economic mode of functioning, and its subsequent conflict with innate “instinctual” sexual impulses that surge forth at puberty. He also positions the general theory of seduction in relation to the important advances made by attachment theory in the field of the adult-child relationship. Throughout the interview, the discussion touches on social contexts, and at points Laplanche outlines positions on topical concerns connected to education, media, and the law, and the importance of rethinking certain psychoanalytic paradigms in an age of new family structures that do not correspond to the nuclear unit.

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