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Éloge de l’analyse en langue étrangère Volume 83, issue 9, novembre 2007

Author
Psychanalyste, Professeur des universités, Université Paris 8, 38, rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 75010 Paris

In praise of analysis in a foreign language.Some subjects of foreign nationality insist on being analysed in French. This situation, which would appear at first sight to be a disadvantage, turns out to have positive effects. In this effort, the subject stumbles, flounders, and experiences exile from his mother tongue as a form of impotency. A phenomenon of the unconscious is then reinforced: the division of the subject by language is exposed, not as contingent but structural. The analyser is afforded an insight into the deep-seated reasons for the patient’s nostalgia: the object lost forever for which the mother tongue provides a metaphor. In this enforced separation, the subject is directed towards a loss of jouissance. Deprived of the satisfaction of the spoken word, a breach is opened towards the “drive-object”. By this artifice, we can move from impotence to the impossible, the very path of all analysis. Key words: mother tongue, separation, impotence.