translated by Jorge Jauregui
I. THE VICIOUS CIRCLE
1. A STEP OUTSIDE
Sixty-seven years after he coined the term "mutative interpretation," James Strachey's standpoint is still relevant. One may disregard some of his answers, yet his question keeps up with an urging reality: how to break the neurotic's vicious circle, how to succeed with interpretation in precluding free association from spinning deceptively, that is with the neurotic biting his own tail.
Strachey is shrewd because he doesn't deem psychoanalysis' therapeutic action as depending upon the cure as a whole, he doesn't surmise that mutation may proceed from insistence, from repetition, from a certain harping on the same thing. He doesn't deal with interpretation at large, for instance that which recycles free association, but with an interpretation that differentiates "before" and "after." Despite the criticism one can concoct which Lacan certainly didn't avoid in his Seminar I, Freud's Papers on Technique, when he reveals that the design to put an end to the neurotic's vicious circle recurring to the superego's vicious circle, leaves the question unresolved, at a dead-end Strachey's idea of positing interpretation not within a continuing logic but as immersed in the immediacy of temporality, reverberates in our present debates and allows for our recognition of him as a psychoanalyst stumbling upon problems similar to those we stumble on in our daily practice.
Art: Manu Burghart , Polaroid Diary,
courtesy of the artist
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